What to consider before buying a snake

Some pet owners prefer scales to fur. Snakes can make for a great pet, if you have an interest in reptiles. But deciding on whether to have a snake as your next pet is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

Snakes need to be specially cared for and require planning and preparation beforehand. So we have put together a few points to consider before making your slithery purchase.

To own a snake, first you must own a license. Reptile keeping in Australia is regulated by each state. Where snakes can be bought from, what type of snakes can be kept and where they can be kept will depend on the legal requirements within your state or territory. Once you have followed regulations on which species you can buy, you will need to comply with standards for heating, lighting and cage furniture.

A snakes specific needs, dietary requirements, and behaviours can vary from snake to snake. So it is important to know which snakes suit what you are looking for. Whether you want a low maintenance snake, a friendly snake, or one which you do not need to feed live stock, there are lots of factors to consider. It is also extremely important to make sure you are purchasing a snake that is healthy and disease free. Buying from a well known, reputable breeder can ensure this.

TOP TIP Ask your buyer when the next feeding will be. Stay and watch, so you can be certain that the snake has a healthy appetite. This is a big indicator on the health of the snake.
It is recommended to have the snake’s enclosure set up and operating 48-72 hours before bringing the snake home. This will mean the temperature gradients are correct and all the equipment is operating in time for your snake to move into its new home. So make sure you are set up and ready to go before making the big jump.

The cost of a snake can vary, depending on the type. However, this should not be your only concern of cost. Enclosures and food for your pet can also rack up a high bill. Typically, owners will acquire a separate freezer to store frozen stock… because no one wants to come across frozen mice when preparing dinner! All of which you will need to factor into your budget.
Lastly, snakes can live for 15-20 years, sometimes longer. So make sure you are ready to sign yourself up for a long term commitment.

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