Safely Transporting Your Python

Pet taxi services are called on to transport many different animals from cats and dogs, to birds and exotics.  However, transporting large snakes, such as pythons can be an unusual challenge.  It's therefore important that owners understand how best to package their snakes to ensure that the journey is a smooth one for all concerned.

Here are some top tips on how to prepare and equip your python for a stress-free taxi ride.

Before the trip

It's important that you don't feed your snake for a fortnight or so before its taxi journey.  Snakes can become easily stressed, and if you feed it too close to the journey, your snake might vomit, which could be potentially harmful to it.

Make sure that you have a suitable habitat prepared for your snake at its destination.  This will allow it to recover from its journey as quickly as possible, rather than having to wait in its transport crate while you get its new home set up.

Transport kit

The first thing you'll need is a large cotton bag.  Pythons spend much time resting in dark, confined places where they feel secure, and a bag will replicate this environment.  This means that your snake will remain calm and won't become stressed during its journey.  Place your snake inside the bag and knot the top securely.

It's not safe (or acceptable to the pet taxi company) for your python to travel in its bag on the back seat.  If an accident occurred, the snake could be injured, or it could even escape. 

The best container in which to transport your snake is a large, sturdy plastic box with a well-fitting lid that can be sealed securely.  Drill air holes along the sides of the box so that your snake can breathe.  Line the bottom of the box with newspaper or paper towelling to keep your python warm and comfortable and to stop it sliding around when the pet taxi goes around corners. 

You'll need to keep your python warm whilst it's in transit, and this is especially important during spells of cold weather.  The easiest way to do this is to use special reptile heat packs, available from good pet and specialist reptile stores.  The reusable heat packs can be warmed up in a microwave and will retain their heat for up to 40 hours. 

In conclusion

If using a pet taxi service to transport your python, prepare your snake for its trip and make sure it's safely and securely crated.  Be sure to double-check with the pet taxi firm that they are happy to transport exotics and that they are fully insured to do so.