10 Things To Know Before You Buy a Snake
- 1 They’re cold-blooded
- 2 They need to live in certain humidity levels
- 3 Not all are venomous
- 4 Certain snakes are illegal to own without a permit
- 5 Snakes shed their skin all at once
- 6 They can grow to extreme lengths
- 7 Snakes will bite
- 8 You can defang snakes, but only temporarily
- 9 Snakes prefer rodents
- 10 Snakes can live for up to 30 years
- 11 Conclusion
Snakes are an exotic pet to own. Unlike cats or dogs, they aren’t furry or capable of showing visible emotion (unless you understand their subtle behavioral patterns). They’re also feared by many people for their vicious fangs and deadly venom. But contrary to popular belief, snakes can make great pets, and as long as you know how to treat them right, they won’t even lift a finger at you (if they had any, that is).
If you’re planning on making one of these reptilian friends your next pet, here are ten important things you should know beforehand.
Snakes are part of the reptilian family, and that means that they’re cold-blooded. Cold-blooded animals cannot regulate their internal body temperature, unlike warm-blooded creatures such as humans. As such, they need to live in the right temperatures, or else they will get sick or die.
They need to live in certain humidity levels
Similar to temperature, snakes require a certain amount of humidity to survive. The exact percentage differs from species to species, but you can expect 30-50 percent humidity as a requirement for most. Remember, though – do your research beforehand, and buy the necessary equipment and materials to regulate the humidity in their living environment.
Not all are venomous
Though many depictions of snakes involve their fangs bare with venom dripping from their tips, not all snakes produce venom. You see, snakes use venom to kill their prey. But venom isn’t the only way to get the job done. Some species of snake rely on the sheer force of their fangs and jaws to hunt, whereas others constrict their victims. In fact, only a fourth of all snake species are venomous, and only a percentage of them contain venom strong enough to kill a person. So even if you do get bitten by a wild snake, chances are that all you’ll be left with is a scar and a little fear.
Certain snakes are illegal to own without a permit
Though many countries permit the ownership of snakes, certain species of snakes are illegal to own without the necessary permits. The species that are illegal to own are typically either highly dangerous or endangered species themselves. Not to worry, though – there are plenty of snake species out there that are perfectly legal to own, and they come in all sizes and colors.
Snakes shed their skin all at once
One curious fact about snakes is that they shed their skin all at once. This process is commonly referred to as molting. Many species of bugs, such as most arthropods, undergo molting, too. Interestingly enough, while all animals shed their skin, most do so gradually, with bits of it being replaced each day. It’s just that certain animals shed their skin all at once, including snakes. So expect to see skin every now and then in your snake’s habitat.
They can grow to extreme lengths
Depending on the species, snakes can grow to quite impressive lengths. The longest snakes have been recorded at over seven meters in length, though those types of snakes aren’t legal to own anyways. Be sure to do your research beforehand and set up a habitat appropriate for your snake’s adult size.
Snakes will bite
Even if you feed your snake on a regular basis, and you maintain its habitat, remember that snakes will still bite you. They don’t bite because they necessarily hate you or want to eat you, though. Most bites done by captive snakes are due to provocation, or as an act of self-defense. These types of bites serve as some sort of warning, not to provoke them any further. They don’t hurt all that much either, especially if you’ve already gotten used to it over time.
You can defang snakes, but only temporarily
Not a fan of getting bitten by a snake, or afraid of possible venom? No need to worry – snakes can easily be defanged by professionals. There are quite a few reasons as to why you’d want to do this – maybe you want to let your family hold or bond with your snake, or maybe you just don’t want to get bitten. Either way, defanging is an option you can choose to do.
Keep in mind, though that fangs, unlike human teeth, regenerate over time. In fact, they do so at an alarming rate. Snakes naturally replace their fangs, just as they do with their skin. It’s done every six to eight weeks. So even if you have the fangs removed manually, they’ll be back in full force after just a couple of months. Defanging can be a solution to a problem, but it’s ultimately a temporary one.
Snakes prefer rodents
Here’s an important reminder for pet owners sensitive to death and, well, cute things. Many snakes prefer rodents as their food of choice. That means you’ll be feeding your snake other animals on a regular basis. If you aren’t able to handle doing this, we strongly recommend against getting a snake.
Another reminder – if you’re going to feed a snake with rodents, be sure to feed them dead ones. Not only is feeding live rodents downright saddening to watch, but the rodents will also likely try to fight back, possibly hurting or injuring the snake in the process. Dead rodents are the way to go, just be sure to thaw them out if you’ve been keeping them frozen for a while before feeding your snake.
Snakes can live for up to 30 years
Snakes, when in captivity, can live longer than most dogs or cats. Though it’s unlikely that your snake will live to up to 30 years, you can expect around 20 at the very least if you treat it right.
Owning a snake can be a life-changing experience, but it does require you to do your research. With these snake facts, you’ll hopefully be well-equipped to own and take care of your first pet snake with no trouble at all.