Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 11 Vol 7 November 2011
Top Three Pet Snakes for Beginners In this Issue

If you are considering becoming a snake owner and have not previously owned one, you need to do your research before making a purchase. You also need to check on your state’s reptile laws. Snakes can make wonderful pets, but you have to know how to care for them properly. Learn about each breed and be sure what that particular breed needs to thrive, you can provide. Three snakes recommended for beginners are the Corn Snake, King Snake and the Ball Python.

The Corn Snake

The Corn snake is a great snake for beginners. A Corn snake, fully grown can grow between 3-5 feet. They come in many different patterns and colors. The Corn snake can live up to ten years. The Corn snake is a very gentle snake that can be tamed very easily.

They will require a large enough habitat with a very secure lid. Snakes can be very determined to escape their habitat if it is not secure. The habitat must provide a Thermal Gradient. The snake needs to be able to control its temperature, so heating rocks, pads or lights are necessary, as well as providing a cooler area in the habitat.

Snakes are Carnivores (meat eaters). You will need to feed your pet snake rodents. Pre-killed rodents are suggested to protect the snake from potential injury. Be sure to do your research on feeding your snake.

The Ball Python

The Ball Python is another great choice for beginners. They grow to about 4 feet when fully grown. The ball Python is usually very docile. A Ball Python lifespan is between 20 and 30 years.

The habitat should fit their size and be very secure. Thermal Gradient must be provided so the snake can control its body temperature.

Ball Pythons are notorious for refusing food. They are Carnivores and will need to be fed rodents. If they refuse to eat, make sure that their habitat is clean and the temperatures are right. Sometimes, snakes will refuse to eat if there are problems with the habitat.

The King Snake

The King snake is another good choice for beginners. The King, when fully grown will grow between 3-5 feet. Once they have settled in, they become very calm and enjoy being handled.

The habitat should be large enough to comfortably house the snake, providing a Thermal Gradient. The King snake is a Carnivore and will eat rodents. A water dish should be provided for drinking as well as soaking.

Owning a snake can be a very rewarding experience. As a beginner, make sure you do as much research as possible and you purchase your new snake from a reputable breeder. Snakes can live for a long period of time, and will require a good amount of your attention and care, so be sure you are ready to make a commitment before you purchase your snake.

  1. Top Three Pet Snakes for Beginners
  2. 3 Common Health Problems with Pet Reptiles
  3. Get Paid to write an article
  4. Tell Us What You Think
  5. Feedback and Updating

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ReptiTemp 500R

3 Common Health Problems with Pet Reptiles

Now that you have a pet reptile, you want to keep it healthy. There are a couple of health problems to watch for in your pet reptile.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic Bone Disease is one of the most common illnesses found in reptiles. There are things you can do to prevent your pet from getting this disease. If the reptile doesn’t get enough UVB light, it will develop a lack of calcium and phosphorous and a vitamin D deficiency.

The Vitamin D is important for the reptile because it is important for their bone or shell growth. When the calcium level drops in the reptile, its body takes the calcium need from the bones. This deficiency causes Metabolic Bone Disease. This can be prevented by setting up the correct lighting in your reptile’s habitat. Without the proper lighting, they may quickly develop Metabolic Bone Disease and could die.

Some of the symptoms to watch for is; lack of energy, weight loss, paralysis or soft/broken bones. Seek medical attention immediately. Improper diet can also lead to Metabolic Bone Disease as well.

Respiratory Infections

If the humidity is not right in your reptile’s habitat, they can develop respiratory infections. Proper humidity is required in helping to maintain a healthy environment for your reptile. A humidity gage will help to ensure that the humidity is healthy for the reptile.

The symptoms to watch for are; difficulty breathing and mucus discharge from the nose. Seek medical attention immediately.


Infections are very common illnesses in reptiles. Infections can come from many sources. Dirty habitats can be a source for infection, as well as their food and water dishes. Snakes for example, will soak in their water, if the water hasn’t been changed, the snake can develop skin infections. Live food can also be a source that causes infection. Pre-killed food is recommended, and the proper thawing techniques should be followed to avoid illness.

It is very important before handling your pet reptile that you wash your hands with warm soapy water, and then wash again after handling them. This will help prevent the passing of germs between the reptile and you. Should signs of infection such as fever, lack of energy, swollen eyes or the appearance of skin irritations appear, seek medical attention immediately.

If you do proper research on the care of your reptile, and keep its habitat clean and safe, you should do well with your pet reptile. Take all of the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your pet reptile.

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In the News


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Super Gecko

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