Things to Consider When Choosing a Pet Snake

Having a pet can be a great experience for a kid. However, it's important to choose that pet carefully. While some kids may say they want a snake for a pet, you probably want to know a bit more about snakes before you run right out to look at corn snakes for sale.

Type of Snake

Some snakes are better for people who aren't used to taking care of a snake than others. Corn snakes tend to be a good beginner snake, as do kingsnakes and ball pythons. Keep in mind the lifespan of the snake when making the choice. For example, a corn snake will probably live about 5 to 10 years, but a ball python may live for up to 30 years. Whatever type of snake you choose, be prepared to care for it for quite a long time.

Potential Risks

It isn't that common to be bitten by a pet snake, especially if you choose one of the corn snakes for sale. However, it does happen. Snakes also may carry salmonella, a type of food poisoning, so it's important to wash your hands after handling a snake.

Care Requirements

Snakes are more complicated to care for than many other pets. They need to have a terrarium that preferably has two carefully regulated temperature zones. Snakes also need to be kept at a certain humidity level so their skin will shed properly, and they need to have a source of ultraviolet light so they can absorb calcium. Unlike fish, cats, and dogs, for which you can simply buy and dole out a dried food, snakes typically eat mice and rats. Some will eat previously frozen and thawed-out rodents, but others require their rodents freshly killed. It isn't recommended that you give a snake a live rat or mouse, as it could actually harm the snake.

Personality Considerations

Snakes can have different personalities and temperaments, and not all snakes like to be handled very often. Young snakes may be more likely to be active and move around a lot while they are being handled, and snakes can sometimes release scent when they are being held. Holding a snake for a few minutes at least every other day will help keep them accustomed to being held, but don't hold the snake if it's eaten in the last 48 hours, has been moved to a new environment in the last few days, or is shedding. Don't hold them for too long, as they may not like this. Limit handling to no more than 10 to 15 minutes per session.