Care for Pet Snakes
If you are just learning about how to care for pet snakes, you are probably doing a lot of online searching for help and tips. Here you will find some good tips and also my recommendation of a pet snake care book.
Just like other pets, snakes require proper care. And since they are not the typical animal people are used to having in their houses, learning how to care for them requires more effort.
Still, they need the basic things that any animals should have: food, water, shelter and right temperature.
Food- Snakes in the wild hunt and eat small animals like rats so it is okay to feed your snake live prey.
The problem in feeding live prey is that your pet snake may get hurt, especially if it is not hungry enough to hunt or if it is unsuccessful with it's first strike.
As an alternative, many recommend a pre-killed prey. They can be bought in numbers and can be kept in the freezer until they are ready to use.
How often should you feed your snake? Younger snakes should be fed more often than older snakes.
Snakes up to 9 months old should be feed an appropriately sized item once every 5 days;
from 9 months to a year old, every 6 days;
from 1 to 3 years, once every 10 days;
and for snakes that are more than 3 years old, feeding it once every 14 days is enough.
The size of the prey should be noted as well. An appropriate size of prey is 1.5 times the girth of your snake.
You may not follow the guidelines mentioned above: if you are slowing growth or speeding growth and as a preparation for breeding.
Water- As an essential part of any living creature's diet, clean water should be made available all the time, even if your snake doesn't seem to drink at all.
Water should be placed in a shallow bowl so that it cannot be tipped over easily. Water should be at room temperature.
Shelter- A solid cage (aquarium or tank) is a necessity for snakes.
Make sure that the cage is secured or clamped down as snakes can squeeze through any available spaces.
Provide hiding spots and materials that can be used for substrate.
A branch of a tree, pine bark chips and aspen shavings are good choices.
Avoid using corncob, sand, soil, cedar shavings and pine shavings.
Temperature- Correct temperature is vital to any reptile.
A corn snake for example should be kept in an environment of 21-29 C or 70-85 F.
An overhead incandescent lamp and heat tape or head pads can be used to maintain a relatively constant heat.
Learn more about the care of exotic pets when you read the rest of our information here about: How to look after a pet snake
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