Ten Tips for Pet Snake Health


When you start learning how to care for a pet snake, you discover that there is a lot to learn, but quickly realize that most of it makes good sense when it comes to properly caring for the health and well-being of your pet snake.

The fundamental things to consider are what a snake eats, how much and how often, and what type of snake cage and environmental conditions it requires. And be sure to provide clean and hygienic living conditions appropriate to your pet snake’s needs to keep it healthy and happy in your care.

Here I list ten of the basic pet snake health tips you need to know:

1. Select a healthy snake to adopt

When choosing a snake, get one that is very fleshy, with clear eyes, uncut, free of mites or ticks, and is alert. The snake should appear curious and grip you firmly but gently when you touch it.

You should be there when the snakes are fed so that you can observe them and make sure the snakes you are picking from are eating well.

Captive-bred snakes are more suitable for pets than buying a wild-born snake. Wild-born snakes are typically highly stressed from the capture process and transport to the pet supplier. Wild snakes are also likely to carry a large parasite load.

2. Get the right size cage for your breed of snake

Typically your enclosure should be about two-thirds the size of your body length. If your snake is six feet long, then the cage must be at least four feet long.

You can always make the enclosure longer than the snake, but your snake will be comfortable in a cage smaller than your snake’s length.

Remember to update the enclosure as your snake grows, as it needs to increase in size relative to the length of the snake’s body.

3. Keep the snake’s enclosure moist

Snakes are sensitive to temperature and humidity factors, and you should always ensure that your enclosure is kept at the proper temperature. Consult a trusted snake pet book to find out what the optimal conditions are for your breed of snake.

4. Keep your snake feeding simple, safe and hygienic.

When shopping for your snake, you should first make sure that you select a pet snake that will happily eat thawed rodents (which you buy frozen from the pet store) and is not too picky about its feeding requirements.

Feeding your snake live rodents, even small mice, can harm it, and is NOT entertainment for your friends’ audience, 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 dead, frozen mice in your freezer.

5. Learn how much and how often to feed your snake

Get expert advice on the amount and type of food that is optimal for your pet snake and the frequency of feeding.

Snakes can eat just about anything you feed them and will usually regurgitate food after a day or two if they have been overfed.

6. make sure your snake cage is secure

The snake cage, terrarium, enclosure, etc., should always be well planned and ventilated, but it should also be well secured to prevent the snake from escaping.

Breeds like corn snakes can be excellent escape artists and you can lose your pet snake very quickly if you’re not careful.

They will even push the lid of the enclosure with their nose to look for any weakness in the cage or doors.

7. Maintain a constant supply of fresh water.

Snakes defecate in water and get soaked too, especially before moving in.

You should make sure to check the water regularly and replace it with clean water as soon as there are signs of contamination in it.

Buy a heavy plate or container so it won’t tip over when the snake slides into it.

It is good to place several water dishes in the snake’s cage, which also helps to establish the proper humidity for the snake.

8. Create hiding places so your snake feels safe.

Hiding places should be located at both the warm and cold ends of the enclosure.

Chunks of bark with hollow areas or curved shape to make a ‘cave’ are good to use as snake hiding places if they are placed in a substrate that allows snakes to burrow under them.

You can get a wide variety of snake caves and wooden structures for snakes to hide from in pet stores and online at Amazon. These are also usually easy to keep clean and hygienic.

Also add some smooth tree branches for the snake to climb up and roll up. You can also get them online.

9. Provide a range of temperatures in the cage.

Your snake needs to be able to find a variety of locations for both hot and cold, as it may need during different times of the day.

Since you cannot travel through a garden to find your ideal temperature at any given time, like a rock to sleep on to receive warm sunlight, or underneath it to cool off, you must ensure that you offer a variety of temperatures within the enclosure for you to select.

One end of the enclosure should be cooler and ideally the temperature should gradually warmer towards the other end of the cage.

You can place a full-spectrum incandescent light over the enclosure that can provide some warmth and serve as a sunny spot to bask in the sun.

10. Use proper bedding for the snake cage.

Newspaper is good to use as a substrate. It is very inexpensive and is easily replaced as soon as it gets dirty. Artificial grass is also a good alternative that you can buy online.

Artificial grass can be cleaned, dried, and reused multiple times before it wears out. Soak dirty grass in a gallon of water to which you add 2 tablespoons of bleach, then wash thoroughly, rinse with clean water, and dry thoroughly before placing it back in the cage.

Snakes will live long and healthy lives as long as you learn how to care for a pet snake, provide them with their basic needs, and avoid overfeeding them.

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