Why are snakes good pets
Snake as a pet
Snakes are exotic and mysterious animals that hold a special fascination for many people. The decision to keep a snake as a pet needs to be carefully considered. Often the thought arises that these pangolins need little and are very easy to care for, but this is not the truth. Snakes have very special needs. You need sufficient knowledge about the structure and equipment of the terrarium, the feeding habits and much more. This is the only way to enable species-appropriate keeping. In the following we list exactly which points must be observed so that your reptile feels comfortable.
Are snakes allowed as pets in Germany?
According to the current legal situation, keeping snakes in private is permitted. Only poisonous and strangler snakes are subject to notification or authorization. But that too differs from state to state. Therefore, find out about all applicable regulations before purchasing this animal.
Also adhere to the terms of the rental agreement. If in doubt, ask before you buy a snake as a pet. It would also make sense to ask the neighbors for their opinion or to inform them that you want to bring such a reptile into your house.
The following snakes are suitable as pets
Depending on whether you want to keep a snake as a pet for the first time or already have experience with this reptile, you should get a different species. Adders (e.g. corn snake or king snake) are very suitable for beginners, as these snakes are small, easy to care for and non-toxic. Experienced owners can of course choose more demanding snakes as pets and are happy to decide on a python or a boa. On the other hand, adders tend to be more active and restless, pythons usually show less activity.
Snakes have a relatively high life expectancy (up to 30 years depending on the species), which is why they are usually a pet for life. If you can't get used to caring for a snake for so many years, another pet should be chosen.
How to properly keep a snake as a pet - Here are some things to keep in mind
The size of the terrarium
As pets, snakes are not kept free, but in terrariums. On the one hand, the dwelling can consist of full glass. On the other hand, it can also be made of wood or plastic, provided there are large glass windows. It is important that there are no crevices or holes through which the snake could escape. Snakes fit through amazingly narrow slits! It is advisable to provide the terrarium with a lock.
Orientate yourself with the dimensions of the terrarium on the size of the animal and the need for exercise of the respective snake species. Young animals should generally be kept in small containers at the beginning before they move to a large terrarium. The snake must be able to stretch out completely and have enough space to crawl. This requires large terrariums, the space requirements of which you should not underestimate. The space requirement also varies depending on the type of snake: Lurker hunters tend to need less exercise. Snakes that actively hunt, such as B. garter snakes, have a significantly greater need for movement and accordingly need significantly larger terrariums.
The optimal temperature
Snakes are cold-blooded animals whose body temperature depends on the environment. They can only control their body temperature themselves by going to warmer or cooler places to stay as needed. In the terrarium, snakes are therefore dependent on the supply of heat from their keeper. Do some research beforehand about the various needs of the type of snake you plan to purchase so you can adjust the temperature accordingly.
Always make sure you have a very warm sunbathing area that is big enough for full-body sunbathing. You can guarantee this with infrared heat lamps, for example. Offer your reptile a little less warm places. Many snakes also prefer a cooler corner, which they visit especially during the moulting phases or after feeding to stimulate digestion.
You can e.g. B. build an intermediate level in the terrarium that is closer to the heat source. This also increases the area of the snake dwelling.
The right substrate
The substrate also plays an important role in the snake's well-being as a pet. There are special substrates for each type of snake, which you can purchase in specialist shops. Snakes that like to burrow need a higher level of substrate.
Places to hide
Snakes should have a place of refuge in the terrarium; small and narrow hiding places give the snake a sense of security.
Opportunities for climbing
Climbing opportunities, such as branches, are important for many species of snakes. Anchor the branches securely and firmly so that they cannot collapse or slide off.
The demands on the moisture content in the terrarium vary with the species of snake. Depending on whether the snake lives in nature in the rainforest or rather in the steppe. A wet box is useful for all snakes: A plastic box with a lid, into which the snake fits well, has an opening to crawl into. The box is filled with moist coconut soil or terrarium moss. This should always be damp but not wet. A wet box is the best precaution against molting problems and is very popular with snakes when molting.
Care and hygiene
Snakes shed their old skin regularly in the process. This must then be removed from the terrarium. The terrarium should be cleaned of faeces regularly. The entire substrate is replaced at least once a year.
Snake as a pet - the food
Depending on the species, snakes feed on everything from small insects and spiders to larger birds or rabbits. You can find special food that you can give your snake in pet shops. A distinction is made between live food and frozen food.
The animals to be fed are still living. Live food must always be given under supervision. Rodents fight back by biting and could injure the snake. This can lead to inflammations, which often require extensive treatment by the veterinarian. If the bite infection does not subside, the reptile has to be euthanized in the worst case.
Frozen food is a dead animal that has been frozen. The advantage is that this feed can be stored easily and for a long time and is therefore always available. Feeding frozen food is easier, especially for inexperienced snake owners. In the terrarium, most snakes can easily be switched from live to frozen food, provided the "prey" is served warmed up. Depending on the food the snake is used to, you may need a little patience to get used to it.
How often you should feed your snake depends on the type and age of the snake
Queuing up. This can e.g. B. vary from once a week to once a month.
Do not feed your snake right after you buy it. It should take a few days to get used to the new environment.
Even if snakes only need to be fed every few days to weeks, they still need fresh water every day. Provide your reptile with a watering hole to drink from and bathe in. Snakes that also live in water should be provided with a larger part of the water, which can make up up to a third of the terrarium.
A snake does not need deworming or vaccinations. Occasionally, pangolins have parasites or molting problems. This is where a reptile vet can help.
Do queues need to be kept busy?
Unlike dogs or cats, snakes don't have to be kept busy by their owners. Anyone who thinks they can play with a snake as a pet or teach it tricks is wrong.
With regular handling, however, z. For example, a python can become trusting and can then be easily removed from the terrarium without biting.
Nevertheless, snakes are not cuddly animals, but observation animals. Therefore snakes are unsuitable as pets, especially for children.
Can I keep a snake as a pet alone?
In nature, snakes are loners, which is why they can also be kept alone in the terrarium. If you want several specimens, you should also let them live in separate terrariums.
If you already keep two or more snakes in a terrarium, you have to take the respective animals out of the terrarium and feed them separately from each other, otherwise the snakes get in each other's way while eating and injure each other. In addition, the terrarium must be very large so that the animals can avoid each other.
Pet snake? - Conclusion
Think carefully about whether a snake is suitable for you as a pet. In contrast to dogs and cats, snakes are observation animals that have special requirements. If you ensure optimal living conditions, your reptile will stay healthy and agile for years.
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