Dogs and cats may be the most common types of pets in households today. However, more and more people are seeing the benefits of having a pet snake. While easy to care for, snakes do require certain care and specific environments to keep them healthy and happy. The rat snake, for instance, is incredibly easy to maintain, but proper preparation is crucial before bringing your new pet reptile home. Here are a few essentials your pet rat snake needs.
Unlike a dog or cat, pet snakes do not want to roam freely through your house. It is essential that you provide your new rat snake with an enclosure that will make them feel at ease and comfortable for many years to come.
When selecting an enclosure, keep a few things in mind. The right size is important, but avoid basing the enclosure's size on your rat snake's current length because your new pet will grow quickly. Remember that rat snakes can reach lengths of up to 10 feet. However, a length of 4 to 6 feet is most common.
The enclosure should be large enough not only for your snake but also for its bowl and any other items for its habitat.
While size matters, focus on the type of enclosure, too. Rat snakes do love to climb, so make sure the enclosure is safe and secure to prevent the snake from climbing up and out of its environment. Opt for a cage/aquarium that is taller and has a top latch to make the environment even more difficult to escape.
The size and design of the enclosure is not the only element needed to create a safe and comfortable environment for your new pet rat snake.
Your pet snake will require some exercise and ability to hide, so consider placing faux branches and rocks that are designed for reptile aquariums inside the enclosure. Your rat snake will enjoy crawling up on the branches and hiding behind or under the rocks throughout different times of the day.
Cypress mulch or even paper towels can be beneficial to the snake's habitat, too. Both options provide a cushion for your rat snake's bedding, but both mulch and towels will help maintain humidity levels and odor in the enclosure.
Temperature controls are also crucial to maintain appropriate temperatures inside the snake's enclosure. Heat lights can be used to maintain these temperatures.
You do not necessarily have to provide your rat snake with a UV light, though, which is commonly used for other pet snakes. If you do choose to use a UV light or a light that emits white light, place it on a timer so it brings warmth and light to the enclosure for only short periods of time.
Just like other living things, your pet snake will require food and water.
Rat snakes constrict their prey before eating it, so your pet will want to eat in the same manner. Provide them with small rodents, such as mice or rats. It will be up to you whether you want to provide your rat snake with pre-killed rodents or if you want them to kill live prey.
Fresh, clean water is also important for your pet rat snake, in more ways than you would first think. Your rat snake will obviously drink water. In addition, they will enjoy lounging in the water bowl. It may be surprising to learn that your snake will require even more water when they are in the process of shedding, so make sure their water bowl is always filled with fresh water.
Help is available if you are considering a pet rat snake. This guide will ensure you and your home are prepared for this new pet.
For more information about reptiles for sale, contact a company like Snakes at Sunset.