There are many different types of snakes that people keep as pets. These include garter snakes, Burmese pythons, boa constrictors, king snakes, and ball pythons. We will discuss the ball python here, as it is the most common snake kept as a pet.
Snakes sold as pets are usually easy to handle and friendly. Male and female snakes look identical, but your vet can determine your snake’s sex by using a special instrument. Baby ball pythons are about 1 foot long and will grow to 3 feet long by their third birthday. Adult ball pythons can reach 5 – 6 feet in length. With good care, ball pythons can live for 10 – 20 years.
Special considerations for owning a snake
You should purchase a young captive bred snake. It is more likely to be healthy, more resistant to stress, and less aggressive than older imported snakes. Choose a snake that looks healthy and alert. Do not worry if your new friend does not eat for a few weeks after you bring him home. Moving places a large amount of stress on snakes.
Snakes only have one lung that runs the entire length of their body. This makes them very susceptible to respiratory infections. Make sure that your snake’s enclosure is big enough for your snake to not rub up against himself and his waste. This will reduce the risk of infection. You will also need special lighting equipment to allow your snake to bask. He should have different areas in his enclosure to bask and then to cool off. You will also want to provide him with toys, furniture, and decorations that simulate his natural environment.
Healthcare for snakes
Bring your snake in for a check-up within 2 days of his arrival. Dr. Simon will check for signs of dehydration, starvation, parasites, and mouth rot. Your snake does not need any vaccines but should have a routine check-up every year to assess his health and to test for parasites.