Snake Care Buying Guide

Pet snakes  can seem appealing at first--they certainly break out of the mould of the traditional pet--but they require a lot of care to keep them happy and healthy.  So before you seize the opportunity to buy Bob the Boa , consider all it takes to maintain these fascinating creatures that live long, grow large and eat lots.


Most snakes do not enjoy being handled by humans--they are solitary creatures in their natural habitats.  So if you want a snake you can get a little more playtime out of, try these breeds:

If you opt for a less "friendly" breed, however, don't deprive them of touch altogether.  It's important to handle any snake for at least five minutes a day so that it may become more calm around people.  After handling, remember to wash your hands generously to avoid salmonella poisoning--it can cause food poisoning-like symptoms in adults and more severe ailments in children and those with compromised immune systems.


Snakes require secure enclosures that can allow them to grow and move comfortably while ensuring that they do not have a means of escape--one of their favourite pastimes.  Avoid cages that have gaps between the bars or aquariums and/or tanks with doors that easily become unlatched.   Other requirements to consider are:

  • The enclosure needs to be kept at a proper temperature and humidity level for the particular species. There are different methods available for providing these needs including heated rocks ,heat lamps ,hygrometers  and heating pads  that can be placed on the floor of the tank.
  • You can try to increase the humidity in the enclosure by placing a water dish under the lamp or on a heated rock.
  • Ensure that your snake has a cool area to retreat to if it so desires.


All snakes are meat-eaters.

  • Many snake owners keep live mice or rats, which reproduce rapidly and in large amounts, as food for their snakes.
  • It is recommended, however, that snakes be fed pre-killed animals instead of live ones because live prey can inflict injuries to the snake if it is too tired or does not desire to eat it at the time it is released in the tank . This may cost more in the long run, but purchased food for snakes can be kept in the freezer , which makes it a cleaner, less stressful feeding option.
  • All snakes need a water dish  for drinking and bathing.

Related Guides

Animal Care Books

Aquariums and Fish Bowls


Recommended Reading