How to Take Care of a Pet Snake (Care Sheet & Guide 2022)

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The long, sleek and slender pet snake is an exotic reptile that requires an experienced owner. While snakes are not cute and cuddly animals, they can make fantastic pets for the right person. Snakes can live for decades and require consistent care and attention. If you’re thinking about adding this adorable pet to your home, here’s everything you need to know about caring for a pet snake.

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Snake Facts

enhancer snake, Holm94, Shutterstock

  • Snakes can live for 20 years or more
  • Snakes are carnivores and eat fish, mice and other small prey animals
  • Snakes don’t have eyelids!
  • They can’t chew and swallow their food whole
  • There are more than 300 species of snakes
  • Snake kisses with its tongue
  • More than five million people have snakes
  • Also Read: Is Anaconda Toxic? What you need to know!

Are Snakes a Good Pet?

While buying a snake may seem appealing, these animals are not good starting pets. In addition, they are not suitable for people who are looking for a social and loving companion. If you can’t stomach feeding your pet dead or alive, snakes aren’t right for you.

However, for some people, snakes make excellent pets. Snakes are often misunderstood and can be a great stress reliever for many people. They don’t need daily walks and are very quiet. In fact, their cages are very easy to clean.

Snakes can live for decades. This is why regular health visits with a qualified veterinarian are a must. They also need temperatures of 80 to 85 degrees F to live comfortably.

If you haven’t been able to provide your pet with proper health and environmental care over the years, a snake may not be the right pet for you.

  • Related Read: Do Snakes Like To Be Pets? Everything You Need To Know!

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Where Can I Get a Pet Snake?

Snake in wood_Praisaeng, shutterstock

You can buy pet snakes at your local pet store, reptile pet store, or from a reputable, quality exotic pet dealer or breeder. You can also visit a snake or reptile fair in your area to meet other snake enthusiasts and find more exotic snake types for sale.

How Much Does Owning a Pet Snake Cost?

Snakes are not cheap animals to buy or care for. If you are serious about owning a pet snake, you must be prepared and willing to spend the money needed to breed.

A snake will cost about $75 or more for the animal itself. Some species of snake can cost thousands of dollars, depending on rarity. The price of snake care will vary depending on the type of snake you choose to buy. For example, owning a garter snake is much more affordable than owning a python. However, common costs of snake ownership include:

  • $110 to $145 for supplies, including tank, food and water bowl, heater, lamp, timer and gauge, skin, and decor.

  • $310 to $740 for annual expenses, including enclosure maintenance and upkeep.

  • $120 to $300 for annual health care needs, including checkups, and emergencies.

  • $120 to $240 for food.

The total annual cost of owning a snake will fall between $450 and $1,500.

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What Kind of Home Does My Pet Snake Need?

Snakes need a large, clear terrarium that accommodates their size. A 20 gallon tank is great for smaller snakes. The lid must be screened for ventilation. Snakes are amazing escape artists, so never forget to put a secure cover over the snake tank.

Cover the bottom of the tank with dry leaves, sand, bark mulch, or newspaper so your pet snake can burrow and hide.

Snakes are cold blooded animals and need a climate controlled habitat to stay healthy and happy. A heating pad under the tank makes a good choice for most snake owners. You can also choose an overhead light. Whatever heating method you choose, be sure to monitor the temperature of the tank carefully with a gauge and thermometer.

You should also keep the tank moist. Low humidity will make it difficult for your pet snake to shed its old and dead skin. Spray the inside of the tank with a mister every day. A large bowl of water and moistened moss will also add moisture to the tank. Monitor humidity levels with a hygrometer.

Like you, snakes enjoy their privacy. Get your pet snake a cave or shelter where he can enjoy alone time.

What Should I Feed My Pet Snake?

Snakes are carnivores, meaning they only eat meat. Feeding will depend on the type of snake you buy. For example, some snakes will eat frozen baby mice while others will eat large live mice. Before you get a pet snake, do your homework about the specific needs of the breed you are bringing home.

All snakes need access to fresh, clean water. Keep a deep bowl of water in your snake’s cage. Change the water every day.

  • See Also: How Many Eggs Does the Snake Lay & How Many Survive?

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How Do I Take Care of My Pet Snake?

snake_Karsten Paulick_Pixabay

While snakes are not social creatures or trainable like dogs or cats, you should interact with your snake on a daily basis. You can let your pet snake cover your shoulders, wrap around your arm, or explore a large, empty room in your home. Never leave a snake unattended. Do not allow your pet snake to interact with other pets, especially small animals.

Never touch your snake right after it eats.

If your children handle your pet snake, keep an eye on them. Teach them how to properly and gently handle and handle reptiles.

How Do I Know If My Pet Snake Is Sick?

In order to keep your pet snake healthy, it is important that you schedule a wellness appointment with a qualified exotic veterinarian every six months.

Although snakes in captivity will thrive over the years, they can suffer from several health problems. The most common is failure to eat or thrive. This is generally caused by stress, as the snake’s tank is at the wrong temperature.

Snakes may also develop swollen jaws, blisters, burns, abscesses, swollen or cloudy eyes, and discolored patches. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your vet right away.

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Conclusion

Pet snakes are best suited for experienced owners. They need the right tank and temperature conditions to thrive. If you get sick of thinking about feeding one animal to another, a snake is not the right pet for you. What’s more, if you want a pet that is social and cuddly, don’t buy a pet snake.

If you have the experience, dedication, and the right education, a pet snake could be the perfect pet for you.


Featured Image Credit: Jarkko Mnty, Pixabay

How to Take Care of a Pet Snake (Care Sheet & Guide 2022)
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