Should You Consider a Pet Snake?

Pet snakes are a definite departure from the usual choice of a dog or a cat, but is a snake the right pet for you? Although pet snakes may not require tasks like walking, spaying, or neutering, they do require special care, including a veterinarian who is able to provide exotic animal care. If you are intrigued by the idea of adopting a snake but aren’t sure if you are ready to make the leap, here is what you need to know.

Not all snakes make good pets.

If you decide to get a snake, it’s important to ensure that you get the right one. People who are new to handling snakes usually do best with corn snakes, ball pythons, and kingsnakes. These snakes tend to be the most amenable to handling and easiest to care for. If you choose to get another kind of snake, be sure to do your research first. Even if a breed is relatively tame, their size as an adult could be an issue. Venous snakes and large constrictors are never good picks—especially for people who are who new to caring for snakes—and, please, never capture a snake and try to make it your pet.

You will need to handle your snake frequently.

Snakes aren’t naturally cuddly, but they do still need to be handled frequently when they are kept in captivity. Doing so makes them more comfortable with being touched, so you can feed them, remove them from their cage for cleaning, and do other things necessary to care for them safely. Snakes can carry salmonella, so wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet. Although bites are rare, they are possible, so move slowly to pick up your snake, handle him or her gently, and clean any bite that does occur with soap and water. Deep bites need medical attention.

Your snake will need veterinary care.

Not all veterinarians are willing to treat snakes, and fewer still are trained in caring for snakes. Contact several veterinarians near you before you buy your snake to ensure that you can get vet care for your pet when you need it.

Chastain Animal Medical Group welcomes exotic pets like snakes in our pet hospitals in Dallas and McKinney. To learn more about our exotic animal care services, dial (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or dial (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area of Texas.

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