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Do Ball Pythons Like To Swim? Can You Bathe with Your Ball Python?

One interesting fact about ball pythons and other reptiles is that they can absorb water through their skin. Aside from drinking, they also can get water through their skin to stay hydrated.

This is why it’s common to see ball pythons in captivity soak themselves in their water bowl. In the wild, ball pythons do have a bath whenever they come across water. This may not happen so often, but once the opportunity avails itself, they make good use of it.

Now, the big puzzle is, do captive ball pythons like to swim? Should you allow your pet snake to swim? If yes, what is the best way to get it done?

This and many more questions relating to ball pythons swimming will be addressed in this article.

Replicating the wild habitat of giving your snake a swim time must be done appropriately and with the right tools. Read on.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Gospel. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

The Swimming Ability Of Ball Pythons: Can Ball Pythons Swim Underwater?

Ball pythons can swim. However, they are not considered good swimmers. Neither can they be classified into the water snake category. Their body isn’t built to swim.

They are mostly terrestrial snakes, although some of them can be found near water too. When they’re close to the water, they like to drink and soak in it.

Their swimming ability can be considered as an emergency skill and not something they love doing. 

Do Ball Pythons Like To Swim?

Do Ball Pythons Like To Swim?
Do Ball Pythons Like To Swim?

The body of ball pythons isn’t built for swimming, although they can swim. Whether they like to swim is a matter of – does your snake enjoy it? While a few keepers found out that their pet ball pythons enjoy swimming during the bath, some other keepers reported that their snakes always freak out.

Another factor that determines whether your ball python will like to swim is the temperature of the water. The bathing water is best kept warm throughout the bathing process.

Since ball pythons are cold-blooded, they would rely greatly on their environment to regulate their body temperature. One of these is a warm environment. Being in a warm environment enables them to digest their food and get other metabolism done.

This is why, during a bath, they would often defecate in the water. This normally happens because, through their skin, the water can penetrate their body, which helps in metabolism.

Thus, if your ball python was having problems shedding properly or pooping, giving it a warm bath and an opportunity to swim will do the snake much good. Being that the snake at that point needed it, interest in swimming may increase.

Can You Play With Your Ball Python In An Outdoor Bath?

Yes, you can. Moreover, outdoor activities are considered to improve their health. Most of the reasons ball python breeders give their snakes an outdoor bath is to help with retained shed or pooping issues.

Interestingly, aside from this, you can have some good time playing with your snake. This will help stimulate your snake mentally and enhance its immune system. But keep in mind that this can only have a positive impact on your snake if your snake enjoys it.

If your snake isn’t a fan of staying too long in water or swimming, not only will it be frustrating to you, but your snake will be stressed. 

How To Make (Have) Fun With A Ball Python During Outdoor Bathing

Whether your ball python likes to swim or not, occasionally playing with your snake during the bath can go a long way to enhance or improve its health. But if you must do this successfully, you must do it the right way and with the right tools.

That said, you’ll find below tips on how to have fun with your ball python during bathing.

  • One of the first things you’ll have to do is to get a bathtub or a large bowl. The tube should be large enough to contain the snake’s full body. Ball pythons being large snakes, will stretch their body while bathing.

Hence, your bathtub should ensure them that security. Keep reading for tips on how to choose a safety soak bowl for your pet.

  • After your tub is set up, fill it up with clean water. As stated earlier, the temperature of the water is best kept warm or at least at room temperature. Even if your snake doesn’t like bathing or swimming, the fact that the water is warm can stimulate it to swim.
  • Ensure that the water isn’t deeper than 50% of their body height. That is like the midsection of their body around the spine or slightly above it.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the temperature of the water, suspend the snake gradually into the water. When this is done, you can go ahead to play with it.
  • As a matter of precaution, the water should not have chemicals in it. Being that their skin is permeable, any chemical that gets into their skin is toxic to their health.
  • One other thing you can do to have fun with your pet snake while bathing is to use some floaties. This will help keep your snake afloat in the water.

Can You Leave Your Ball Python Alone During Bathing?

No, you should not leave your snake alone during a bath. Leaving your ball python alone in the tube without supervision during bathing is a dangerous idea. The snake can drown.

But if you mean to allow your snake some free time alone to swim around in the tube while you’re still in the water with them, then it’s fine.

The rule of thumb is if you notice that your snake isn’t enjoying the bath or swim, it’s best to get it out than forcing it to swim. The essence is to try as much as possible to eliminate stress.

Will Ball Pythons Climb Out Of The Bath?

Yes, they can, and they will if the tube is small enough for them to get out. Another reason is that if your ball python isn’t enjoying the bath, all it’ll be doing is how to escape.

You’ll know this when you see your snake trying all the time to get its head and body above or out of the water. This is why you shouldn’t leave your snake to bathe or swim alone without a close watch.

Notwithstanding, note that providing shallow water where your snake can constantly keep its head above the water as it likes is the best way to give them a bath. But you should be able to tell when your snake is stressed and seeking to escape, and when it’s having fun.

03 Free Tips To Choose A Safety Soak Bowl For Your Ball Python

How safe your snake feels in the soaking bowl is as important as the bath itself. You wouldn’t want to endanger your snake while bathing. To ensure safety, you must consider these tips when getting the bathing tub or soak bowl.

  • Get a high-walled bathtub or a wide and deep soak bowl. Why you’ll need a high-walled tub is to ensure that the snake will not be able to escape.

If your snake doesn’t enjoy bathing or swimming, all it’ll be doing is how to escape from the tub. Also, providing it a wide or large bowl will give it some security while bathing.

  • While setting up your soak bowl or bathtub, try to make a shallow and a deep end for the snake to explore. The water at each end should be at the level that the snake can keep his head up above the water.
  • A good bathtub that will ensure safety should be made of rubber, or any other regular bathtub will do. Ensure to wipe and dry your snake after each bath. Note that the maximum time you should bathe your snake is about 10-15 minutes.

Wrapping Up

Ball pythons like water. They like to drink and to soak in it, especially when having difficulty shedding successfully.

Can ball pythons swim? Yes, they can swim. But will they love to swim? It depends on your snake. We would advise that you know what works perfectly for your snake and stick to it.

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