Yes. It is pretty okay to keep garden snails as pets. These creatures are trendy and easy to rear since they require very little care compared to other conventional pets like fish, dogs, birds, and cats. It is also pleasurable to watch snails slithering on their way.
It is, however, necessary to remember that snails are living creatures that need a lot of attention. When you rear snails as pets, you need to ensure their safety as well as yours. This article looks at the reasons for rearing snails as pets, how to care for them, other ideal species to keep, and the requirements for raising them. Read on!
Why Would You Want To Keep Garden Snails As Pets?
There are several reasons why you would prefer snails to other creatures as pets, including;
Ease Of Keeping
Snails are among the most accessible pets to keep since they adapt quickly to different conditions. These creatures can comfortably live in a plastic container, a glass terrarium, or you can make them a simple habitat.
Pet snails are low-maintenance creatures since their feeding is quite simple. You don’t have to feed them daily and so no need to worry that they will over-eat. These pets stop eating when they have had enough, and you won’t have to give them fresh water. Snails can get water from the humidity in the air or their food. You can also clean their habitat once in a couple of weeks, making it easier to care for the pets while going on with your other day-to-day tasks.
Pleasing To The Eye
Pet snails are stylish creatures that are interesting and relaxing to watch. The animals glide slowly from one point to another and often disobey gravity by sticking upside down or on a vertical wall. It is also relaxing to look at the pets coming in and out of their shells. You will also enjoy seeing the pets use their pairs of tentacles, lay eggs, mate, and eat.
Watching snails do their everyday thing is a spectacular way to cool off the pressure after a hard day’s work.
Little Or No Cost Involved
It is easy to start keeping pet snails without incurring any cost at all by picking garden snails. You may also go for exotic breeds from a pet dealer’s store at a reasonable price. You will also not need to spend money on their food since they will feed on the leftover vegetables from your refrigerator. Snails don’t need regular vet checking, which is an added advantage to the owner.
They Are Noiseless
Keeping pet snails is hustle-free since they are reticent. Unlike other pets like dogs, these creatures produce no noise, which means they won’t bother your neighbors and family. You will not have to wake up very early in the morning or late at night due to unnecessary sounds.
Snails Are Excellent For Children.
Unlike other pets like cats that can scratch, kids can easily care for the snails with little or no supervision. Children only need to be taught the importance of washing their hands before and after handling the snails, and they are good to go. All you need to do is teach your kids how to pick these pets, and you won’t have to worry about them anymore.
You Can Care For Them Even With A Busy Schedule.
Most traditional pets such as birds, fish, dogs, and cats call for a lot of attention which may sometimes not be easy with a busy schedule. You will need to feed, provide water, clean their habitat, and check their living conditions. But, for snails, you only require a proper setup, then you can leave them unattended for up to one month.
Ensure that your pets have adequate fresh air, enough food that won’t rot, and a high humidity level. While it may not be an excellent idea to leave them for so long without checking, it can still work well if you have an involving schedule.
Which Snail Species Can You Keep For Pet Keeping?
When choosing the right type of snail for a pet, it is crucial to check the appearance and safety of your family and yourself. Since some of them can transmit diseases to you and your surrounding you need to pick wisely. The following table shows some of the common kinds of snails and their characteristics.
Dark-brown and readily available. It is about 4cm long (1.5-inches)
Giant African land snail
Massive size with a great sense of smell
Excellent for use in biology classes
Freshwater snails with a beautiful appearance
This type of snail is the most popular and easiest to find. It is dark-brown, and one can pick it from the garden at no cost. It is easy to care for this type and take it back to nature when you no longer want to keep it.
Giant African Land Snail
These kinds of snails are enormous and easy to care for. They are also interesting to have around due to their excellent sense of smell to recognize their owner. However, these snails are destructive to crops and thus are illegal to keep as pets in the US and some other countries.
Besides being excellent pets, Roman snails are suitable for biology classes to equip learners with knowledge. They can have a lifespan of up to 20 years with proper care. While these pets are legal to keep in the US, they are protected in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. One cannot also commercialize or kill the species in the United Kingdom.
This type of snail is a famous freshwater creature that is quite attractive both in size and color. One of the most common kinds of apple snail is the spike-topped snail. This apple snail has varying colors, such as brown, blue, pink, and yellow. You can purchase this pet snail at reasonable prices from any aquarium shop.
What Are The Main Requirements For Keeping Pet Snails?
While snails are low-maintenance creatures, there are some basic requirements that one needs to consider for the safety of these pets and their owner. Some of the things to pay attention to include;
You can choose where to house your pet snails depending on the length of time you intend to have them around. For example, if you want to observe them for a few days or weeks, you can pick a plastic container. Conversely, if you wish to have your pets for an extended period, then a glass terrarium would be the best bet. You can either purchase the glass terrarium or DIY and makes sure that it has a fitting lid.
Choose the size of the terrarium depending on how many pets you want to have and their sizes. But, as a rule of thumb, you can pick one gallon per snail. Make sure that the space you choose for your animals is clean before you can bring them in. Be sure to remove any leftover food from the container before it goes bad after keeping the pets here and wipe it with a paper towel or wet piece of cloth.
Snails need proper ventilation like other living organisms since they also take in oxygen and release carbon(IV)Oxide. Make sure that the terrarium you buy or make has tiny holes (smaller than the snails) in the lead to help in air circulation.
Ensure that the substrate you use at the bottom of your snail’s terrarium is suitable and gentle enough for your pets. You can use things like hummus, soil, coir, or turf. This material should have a thickness of 3-6 cm (1-2 inches). Since the snails are likely to dig into the substrate, avoid what will make it difficult for them, such as sand, pebbles, or stones.
When choosing the substrate material, ensure that it is free of pests as chemicals that may harm the snails. Ensure that the soil pH is above 6 to prevent it from being too acidic for the creatures. You can purchase a soil tester from your local stores or online.
The Correct Humidity Level And Temperature
Snails adapt to different temperatures depending on the species. For example, some live in the snow, and others in the desert. But, if you are dealing with garden snail pets, make sure that their home has the ideal temperature of between 18 – 300C (65 – 850F). Avoid placing the terrarium under direct sunlight as this can make it too hot for the organism to the point of their death. If your home’s temperature is below 650F, you can equip the terrarium with a heating pad.
Humidity is also very crucial for pet snails, and you should maintain it at 75-90percent. You can achieve this level by spraying the pets shelter once a day or after a few weeks using a small spray bottle. To keep the humidity and temperature under check, you can buy a meter online or from your local stores.
Wrapping It Up
Garden snails can be stylish pets, especially for those people that love the creatures. They are easy to maintain and care for with minimal requirements. If you love these beautiful pets, follow the simple guideline above and be sure to enjoy observing them.