Many hobbyists still haven’t come to terms with keeping snakes in homes as pets. Part of the fear stems from the fact that, snakes are dangerous and poisonous animals that should only be kept in the wild. What if I walk you through some “Best Beginner Friendly Pet Snakes” you can get started with?
Snakes are one of the most feared animals in the world due to one reason or another. However, snakes are a unique animal that you can keep as a pet, and deciding to get one can be a fun and fascinating experience for all ages.
Although snakes are not the cuddly type of pet, they can recognize their owners and respond to their voices. Furthermore, they are gentle and rewarding pets that you will love. However, they need a specific environment and dietary needs to keep them healthy and happy.
Choosing a pet snake can be a difficult challenge for beginners. In this article, we have listed some of the best pet snakes that are suitable for beginners.
- Are Snakes Good Pets?
- Things To Consider Before Getting A Pet Snake
- Best Beginner Friendly Pet Snakes For Pets
- Wrapping Up
Are Snakes Good Pets?
Although snakes are not affectionate companions, they are very rewarding pets that your family will love. However, they cannot bond with you emotionally like conventional pets as dogs and cats can do.
The best thing about keeping pet snakes is that they don’t become frustrated, bored, or lonely if you don’t give them attention. Furthermore, snakes are usually cheaper to feed, unlike dogs or cats of similar size. They also don’t need regular vaccinations or checkups to stay healthy.
Things To Consider Before Getting A Pet Snake
Some of the things that you should put into consideration before getting a pet snake are stated below.
Is Keeping Snakes Legal In Your Area
Although keeping snakes is legal in most places, some areas and states place a ban on certain reptile breeds. Before you decide to keep a snake, you should first check your local Fish and Wildlife office for more information.
Furthermore, you should also keep in mind that it is illegal to release a reptile that is not a native to your area into the wild. It is best to contact a wildlife preserve to help take care of the reptile if you discover that you cannot take proper care of your pet.
The Snake’s Length At Full Maturity
Most snakes usually start very small but grow to several feet long based on their species. There are even some large snake species that can weigh over 100 pounds at full maturity. This is why it is best to research the species of snake that you want to keep to know how big they can be.
This way, you can get a suitable tank large enough to accommodate them and keep them happy.
Lifespan Of The Snake
The lifespan of a snake usually varies according to its species. Generally, smaller snakes usually have a short lifespan as they can live between 5-10 years old. However, larger snakes have a long lifespan, and some snakes can even outlive their owners.
This means you will have enough time to learn how you can care for a snake. Furthermore, knowing the lifespan of a snake that you plan to get will help to prepare you for what to expect in the future.
Temperament And Handling
The temperament of snakes usually varies from species to species. Some species are usually docile, and you can handle them easily. However, some species are aggressive and can attack you if you try to handle them.
It is best for beginner hobbyists to go for snakes that are not aggressive and rarely attack their owners.
Some of the other things that you should consider are stated below
- They require specific temperature and humidity levels
- Snakes are good escape artists, and you should provide an escape-proof enclosure.
- Most snake species are carnivorous, and you should be ready to feed them live prey.
- Whether the snake is common or not
Best Beginner Friendly Pet Snakes For Pets
Some of the best pet snakes that you can keep as a beginner are stated below.
|Best Beginner Pet Snakes||Size||Cost||Poisonous (Yes/No)|
|Corn snake||6 feet||$50-$500||No|
|Children’s python||3 feet||$200-$350||No|
|California kingsnake||2.5-5 feet||$70-$170||No|
|Garter snake||2-3 feet||$25-$150||No|
|Ball python||3.5 – 5 feet||$40 – $1500||No|
|Rosy boa||4 feet||$25 and above||No|
|Milk snake||2 feet||$50-$200||No|
|Western Hognose snake||1.5 – 2 feet||$100-$700||No|
|Rough green snake||2.5 feet||$8 and above||No|
|Kenyan sand boa||2 feet||$75 – $200||No|
|Carpet python||6 – 6.5 feet||$100- $300||No|
|Ringneck snake||1 foot||$10 – $30||Yes|
|African egg-eating snake||2 – 2.5 feet||$60 – $160||No|
Corn snakes are considered the best pet snakes suitable for beginner hobbyists. This is because they have a docile temperament, and they are very affordable. Corn snakes are also called red rat snakes because of their colors.
Although there are varieties of corn snake morphs, you will find them in yellow-black or orange-yellow coloration. They are also very easy to handle and rarely attack, even in the wild.
However, corn snakes are large snake species as they grow to about 6 feet long and can live for around 15-25 years. It is best to keep them in a minimum of a 30-gallon aquarium, and the ambient temperature should be between 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
The children’s python is a suitable snake pet for beginner hobbyists looking for a mini python. They are usually very calm as adults but are quite feisty as babies. Furthermore, they are a small snake species and typically grow to around 3 feet in length.
They are commonly available among snake dealers, and you can keep them in a 15-gallon tank.
California King Snake
California kingsnake originates from the United States and is the most popular subspecies of Kingsnake. You can easily identify them by their brown-black coloration with yellow stripes, bands, or speckles.
Furthermore, they are great snake pets for beginners as they are very docile during handling. They rarely attack and prefer to coil up and hide in defense when angry. They can grow to around 2.5 – 5 feet long, and you can easily house them in a 20-gallon tank.
Furthermore, they can live for around 20 years under optimal care.
The garter snake is considered the most common snake species in the world, with lots of subspecies. They are usually small, skinny, and are available in a wide range of colors.
They are also active during the day, making them suitable for beginners who want to interact with their pets. Garter snakes can grow to around 2-3 feet long, and the females are known to be bigger than the males.
Furthermore, you can keep them for around 30 gallons of terrarium. They live for about five years in the wild but can reach up to 10 years in captivity.
Note: Garter snakes are known to be quite defensive and are usually ready for attack. This means it can take a little longer before adjusting to handling, unlike other snake species.
Ball python originates from west and central Africa and is usually found in the grasslands. This python is named ball python because they usually curl up like a ball when threatened to feel safe.
They are suitable for beginner pet snakes because of their docile temperaments, and they rarely bite. Ball pythons found in the wild are usually brown with lighter patches, but captive-bred ball pythons are available in several colors.
Furthermore, they usually grow to around 3.5-5 feet long and can live for about 20-30 years under optimal care.
Note: Ball pythons are suitable for beginner hobbyists, but they can be picky when it comes to food choices.
Although rosy boa are not that popular pet snakes, they are suitable for beginner hobbyists. They are fairly docile, and they don’t grow very large, only to around 4 feet in length. Furthermore, you need a 20-gallon enclosure to keep adult rosy boa happy and healthy.
Rosy boas are also long-lived snakes and can live for more than 25 years under optimal care. The best thing is that they are easy to care for and you don’t need special lighting to keep them happy. All you have to do is provide a heat source to help them thermoregulate.
Milk snakes originate from the US and Mexico and are usually found in the woods or rocky areas. They are a separate species of Kingsnake and have a basic care requirement which makes them perfect for beginner hobbyists.
They are not a large snake species and only grow to around 2 feet in their first few years. They have a long lifespan and can live for around 20 years under optimal care. They are known to have a docile temperament and hardly bite.
You can easily identify them by their white, black, and red body rings.
Western Hognose Snake
Western Hognose snakes originate from western parts of the US, Canada, and Mexico. You can easily identify them by their upturned noses. They are suitable for beginner hobbyists because they are not aggressive snake species and usually tolerate handling very well.
They are diurnal snake species which means they are active during the day, especially in the morning and evening. Although western hognose snakes can flatten their heads and hiss when threatened, they don’t usually bite. Instead of biting, they prefer to play dead.
Rough Green Snake
Rough green snakes are slender snake species that originate from Southeastern US and northeastern Mexico. They are usually found in forested areas and can grow to around 2.5 feet long.
Although they have a body that is easy to handle, they become easily stressed during handling. They are suitable for beginner hobbyists that want to learn the basics of caring for a snake.
Rough green snakes can live for around 15 years in the wild but don’t live long in captivity.
Kenyan Sand Boa
Kenyan sand boa are smaller size reptiles popularly known for their burrowing behaviors. They have a smooth scale and aerodynamic shape and usually suffocate their prey using the sand.
They are even-tempered snakes and prefer to squirm away instead of biting when they don’t want to be handled. Kenyan sand boa is a relatively smaller-sized reptile and can grow to around 2 feet long.
Furthermore, they have a long lifespan and can live up to 20 years under optimal care. Although Kenyan sand boa is suitable for beginner hobbyists, they require special care to keep them happy.
You will need to provide several layers of sand on their tank’s bottom where they can burrow. This usually makes cleaning of their tank quite harder than a tank where you use a simple substrate.
Carpet python originates from Australia, and you will easily find them in a wide range of colors. Carpet pythons are a bit longer and can grow to around 6-6.5 feet in length.
Carpet pythons have similar husbandry requirements to other reptiles on this list, making them suitable for beginner hobbyists. They are usually very nippy during the baby and juvenile stage but will become more tolerant as they grow older if handled frequently when growing up.
They have a long lifespan and can live for up to 20 years under optimal care.
Ringneck snakes are small snake species, usually a foot long. They are usually brown to black and yellow to red belly with a matching ring around their neck. Although they are suitable for beginner hobbyists, they are known to have mild venom.
However, it is only the largest ringneck snakes that can bite humans effectively. Ringneck snakes have a docile temperament and usually tolerate handling for a short time. They have small mouths and teeth, which means their bite is not harmful.
Ringneck snakes are not common pet snakes but can live for about ten years in the wild and around six years in captivity.
Note: Ringneck snakes usually become irritated when handled for a long time without a break.
African Egg-Eating Snake
The African egg-eating snake originates from Africa. Unlike other snakes on this list, they feast only on bird eggs. This makes them suitable for beginner hobbyists that do not want to feed their snake with rodents.
However, African egg-eating snakes have a rare and specific feeding requirement. This is because you can only feed them with finch or quail eggs because chicken eggs are usually too large for them.
African egg-eating snakes typically grow to around 2-2.5 feet long, and they are calm and docile snakes. You can easily handle them and can live for around 15 years under optimal care.
Keeping a snake as a pet is an exciting journey whether you are a beginner or an experienced hobbyist. Snakes are rewarding pets; they are widely available and can be easily bred.
All you have to do is research the type of species you want to keep, and you will not regret making your choice.