Many people find snakes to be the perfect choice when selecting a pet. Snakes require little space, infrequent feeding, and don't leave hair on your shirt when you hold them. While owning a snake might appear to be a low maintenance pet, potential snake owners need to consider the environment they will provide for their new pet. One of the most important considerations in caring for a snake is how to find the right snake enclosures for the species you are considering.
The overall rule of thumb for sizing a snake enclosure is to have a cage that is at least ¾ the length of the snake being housed. Of course, different species of snake have different requirements. Larger, slower-moving snakes require less room to move around in their enclosures. Smaller, "racer" type snakes will require more room to get the exercise that they need. In particular there are some factors to consider when you begin to search for the right snake enclosure for your pet:
Temperature gradient: Snakes, like all reptiles cannot control their own body heat. The only mechanism that a snake has to adjust its body heat is by moving from a hotter area to a cooler one and vice versa. When choosing a snake enclosure, make sure the enclosure is large enough that you can create a temperature gradient inside the enclosure. For example you may have an area heated by a lamp at one end of the enclosure, and a shady den on the other end, so that the snake can choose the correct environment for its own needs at all times.
Humidity: Different snake species have different needs for humidity. Learn all you can about your chosen species before choosing an enclosure for your new snake. Aquariums are generally the best choice for maintaining a more humid environment, while composite or wooden enclosures can work well with species that do not need as much ambient moisture.
Height and depth: Most people look only at floor space when considering what kind of snake enclosure to buy, however for some species of snake, height is just as important as width. Arboreal species of snake like to have tree branches to drape over, and therefore require a taller enclosure than a bottom loving snake. Snakes which require frequent soaking will need a deeper enclosure to ensure enough room for a soaking pool. As always, when you are trying to find the right snake enclosure, ask a professional to make a recommendation for the species of snake that you are considering adding to your family.