For busy people that really want a pet – snails might be the perfect solution!
OK, maybe they are not your first choice of pet and they certainly cannot snuggle up to you in the middle of the night, but there are many benefits to keeping snails which include:
• They are fairly inexpensive to look after
• Their home is easy to create and maintain
• They make very little noise and disruption
• They can eat leftover fruit and vegetables
• Everyone can pick them up – please wash your hands afterwards
• They are therapeutic to watch and observe
Where to find a snail
You will be able to find a garden snail in most outdoor green spaces and especially near luscious vegetable plots. If you are struggling to find a snail, try visiting a local allotment where the owners will gladly let you take snails away from their beloved produce (please remember to ask first).
How to keep a snail
Snails can be kept in any ventilated space such as a glass tank with a lid, a shoe box again with a lid (try piercing some holes into the top), a wooden structure or more extravagant snail houses are available to buy online such as terrariums.
Snails like it to be dark but they also like fresh clean air. Try to add some interest to the snail house by adding something they can hide under and climb over, such as soil and a twig. Their home must be kept moist and not allowed to dry out completely.
Feeding your snail
Snails can eat most naturally occurring foods that are not pre-cooked. They will be very happy and content with leftover salad or just fresh dandelion leaves from your garden. As a special treat, they will benefit from crushed eggshells as this is rich in calcium. Supermarket fruit and vegetables may have pesticides on their skins and this will probably kill them, so try to keep their food as organic as possible.
So, are they the perfect pet?
It is quite possible that for many busy people snails are the perfect pet. They are very economical and easy to maintain. Snails can be calming and enchanting to watch and may act as an antidote to a busy day.
Before choosing your ideal pet, head over to Niche Pets for more advice.