Pet shop Gloucester corn snake care sheet

Pet shop Gloucester advice series – corn snake care sheet.

Corn snakes originate from the eastern United States. Their habitat varies from open wood lands to rocky hillsides. Adult corn snakes are relatively small, easy to feed and can withstand a large temperature range. They are generally good natured and therefore ideal as a first snake or for the experienced hobbyist alike. They come in a vast and increasing array of colour morphs. All corn snakes generally available in the UK are captive bred.

pet shop gloucester cornsnake

The adult length of a corn snake is typically 75 to 150 cm. Their average life span is 15-21 years, although they can live longer in captivity.

Choosing and buying your corn snake

Good health is indicated by the snake being alert and inquisitive, indicated by extensive tongue flicking in new situations; it should feel strong and not flaccid, in your hands. Good condition is indicated by a body cross-section that is more rounded than angular. Mites are tiny external parasites that suck blood and will appear as black dots under the scales or running across the surface of the snake. If you are offered a snake with mites, don’t buy it and go elsewhere.

Pet shop Gloucester blood red cornsnake

The vent should be clean and free of any encrustation, indicative of diarrhoea. The body should be symmetrical, clean, and free of swelling, unless recently fed or possibly gravid.


A well ventilated, adequately heated, escape-proof vivarium is the best housing for your corn snake. Although most snakes are frequently inactive, long term accommodation should be of such a size that the diagonal of the cage floor is equal to more than half of the snake’s length. There must be no gaps between glass sliding doors sufficient to allow a hatchling to squeeze through. Rubber edging is available to seal any gaps All reptiles are “cold blooded” and need an external heat source to maintain their body temperature. Only one end of the vivarium should be heated. This creates a thermal gradient allowing the corn snake to choose its preferred temperature (25 – 30 C) Place a thermometer and each end of the vivarium to ensure this thermal gradient by monitoring the temperature range available. The maximum temperature of the heat gradient, can be controlled by a thermostat.

Angell Pets Komodo Ecology Vivarium

Gentle heat can be provided by using heat mats and more intense heat by spot lights or heat lamps. Wire mesh guards fitted over exposed, hot, heat sources will prevent burns, essential with ceramic heat emitters or lamps.


The floor of the cage should be covered with a dry substrate, such as aspen wood shavings, beech chips, lignocel, bark chips etc.  Newspaper is best avoided, particularly in large cages, as it can be likened to the snake living on a skating rink; spinal injury can result.


Compact hides are good for the well being of most snakes, including corn snakes; placed at both ends of the thermal gradient provides the snake with more choice. Corn snakes will climb, and a piece of branch can be provided for that purpose.


Corn snakes do not need any special lighting but can appreciate UVB lamps that more closely approximate natural conditions. Modern LED lighting can be quite effective in a vivarium and very long lasting.

Cleaning and watering

A corn snake should be provided with a no-tip water bowl which is large enough for the snake to submerge in, especially when shedding its skin. Water bowls should be washed and cleaned regularly. Vivariums should be spot cleaned, as soon as droppings are produced, and disinfected with a pet safe disinfectant occasionally. Soiled substrate should be safely disposed of and replaced with fresh.

Feeding and Water

Corn snakes are carnivores and feed principally on mice or rats. Snakes consume their food whole. The food offered should be roughly a maximum of one and a half times the diameter of the snakes mid body. Feeding too large a prey item can result in regurgitation or even injury as the sharp claws go down.

Young corn snakes can be fed every 2-5 days and adults fed every 7 14 days. Adults in breeding mode may fast for many weeks. Frozen food should be carefully defrosted and then gently warmed to blood temperature. Never defrost or heat in a microwave and do not over heat as this can activate necrotic bacteria and cause food poisoning.  When two or more snakes are kept together, the owner should ensure that one does not swallow another if they try to consume the same item of food; it is best to feed them in separate containers. Handling a snake before, during, or after feeding, or when the odour of its food is on your hands, is likely to result in a painful bite. Handling after feeding can also stimulate regurgitation or even injure the snake. Wait 48 hours – enough time for the food to have started to break down.

Regurgitation can also be caused by too low environmental temperature and some diseases.


Corn snakes seldom bite, but do need to become accustomed to gentle handling. The snake should be held loosely and supported at the middle and rear of the body, the handler’s movements being slow and deliberate. Never attempt to handle a snake until it has settled down and is feeding regularly. Reptiles can carry a form of salmonella. Good hygiene and washing your hands after handling your snake should be sufficient to prevent any risk of infection. Kissing your snake is best avoided!

The most common problem to avoid is crushing injuries to delicate hatchlings, often from unsupervised small children, during rough handling. Typical symptoms are sudden refusal to feed and inactivity, often followed by sudden death.

The snake’s eyes will become cloudy from time to time. This indicates that it is about to shed its old skin. Higher humidity in its hide is useful at this time to assist the shed and it is unwise to handle the snake as it could result in incomplete shedding as the out skin is broken up.

Respiratory problems are indicated by mouth gaping and/or bubbly mucous from the mouth or nostrils. Mouth gaping or inability to close neatly, due to swelling, can also be indicative of mouth infections.

If you are at all worried about the health of your corn snake you should consult your specialist reptile vet as soon as possible.

Remember you must never release your corn snake into the wild.

The Angell Pets Team

Change to Angell Pets Opening Times

Since our move to Southgate Street it has become apparent that our customers’ shopping habits are a little different here. Whilst before we had lots of customers at opening and closing times, here we rarely get any customers first thing or many after 5pm. At that same time, different aspects of our business have grown rapidly. For instance, we have a lot more local deliveries than ever before, more web site orders to process and our boarding facility is always fully booked at peak times and even “out of season” we are rarely without at least few visitors.

pet shop gloucester

With all this in mind we are changing the opening hours of our Gloucester pet shop to accommodate these changes in customer habits and better utilise our time. So rather than sit around last thing in the afternoon waiting for closing time to come, we will be closing 1/2 hour earlier so we can get started on the local deliveries in time to complete the round before every one thinks we have forgotten them!

pet shop Gloucester

Also we will be opening an hour later each day so that we can use the time to process over night web orders, dispatch those orders, attend to boarders, carry out marketing operations and do all the boring admin stuff we get too busy in the day to do.


There should be little effect on our existing customers as hardly anyone uses us during those times anyway and we can improve the level of service to our home delivery customers and increase capacity for this growing area of our business. The new opening times are as follows:-

Monday 10am – 5.30pm

Tuesday 10am – 5.30pm

Wednesday 10am – 5.30pm

Thursday 10am – 5.30pm

Friday 10am – 5.30pm

Saturday 10am – 5.30pm

Sunday 10am – 4pm

Bank holidays 10am – 4pm

Nothing else is changing. We are still open 7 days a week. We are still open every day of the year except Christmas day, Boxing day and New Years day. We are still doing FREE local delivery to Gloucester, Cheltenham and Painswick, We are still boarding small animals, reptiles and birds, we still offer the same huge range of  quality products. However, since it is me that is doing most of this myself (obviously with the help of the family staff) I have to make the absolute best use of my time possible and delivering service to our customers is more useful than me sitting in the shop, looking out down Southgate Street – as “entertaining” as that can be sometimes!

My apologies if this small change causes any inconvenience (I can’t see it will) but hopefully the extra time will improve service to existing customers and increase capacity further to cater for new ones.

The Angell Pets Team

Angell Pets July Offers

This months special offers from Angell Pets are now available in store and on line in our web store. All offers qualify for FREE LOCAL DELIVERY. Available until the end of July 2016, subject to availability.

Barking Heads Bad Hair Day 12kg ONLY £39.99 RRP £49.99

Barking Heads Tender Loving Care 12kg ONLY £39.99 RRP £49.99

Felix ‘ As good as it looks’ Ocean Feasts ONLY £11.00 RRP £16.00

Felix ‘As good as it looks’ Mixed Selection ONLY £11.00 RRP £16.00

Burgess Excel Rabbit Adult 2kg ONLY £3.49 RRP £4.49

Pedigree Dentastix 56 Pack:

Small Dog ONLY £8.25 RRP £12.05

Medium Dog ONLY £9.99 RRP £14.30

Large Dog ONLY £11.99 RRP £17.75

Laughing Dog Mixer 2.5kg ONLY £3.99 RRP £5.49

Supa Sutherland Seed Feeder ONLY £5.99 RRP £7.99

Supa Hamilton Peanut Feeder ONLY £5.99 RRP £7.99

Harringtons Cat Chicken & Rice 2kg ONLY £2.99 RRP £4.99

Harringtons Cat Salmon & Rice 2kg ONLY £2.99 RRP £4.99

Go Cat Chicken and Duck 10kg ONLY £16.99

Go Cat Tuna, Herring and Veg 10kg ONLY £16.99

Tetra Pond Sticks 4ltr ONLY £6.99

Pet Munchies Salmon Fillets 90g ONLY £1.49

Pet Munchies Salmon Skin Chews 90g ONLY £1.49

Pet Munchies Salmon Bites 90g ONLY £1.49

Whiskas Cat Pouches Fish Selection In Jelly (40 for the price of 32) ONLY £7.25

Whiskas Cat Pouches Poultry Selection In Jelly (40 for the prices of 32) ONLY £7.25

Animology Fox Poo Shampoo 250ml ONLY £3.49

Animology Flea and Tick Shampoo 250ml ONLY £3.49

Animology Puppy Love Shampoo 250ml ONLY £3.49

Best Pets Straw Large ONLY £2.59

Johnsons 4Fleas Tablets Cat and Kitten 3 Treatment ONLY £3.99

Johnsons 4Fleas Tablets Small Dog and Puppy 3 Treatement ONLY £3.99

The Angell Pets Team