How to take care of a pet snake

Oh yes, they are “pets” as well, as long as you accept their nature and respect their needs.

Obviously, with a snake, the whole thing is a bit different from a mammal or bird.

Let’s dive into their world…

First rule, which applies to all the animals:


You should learn about the animal you want to acquire: habits, feeding needs, habitat. Make sure you really want a snake and you really are prepared to care for one properly.


The snakes that are sold in pet shops are often in bad shape, mishandled or caught. Find a breeder that offers snakes in good shape at a price you are ready to pay.


Do this BEFORE you decide to adopt. A snake in good health should have clearly visible eyes and nose, well ordered scales and should be able to breathe without difficulty. It shouldn’t bee too lethargic and you should be able to pick it up without too much of a fight.


Ask the previous owner of the snake information about the animal’s past. You must know what it eats and how often, if there is any trouble with food, date and quality of his last molt (a good molt leaves the skin in one whole piece, if the snake molts in pieces it might not be in good health)


You will need a terrarium, some soil for the cage, a heat source, thermostats, a water container big enough to allow the snake to bathe in it, something the snake can climb on and a hiding place big enough for the snake to hide completely. The cage must be at least two thirds of the length of the snake. Of course, make sure you actually have the space for such a big cage.


The best thing for snakes is getting already dead prey. Buy the frozen prey, unfreeze it at home and give it to the snake. Make sure you are comfortable with the idea of doing this before acquiring the snake.

If you want to give to your snake live pray, keep the risk in mind. Live mice and rats can bring disease and parasites, and can bite and fight, putting your snake at a risk of being wounded.

Prepare the terrarium, then bring your snake home and let it get comfortable with the new environment. As with every animal, it needs some time to understand what’s going on.


Snakes make good pets and great friends. Bond with your new mate and enjoy your luck!

Useful advice

– Make sure that everyone in the family is comfortable with the idea of living with a snake. It’s also a good idea ensuring that at least one other person will be willing to feed the snake in case you decide to go on holiday.

– Don’t buy on a whim. Make some research on the animal you want to purchase before you take it home. Make sure that its habitat is ready and equipped before coming home with it.

– The best snake for someone getting one for the first time is the Corn snake. Corn snakes are really tame, relatively small, commonly raised and not venomous.

– Don’t feed or handle your snake for at least a week after introducing it to its new home, so that it has the time to get used to it.

– If you get a snake shortly after its birth, make sure to handle it regularly so that it will become domesticated. Baby snakes are shier than adults, so, even if the snake is nervous in the beginning, don’t give up!

– DO NOT take a venomous or notoriously aggressive species.

– Do not get a snake unless you are absolutely sure you can take care of it for the whole duration of its life. Animal rescue centers and zoos are full of adult snakes that the owners couldn’t or wouldn’t care for anymore.

– Garter snakes are among the best types of snakes to pick for the first time. Based on where you live, they might not even need warming up during the warmest months of the year, and they can feed on insects and fish if you’re not comfortable with the idea of giving them mice.


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