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Keeping snakes as pets is an interesting and rewarding hobby. However, the first thing you should realise about this pastime is it requires a fair amount of dedication, and so you should only consider it if you seriously believe you meet this requirement. You must also consider the other people you live with; they might not be as keen on the Giant Python as you first thought.

These points aside, the main consideration is choosing which of the many types of snakes you wish to keep. If you wish to keep one of the larger snakes as a pet you must decide if you have enough room to build a suitably sized terrarium. A terrarium is a container in which living plants and creatures are kept in an environment that replicates the natural environment, and can be built in several different styles to suit requirements.

It is best to construct the terrarium yourself to modify according to the dimensions of your house, the needs of your snake species and of course your financial status. One built fully out of glass is suitable for the varieties of smaller snakes, and those that require high humidity, because the glass will not be affected by damp problems. If your pets only require low to medium humidity then a glass fronted wooden terrarium would be suitable. Both of these sorts of terrarium can be adapted in terms of height, and should be made taller if you are considering keeping snakes that naturally dwell in trees.

The walls of a terrarium can be built out of brick, but this should only be done on a solid concrete base. This is a more permanent adjustment to a part of the house, so it is essential to draw plans first. Consulting with an expert is also a good idea. If you are serious about keeping large snakes as pets, it may be necessary to convert a whole room into a terrarium. Make sure all escape routes are sealed off though, and cover the windows with wire mesh, so ventilation can be provided by opening the window without letting the snake escape.

The plants and natural elements in each terrarium should mirror the natural elements of the different types of snakes. Essential features though include a hide box, a small box that the snake has narrow access to where it can hide and sleep. Another essential is lighting to keep the snake warm, which can be bought from specialist pet shops. As a general guide the temperature range should be between 70f and 77f.

Snakes will eat anything that moves that they can overpower. Even a pig is not able to daunt the appetite of some of the giant snakes. Use your common sense, and do not put prey in that is too large for a smaller snake as it might cause injury. Oh, and a final word of warning – don’t be tempted to use the pets of family or neighbours as a cheap source of food for your snakes!