06 Ball Python Toys And Enrichment Ideas

If giving your pet ball python a lovely home is one of your priorities, you have to add some toys to its tank. Ball python toys aren’t expensive things that you would have had to get if you were to house a dog.

Their toys are part of their cage requirements for survival. In short, they are necessities. In the wild, ball pythons are not social animals. They aren’t configured to have fun or feel emotion like mammals do.

Every activity they do in the wild is literally for survival. They bask under the sun to regulate their body temperature and digest food. They climb and explore around to get some food and so on.

That said, some toys in their tank is an awesome way to keep your captive ball python healthy and happy.

You might be wondering what kind of toys do ball pythons need? Needless to worry because this article will take you through some awesome toy ideas for pet ball pythons. But before that, you need to know what to look for before buying toys for ball pythons.

What To Look For When Choosing Toys For Ball Pythons

Before you head to the market, what exactly do you want to get for your pet ball python? What will influence your buying decision?

Small note:You don’t just get them toys simply because you read that enrichment toys enhance their health in captivity.

The toys must replicate what is found in their natural habitat as much as possible.

With that in mind, the enrichment toys for your pet ball pythons should be NATURAL LOOKING. The only way to achieve a cage that mimics the wild is to get all natural-looking toys. It can be green or brown toys, but certainly not that’ll freak out your ball python.

Get Different Surfaces And Textures Of Toys

It’ll be in your pet snake’s best interest if you provide it different surfaces and textures of toys. The texture or surface of the climbing branches should not be the same as the hides. This will help make the snake feel relaxed.

Why Do You Need To Provide Toys For Your Ball Python?

In the reptile world, toys are enrichments. They’re necessary to keep reptiles busy and mentally stimulated. They are just as important to their health as body (physical) exercise is to humans.

A cage with just beddings, hides, and a water dish is not only boring but can cause obesity. Ball pythons in captivity get stressed out easily. Research has further proven that stress is always a major or minor underlying factor for sickness and abnormal behaviors.

Moreso, it would interest you to know that an open enclosure with no enrichment toys will cause stress to captive ball pythons. Thus, to give them a home away from the wild, you must provide them with enrichment toys.

Once you’ve set up a proper habitat and provide lots of enrichments, you have ensured that your snake’s habitat wouldn’t cause problems. That said, let’s delve into the review of the toys in detail.

Ball Python Toys

Ball Python Toys
Ball Python Toys

Branches And Logs For Climbing Opportunities

Ball pythons are believed to be terrestrial animals. To some extent, this might be true but it is gender-based. Male ball pythons are arboreal, while the females are terrestrial.

Read more: are ball pythons arboreal?

However, in captivity, both gender of ball pythons can climb if given the opportunity. Hence, you can give them that opportunity by providing branches for climbing. The kind of climbing branches ball pythons would need is different from what other snakes species may need.

Ball pythons are large, heavy-bodied snakes (the adult size). In the wild, they prefer to climb on large, heavy branches with many sub-branches and curves where they can rest or wedge their bodies.

With that in mind, you have to get them a natural-looking, large, and heavy branch. The branch must be sturdy and with plenty of sub-branches and curves to provide support and balance for the snake.

Note that your goal should be to provide enrichment while your snake also feels secure with it. This will eliminate stress.

In this regard, we recommend Zoo Med Sandblasted Grapevine Show, 30-40 Inches, and Exo Terra Jungle Vine.

Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Most ball python keepers use locally sourced branches for their snakes. This is a good idea too. However, not the perfect or best idea because it has its side effects. These branches gotten from trees in the bush are likely to come with some parasites in them.

Introducing such branches to your snakes’ enclosure without proper cleaning may lead to bacteria. Except for the case that you are sure that the branches are parasites free, locally sourced branches are not the best idea.

Another thing to keep in mind when getting your snake some branches is to get a proper branch size perfect for the snake.

Hide Outs

Ball pythons and snakes generally like to stay alone in hides. Even though in captivity, you’ll have to handle them regularly for them to acclimatize to their environment and the people around, you still need to provide them many hides.

Ball pythons are nocturnal animals. They spend most of their time hiding and burrowing. Since these behaviors are the ball python nature behaviors, you can go ahead and clutter up your pet’s tank with some hides and some plastic plants.

Last update on 2020-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Basically two hides are often required in a ball python tank as mandatory enrichment. One on the cool side of the tank and the other on the warm side. But for enrichment and stimulation, provide random extra hides and some plastic terrarium plants in their tank.

Providing them more hides isn’t expensive. Some of these random extra hides are simple things you can make from your home’s used products such as empty toilet paper tubes.

Simply put, the empty toilet paper tubes under their beddings (substrates). This kind of hides will depend on the size of your snake. It’ll only work correctly for babies and juvenile ball pythons because they’re smaller in size.

Fake Or Plastic Plants

Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fake plastic plants in ball pythons’ tanks aren’t for aesthetic purposes only. They are also a great way to provide more room for hiding and climbing.

Since ball pythons are nocturnal animals, the fake plants will help make the cage dark for them to explore safely. We recommend Exo Terra Plastic Terrarium Plants.

Periodically Re-Arrange The cage Accessories.

Once in a while, when cleaning its tank, randomly rearrange the cage accessories and toys. You can add a new accessory or just change the position. This will make your snake feel as though it is in the wild.

But in doing this, if you notice that your ball python snake always becomes stressed each time this happens, then you have to stop it.

Moreover, the reason for the stress may not be because of changing the position of the accessories. But to rule that out, you would need to evaluate your husbandry.

Give Your Snake A Large, Heavy Water Dish Where It Can Swim In

Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A water dish in a ball python’s tank isn’t a toy or enrichment idea. But proving a large water dish where the snake can soak adds up to the snake’s enrichment.

Artificial Foraging Balls

Although many believed that ball pythons are ambush hunters, this study by Francis Cosquieri proves that they are foragers. Captive ball pythons will go out foraging if you give them the opportunity.

Although they don’t have good eyesight, their sense of smell is super great. This way, you can stimulate them by scenting the ball with a familiar rodent smell and watch them go out searching.

Conclusion

Do not get it twisted. Providing enrichment toys for your ball python and giving room for enrichment activities aren’t the same thing. However, both work in the same way, which is to keep your snake healthy and happy.

While it is easy and simple to provide safe toys, it is more complicated to provide enrichment activities. To safely give room for indoor and outdoor activities, you’ll need to be experienced with keeping ball pythons.

This is to ensure that you aren’t doing the right thing in the wrong way. For ball python toys, avoid giving your snake toys that will injure or stress it. Keep it simple.

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