Snakes As Pets

Having a snake as a pet takes some serious consideration, not only about actually getting one, but knowing all of their special needs. It's harder to own an exotic pet versus a normal one, like a cat or dog. You really have to think this one through, but in case you think there's not much to it, let's look into the various topics to consider.

 

Live Prey

 

Are you squeamish? Would you feel bad if you had to put live prey into your snake's tank, essentially sending the little critter to its death? But don't worry too much, because there are some snakes that will eat frozen and thawed rodents. These tend to be snakes like the gopher snake, corn snake and kingsnake, but do your research first so you are completely sure.

You also cannot leave live prey with a snake, because if they don't eat the rodent right away, the rodent can, in turn, start eating the snake. The prey can then become the predator, especially if the snake is in a smaller tank and can't get away.

 

Temperament

 

You must do your research and find out which snakes are more aggressive than others, especially if you have children around. If you buy a snake when it's young, it's much easier to tame and you won't have to worry about that as much. Do not capture a wild snake and try to keep it as a pet. They can have parasites, try to bite you, and will become very stressed going from freedom to captivity.

 

Size

 

Size will be something to consider when purchasing a snake as a pet. Will they get bigger? If so, you must take into account that you will need to buy a bigger cage or tank later on. Some people take in a pet snake and don't realize how big it will get and aren't able to care for it any longer, so keep this in mind. Also, there are certain laws which will prohibit certain sizes of snakes that can be kept as pets.

 

Tank/Cage

 

If your snake is going to get bigger, you might want to buy a large tank right away instead of having to purchase another one (or multiple ones) as the snake grows. Be well informed before you purchase a snake so you know if they are going to grow, and just how much bigger they will get.

You have to buy a tank or cage that the snake won't escape from. Also, you may have to provide a heat source on one part of the tank so the snake can choose between heat or cold. This helps them to regulate their body temperature. They also have a day/night cycle just like we do, so you can't have the light on at all times, or keep the snake in the dark.

 

Accessories

 

You will have to cover the floor of the tank or enclosure with either newspaper, peat moss, reptile bark, or other safe materials. Certain things can also grow bacteria, so the tank will have to be cleaned and disinfected on a regularly scheduled basis.

A huge, heavy dish of water needs to be provided for them to drink and lay in to soak. It's also good to put in rocks and other things for the snakes to hide behind, which helps with shedding. Find out what humidity your snake would need for a smooth shedding process. You can find reduced prices for snake supplies at if you are serious about getting a snake.

 

Avoid Certain Snakes

 

Some snakes should not be kept as pets, with venomous ones being the obvious choices. But there are others that are just too much of a pain to even bother with. Some won't eat or are extremely picky with food, some become hostile, or will try to bite. Find some information about a few types you should not get HERE.

 

If you plan on getting a snake as a pet, do your research and make sure you're well educated about the pros and cons of owning one. It's a big commitment and if things aren't going well, you can't just leave them behind or release them into the wild. It would be a good idea to talk to someone who already has one or had one in the past to get advice from them. Good luck!