The Best Breeds of Snakes to Have as a Small Pet
The Best Snakes to Have as a Pet
People who are interested in getting a pet snake always have a few basic questions. The most important is which type of snake is going to be best for them. Following that come questions about how to take care of the new snake, what to feed it and what other things a new owner should know. The answer to all of those secondary questions can't be made until you've chosen a snake so you'll want to do that first.
There are many different snakes that are safe to have as pets. The decision about which one to get will depend on a few different factors. Before choosing a pet snake, take the following things into consideration:
- Size: Some people want small snakes that can stay in little terrariums. Others want big snakes that they can carry wrapped around their shoulders.
- Level of care: Different snakes have different diet and clean-up needs. If you don't have a lot of time to care for your snake, you'll want to get a low-maintenance breed. If you've got more interest in the total investment, there are nice snake breeds that require additional care.
- Typical age: Do you want to get a snake that's going to live for the next fifty years or are you interested in one that's going to last about two decades?
Once you've decided these basic things, you can figure out which is the best snake breed for you. Here are some of the most common snakes that new pet owners tend to like:
- Garter snake: This is the kind of snake that you might see outside and trap to keep as a pet. It's not the most favored of pet snakes but it's ideal for people who are looking for a small snake. At around three feet in length, it's about two feet shorter than the other pet snakes you'll find on this list. If for some reason you need a little snake, this is probably the one you'd want to look into learning more about. Just realize that it's going to take a little bit of time to get used to caring for this pet.
- Corn snake: This is the most common type of snake that people tend to get as pets if they don't know a whole lot about taking care of a snake. That's because this snake is considered to be the most domesticated of snakes. It's an easy breed to care for and it acclimates to a variety of climates so it's the kind of snake that you can get even if you only plan to learn the bare minimum about taking care of your snake. They average about five feet in length so they're long-ish but they're thin snakes so they aren't necessarily "big". They come in a wide range of colors so you should be able to find one that you like.
- Kingsnake: At first glance you might think that this snake is a vicious snake because the "king" in its name comes from the fact that this snake will eat other snakes in the wild. They'll also eat them in some cases if they're caged together so you only want to get one of these. Despite this tendency, the kingsnake is a good pet snake that is fairly easy to take care of. It's slightly longer than the corn snake but it's also a thin snake.
- Ball python: Those people who are seeking to get a big fat snake probably have something like a python in mind. It's about five feet long but it's a fat snake and is the kind of animal you'd wrap around your shoulders and take for a walk. In terms of the fat snakes, the ball python is considered the best for people who are getting their first snake. The only downside to this snake is that it requires more attention than the other ones on the list because of a tendency to refuse food for long periods of time which causes it to get ill. This isn't a major problem but does mean you need to watch it during feeding time.
These snakes (which all usually live between 20 and 40 years) aren't by any means the only snakes that you can keep as pets. However, learning to care for a pet snake takes a little bit of effort in comparison with more common pets. Because of this, you should start off with one of these easy pet snakes and see how you like being a snake owner before moving on to the tougher species.