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Traveling with Snakes

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by TitoAndKatt, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    So we head out in 5 weeks. I plan on putting the slithers in Rubbermaid bins for the trip. I was planning on using heat packs to keep them warm, but when I was chatting with the vet she mentioned that they might actually be less stressed if we don't use heat packs and just let them get chilly so they slow down. I mean it's summer so it's not like the car will be that cold, but it won't be the 80-95 they are used to/need.
    What do you guys think? Heat or no heat?
    Also, I am wondering about water. We will of course be packing them somewhere in the car with us, in a spot that is as stable and secure as possible, but we will be driving through mountains on no always the best roads. It will be uphill downhill, so a full water dish isn't an option unless we want them swimming the whole time. I'm not sure what the best solution to this is. Should we give them deep water dishes with a small amount of water in them that is less likely to spill? (We can Velcro the dishes so they won't slide too much). Should we not give them any water dish, but put a bowl in for short periods when we stop at rest stops? Or should we just let them be dry for the few days it takes us to make the trip? The latter makes me uncomfortable, but if they are cold and sleeping then maybe it would be okay? I'm leaning heavily towards deep dishes with shallow water that are velcroed down. I thought maybe someone here could weigh in or might have a better idea though.
    Any other advice, tips, thoughts, etc are welcome and appreciated! :)
  2. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I moved a lot with my snakes and it always seemed to be summer when that took place... Anyhow :p

    I drilled holes in the Tupperware containers and placed the snakes in pillow cases, one pillow cased snake per TW. This served two issues, one they where secured in the pillowcase so no worries about a lid poking up. Also they couldn't see anything so no movements distractions for them. When ever we stopped for the night I would place a water bowl in the pillowcase, emptying it in the morning when we set out again.

    As long as it didn't get to hot I didn't worry about heating them during the move. I stopped feeding two weeks before the move so that I was sure to have them cleaned out for the trip. I had extra pillow cases just incase they messed one up.
  3. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Hmmm well we can keep the tubs closed no problem. I have had to put Shiiva in a pillowcase before for stuck shed and she hated it - it really stressed her out. I think I'll avoid that for her. Might give it a shot for the corn snake though. He is really active and wiggly. I don't want him to go flying out of the tub whenever we open it.
  4. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Oh another note - we will not be stopping for the night. We will be taking turns driving and plan to drive straight through.
  5. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    I think your best bet would be like your vet said. Let the snakes cool off a bit so they slow down. They'll be fine without water for a day. I would put them in fairly small containers, that way you dont have to worry about them sliding around.

    Keep in mind that these are extremely hardly animals. A little bit of moving round wont hurt
  6. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    A day sure, but what about a week? They need water. We are driving from Alaska to Washington, via the longer of the 3 highways. We are only making 2 stops on the way, but it will be a long trip nonetheless.
    With that in mind, do you still think it would be better to not heat them? :/
  7. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I've driven that road 4 times now, Plan for contingency stops... Around Muncho lake(?) it gets LONG between ANYTHING, NEVER pass a gas station depending on mileage... in a '65 Chevy one ton truck with a 292 straight 6 engine and 3600 lbs in the back... my 20 gal fuel tank didn't last long. I had 4ea 5 gallon fuel cans on the side steps and emptied them all getting to and leaving from Muncho lake. First time I drove the AlCan was in '92 and they had yet to fix most of the road. Some days I was only able to get 35 miles in 10 hours.... Thought I'd loose my teeth from the vibrations... It's a much better road now as they fixed most of it for the 50 year anny. All I'm saying is to prep for twice the amount of time you think it will take...

    If your leaving in summer and you cab in not bouncing the thermostat up and down, they should be fine. If your only making 2 stops, water at that time.
  8. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Yes we will be making many restroom and fuel stops, but only 2 rest stops. We'll be taking turns driving and even then I expect it to take longer than I expect - hence counting for a week including the 2 rest stops. One in Calgary to visit with a friend and one in Idaho to visit family.
    Which route did you take when you went? The road we are taking isn't THE "ALCAN," it's the longer of the 3 ALCAN routes that enters the US through Idaho. I've made the drive multiple times before, but this will be my first time behind the wheel for the drive. We're driving an '08 Dodge Nitro, which gets decent mileage BUT we are also towing a small trailer. The gas issue makes me reeeeally nervous. I definitely plan on having some spare gas, but it still makes me anxious.
  9. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    3 of my trips where the western route from Washington coast to Delta Junction route 3?... Been a few years... The crazy long one was when I left Georgia up through Saskatchewan and across till I hit Alcan #1? Main drag from washing ton to again Delta Junction and down to Anchorage... that was an insanely long and frustration trip. 25' Uhaul... Went to pick it up and it had a steady stream of oil pouring out of the engine. 2 days later we pick it up again... 3 days to load the bugger... We get to Minnesota and the transmission falls off, that was fun... Uhaul asks if we can drive it down the road to the repair shop... almost died on that one... Even the mechanic they sent out a few hours later called them up and chewed them out... In Alberta the exhaust manifold falls off... At this point it has been a month on the road with awaiting repairs and driving smack into a blizzard... Seems that Canadian Uhaul is TOTALLY separate ideals, the gvt requires them to hold up their standards about 100 fold of what the US Uhaul. These guys cover the entire truck, fixing and replacing EVERYTHING not up to Canada's vehicle code, even the light covers :) That truck was running nice for the rest of the trip...

    I will NEVER touch another Uhaul product ever again.....................
  10. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Wow! Sounds like quite the adventure... O_O I hope that our trip is MUCH less eventful. We are renting a small 4x8 cargo trailer from UHaul that we're towing with our car, so hopefully we don't run into any problems.

    This is our planned route...

    You can enter it into Google Maps and see the route details. We will be stopping for about a day in Calgary to visit with a friend and get some food that isn't from a bag or a can. Then we will be stopping in Sagle, ID to visit family. We may be in Sagle for a few days. If so, I want to set the snakes up in their cages in my grandparent's garage. Would that be better than keeping them cool in the travel tubs, or would it be better to let them stay cool the entire time? Barring any disasters *knock on wood* the entire trip should only take us a week. We only have the UHaul reserved for 8 days and I don't think we can afford any overdue fees. lol So how long we stay in ID will largely depend on how quickly we get through Canada. I'm not planning on rushing, I want to go as easy on our car as possible - esp since we'll be towing and have critters on board.

    Thanks everyone for the input so far, I really appreciate it! :) This is a really big move for us. I.m an Army brat and my entire life consisted of moving almost yearly, usually with dogs and small children in tow. rofl So much of this is just routine for me. BUT this is my first time Driving the AlCan being behind the wheel (though I've sat in the passenger seat countless time, so I'm well aware how looooong and sketchy the drive is ugh) and this is my first time doing a big move with the snakes! I like to have everything planned for ahead of time as much as possible, especially where the animals are concerned. At some point I want to map out all of the vets along the way too just in case (goodness forbid we need to stop there).
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    To be honest I would just give them water up until the day before the move and then let it go. They don't have to have water every day. A week without it will not hurt a well hydrated snake.
    And I would seriously advise bagging every snake! All it takes is one little mishap and you have a snake loose in the car. And I can tell you that there are places in that car you will NOT be able to get to them.
    Always assume that things are going to happen. Because they usually will.
    As to keeping them cool, that is relative to exactly how cool.
  12. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Poop, Shiiva won't be happy. I really worry about her rubbing her nose that just healed finally bc she goes nuts trying to escape the bag. She's so mellow though that in a container she'll just hang out... Still bag her too? Esp if we aren't giving water I don't plan to do much opening of the bins until we get to our destination, to try and keep them as quiet and low stress as possible....
    Oh and the bins will have Velcro straps keeping them securely closed if that makes any difference.

    Cool means whatever air temp is in the car, so it won't be that cool. Maybe 60-70's. Cold for them but not absurdly so.

    No water for a week? You are absolutely sure that won't hurt them? I know reptiles can go a lot longer than us humans but still, a week is so long. :/
  13. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Your taking a much wider route than I did. I would leave them in their bags and tubs the entire time, less stress that way.

    I'd also be ok with a gap in watering if they are well hydrated before leaving. Remember when it cools down their systems also slow down. So as long as they don't get hot and cold through out the trip they should be just fine.

    As for nose rubbing, you can get softer pillow cases that would be less likely bother them. Skittish snakes do calm down once they feel secure, so I dark case in a tub should be soothing and cause less issues. Remember up is out so if you have trouble bagging that one snake, turn the bag upsidedown and feed the snake up into the bag, never fails LOL
  14. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    I have one travel cage done, one to go. Drilling holes and making Velcro straps to make sure they are extra secure. :) I'll post pics when I am done with both.
  15. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Thanks for the tip on bagging btw - I never would have thought of that!
  16. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Just wanted to post a quick update. The trip went well for the most part, though we had 2 flat tires on the way. The critters all did great though. After talking to 2 different vets I decided to try and keep the snakes warm for the drive bc with 2 females (oh yeah btw Pluto was probed and He is a SHE lol Surprise!) I was worried about egg binding if they went into burmation. Unfortunately, my heat packs didn't work! It must have been a bad batch bc not one of them got hot, and every single gas station we stopped at said their hot-hands were in storage for the summer. So they ended up being cold for a few days. :( They didn't have water on the drive, but when we stopped in ID for a few days we gave them some. We left them alone for a few weeks after getting settled in, but they both seem to have adjusted well. They also both got their cage upgrades finally and are loving all of the extra space! :)

    I tried to post pics of their travel bins and new cages but it says invalid file?? I'm using the upload pic from URL function to copy pics from my FB photo album which is what I have always done... :(

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