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Ten Pet Snake Health Tips
When you first start learning how to care for a pet snake, you find that there is a lot to learn, but you quickly realize that most of it is common sense when it comes to properly caring for the health and well-being of your pet snake.
The fundamental things you need to know are what a snake eats, how much and how often, and what kind of snake cage and environmental conditions it requires. And make sure you provide clean and healthy living conditions suitable for your pet snake’s needs to keep it healthy and happy in your care.
Here are ten of the top pet snake health tips you should know:
1. Choose a healthy snake to adopt
When choosing a snake, get one that has good flesh with clear eyes, no cuts, no mites or ticks, and is alert. The snake should look strange and grip you firmly but gently when you handle it.
You should be there when the snakes are feeding so that you can observe them and make sure that the snakes you collect from are eating well.
Captive-bred snakes are more suitable for pets than buying a wild snake. Snakes born in the wild are usually very stressed from the capture process and transport to the pet supplier. Wild snakes are also likely to have a high parasite load.
2. Get the right cage size for your snake breed
Your enclosure should normally be about two-thirds the length of its body. If your snake is six feet long, then the cage should be at least four feet long.
You can always make the enclosure bigger than the snake, but your snake will be comfortable in a cage smaller than your snake’s length.
Remember to upgrade 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 sheath moist
Snakes are sensitive to temperature and humidity factors and you should always ensure that their enclosure is kept at the correct temperature. Check a reputable snake pet book to find out what the optimal conditions are for your snake breed.
4. Keep your snake’s diet simple, safe and healthy
When purchasing your snake, you must first make sure that you choose a pet snake that will happily eat thawed rodents (that you buy frozen from the pet store) and is not overly fussy about their feeding needs.
Feeding your snake live rodents, even small mice, can harm your snake – and it is NOT entertainment for your audience of friends, so don’t do it.
The dead animal for food should not be wider than the head of the snake itself. Snakes don’t eat very often and you can store pre-frozen mice in your freezer.
5. Know 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 how often to feed it.
Snakes will eat almost anything they are fed and will usually pick up their meal again after a day or two if they have been overfed.
6. Make sure your Snake Cage is secure
The cage, terrarium, enclosure, etc. it must always be well designed and ventilated, but also 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 are not careful.
They will even poke the lid of the enclosure with their nose to look for any weaknesses in the cage or doors.
7. Maintain a steady supply of fresh water.
Snakes defecate in water and also soak themselves especially before spilling.
You must make sure to check the water regularly and replace it with clean water as soon as there are signs of pollution in it.
Buy a heavy plate or container so it won’t tip over when the snake slides into it.
It is a good idea to place several dishes of water in the snake’s cage, which also help create the right humidity for the snake.
8. Create hiding places for your snake to feel safe.
Hides should be placed on both the warm and cool ends of the enclosure.
Pieces of bark with hollow areas or a curved shape to create a “cave” are good to use for snake hides if placed on a substrate that allows snakes to burrow under them.
You can find a wide variety of snake dens and wooden structures for snakes to hide at 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 and coil around. You can also get them online.
9. Provide a range of cage temperatures
Your snake should be able to find a variety of places for both warmth and coolness as it may need at different times of the day.
Since it can’t travel around a garden to find its ideal temperature for any given moment, such as a rock to sleep on for warm sunlight or under it for coolness, you need to make sure you provide some variety of temperatures inside its enclosure to select it.
One end of the enclosure should be colder and the temperature should ideally gradually warm up towards the other end of the cage.
You can get a full spectrum incandescent light bulb to sit on top of the enclosure which can provide some heat as well as serve as a sunny absorption spot.
10. Use appropriate bedding for the snake’s cage
Newspaper is good to use as a substrate. It is very cheap and easily replaced once it gets dirty. Astroturf is also a good alternative that you can buy online.
Astroturf can be cleaned, dried and reused several times before wearing out. Soak the soiled turf in a gallon of water to which you have added 2 tablespoons of bleach, then wash it thoroughly, rinse it with clean water and dry it thoroughly before putting it back in the cage.
Snakes will live long and healthy lives as long as you learn how to care for a pet snake and provide it with its basic needs and avoid overfeeding.
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