Tips For Moving With Your Snake

18 May 2016
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According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 4.9 million American households are proud owners of a reptile – including snakes. As the loving handler of a snake, you know how important it is to keep your pet in a safe, controlled environment. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to recreate this environment while you're moving. With a few tips and some preparation, it is possible to move your snake to its new home without causing it too much stress or discomfort:

Preparing for the Move

Before you begin packing up your pet and its home for the big move, it is vital to make sure your pet is healthy and that you are able to bring your particular breed of snake to your new home state. Take your snake to the veterinarian for a check-up, and while you're there, ask for a complete medical history. Many states will require you have a medical history or will require you register and license your pet.

Next, purchase a clear plastic tote that is large enough to transport your snake. The tote should have a tight-fitting lid and be large enough for your snake to rest comfortably. If you're transporting your snake during the winter months, purchase a portable heating pad. The pad will help keep the snake comfortable while it is being transported. Poke several small holes in the tote's lid to provide the snake plenty of oxygen.

In the two to three weeks before your move, carefully place your snake in the tote and let it remain inside for a few minutes. This will help your snake become acclimated to its temporary home, which will cut down on move-related stress.

Packing Up Your Snake and Terrarium

Wait until the day of your move before you begin packing up your snake and terrarium to avoid additional stress on your pet. Begin by taking your snake carefully out of its aquarium and place it into a cotton pillowcase. Tie the pillowcase shut and slowly lower the snake into the plastic container. Cover the container and place your snake in a safe, warm, out-of-the-way area.

Now that your snake is safe, begin taking everything out of the terrarium. Throw away the bedding and carefully pack up the terrarium and any decorative pieces separately. Place these items carefully into a box and pack them near the door of the truck. This will ensure you can get to the aquarium or terrarium immediately, once you arrive at your new home.

During the Move

It is vital that your snake remain safe and warm during the move. The best way to accomplish this is to keep your snake with you in the car. Avoid storing your snake in the trunk or the moving van. It is difficult to regulate the heat, and you will not be able to keep a close eye on your pet. Once again, it is vital that your snake remain warm, so avoid running the air conditioning. 

The snake can either stay in the cotton pillowcase, or you can take it out and let it loose in the container. If you choose to let your snake remain loose, make sure the container is only large enough to comfortably accommodate the snake. Any larger, and the snake could become injured from the jarring motion of the car. Cover the bottom of the container with grass or bedding and make sure the cover is tightly closed. 

If you are flying, it is important to learn about the airline's policy for handling snakes. In most cases, you will need to store your snake in the cargo area, which means you won't be able to monitor its temperature. Because of this, it is best to travel with your snake in the car.

Once You Arrive at Your New Home

Before you unpack a single box or move the furniture into your home, it is vital to set up your snake's new habitat. Remove the terrarium or aquarium from its packaging and cover the floor with a fresh layer of bedding. Carefully remove your snake from its temporary home and place it into the terrarium. Monitor your snake closely for the first few days and note if it is showing any signs of distress, such as lack of appetite, lethargy or a noticeable change in its shedding schedule. If the snake is in distress, contact a veterinarian, immediately. 

From providing your snake with a suitable, temporary home to making sure it remains warm and safe, with a little preparation, it is possible to successfully move with your snake. 

For more moving tips, contact local moving services