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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Sand Boas & Rosy Boas Setup Steps

Sand Boas & Rosy Boas

Experience Level: Intermediate

Sand and Rosy Boa in terrarium

Sand Boa

Did you know? The Sand Boa is most commonly found in East Africa where as the Rosy Boa is only one of two members of the Boiade family native to the United States.

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

While these species originate from semi-arid regions of the US and Africa, they thrive in reptile
terrariums. These boas are best housed individually.

(A) Use a well-ventilated 20-gallon (26-30" long) or larger terrarium for an adult (a 10-gallon terrarium may be used for a juvenile snake).

(B) Use a locking screened lid, if not included with habitat.

Step 2Heating and Lighting

These snakes require a temperature gradient (cool side/warm side) to appropriately regulate their body temperature. Temperatures within the habitat should also vary between daytime and nighttime hours.

• Equip the habitat with two (C) thermometers (one on each side of habitat) and one (D) hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

• Supplemental heat on the warm side of the habitat should be provided by a daytime heat bulb. Turn the daytime (E) heat bulb off at night.

• Use a ceramic heat emitter, under-tank heater or night heat lamp as needed to maintain nighttime temperatures.


Target Range
Humidity 30-50%
Day - Cool Side 75-80o F (24-27o C)
Day - Warm Side 85-90o F (29-32o C)
Night 65-70o F (18-21o C)


• These snakes are nocturnal; spending daytime hours hidden, but need a 12-hour day/night schedule. If room light does not provide enough light, use a fluorescent bulb for additional light.

• For night viewing, use a night-specific bulb to minimize visible light provided to your snake.

Step 3Substrate and Decor

(F) Use a 2" (5 cm) of aspen or sand reptile bedding.

• Spot clean waste after defecation and completely change bedding at least once a month.

(G) Add a wood/rock hiding place in the cool area of the home for hiding.
(H) Provide branches for hiding and climbing.

• Ensure decor is large and stable enough for the size of your snake.

• Provide a secure water bowl large enough so it cannot be easily tipped.

Sand Boa and Rosy Boa in terrarium

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your snake, give him 3-4 days to adjust to his new surroundings while monitoring his behavior for any signs of stress or illness. Shortly after purchase, ask a veterinarian familiar with reptiles to examine your snake.

Things to Watch For
• Eating or drinking less; weight loss
• Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
• Shedding problems; discolored skin
• Decreased basking; more time spent hiding

If you notice any of the above signs, speak with a PetSmart store associate or reptile veterinarian with questions about the health of your pet.

PetSmart Cares
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.
• Specific standards for in-store pet care.
• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.