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Hide Boxes for Your Pet Snake’s Habitat

Hide Boxes for Your Pet Snake’s Habitat

You may think you’re taking good care of your snake if you feed it and provide a proper place for it to live.  But if your snake doesn’t have a hide box, it will become stressed, which makes it more likely to become ill.  A stressed, sick snake is not a good pet.

Why a Hide Box?

So, what is a snake hiding from? Actually, snakes are secretive animals, and hiding is part of their instinct. Snakes are not tame, domesticated animals. To keep from being found by predators, they have two choices. They can run, or they can hide.  Running takes up a lot of energy.  Hiding is more energy-efficient. (Think about the number of snakes you see outdoors.  Now think about the number of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, or other animals.)Snakes go from one place to another, remaining hidden while searching for food. At the same time, they’re trying to keep from being eaten.

Since all snakes have the hiding instinct, your pet snake needs a place to retreat to when it’s in a snake cage.  This is where hide boxes come in. 
Hide boxes give a snake:

    •    A safe place to hide
    •    A place to sleep
    •    A place to seek shelter during the daytime
    •    A place to nest and lay eggs
    •    Moisture and humidity

When a snake has a place to hide, it feels more secure. Thus, it remains healthier, eats better, and lives longer.

Building a Hide Box

Snakes need hide boxes in both warm and cool parts of their cages. That way, they have places to go to both when they need to get warm and when they need to cool off.  Many snake hide boxes are made of cardboard. Cardboard is easy to get, but cardboard also soaks up water and a snake’s waste products. Wet cardboard is a good place for bacteria to grow, and bacteria will be harmful to your pet snake.  So, avoid cardboard snake hides. Look, instead, for snake hides made out of stone, ceramic or plastic.  These snake hides are easier to clean and last longer than cardboard.  Hides should also not be transparent.  If you can see the snake, that defeats the purpose of the hide.

The snake hide should have a small opening for the snake to crawl in and out of.  It should also be the right size for the snake to snuggle up in.  Too large a hide will not allow a snake to curl up and feel secure.

A popular way to make a snake hide is to cut a small hole in the side of a plastic tray or shallow tub and place it upside down in the snake cage. The Internet also has instructions for making hide boxes from bowls or pots.  Some snake owners also use homemade “clay” made from flour, salt and water to make a hide box.

Make a hide box for your snake, and it will thank you . . .by hiding.

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