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Posted by Nicodemus on March 07, 2003 at 10:22:07:
In Reply to: my first snake and mom posted by Snakeman5124 on March 05, 2003 at 18:52:41:
I'm also getting my first snake. I'm obviously not an expert, but I think I could also give some advice.
I know I'm gonna sound like an old gas-bag, but the following advice is the advice I wish I had when I started getting into reptiles.
I don't want to discourage you in any way. Lets face it, some of the things you read in snake books and care sheets are kinda discouraging.
But if you are serious enough and willing to go the extra mile, then I say go for it. You certainly sound responsible enough and willing to take initiative and I applaud you for that.
Some things I have run into:
Do as much research as possible (I think several people below said this already). Find as many care sheets as you can. Read every post on the forums concerning your kind of snake. Buy a book if there is a good one available. Learn everything you can. The more you know the better off you will be.
Get everything as perfect as possible long before getting an animal. I know...its hard being patient. I'm stil eagerly awaiting the day I get my snake, but I've personally spent the last month getting my tank set up and the last couple weeks trying to get a perfect temp gradient.
Getting it right the first time, makes it much easier for you and the snake in the long run.
This is the hard one....
Be prepared to spend extra money. Even a basic tank set up for a "simple" animal can be expensive. It may not seem like much when you start looking...10 bucks here, 10 bucks there...but it adds up. Making a list of what you'll need is good.
And remember all pets need regular checkups at the vet...not just cats and dogs.
Don't buy the first specimen you see. Sometimes you have to postpone your purchase and wait for something better. Sometimes the exact type of snake you want is in the pet store (and it has such a pretty color too!), but it doesn't look to healthy or the store has a bad reputation. Sometimes its not exactly what you want even though you want a snake "right now". Be completely satisfied with your purchase.
Find a reputable breeder and buy a healthy captive bred animal. Vet bills can get VERY expensive when treating sick animals. Trust me. I thought I was buying a CB tortoise, but it turns out he was wild caught.
Find a vet. Do some research and find a local herp vet before you get the animal. Hopefully you'll never have to do an emergency run to the vet, just remember sometimes it happens.
And keep in mind that having the patience when setting up your tank and patience in finding a good breeder with healthy animals rather than running out and getting the animal "now" will make a HUGE difference in the long run.