A snake needs proper care, just like any other pet. But since they are not like common domestic animals, we already know a lot about how to take care of them, in this case you should make the effort to learn how to take care of a pet snake before buying one.
Snakes need all the usual pet care supplies of a safe and comfortable shelter, food and water.
Here’s a little introduction to some of the specific needs snakes have to stay healthy and safe.
What do snakes eat?
When snakes live in the wild, they hunt and feed small rodents and reptiles. Therefore, you might think that you should feed your snake live rodents such as mice.
But in fact, your snake can get injured by its food trying to defend itself from being eaten, so good pet owners feed their prey snakes that have been humanely euthanized and then frozen for their convenience.
That means you only get your supply of previously dead foods and store them in the freezer, then simply defrost before feeding your snake.
How often should I feed my snake?
Like many adolescent species, young snakes tend to eat more than adults because they are growing so fast.
So you need to feed them a little more often than when they become adults, for example young snakes feed once every 5 days until they are between 9 and 12 months old.
After that, they need to be fed every 6 days.
Once they are 3 years old or older, you only need to feed him once every 10 to 14 days.
So once your snake is an adult, it has a lot less work and less demand on your food budget as you only have to feed it once every fortnight.
How much should I feed it?
Obviously, you should also have an idea of how much food you need for your size and age.
It is normal to calculate the size of prey to feed by checking the circumference of your snake and giving it a prey that is about 1.5 or 1 1/2 times as large as the thickness of your snake’s body.
Are there special requirements for water?
Your snake enclosure should always have a clean supply of warm or room temperature water, even if your snake doesn’t seem to drink it.
Snakes tend to bathe and even calmly soak in their bowl of water. Unfortunately, they also tend to defecate in it, so you have to be vigilant about replacing the water every day.
You need to get a sturdy, heavy container that the snake cannot tip over when it climbs in, and the container should be shallow so that it can soak without risk of being trapped and even drowning.
What Kind Of Snake Cage Is Right For Your Home?
It is important that your snake cage is very solid and secure, as some snakes are true escape artists who will head butt and shove every door and crevice to test if it can make its way out.
Very popular options are snake terrariums (and you can buy a beautiful variety of affordable ones online at Amazon) or fish tanks / aquariums can be used, as long as you can secure the lid.
But make sure the tank has adequate ventilation once the light is turned on, as the snake needs fresh air and the ability to circulate air to control temperature.
Snakes need to feel safe and be able to hide when they want to sleep in private, so provide them with some of the snake caves you can buy made from rock, wood, or plastic.
To allow your snake to stay fit and toned, you should also provide some tree branches for it to climb and roll.
The snake enclosure also requires bedding suitable for the surface of the floor, called the substrate. Newspaper, pine bark shavings, and poplar shavings are good choices.
Avoid using things like cedar shavings, corncobs, sand, dirt, or pine shavings. You can also purchase an Astro Tuft Sheet Mat that is easy to clean and recycle for your floor covering.
Do snakes always need a warm environment?
Not all snakes really need you to be warm in their enclosure. You actually need to provide a heat lamp to place at one end of the cage so that there is a variety of temperatures with hot at one end and cooler at the other.
You can also provide a heating pad in its place if a ceiling light isn’t convenient … but don’t provide hot stones or anything the snake could get burned on.
These are some basic tips to get you started, but you need to learn as much as possible about how to properly care for your pet snake, so you should visit some snake forums and interact with other pet snake owners.
And there are some great books online that you can download to learn everything you need to know in detail, including snake health topics and even how to breed your snakes if that’s what you want to do.