snake in terrarium

You either love them or you hate them but there’s no denying that owning a snake as a pet is not for the faint hearted.

There are around 400,000 dedicated enthusiasts who count themselves as snake owners in this country, according to the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Associationthat’s more than double the number in 2012.

So what do you need to consider when taking on this exotic pet? Snakes aren’t suited to everyone – ok, they don’t need walking several times a day and they don’t jump on your head in the middle of the night (cat owners will understand) but they do have specialist requirements that you’ve got to be prepared to meet.

Snakes can live for more than 20 years so this has to be a long-term commitment. Remember we said owning a snake isn’t for the faint hearted? You’ll need to feed prey animals like rodents to your snake and store them in your freezer.

Escape artists

You’ll need a special tank (vivarium) and other equipment such as heating to mimic their natural environment. Their tank needs to be completely secure as they are excellent escape artists and you could otherwise find yourself with an unwelcome house guest.

If your snake ever does manage to escape, they will probably head for the nearest warm space to curl up in!

If you’re a newcomer to snake ownership, always seek specialist advice about which kind of snake would suit you best. It goes without saying that it’s never advisable to keep a venomous snake as a pet – leave that to the experts!

Our reptile guide will help you learn the basics you need to know about handling, housing and feeding to get you started.

Having a snake as a pet takes preparation
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