Buying a pet Snake
Educate yourself. Learn about the animal you're about to buy - habits, food requirements, habitat. Make sure you really want a snake and are prepared to take good care of it.
Find a proper breeder. Pet store snakes are often bad stock, either abused or captured. Find a breeder you can trust that offers good quality snakes for a price that you are willing to pay.
Look at the snake before you decide to adopt it. A healthy snake should have clear eyes and nose, neatly arranged scales, and breathe without respiratory distress. It should not be lethargic, but should allow you to pick it up without too much fuss.
Ask the snake's previous owner about the animal's history. You need to know what it eats and how often, whether it is a fussy eater, the date and quality of its last shed (a well-shed skin comes off all in one piece, if the snake sheds in bits and pieces it may be unhealthy).
Purchase a home for your snake. You'll need a tank, some cage lining, a heat source, thermometers, a water dish large enough for the snake to soak in, some things for your snake to climb on, and a hiding place that is just large enough for the snake to curl up in. The cage must be at least 2/3 the length of the snake. Make sure you have a place to put a cage this size.
You'll also need to buy some food for the snake. The best snake food is pre-killed prey: you buy the prey frozen, thaw it out at home, and feed it to the snake. Make sure you are comfortable with the idea of this.
If you plan to feed your snake live prey, be aware of the risks. Live mice and rats can carry diseases and parasites, and they can bite and struggle, possibly injuring your pet.
Set up the snake's home, then bring the snake home and introduce it to its new environment.
Enjoy! Snakes are good pets and solid friends. Bond with your new pet, and rejoice in your good fortune.