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Have you decided you’re not a dog or cat person? Considering an exotic pet? Many people choose reptiles over four-legged canines and felines.

Here is some interesting information about snakes and tortoises that you may want to consider when choosing your next pet. There are many kinds of snakes, and some are difficult to keep in captivity.

To stay healthy, a snake should be able to stretch out two-thirds of its body length inside its own cage, so it’s a good idea not to pick a snake that will not exceed six feet in length.

They are also very adept escape artists, so make sure you have an escape-proof tank, and keep in mind snakes are persistent about finding and squeezing through any small gaps.

It’s best to select a type of snake that generally has a good temperament, meaning they are reluctant to bite and easy to tame.

Here’s a fact about snakes that’s not easy for the squeamish; if you’re going to keep snakes as pets, you are going to be handling rodents. There’s no way around it. But it will make your life easier if your pet snake readily eats frozen / thawed rodents, because you can buy them in bulk that way.

So, which type of snake meets these criteria? The Corn snake, the King snake, the Gopher snake, and the Ball Python are all good choices.

Best to leave King Cobra to the professional snake handler and the Monocled Cobra to the snake charmer! “Their venom is not the most potent among venomous snakes, but the amount of neurotoxin they can deliver in a single bite—up to two-tenths of a fluid ounce (seven milliliters)—is enough to kill 20 people, or even an elephant,” according to National Geographic.

Snakes are obviously not the right pets for everyone, but if they’re the right pet for you, you’ll be making a long term commitment – many can be expected to live longer than 20 years.

If you prefer a reptile with legs, you may want to pick a tortoise as a pet. First, it’s important to note the difference between tortoises and turtles.

In general, the reptiles referred to as turtles live in or near the water and have adapted to swim by holding their breath underwater. The reptiles referred to as tortoises typically live primarily in arid regions and are built for storing their own water supply and walking on sandy ground.

Tortoises and turtles can both make very good pets, and there are so many species to choose from. Many enjoy the advantages of turtle/tortoise ownership because they can be kept at minimum cost, there’s no need to take them for walks, food is easy to obtain, they come in various sizes and are not at all harmful.

Some species of tortoises feed only on plants while others may have a variety of food. It’s best to do some research before you decide which breed will make the best pet tortoise for you. The Eastern Box Turtle, Greek Tortoise, and the Red-foot Tortoise are all good for beginner tortoise owners.

Although they are adorable as babies, stay away from the Sulcata, unless you are ready to deal with them as adults. They are huge in size, have a big diet and definitely need to dig! The Leopard Tortoises are also voracious eaters and require a lot of outdoor space because of their size. A warm, dry climate is also needed all year round. Finally, don’t forget that turtles will, by far, outlive you. Tortoises are a life long dedication, so consider all the facts about tortoises and turtles when choosing your next pet.

Posted by Kristin | Leave a comment

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