Pets are often associated with soft, furry animals. That is why in the UK, out of the 45% of pet owners, only 0.4% of them own pet snakes. Owning snakes still seems like a taboo due to their negative symbolism. However, this should not hinder snakes from potentially being good pets.
But not so fast. Before heading out and getting yourself one, there are still some things you need to know about keeping snakes as a pet. Do snakes feel affection? Do they bite? Are they dangerous? Read on to find out!
Can snakes make good pets?
A snake being a good pet is dependent on the type of species the snake belongs to. Snake species matter because some categories of snakes are aggressive. Though these types of snakes can make interesting specimens, there is always a clear distinction between exhibiting the reptile and owning one as a house pet.
Do pet snakes feel affection?
According to long-time snake owners who are meticulous in looking after their pets, snakes, unfortunately, cannot feel affection. Though reptiles are generally presumed to have a higher capacity of understanding and learning, they are not intellectually inclined to establish attachment and affection to their owners. Snakes are cold-blooded animals, and their “cuddling” actually means they are appreciative of the comfortable body heat we provide and they have tolerated our handling due to this. So if you have a snake and it seems to be very comfortable around you, it is not because it enjoys your activities but it is because you are a good source of warmth.
Do all pet snakes bite?
All species of snake can bite. But generally, the vast majority of non-venomous snake species that are usually kept as pets are kind and would not bite their owners if not provoked.
Snakes in general, even pet snake, might bite when it is starving or startled. Snakes are also more irritable and likely to bite when they are experiencing an illness or shedding.
Are pet snakes dangerous?
In terms of physical safety, reptiles are usually docile, especially the ones that are sold in pet stores. However, these animals may give out a surprising injurious reaction when frightened. Though they might react differently if handled properly, unfortunate occurrences are still things you need to take into consideration.
- Know your reptiles and choose the right one for you.
- Equip yourself with accurate methods to proper handling and feeding.
Additionally, there are zoonotic diseases that can be spread by all types of pets, including reptiles. These diseases are composed of many other diseases, which are spread through viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The way to prevent the spread of these diseases is through practising proper hygiene.
5 Best Pet Snakes
Scientifically known as Python regius, the ball python aces the list of the most popular pet snakes available. The ball python is popular for its shy nature and variety of morphs. Ball pythons are native to Central and Western Africa, hence it needs humidity in its cage unlike the other pet snakes mentioned below.
In addition, it is perfectly common for a ball-python owner to question why his snake would suddenly stop eating. This event is still a mystery, and the reason for this is yet to be known. Ball pythons would often just suddenly stop eating, which happens in any given time of the year, if your ball python starts to look bony or undernourished, it would be best to contact your veterinarian right away.
Just before the ball python took the hearts of snake lovers, the Pantheropis guttata, popularly known as corn snake, was the most popular pet snake. This type of snake is native to North America. They are docile and trouble-free when it comes to handling and caring. Their colour combinations, conduct, and availability make them one of the most popular pet snakes.
Though not as popular as some of the snakes on the list, the Lichanura trivirgata, commonly known by its lovely name, rosy boa, makes a good pet snake. This pet snake can live for as long as over twenty-five years. The rosy boa is fairly docile and grows only up to four feet.
The California kingsnake with its scientific name, Lampropeltis getula californiae, has the ability to eat and kill venomous snakes, including the popular and intimidating rattlesnake, hence being considered a king. The California kingsnake is popular for both trading and observing in the wild in Southern California. It is an incredibly famous beginner snake as well. However, this type of pet snake might get nippy if not handled frequently enough.
Pituophis spp. or gopher snakes come in an assortment of morphs. They are considered to be one of the most amazing secrets in the pet snake hobby community. They are quite easy to find and are priced very reasonably. The gopher snake is believed to be able to live for more than fifteen years under human care.
General Pet Snake Care
It is always better to shop and set up a terrarium before getting a snake.
Make sure that your snake has access to clean fresh water all the time. Snakes are carnivores, so you can feed your snake rats and mice.
Snakes shed skin. They can take care of themselves in this stage, but just make sure that you keep the temperature and humidity right for them.
Snakes do not need a lot of exercises. But it is good to provide your snake proper climbing equipment and leave them to do their thing. Larger snakes, on the other hand, might need to have a dip in the water from time to time, so it is best to let them have a swim in a safe wading pool.
Many pet snakes are tolerant with handling. However, do not handle them until they have successfully eaten four meals (the very least) in their new home. Additionally, wait until the bulge from their meal is gone before you lay your hand on your pet snake.
Are you raring to bring a new pet home? Take a look at these reptiles for sale!