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Reptile Center

Preparing for Your First Pet Snake

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#5 Snakes like play time, too.

Always up for a game of hide-and-seek (although much better at the hiding part), snakes enjoy burrowing under objects in their environment. A log or a branch to explore and curl around is another great addition for the snake's terrarium. Experiment with different objects to discover what your snake likes and add it to the habitat. Remember, fake is sometimes better than real, as fake is less likely to mold or carry spores.

 

#6 Dinnertime.

Be prepared. Snakes like to eat real meat. It does not need to be fancy, like a filet mignon, but it should be raw. Mice, or rats for large snakes, are the best for this, and they are easy to acquire at your local pet shop. In fact, some mice are bred especially for this purpose. Most snakes will eat frozen mice (that you’ve very nicely allowed to warm to room temperature), but be aware that some will only chow down on the living variety. Check with your pet store or breeder to see if they feed live or thawed frozen rodents. Your pet will most likely continue to do what they’ve done in the store. So if you do have to feed your snake live rodents, make sure your snake is hungry, and stay vigilant because you may quickly become the prey if you are not careful. Keep in mind that with patience you can get even the most adamant live eater to switch to the convenience and safety of defrosted frozen rodents.  

 

#7 Cleaning.

Snakes are pretty easy to clean up after. Because their diet consists of meat, they do have fecal droppings, but lining the tank with newspaper, or other substrate, will help keep the terrarium tidy. Keep a bowl of clean fresh water at all times, so your snake can have a drink and a bath whenever it wishes.

 

#8 To hibernate or not to hibernate.

It is natural for snakes to hibernate during the winter, and this is essential if you’re breeding them. If you do decide to let your snake hibernate, it’s best to speak to an expert for advice first. You’ll need to keep it in a cool, dark room. Just please don’t pop your snake away and forget about it. You’ll need to do daily rounds, checking the temperature and the humidity of the enclosure, and keeping the water fresh and clean on a daily basis.

 

Now that you have some information, you are on your way to having your first pet snake.

 

Image: elan / via Shutterstock

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