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Garter Snake, The Best Pet Snake?


Hi there I’m here today with a garter snake which we have already decided is one of the greatest snakes you could ever own and you might be You might be here with us right now because you already watched our video on five of the greatest pet snakes you could ever own and this is definitely one of them and this is probably the most underrated snake on that whole list because they’re absolutely marvelous And overall we give garter snakes a score of Three point eight out of five that’s going to come down to our five criteria which are handleability, care, hardiness, availability, and upfront costs. Let’s start with handleability We give the garter snake a score of three out of five for handleability and as you can see The garter snake is a little bit more active when you’re handling it than many snakes And this garter snake’s even a little bit cold because we just transported it But it still moves around you’ll see they’ll whip around and that can be a little bit startling for people who are not used to handling garter snakes They’re, generally speaking, not being aggessive they’re not trying to bite or anything like that They just move around a lot and that can be a lot of fun but it also makes handling them a little bit difficult. One thing is that it can be a real problem, especially if you’ve grabbed a garter snake in the wild is that in addition to having an ability to bite and potentially having some mild venom that can cause a little bit of localized swelling and pain when they bite you and I guess that can bleed quite a bit The other issue with them is that they musk and honestly, I watch out for the musking more than I watch out for the mouth on garter snakes because they produce this discharge that comes from their cloaca and they’ll wipe it and smear it on you, and it smells terrible. It’s like a skunk spray a little bit and they’ll wipe it on you and even after you wash your hands for quite a while you can still smell that on you. If your garter snake is not used to being handled that can be something that you encounter and that is definitely not something you want. When it comes to care we give garter snakes a score of four out of five. One thing that is really wonderful about garter snakes is feeding because for some people having to feed rodents to a snake is a deal breaker. Garter snakes, a lot of garter snakes can be switched over to feed on rodents. Which can be more convenient because you don’t have to feed them quite as often and their little discharges aren’t quite as smelly when they’ve been eating rodents but you don’t have to feed them rodents. Most garter snakes will do just fine on a diet of fish and worms and that’s pretty neat stuff. Not that many snakes that will eat that kind of a diet and they’re a lot of fun to watch feed on fish you can put fish in their water bowl and they’ll go around with their mouths open. They’re very eager feeders which is always a wonderful thing in a snake because not all snakes eat anywhere close to as well as garter snakes do. You never have to worry about a garter snake going on a hunger strike, they’re gonna eat. When it comes to the care of a garter snake really the hardest thing is going to be that they are more active so they’re gonna eat more than other snakes, and they’re gonna poop a little bit more than other snakes. Which just means there are a little bit more maintenance than most other snake species. However, generally speaking the care of a garter snake is very simple. The enclosure that you’re going to need for them is very simple just make sure they’ve got a water bowl. Preferably big enough that you can release a few small fish in there and you could watch them go fishing, that they could immerse themselves totally in the water. You need a nice good lid, you’re good to go. Very easy to care for but maybe a little bit more challenging than some other snakes. When it comes to hardiness we give these guys a score of five out of five. They’re really as good as it’s gonna get as long as you don’t make any mistakes and you make sure to keep feeding them giving them water and maintaining a proper warm spot for them so that they can digest their food properly garter snakes are gonna do just great. Honestly, probably there are only two ways that you would ever have a garter snake die on you from unnatural causes and one of those is that it gets crushed by somebody because they’re not very big and so they can’t handle rough handling and because they’re darty sometimes people are more inclined to squeeze them to keep them from moving and that can be devastating for a garter snake. The other thing is because they’re small and active if there is any way to get out of their enclosure, they will find it and If they get out of their enclosure, there’s a good chance you will never find them. Which might just mean that you lose your garter snake. It could easily mean that your garter snake dies somewhere and you’ll never see it again. So that is a good way to lose a garter snake permanently. Generally speaking though if you’ve got a good lid and you’re careful when you’re handling it and you feed it and give it water your garter snake is gonna do fantastic When it comes to availability and this is gonna strike you as odd, we give these guys a score of three out of five. It’s gonna seem odd to you because garter snakes are all over the place, especially if you live in North America you probably see garter snakes on a regular basis during the spring and summer. They’re outside, they’re exploring and you see them so often because they are such active snakes. The thing about them is because you see them so often they’re very underappreciated in the reptile hobby and there aren’t that many people that breed them. The garter snakes that we’re looking at today actually all come from Don’s garter snakes and he is an excellent garter snake breeder, and there are other great garter snake breeders out there like him but you generally have to look a little bit harder to find a captive-bred garter snake and you’re gonna be glad you looked. The other really cool thing if you go to a garter snake breeder is there are even awesome morphs of garter snakes out there and a lot of species that you’ve perhaps never encountered before so even though people think of garter snakes as being very common, I bet when they think of a garter snake they’re not thinking of one like this. This is an albino garter snake. Garter snakes are beautiful right out of nature and sometimes nature produces a little oddball that’s maybe even extra beautiful. Because even though most of the melanin has gone from this snake its still got all kinds of beautiful oranges and reds, and they’re just amazing. When it comes to upfront costs we’re giving garter snakes a 4 out of 5. Really, they are very very affordable to keep the enclosure that they need is very simple and because they’re not huge it doesn’t need to be enormous. It should be relatively good size for a snake this small because they are so active and bigger is generally going to be better as long as you can find the snake in the enclosure ut it doesn’t need to be colossal. Not like what we would need, for example for our boas that we looked at before and that is a really wonderful thing. It does have to have an excellent lid. I like sliding lids or rack systems that are pretty tight because a garter snake can easily get lost, so definitely be aware of that. But other than that you’re just gonna need things like a water bowl some simple substrate, maybe even reptile carpet which is very easy to deal with you’re gonna need a hide heat pad with a thermostat heat tape something like that and you’re good to go. Links to all of those things can be found down in the description. Garter snakes are very very easy to keep, their humidity requirements aren’t very challenging like some other snakes. They’re gonna shed well for you. They’re gonna eat well for you. They’re just marvelous. The snake is where you might spend a little bit of money on a garter snake, like you know they’re everywhere but I don’t necessarily recommend that you grab one out of the wild and keep that as a pet. They’re great. They are great pets even right out of the wild, but the truth is if you get one that’s been captive bred it’s going to be an even better pet and if your problem with garter snakes is that they’re too common When you go to breeders they’re gonna keep some garter snakes that you’ve maybe never seen before that your friends have never seen before and that are incredible. This right here is a California red-sided garter snake, which has got to be one of the most beautiful snakes in the entire world and the truth is you’re gonna spend some money on this. Not a lot more than you would spend on a pretty normal morph ball python, or any other fancy morph snake, but yet you’re getting something that is unique and gloriously beautiful. They’re underappreciated and undervalued by many of us in the hobby But those people, those people that know about garter snakes, those people that keep garter snakes, those people that breed garter snakes know what they have and they have got one of the most incredible pet snakes you could ever get. I feel really blessed that I’ve had the chance to interact with these snakes today. I know I need to add more garter snakes to my collection. And these are the reasons why we have given the garter snake a score of three point eight out of five. As always like and subscribe and we hope to see you real soon Right out of nature [snake flops] Oh but they are quick The first reptile I ever caught was a garter snake I put it in a jar and put that jar on my porch while I went in to eat my lunch and when I came back out I found out that no lid is not a sufficient lid to keep a garter snake contained And I never saw that snake again

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