Did you know that snakes have been around for over 100 million years? Incredible, right? They’ve survived everything the world has thrown at them and they’re still here, slithering along.
If you’re thinking of sharing your home with one of these resilient reptiles, you better be prepared. We’re here to help guide you through what you need to know to make the right choice.
Let’s dive in!
Understanding Snakes as Pets
Snakes are not your average pets. They don’t fetch, they don’t cuddle, and they certainly don’t respond to their names. But there’s something truly fascinating about these creatures that draws certain folks in.
Maybe it’s their quiet demeanor or their low-maintenance lifestyle. Let’s dig deeper.
What Makes Snakes Unique Pets
Think about it. When you imagine a pet, you’re probably picturing something fluffy that plays fetch or purrs when you stroke its fur. Snakes are different. They’re quiet, clean, and independent.
They don’t need constant attention, and they certainly won’t chew up your favorite pair of shoes. But don’t be fooled. They need just as much love and care as any other pet, just in a different way.
The Commitment of Snake Ownership
Now here’s the kicker. Owning a snake is a long-term commitment. Some snakes live for over 30 years. That’s longer than a lot of marriages! Plus, they’ve got very specific needs that you need to be ready to meet.
It’s not just about feeding them and cleaning their tank. It’s about understanding their behavior, knowing when they’re stressed, and giving them the right environment to thrive.
Basic Requirements of Snake Ownership
So, you’ve decided you want a snake. Great! But now comes the tough part. You need to make sure you can provide everything your scaly friend needs to live a long, healthy life. Let’s talk about some of the basics you’ll need to consider.
First things first, your snake needs a place to call home. This isn’t just any old box we’re talking about. It’s a carefully controlled environment that keeps your snake warm, comfortable, and secure. You need to think about things like temperature, humidity, and hiding places. And remember, the size of the enclosure matters.
Too small and your snake will feel cramped. Too big and it might feel insecure.
Alright, now let’s talk about food. And we’re not talking about pet kibble here. Snakes eat rodents. Mice, rats, you name it. They like their food whole and they prefer it dead.
Now, this might seem a bit gruesome, but it’s just the circle of life. You can buy pre-killed rodents from pet stores or online, so you don’t have to do the dirty work yourself.
Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the fun part. Picking out your new pet! In the next section, we’ll talk about the best types of snakes for beginners, and which ones you should probably steer clear of until you’re more experienced.
Stick around, this is where it gets interesting.
The Best Beginner Friendly Snakes
Alright, so you’re ready to dive in and pick out your new reptile roommate. There are a ton of different types of snakes out there, but some are definitely more beginner-friendly than others.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the top contenders.
First up, we’ve got the corn snake. These are like the labrador retrievers of the snake world. They’re friendly, pretty easy to care for, and they come in a bunch of different colors.
They’re not too big, and they have a pretty chill temperament. You won’t find them trying to escape every chance they get, and they’re generally okay with being handled.
Plus, they’re pretty good eaters, which makes feeding time a breeze.
Next on our list is the rat snake. Despite the less-than-cute name, these guys are actually pretty great. They’re known for being easy to handle and they have a fairly straightforward diet.
Plus, they’ve got a neat party trick. When they feel threatened, they’ll wiggle their tail in the leaves to mimic the sound of a rattlesnake. But don’t worry, they’re all bark and no bite.
Last, but certainly not least, we’ve got the gopher snake. These snakes are often overlooked in favor of their more colorful cousins, but they’re a solid choice for beginners.
They’re pretty docile, they don’t get too big, and they have a simple diet. Plus, they’ve got this beautiful pattern that makes them look like mini pythons.
Snakes to Avoid as a Beginner
Now, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t also mention a few types of snakes that you should probably avoid as a beginner. While these snakes can make great pets for the right person, they’re not the best choice if you’re just starting out.
We’re talking about pythons here. Sure, they’re impressive, and they might make you feel like a badass for owning one. But the truth is, they’re a lot to handle. They can get really big, and they require a lot of specific care.
If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of snake ownership, it’s probably best to start with something a little less intimidating.
Caring for Your New Snake
Alright, now you’ve got your snake. You’ve got your tank all set up, you’ve got a freezer full of mice, and you’re ready to be the best snake owner you can be. But how exactly do you take care of a snake? Let’s go over some of the basics.
Feeding Your Snake
We’ve already touched on this a bit, but feeding your snake is one of the most important parts of snake ownership. Most snakes eat a diet of rodents, and they prefer their meals already dead.
That means you’ll be feeding your snake frozen mice or rats that you’ve thawed out. How often you feed your snake will depend on its age, size, and species, but once a week is a good starting point.
Handling Your Snake
Now, let’s talk about handling. Unlike a dog or a cat, a snake isn’t going to come running when you call its name. But that doesn’t mean you can’t interact with it. Most snakes are okay with being handled, as long as you do it correctly. Always support your snake’s body and avoid quick movements.
And remember, handling time is not right after feeding time. Wait at least a day after your snake eats before you pick it up.
Cleaning the Enclosure
Lastly, let’s talk about cleaning. Your snake’s enclosure should be cleaned regularly to keep your snake healthy. This means removing any uneaten food, cleaning up any waste, and replacing the substrate as needed.
You should also regularly check the temperature and humidity levels to make sure they’re in the right range for your snake’s species.
What to Expect in the First Few Weeks
The first few weeks with your new snake can be a bit of a learning curve. Your snake will be getting used to its new home, and you’ll be getting used to your new pet. Here are a few things you can expect.
Just like any pet, your snake will need some time to adjust to its new surroundings. This might mean that it hides a lot at first, or that it’s not very interested in eating. That’s okay. Give it time, be patient, and your snake will start to feel at home.
Your snake’s first feeding in its new home can be a bit nerve-wracking. It might not be interested in eating right away, and that’s okay. Just leave the food in the enclosure and give your snake some time.
If it hasn’t eaten after 24 hours, remove the food and try again in a few days.
You’ll probably be eager to start handling your snake right away, but it’s best to give it a few days to settle in first. Start with short handling sessions and gradually increase the length as your snake gets more comfortable.
Wrapping Up: The Journey into Snake Ownership
There you have it. You’re now equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision about bringing a snake into your home. From understanding their unique needs, to picking out the perfect beginner-friendly species, to learning the basics of snake care, you’re ready to start your journey into the world of snake ownership.
Remember, owning a snake is a long-term commitment, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can be a truly rewarding experience.
So, are you ready to join the ranks of snake owners? We think you’ve got what it takes. If you want to learn more, why not get in touch?