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How to Buy a Pet Snake

Snakes can make good pets because they are clean and easy to care for, and they don't eat much. Before you buy a snake to keep as a pet, there are several things to consider.


  • Step 1: Determine the amount of time you want to spend with your snake. Snakes aren't cuddly, and you won't need to spend a lot of time with one. In fact, after feeding your snake, you shouldn't handle it for two days while it digests its food.
  • Step 2: Plan on keeping your snake for a long time. Your pet snake may live for 20 to 40 years, so think of it as a lifelong commitment. And be sure to check with local authorities to find out if a particular species is protected in your area before you purchase one.
  • FACT: Corn snakes have the ability to climb trees.
  • TIP: You can buy frozen rodents in bulk, but some snakes are finicky and will only eat fresh food.
  • Step 3: Think about the snake's eating habits. All snakes are carnivorous, and, depending on your snake, you will have to feed it such animals as rodents, frogs, or small insects.
  • Step 4: Think about the temperament of the snake you're going to get. Four types of snakes that are generally tame and reluctant to bite are the corn snake, the king snake, the gopher snake, and the ball python.
  • Step 5: Choose a species that does well in captivity. Some snakes are difficult to keep, but others, when given the proper environment, thrive as pets.
  • Step 6: Consider how much space you can devote for your snake. Most pet snakes grow to between 3 and 4 feet long, but some can grow as long as 6 feet or more. Ideally, you should allow a spare room with an appropriately-sized vivarium -- a terrarium for small animals -- for your pet.

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