What Kind of Snake Makes The Best Pet?

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Are you wondering what the best snakes to keep as pets are? In this article we answer the questions: What is the best pet snake for a child? What is the best pet snakes to handle? What is the best pet snake for beginners? Read on to see our list of top ten best pet snakes:

10 Best Pet Snake Breeds

Boa Constrictor

Boa constrictors may not be the best pet for beginners, kids or your first pet snake but this is mainly one of the breed of snakes that are widely bred by amateurs and experts as house pet. They are non-aggressive animals with great patience. They are non-temperamental snakes that mostly sit back and get relaxed. The boa constrictor has a lifespan of 30 years and can grow largely with an average length of 3 to 5 meters depending on the type of boa constrictor. Snake this long and this large should be greatly considered at homes, especially with kids living around. It requires great training, knowledge, understanding and alertness.

Bull Snake

Bull snake is also a known type of snake that people commonly choose as pets. The reason would be like most of other snakes where it is harmless to humans or can inflict minimal harm on worst case scenario. The bull snake is non-venomous but it is not referred to as a good snake choice for beginners. While amateurs and experts have enough experience to handle the bull snake, beginners might find it a little hard. This snake is a little bit hyper, full of movement and a little bit fast where it can easily escape a cage if not handled properly.

Garter Snake

The garter snake is often referred to or known with their other name, “gardener snake” as it can often be seen in gardens and areas with blooming flowers and filled with plants. This type of snake can be easily tamed. You can earn their trust at almost immediately but there is some nervous garter snake that would take some time to get tamed. They are non-venomous snake and can grow with only a length of 2 to 3 feet long. Garter snake may not be the best choice as a pet for beginner but it can really pass criteria of the best pet snake. It may bite like other nervous snake as their defense as well as release foul or pungent odors but none of which can cause intense pain or injuries.

Python

There are actually a lot of types or breeds of pythons. However, we are referring to the long and large breed or type of python snakes. This type of snake is not really aggressive, slow and does not really enjoy a lot of movement. It may seem that easy to handle knowing its basic characteristics right? But no! As python’s grow large, it requires great strength to handle them. Snakes as large and as long as pythons could grow about 20 to 30 feet, requires you to have an assistant or an aid to handle it at home. Also, you need to educate, train and let family members at home about the nature of the animal to keep away from worst case scenarios. A tamed python can really give you a satisfying feeling and it’s probably one of the best snakes you can have as pets. There is even some snake enthusiast that lets their python sleep on their bed but do it at your own risk.

Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are the most popular and commonly known pet snake for beginners and amateurs. They can be handled pretty much but not as easy as other snakes due to its hyperactivity. Corn snakes won’t just simply stop moving around your hand as your hold them nor stay in one place inside a cage. However, it’s a great choice for most newbies due to its characteristics such as being non-venomous, small and short and does not pose any threat to humans. It could sometimes bite when stressed out, irritated or threatened but it’s not as painful as other snake’s bite.

King Snake

King snake has a strong and fearsome name. It also looks strikingly fearless and tough. But that’s in the eye of their prey to tell. This type of snake can do no harm with humans. In fact, they usually fear it when you hold them and become skittish. They defecate out of fear of humans holding them but with the right training and earning their trust, you’d really enjoy the company of this snake. They are quite easy to handle, does not move a lot and have a good temperament.

Gopher Snake

This type of snake can grow to about 5 feet long. It’s larger and longer than the king snake, corn snake, gartner snake and other more. It’s ideal to be kept in a 55 gallon aquarium/tank or at cage designed for large to XL sizes snakes. It can survive by just feeding it with rodents but if you feel like you can’t handle feeding it with live animals, know that gopher snakes would eat even a dead rat. It makes them seem a little less picky. This snake, regardless of being a pet or in the wilds, is docile breeds of snakes. Given that you’re handling it properly, it poses no threats or biting tendencies. Not unless your hand smells like food. Even thou, the bit is not that lethal. It’s not a venomous snake. The power of the bite is also not that strong compared to larger and wilder snakes.

Ball Python

The ball python is a type or breed of python that grows short. It has an average length of 3 to 5 feet only, compared to large and long breed of pythons that stretches to about 20 to 30 feet long. The great thing about ball pythons is that it is very easy to handle. The snake does not move much. It prefers to sit around and be lax. It may be thick and lengthy to other smaller snakes such as corn snakes but it’s easier for you to handle ball pythons. This is actually a great snake for beginners or starters.

Milk Snake

Milk snake is small type of snakes ideal and one of the best pet snakes you can have. They are non-venomous snake that has a lifespan of about 10 to 12 years depending on how well you care. The snake has great temperament but when it really does bite due to threat or mishandling, the bite won’t be that much painful compared to ball pythons. However, this snake moves a lot or a bit hyper compared to other smaller snakes. It needs you to be more careful when letting it out of the cage. This snake can easily pass by your hand as you open the cage.

Hognose Snake

The Hognose snake is widely known due to its physical characteristics. It has a snouted nose unlike any nose you’d see on snakes. They also have a unique behavior of flipping their back over. It’s sort of their way to play dead. People often confuse cobras with Hognose snake. It is possible because of their behavior, the same with cobra.  The Hognose snake flattens its neck and raises its head, readying itself to strike. However, a Hognose snake is non-temperamental. It’s less likely to get scared or threatened by humans but in occasions that it does, they may strike but usually does not bite.

This is a comprehensive list of the top 10 types of pet snakes to own, and below we will cover which breeds in particular are suited for your kids, or for beginners, for handling, etc.

Best Pet Snake For Handling

There are some people that would prefer snakes other than our suggested but for those who are yet about to decide with what snake to get that can be easily handled would be the ball python. The type of snake is known for just taking its seat and relaxing most of the time. A snake that does not move much is the one that can be easily handled. Some might prefer corn snakes due to their non-temperamental characteristics but corn snakes won’t easily allow you to do the things you want. They’ll keep on struggling to move around.

Best Pet Snake For Beginners

The choices for the best pet for beginners are different in every assessor or experienced pet snake owner. However, most would prefer the corn snake as the best for beginners. All snakes may bite. It’s a given circumstance that seems less likely to be avoided. However, corn snakes are known to be calm and non-temperamental. Adding to that, in case they would bite, it wouldn’t be that painful and are not venomous. The bite case scenario would be the thing you’d think about when you’re a beginner. Corn snakes will definitely be good for starters.

Best Pet Snake For Kids

First and foremost, you should orient your kids about the responsibilities and training they would dedicate themselves when owning a snake for a pet before getting them one. It’s a serious matter because most kids would just toy with it for a while and would seize all responsibilities in an instant. Some kids also can’t handle the gruesome fact that they have to feed their snakes live animals. Take some considerations before giving them a snake for a pet.

Now, going with answering what the best snake for kids, it would be between several snakes with almost the same characteristics. The preference of most experts would lead to king snake, corn snake, ball python and hognose snake. Some might say to include the milk snake but milk snake are fast moving small snake where they can easily escape their cage when your kids come up to open them. On the other hand, a king snake along with corn, hognose and ball python does not have any fast moving characteristics and all of them are highly safe for humans, non-venomous, non-temperamental and very easy to handle.

Best First Pet Snake

The best first pet snake does not mean just a snake that would just let you enjoy handling it. Being the first pet snake means to choose the snake that could teach you training, care and responsibility so that you could later on take higher breeds of exotic pets and most reptiles and not just snakes. The ideal choice would be the king snake or the milk snake. Unlike the ball python that just sits and relaxes or the corn snake that just won’t care if it crawls all day in your arms, the king snake and milk snake are slightly different.

The king snake isn’t as docile as the other 4 snakes mentioned in the best pet snake for kids. King snake without proper training can get a little skittish. This means that the animal experience either extreme excitement or extreme scare. There are times that loudness, fast movement, touch or handling can get the animal scared and almost instantly defecate or crap itself out. This allows you to teach yourself how to establish trust with the animal.

It’s the same thing with milk snakes. The animal is fast moving and can easily escape you if you’re not careful. The human friendly snake will teach you more about being careful. Opening a milk snake’s cage is not like other type of snakes where you can grab them because they do not move around much. Milk snakes will grab their chance to get out of the cage the moment you open it up.

Best Small Pet Snakes

Small snakes usually have shorter lifespan compared to larger snakes. However, the Hognose snake is far beyond other small pet snake’s lifespan. The average longevity of small snakes such as corn snakes 6 to 8 years and the milk snake would be around 10 to 12 years. The Hognose snake has an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years. It’s almost the same as King snake but with the skittish characteristics of the king snake, the Hogsnake perfectly fits the category.

How To Care For Your Pet Snake: Our Top 10 Recommended Books:

Designer Morphs: Western Hognose Snakes-a Complete Guide to Care, Breeding Morphs and Mutations

 

 

This is a complete guide to all there is you need to do with snakes, from taking care, to breeding to mutations and more. The Designer Morphs Western Hognose Snake Guide is one of the best-selling book guides you can have. It might refer to the ways of a popular pet breed, the Hognose snake but the ways you take care of the animal can be applied with other pet breeds.

Good Snakekeeping: A Comprehensive Guide to All Things Serpentine

 

 

One of the best books we’d recommend is the Good Snakekeeping book which contains a detailed and comprehensive guide about the things you need to know and do with your pet snake. The great thing about this book is that it refers to the general type of snake rather than targeting a single or specific breed.

The Snake: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet

 

 

Looking for a good guide to make you happy as a pet snake owner? This book is highly recommended for those snake pet owners who start to get stressed out in taking care of their pets. It is possible that you’re taking care of your pet incorrectly. This guide will help you keep a good relationship with your snake and keeping it healthy.

Care for a Pet Snake

 

 

This book is recommended for kids who want to have a snake as their home pet. It teaches young minds how to take care of the animal and helping them learn the responsibilities they need to do and some considerations they should know with the risks of getting a snake. This book also discusses all the things you need to keep the animal safe, contained and controlled.

How to Care for Your Snake (Your First Pet) by Elizabeth Walker (2003) Paperback

 

 

If snakes are your first pet, this book is highly recommended for you. It puts you in a disadvantage if you haven’t had any pets before and you’d start with snakes. You still have less experience with understanding animal instincts and behaviors as well as taking full responsibility of the animal. This book will guide you through all those and most especially with how to care for your snake.

Corn Snakes: The Comprehensive Owner’s Guide (The Herpetocultural Library)

 

 

This book discusses everything you need to know with corn snakes as pet. The book is highly rated and best-selling corn sake pet guide. We highly recommend this book due to the fact that corn snake is a popular choice by plenty of pet owners. This will provide you the information you need to handle the snake and to keep the animal strong, safe and healthy.

Snakes: A Golden Guide from St. Martin’s Press

 

 

The Golden Guide from St. Martin’s Press all talks about the things you need to consider with snakes, its behaviors, characteristics and more. It is a general book for different types of snakes and not just one in particular. The book is well-illustrated, easy to read, use and authoritative. There are dozens of different species included in the book, all with pictures and description discussing each traits of the snake.

Snakes of Central Texas: A Guide to Common & Notable Species (Quick Reference Guides)

 

 

This book mostly discusses snakes found in different areas of Central Texas. It’s a good book where you can learn different species of snakes that can be found in the state. This makes it a good read because Texas is known to have a lot of population of snakes in different breeds. Like in the country of Australia, the state of Texas is also crawling with these amazing reptiles. It will help you learn the species and eventually develop the skill to take care of them.

Texas Snakes: A Field Guide (Texas Natural History Guides™)

 

 

If you still want to learn more about snakes in Texas, this is another book up for grabs. This discusses all the snakes in the area of Texas and not just in Central Texas. You’d see all type of snakes with pictures/illustrations and descriptions about the snake, including its behavior and characteristics. The species ranges from the well-known venomous snake, the rattle snake, down to the tiniest and smallest non-venomous snake available in the state.

Snake: Chris Mattison

 

 

One of the highly rated books and with so many good customer reviews is Chris Mattinson’s “Snake”. It is a comprehensive and detailed book that talks about more than three thousand species of snakes, their nature, characteristics, traits, behaviors and some insights about how to take care of the animal if ever you plan on getting one as pet. This book also contains some of the deadliest and dangerous breeds of snakes you should not come across with.

How To Travel With Your Snake

When you’re always on the go and on travels, first thing you should know that most planes do not allow snakes. So if you plan on bringing your pet snake, plan way ahead of time before choosing what airlines to cater your flight. Look for airlines that allow snakes to be on board and what would be their travel requirements. This consideration is also applicable with train, bus, taxi and other mode of travel or transport.

Health certificates are given to travelling people with pets on the go. You should secure yours as it is possibly one of the requirements of an airline and other transportation establishment to allow you to carry our pet snake with you. Furthermore, some states would require you the certificate before they’d allow you to cross the line. The health certificate must be new or at least 10 days prior to your travel date.

Secure a container that can hold the snake safe from any impacts as the travel might get rough and can secure them from escaping. Usually, pet containers go along with other luggage. Colliding with moving luggage’s can result to breaking the cage if it’s not that strong or sturdy, freeing your snake. Cover the cage or container or keep it in a hide box to avoid stressing your pet snake. The more the things your pet snake sees during its travel, the more stressful it is and would possibly be aggravated.

Put a lining on the containers floor, usually old news paper or cardboard. It makes things easier for you to clean after you take out the snake from the cage to the new container on your destination. Additionally, the containers must also vary with the size of your pet. Snakes need room to breath and slightly move. Appropriate sizes should be met so your pet snake would experience no risk, harm or injuries.

FAQ’s:

Do I need a permit to keep a snake?

There are some countries without proper laws and regulations regarding animal care and well-being that does not require you a permit or license to own an exotic pet or reptile such as snake. However, most countries and each state in the US requires you to do so. In addition, you can only get a snake from licensed and expert breeders. It is illegal to own a snake by just taking it out in the wild as it will result in some species being locally extinct. Further so, people will also start to take wild animals from the wild rather than purchasing from a licensed breeder because owning them will be free. By that said, laws and regulations have been implemented throughout most states to keep people from endangering animals in their vicinity.

Also for an added tip, you might want to check out your local laws whether it is safe for you to release your snake when you decided to stop breeding the animal. Pet snakes are far less likely to survive in the wild and they can cause disturbance in the local ecosystem to where you have released them. Most likely when you want to stop petting snakes, you’d surrender the animal to your local animal shelter, animal control or expert breeders.

Can you breed snakes for profit?

Most people who sell snakes and have a license are actually breeding the animal out of their hobby and not as their main source of profit. The pleasure of breeding the animal and allowing them to reproduce would add to your expenses as a breeder. Somehow, licensed and expert breeders makes some profit by selling snakes that they have bred and could return some of their investments. Some even have become more successful that they are earning more than what they expense to maintain their breed strong and healthy.

Snake Breeding tips?

The most important skill you should know when you plan on breeding is determining the gender of the snake. Somehow this is a little complicated than just looking for the male or female genitalia. There are times that even expert breeders need the use of a metal probe just to identify the snake’s gender.

Before snakes come into a period of heating, they first need to hibernate. Doing so will require you not to feed the animal. You just need to supply it with clean water until the snake gradually heats up. Once the snake is in heat, you can feed it lightly just so it can regain some strength for reproduction.

Of course, breeding can only occur when the male and female comes together. Place the male into the female cage and observe if the female will resist the male’s urge or not. If the female snake resist, then you need to separate them before both of them becomes aggravated. If it does not resist, then just let them be for a week or two as they will mate within the time span.

Snake FAQ’S:

Are snakes reptiles?

Yes, snake is an animal species that belongs to the reptile class. Reptiles also include animals such as lizards, turtles, crocodiles and more. They are cold blooded animals that does not have temperature regulating body and rely on their surroundings to increase or decrease body temperature.

Are snakes nocturnal?

Actually, snakes are either nocturnal or diurnal. They go out at any time, any day as needed. Cold blooded animals need to regulate their body temperature as needed by their body and there is not actual time of the day that they need to do so.

Are snakes blind?

Snakes are not blind by nature. Actually, their eyes are functional and have unique functional features depending on the type or breed of snakes. They undergo temporary blindness when they start to shed their skin but that does not put their hunting skills or capabilities impaired. Snakes use the function of their forked tongue to smell preys accurately. It’s more likely to act as their eyes.

Are snakes asexual?

No. Snakes need to be in pair with the opposite gender in order to reproduce. There aren’t a lot of animals that can reproduce asexually. Snakes are animals that belong to the species that can’t reproduce on their own.

Are snakes good pets?

Snakes are unique kind of pets and generally, pet owners who own a snake would think that they are. There’s no question to it. Snakes are good pet if you take full responsibility and learn the nature of the animal and its behaviors.

Are snakes vertebrates?

It brings to mind that snakes might not have any bones due to their flexibility. Interestingly enough, they have backbones that support and connect all their bones making them vertebrates. In fact, snakes or one of the animals that has a lot of vertebrae ranging from 200 to 400 attaching to many ribs.

Are snakes venomous?

There are snakes that are and that aren’t. Depending on the type or breed, snakes can be venomous and non-venomous. Non-venomous snakes are usually the types that are preferred to as pet snakes because they won’t put humans to danger in case of bites.

Are snakes deaf?

Snakes do not have an ear but that does not make them deaf. They have bodily apparatus that determines sounds and vibrations attached to their head and jaw part. In fact, they can hear low frequency sounds that humans can’t. This is a cool bodily feature apart from their sense of smell and sight.

Are snakes smart?

No. Snakes are not smart and even do have a small brain. All the snake’s movement and behavior are determined by their instincts to survive, especially when they hunt for their prey. However, snakes are intelligent enough to identify itself and its owner. It’s also enough to train and tame the animal.

Are snakes omnivores?

Snakes only eat live animal meat and tissue making them carnivorous. You might confuse some of the snake’s name such as corn snake or garden snake implying that the snake eats only corn and garden plants. That’s not the case. All snakes are carnivorous and the names are given to where they usually reside and have small critters that leave close by where they can hunt.

Are snakes affectionate?

Sadly, no they are not. Don’t confuse snakes coiling around their owner as cuddling. The usual reason why snakes coil around their owners as if they are cuddling with them is that they need the body heat of humans to regulate theirs. Snakes brain does not have any intellect to form any emotion, affection or attachment.

Are snakes afraid of dogs?

It would be the same as animals in the wild. It’s a nature of every animal to treat everything around it as danger or threat. A snake would simply defend itself from dogs due to instincts. Additionally, there are a lot of cases of dogs getting bitten by snakes. There are also cases that dogs are getting eaten by large snakes. This simply means that snakes in nature, are not afraid of dogs. However, snakes can also be harmed by dogs. It works both ways.

Are snakes afraid of cats?

Smaller house or backyard snake might get scared of cats and would consider them a high threat animal as cats love to hunt and play. However, it’s not safe to say that snakes are afraid of cats. As we’ve known, snakes do not convey emotions. They would likely find all other animals as either their prey or predator.

Are snakes born or hatched?

Not all snakes have the same process of reproduction. Although none of which are asexual, snakes can either be born live or hatched through eggs. A good example of snakes being born live is in the family of Boa Constrictors. The same with rattle snake, vipers, etc.

Are snakes hot or cold blooded?

They are cold blooded animals like all other reptiles. They cannot or do not have the capability to regulate their body temperature and are dependent on nature. If they find it too hot, they’d find a cover, shed or swim on waters to keep them cold or if they find it too cold, they’d crawl out under the heat of the sun to keep them warm.

Are snakes color blind?

No. They actually have two sets of seeing things. The first set sees colors more sharply than human eyes. The second set of eyes is capable of seeing heat signatures expelled by living thing’s body. That’s why snakes are highly capable of seeing their prey day or night.

Are snakes carnivores?

Yes they are. They only eat meat and tissue of animals. There are no other means of feeding a snake. That’s why if you can’t take the gore of feeding a snake a live animal, better not to choose them as pets.

Are snakes dirty?

There is some risk of salmonella but not just with snakes. Salmonella is present in all reptiles. There are low risks and probabilities of getting yourself infected by the bacteria but it’s still a possibility. However, other than that, snakes are quite clean.

Are snakes exotic pets?

Generally, the meaning of the term exotic pets differs in each context your referred them to be. As of the time being, snakes might be popular but there are only a few percentage of the world’s population who owns a snake as their pet, making it an exotic pet. However, as time goes by and when snakes gradually becomes a popular choice as home pets, taking over a large percentage of  the world’s population who owns a snake, it will no longer be an exotic pet.

Are snakes easy to take care of?

That depends on the type or breed of snake. Mostly home snake pets are easy to take care and handle due to their small size and length as well as minimal requirement when it comes to food, cleaning and maintenance. Larger snakes and unique breed of snakes will likely be harder to take care.

Are snakes endothermic?

No, they do not have the capabilities of generating or producing their own body heat. They are highly dependent on nature’s way of cooling or heating. That’s why they are also referred to as cold blooded animals. They go out under the heat of the sun when it’s cold or take a moment to find a shed or swim on waters to cool when it’s hot.

Are snakes faster than humans?

Snakes are fast crawling animal but they aren’t that fast compared to humans. The fastest moving snake is the black mamba where it has a world record of 12 mph. Humans can run an average or at least 15 mph. This simply means that humans are faster than snakes.

Are snakes good for the environment?

Some of you might think that snakes are dangerous, aggressive, heartless creatures but they actually help the environment a lot. They are a natural pest control that regulates the population of rodents, insects, small critters, etc.

Are snakes good for the garden?

Yes. The most famous garden snake is the garter snake. It’s also called as the gardener snake. They are good for your garden because they are completely harmless to your plants, veggies and flowers. They will keep them safe from rodents, insects and other garden pests.

Are snakes immune to their own poison?

Generally, they are not. Snakes can also be poisoned by the same venom they secrete when bitten by a snake of the same species. However, snakes have high resistance and tolerance against their venom where effects are lowered. Their body as it grows will slowly produce anti-venom due to the exposure they have from the same venom.

Are snakes just tails with faces?

This is an amusing question but fortunately the answer is no. What we recognize as tail is actually their body. Snakes also have most organs the same with other animals. It has reproductive, digestive, respiratory systems, etc.

Are snakes legless lizards?

Snakes have different characteristics to lizards making them a separate species rather than legless lizards. In fact, most legless lizards still have vestigial limbs wherein snakes do not have any. There are actually no external appendages.

Are snakes loyal pets?

Unfortunately, no they aren’t. However, snakes have enough intelligence to identify and recognize their handler wherein they start to show trust and comfort around that person. You’d usually see a snake coil around their owner or handler’s hand but that does not mean that they are being loyal or affectionate. They enjoy the body heat generated by human body. This may be the case but it does not change the fact that snakes are beautiful and fascinating pets.

Are snakes mammals or reptiles?

They are of course, no doubt, reptiles. They are cold blooded animals that can’t generate their own body heat, separating them from mammals. That is why many reptile owners prefer to have reptile heating pad in their underneath their aquarium or pet cages. In addition, they do not have what mammal’s call mammary gland that is the distinctive characteristics of mammals. There are also a lot more difference when it comes to behavior, characteristics and structure.

Are snakes naturally aggressive?

They are more likely to be defending themselves against threats and dangers rather than being aggressive. Other than being aggravated, threatened or mishandled, snakes won’t likely bite you. They may however, eat their prey when they are hungry but who can blame snakes as they are thoroughly instinctive.

Are snakes social?

Snakes do not have any intellect allotted for socialism. They are neither social nor emotional. Snakes only act based on their instincts. However, their brain has enough knowledge to determine itself and its handler or owner, recognizing them through scent.

Are snakes sensitive to sound?

These wonderful creatures do not actually hear sounds the way other animals do. They are not sensitive to loud noises but rather strong vibrations. They have unique ears that can detect low frequency sounds and vibrations.

Are snakes territorial?

Most type or breed of snakes does not care about territory. They just need a place to stay and rest but they will possibly not make it their territory. There are breeds however, that kind of is such as Morelia spilota and carpet pythons and more.

Are snakes trainable?

Trainable isn’t really the right term if you think of it. Snakes can only recognize their handler as time goes by. They will keep mind of the scent and identify it as someone they can trust, gives food or handles them. Other people might threaten or aggravate the animal but it can be minimized if their handler or owner is around.

How long do snakes live?

The average lifespan of a snake is about 9 years old. That depends on the type of breed if your really want to have a specific answer. It can live less than 9 or higher than 9 depending on the type or breed of snake.

Do snakes poop?

Yes they do. However, unlike most animals, including humans, they only have one hole where they excrete waste. It can either be solid or liquid but both uses the same pathways.