About 80 percent of worries and questions asked by new reptile enthusiasts about ball pythons borders around ‘if ball pythons are good pets’.
You are here because you can’t help but wonder, ‘are ball pythons good pets? Do they make good pets for beginners?’ needless to wonder. Ball pythons irrefutably make great pet snakes. They are among the most popular species of snakes kept as pets.
The study proves that out of every 10 homes that own pets in the United States, 4 are ball pythons. They are mostly chosen as pets over other species because they are calm, compliant, and very inexpensive to maintain.
In this article, we’ll expound more on some irresistible reasons ball pythons make good pets that you may not have known. These reasons exclusively outweigh whatever misconceptions you may have had about them. So keep reading.
Are Ball Pythons Good Pets?
Yes, they make good pets. Even if you’re new to snakes or reptiles as a whole, you would love the calm nature of ball pythons. Another fact is, ball python is one of many snakes that are not poisonous. This makes them super fantastic to be own as pets.
As mentioned earlier, ball pythons are non-venomous docile snakes. This fact opposes the general belief that snakes are poisonous, wild-caught animals. Thus, should only be kept in the wild. These West African native snakes became pets a few decades ago.
They are the most popular snakes kept both at home and in zoos. They are also the only species with the highest number of morphs. As of 2016, more ball python morphs were recorded making the total number 5000.
Breeders over the years have developed a remarkable interest in breeding this species, and the result is the abundance of attractively colorful morphs that you can choose from.
That being said, let’s quickly delve into the reasons they make good pets.
12 Reasons Ball Pythons Make Good Pets
They Are Inexpensive To Buy and Cheap To Set Up
Starting from the cost of the snake from a pet store, to how much you would have to spend to keep it, is relatively very low compared to keeping other reptiles.
A normal (without much designs) ball python is sold for as low as $40 while the most beautiful morphs will sell for a much higher price starting from $200. And except you’re opting for a more colorful morph, you’ll not have to spend too much to buy it.
After your purchase, setting up their habitat is also very cheap. Ball pythons do not require too much enclosure accessories to thrive. The basic accessories are the hides (two hides to be provided at both ends of the enclosure), branches for climbing, water dish, and backdrops.
All these items are inexpensive. One beautiful thing is that once you get these accessories, you’ll not need to replace them in the future till the snake dies. Except in situations, your snake outgrew a particular accessory which you can get it a bigger size.
They Are Of Manageable Size
Unlike boa constrictors, ball pythons don’t usually get too big in size to a point it’ll require two people to handle it. At birth baby ball pythons measure between 10-16 inches and weigh between 50-100g.
The longest a ball python will get as an adult is 5 feet. At this size, it’ll weigh between 3-5 pounds. Since they are sexually dimorphic, the males will be much smaller measuring between 2-3 feet. As you can see, their small size which is easy to handle makes them good pets over other species.
They Are Easy To Care For and Maintain
Not only are ball pythons convenient and affordable to feed, but they eat just once in a week. Depending on the size of the feeder, they will have to be fed every 10 days if the feeder prey is big.
This reduces the number of times you’ll have to check up on them. As babies and juveniles, they eat rat pups and fuzzies once a week. As they grow, the number of times in which they eat reduces to once in two weeks.
Unlike in skinks or other reptiles, ball pythons do not crave for excessive handling and exercises. They are just fine in their hides. You might have preoccupied your mind with claims that ball pythons are picky eaters; however, this will only happen when you have failed to keep their habitat to wild-standard.
If you are equal to the task in providing the right environment, then you will not have this issue to deal with. One thing you should take note of ball pythons is that they do not like changes in their environment and they get stressed quickly.
Any significant change in their environment will constitute a stress to them and this is often the main reason they will not eat. In addition, ball pythons don’t get sick often if you care for them properly.
However, if they do, you wouldn’t have to spend a fortune on vet bills. Taking them for a health checkup and diagnosis is cheap.
Their Habitat Is Easy To Clean
I’m a career person, I’m always so busy, I have my business to attend to. Then ball pythons are ideal for you because cleaning their habitat is easy. They eat once a week and poop once a week.
In each of the sessions when they are done eating or pooping, you clean up their enclosure and you’re good to go. Unlike with most warm-blooded pets like dogs and cats, there’s no unnecessary everyday surprises such as vomit, indoor accidents, and many more.
They Are Not Smelly Pets
As long as you clean up their poops the same day they drop it, then there wouldn’t be any smell issues both in their enclosure and in your home. The fact that they eat and poops once in a week makes cleaning their habitat easy. Moreover, ball python poops are less offensive in smell.
They Do Not Make Noise
Normally, snakes will flick their tongues and hiss, but some will make some noise that is rather so disturbing to humans. Ball pythons do not make unnecessary noise. They are calm and docile snakes and this makes them good pets to have around at home.
They Are Calm and Slow In Movement
Some people get frightened by the fast movement of some species of snakes like corn snakes. However, if you are choosing a ball python as a pet snake, then you don’t have to worry about its speed because they are slow in movement.
They Are Long-Lived
Most reptile enthusiasts don’t like choosing pets that have a short lifespan. Nobody would want to lose his adorable pet so soon to death. In choosing this snake as a pet you should be aware that you’re in for a long term commitment. They live on average 30 years with good care.
They Don’t Take Too Much Space
Having ball pythons as companions at home wouldn’t rob you of your space. Since they don’t emit a bad smell, you can keep their enclosure in your room or any other comfortable place within the house.
They Come In a Vast Variety to Choose From
As of 2016, a total of 5000 ball python morphs was recorded. These morphs come in various irrefutably beautiful and attractive colors and patterns different from the normal black-color found in the wild.
With such a wide diversity, keepers have a vast variety to choose from. Are you a lover of brown, white, yellow, purple, or black? Do you fancy different spots or stripes? Would you rather go for blue eyes, red eyes, brown eyes, or blue-gray eyes?
The combination is endless. Whatever your ideal pet snake should look like, we’re sure there’s going to be a ball python that is ideal to match your taste.
They Are Less Temperamental
Ball pythons are known for their good disposition. They cannot harm humans and they do not defend themselves aggressively.
The best they do when frightened is to curl up their body into a ball. Incidences of bites from ball pythons are rare. However, this may differ with individual snakes.
They Are Beginner-Friendly
Opinions collected from experienced breeders in a reptile forum prove that ball pythons are one of the most beginner-friendly snakes. These breeders unanimously agreed not to have had any issues with their snake when they first got it.
Bonus: Ball Python Facts
How well do you know ball pythons? I bet there are many facts about their nature and behavior that you don’t know. This is why many keepers make mistakes in their husbandry. Getting acquainted with these facts will help you have a better knowledge of this species.
This section is aimed at exposing you to these facts. Keep reading!
- They Are Constrictors: The first interesting fact about ball pythons is that they are constrictors. They capture their prey by curling their large body around it.
- While most snakes hunt by flicking their tongues, ball pythons hunt by sensing heat in their prey. They achieve this with the help of the heat-detecting pits located around their mouth.
- Ball pythons are nocturnal. They can see clearly at night or in the dark.
- Ball pythons in the wild consume their prey whole.
- Their name “BALL” emanates from their ability to curl up into a tight ball capable of being rolled. This in the wild is a defensive technique used to escape from predators.
- Ball pythons are long-lived snakes they can live up to 40 years with proper care.
- Some snakes give birth to live babies, but ball pythons lay clutches of eggs. They only lay one clutch of many eggs in one reproductive season.
- Ball pythons are sexually dimorphic. What this means is that their females grow longer and heavier than the males. If you’re not ready to manage a pet as long as 5-6 feet once it attains adulthood, opt for a male.
- Ball pythons are the only species of reptiles with the highest number of morphs. About 5000 known morphs as of 2016.
- Ball pythons are the best beginner-friendly pet because they are very cheap and easy to care for and they also get adapted to their new environment easily.
- Ball pythons are very quiet animals. Without you checking up on them in their enclosure, one wouldn’t know they’re around.
- Ball pythons are also called ‘snakes that look like donuts’ because when they lay docile in curls, they really look like donuts.
- Ball pythons are non-venomous and cannot harm or kill humans.
- The food ball pythons prey on in the wild is determined by their gender.
- Because of excessive exotic trade of this species, ownership of ball pythons as pets in some cities is illegal.
- Ball pythons have flat smooth heads with over 100 teeth.
- There’s no zoo without ball pythons. That’s how popular they are.
- Ball pythons shed regularly (between 5-7 weeks) and will become moody (refusing to eat) during this period.
- Ball pythons can be very bad picky eaters if kept in inappropriate conditions.
- The Ball pythons don’t have subspecies. What they have is morphs resulting from cross-breeding.
- No two morphs of ball pythons are identical. They may look similar but they are different.
- If you don’t call them ball pythons or snakes that look like donuts, you can call them ‘ROYAL PYTHONS’. Breeders in Europe call them royals.
- Ball pythons do not like significant changes in their cage setup or environments and this the main reason they will be stressed and will not want to eat.
We admire your zeal for not wanting to own a pet like a dog or cat because not everybody feels that snakes should be kept at home as pets. Ball pythons are fantastic pets that are easy to manage which many people don’t know.
To crown it all, there are tons of educational and informative articles regarding its husbandry so you will know how to care for your pet. Ball pythons can go for a long period without care. Since they only eat and poop once in a week, you wouldn’t need to check on them every day.
However, you will have to make sure that they have enough freshwater to drink while you’re away.