Snakes

all snakes should be examined

annually

by a veterinarian. Please monitor your pet’s appetite, weight, and behavior, and contact us if you noticed any changes.

Some of the most important pieces of making sure your snake is well taken care of include:

Correct diet

Ceramic heat lamps

Fogger or moist system

Well ventilated enclosure

Full-spectrum lighting

Snake Care Instructions

Snakes are carnivores and consume whole prey. Mice and rats are the most readily available food sources and should be purchased from a reputable distributor (e.g. rodentpro.com). Food items should be approximately the same width as the widest part of the snake’s body. Newborn snakes, therefore, will eat “fuzzy” or “hopper” mice, and adult snakes can eat adult mice or small rats.

Snakes should be preferably offered frozen or thawed prey items. Live rodents can inflict severe injury to a snake through biting and scratching. Growing snakes should be fed once weekly. Adult snakes (those over three years of age) typically need to eat only once every two to four weeks, depending on the size of the food item, the time of year, and reproductive activity. No vitamin or mineral supplements are necessary, as long as a quality prey items are offered. Note that snakes will only defecate as often as they eat.

Temperature and humidity needs differ between species. Discuss with your veterinarian what would be the best practices for your type of snake.

A long, well ventilated enclosure, made of a sturdy, nonabsorbent material is recommended. Wood does not allow proper disinfection and glass tanks do not allow proper ventilation.  Custom made terrariums, with a mesh top and ventilation vents on the sides are the best options.

Remember, the terrarium needs to be at least twice the length of the snake. Arboreal snakes should be provided with vertical space, with multiple branches and furniture to climb.

A good substrate should be free of chemicals and be easily cleaned. Options include newspaper, butcher paper, artificial turf, and coconut fiber. Pine and cedar shavings contain aromatic compounds that are potentially irritating to the respiratory tract, and therefore should be avoided. Ample space should be provided for hiding to satisfy the snake’s natural desire to rest in burrows, with multiple hiding boxes or logs available along the enclosure’s temperature gradient.

Snakes in captivity should be provided with full-spectrum lighting. Photoperiods should simulate that of a species’ native habitat. Snakes that do not experience regular day/night cycles may become stressed and develop secondary health problems.

All snakes should be examined annually by a veterinarian.

 It is important to note that every snake should shed its skin in a single piece. When the skin is shed in multiple pieces, or when unshed skin remains adhered to the snake, the animal should be evaluated by a veterinarian. It is normal for a snake’s eyes to appear opaque prior to a shed, and the snake may also display aggression. If the eyes remain opaque after the shed, a veterinarian should be contacted.

Get the best care for your best friend.

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