Your First Pet Snake

Did you know that today, February 1st, is Serpent Appreciation Day? Snakes are becoming quite popular as pets. If you are interested in adopting a snake, but have never had one before, you’ll want to do plenty of research before committing. An Oshawa, ON vet offers some advice on choosing your first snake in this article.


It’s very important for first-timers to choose a serpent that is docile and easy to care for. Some good beginner snakes include the Rosy boa, Gopher snake, California Kingsnake, and the Corn snake, which is often considered the friendliest snake.


Be sure to pick a snake that is suitable for beginners. Longevity, temperament, and expected adult size are all things that you definitely need to look into. Unfortunately, many people adopt snakes, not realizing how large their pets will eventually get. This is very sad for the snake! Plus, if the snake escapes or is released, it can also threaten fragile ecosystems. (The anacondas running rampant in the Everglades are a good example of this.)


A proper habitat is a must! Many snakes require specific conditions for heat, light, and humidity. Keep in mind that the equipment needed for this will use power. That may raise your bill a bit. You’ll also need a backup power source, in case of an outage. Aside from that, you’ll have to find out what your specific type of serpent needs as far as habitat. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Veterinary Care

Speaking of veterinarians, you’ll also need a good herp vet on your team. This can be a great source of information, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask for specific advice on things like feeding, care tips, and signs of sickness.


As you probably know, snakes eat rodents. While some people feed live mice, many others offer their pets frozen ones. Either way, you’ll need to be able to handle your scaled buddy’s dinner. If you’re squeamish about this, a snake may not be right for you.


Look for a reputable pet store or breeder. Avoid buying snakes at reptile exhibits or conventions: many animals that were captured in the wild turn up for sale at these events. Wild snakes don’t do well in captivity, and are not as tame as captive-bred ones.

As your Oshawa, ON animal clinic, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime!

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