Having a snake as a pet carries its own unique challenges and rewards. While not everyone can have a snake as a pet, these animals have their own needs when it comes to properly caring and raising them. Provided below is a list of some major things to be aware of when looking to keep a snake as a pet.
Your snake needs to have it own area and a 20-gallon terrarium, fitted with a screened lid, is a good start. Note that your snake may grow to the point that it will need a bigger terrarium and never keep multiple snakes in the same habitat.
You will need “substrate,” basically the terrarium’s natural flooring. This substrate should be composed of something that is naturally occurring, odorless and that allows the snake to burrow underneath. Make sure to look over the substrate and clean out any droppings or other messes each day.
Another major facet of a snake’s home is temperature control, either through heating pads placed under the terrarium or ceiling mounted lamps. Furthermore, only put your heat source along one side of the tank but keep a thermometer on each side to ensure proper analysis of the temperatures inside each “region.”
A hydrometer is also vital as it will allow you to assess the property humidity level of the tank. If an area is too humid or not humid enough, it can affect your snake’s mobility and the ease of which it can shed.
One last feature to discuss when addressing a snake’s terrarium is cover. It is a good idea to provide your snake with some sort of cool, secluded spot within their terrarium so it can have some sense of privacy or enjoy a cooler micro-climate. Much like with terrariums, snakes can outgrow their “starter” cover.
While an individual snake’s diet will vary with its species, all snakes are meat-eaters. Most snakes that can be found within pet stores tend to feed upon warm-blooded prey animals like gerbils, mice and hamsters. While most snakes should be fed no more than twice weekly, mature snakes need only one meal a week.
As for hydration, you should have a water bowl large enough to accommodate your snake’s size-some snakes like to be in or near water. This water bowl should always be filled so that your snake can always sip when it becomes thirsty.