Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Having a pet snake 101

Thinking of getting a pet? Not really thinking of going for a dog, a cat, a bird? We know, you’re more into something of a wilder nature! A reptile is a type of pet that requires a lot of work and is not meant for those faint of heart, especially when it comes to the actual feeding. Here are some tips, advices and musts before you bring your snake pet home!

Your snake’s living quarters
You’re going to love your pet so you should treat it accordingly. As far as housing for your snake, you need to get a glass cage or a tank, you might look them up as aquariums. It needs to be big enough for your snake to move (slither rather) and to also fit a water bowl, rock, light and what you need to heat the house.
As for the cleaning, you need to do it every 7 days in average. Try to keep a schedule so your pet can get used to it too. Take this time to remove parasites, grime and feces. Also make sure to wipe the glass and change the water too because cleaning supplies may have fallen into it in the process.

The feast
So, here comes the tricky part. Snakes are carnivores so you have to feed them meat. Now, not any kind of meat: snakes eat rats or mice one or two times a week; larger snakes, however, you can either increase the feeding time or give them bigger animals such as rabbits. Bear in mind that these animals need to be dead because otherwise they might even attack and hurt your snake.

Healthy choices
Even though snakes seem as tough creatures, you still have to care for their health. There are three things to consider:
1.    Nose: check your snake’s nose every two weeks or so, especially if your snake tends to escape its cage.
2.    Eyes: they will be able to tell you (along with its behavior) if your pet is sick. If they look dull or lifeless, something might be wrong.
3.    Skin: snakes shed skin every three months in average. In these times you need to keep more water than usual and change it more often so your snake can soak in it. If you see that some patches are rougher to shed, you might want to help it by rubbing it off gently.
Make sure to make a trip to the vet at least once a year, even if your snake looks healthy. This will help prevent diseases or catch them in time.

First timers
These advices should be enough for you to go and get ready for your future snake pet! However, you should know that the best choices for a first-timer are corn snakes, king snakes and ball pythons since they are gentle tempered and are fairly simple to take care of.

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