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How Do I Keep A Boa Constrictor As A Pet

Updated on December 7, 2009
Here is a very beautiful specimen of a Boa Constrictor.
Here is a very beautiful specimen of a Boa Constrictor.

How Do I Keep A Boa Constrictor As A Pet?

You need to keep in mind that if you are considering a Boa Constrictor as a pet that your snake will grow. It may be quite small when you purchase it but your Boa Constrictor is going to grow and grow in a hurry if you feed it well and provide it with water and a clean enclosure to live in.

The average size of a grown female Boa Constrictor is 8 to 10 feet while a male will be slightly smaller at 6-8 feet. A female boa constrictor is also considerably heavier than a male. Just know that your small 2-3 foot snake is going to grow and you need to be ready for that.

Boa Constrictors do quite well in captivity. You should also be aware that Boa Constrictors kept in captivity live from 20-30 years and some well cared for boa constrictors have even lived as long as 40 years. So yes your boa constrictor will be a part of your life for a long time. And if you give your boa constrictor good care it will be around for a very long time.

You want to purchase an aquarium that is large enough for your boa constrictor and you really should purchase a much larger aquarium than what you need at first because your snake is going to grow and its going to grow quickly. And you will need a snake top for your aquarium that is going to keep your snake in the aquarium. You will also need a heat light for your aquarium because the ideal temperature for your snake will be 80 degrees. Be sure to purchase a heat light that is specifically made for a snake enclosure.

You will want to have a large water bowl in your snakes aquarium and you need it so it can be fastened in one corner to keep your snake from turning it over. You will want to change the water at least once daily and more often if it becomes dirty.

You will need to add a large wooden branch to your boa constrictors aquarium to provide it with some exercise.

You will want to clean your snakes cage at least once weekly. I use shredded newspaper and it works great. I use a piece of indoor / outdoor carpet that is cut to fit the bottom of the aquarium and I add a bunch of shredded newspaper on top of that. I have two pieces of the carpet that are exactly the same so I always have a clean piece to replace the dirty piece with.

When the snake is small it will want to eat more often. But as it grows larger it will want larger prey but not eat quite as often. I usually start my young boa constrictors on mice and then later move to large rats as they grow and mature. Never handle your boa constrictor for about 24 hours after you feed it.

You will want to handle your boa constrictor on a regular basis if you want it to be tame. Be sure to support its body and allow it to wrap around your arm when it is young. As the snake grows and matures you may need two people to handle large snakes.

Do you have a Boa Constrictor? How do you like your snake. Tell us about it below.
Do you have a Boa Constrictor? How do you like your snake. Tell us about it below.

Please feel free to post your comments , tips , suggestions or questions about Boa Constrictors now.

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    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 8 years ago from Georgia

      Rosy and sand boas are good beginner snakes as well as corn snakes. Ball pythons are ok in terms of temperament, but not necessarily their picky feeding habits; many beginners can't handle a snake that can get stressed so easily and stop eating for months.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 8 years ago from East Coast , United States

      No I would recommend a black racer or a California King Snake to anyone looking for a first snake. Again Boa Constrictors grow and grow quickly and many simply get turned loose into the wild when the person fears them or no longer wants to deal with them. We have one or two dropped off here at my location weekly. Just got a call about a 6 foot one the people can no longer keep and they will drop it off later today.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 8 years ago from Georgia

      These are not the best beginner snakes, which is something a lot of people don't understand. They think they want big, but they really don't. And, yes, go ahead and start with a big enclosure, they grow quick.

      I spoke with someone a while back. The couple was told a 10 gallon would last them 6 months, and a 29 gallon would last about a year or so. I suggest people starting off with an enclosure that's at least a 40 gallon. These snakes grow quickly. The size of the tank doesn't constrict growth like many people think.