|Posted by Amanda George on June 2, 2016 at 1:55 PM||comments (1)|
So you want a pet snake?
Most first time snake shoppers will simply pick out the one that appeals to them the most, aesthetically. Looks are certainly important, but there are other factors that should not be overlooked when deciding which one may be the best for you!
Here are a few things you should think about before your first purchase!
Im going to point out some of the most commonly available snakes in the pet trade. Please remember these are My OPINIONS they are the result of personal experience only, and though debatable, should be considered as “approximately” correct. Please don’t take it personally if I’ve rated your favorite snake toward the bottom of any certain category, as ALL of the snakes we look at today can make excellent pets for the right person.
The Red Tail Boa is certainly one of the most common snakes in the pet trade, but they are also one of the most commonly gotten rid of. They are attractive enough, and make a fun show-piece, but ultimately get much larger (in excess of 10 feet) than most people are comfortable with long-term. Add to this, that they are a tropical species requiring high humidity and temperatures that are difficult to duplicate in captivity, and it’s easy to make the case that these snakes are better left to those that have at least moderate reptile experience. They certainly can still make a great first snake, however, for those resolved to give it proper care and attention.
As pretty as they are, these snakes can still be a challenge to a novice snake keeper. As mountain dwellers, they prefer cooler temperatures than many of their close relatives. Babies can be very difficult to get eating, and even adults may occasionally become problem feeders. That said, they still tolerate some handling and are a good size to work with. So long as you are confident in be able to meet its needs, a Mountain King snake can be a very rewarding pet.
Milk snakes come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They can make great pets, but it should be noted that they are commonly more shy than King snakes, and especially as babies, will typically be more prone to musk or bite when being held.
These snakes are among my personal favorite! They are relatively small, but have as much or more personality than any other snake I have ever seen. Though they are rarely defensive, they are masters at bluffing, and will sometimes hiss loudly, hood up almost cobra like, and even play dead if threatened. These behaviors are rather uncommon in captive conditions, but if it happens, don’t let them fool you!
Bulls and Gopher snakes are some of the hardiest snakes on the market, and they rarely have feeding issues. Some varieties, can however get a little on the large side, may exhibit some aggressive behavior, and will eat much more than most pet snakes.
Ball Pythons make some of the best pet snakes out there! They come in as many different patterns as you can imagine. Normal Ball Pythons can be found for around $50, but it is not uncommon to find rarer color schemes upwards of $10,000 and higher! They stay relatively small for a Python (5 feet), are durable and calm for handling by even the inexperienced person, and are fairly hardy and easy to breed.
There are multiple subspecies of common kingsnakes (California, Mexican Black, Desert, Speckled, Brooks etc. etc.) and many different morphs of each. Common Kings attain a manageable size, are hardy, and eat well. They are extremely common in the pet trade as well, and most of those available are captive bred. All things considered, this is one of the best starter snakes on the market.
Garter Snakes are one of the most common snakes in the U.S. and are often kept as pets. Though they are typically inexpensive ad hardy, Garters can have the tendency to musk more often than most pet snakes. They also tend to do better on a diet of fish, which may make feeding a bit more problematic.
Cheap, hardy, common, readily available as captive bred, good eaters and pretty to boot. A well started (already eating readily) Corn snake is hard to beat for the novice snake keeper. These snakes come in more colors than anything else on the market and can make for exciting breeding projects as well!
Welcome to the exciting world of snake ownership! Keeping snakes as pets requires an additional amount of care and consideration. If you bring a snake home, be prepared to be confronted by family members and friends that do not care as much for snakes as you do. It is important to show understanding to their preferences and try to educate them. It is NEVER a good idea to tease, chase, or surprise anyone with your pet snake. Snakes are not meant to be prank material, and treating them as such, is a good way to end up with an injured or dead pet, and costly therapy bills for the one exposed to the traumatic event. Please exercise common sense and responsibility when introducing others to your pet.
Keeping pet snakes, can be a very rewarding hobby, and an extremely educational experience. I learned many fascinating things while keeping snakes, that I never learned from reading the countless books I had my nose in as a kid. Snakes are one of the easiest pets to keep, yet can still be as stimulating as a bird, cat or fish.
If you are fellow snake keeper, we would love to hear what your first pet snake was, and what you would have done differently, given the chance. If you are thinking about buying your first pet snake, please share the experience with us!
Hope to see you at the Next Pittsburgh Reptile show www.PghReptileShow.com
|Posted by Amanda George on May 6, 2016 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
How To Prepare For Your First Reptile Show
Reptile shows are a great way to get to know local reptile enthusiasts in your community, as well as the perfect time to pick up that new python you’ve been dreaming about. Whether it is your 1st reptile show or your 30th, the following tips are sure to come in handy.
Leave your own pets at home At the Reptile show there will be 1000's of animals, unless you are needing your pet Sexed or for other reasons you need to have you pet looked at its is Smart to leave your pets at home. It is important to remember that any given animal can be carrying parasites as well as any other number of contagious diseases. For this reason, your best bet would be to leave your pets at home in order to avoid the situation of introducing your healthy pet to an unhealthy one.
Bring cash While more vendors are beginning to take credit and debit as a form of payment, there are still a large majority of vendors that rely on cash only. There is a ATM about 1 block down the road at the Sheetz but having some cash on hand is always reccomended , If you are planning on making a purchase at the show.
Do not ask a vendor to set aside an animal unless you are certain you will purchase it. Most vendors at a reptile show are there in order to sell their animals as well as educate people on how to properly care for their pets. For this reason it is important to remember that you should only request that an animal be set aside for purchase if you are 100% certain that you plan on purchasing that animal. In the end this saves everyone time and allows everyone a fair shot at all of the reptiles.
Research purchases before you buy, this is your responsibility. While there are plenty of vendors out there that are willing to share as much information as possible with potential new reptile owners, it is still the responsibility of the buyer to know whether or not a snake will grow to 18 inches or 18 feet. Also be aware of the environment that you will need to provide for your future pet prior to bringing it home.
Be aware of all state and local reptile laws prior to purchasing and bringing one home This rule holds up especially well if you are attending an out-of-state expo. Vendors may not necessarily know the laws of your home town or even your home state, but it is important to remember that it isn’t their responsibility to know whether you are making an illegal purchase or not. For example, venomous snakes are not allowed to be owned in the state of Maryland, but they are permitted in Pennsylvania and are often sold at reptile shows there. Make sure you know these laws prior to making your purchase.
Expect that animals will be caged in temporary housing. Some of these containers will be quite small as they permit for safer transportation; this is not a reflection on how the breeder may keep their livestock when they are at home.
Thoroughly examine all potential purchases Breeders pride themselves on the health of the reptiles that they are showing at an expo. Unfortunately sometime some animals get past and need special care or have gotten sick. Be sure that prior to making your purchase you do a thorough review of the animal to check for mites or other diseases that are specific to your potential pet. Also be sure to quarantine any animal that is purchased when you bring it home. Let it live in quarantine several weeks before allowing them to acclimate with the rest of your reptile population. GET CONTACT INFO FOR THE SELLER
Make sure your children are under control and know proper sanitation measures. Children often love reptile shows and it can be a lot of fun for vendors to share their knowledge of animals with these children in order to educate them on the benefits of owning such a pet. However, we also all know how destructive a child can be when left to its own devices. Be sure to keep an eye on your children at all times, as well, make sure that they know the importance of washing their hands before and after handling a reptile in order to prevent the spread of diseases such as salmonella.