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Caring For Your Snake

snake
There are many types of snakes. Ask your veterinarian what type of snake is right for you.

Supplies Needed

  • A glass aquarium with a lid that’s big enough for your snake to move around. Place a brick or books on top to secure the lid.
  • A “hide box” (snakes like to be alone sometimes)
  • A heat lamp at one end of the tank (like all reptiles, snakes need heat to warm themselves
  • A dish of fresh water
  • Line aquarium with newspaper, paper towel or shredded bark (from pet stores)
  • Feeding Your Snake
  • These are general rules for feeding your snake, ask your veterinarian what’s right for your type of snake.
  • Most snakes eat once a week
  • Feed your snake pre-killed food from a pet store
  • Offer thawed mice/rats/rabbits, depending on the size of your snake
  • The Right Temperature
  • Place a thermometer at each end of the enclosure and use something to measure humidity. Your veterinarian can help you determine the correct temperature range and humidity level for your type of snake.In general, temperatures should range from 60 degrees at night to 90 degrees in a basking spot during the day. But temperature range will vary among species.Keep the Cage Clean
  • Keep your snake’s aquarium dry and clean at all times
  • Change lining daily and wipe up any spills
  • Wipe the aquarium down once a week with water combined with a small amount of vinegar
  • Clean the entire cage once a month. Remove the snake. Clean all items and tank, using ammonia-free dish washing soap mixed with a few drops of bleach. Make sure there is no soap film or bleach left on the tank, as these can kill a snake.
  • Wash hands with unscented anti-bacterial soap before and after holding your pet

Never Keep a Wild Snake
Buy a “captive-bred snake”
Popular pet snakes include corn snakes, rat snakes and king snakes

Your pet should see a veterinarian at least once a year for an annual exam. Also take your pet to your veterinarian as soon as you think it might be sick.

How to Tell if Your Snake is Sick

  • Hiding for long periods of time
  • Not eating
  • Shedding skin in pieces
  • Bubbles around the mouth
  • Opening his/her mouth to breathe
  • There may be other signs as well. Call your veterinarian immediately if your snake seems to be acting differently in any way!