You have finally decided to take the plunge and buy your first pet snake. Or, at least you are seriously considering it.
How do you know if a snake is the right pet retile for you though?
First, it shows a lot of maturity and responsibility that you’re doing research and not just making an impulse buy. Snakes, like all pets, require the right environment and care to thrive and not simply survive. Surviving is important too of course.
Now, let’s take a deeper look and see if you’re a good fit to provide a great home for a new slithery friend.
There are a couple of things you need to do before purchasing your first pet snake. Doing them will make your experience (and their’s) a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.
Do Your Research
If you are reading this then you have already started this very important process. Learning about different snakes, which ones make good pets, do you want a more common species like a ball python or maybe you want to go with something a little more exotic like a hognose, what to expect when you get them home, and so on.
You’ll also want to look into how much care and maintenance the species you think you are eventually going to choose. You might at first want one that you can not adequately care for, which is why doing your research first is so important.
Set Up an Enclosure
Your new snake will need a new home. They are often referred to as enclosures.
Snake enclosures range from very simple to extremely ornate. You’ll most likely settle on something in between.
Your enclosure consists of much more than just a container. You need to consider heat sources, substrates, hides, and meeting the instinctual needs of your new pet snake.
For example, the before mentioned ball python should be fine with an enclosure with a relatively low ceiling if all its other needs are met. But, an arboreal species like green tree pythons need an enclosure with adequate height for climbing.
Choose a Reputable Breeder or Pet Shop
This cannot be stated enough. It’s very important to purchase your snake from a place that treats their animals well. That means doing a little research on breeders if you make a purchase inline, and likewise, do some research on the pet shop if you’re making an in person purchase.
Almost all reptile lovers will suggest you avoid the major pet store chains. We aren’t going to name them, but you know who they are.
The key reasoning behind this is that by purchasing snakes from them, it reinforces their bad practices by putting more money in their pockets. Support the smaller ethical breeders instead of the large corporations only concerned with their bottom line.
Common Pet Snake Questions
Thought the questions below are very general, and you will want to check more detailed information about the particular species you choose, having some kind of general understand can help you decide if a snake is right for you, or if maybe you want a different reptile instead.
What do pet snakes eat?
Most pet snakes are going to eat rodents like mice and rats. But, you don’t and probably should not feed them live feeders. You can purchase frozen ones. It’s both more ethical and less dangerous for your snake.
Other foods some snakes may eat are gerbils, hamsters, and even birds and other retiles.
How long do pet snakes live?
Pet snakes lon average live anywhere from 8 to 30 years in captivity depending on the species. So, make sure you’re in it for the long haul if you want to get one.
The tend to live only half as long in the wild due to the much harsher living conditions and abundance of predators.
How much are pet snakes?
Money is certainly a factor when deciding if you will buy a snake. Common pet snakes like common ball pythons can be found for less than $100, but more exotic species or special morph can go for thousands.
Where to buy pet snakes?
You can buy a snake either in person or online, just try to do your research and buy from a reputable source. Also, make sure you buy captive bred snakes and not wild caught, as that is a much more ethical approach. Plus, you will most likely get a much healthier pet.
Some poplar online marketplaces are:
To make an in person purchase we recommend looking for a nearby breeder or independent pet store with a solid reputation.
If you have any other questions about purchasing your first snake, please let us know.