Western hognoses care

Western hognoses terrarium

A terrarium with dimensions of 70x30x30 cm, ideal for accommodating a Western hognose adult. The enclosure can be a terrarium or glass, with sliding or removable lid, or an aquarium with a well ventilated, secure lid. We can also keep our Western hognose successfully in plastic boxes with many ventilation holes drilled on the sides.

Whatever the type of cabin you choose for your Western hognose, make sure it is safe and can not escape. The humidity should be between 45 and 65%, which is the normal moisture that usually our house.

The interior of our terrarium or Western hognose should be checked daily to keep them clean at stool, and at least once a month you have to disinfect all items in the terrarium and change the substrate.
The container you choose for your Western hognose must be secure to prevent escape of our heterodones and provide adequate ventilation.

A Western hognose newly hatched can be kept in a glass terrarium 25 to 38 cm long with a top cover that is safe . One more small pups Western hognose can be kept in commercial systems racks in plastic boxes with holes for ventilation which can be heated with cable or electric blankets should consider a quality system thermostat.

Also exist in the market terrarium wood, PVC, or boxes with sliding front openings or hinged acrylic or glass doors. These types of enclosures provide greater security for our Western hognose because inside temperature and humidity are easier to control. Many of these terrariums come with lighting and heating elements.

Terrariums our Western hognose must have some hideouts or caves for the snake to hide. Should also be provided with a bowl of water inside the enclosure, which should be changed once a week or sooner if soiled. The container should be heavy enough so that our Western hognose not overturn, ceramic vessels or clay work well . Should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Temperature and Heating

Like all reptiles, snakes are ectothermic animals Western hognose, which means that it is very important to provide an external heat with an appropriate prescription for digestion and gestation of our Western hognose. The terrarium should have a hot side and a cooler it. To create the hot zone we can use an electric blanket or heater cable. Many terrarium of plastic or PVC and are supplied with these heating systems. The warm side temperature should be maintained around 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. It is also important not to allow any of our snakes heterodones may come into direct contact with some resistance, could get burns that sometimes can be serious and require professional veterinary care. An upper or UV lighting is not necessary for Western hognose, however if you can improve the aesthetics of the terrarium and internal visibility.

There are several methods you can use in heating installation. The most widely used is a heating blanket, which is essentially a flat pad that heats. This blanket must remain connected to a thermostat that regulates its temperature to prevent so our heterodon may suffer a burn.


The lighting in a terrarium for a Western hognose is not essential provided that there is another source of heat for the snake. If we decide to add lighting, we must first choose the heating system. If we use a standard bulb to heat our Heterodon nasicus, then no other light source will be needed. If we choose to use a thermal blanket, then we can put fluorescent tubes to illuminate the terrarium. Fluorescent tubes must be purchased in stores reptiles and come with a variety of colors and ultraviolet spectra (UV). We must bear in mind that our Western hognose not need excessive UV exposure can cause blindness they can not be better than 2% UV.

We must keep our snakes Western hognose a light cycle of 12 hours.


Caves and Hiding:
Snakes Western hognose require a minimum of two caves in your terrarium, one at each end of the tank for one to keep warm, while the other is cooler.

The caves must be well adjusted to our Western hognose be comfortable and quiet. The caves can be made, or you can use a simple box.

The Western hognose can also be used as hiding the substrate itself, in which case the others are not so essential.




Water and Moisture:
The water should be changed at least every three days, but preferably daily. The distilled or reverse osmosis water is not suitable for our Western hognose the ideal tap water, but noting that the chemicals in the water from the densely populated areas may be too strong for our snake. In these situations it is preferable to use bottled water.


A variety of substrate that can be used is from orchid bark or aspen, paper towels or newspaper. Again, this is the choice we will make ourselves as our terrarium decoration.

We must be careful not to use substrate containing cedar, as it causes respiratory problems and is potentially lethal to our Western hognose snake.

The Western hognose like to use the substrate to hide and make their own burrows, so we recommend an appropriate substrate to their needs.

Wood chips - Substrate Western hognoses

Wood chips

Recycled paper chips - Substrate Western hognoses

Recycled paper chips

Sawdust - Substrate Western hognoses


Coir - Substrate Western hognoses


Change of Skin:
All reptiles shed their skin, remove snakes the whole as if a take off his sock.

Our snakes Western hognose will turn an opaque color for several days before shedding skin, eyes usually will look bluer. About two days after our snake moves back to its normal state. The skin should be in one piece, and have both lids of the eyes and the tip of the attached tail, the skin will be turned upside down, because the scales keel makes this stronger than that of other species snake.

Handling snakes Western hognose is nice and easy. Younger heterodones can whistle, but with regular handling and a little confidence will calm down soon.

The Western hognose are not large enough to sit around her shoulders, usually with his head choose a direction and the body will follow.

We must not handle a snake Western hognose less than 24 hours of birth, but it is preferable to 48 hours after feeding. Too early handling may cause our snake regurgitation of his last meal.



The snake sexing in Western hognose is easy to determine, but this is not a technical 100% guaranteed. Males tend to be much smaller than the females, the females have shorter tails and are much larger.

On arrival:
Upon arrival, the snake Western hognose should be moved to their new home, which must be configured and tested before arrival. Our Western hognose may take a while to get used to their new home.

We recommend waiting at least 7 days, but preferably 14 days before feeding. Once the snake has been fed, we must wait 48 hours to re-handling.

Water changes should remain normal.

Care | Characteristics | Food | Hatchlings | Terrarium | Diseases | Natural habitat