The Beginner’s Guide to Pet Snakes
Welcome to your pet snake learning journey!
Snakes are getting even more popular as household pets. They’re low maintenance compared to cats and dogs, hypo-allergenic, and are perfect for small apartments.
Whether you’re new to the world of snakes, or just need a refresher, this guide contains everything you need to decide if a pet snake is right for you.
The world of herpetology (the study of snakes & reptiles) is so big and complex. Did you know there’s more than 3,000 different species of snakes? Of course, most of them make terrible pets (so we’ll ignore those for now).
That’s why we made this guide for you. We’ll narrow things down and focus only on what you need to know as a beginner snake owner. Then we’ll provide resources to make getting started as simple as possible if you decide to take the next step and get a snake of your own.
Should I Get a Pet Snake?
Are you fascinated by snakes, but not sure if they make good pets? Worry no more, snakes make great pets for a lot of reasons!
Snakes Are Low Maintenance
Are amazing creatures, and a lot of what makes them unique also makes them a great option for your next pet. They never bark at the mailman, don’t need walks in the cold/rain, and won’t claw up the couch.
They’re perfect if you’re busy, or travel for work. Snakes can be perfectly happy chilling in their enclosure for days at a time. Most snakes only need to be fed every 1-2 weeks. Give them a nice place to live and some fresh water and they couldn’t be happier.
Snakes Are Hypoallergenic
Snakes don’t have the same dander that make us allergic to cats and dogs. They make great pets for households that can’t have a furry friend due to allergies.
Pets Teach Responsibility
Pet snakes are a great way to teach older children responsibility, even if you can’t have a larger pet right now. Learn about proper care, feeding, and handling. Snakes may be low maintenance, but you’ll still need to feed them, clean the cage, and keep an eye on temperature and humidity to keep your snake happy and healthy.
What Should I Know Before Buying a Pet Snake?
Snakes make great pets for a lot of people, but they’re not for everyone. Here’s a few things you should know before you make a decision.
Do You Like Handling Snakes?
Snakes that are handled more frequently are more comfortable around people, and less likely to strike at them. Snakes don’t need as much care as other pets, but you should still plan to spend at least a few hours with them every week.
If you’ve never handled a snake before, find someone who will let you try it out. Not everybody loves having a snake climb up their arm or hang out on their shoulders. And if you don’t like this part, having a pet snake probably isn’t right for you. Visit a friend who has one, or seek out a reptile rescue or reputable breeder in your area.
Will You Be OK Feeding Your Snake?
If you grew up watching National Geographic animal shows, you probably enjoy watching your snakes feed. If not, you should know that most snakes eat mice, rats, and crickets. You’ll need to keep their food in your freezer (or get a second freezer if that grosses you out). You should also consider if your kids are old enough to get an up close and personal view of the circle of life in action.
Can My Pet Snake Give Me Salmonella?
According to Animal Planet over 90% of snakes carry Salmonella. It doesn’t make reptiles sick, but it can make you and your family sick if you’re not careful. Stopping the spread of Salmonella isn’t difficult. Just wash your hands well after touching your snake or its enclosure.
Don’t allow small children to interact with the snakes without supervision, and always wash their hands right away to get them clean before they get a chance to put a finger in their mouth. We recommend contacting your local vet if you’re planning to keep a reptile and have small children in the house.