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How to care a pet Garden Snail

A garden snail is a tiny species with basic needs. Pet snails can be kept in a small jar as long as they are well cared for and obtain adequate air, water, calcium, and food.
You'll learn practical tips for housing and caring for pet snails, as well as some fun snail facts.


• two or three garden snails
• a small terrarium such as a clear glass jar or a small tank
• a container lid or cheesecloth and a rubber band to create a cover
• a limited quantity of gravel
• a small volume of potting dirt, either individually or in combination with another substrate
• small shards of bark and dried leaves
• some kind of shelter (see recommendations below).
• cuttlefish eggs, egg shells, or chalk
• drinking water
• the availability of food
• optional: moss, creeping thyme, creeping jenny, or other low-growing field covers

Prepare the snail house:

1. Thoroughly clean and dry the bottle. Make sure the jar lid has vent holes wide enough to let air in but narrow enough to avoid the snails from running out.

If you don’t have a cap, fold a double sheet of cheesecloth or gauze and cut an appropriate outline to cover the top of your bottle. Set aside the lid or cover for the time being.

2. Apply a thin layer of gravel to the tank’s bottom for drainage. Cover the gravel with an inch and a half of dirt or soil that has been topped with another layer like spaghum moss, coir or peat.

3. Include a home for your new snails. A little plastic pot on its side and half immersed in the dirt works well. By leaning a piece of bark against the container wall, you can build a miniature lean-to. Snails adore this kind of hiding place.

4. If desired, tuck small plants into the soil, such as creeping thyme and moss. Mix with pieces of bark and little dry leaves. Water the plants and soil until they are wet but not drenched. In essence, you now have a tiny terrarium that is almost ready for its new occupants.


If you don't already have snails, now is the time to get them. 

Pick up each snail by its shell and gently position it in the terrarium. A large mason jar can accommodate two snails a small tank, such as the one seen here, is about six inches long, four inches deep, and five inches high, and can hold up to four snails.


Snail food should be included. Provide as much diversity as possible. They eat a variety of fruits such as apples, blackberries, kiwis, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, and strawberries. Give cucumber, onion, a baby carrot cut in half lengthwise, broccoli, spinach, kale, or dandelion leaves as well.
Observe snails outdoors to see what other leaves they want to eat; odds are, your pet snails will enjoy the same meal.

Snails use calcium and minerals to create their shells, so add any egg shell or natural chalk in the tank. Cuttlefish purchased from a pet shop may also be given.
Once you've added food to your snail home, remember to replace the lid. If you're using cheesecloth or gauze, tie it down or use a rubber band to hold it in place. You don't want snails getting into your house and injuring or frightening people.


Every day, change the produce, scraping uneaten leaves and replacing them with new foodstuff. Wipe off the terrarium's glass walls with a sponge every few days. If the soil is drying out, fill a clean spray bottle halfway with water and mist the interior of the tank (along with the snails) until the soil is damp but not sopping wet.

Remove everything from the tank once a week, wash and dry everything, and then add a fresh layer of substrate. Instead of planting new seeds, make a bed of dandelion leaves over the top of the soil. Wilted dandelion leaves act as both a sandbox and a plate for more fruit. When it's time to tidy up in a day or two, just pick the dandelions and any food that has fallen on top of them.
When treating your pet snails or washing their terrarium, remember to wash your face.


Native snails have a lifespan of up to 15 years. Garden snails have the advantage of being able to be released back into the wild if you are unable to provide for them for whatever reason.

Each snail species has a shell pattern that is shared by all of its members.
Snails that live in cold climates produce natural antifreeze in their blood to save them from freezing.
Snails are unable to survive abrupt temperature changes, but their bodies respond well to progressive climate change. During hibernation, their heartbeats slow and the amount of oxygen they absorb decreases drastically.

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