Are you thinking about getting a snake for a pet? To many people snakes are scary but to others they are among the most interesting creatures on earth. These are usually collectors of snakes as pets. A lot of people would like to have a snake for a pet but often do not know which specie of snakes will be the best for them. There are a number of things to take into consideration when trying to decide what type of snake would be the best one to have as your first pet.
Things that need to be taken into consideration before choosing a pet snake are how much room is available for keeping them, are you planning to handle them, are you squeamish about their feeding habits, do you plan to have more than one, etc. There are many more but you get the idea.
Here are what we consider to be 5 of the best snakes as pets for the beginning collector. They are not in any particular order. These 5 are not the only snakes that will make good pets and everyone won’t agree with them but this will give you a jump start for doing your own research to decide which snake will be the best for you.
The corn snake is acknowledged to be one of the best pet snakes for a beginner. They are relatively small, 3 to 5 feet long, and are very hardy. They are not finicky eaters and will eat frozen mice, which makes feeding them very easy. Enclosures for housing them don’t have to be very elaborate or large. The fact that they are tough and will endure mistakes and rough handling, make them a good pet for someone who may not know a lot about caring for a snake.
This type of snake is general docile and friendly. They don’t grow very large making them a good choice for a small area. Female Ball pythons will average 3 to 5 feet long with males averaging 2 to 3 feet. They are easy to care for and don’t mind being handled. Ball pythons usually feed on mice or rats and kill their prey by constricting and suffocating, but it’s best to feed them frozen food rather than live ones. Soon to be owners who are squeamish about feeding ball pythons live animals will appreciate this..
These snakes are especially good for the beginner as they only grow to 2 to 3 feet. A 10 to 20 gallon container with a secure wire top (they are escape artists) is plenty large enough for them. Just make sure there are places for them to hide as they are fairly shy. Feeding milk snakes is easy as they don’t require special food. While they do like live food its best to feed them frozen mice. Milk snakes scare easily and will basically defecate on you until they are comfortable with being handled.
A king snake is one of the best of pet snakes for collectors due to their many different colors and patterns. They are docile and easy to care for. They grow to between 2 and 4 feet so they are able to live in a smaller cage than many snakes. In the wild king snakes eat almost anything living thing that’s smaller than them. They are famous for eating poisonous snakes. These snakes are very easy to care for, tough and non-aggressive toward humans. King snakes are not finicky eaters and will readily eat frozen mice or rats.
Although not as well known as some of the other snakes, the rat snake is also a good starter pet snake. They typically grow to 3 to 5 feet long. They are hardy and don’t mind being handled even by children. Although they are constrictors and prefer live food its best to feed them frozen mice or rats to minimize the danger of being bitten by the food animal. They do hibernate in the wild during the winter and may quit eating during this time of the year. In the spring they will be back to normal. Over time they may quit this cycle. They breed without difficulty in confinement, making it uncomplicated to raise a snake family.
No matter what kind of snake a beginner pet owner will choose, cautious consideration will be vital regarding the housing and feeding of the new snake pet. Doing a lot of research about different kinds of snakes and which are best for beginners can aid potential owners in deciding which type of snake will be the best pet for them. While the snakes listed above are all docile, fairly hardy and can be handled, there may be some lesser known traits that would cause you to choose one over the other. Talking to owners of the snakes you are considering is a good idea. Snakes live a long time, therefore you will need to choose your pet carefully so you will both be happy in the many years you will be together.