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Is Acquiring a Snake Practical for Me?

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by LikeSnowLikeGold, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Hi, everyone. New here.

    I am pretty interested in getting a snake. I'm in the very beginning stages of my research (I make it a rule to do at least a few months research before getting an animal... It's usually more like a year, though.), but I am just not sure if getting a snake is practical for my situation.

    First of all, I live in a guest house and it's pretty small. I know I have room for my Bearded Dragon's enclosure (he had to be "fostered" at my friend's house for awhile, he's coming back next month), he resides in a 75gal tank. But I don't think I would have room for two enclosures unless I could stack them. Is this possible? I know the heat lamps/UVB lamps have to go somewhere, but I have seen those... I don't know what their name is. Those stand things that a lot of reptile owners have where there are multiple tanks in one? I was thinking something like that could work.

    Secondly, I have other animals. I have two small dogs (under 8lbs), a Goffin's Cockatoo (250g parrot), and a rabbit (about 4-5lbs I'm guessing... He's a pretty big rabbit). Would I need to be concerned about this? Would/could the snake potentially eat the bird/small dogs/rabbit? How fast do they move to get prey? My rabbit and bird are only in their cages when we leave or sleep... Other than that, they are free roam and my bird is NOT clipped, he can and does fly.

    Third, I was wondering how interactive snakes are. Obviously, I haven't gotten too far in my research phase yet, but I'm just wondering... I really like interactive pets. Can/would a snake be able to be out of it's tank and interact with us? Would it enjoy just kind of hanging out around my waist/arm/shoulders/neck as I'm watching TV or cleaning the house? Can you play games or train snakes? And can you/do you take a snake outside places? For instance, could I take a snake with me to the pet store or to the park or on walks, etc? In car rides?

    Fourth, if I were to get a snake, I really would want to adopt one from a rescue... Is this wise? I rescue all my animals and wouldn't want it to be different for a snake unless necessary. :)

    Wow, that was a lot. Sorry! I just like to be thorough in my research and you gotta start somewhere! Thank you to all who read! :)
  2. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Any animal (snakes, beardies, etc) that needs a specialized environment shouldn't be taken out for walks and jaunts. Not only is it dangerous to have them outside of their environments for too long as it can cause health issues but it can be extremely stressful. I you are looking to add an animal that can go places with you reptiles and amphibians aren't a good choice. Instead look at a chinchilla or ferret.
    As far as hanging around the house yes hey would be fine doing that after you get them settled in and tamed.
    Eating your other pets? Not likely. If you keep them in a locked cage they won't be able to get out easily. Next keep them well fed and they won't try to eat your pets as there is no need for it.
    You can stack the cages using any sort of heavy duty shelving unit.
  3. Yeah, I never took my Beardie out places, just in the back yard with me in the summer so he could sunbathe. But I didn't know if it was different for snakes since they don't eat as often... I wasn't sure if they needed heat constantly or just to digest. I saw a lady at an outdoor festival last year with a large snake around her neck, and I wondered if that was safe and/or common for snake owners.

    I wouldn't think that it would eat my pets while in its cage, but what if it were out? As long as it is fed properly, that shouldn't be an issue? Is it okay/good to give them out of cage time or not? Just kinda let it slither around the house as it wants? Or is that not such a good idea?

    Sorry about all the questions lol I'm very, very new to snakes. :p
  4. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    If your gonna have him slithering around you should monitor him and make sure your rabbit and bird are put away where hey can't see the snake. The snake probably won't do anything to them but both rabbits and birds are prey animals that frighten easily. It wouldn't be worth the strain on them just to give your snake roaming time.
    As far as having the snake out and about alot of people do it, and the snake does ok for a little bit but eventually the stress gets to them and they lash out by turning aggressive. It just isn't worth it in my opinion. No sense stressing out the snake just so you can show them off. The snakes neither enjoy it nor need it. They would like roaming around the house or a room for a bit but it should be somewhere they are used to and comfortable in that doesn't have a whole lot of activity form strange and unusual people.
  5. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    I would look into a colubrid, cornsnake, king, milk etc. They won't get big enought to put your other pets at risk(they eat adult mice when they are full grown). Like Thala said locking them up when it's snake handling time is the best way to go.
    I keep my adult cornsnakes in the under the bed rubbermaid bins, thats an idea, they are light enough that you could probley put it on top of your beardies tank. A simple under the tank heater will keep it warm(of course check temps and thremostat if required). No special lighting needed.

    I have a large collection of snakes, (29 I think haha) and my biggest rule is no snakes around the neck. At times I bring my snakes with me out in public and often have people touch and hold them. Any snake can get spooked, grip you neck tighly and then your in trouble. Safey is important to me, having kids and snakes I probley worry too much. Rather have everyone safe right?

    I do not recomened letting a snake loose in your house, they will find the smallest gaps to sneak into. I do let mine on the couch, floor or my bed but never let them out of reach. They can be quick and fit in the most impossible places. When I take mine out to handle them it's usually a 10-20 min max per day, with 2-3 days of no touching when they eat. Holding them soon after they eat can make them reguritate. Party digested mouse is gross and that smell will haunt you lol!

    Petshops can be a place to pick up illnesses and things like mites(check out the petshop, first of course, if they have a dirty store with sick animals avoid it like the plague). I take mine in every now and again. I keep them away from the reptiles in the stores and the rodents(Most of my bites have been from feeding responses, one cornsnake got me as I walked by my mouse tank with her).

    As for training, snakes only have a few things on their mind, food, where to poop, where to sleep/bask/hang out, how do I get out of this thing(they are escape artists) and if you have a boy "Where's all the pretty ladys?".

    Adopt/rescue is a good way to go! I have an SPCA cornsnake and have actually got a few of my adults from online classifieds, people moving, got bored etc. Some times you can luck out and get everything included as well.

    Good luck and the best thing is ask lots of questions :)
  6. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    I also agree with a corn snake, king snake, etc. They require less room as they don't get big which means smaller cage size. I do take mine outside as long as they are under 6 ft. I only do it in warm weather and only at my house, 90+ degrees to sunbathe. I sit and hold them thats it. They do not learn anything but each snake has its own personality. Example one of my small ones will curl around my ponytail and put his head on mine like I'm a huge tree branch. Kinda funny because it never fails.

    The other animals shouldn't be a problem, however, cage locks are required for snakes. No free roaming. Definately secured the cages is recommended.

    I also recommend a shelter. They are cheaper, some like the one I'm a foster for even sells tanks, lights, stands, etc after they disinfectant them that has been given to them. It's usually half the price too.

    Only you can decide whether a snake would be right for you. I think they are great animals. Just think, they don't require walking or vacuuming up shed hair, they eat once a week at the least. Some (adults mainly) eat every 2-3 weeks. Food is cheaper and no yearly vaccinations, flea and tick medicine either.
  7. Thank you so much to everyone!

    Could I get the snake out more than just 20 mins per day? That doesn't seem like much time... Can a snake gradually become accustomed to getting out of the tank more than that?

    I actually went to the pet store to look at snakes today (not going to buy one there, but it's a good place to get used to handling them, I know the owner so he let me) and held a King snake. He was so docile and neat! Just wrapped around my arm and waist and hung out. It really made me want one. Lol.
  8. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    you can but also depends on the temperature in your home and what type of snake you end up getting
  9. NancyA

    NancyA Elite Member

    Something to keep in mind also is the fact the your G2 not only will be frightened but will attack if given the chance. As I'm sure you're aware toos, even the little ones can deliver a very nasty bite. I would be sure to always keep them in seperate rooms. I have a BE2, she is not afraid of any reptiles and is very curious. I always make sure that I have double locks on all snake cages.
  10. I heard that as long as the snake has contact with your skin (i.e. around your neck or something) they can be out for long periods of time because your body heat keeps them warm. Is this a myth?

    Sorry if I seem really uninformed, like I said I'm really new to this and trying not to make any "newbie" mistakes when/if I acquire a snake!
  11. Thank you, Nancy! Yes, I'm very aware of that hehe. My G2 is out of his cage all the time, as are my other animals (dogs, rabbit) and they "get along" but they are NEVER left unsupervised together. My G2 knows "Be nice" means don't bite the dog's nose and my dogs all know the "leave it" command very well and obey pretty well. They have never had actual contact. My G2 is absolutely TERRIFIED of the rabbit and leaves her be because he doesn't like her lol. But yes, if/when I get a snake, I will be double locking the snake/beardie tanks AS WELL as the bird cage! He recently learned how to escape out the feeder doors... :p
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It depends on how big the snake is. a large boa or python would make short work of your pets, while a smaller snake would actually be in danger from them

    You would need to have the other animals including the dogs put up when the snake was out.
    Within bounds the snake can interact with you, but not the other animals. And the interaction will largely consist of either trying to escape from you or just crawling around.

    Depends on the snake. Some of them will tolerate such behavior and some will not.

    No. They are snakes. Their behaviors is pretty simple. Eat, sleep, poop, and mate.

    Can you, possibly. Is it a good idea, not necessarily.
    I see that occassionaly too, even when its way too cold for such an animal to be outside. Most of the time these are people who are looking for the thrill factor. They like to freak people out.
    Which is exceedlingly stupid considering all the laws being passed attempting to keep us from having them.
    And if your snake happens to bite some it is generally seized and destroyed.

    Judging from your questions and the things you seem to expect, I am going to have to say that a snake is not a good match for you and what you want. They are not domestic animals and require that you deal with them on their level, not the other way around.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Total nonsense! Just wearing the snake around your neck will not keep it warm enough. People who make such statements are usually alibying their way out of the fact that they are mistreating the animal.
  14. NancyA

    NancyA Elite Member

    I was a zoo keeper at two different zoos and snakes around the neck was grounds for immediate termination. Not a good habit for you or for the snake. I have never heard of a snake being able to absorb body temperature from a persons neck. I do know of some people who will keep their smaller lizards inside their shirt if they take them out for warmth. Also not a good idea, too much can go wrong in a second to risk it.
  15. NancyA

    NancyA Elite Member

    Please read up on cockatoos and the dangers they are exposed to. Having your bird and dogs in the same room is a recipe for disaster regardless of how well trained they are. I'm a moderator on a cockatoo board and I can't tell you how many birds that have been killed by the dog who would never bite and was well trained. Or the number of pets that needed stitches, surgery or were killed by the cockatoo who would never be aggressive. Goffins are known to be one of the most difficult birds to keep because of it's energy and curiosity.
    I think you need to ask yourself why do you want a snake, for what purpose and is that even feasible. A snake is not going to be a cuddly pet that is going to interact with you. They are beautiful animals that need proper care and respect. By respect I also mean not exposing the snake to stress because you want others to see it, be seen with it or have unrealistic expectations.
  16. Wow... I did not expect to get these sorts of responses from simply asking questions... Like I have said many times here, I am brand new to snakes and trying to do as much research/asking questions as I can so that I can make an informed decision...

    "Please read up on cockatoos and the dangers they are exposed to." I have done (literally) years of research on parrots and did so before I got him. I know how to properly care for him as well as my other animals. As I said, they are never left together unsupervised and have never made physical contact. If the bird is on my person, the dogs know to stay off the couch, bed, whatever. There are thousands of people who keep birds and dogs. As long as you supervise and train the animals, it's not a problem. That is like saying you should never keep a cat in a household where there are children because the cat could easily scratch and harm the child... I understand that you are trying to look out for the safety of the animals and I appreciate that, but I assure you I know how to care for my pets.

    Also... I understand that snakes are very different animals from what I am used to. Like I have stated, I never took my Beardie out places with me because I knew that was not good for him. I don't take my bird out with me because I know it would stress him and there are too many dangers. I was simply asking questions.

    Just like parrots are not domesticated, I understand that snakes are not domesticated animals either.

    Thank you for your insight, though. Really, it is appreciated. I will continue to research. :)
  17. Oh, and by "us" I meant my partner and I, not the other animals. Lol.
  18. NancyA

    NancyA Elite Member

    Sorry but I've heard this exact statement a hundred times. So long as the animals are not together and don't have contact , it's not a problem. Your bird is fully flighted, which I commend you for, but this means that it has full access to your dog. I don't want to side track your original post so will not offer further info on your bird. Look up cockatoo boards, mine will be the first listed and read some more please.
  19. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    The way you explained it makes it sound like your living, sleeping, etc with all your animals free roaming. Please keep in mind with your animals - they are animals.. not humans. I've seen dogs, cats, etc that are "well trained and know better" go crazy and end up killing things.

    Something you need to ask yourself.... You have all these animals. Why? Why do you want to keep a snake? If its anything like because they're cool, and my friends will freak, I want to scare people walking down street, etc etc. Please don't get one you'll just end up regretting it. These animals can live 30 years or more.
  20. That's not the reason I want a snake... I think you guys are assuming too much.

    First of all, no, I stated clearly that my animals are free roam unless we are GONE or SLEEPING. Otherwise, yep, they're all out and about. Why do I have "all these animals"? Because I like animals. I am going to school to become a zoologist. Because I love animals. I love watching them, I love interacting with them, I love training them, I love observing them, I love taking care of them. It's just my "thing." Some people knit. Some people ice skate. I own animals. It's what I do.

    I would never, ever get an animal for stupid reasons like that. I am involved in animal rescue and I know what happens when ignorant people make ignorant decisions. I'm very aware of the fact that animals are living, breathing creatures and not toys. I know that, thanks. I had a hairless rat for years until she passed away from an inoperable tumor. I didn't have her so that I could "show her off" or "freak people out" I had her because I wanted a rat and I loved her personality. After she passed away, I got her cremated.

    My animals mean more to me than people.

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