Firstly, keeping snakes as pets is a responsibility.
I cannot emphasise the point enough.
I cannot count the times I have heard people that keep snakes say, "Snakes are low maintenance and easy to keep."
In reality keeping any pet, whether it's a Bengal tiger, dog, cat, or snake, will demand a certain amount of your time with regards for caring for that animal.
A very worthwhile investment to help you keep pick up any subtle changes in your animals' habits, which might indicate ill health or husbandry issues, is to find yourself really effective record keeping software designed for reptiles.
Despite good intentions caring for an animal comes with "great responsibility" (to quote Spiderman's uncle).
There are countless animals that end up at the SPCA that were purchased with "good intentions".
Do a little test.....
Next time you visit your local veterinarian ask him, or her, whether the majority of people that own pets should be allowed to do so in the first place.
According to our local vets (and these are only opinions) 80% of people that own animals as pets should not be allowed to do so.
I find that both shocking and extremely sad, especially for the animals!
Before purchasing any pet do your research.
Unfortunately you can't always rely on the advice of your local pet-store. Don't get me wrong, there are fantastic pet dealers out there that care equally for their animals and their clientele. (I know of one dealer who refused to sell a bearded dragon simply because he didn't get a good "vibe" from the prospective client.)
On the other hand, the first Green iguana (Malkovich) that we bought was purchased out of pity and not because we wanted a green iguana (we love him dearly). The pet-store had him in a 50cm x 30cm tank, without substrate, no water, and an apple. The pet-store owner was absolutely clueless, he couldn't understand why the animal was not eating!
So please do your own research before you embark on a life-long commitment.
Keeping snakes as pets, or any pet, must be mutually beneficial for both you the pet owner and your pet.
In the next couple of posts I will discuss various topics that hopefully will help you master the art of keeping snakes as pets.
Bear in mind that these pages are my own opinions based on personal experience, and many years of keeping snakes in captivity :).
And of course, if you are visiting our part of the world, travelling down here in Hazyview, you are welcome to ask us your questions in person!
Carolyn Budai, owner and passionate animal person.