How to Keep Pet Cobras

Cobras are beautiful and mysterious, yet highly venomous.
Cobras are beautiful and mysterious, yet highly venomous. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The cobra is a highly venomous snake, and it is illegal to own one in most places. However, if you are trained and certified in handling dangerous snakes, you may be able to obtain a special permit to keep a cobra as a pet. It is recommended that the cobra be defanged, although this is illegal in many places because it is considered inhumane. It is important to learn all you can about the care of this highly venomous snake before you own one as a pet.

Things You'll Need

  • Venomous snake-handling certification
  • Sealed snake box or aquarium
  • Antivenin

Keep your pet cobra in a secured snake box or aquarium. You can build your own box or buy a snake aquarium. This should be sealed and secured, but make sure you have plenty of air ventilation. The container should also have a convenient hatch for your cobra's food source, which is live rodents and other small snakes.

Find an experienced mentor in your area who is familiar with the keeping and care of poisonous snakes in homes. Not only should you have the proper venomous snake-handling certification, but you should also have a mentor who can help you if you have any questions or emergencies with your pet cobra.

Keep your cobra's sealed container away from other pets and small children. Pets and small children are likely to play around a snake's box or aquarium, which could cause the container to topple. If not sealed properly, the snake could get out, and the results could be fatal for your pet or small child.

Locate a health care facility in your area that keeps a supply of cobra antivenin in case you are bitten. Cobras are venomous. This means that an antivenin containing cobra venom is needed if bitten. It is also recommended that you keep your cell phone, car keys and restriction bandages within reach at all times when handling the pet cobra.

Inform other members of your household on the importance of proper care and handling of your cobra. It is equally important to notify people in your immediate vicinity, including close neighbors, that you have a pet cobra. They should also have contact information for the nearest health facility that has the antivenin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you are aware of all the local, state and federal laws pertaining to owning exotic and venomous reptiles and snakes. It is likely that owning a venomous snake in your area is illegal without special certification.
  • It is highly dangerous to own a pet cobra. You should own one only if you have the proper certifications and qualifications.

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