Are you looking to stray from the norm in your search for a pet? Dogs and cats make awesome pets, but you probably want something different, something that’s not as messy and needs less work to maintain. How about you get a snake?

Snakes do make awesome pets but only for people who want pet snakes. The species of the snake you get has a lot to do with how happy you’ll be as a new pet owner. Some snake types do well when caged but might be dangerous to play around with. Other snake varieties are quite friendly. They will not bite you should you try to hold them, they don’t eat much and aren’t venomous.

If you are out looking for a pet snake, here’s everything you need to know about them.

The Best Snake Species for Pets
Ball pythons, Rosy boa, Corn snakes, Gopher snake, and the California kingsnake are only a few examples of snakes that you would love to keep as pets. These snakes are quite tolerable and easy to handle. They have such beautiful colors and are an attractive addition to your living room, office, or kitchen.

It’s intriguing to watch them eat and slither around in their little transparent box. Surprisingly, snakes love exploring their surroundings. Only problem here is that they do it silently, which shouldn’t be a problem if they remain locked inside their box. However, if they happen to get out, it will be incredibly hard to locate them.

They could be hiding in a cozy corner under the furniture or inside the neighbors shed/garage. While they pose no threat to you, your family, or friends, they could easily be mistaken for the dangerous type of snake. A situation that could turn threatening to the snake’s life as people try to keep it away or even kill it.

It’s therefore advisable to keep your pet snake locked in their cage at all times. If you let them out to stretch, keep a watchful eye out not to lose them.

Can be Costly to Keep
The main reason why people change their minds about keeping pet snakes is because of how much it costs to build them a home. A transparent glass/plastic case with a bit of sawdust inside will not be enough to ensure the health and safety of your pet snake.
To keep a snake properly, you’d have to ask an experienced professional to help build a special home for your snake. This means purchasing costly equipment required to complete the setup. The space should have adequate lighting. It should be warm and made to allow the free circulation of fresh air.

One small mistake, and you may not spend too long in the company of your beloved pet snake. Most snakes grow weak and die if exposed to conditions that aren’t conducive.

Snakes are Loners
They like to be alone and may not take kindly to being forced to share their space. Also, snakes aren’t the most affectionate of pets. While they may not mind you holding and touching them for a while, they would most likely rather slither back to their home and be left alone.

But their solitary demeanor creates a hurdle as you’d find it extremely difficult to train a pet snake. To properly train your pet, you normally give it food rewards or pet them affectionately to express your contentment.

Snakes crave no affection and don’t eat much anyway. In this case, a pet snake is for you if you don’t mind their tendency to stay silent and unbothered by what you feel or think of them. Stick to a strict routine, and the snake will slowly get used to it. They will know when you’ve come to feed them, when you want to clean their home or when you want to cuddle. It is said that snakes may not respond to commands like dogs or cats do, but they remember their routines for as long as they live.

How To Bond With your Snake
Most people quickly regret it once they finally get a pet snake. They complain that it’s too boring and not quite what they pictured the experience would be like.

However, it is possible to create a strong bond with your pet snake. Unlike owning a cat or a dog, snakes don’t need frequent petting and handling. The best way to bond with and make your pet snake trust you and relax around you is to spend as much time as possible around them.

Have nice chats with them so that they know your voice. Look at them closely when you are feeding them or when you just want to see how they are doing. But don’t be all over their space all the time that it becomes annoying for the snake.

Slowly but surely, as time goes by, you’ll notice that the snake raises their head every time you walk into the room or start moving every time you come to feed them.

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have a ton of questions that need answers first before you go to the pet shop to get yourself a pet snake. Well, here are some of the common questions asked by most people and their answers.

How long do pet snakes live?
Surprisingly, snakes live for very long in the wild. But seeing as they get a constant supply of food and are safer in your home, they are likely even to live longer. Some species live longer than others. But generally, snakes can live for as short as five years or for as long as 20 to 30 years.

Boa constrictors can live for a period of up to 30 years or more. King-snakes and Ball pythons live for about 20 to 30 years, while Corn snakes have the shortest life span living for 5 to 10 years.

What do snakes like to eat?
Snakes are categorized as carnivores. They like meat and often eat their meal whole. Most snakes prefer rodents like mice, rats, hamsters, and gerbils. The larger sized pet snakes love eating birds or rabbits. Some snakes, when out seeking adventure, will snack on earthworms, frogs, insects, slugs, fish and eggs.

It is advisable never to feed your pet snake live rodents. Instead, give them dead or frozen/thawed rodents.

How much space is comfortable for my pet snake?
The larger a snake is, the more space it needs and vice versa. Most pet shops will offer to build you a snake box, but if you want to build it yourself a 30” by 12” by 12” box is sufficient for smaller sized snake species. The larger snake types would fit better in a larger 36” by 18” by 16” box.

If you happen to get the pet snake during its earlier stages, you will have to adjust to bigger spaces as the snake grows larger.

It is legal to keep non-venomous snakes as pets irrespective of which country you live in. It would, however, be prudent to check for any restrictions or rules by your local governing body regarding keeping pet snakes.

Some rules require that you have a permit to own a snake as it is considered a wild animal. Other rules allow you to keep pet snakes as long as they are not venomous and do not surpass twelve feet in length.

If everything checks out, go ahead and choose which snake you like best for a pet. Above, you’ll find crucial information regarding all you need to know about pet snakes if you are considering keeping one for the first time.

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  • Sarah is the managing editor and a frequent contributor at Creature Companions. Sarah is originally from sunny Florida, but has lived in Cyprus, China and Northern Ireland from 2009-2018. She currently resides, with her husband, Derek, in the City of Love, Philadelphia. Sarah is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy lifestyle through preventative healthcare and positive enrichment for a long, vibrant life of their four-legged friends. She's had pets (mostly dogs) and has been writing about pet-focused topics, advice and trends since 2012.

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