After several years of keeping pet snakes, I have learned a lot about these adorable reptile pets.
Interactions with people and an assessment of the questions that most of them raise have led me to write this article.
I will tackle some of the common issues that beginner snake keepers and enthusiasts have.
Where can you buy snakes online?
The trading of snakes online has increased in popularity. When deciding to purchase your snake, you need to do it from a reputable online store. There are black marketing trading in illegally caught snakes, and you should avoid them. Some of the best sites to buy snakes online include:
Each of these sites is great because they ship to different parts. You have to ensure that your local laws allow the importation of snakes. They also offer vital information regarding your snake. You can also get consultancy services.
Should I buy boas online?
You should be comfortable buying your favorite boa online or in a physical store. The advantage that comes with an online store is the unlimited number of morphs available. They may be unavailable in your local pet store.
It also helps when you think about the convenience of delivery to your door that comes with online shopping. Some online stores have the required expertise in the sale and breeding of boas. They have decades of experience in the industry.
You will enjoy free online consultations from some online stores, such as XYZreptiles. They also offer care sheets for your snake, which they update regularly.
As online stores increase, competition among them increases and makes it easy for you to get a good discount as you buy your boa at the comfort of your home.
Learn proper care for your pet snakes
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The book includes the complete care guide for snakes as pets. It would be perfect for not just beginners but also experienced owners.
Do all snakes eat mice?
It is a question that I had for many years and one that most snake enthusiasts also have. I have conducted some in-depth research into this question. The general answer is no; not all snakes eat mice.
While all snakes are carnivorous, not all of them eat rodents regularly. Due to their natural habitats and other species-specific adaptations, some prefer eggs, insects, crickets, fish, and other protein sources. As such, before taking a snake into your care, its diet is one of the vital things you need to know.
You might be a snake keeper who does not want to feed your snake with rodents. It could be because you do not like the small furry creatures. It may also be because you have kept rodents as pets and do not like the thought of feeding mice to a snake.
Some of the snakes you may want to consider as pets that do not eat rodents include:
- Garter snakes
- Water snakes
- African egg-eating snake
- Ribbon snakes
These snakes prefer other forms of diets, including birds, fish, frogs, toads, eggs, and insects.
Do pet snakes bite their owners?
It is natural for any snake to bite. It occurs due to a snake being hungry or agitated. While this is a worrying fact, as a pet snake keeper, it is highly likely that your snake is non-venomous. If you have watched YouTube videos on pet snake breeding, you might have seen a person get bitten.
As a pet snake owner, a snake can bite you, and you always need to handle it with caution. Most pet snakes are docile and do not bite unless they get provoked or if they mistake a part of your body for food.
In case you or a person near you gets bitten by a venomous snake, you need to get them into an emergency room immediately. If it is you who got bitten, do not drive yourself to the emergency room. If it is not a venomous snake, apply first aid by cleaning with an antiseptic soap and clean, warm water.
In case you get bitten, and you are not sure whether the snake is venomous or not, always treat it as venomous until you seek medical advice. Always leave the snake alone after it bites before handling it again.
Can snakes love humans?
You might be wondering whether your favorite pet snake loves you. The answer is no. Unfortunately, snakes do not possess the intellectual capability to feel emotions, such as love. As such, you should not expect your snake to act affectionately towards you.
However, you should not get disappointed. Your lovely pet snake can feel an affinity for you. It happens when it perceives you as a caring and non-threatening creature. While the snake cannot identify you as its owner, there are ways it starts associating you with food.
Snakes enjoy eating, and over time, they start associating the person the thing before receiving food with the sensation of having eaten. Over time, snakes have been seen to associate with their owner or the person who handles them regularly different from others.
Do snakes bond with their owners?
Snakes are created in a way that they do not bond with their mates. They care for their younglings for a short period, if any. They lack the feeling of emotional affection with other snakes or even other things.
However, snakes get accustomed to their environment, and they see things around them as usual and safe. If something changes the normalcy of their setting, it can be disconcerting for the snakes. Such changes make them uncomfortable.
Since the owner is part of their typical environment, they become accustomed to you. If they are used to getting some petting from you, this needs to continue. If your snake stays for a long time without being petted, it may become nervous the next time you try to pet it.
Do snakes like being petted?
Snakes enjoy living their lives without much interaction with other beings except their food. Depending on the form of contact, snakes do not like being petted. However, they can learn to tolerate it. Petting reaction also depends on other factors, including age, species, and how accustomed the snake is to its owner.
The tendency to enjoy petting or not is dependent on the snake’s species. Some snakes can tolerate petting more than others. Some snakes are more comfortable with people than others. For a beginner, a corn snake is an excellent place to start.
When considering whether your snake can get accustomed to you, consider a few factors.
- Only play with active snakes
- Handling and petting your snake should not exceed two times a week
- Let your snake feed first
- Do not treat your snake immediately after taking it to its new home
- Consider the age of your snake. Younger snakes get offended easily.
What happens if a pet snake is released into the wild?
Releasing pet snakes into the wild is becoming a concern as their popularity increases. The issue is coming into being as a result of various factors, such as becoming a burden for the owner, growing too large, or when the owner no longer wants a pet snake.
The general rule is that you should never release a pet snake into the wild. If the snake is not native to the area, its release will disrupt the ecosystem. It can also be a threat to human beings and the snake too.
Technically, the snake can survive in the wild if it finds enough food. However, it might get run over by a car or get killed by prey. As such, there are numerous concerns about snakes and releasing them into the wild.
If released into the wild, a few things may happen:
- Having been raised in captivity, a pet snake lacks survival skills. It can succumb to the elements.
- If the snake survives in the environment, it may become an invasive species if not native to the habitat.
- Such an act is cruel to the animal, and it can be illegal in various areas.
There are alternatives to get rid of your snake, and releasing it into the wild should not be considered. Some options to consider include:
- Consider talking to the store where you bought your snake and check their return policy.
- You can also advertise the snake for sale. Online adverts will increase the scope of potential customers.
- Check online on people who may have posted looking for a snake to purchase.
- Contact a professional or a veterinarian on what actions you may take.
When purchasing a snake, you should think about ways of getting rid of it that are not harmful when you can no longer take care of it.
Do snakes die of old age?
Snakes can die of old age. However, it is rare because numerous other leading factors cause snake deaths. In the wild, snakes rarely die of old age due to infections, natural hazards, and predators, among others.
However, when well cared for in captivity, snakes can reach the end of their natural lifespan. Such a lifespan varies from one species to the other. On average, snakes live up to 20 to 30 years. If your snake has been of good health and dies having attained the average age of its species, it might have died of old age.
How to live with snakes?
Living with snakes is not a challenging adventure, but you will need to understand a few care tips. Living with a snake requires you to inform the people you live with and ensure they are comfortable with the idea too.
When you get a snake, you will also need to get an enclosure for it. The cage requires a substrate that matches the natural habitat of your snake. As such, you need to ensure that the environment meets the needs of your snake.
The cage also needs lighting and heating equipment. Snakes need specific levels of temperature and humidity. You will also need to invest in a hygrometer and a thermometer. Some decorations and hiding spots in the cage are also required.
Depending on your snake species, get the ideal food. Always have some clean water in a bowl in the cage. Feeding will be done once or twice a week, depending on the age of the snake.
How long do snakes get?
The length of a snake is heavily dependent on its species. Therefore, a snake can grow as large as their species allows. The range of the snake’s length is between 10cm and 9m.
When choosing your pet snake, you should consider getting a manageable sized animal. When snakes are young, they may look adorable, and the size is right. Do not forget that the pet may grow to more than five times their size.
You need to take a pet snake that is the ideal size for you. As many breeds of snakes exist, there are numerous sizes, and you will get the right one for you.
How often do snakes eat?
Before getting a pet snake, you need to research and understanding different things that come with it. It is a common concern for people, and a solution is here. The first thing to note, DO NOT feed your snake daily.
Feeding your snake depends on its age, size, and activity level. If you have a young snake, you should feed it twice a week. For mature snakes, they need to feed once every week or fortnight. When snakes approach the breeding season, they should feed more regularly.
However, it should not be worrying as your snake will let you know when it needs to eat through its reaction when you offer food to it. Your snake will only eat the food if it is hungry.
In case your snake fails to eat for a long time, you need to find out the reason. It could be ill, pregnant, or shedding. Otherwise, if it does not feed as expected, a visit to a veterinarian should be done.