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    A short guide to looking after your first snake

    Articlepet advice guidesWednesday 17 April 2013
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    Before you buy a snake you have to ask yourself some important questions. A snake is an animal and if you are looking after it like a pet it will need a lot of dedication and effort to give it the best life possible. Here are some things to bear in mind.
    • If looked after properly, an average snake will live for 10 years. You should have the financial and social situation to be able to care for it for this long.
    • The average snake can grow to nearly five feet in length. You will therefore need an adequate cage and thus an adequate room that is large enough to keep a snake. The more snakes you have then the more room you will require.
    • Snakes must be kept warm at all times. Remember that they come from tropical climates and thus require a similar environment to live in. You may even need to provide heating elements to help keep it warm.
    What is good about keeping a snake? Well other than having your own pet to look after and care for there are also many other benefits.
    • Snakes are very cheap to feed. Unlike cats and dogs, certain snakes can live off very basic food that does not cost you the world.
    • Snakes are naturally clean. Insects are not attracted to them; they do not malt or bring in dead rodents from outdoors. Furthermore many of the common diseases associated with other pets, snakes do not have.
    • Snakes are low maintenance pets. They can be left on their own for up to weeks at a time as long as they are fed and watered properly.
    When choosing your first snake try and keep it as simple as possible. You do not want a difficult breed to look after as this will cause more problems than good. It is recommended that you go with either a corn or a king snake. Both breeds are pretty easy to handle.
    You will need a vivarium to house your snake. You can make this as impressive or basic as you want. Remember that like a fish tank, vivariums can make amazing ornaments in your house.
    • First of all you must make 100% sure your vivarium is 100% escape proof. The last thing you want to do is lose your snake. The 2nd last thing you want is a local panic with people spotting your snake around the town.
    • You need a method of warming. Most people usually use a warmth mat that is place under the vivarium. It should only be the maximum size of half the tank. This is important as your snake will need to cool itself down.
    • You will need substrate to look after your snake. This needs to be placed on the base of the vivarium and be appropriate for it’s living conditions. Possible materials include newspaper, kitchen roll or wood shavings. Do not use cedar bark as this is toxic to a snake.
    • The snake will need somewhere to hide. Just like when we retreat to our bedrooms after a long day, snakes too can become stressed and will want to be away from watching eyes. It has to be big enough for the snake to crawl up in but small enough so the snake feels protected and enclosed.
    • Your snake will also require a clean water bowl that is changed regularly. They will need to drink from this and also bathe in it especially when they start shedding.
    • ~You may want to try giving it some scenery to liven up the appearance of the vivarium. Add some greenery, some branches, leaves or other objects to make the place feel more like a home. 
    Photo: goingslo
     
    Source: Pras UK

     

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