Small snakes as pets
Do some research. Find out everything you possibly can about your snake, take into account the lifespan, size of tank and housing requirements very carefully. Be realistic about these, if you realize that you actually can't do this, you are not a failure and are in fact saving an animal from what would have been a stressful life.
Look for a reputable breeder or a very good pet store. Just because a pet store is small doesn't mean that they are bad.
Ask to hold the snake of your choice. It should feel muscular and strong, with no signs of mites. You should not be able to see the spine, as this will indicate a seriously underweight snake. There should also be clear eyes nose and mouth, as this can lead to a respiratory infection.
Ask the pet store owner lots of questions. Can you guarantee that this is a purebred *? Can you give me accurate records of shedding? How much does he eat, how often and on what days? Has he been interacted with and properly tamed? Where do you get your stock from?
Buy all equipment. Equipment includes a vivarium, water bowl, substrate, something for the snake to climb, heat mat (Only covering half the vivarium), a light (Optional), thermometer, hydrometer and two hides, one in the cold side and one in the hot. You can get very good bargains at pet stores on equipment.
Set up all equipment properly and make sure everything is working and the lid or doors shut properly and lock securely. Fit any wires and decorations, and attach the heat mat. allow at least 3 days for the temperature to regulate.
Purchase your snake on a day that you just have to yourself. Make sure nobody will be in the room that it is being taken care of in.
A baby snake will need a pinkie mouse every 5-7 days, and an adult will need a mouse every 7-14 days.
Water must be changed regularly as the often defecate in it.
Change vivarium at least once a month and scrub it thoroughly in hot water.
Feed your snake separate from the tank, in a box. That way, if you reach in to hold him, he won't think "FOOD!"
To pick him up, reach in slowly without hesitation and grab the middle and slowly lift him up and out, supporting him fully with your arms and hands.
Don't pick your snake up if he is in his hiding spot, that means he needs time out and won't be too happy if you disturb him.