Snakes might not be the typical family pet, which might leave you wondering: are snakes good pets? The truth is that snakes can make for good companions, but how you care for them is much different from traditional pets.
But on a basic level, snakes require the right kind of food, shelter, and supplies, just like any other pet. If you’re considering adopting a snake, you should understand exactly what you’ll have to do to keep your new friend happy and healthy.
To help you figure out if a snake is right for you, we’ve put together a list of essentials that every snake owner should purchase. Read on to learn what to buy for your new pet snake, including a cage, heating equipment, and food.
When you visit your local pet shop, one of the first supplies you’ll want to buy is a glass snake cage (also known as a terrarium). The enclosure you choose should have a secure lid to avoid the terrifying scenario of your snake escaping.
Since this will be where your pet lives full-time, you want to make sure you’re investing in a cage that’s big enough for your snake to move around, both vertically and horizontally. The employees at your nearest pet shop can advise you on the best terrarium size based on your snake’s species.
Because snakes are cold-blooded animals, they rely on heating lamps to stay warm in your home. These warming devices should be readily available at your local pet shop. Depending on the size of your terrarium, you might need more than one heat lamp. Check with your pet store staff for their recommendations.
Snakes are carnivores by nature, meaning that they only eat other animals. This can make some people feel uneasy. Before you buy a snake, make sure you’ll be comfortable feeding them and can afford to buy the food they need to survive.
So what type of animals will your snake eat? It depends on their species. Certain snakes prefer warm-blooded animals like mice, rats, and birds. You can (and should) purchase these critters already dead; otherwise, they could suffer severe distress or injure your snake during feeding time.
Many pet snakes will eat rodents, but other types of snakes eat a diet of fish, frogs, reptiles, or insects.
Just like humans, snakes need water to survive. Your snake should always have a bowl or container filled with water in its enclosure to stay hydrated. When choosing a receptacle, pick one that won’t easily tip over if your snake bumps up against it. Something shallow and wide should work well.
Sometimes, snakes like to bathe themselves or use the bathroom inside their water bowls. They also use water to help as they shed their skin. Remember to change the water every day and sanitize the container frequently to keep your pet from getting sick.
With all of that in mind, you should have your answer to the question: are snakes good pets? In short, they certainly aren’t the right pet for everyone, but they can be a great low-maintenance pet and a wonderful addition to your family.
For more pet care resources, check out the PetPonder blog.