Having a reptile as a pet can be both a rewarding and fascinating experience

Just like pets of the furry kind, each and every reptile has its own personality and believe it or not will get to know you and form a bond with you as its owner. As a first time reptile owner you may have plenty of questions. We’ve answered the most common questions we get asked right here for you.

How do I get my reptile license?

Applying for a reptile license is relatively easy and is the first step taken when getting ready to purchase you first reptile. It can be done online or by mail and a complete list of the relevant states web sites are located here for you, simply select the state you live in:

Why has my snake become milky and dull in colour?

When a snake becomes milky and dull in colour (OPAQUE) it means that it is nearly time for a shed. You will notice that the snake will appear to return to its normal colour, and at this stage you can expect the snake to shed within the week.

I am a first time reptile owner. What would be the best snake for me?

There are many factors to consider when purchasing your first snake or reptile. Some main points to consider are:

1.  Am I able to give the adequate care and time needed for my snake?
2.  Have I got sufficient room/enclosure size and heating for my snake?
3.  How large will my snake become as an adult?
4.  Have I researched any care sheets on particular snake?
5.  How much money do I wish to spend?

Once you have thought about some of these, we believe it to be very important that u do some research on caring for your snake. There are many comprehensive books and internet articles from some of Australia’s leading keepers and herpetologist that will supply you with quality information.

How often does my snake need to eat, and how big should its food be?

The appropriate feeding of your snake is important to its growth and healthy development. A healthy snake growth rate is dependent on a few key factors such as:

1.  The Breed of snake (eg. a spotted python is not going to have the same growth rate as a carpet python)
2.  The age of your snake
3.  The amount you feed your snake (frequency)
4.  The type of prey item you are feeding and its nutritional benefits
5.  The size of the prey item in relation to your snake
6.  The safe temperatures your snake can access to allow for a healthy digestion of its food.

Different breeds of snakes grow at different rates, so it is important to understand your snake and what size it will reach as an adult. With hatchling snakes over the years we have found that a feeding frequency of around 7-10 day is good for healthy and steady growth. As snakes start to mature the rate at which they are fed should become greater. Once snakes are established and around the 12-18month mark their feeding frequency can be extended to around every 14 days. The prey item choice is an individual preference but in our opinion we have found that thawed rodents are the best and easiest food source to come by due to a few factors e.g. They are readily available, they can be stored frozen, they come in a large variety of sizes and they are a complete nutritional package.

REMEMBER: When feeding any thawed food item you must make sure that the item is completely thawed to avoid any complications. The size of the prey item you are feeding should leave a noticeable bump in the stomach of your snake but not as to look like it just swallowed a beach ball. If you are not sure then start out smaller and increase the size each feed until the desired food size is found. The digestion period is dependent on the safe temperatures your snake is exposed to and is generally around 5-7 days between feeding to defecating.

Under feeding you snake can lead to stunted growth, malnourishment and severe health problems. But at the other end of the scale over feeding can be just as detrimental to the health of you beloved pet. Over feeding can lead to your snake literally out growing its own head and just like humans and other animals snakes can become obese which puts a huge strain on their internal organs and will ultimately shorten the life of your pet!

There is no exact or correct feeding time frame that must be followed and with experience and time you will find what work for you but above all what is best for the health of your snake. There are a couple of simple ways to keep an eye on the growth of your snake. First is to weigh and also measure every couple of months and if you notice that your snake is becoming heavier but not longer then you may need to re-assess your feeding and also when holding your snake it should feel muscular and strong not flabby and non-energetic.

Is there a basic guideline for what size enclosure I should buy my reptile? [ – ]

There is no general rule for what size closure your new or existing reptile will require to thrive in, as there are so many factors that will affect this choice. Some major factors that will impact your purchase decision are:

• what state you live in and it’s regulations
• the breed of reptile you require the enclosure for
• your reptile’s age and size, and
• your enclosure’s environment (indoor or outdoor).

We would love to help you with a recommendation for your next enclosure purchase, contact us in the below field with some detailed information on your reptile and we’ll do our best to contact you within 24 hours by phone or email with advice on what we think will suit both you and your reptile best.