Navigate to chapter
► Chapter One: Biological Information
► Chapter Two: Gopher Snakes as Pets
► Chapter Three: Purchasing and Selecting a Healthy Breed
► Chapter Four: Habitat Requirements for Gopher Snakes
► Chapter Five: Nutrition and Feeding
► Chapter Six: Maintenance for Gopher Snakes
► Chapter Seven: Dealing and Handling Your Gopher Snakes
► Chapter Eight: Breeding Your Gopher Snakes
► Chapter Nine: Common Diseases and Treatments for Gopher Snake
► Chapter Ten: Care Sheet and Summary
Chapter Two: Gopher Snakes as Pets
Now that you have a basic idea about what Gopher snakes are all about, and have a background knowledge about its popular sub – species, it’s time to get to know Gopher snakes even more in this chapter. This time though, we will delve deeper on what it takes to really become a keeper by learning about its temperament as well as the license or permit needed for keeping them, and also the budget you’ll most probably need to provide all its requirements. These are all important before you purchase a Gopher snake as your pet. You, as a potential keeper need to make sure that your pet snake is safe, secure, and happy.
Gopher snakes only comes second to Ball Pythons and Corn Snakes in terms of having them as pets. However, they are equally ideal even if they are quite large and powerful. One of the biggest hurdles to getting a pet snake is convincing your housemates, especially if you live with your parents. The idea of keeping a snake at home is difficult to sell. To one who is not used to snakes, having one at home can be terrifying, especially if they have a phobia of snakes.
In this section, we will give you some tips on how to persuade anyone in your house to let you have a pet snake and assure them that it is safe and family – friendly.
- Keep Calm and Don’t Rush. You shouldn’t suddenly tell your family that you’ll be getting a pet snake. Learn to wait until you have familiarized them enough with snakes so that they’ll be comfortable enough to entertain the idea of living with one. You should also be able to answer their questions about Gopher snakes like the benefits of taking care of one, how much it will cost, and how big it will get. Be honest so that they will be able to assess the risks and costs of living with a pet snake.
- Get guidebooks, show videos, and tell them about the breeders or reptile owners who keep snakes. Show them how easy it is to maintain and take care of a Gopher snake; tell them about how other owners are having fun keeping snakes as pets so your family or roommate will know that they do not have to be afraid. You can also familiarize them with snakes by showing YouTube videos or going with them to the zoo.
- Share what you know about Gopher snakes and familiarize your family with them. Since you now know some basic facts about the Gopher snake why not tell your family or housemates about them? As previously mentioned it is non – venomous, docile, very friendly, has different colors, and doesn’t get too large and thick like a python. These will come in handy when you ask your housemates or parents if they will be okay with you keeping a Gopher snake.
- Assure them that you are going to be a responsible keeper. As with all pets, you must be able to take care of your Gopher snake. You should have enough time to spend with your snake. Assure your relatives or housemates that you are responsible enough to keep your snake, and that they won’t end up having to feed it for you or fight it off, if it escapes and becomes agitated. This can only be done by showing them, not just telling them, that you are a responsible keeper.
- Never ever force your family or housemates to accept your potential pet snake. If you’ve tried everything you can to convince your parents or roommates but they still don’t want to live with a snake, don’t force them to. Even if Gopher snakes aren’t venomous, people who aren’t prepared to live with one may in some way agitate it. Even worse, it may cause a fight between you and your housemates.
- Wait until you can get your own place or find housemates willing to accommodate your Gopher snake. It’s not easy to convince people to live with a snake, but there is reason for them to be scared. Despite everything, snakes are not used to people, and people are almost taught to fear snakes. So don’t push it – wait until you can get your own place. Before you get your own Gopher snake, you must make sure the people you live with are okay with it, if you can’t find anyone willing to support you either your roommates or family members, it is better not to take care of one at least in the meantime. Otherwise, you might end up having to relocate it – and Gopher snakes aren’t easy to put up for adoption or just give to anyone.
There are certain qualities that make them maybe even better than other snake species particularly its temperament. In this chapter we’ll find out what makes Gopher snakes a good pet choice for you.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, Gopher snakes are generally docile species, but for some of its sub – species they tend to become aggressive when threatened, especially if you caught it in the wild or have not had proper socialization and taming. Gopher snakes are very active during day time and are also very curious of its surrounding which is why you need to provide adequate space for it to freely move around. Some owners love to keep Gopher snakes more than other snake species because it’s very easy to feed. It usually doesn’t turn down any food, or maybe if it does, it’s only a handful.
When it comes to handling them, domesticated Gopher snakes are generally easy to tame, and are reluctant to bite provided that you make them feel secure and you don’t trigger them to defend themselves. Since Gopher snakes can grow quite large, long and heavy, it’s not advisable for families with very young children. But of course, you can still keep one provided that you keep these snakes out of your children’s reach. Nevertheless, for those friends or neighbors that are curious yet courageous on how to handle snakes, a Gopher snake is one of the best snake species to hold because it’s very tame and docile. It’s best to handle such species while they’re still young so that they’ll get used to being touch.
All reptile and snake species for this matter are carnivorous and natural predators. Gopher snakes may have good temperament and docile to people but when it comes to other animals particularly smaller species, their basic animal instinct will apply, so if you don’t want to get your other household pets eaten, make sure that you keep them away from your pet snake or provide a secured enclosure so that your Gopher will not slip away.
Usually Gopher snakes will not be a threat to other pets such as cats or dogs – as long as you don’t let your pet snake loose around the house, otherwise that will be a different story.
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