enclosures

WESTERN HOGNOSE CARE SHEET

We put a lot of time, effort, and love into raising all of our animals, we want all of our clients to have success and many years of happiness with their new pet, for these reasons combined with a plethora of misinformation on Western Hognose care being circulated we require our clients to follow only our care guides and standards. Please be sure to fully read all of the below material and other information provided on our website under the "Care Information" heading.  Setting up your animal differently may result in it becoming stressed, lead to non-eating, or serious health issues. Want even more info? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter to receive more educational content, availability updates, promos, and more!

In captivity, Western Hognoses require minimal care and can be housed rather effectively on a low budget. These animals are known for having voracious appetites, are curious, they love to explore but can spook easily and get overwhelmed in large enclosures. Western Hognoses do not require special lighting or misting, tolerate handling and generally tame-up well. For these reasons and more Western Hognoses can make fantastic beginner pets.

We have spent several years specializing in Western Hognoses and cross-reference our information with other reputable breeders and vets from around the world.  All products mentioned are based on our own honest reviews.

BASIC INFORMATION

Temperament - Not aggressive but anxious by nature, easy to handle. Can be picky eaters if not set up correctly or weened long enough. Overall a good beginner to intermediate pet. 

Lifespan – 15 - 20+ Years

Humidity 40% - 60%

Heating – Hot Side - 90 °F / 32.2 °C - 93 °F / 33.9 °C (Max)
                   Cold Side - 75 °F / 23.9 °C - 80 °F / 26.7 °C

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 July, 1 2021

HEATING

Hot Side - 90 °F / 32.2 °C - 93 °F / 33.9 °C (Max)
Cold Side - 75 °F / 23.9 °C - 80 °F / 26.7 °C

Please read our detailed guide on Western Hognose Heating, which can be found on our website under our "Care Information header" Here is a quick summary. A reptile grade thermostat hooked to an under-tank heat source is mandatory. Thermostats are for the safety of both your animal and your home. 

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, however, so long as their instructions are followed and they are hooked up to a thermostat - many keepers have had years of recorded success with them. Idealy it is best to have your animal's enclosure including the heat source set up at least two weeks prior to bringing your new pet home. This allows for time to adjust the temperature, and or replace any faulty equipment.

A temperature gun is highly recommended it is the best way of getting accurate readings.

Heat lamps are not recommended, as they can dry out an enclosure, cause stress, and don't offer a gradient. 
Never use heat rocks. ​

ENCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

Please read our detailed guide on Western Hognose Enclosures, which can be found on our website under our "Care Information header" Here is a quick summary.

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

SUBSTRATES

We have tested many substrates over the years, so far we only
recommend three different kinds. Please read our Substrates
article under the "Care Information" heading on our website.

#1 "Yesterdays News" (Non-scented) a paper pellet cat litter. 

#2 Large Coco Husk/Chip Any brand so long as there are no additives!)

#3 "Fresh 4 Life” (Non-scented) a paper pellet cat litter.

Coco Fiber In addition in a deep dish,  for burrowing without the mess. 
Do not use - Pine, Cedar, Calci-Sand, or Aspen products.

FEEDING

We recommend not feeding your new pet for the first 5-7 days of arrival. This allows them time to settle and build an appetite. 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 often backfires. 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 onto 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 go off food altogether!

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 react to their bite. Most bites are accidental and occur during feeding. If you are concerned about receiving an accidental bite, feeding tongs are advised.

Symptoms can include, itching, swelling, nausea, and irritation. Those with allergies or sensitivities may be at higher risk for reacting to a bite. The chance of reacting 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.

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

- Thermostat (Mandatory)

- Under Tank Heat Source

- Cage (See Enclosure Requirements)

- Temp Gun (Highly recommended)

​- 2 Digital Thermometers (optional)

- 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

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