If you are looking for a pet that is different from the traditional dogs and cats, what about a snake? Learn all over again about snakes so you can know if they are right for you. Also, which ones make good pets?
The Lowdown on Snakes
Snakes aren’t as bad as people make them out to be. In fact, snakes can make very good pets for several reasons.
Snakes are resilient – It takes a lot to kill a snake. Because they eat so infrequently, they can miss a meal and not be harmed. This doesn’t mean regularly forget them, but if you have to alter your feeding schedule, they can adapt. Their digestion is such that they don’t eat more frequently than once a week anyway.
Snakes don’t need a lot of room – They don’t move fast, especially those bred in captivity that don’t have to chase down their prey. A nice size aquarium can make a suitable home for many years.
Feeding is simple – Snakes need meat. This can be live prey or dead. When they are hungry they will readily go for their food when it is offered. Depending on the size of your snake, the meal doesn’t have to be large to go far.
Snakes aren’t the cause of many allergies – People can be allergic to dog or cat dander but snakes have scaly skin and most people are not affected by that. Also, have you ever smelled a snake? Probably not. This is the upside of owning a pet snake – clean air.
Snakes as Pets
So now that you know the advantages of owning a pet snake, which one can you own? It goes without saying that you can’t have a venomous one. It might be cool to tell people that you own a Gaboon Viper but you won’t want it to sink its fangs into you. By the way, it has the longest fangs of any venomous snake.
Venomous snakes are illegal to own unless you are a zoo or have credentials saying that you are qualified to house and care for them. It is not uncommon for them to bite and even kill their owners. After all, snakes are wild animals and instincts do kick in from time to time.
But, back to the gentler ones that make good pets. Pet Snakes are all squiggly and look kind of sinister but some are docile and fun to have around. Here are some species to consider.
Corn snakes – Corn Snakes are bright and beautiful, and more importantly, non-venomous. They don’t usually grow to longer than five feet which keeps them at a manageable size. You can handle them with no problem as long as you do it somewhat frequently.
Kingsnakes – There are several Kingsnake species available in stripes, speckled or banded color markings. Like corn snakes, they can grow to about six feet long and do well as pets in the home.
Ball pythons – Now despite what you have heard about pythons, some are good as pets. The Ball Python only grows to about five feet. They can live for as many as 50 years. They are quiet and rarely bite.
These three pet snakes are a great way to start exploring the reptilian world.
Little boys love to show them to everyone. Many people shriek when they see them. But, there are those who find pet snakes cool and love to keep them in their home. If you are potentially one of those people, here are some estimates on what it will cost to keep your newfound buddy.
Snakes get a bad rap. They can make good pets for those who like animals that they can watch most of the time. But, in order to watch them, you’ll need a few things.
Preparing for Your Pet Snake
The first thing you will acquire is a snake. There are snake species that are better as pets than others. Consider the Ball Python or the Snow Corn Snake. But, remember that, first and foremost, snakes are considered wild animals. They are exotic pets. When uncomfortable they can revert back to their instincts. Always be prepared for this.
The cost of a pet snake will depend on their attributes. Of course, it is illegal to own a venomous snake without a license and credentials which say you can handle dangerous animals. They also require very specific housing so that they don’t get loose and harm others.
Here, we will be talking about non-venomous snakes which are the normal pet choice. Your new pet snake can cost a few hundred dollars or a few thousand.
Where will your snake live? Most are housed in glass aquariums like you find them in captivity in the zoo. Choose an aquarium that is large enough for your snake to move around and stretch out. If you buy a baby, remember that they will grow. A good tank might cost around $100 or more.
Snakes like to bask in heat and under or on rocks. Depending on the type you buy, you might even need a water feature in the tank. Figure in money for a tank heater and a heat lamp. You can find all of these things at a pet store that sells snakes.
Don’t forget that you will need water bowls, foliage and a substrate substance for the bottom of the cage. In all, you may spend $200 or more for your cage accessories to start.
Pet Snakes have to eat. The price of buying food depends on the manner in which it is purchased. You can catch your own mice or buy them fresh. Frozen food might cost you less than choosing the live variety. But keep in mind many snakes will not eat frozen food. In that case you would have to provide fresh food.
Even snakes can get sick so you’ll want to schedule a visit to the vet. The first visit will probably cost you the most and you won’t need to return except for regular checkups or if they fall ill. That bill could be hefty depending on what tests the vet needs to perform.
All in all, you could spend a hefty sum on your pet snake. It all begins with the type of snake you choose in the beginning. You can have a great pet snake and stick within your financial means.