If you are reading this article you are very likely to be a beginner, or thinking about having your first pet snake, so it is important that you choose a docile, easy-to-handle, habitat-demanding snake with have easy eating habits. A snake that is not incorporated into an environment appropriate for its specie and size is more likely to become ill or become aggressive to her keeper.
The first thing you should do before deciding which pet snake you intend to have is to find out about the snakes that are legally allowed in captivity in your country. Visit the animal protection website and see if the one you want is allowed or not.
The captive possession of some wild snakes, and other reptiles, is prohibited by law and some are even considered a crime, as is the case with all endangered species.
It is also important to choose a registered and trusted seller to not cooperate with wildlife trafficking and to make sure you are buying a legal, healthy and properly registered animal to avoid having problems with the authority in the future due to any complaints.
First Tips for Choosing a Pet Snake
There are pet snakes available of all sizes and shapes, from 20 cm or less to several meters in length, so it is essential to choose a specie that suits the size of the terrarium you have or want to choose.
A snake that is not incorporated into an environment appropriate for its specie and size is more likely to become ill or become aggressive to her keeper. Some may even die because they do not have a snake terrarium that is appropriate for them.
Most pet snakes feed with rats, small mammals or insects and are easy to maintain because they are types of food that can be easily purchased at any specialty store, or even in supermarkets.
We recommend choosing a snake that has easy feeding requirements to meet to avoid problems in feeding them.
A snake that feeds on small mammals, such as rats and birds, is easy to feed as it is easy to purchase frozen rats suitable for their size that can then be thawed and used for their food.
Some snakes may even be fed with birds for human consumption, such as quails, cut into pieces suitable for the snake’s mouth, and frozen for future feeding.
But there are snakes that are difficult to keep at homme as pet due to their very specific requirements regarding their food. For example, there are snakes that only feed with other species of snakes. Are you breeding such this pet snake due to the difficulty and cost associated with feeding?
Behavior and Dangers of Pet Snakes
Pet snakes are not all the same in the way they interact with their creator and other people or even with the person who feeds them.
While some are very docile and easily bond with their breeder, making them excellent pets that can be easily handled by anyone, others are quite aggressive and have to be careful even when feeding.
Poisonous snakes are usually prohibited from being held captive in most countries because they pose a danger to human life, especially when kept in captivity outside their home countries, whose hospitals are not equipped with antidotes for their venom.
Many people are attracted to these reptiles, probably because of the danger they pose, but apart from being illegal, it is extremely stupid to put our lives in danger to have an exotic pet that can ultimately cost us a life.
Some very large size snakes, like the big pitons, are also prohibited by the danger they pose, because they can kill a person by asphyxiation. This type of pet snakes, which can reach very large sizes should be avoided, especially by those who have children at home.
They may look pretty and catchy when they are young but they grow very fast and can pose a very real danger in a few years, especially to children or small people.
Having children at home is a determining factor in choosing any pet, and with pet snakes is no exception. Large snakes and small but very aggressive snakes, should be avoided.
Although a small snake bite is not very harmful to a child as it has only four small teeth that can pierce the skin and leave some blood, the psychological effect of being bitten by a snake can be very disturbing, especially for a little child.
Which Pet Snake to Choose?
Here are the top beginner pet snakes. All are easy to care for and do not require great knowledge, so they are suitable for anyone, even without previous experience. Read on and pick your favorite.
Corn Snake (Elaphe Guttata)
It is the most popular pet snake for many people, and the most suitable for beginners. They are very docile, easy to handle, with a maximum size just over 4 to 5 feet and are beautiful – usually with bright orange types.
Corn snake is also very easy to feed. When small they easily accept some insects such as crickets, worms and baby rodents. When in adulthood they are usually fed with frozen rats, but they also accept chirped poultry of the size of their mouth, such as quail bits and even chicken.
They may be accustomed to accepting almost every kind of meat you want to offer, but red meat – pork and beef should not be given to a Corn Snake, as in the wild they eat only rodents and birds.
It is a snake of great longevity and very tolerant in captivity, especially regarding the humidity and temperature requirements. If you intend to hibernate your snake on colder days you are likely to be able to have it at room temperature all year round. Otherwise you will need artificial heating he in the winter.
Corn Snakes are very easy to maintain in a medium sized terrarium or aquarium without major maintenance requirements, except artificial heating on colder days, usually below 20 ° C and a large container of clean water, as they love to bathe to cool off on hot days.
It is also very easy to feed, as mentioned above. Their only danger is that they are adept at evading their terrarium. Not only can they sneak and escape through the most insignificant hole, they are strong enough to move lids or obstacles that are not well fixed.
Californian King Snake (Lampropeltis Getula Californiae)
The California king snake is one of the most popular pet snakes for beginners. It is a pet snake that bears many similarities to the previous corn snake. They are also docile and easy to handle, although the corn snake is more tolerant.
They are equally beautiful, with various types of vivid coloration and although of a slightly higher price, the most common colorations are easily found at affordable prices.
Their main difference is in their temperament, more active, slightly smaller, and their diet, which, while being basically the same, may be harder to get them used to accepting it, especially for those who want to get used exclusively to a restricted diet of dead mice, because in her natural habitat she is a more diverse hunter.
However, if the California king snake is feed from a young age, by yourself or by your former creator, with a particular type of food, she easily accepts it and attacks it with great ferocity.
Although the size of the Californian King Snake is slightly smaller than the Corn Snake’s size, he needs a terrarium of equal size, or even a little larger, because they are more active and like to move around quickly, creating a larger tumble in their terrarium, especially if it’s small.
It is equally sturdy and easy to maintain without high temperature and humidity requirements so she is not a difficult snake to take care of. However, as she is a little shy she likes a substrate where she can bury herself to feel protected or suitable shelter.
Another requirement that also differs from the Corn Snake is its greater need for hygiene. Although hygiene is a requirement for any pet snake, the Californian King Snake is more demanding in this regard, especially as it is more susceptible to the development of dermatitis.
As, with the previous one, you have to be very careful with small holes or badly closed covers because they are also excellent in escaping through any small hole.
Mexican King Snake (Lampropeltis mexicana)
The Mexican King Snake is also very popular as a pet snake although it is much more timid than the previous ones and little given to interacting with the caregiver. However, it is not usually aggressive and rarely bites.
It is the smallest of all and therefore does not need a terrarium of such dimensions, but has more requirements regarding its maintenance. Mainly because it requires a substrate where they can bury.
However, if this is not possible or desirable, this need can be replaced by a number of hiding places where it can be sheltered, such as rocks that allow it to sink under or hollow cork trunks.
As their diet is largely based on small reptiles such as lizards, it can be difficult to get used to dead rats or domestic birds such as the previous ones. However, it all depends on the keeper’s perseverance when she is still young to accustom her to what he wants.
By price Mexican King Snake is the most expensive of the three, and also the hardest to find for sale. It was quite scarce a few years ago due to Mexico’s hunting restrictions, but due to its easy captive breeding it is already easily found at affordable prices almost all over the world.
False Coral Snake – (Lampropeltis triangulum)
The False Coral Snake comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors, but the most common, Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides, is also about 1 meter long and also very easy to handle.
They are also very popular and one of the more beautiful pet snakes, with red, black and yellow tones.
Its natural diet consists of crustaceans, insects, frogs and fish, so it differs slightly from previous snakes. But, in addition to being easy-to-find foods, even for human consumption, it all depends on the habit instilled by the creator at a young age.
However, this species of pet snake is much shyer and more risky and nervous, although it does not attack very easily. Because of this, it takes a little more patience to get them used to living with your caretaker, and also at the time of feeding.
The main disadvantage of the False Coral Snake is that because it is very shy it spends most of the day buried in the substrate or hidden, so it loses some interest.
Although the previous ones also tend to be nocturnal snakes and like to be fed at the end of the day, they are not so likely to spend the day hiding, so they become more sociable.
In this article, we introduce you to the key features regarding what you need to consider before choosing your pet snake. Do not forget that the main feature for choosing your pet snake should be the terrarium, the terrarium space and the place where you intend to place it.
We also introduce you to the four most common and easy to care of snakes for those just starting this hobby and the key features of each one, so you can make the best choice.
If you want to delve deeper into the subject so as not to make mistakes that could harm your pet, to build the best habitat possible for her, and to choose the pet snake that best suits your needs, fill in the form below.