Are you now thinking of getting a Corn Snake as a pet? Fantastic! Still quite weird, but unique! After knowing what they are, their characteristics, and how to deal with them, it’s time to give you practical tips on what you need to know before buying one.
In this chapter, you will get a whole lot of information on its pros and cons, its average associated costs as well as the legal licensing you need so that you will be well on your way to becoming a legitimate Corn Snake pet owner – should you decide to be one! Let’s do this!
First of all, you should ask yourself exactly why you want to keep a Corn Snake as a pet. Corn Snake has an average lifespan of 20 – 25 years! It’s like raising a child or getting married. But if you are only considering getting a Corn Snake as a status symbol, then you should rethink your choices. As much as Corn Snake would make a wonderful addition to your household with their natural elegance and exquisiteness, their care would also demand much of your commitment. The responsibilities you would have to carry include feeding them, cleaning after them, seeing to their maintenance, and understanding their behavior.
Unlike venomous snakes, you do not need a license to keep a corn snake. In fact, the corn snake is one of the most docile snake species!
As a reminder there is no federal law governing private possession or ownership of exotic animals in the United States. You need to pay attention not on a national level but on a local level, with your local and state laws and ordinances, to see what is permitted and what is not.
The regulations vary from one city/state to another, as some outright ban or prohibit exotic or dangerous animals, while others simply call for permits that set down requirements such as micro-chipping, an established relationship with a veterinarian, and even insurance. Some may also ask you to present proof that you are acquiring the animal from a recognized breeder and that the snake was bred in captivity (as opposed to being captured from the wild), so acquiring a license from the Office of Environment and Heritage can really help.
It is also a good idea to check the rules about keeping pet snakes based on where you are – city, town, neighborhood, and even in the apartment building, if applicable. All these are reasonable precautions to take simply for the fact that should you ever be found to be keeping such a pet illegally, the discovery could result in consequences such as fines or, worse, the confiscation of your pet. You might not even be able to find a veterinarian willing to give your Corn Snake medical care if you are found to be keeping it without the correct permits. (Yeah, human can be quite cruel too, but it’s protocol.)
Permits may also be necessary for importing, exporting, or traveling with an exotic or a naturally dangerous animal, especially in United Kingdom or Asia.
You also need to be constantly updated on information regarding your local state laws at least once every six months. Regulations can change, and you don’t want to find yourself suddenly in violation of a law which was amended after you thought you had abided by it a year ago.
If all this seems complicated and really overwhelming, you have to remind yourself that you are bringing a potentially dangerous animal into a human community. One that can definitely eat anyone alive! …As such, restrictions and limitations should be expected so that the safety of anyone involved will be ensured.
It must also be noted as a point of fact that the illegal trade in exotic animals has been an immensely profitable business for backyard breeders and illegal importers. If you care about these animals at all, you shouldn’t support activities which promote their unlawful capture from the wild or the breeding and transport of these animals in inappropriate and pitiless conditions.
As mentioned earlier, like most snakes, Corn Snakes are still carnivorous and may be agitated when handled carelessly. One must know how to approach their pet and respect their corn snake’s space. We have to keep in mind that our scaly friend has moods. Just like any living creature, they may turn hostile with enough provocation. It is just like having a roommate – be careful not to do anything to make them feel threatened, and remember to give them some space. Respect them, and all will be well.
In this chapter, we will discuss how to build and maintain a home for your corn snake, what to feed your snake, behaviors to watch out for, and the positive and negative things about welcoming a corn snake into your home.