Exotic Pet Guide: What Do Pet Snakes Need To Survive?

With the right supervision and proper care, snakes can make wonderful and rewarding pets. For a pet snake to survive and live longer, you need to be there to cater to its unique needs. 

Some of the best snakes for beginners that you might consider include ball python, corn snakes, and milk snakes. However, it’s very important to note that pet snakes require intensive care and attention. 

For this reason, before you decide on a particular species, you need to ensure that it will fit your lifestyle in the best way possible. After selecting the best pet snake for you, you need to learn how to take care of it to survive healthily and without posing a danger to anyone. 

The following are some tips on what pets snakes need to survive:

1. Enclosure 

One of the most important things to consider when keeping a snake as a pet is to have the right habitat and enclosure for it. You have to ensure that the enclosure you get fits your snake’s size and needs perfectly. 

You have to bear in mind that snakes grow with time, and after a while, they might require an even bigger enclosure. Also, if you’re planning on having more than one pet snake, you’re better off having them in different enclosures. 

One pet snake per habitat is the best decision. Ensure that the top of the enclosure is fitted with a screened lid for ventilation purposes. 

2. Bedding/Substrate 

After you have the right enclosure in place, your pet snake will need bedding to help keep them clean and something they can burrow into. For their bedding, also known as substrate, you can use paper towels or some wood shavings. 

However, it’s very important that you ensure that these wood shavings are aspen or cypress shavings because they’re odorless, and your pet snake can tunnel through them easily. Check out mysnakepet.com for more information about choosing the right bedding for your pet snake.

It’s also very important to ensure that you get rid of any droppings and change these beddings regularly. 

3. Heating and lighting 

Climate control is very important when it comes to keeping a snake as a pet. This is because, with the wrong temperature, your pet snake could end up suffering from digestion problems

Since your pet snake is a reptile, you need to ensure that they have access to a heating source to regulate their body temperature. For heating purposes, you can either use under-tank heating pads or overhead heat lamps. 

However, under-tank heating pads are the preferred choice for most pet snake owners. This is because the overhead heat lamps can end up stressing your pet snake and making it irritable. 

Ensure that you only warm one side of the enclosure to allow your pet snake to choose between microclimates. It’s even important to have a thermometer on either side of the enclosure in order to monitor the temperature accordingly. 

For the sake of lighting, ensure that your pet snake’s enclosure gets at least 10 hours of daylight every day. 

4. Humidity 

Another factor that ensures your pet snake survives well is maintaining the right amount of moisture inside its enclosure. For this reason, you need to ensure that a hygrometer is fitted to measure humidity in their habitat. 

It might interest you to know that low humidity levels inside your pet snake enclosure can make it hard for your pet snake to slither easily, especially during its shedding period. 

For this reason, it’s important to have water dishes and moistened moss inside their habitat. You can also spray their enclosure with a mister from time to time. 

5. Hiding spot 

It’s also very important to add some hiding spots, such as a cave or shelter inside your pet snake’s enclosure. Ensure you place these hiding spots in both the cold and warm side of the enclosure so that your pet snake can switch sides whenever they need to. 

6. Food 

It’s very important to ensure that you monitor everything your pet snake is eating. For this reason, keep their enclosure sealed at all times. 

This is because if your pet snake escapes from the enclosure, they could end up eating something that doesn’t do well with their digestive system. 

It’s better to avoid giving your pet snake live bait like mice and rats because they could bring infections or cause injuries. The best food for your pet snake is frozen and thawed bait. 


Pet snakes usually require intensive care and attention. For this reason, if you’re not sure you’ll provide that, it’s better you settle for a less demanding reptile. Also, it’s very important to have your pet snake examined at least once every year to check for parasites and monitor its health. 

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