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The Gopher Snake As a Pet – The Pros & Cons

Find out if a Gopher snake will or won’t make a good pet

If you are a beginner snake collector or are considering purchasing a snake for a pet, you should consider a gopher snake. They are always on the list of the best snakes for a beginner. The reasons are that they are very docile, easy to handle, do not need a special housing and are easy feeders. They probably have the best temperament of all beginner companion snakes. A hand-raised gopher snake will be very docile and very predictable outside its enclosures. They will also seem to enjoy interacting with you. They normally have no health problems and rarely get sick. Although you can’t teach them tricks or walk them around, they make great pets because you can still interact with them by manipulating them.

You will find that your pet gopher snake is not dangerous to you or to others. Even if there are times when they will be afraid and can hit or bite. It does not matter because they are not poisonous and their teeth are relatively small. They will notify you when they plan to strike so that you can stop doing anything that makes them uncomfortable. Fear of biting is much worse than biting. If they think your hand is food, they can bite it and not let go. This is easy to handle with a little grain (without rubbing) alcohol in the mouth while holding it down so that the alcohol does not rise up the nose or flood the mouth.

If you plan to show your pet snake to other people, this pet snake is probably the best for this as they are very docile. Take it easy by introducing it to strangers. It won’t take long for it to be used to being manipulated by others and you can give people their first chance to handle a living snake.

Your pet gopher snake is unlikely to be a problem feeder because most of them are not. They will easily eat frozen / thawed mice, which makes feeding very easy. Another advantage is that they only need to be fed about every 10 days. Do not handle food with your bare hands as the smell could make your pet believe that your hand is food.

The gopher snake enclosure doesn’t have to be special. The main requirement is that it is at least two-thirds the length of the snake to be able to stretch. Heat one side of the enclosure to 75 to 85 degrees leaving the other side cool. Provide most materials, except cedar shavings for the substrate. The indoor / outdoor carpet works well and is easy to clean. You must have a place to hide your pet. It can be as simple as a box with a hole in it. Make sure the top of the enclosure is securely attached so that your pet does not escape. A escaped snake can be very irritating to some family members.

As with most animals, there are certain disadvantages or disadvantages to having a gopher snake as a pet. They defecate from time to time, so you will need to clean the case, which is not that bad. The biggest downside is probably that when provoked, scared or stressed, they often release musk with their poo that really stinks and the smell is hard to get rid of. One stop for some people is that snakes usually eat mice or rats. While some snakes need it, your pet gopher snake will be happy with frozen thaws.

They may try to hit or bite you if you have not handled them for a while. This is easy to overcome by handling them frequently. After all, isn’t that what a pet is for? The more you interact with your animal, the more you will appreciate it and it will keep it friendly and even temperate.

As you can see, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of having a gopher snake as a pet. For the best results with your pet snake, you should get one that was born in captivity. Only attempt to capture and keep a pet if you are an experienced snake collector. Due to their uniform temperament, the absence of feeding problems, the absence of special pens and the ease of handling, the gopher snake will make an excellent pet for the beginner as well as the experienced collector.

by Don A Levy

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