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Before meeting my Sess, Sal’s Ball Python, I had a lot of misconceptions about snakes. I think a lot of us do. It’s natural. Snakes have been depicted in so many ways in literature and films. They totally get a bad rap. Today I’m going to tell you a few things misconceptions that Sess and Sal have cleared up for me over the last few years.
Things You May Not Know About Snakes
No slime, seriously– Snakes in general, and pythons in particular, are absolutely not slimy. At all. They’re more of a dry, scaly, yet also smooth feeling. Like, you can feel the scales, but they’re not alligator-dry.
They’re not all fanged– Pythons don’t really have fangs. They have little needle-like teeth, but honestly, I’ve never even seen Sess’. Only poisonous snakes have fangs, as far as I know. They’re not exactly good pets. So you average pet snake? No fangs.
They come in so many colors and varieties! I had no idea there were so many different types of constrictors alone, let alone so many types of pythons. Carpet pythons, ball pythons, albinos, even incredibly beautiful green tree pythons! Alas, this pretty guy is a bit more fragile than his counterparts, so he’s probably better left in nature.
Stubborn? Oh yes!- Oh boy, are these snakes stubborn! When Sess wants to go somewhere (like around the chair spindles), she tries every trick in the book to get there. That’s why it’s super important to pay attention when you’re holding them.
They have personalities- Just like any living creature, every snake has a personality all its own. Sess is sweet and docile, but can be a bit sassy at times.
Oh the places they can go!- Sal is super cautious with Sess, making sure her home is locked securely. Before he had her, she belonged to his brother. She got loose and was lost for a long time. I believe they found her around the radiator.
All rats are not equal- You’d think a rat is a rat is a rat when it comes to feeding time, but that’s not true. Sess likes live white rats only. She will not eat any other colors. Some snakes only eat freeze-dried rats, some prefer fresh yet knocked out. Check out What Do Pet Snakes Eat for more info.
Snakes have needs too- I was surprised at the number of people we talked to who thought you could just pop a snake in a glass tank with a little water bowl and a heat lamp, then call it a day. When we went to a big reptile show, most of the snakes were housed like this, but it was just for transporting and showing them off. At home, you’ll need more. Check out my post on what you need to know before bringing home a snake for more details, then head to the Reptile Purchase Center, a partnership between petMD and PetSmart.
One major thing I learned about snakes, though, is that they need care too. While they don’t need rabies vaccines or quite as many vet visits as, say, your dog, they can get hurt. It’s super important to find someone who knows what they’re doing. Not all vets are trained in reptile care. In our area, we only have one. That’s why I’m really happy about petMD’s Reptile Care center. I feel like we finally have a great resource for all our questions: both big and small. No more guessing until we can get into the vet.
If you think a snake may be the right pet for you, you’ll find loads of great resources at petMD. Not so sure? I love their Choosing a Reptile infographic. It really helps you choose the right pet for your family. I’d like to get a bearded dragon someday. I’ve been in love with them since I saw this sweet guy at the reptile show years ago:
Want to learn more about snakes? I love this video on 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Snakes (with different things than I mentioned, I even learned a few things!). Follow petMD on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all their exciting news.
Did you learn anything new about snakes from me? Would you consider getting one as a pet? Do you already have one? Would you love to get another type of reptile? Tell me in the comments!