Snakes are fascinating creatures with a wide array of interesting behaviors and characteristics. While some people may be scared of them, they can make wonderful pets when properly cared for. So if you’re looking to add a slithering new friend to your family, here are 10 of the best species of snakes to own as a pet.
Corn Snakes (Elaphe guttata)
This species is one of the most popular types of snakes to keep as pets due to their friendly and docile nature, vibrant colors, and hardiness. They make great beginner reptiles for those just getting started in the world of herpetology.
Ball Pythons (Python regius)
Also known as royal pythons, these African natives can be a bit more challenging to care for than corn snakes but are still manageable for beginners with some research and dedication. They come in an array of beautiful color morphs and patterns which makes them highly sought after by reptile enthusiasts.
Kenyan Sand Boas (Eryx colubrinus)
These small, docile snakes are native to Africa and can be very friendly with their owners if given enough handling. They require a warm environment and don’t take up much space, making them great for those living in smaller areas.
California Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
These energetic constrictors make excellent pets for experienced snake keepers due to their active and inquisitive nature as well as their wide array of color morphs and patterns.
Rosy Boas (Charina trivirgata)
Another species native to North America, rosy boas can live up to 25 years and are quite docile. They don’t require as much space as some other species, making them ideal for those living in smaller spaces.
Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis)
These small constrictors are native to North America and come in various color morphs, making them popular choices for reptile owners due to their bright colors and ease of care.
Western Hognose Snakes (Heterodon nasicus)
Also known as “puff adders” or “blow snakes”, these unique-looking reptiles are native to the United States and Canada and make wonderful pets due to their relatively easy care requirements and calm disposition.
Rat Snakes (Elaphe obsoleta)
These medium-sized constrictors can be found throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They come in many beautiful colors and patterns which make them popular choices for pet owners looking for something a bit different from other species of snakes.
Bullsnakes (Pituophis catenifer sayi)
Also known as Gopher Snakes, these large constrictors are native to parts of North America. They’re quite docile creatures that make great pets for experienced snake keepers due to their size and hardiness.
Western Milk Snakes (Lampropeltis triangulum)
These vibrant-colored constrictors are native to parts of the United States and Mexico. They’re quite docile and don’t require much room, making them great choices for those living in smaller spaces.
Reasons Why Snakes Make Great Pets
When compared to other pets, snakes require relatively little maintenance and upkeep. They only need to be fed once a week, and their cage does not need to be cleaned too often. Furthermore, they do not require extensive exercise or playtime as some other pets do. This makes them an ideal pet for people who may have limited time or resources to devote to caring for a pet.
Snakes Can Be Low Cost
The cost of purchasing or adopting a snake can vary greatly depending on the species chosen and its availability in your area, but it is typically much less than the cost of acquiring another type of pet such as a dog or cat. In addition, you will save money over the long term due to their low maintenance requirements and lack of vet bills (snakes rarely need medical attention).
Snakes Provide Companionship
Despite having been labeled by many as “creepy” or “scary” animals, snakes can offer companionship and friendship like any other pet. If handled regularly, they can become quite tame and form bonds with their owners just like cats and dogs do! Petting them can even lead to feelings of relaxation or contentment in certain individuals which makes sense when you consider that they usually remain very still when being held.
Snakes Make Fascinating Observers
Snakes are fascinating creatures with an array of interesting behaviors that make them great subjects for observation. Some species exhibit fascinating mating rituals or complex hunting techniques making it fun for owners to watch their serpentine companions go about their daily lives in captivity! Plus, since most snakes stay fairly still when being observed (unlike cats!), it is easy to study their unique characteristics without distracting movements getting in the way.
Snakes May Help Soothe Anxiety
Research has suggested that interacting with animals can help reduce stress levels in humans, so this may also apply to snake owners! Holding a snake can be calming for some individuals, especially if the reptile is tame enough to move slowly while in one’s hands allowing its scales to provide soothing tactile stimulation under one’s fingertips while observing its slow, calculated motions through the air around them. This peaceful experience could prove invaluable for those suffering from anxiety disorders!
Snakes Require Little Space
Another great benefit of owning a snake is that they do not require much space making them ideal for those living in apartments or other homes with limited space. The cage only needs to be large enough for the snake to comfortably move about and should include some hide spots, rocks, and branches for the reptile to use as it pleases.
Snakes Are Cold-Blooded Creatures
Unlike other pets such as dogs or cats, snakes are cold-blooded creatures that do not need a lot of heat or light! This means they can happily occupy lower-temperature rooms in your home without fear of overheating perfect if you live in an area where temperatures reach extremes during the summer months! But make sure you provide them a safe environment away from any potential predators (like cats) nonetheless.
Snakes Are Unique
Finally, snakes are just plain cool! From the bright colors and unique patterns of certain species to the fascinating ways they hunt and survive in the wild, there’s something special about owning one of these animals that can’t be replicated with other pets. This makes them a great option for those wanting an interesting pet that stands out from the crowd perfect for showing off at parties or gatherings.
Common Illnesses in Pet Snakes and How to Treat Them
Snakes are beautiful and captivating creatures, but they can also be prone to certain illnesses. As any pet owner knows, it is important to know the signs of illness in your pet, so that you can get them medical attention when needed. With snakes, there are some common illnesses that can affect them, and knowing what these illnesses are can help you recognize if something is wrong with your reptilian friend. Here is an overview of some common illnesses in pet snakes and how to treat them.
One of the most common snake illnesses is a respiratory infection, which can be caused by bacteria or parasites. Symptoms of a respiratory infection include wheezing, gasping for breath, and swelling around the head area. If left untreated, this illness can become life-threatening. To treat a respiratory infection in a snake, you will likely need antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian as well as supportive care like humidifiers and misting systems to help clear out the airways.
Another common snake illness is mouth rot or stomatitis, which is an infection of the mouth resulting from poor husbandry conditions such as unclean water bowls or dirty enclosures. This infection typically appears as redness or discoloration around the mouth and gums as well as white patches on the inside of the mouth lining. To treat mouth rot, it’s important to address any husbandry issues first before treating with antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian; this may also require soaking treatments to help reduce bacterial growth.
Parasites are another common illness in snakes; these may include roundworms, hookworms, or flukes. Parasites generally enter through food sources like mice or insects that have been infected with parasites themselves; they can also be transmitted through contact with other infected snakes or their fecal material. Symptoms include weight loss despite normal feeding habits, poor skin condition, and lethargy amongst others; however, many parasitic infestations do not produce external symptoms at all so regular fecal exams should be done on your snake annually just to be safe. Treatment usually involves dewormers such as piperazine sulfate administered orally by your veterinarian to eliminate any parasites present afterward preventative measures should be taken including washing hands after handling rodents and using gloves when giving food items like mice directly from their source (e.g., pet store).
Fungal infections are yet another relatively common snake illness that may manifest itself as white patches on the skin/scales/mouth area as well as discolored areas around those same spots; additionally affected snakes may develop wheezing due to difficulty breathing associated with this condition too. To treat fungal infections topical antifungals such as ketoconazole will need to be used but require a prescription from your veterinarian since self-treatment could potentially make things worse instead of better! Additionally, oral antifungals would need to be administered depending on severity if topical treatment fails or isn’t an option again only under veterinary supervision, please! Finally, supportive care such as warm baths and high humidity levels (but not overly saturated) should also be provided along with antibiotic therapy if necessary since fungal infections often involve secondary bacterial infections too so multiple treatments may be needed here depending on case specifics.
No matter which species you decide to bring home, it is important to do your research beforehand so that you know how to properly care for and handle your new pet snake. With the right knowledge and dedication, any of these 10 species can make wonderful pets.