Snakes As Pets

Snakes are fascinating creatures and can make fantastic pets and though they are not as affectionate and cuddly as a dog or cat, they can still be very tame when handled daily and can form a special relationship and bond with their owner.

When considering a snake for a pet one should keep in mind that a snake is a long term commitment and not one to be taken on lightly, many snakes live 20 years or longer. Also snakes eat prey animals and though you can feed frozen not live, it can still be quite upsetting for those who are sensitive. You will also have to supply a safe environment for your snake, something that is big enough, offers him the proper climate and is escape proof.

Snakes are generally solitary creatures and should always be keep one per tank. Many snakes are cannibals and will eat their own kind. Snakes do fit well into a family but should not be kept in homes where there are young children and extra care should be taken in homes with other pets. Snakes are very good escape artists and it would be horrifying to come home and find your snake got out and ate your cat or toy dog. When buying your pet snake it is best to go to a breeder who offers captive bred, not wild caught snakes. Wild caught snakes do not make good pets as they are far harder to tame and can carry disease or parasites.

Just like any pet, all snake breeds have different personalities and needs. Beginners should start with one of the more docile easier to care for snakes like the Corn, King and Milk snakes or the Ball python. Those with experience might enjoy the Boa constrictor, Burmese python or Tree Boas and pythons. Venomous snakes, reticulated pythons and anacondas are simply too dangerous and should never be owned as pets.

One of the major reason many snake lovers hesitate to get one as a pet is the feeding of live food. Thankfully there is a choice. Owners can buy pre-killed frozen rodents and simply keep them in their freezer until needed. Many fanciers feel that pre-killed food is safer as there is less chance of disease and parasites and no worries about your snake getting hurt from trying to catch an ornery dinner that just might fight back. Most snakes adjust well to pre-killed food, but it certainly helps if they are started on them at a young age. The food should be completely thawed and warmed a bit. Snakes should also have available to them a shallow bowl on fresh room temperature water, this is not only for quenching his thirst but also for soaking in. The bowl should be heavy enough that it doesn't tip over.

A snake needs a home that is at least two-thirds their adult size, one that is very secure and escape proof. They also need a warm area for basking in and a shaded area if they get too hot. For smaller snakes a hideaway is also a good idea.

When going out to purchase your first snake be sure to look for a snake that shows signs of good health, like regular tongue flicks, neither too fat or thin and it should not be shedding. Check to be sure they have no ticks or parasites. If you are planning on feeding pre-killed food be sure that the breeder has already been feeding the same. Take the time to do thorough research on your chosen snake, learn everything you can about them so you know exactly what you are doing.

A snake is a big commitment and like any pet should only be added into your life after much thought, consideration and research. Snakes can be expensive and do take time and dedication, but for the right person can make an excellent and interesting companion.