Part 6: A Place to Hide
Reptiles, by nature, tend to be a secretive bunch. They aren't social the way cats and dogs are. Movement and vibrations from outside the cage can cause stress in reptiles which may lead to poor feeding and even illness. It's important for us to understand this and offer our scaly friends a safe place to hide.
A hide box can be decorative, like the ones sold in pet stores, or a very simple container from around the house. A hide box should be:
Just large enough for the snake to crawl inside
Snakes feel more secure when they can wedge themselves into tight spaces.
Easy to clean
Hide boxes should be non-porous and simple enough to make them easy to clean. Porous cage furniture, such as wooden hides, can often harbor parasites and grow mold in humid environments. Resin hides can help avoid this problem.
Rather than permanent hide boxes I prefer to use small cardboard boxes such as empty food containers. The advantages are that they are free and don't have to be cleaned. Once they are soiled I just toss them.
An important thing to remember is that snakes don't care what their hide boxes look like. As long as they can wedge themselves inside and feel snug, they're fine. So the choice of aesthetics, cost and convenience is up to you.
Next time: Food