How to Choose a Pet Snake

Pet Snake – Your Top Pet Snake Questions Answered

PET SNAKE

Pet Snake – If you’re still stuck on whether or not to get a pet snake, or are the new owner of a snake. We have the answers to the questions most often asked about them.

Do I get a dog or a snake? How do I handle my pet snake? Are pet snakes dangerous and can they even make you sick? These questions are some of the most frequently asked ones. And I have just the answers. – pet snake

HOW TO HANDLE PET SNAKES

Your new snake has arrived home — congratulations! But now you’re probably a bit nervous about handling it and even wondering how to pick it up without hurting it. Here’s a quick guide.

It’s important to wash your hands before and after you pick up or handle your pet snake. It is important to never pick it up by its head or its tail. Rather focus on the mid-body area when you want to pick the pet snake up. Use both hands for stability and support the snake loosely but securely with your hands and arms. The snake may also wrap itself around your wrist for extra support. Don’t bring the snake close to your face or neck as they may also see that as a threatening gesture. – pet snake

YOUNGER SNAKES ARE USUALLY MORE ACTIVE

Younger snakes are usually more active than older snakes and, when not used to being handled yet, may emit a musky scent. The scent, though unpleasant, is harmless. Your snake will also stop emitting it once it has become accustomed to being handled and no longer see you as a threat.

Baby snakes may also sometimes put on quite a display when they think they are being threatened when you want to pick them up. This display can include hissing, puffing themselves up, emitting a musky odor or even defecating. Some breeds may even “rattle” their tails in order to try and appear more dangerous.

However, even with this display, they will remain harmless to you. Take the time to be consistent in handling them and getting them used to you. Soon enough this behavior will cease.

You should not pick up snakes when they are feeding, have just fed, or are busy shedding. It is also not a good idea to handle a snake every day, but rather only every couple of days or even once a week. – pet snake

pet snake

pet snake

NEW SNAKE OWNER

If you have just become a new snake owner, it is also a good idea to first let it settle and have a couple of meals before you start handling it. They will be more at ease in this way and your interaction will not be something completely new to the snake as it already knows that you are the one who feeds it.

If you want to, you can use a snake hook to lift a small to medium snake out of its enclosure instead of reaching in with your hands. However, only use the hook when they are out and about and not when they are hiding, as you may accidentally injure it. If the snake is in its hide when you want to pick it up, simply lift the hideaway slowly and then reach in to pick it up. Don’t lift the hideaway quickly, as you’ll startle the snake and it may feel threatened when you then want to pick it up. – pet snake

MOST PEOPLE ARE NERVOUS

Most people are nervous when they first handle their pet snakes, but there is no reason to keep on being nervous. The more you interact with the snake, the more you will learn about its temperament and how it likes to be handled.

If you have guests or other family members that want to handle your pet, make sure that you first show them how to handle the snake and use the time to also dispel some myths like “snakes are slimy and cold”. If the person is afraid and doesn’t want to handle the snake, don’t force them, as they could accidentally injure your beloved pet by, for instance, dropping it. You can’t win over everyone! – pet snake

ARE PET SNAKES DANGEROUS?

The short answer is ‘no’. The long answer is ‘depending on the breed or kind of snake you have, it could be dangerous so use common sense when you get a pet snake’. If you’re just starting out and have a corn snake, ball python, etc., you have no reason to be afraid of the snake at all as they are not venomous. If you are afraid, it’s mostly because of some of the myths that we have been told over and over, for instance, that all snakes can kill you, that they are slimy and gross and even that they are evil.

The snakes which should ring a warning bell are those which are either very large or those which are venomous to humans. These are not, however, your “normal” pet snake breeds that you can get at the pet store or snake breeder. This is yet another reason why you don’t go into the wild and catch a snake to be your pet — especially if you don’t know the wild snakes in your area and whether they can be venomous or not. You can rest assured that the reason why you may have heard one or two stories about snake owners getting hurt by their pets is because it is such an unlikely occurrence! – pet snake

If you are unsure of the best type of snake for a beginner, you can read this article. Pets Snakes For Beginners

CAN A PET SNAKE MAKE YOU SICK?

As with any other pet, you need to practice good hygiene when you have and handle a pet snake. Snakes, like many other reptiles, are carriers of salmonella bacteria (meaning they don’t necessarily get sick from a salmonella infection themselves) and you can get a salmonella infection after handling a snake and not washing up before touching your nose and mouth. These germs can also be spread if there is contact between the feces or urine of a snake and sources of human food.

As you can imagine, simple common sense and good hygiene habits can take care of most instances when such an infection could occur. This includes washing up after touching or handling the pet snake, after cleaning its enclosure and also using cloths, sponges, etc. which are kept aside for cleaning the snake’s enclosure. You should also dispose of the snake’s feces in a hygienic manner and wear gloves when removing it from the snake’s enclosure. – pet snake

CHILDREN UNDER FIVE

Children under five and people with compromised immune systems may be more susceptible to salmonella infection, so special care must be taken when they are handling snakes, etc. The symptoms of salmonella infection are the same as food poisoning — which should be enough of an incentive to keep good hygiene around your pet snake!

Snakes also rarely bite their owners (or other people if they are handling them correctly), but, as stated above, if a bite should occur, the place should be cleaned thoroughly with clean, running water and antibacterial soap (to kill any salmonella or other bacteria which may be around the wound). You should also put some antibacterial cream on the bite wound before covering it with a bandage. – pet snake

CAN PET SNAKES SHOW AFFECTION?

When we think of pets showing affection, we usually think of the kind cats, dogs, or birds show their owners. We have to put these kinds of affection aside when it comes to snakes, however. Snakes can become familiar with their owners — particularly with their smells as they have poor eyesight — and may rest on them for warmth or climb on them while being handled.
Snakes have, however, retained their primitive characteristics and only show emotion in a limited form, mostly focusing their attention on basic necessities like eating, drinking, and mating. They also remain wild and can’t really be tamed. But that doesn’t mean that snakes don’t show emotion. Apart from fear and aggression they can also show excitement and curiosity when they get new bedding, housing, or smell a new scent.

Pet snakes, however, don’t crave contact the way that cats and dogs would, and are quite happy to be handled only once or twice a week. However, they do each have their own personality and temperament and some may like being handled more than others.

SNAKES LEARN TO TRUST

Yet, pet snakes, if their actions are anything to go by, do at the very least grow to trust their owners as they become accustomed to being fed and handled by the same person (or persons). After all, they do stop emitting the musky odor they do when they feel threatened, and won’t bite their owners unless they a good reason to. And even the friendliest dog or cat sometimes nip at their owners! You showing affection to your pet snake is even more important than it showing the same level of affection to you — they do depend on you and we can imagine that a regular diet of tasty rodents, a home free of predators, and the love of its human is not exactly to be hissed at. – pet snake

SHOULD I GET A DOG OR A SNAKE?

There are certain aspects to keep in mind when you are deciding between getting a dog or a snake for a pet. These include habitat, longevity, and the allergy-factor.

ALLERGIES, DIRT, AND NOISE

Let’s begin with allergies. A snake is a perfect pet to get if you are allergic to dogs. Also, you don’t have to worry about fur getting everywhere or your canine leaving you little “gifts” on the floor when you couldn’t let them out fast enough. You also won’t have a noise problem or have someone begging for scraps from the table and drooling over your face! If you live in a small apartment or you have strict noise rules at your block, keeping a snake as a pet is just the thing you need. They also won’t interrupt you when you tell them about your day — perfect! Of course, if you had dreams of carrying your lapdog around in a handbag and dressing it up in cute outfits… it’s probably also best not to get a dog. – pet snake

HABITAT

With snakes, you just need to worry about their enclosure and making sure that it’s secure so your new snake-friend won’t escape. If you have one of the common pet snake breeds, making a perfect livable habitat for your pet snake shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll need to do a bit of research to get it just right regarding the temperature.  Other than that, your pet snake will be happy with water and a fresh rodent every week. Cleaning the snake enclosure may take some getting used to, but is also hardly rocket-science. Plus, it looks cool and is sure to be a conversation starter if guests come over. No more talking about the weather! – pet snake

LONGEVITY

As with all pets, snakes are an investment of your money, time and love. And snakes can live well into their twenties and thirties, especially when they are kept as pets. Unlike dogs, though, you don’t need to have your snake spayed or neutered, they are quite happy to be alone (probably contemplating the intricacies of the universe, let’s be honest), and doesn’t need to be handled the whole time or even every day, as was said above. If you are someone who goes away on short stints for work or works long hours, you don’t need to worry about your pet snake being alone in the apartment the whole day and, as you only need to feed it once a week, you also don’t have to rush home every day to feed it or take it to the park for walkies.

In the end, snakes make great and loving pets that will be with you through thick and thin for years to come and the pros of getting a snake far outweigh the cons! – pet snake

 

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