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Tink's avatar

Any tips on getting a pet snake? How do you care for them?

Asked by Tink (8668points) July 10th, 2009 from iPhone

I really want one, I prefer a small one, maybe orange, and that doesn’t eat live food, oh and it has to be kid friendly

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13 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Ball pythons make good pet snakes. They’re not orange but they are generally docile creatures. If you like orange, corn snakes are the way to go.
Here is a good resource for general snake care.

Tink's avatar

Python???

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It’s just a classification of snake. They’re not all gargantuan monsters.
A full grown ball python is about 3–4 feet.

Regarding feeding, snakes need to eat small rodents. You have two options there:
1. Feed a live mouse to your snake.
2. Kill the mouse and feed it to your snake. That way is probably safer for the pet because a mouse in its death throes can injure your pet with a scratch across the eye.

If neither of those sound like something you can do regularly (once a week), you might want to reconsider a snake as a pet.

Tink's avatar

Yes I’ve read that live rodent can harm them. But do they always have to eat rodents?
I mean can’t they eat something else??

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Tink1113 Snakes have very specific dietary needs. They can’t eat pre-prepared processed food like dogs and cats do. Owning a snake means buying small creatures to feed them.
Snakes are not low maintenance pets.

If you’re interested in reptiles, iguanas are largely vegetarian but are still fairly high maintenance pets. Reptiles require very close daily attention.

marinelife's avatar

Oh, so not like this one? A herpetologist I saw said that snakes should not be in households with children.

How about a nice budgie? It was good enough for Monty Python.

cak's avatar

@Tink1113 – When I was in college, during the summers, I would volunteer at an animal rescue in Florida. I cannot tell you how many families we had that wanted to give us various exotic pets, that they no longer wanted. Snakes were in the lead.

You are saying “kid friendly” but you need to keep in mind this is a wild animal, not a domesticated animal. Even with domesticated animals, we know those (dogs/cats) can still attack, when they feel threatened.

There are inherent risks to owning pets, more so when you own an exotic animal. Please really consider all things, before you get a snake. Also, consider the lifespan of the snake.

Also, you might want to talk to a vet about snake ownership. (make sure their is actually a vet that will treat a snake in your area. some do not.) They can really tell you what it might be like to own a snake.

@marina beat me to the punch, she found one of many articles I was looking for!

oh, make sure you area doesn’t require any special license for owning an exotic animal.

I know some people say they are great pets, but to me, they are not meant to be pets. They are meant to be exactly what they are, wild.

Tink's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic
I understand
@Marina
I read about that too, at first I was skeptical, thats why I was a small one so when it grows up I can see the way they react
@cak
There are no vets close to here at all they are all atleast and hour far away

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Try garter snakes. They’re sold a lot as pets.

Tink's avatar

^ Thats a pretty snake

dannyc's avatar

My wife use to have two..fed them live mice..that seemed to make them very happy. The mice were a little glum.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, you can accustom your snake to eating mice that you buy frozen (we call them “Mice-icles”). You have to warm them up and jiggle them for the snake to eat them.

We also had a Diamond Back Water Snake who ate fish that we let loose in the aquarium part of his enclosure. He then went about catching them himself. However, water snakes tend to be rather testy. They aren’t venomous but they do tend to bite, which hurts.

Snakes aren’t like many of the other animals people choose as pets. They never really get attached to you and are never really domesticated. They can get used to being handled, but they will never try to please you.

Also, while snakes generally only poop directly after eating, it stinks and you have to clean it up ASAP so the snake doesn’t get an infection.

Have you considered something like this? You never have to feed it anything or clean up its poop, but you might have to dust it every now and then.

Ria777's avatar

@Marina: if a herpetologist said not to let small children have access to reptiles, s/he probably said that because reptiles can carry salmonella.
@The Compassionate Heretic: I have a lot of experience with iguanas. as far as I understand it, some people say iguanas should have an exclusively vegetarian diet and others think that they can have animal protein once in a while.

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