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Western Hognoses are a generally sturdy, healthy animal that requires minimal care, and can be housed rather effectively on a low budget. Typically, these animals eat readily and are known for having a voracious appetite, they love to explore and will tolerate handling.

Please be sure to carefully read all of this material and our enclosure settup guide as setting up your animal differently may result in it becoming stressed, and may lead to it not eating. We require that our clients offer the same standard of care to their new animal as we do. (As a note we are not paid/promted to promote any of the items/brands listed.)

WESTERN HOGNOSE CARE SHEET

HEATING INFORMATION

Hot Side - 90 F - 93 F • Cold Side - 75 F - 80 F

1/3rd of the reptiles' enclosure needs to be heated via under tank heat.  You can use Reptile Grade Heat Cable, Reptile Grade UTH Heat Mat or Reptile Grade Heat Tape.

Most brands of UTH heat mats are labelled unsafe to use on plastic tanks or RUBS. Read all product instructions. A Temperature Gun is highly recommended it is the best way of getting accurate readings. Heat lamps are not recommended. Never use heat rocks. ​

A Thermostat is mandatory to make sure injuries or death does not occur from the heat source becoming too hot or cold.

Lifespan – 15 - 20+ Years

Humidity 40% - 60%

Heating – Hot Side - 90 F - 93 F • Cold Side - 75 F - 80 F

Typical Adult Male
Length –24"
Weight – 89g – 120g
(There are cases of males weighing more than this.)

Typical Adult Female
Length – 28"- 36"
Weight – 400g -500g
(There are cases of females weighing more than this)​

Updated Sept. 30, 2019

Sterilite Baby Bin
5-6Qrt (4.7/5.6Ltr) Bin
​Or 2.5-gallon tank (5 Gal Max)
Roughly $5 CAN at Canadian Tire

Sterilite Sub-Adult Bin
15Qrt (14Ltr) Bin
Or 10-gallon tank
​(Some males will never need bigger. 
Roughly $8 CAN at Canadian Tire

Sterilite Adult Bin
28 to 32Qrt (26/30Ltr) Bin
Or 20-gallon tank
Roughly $15 CAN at Canadian Tire

SUBSTRATE

We use a newspaper pellet brand like “Yesterday’s News” or “Fresh 4 Life” (Non-scented).
In our adult enclosures, we sometimes add Coco Fiber In a deep dish, this allows for natural burrowing without the mess.

All substrates have pros and cons. Some are dangerous to use.
Do not use - Pine, Cedar, or Calci-Sand.
There are some risks with Shredded, or fine chipped Aspen, but many keepers use these.

ENCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

We cannot stress enough that keeping a Western Hognose in too large of an enclosure can cause stress, which may lead to the reptile refusing food. This is a very common issue with Western Hognoses. Enclosures must have a tight-fitting and lockable lid. Never house multiple Hognoses together. Length of animal must not exceed: Length of Cage (L) + Width of the cage (W)

For more details to do with enclosures visit our page on enclosure setup. (Mechanical pencil for size comparison.)

QUICK SHOPPING CHECKLIST

Set up should be one to two weeks prior to bringing your new pet home, this allows time to adjust the temperature and or replace any faulty equipment. 

​- Substrate (Yesterday’s News)

- Thermostat (Mandatory)

- Under Tank Heat Source

- Cage (See Enclosure Requirements)

- Temp Gun (Highly recommended)

​- 2 Digital Thermometers

- 1 - 2 Hides

- 1 Water Dish

- Shed Box

- Feeding Bin

​- A deep dish for Coco bog (optional

​​- Reptile Calcium with Vitamin D (Monthly)

- Shed Box

- Sphagnum Moss (For shed box)

- Feeding Bin

- Bleach/F10/ 10% Peroxide/Steamer

- Feeding Tongs (optional)

- Frozen Prey

BASIC INFORMATION

Temperament - Not aggressive, easy to handle. Can be picky eaters if not given proper husbandry, weened long enough. Overall a good beginner to intermediate pet.

BITES

Western Hognoses are not an aggressive species and are considered harmless to humans. No deaths have ever occurred from a Western Hognose bite. Although uncommon, it is possible to have a reaction to their bite. Most bites are accidental and occur during feeding. Feeding tongs are advised.

Symptoms can include, itching, swelling, nausea, and irritation. Those with allergies or sensitivities may be at higher risk for having a reaction from a bite. The chance of having a reaction increases if you let the snake stay biting. Do not try to “test” your sensitivity to a bite.

For the safety of the animal and child, never leave any animal unattended with children.

FEEDING

We recommend not feeding your new pet for the first 5-7 days of arrival. This allows your pet time to settle into its new environment. Feed only frozen-thawed (F/T) prey. Prey items should be slightly larger than the thickest part of the snake. Prey can be offered every 7 days for adults and every 4-5 days for babies and mothers. Do not handle your pet for 2-3 days after eating. We suggest feeding in a separate bin to cut down on the chance of the reptile digesting substrate.

Important​

Although it may seem a good idea to offer a varied diet in captivity, this can and often does backfire. It is best to keep this species strictly eating frozen-thawed, non-scented mice. Western Hognoses can be very fussy eaters and a good breeder works very hard weaning babies FT/NS.

If foods are introduced as “treats” it is very common for the Western Hognose to suddenly choose to only eat the new item, or even go off food.

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