Snakes are limbless, cold-blooded and scaly reptiles belonging to the order of Squamata. Keeping snakes as pets can be easy only if their requirements are understood deeply. Their needs are different from other reptiles. Owners must also understand that some of them grow very large and can become dangerous with the passage of time. There are different types of snakes available for pet owners with different preferences. Every snake has a different diet and need different environment to live in. Snakes, which are kept as exotic pets, range from common garter snake to pythons. Snakes sometimes also cross forty years of age; so potential owners should be aware of this fact and be ready to make lifetime commitment before thinking of keeping snakes as pets.
Snakes can easily escape from their owner’s custody. They always look out for enclosures, which will let them out of the captivity. The owners must be extremely careful in this regard and also should build an escape proof enclosure. Snakes are carnivores. They do not eat vegetation at all. The favorite food for snakes is rats and mice. Bigger snakes are fed with squirrel, rabbits and other small mammals. Some species even eat insects and fishes. As the snakes eat small animals, it is advisable to kill the prey before it is given to the snake. If this job is left to the snake, it could be risk to its life.
Usually snakes that have been bred in captivity are an excellent choice as pets. Wild snakes carry lots of diseases and parasites with them, get really stressed out with the transportation and are very difficult to be tamed. King snakes, ball pythons and corn snakes are popular choices. Their diet and environmental needs aren’t as complicated as other species of snakes. They are also small in size, but the king snakes can sometimes grow up to seven feet. Ball pythons have eating issues. They like to feed on a live prey instead of pre-killed prey. Also, they sometimes stop eating food for months together. Ball pythons that have been bred in captivity have lesser eating issues. And before buying a ball snake, the owner can test whether the reptile eats a dead prey readily or not.
The more challenging snakes that are kept, as pets are red-tailed boas, water snakes, Burmese pythons, and any other pythons and wild snakes. The most dangerous of them are Burmese pythons. They can completely swallow a human being. So it is recommended to have people around while feeding the reptile. Burmese pythons are very strong snakes. They grow more than twenty feet and weigh more than two hundred pounds. Even red-tailed boas grow up to ten feet and weigh more than fifty ponds. They are also difficult to be managed by one person. All these species demand right temperatures and humidity in their environment.
Reticulated pythons and anacondas are extremely dangerous exotic pets. Some strictly recommend against keeping them as pets. Another variety that is fatal is venomous snakes. They not only are a threat to the owner and his family members but also to people in the neighborhood, if it escapes.
Snakes are also bred for their skin, which is used to make belts, bags, shoes, etc. They are also eaten as a delicacy in many countries and even in Western America. In many of the Asian countries, the snake’s meat and blood is consumed for medicinal purposes.