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Preparing for your first pet snake

Some may find them scary, while others find them fascinating. Reptiles such as snakes have been becoming more and more popular as pets-and for some good reasons.

If you have decided to bring a new snake friend into your home, we have compiled some information for you to consider and review before you bring your new family member home.

Why do they make great pets?

-Allergy Friendly: As snakes do not have fur, this can be a fantastic option for those who suffer from allergies. Those who suffer from fur and feather allergies will usually have no issues with snakes. This also means that you will not have to worry about fur all over your house and all of that extra hoovering!

-Low Maintenance: Do you have a busy work schedule? Are you on the go a lot but still want a pet that suits your lifestyle? Snakes fit the bill! Snakes usually only require 1 meal per week. Spot cleaning their vivariums can take minutes. They do not require the attention that a dog or cat will ask for. If they are warm, fed, watered, and have a place to hide, they are usually happy to just chill out.

-Quiet: Snakes are quiet companions and this is why they do great in flats. They will not bark like a dog does or have midnight zoomies like a cat. They are a very relaxed animal and are happy to hang out in their vivariums as long as you have met their very low maintenance needs.

-Hardy: Most species of snake are hardy and easy to keep. They are not too fussy when it comes to sticking to strict temperature and humidity numbers. This does not mean you should just forget about these things, this just means that if you make a small mistake, the snake will usually forgive you. A pet store, breeder, or rescue will be able to advise you on their requirements before and when you pick up your new friend. Make sure you ask lots of questions to be able to provide the best care you possibly can.

-Unique: Snakes have been on this Earth for millions of years and have not changed much. Think of them as a wildlife time capsule. What you are keeping as a pet has not really changed in those millions of year. Cool, right?! They come in all sorts of sizes and colours which means the possibilities are endless. They are truly one of a kind and each one comes with their own personalities. Sneks, Danger Noodles, Nope Ropes.. there are so many funny nicknames for our not so furry friends!

Where can I purchase a snake?

Snakes can be bought through various ways. You can go to a pet store, but I would personally advise against this as most pet stores are not reptile specialists. The best places to get a snake from are either breeders, shows, or a rescue. These places have people who are specialists in their field and have lots of experience. Breeders and shows can be located online. If you want to rescue a snake that is in need of a loving home, I recommend adopting from a reptile rescue such as The National Centre for Reptile Welfare located in Hadlow, Kent.

What will I need to get started?

  • A glass vivarium with a secure lid (buying used saves money)

  • Heat pad or device

  • Hiding place (such as a pot or log)

  • Water bowl

  • Substrate (this will depend on the species you choose)

  • Lighting

  • Temperature and humidity reader

  • Feeding tongs

  • Food (frozen mice or rats)

  • Information to a local veterinarian who can treat reptiles/snakes

Here are a few links to help get you started!

Reptile Centre Supplies

Exo Terra Supplies

What are the best species to start with?

With any pet, you will need to do a lot of research before bringing your new pet home. The reptile community online is very friendly and those in the hobby are more than happy to offer advice. Personally my top 3 are the following:

Royal (Ball) Python

Corn Snake

Sand Boa

In my personal experience, these 3 breeds are typically docile and great for a beginner. But remember, just like us, each animal will have their own unique personality. When you are going to look at snakes, ask if you are able to handle the animal before you buy them. This way you can see what the animal is like and ask the seller how their temperament is. You can never ask too many questions at this stage!

We hope you have found this information helpful.

Feel free to explore our other blog posts regarding all things pets.

Bluebell Pet Care offers a range of pet services including pet sitting for snakes and many other species. We love all pets big and small.

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