Safe Strategies for Handling Your Pet Snake

Having a pet snake can be thrilling for anyone looking for an exotic pet, but it is also a major responsibility. Before you even get your snake, it’s important to make sure you have access to a veterinarian who offers exotic animal care, so you can be sure you can keep your pet healthy. Learning how to handle your snake in a way that is safe for both you and your pet is also important. Keep these strategies in mind as you get used to caring for your snake.

Allow for an Adjustment Period

When you get your snake, chances are that you will want to handle it as soon as possible, but that can be stressful for your pet. Instead, give your snake plenty of time and space to get used to its new home before you attempt to handle him or her. Put the cage in a quiet part of your home, and steer clear aside from changing the water daily and spot cleaning any waste. Follow this plan for about five to seven days as your snake adjusts. You should also avoid feeding him or her during this period.

Let Your Snake Learn Your Scent

Before you handle your snake, let him or her get to know your scent by putting your hand inside the cage. Your snake may hide at first, but then he or she will start to explore. Getting used to your scent will help your snake associate you with a safe presence. Important: Keep in mind that your snake may also associate your scent with feeding, so if you want to handle your snake regularly, consider feeding it in another container, so that he or she doesn’t strike looking for your food when you are near.

Handle Gently and Confidently

When it’s time to pick up your snake, do so slowly but with confidence. Avoid grabbing the head or tail, and instead pick him or her up by the middle of the body. Let your snake wrap around your hand and arm so that he or she feels supported. Handle your snake for short periods of time at first, and then increase your time as you and your snake get used to each other.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is pleased to provide exotic animal care in Dallas for snakes, ferrets, lizards, and much more. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.


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