Once you start learning how to care for a pet snake, you will find that there is a lot to learn, but you soon realize that most of it just makes good sense when it comes to caring for your pet’s snake health and well-being.
The basic things to keep in mind are what does a snake eat, how much and how often, and what kind of snake cage and environmental conditions it requires. And make sure you provide clean and hygienic living conditions tailored to your pet’s hose needs to keep it healthy and happy in your care.
Here are ten basic pet snake tips you need to know:
1. Choose a healthy snake to adopt
When choosing a snake, get one that is well fleshed out with clear eyes, no incisions, no mites or ticks and is alert. The snake should seem curious and grab you, but cautiously when handling it.
You need to be there when the snakes are fed so you can observe them and make sure the snakes you are picking from are all eating well.
Snakes with captivity are more suitable for pets than buying a wild snake. Snakes born in the wild are usually very stressed from the capture process and transport to the pet supplier. Wild snakes are also likely to have a large parasite load.
2. Get the right cage for your snake breed
Your cabinet should usually be about two-thirds the size of its body length. If your snake is six feet long, the cage should be at least four feet long.
You can always make the cabinet longer than the hose, but your hose will be comfortable in a smaller cage than the length of your hose.
Remember to upgrade the cabinet as your hose grows as it has to increase in size relative to the length of the hose body.
3. Keep the hose enclosure moist
Hoses are sensitive to temperature and humidity factors, and you should always ensure that their enclosure is kept at the right temperature. Check out a reliable snake pet book to learn what the optimal conditions are for your snake breed.
4. Keep feeding your hose simple and safe and hygienic
When purchasing your snake, first be sure to choose a pet snake that happily eats thawed rodents (which you buy frozen from the pet store) and is not overly fussy in their feeding requirements.
Feeding your snake live rodents, even small mice, can harm your snake – and it is NOT entertainment for an audience of your friends, so don’t do it.
The dead animal for feeding should not be wider than the snake’s own head. Snakes don’t eat very often and you can store the pre-killed and frozen mice in your freezer.
5. Learn how much and how often you can feed your snake
Getting expert advice on the amount and type of food is optimal for your pet’s snake and the frequency of feeding.
Snakes may eat almost everything that is fed to them, and they will usually recover the meal after a day or two if they have been over-fed.
6. Make sure your hose cage is secure
The hose cage, terrarium, enclosure, etc. must always be well planned and ventilated, but also thoroughly secured to prevent the hose from escaping.
Breeds like corn snakes can be excellent escape artists, and you can lose your pet snake very quickly if you are not careful.
They will even push against the cap of the enclosure with their noses to look for any weaknesses in the cage or doorways.
7. Ensure constant supply of fresh water.
Snakes defect in water and also soften them especially before casting.
You should check the water regularly and replace it with clean water as soon as there is evidence of contamination in it.
Buy a heavy bowl or container so it does not tip over when the hose slides around it.
It is good to place several water bowls in the hose cage, which also helps to establish the proper humidity for the hose.
8. Create hiding places for your snake to feel safe.
Hiding places must be located at both the hot and cool ends of the cabinet.
Pieces of bark with hollow areas or curved shape to make a ‘cave’ are good to use for hiding places if placed on a substrate that allows the snakes to dig under them.
You can get a huge selection of snake holes and wooden structures for snakes to hide in pet stores and online at Amazon. These are usually also easy to keep clean and hygienic.
Add some smooth tree branches so that the hose can climb and reel as well. You can also get these online.
9. Enter a range of temperatures in the cage
Your hose should be able to find a variety of locations for both heat and cooling that it may need at different times of the day.
Since it can’t travel around a garden to find its ideal temperature at any given time, like a rock to sleep upstairs for warm sunlight, or beneath it to be cool, make sure you offer some different temperatures inside the cabinet for it to choose from.
One end of the enclosure should be cooler, and ideally the temperature should be gradually warmed to the other end of the cage.
You can have a full-spectrum incandescent lamp sit over the enclosure that can provide a bit of heat as well as serve as a sunny basking area.
10. Use appropriate bedding for the hose cage
Newspaper is good to use as a basis. It is very inexpensive and easily replaced as soon as it gets dirty. Astroturf is also a good alternative that you can buy online.
Astroturf can be cleaned, dried and reused several times before it is worn. Soak the soiled peat in a gallon of water to which you add 2 tablespoons of bleach, then wash well, rinse it in clean water and dry well before putting it back in the cage.
Snakes will live long and healthy lives as long as you learn to care for a pet snake and provide them with their basic needs and avoid overfeeding them.