Did you know that July 16th is World Snake Day? We know, not everyone will be happy to recognize this holiday. However, for those of us who enjoy snakes, it’s a great time to celebrate our scaled pals, and also spread awareness about how to properly care for them. A Covington, GA vet discusses snakes in this article.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to buy snakes from reputable breeders. Wild snakes don’t make suitable pets. They aren’t happy in captivity, and are not as gentle as captive-bred ones. It’s also important to look for a healthy snake. Snakes that are ill may have a bony appearance, and may be lethargic. Other red flags include discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth; a soiled vent; lesions or abrasions; and stiff or strange posture. It’s great to take a sick pet and nurse it to health, but this may be too much for first-time snake owners.
If you’re a first-time snake owner, look for a snake that is docile and easy to care for. Some good options are king snakes, corn snakes, and milk snakes. Rosy boas and ball pythons are also suitable choices. Larger snakes, such as anacondas, need more experienced caregivers, and aren’t necessarily a good choice for newbies. They’re also bad for local environments. As you may have heard, some snakes get so huge that they become extremely difficult to care for. Many end up in the wild, such as in the Everglades, where they are flourishing . . . and, unfortunately, wreaking havoc on a delicate ecosystem.
Snakes spend almost all of their time in their tanks or terrariums, so it’s important to make sure your pet has a comfortable, suitable environment. This will vary from snake to snake. Some need water pools, while others require climbing branches. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Adopting an animal is a lifelong responsibility, so think carefully before taking the plunge. There are some great benefits to having a snake: they’re quiet, don’t create odors, are fascinating to watch, and don’t need training. However, there are some drawbacks as well. For instance, feeding reptiles is really not for the squeamish. Do plenty of research before deciding!
Please call us, your Covington, GA vet clinic, with any questions about snake care. We’re here to help!