Snake Care Mistakes

Snake Day is tomorrow, July 16th. Snakes have garnered a reputation for being super easy keepers. To some extent, that is true: you don’t need to walk or train them, and won’t even need to feed them every day. However, snakes need careful monitoring, suitable conditions, and great care. An Ellicott City, MD vet lists some common snake care mistakes below.

Choosing The Wrong Snake

There are over 3500 types of snakes, but only a handful of them make suitable pets, and even fewer are good options for first-time snake owners. If you’ve never had a snake before, choose one that’s docile, easy to care for, and won’t someday require you to build an entire addition onto your house. Some good options are king snakes, milk snakes, rosy boas, and corn snakes.

Buying The Enclosure First

If you know exactly the type and size snake you are getting, you can—and should—get everything set up in advance, after you’ve done your research. However, what you don’t want to do is randomly get a vivarium and then pick a snake. Different types of snakes need different habitats. For instance, some of our serpentine pals need trees, while others require soaking pools. It’s important to customize your pet’s habitat to suit their needs.


It can be tempting to handle and pet your new buddy a lot, but this can actually stress your snake out. Although some reptiles seem to enjoy being held by their humans, that requires trust, which takes time. Let your scaled pet settle in before trying to hold him.

Not Enough Veterinary Care

Just like any other pet, snakes should be examined regularly. You’ll also need to watch for warning signs of sickness. Some of these include lesions, discharge from the mouth, bumps, shedding problems, lethargy, anorexia, and stargazing. Ask your vet for more information.

Poor Conditions

Snakes have specific environmental needs. While these vary from snake to snake, your reptilian buddy will get quite sick if his home isn’t set up correctly. Do some research, and ask your vet for specific advice.

Buying From The Wrong Person

You should only purchase snakes from reputable pet stores or breeders. There is still a thriving black market trade on wild snakes, which often show up at reptile expos. Buy responsibly!

Do you have questions about snake care? Call us, your local Ellicott City, MD veterinary clinic, today!

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