Choosing a Pet Snake

Are you considering getting a snake? Although reptiles aren’t right for everyone, they can make great pets. There are actually many benefits to getting a snake: your scaled buddy won’t scratch up your furniture, leave fur on your clothes, chew your shoes, or have ‘accidents’ in the house. However, choosing the right snake can be difficult. A local Sugar Land, TX vet offers some tips on choosing a pet snake in this article.


Different types of snakes have very different care needs, so you’ll want to do a bit of research before adopting your new pet. We strongly urge first-time snake owners to choose a smaller, docile breed. King snakes, ball pythons, and corn snakes are all great beginner snakes. Many snakes, such as constrictors, water snakes, and green snakes, require more experienced caregivers, and are not recommended for beginners. You’ll also want to find out about your potential pet’s estimated adult size, housing needs, and diet.


Picking a healthy snake can be tricky to the unpracticed eye. Look for a serpent that has smooth, unblemished scales. You should not see any abrasions, lesions, or retained skin. Check the snake’s eyes, nostrils, and mouth to see if there is any discharge. Healthy snakes should be supple and firm: a snake that looks bony may be underfed. Lethargy is another red flag. While some snakes are not highly active, snakes should be alert, and respond to stimuli. Inspect the snake’s scales closely: if you see small dots that look like coffee grounds, it could have mites. Ask your vet for more information.


Before purchasing a snake, make sure that you can stomach feeding your new pet: snakes typically eat live or frozen prey. You’ll also want to get estimates on the cost of feeding your scaled pal when he reaches his full size. Keep in mind that you’ll need to go to the pet store regularly to get your snake’s food: you can’t pick up your serpent’s dinner at a grocery store.


Snakes that were born wild can be difficult to handle, as they may not have been properly socialized. Choose your pet snake from a reputable pet store or breeder.

Do you have questions about caring for a pet snake? Contact us today! As your local Sugar Land, TX animal clinic, we are here to serve all your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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