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Giant snails, pest or pets?

Updated on April 15, 2013
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So lately in Florida snails have been a big issue. But even before that they have been seen as pests of the highest caliber. They eat crops and reproduce at an alarming rate. So as you all may have already guessed there is a huge problem with..... PEOPLE! Yep, that wasn't a typo. As we often do in america we have once again shifted blame from the real problem to a scapegoat. Snails are guilty of reproducing and eating, two things all living organisms do. However I don't believe they are responsible for boarding a boat, coming over to the U.S, and releasing themselves. And because of this they are banned in the U.S. I don't know how many times I will have to say this in my life (I know its definitely been quite a few already) but the U.K has gotten it right yet again. Take notes America. People can be stupid, snails are just guilty of being living organisms. Make it illegal to release them, not own them. A snail isn't gonna do much to a local farm if it's in a 30 gallon tank in my room. But unfortunately we have gotten so caught up in our "blame something else for the problem" attitude that we our now treating snails as terrorists. Amusing yes, but also really quite sad. A big reason why its so sad is that snails can make awesome pets!

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A snail as a pet? Why?

I know a lot of people wouldn't consider snails their first choice for a pet, but they can be pretty cool. They are sort of like the goldfish of land pets they are just cool to watch and every so often you see that "what is he doing?" or "woah that's cool!" type moment. But unlike goldfish, snails can be handled if the owner desires. They don't show quite as much amusement as a hamster or a puppy but they certainly don't mind, and sometimes they even seem to be enjoying themselves a bit. Just be sure to dampen your hands first since the snails need the moisture. They aren't the most exciting pets in the world but with their lifespan of 5 to 7 years and their fairly interesting nature, they become that pet that is just cool to see in your tank every day when you get home and you slowly build a bond over the years you are together.

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Are pet snails hard to take care of?

Nope. They are actually pretty low maintanence little guys. Their diets aren't demanding at all, their space requirements are pretty standard, they do need a heating pad in some cases but that isn't much of an issue, and they need some places to hide and a cuttlebone for calcium and they are good to go. You have to clean their tank about once a week but that is on par with most pets and you need to mist their tanks daily for some humidity but any reptile owner is used to that, and it isn't a very demanding task either way. You may give them a lot of attention, but it isn't required, so you won't feel as bad leaving gary home alone for a day as you would coming home to a hamster knowing you left the fluffy little guy home alone all day with no companionship. Snails just have that adaptable personality that is often valued in a pet.

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Is a snail the right pet for me?

Snails are a great pet for just about anyone. Children may need supervision as to not hurt the snail but otherwise snails are a great choice. They especially cater to those who aren't home many hours of the day or who simply like having a pet that sits there that they can glance at every so often while they play xbox. Personally I think snails are awesome pets and their quirky personalities mixed with their ease of care and long life span make them a great long term pet and friend.

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