Snakes are not the most traditional pet here in Canada, but that’s not to say that snakes are not awesome pets. Sure, they may not be able to go on runs with you, or cuddle up with you at night, but they are still an interesting and rewarding pet to own! Before heading to your local pet store to bring home your first snake, we suggest reading this blog, doing further research, and even coming into Pisces Pet Emporium to talk to our snake experts. The three types of snakes that we would recommend looking into as a first-time snake owner are Corn snakes, Ball pythons, and Garter snakes.
If you are wanting a snake that you can handle a lot and are quite tolerant, you should really look into Corn snakes. The North American species are harmless to humans which again is great for someone who is new to handling snakes. You can expect your Corn Snake to live up to 23 years or more if cared for properly. In terms of feeding your 2 to 6-foot Corn snake, mice are their main preference. Although live mice are okay, a lot of captive snakes have never had live caught mice. Frozen mice are a bit cheaper and easier to store as well. Mice are readily available at Pisces Pet Emporium. A good rule of thumb is to feed your Corn snake mice smaller than 1.5 times the size of its midsection. Oddly enough you do not need to feed your Corn snake very often, in fact it is every five to seven days as a baby, and even less often as an adult at every seven to 10 days. Before feeding your snake ensure that their food comes from a good source and that you feed with tongs to avoid any snake bites.
Another great species to consider getting for your first snake is the Ball python. Native to the grasslands in west and central Africa, the Ball python is nonvenomous and the smallest of African pythons. This species are still a great pet but are a little more timid than the Corn snake. When Ball pythons are stressed or scared, they tend to curl up into a ball, giving it its name the Ball python. These guys are about the same size as Corn snakes, growing up to 72 inches. Also, just like Corn snakes, Ball pythons are easy to handle due to their small size and ball shape that they often revert to. A diet rich in small rodents and birds, it basically mirrors the diet of the Corn snake. In terms of feeding time, they only need to be fed every five to seven days as babies and every ten to fourteen days as adults. These guys are quite easy to tend to but do require different sized enclosures during their lifespan as they grow over time. Be sure to talk to a snake specialist before purchasing your terrarium.
The third and final recommendation we have for you today as a first-time snake owner is the Garter snake. These small to medium sized species are generally harmless and are native to North and Central America. Varying form 18-54 inches, Garter snakes are quite a bit smaller than both Corn and Ball snakes often times. These little fellas are very active, fast moving, and highly terrestrial. When feeling threatened they may coil up to hide or strike with a bad smelling musk. The reason we say Garter snakes are “generally harmless” is due to the fact that the might go for a bite if feeling threatened but rest assured it’s a harmless nip that might just scare you or younger handlers (you should still contact doctor if bitten). Garter snakes have a bit of a different diet as compared to Corn and Ball snakes, they feast on slugs, earthworms, leeches, lizards, and rodents.
Getting a new pet can be very exciting, but it is very important to do the research before hand to ensure it is the snake for you. Snakes are quite easy to care for and affordable as well. However the start up cost for housing, food, and other essential equipment will cost you some money, its vital to get. If you have any further questions about these snakes or any other reptiles please give us a call or even come in and chat with our experts!