No Thanks
Let

Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Your First Pet Snake

Whether you love or fear them, a number of people are discovering that snakes make great pets.
Martha Stewart Living Television

Our reactions to snakes have never been disinterested: Some of us may look at them with trepidation, others are fascinated. But as Marc Morrone points out, and as an increasing number of people are discovering, snakes make great pets. 

Marc says before you buy a snake, it's important to do your homework. A little research on the Internet or at the library can provide a good list of candidates. Marc suggests avoiding large snakes, such as Burmese pythons, because they grow to unwieldy sizes.

Snakes need a glass tank that is at least as long as half the snake's length. The tank should have a secure screen cover, full spectrum lighting, and a heater set between 80 to 85 degrees. Line the floor with orchid bark or a piece of plain butcher paper, and place a ceramic or stainless-steel dish large enough for bathing inside the tank. Try to keep the bowl as clean as possible since it will serve not only as a pool, but as drinking water. The tank will also need a piece of sterilized, rough driftwood, which can help the snake shed its skin.

Snakes need to eat whole animals, but they shouldn't be fed wild animals you capture yourself. Frozen mice are available in pet stores and provide a more humane alternative. When handling a snake, support its whole weight and never to let it dangle. Marc stresses the importance of finding a vet who specializes in snakes; such experts can be difficult to find, so start your search before you even bring a snake home.

Resources
Learn more about snakes at kingsnake.com.