Sunday, November 18, 2012

First-time Reptile owner

You want to take care of a pet, you made the decision to buy (or adopt) one. You don’t want a dog, a cat or a bird; you are hardcore and went straight for the reptile. Well, though these pets are really cool, don’t underestimate the care that they actually need. Along with feeding and housing (which will be covered later on), you have to consider it as a long-term commitment since reptiles can be expected to live up to 20 years or more!
For first-time reptile owners, here are some things to take into account before bringing one home.

Captive bred snakes vs Wild caught snakes
Well, there are many things to consider as far as this issue, but right off the bat, the general recommendation is to get a captive bred snake.
Wild caught snakes tend to give you problems mostly related to health since all of the stress cause by the capture, the transportation and the new environment leaves them prone to illness. Also, being on the wilderness makes it easier for them to carry more parasites.
Another thing to consider with wild snakes is that they are especially prone to escaping and fitting through any open space you may leave. Captive snakes will try too, but wild snakes have more “expertise”.
If you’re getting a captive bred snake, it will definitely be easier and plus you’ll be actually helping the wild snake population, since most of them that get caught, die in the process because they can’t survive the actual change.
It is a fact that not all kinds of snakes will easily reproduce in captivity, so you won’t get every snake to choose from, but it will be a wide variety. Also, captive bred will be easier to tame which is very important for a first-time owner.

Snake do’s and don’ts
If you are going to get a snake for the first time, cool as they may seem, you need to stay clear from poisonous and/or constricting snakes. Also, some species require special care and could be more complicated for a beginner: water snakes, tree boas, pythons, green snakes.
The good recommended choices are: ball pythons, milk and king snake and corn snakes.

Live prey vs pre-killed
While live prey is much more attractive for snakes, pre-killed is much better if you, as we recommend, get a captive bred snake. There are several reasons but storage and safety are the ones that stand out.
Keeping a bunch of frozen mice in the freezer is much more comfortable than having to run to the pet store to get new ones each week, or even worse, breeding them on your own!
A live prey will most likely hurt you (captive bred) snake in self-defense. Your snake won’t expected and might get very badly bitten.

Thermal needs
Snakes need to regulate the temperature on their bodies. You need to provide them with an environment with both a warmer and a cooler side on their quarters. This way, they’ll go towards what their bodies need for digestion.

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