3 Best Snakes for Beginners & Care Tips

Contrary to what most people believe, not all types of snakes are dangerous and scary. In fact, several docile species make intriguing and exciting companions. Most remarkable is that snakes are low-cost pets that require minimal care and space.

Compared to other pets, pet owners spend less money on food because most snakes feed weekly. In addition, snakes spend most of their time coiled in their habitat. Therefore, you do not have to take them for routine walks or put them on a leash like other pets. Also, with occasional defecation, snake enclosures are often clean and non-smelly.

Before bringing your first snake pet home, keep in mind that not all species are ideal for beginners. Keep us company as we define the three best snake species you should consider.

Corn Snake

Stunning in their diverse colors and patterns, corn snakes are some of the most preferred species by beginners. The main reasons are that they are generally tame and tolerate handling. Often, corn snakes measure around two meters when raised on a healthy diet. When aggravated, Corn snakes hiss and aggressively rattle their tails.

For an average-sized snake, a 20 gallon is suitable to keep them safe. Nonetheless, ensure that you clamp it to prevent them from crawling away. Remember that corn snakes are naturally shy and love hiding in the enclosure.

For this purpose, offer them a hiding container where they can comfortably curl in and out. Note that if you make it too big, the snake may feel insecure and refuse to use it. As an alternative, arrange bark pieces on top of the floor lining or substrate as a hiding corner.

Most important, avoid using cedar and pine shavings as the smell can easily irritate the respiratory system. Don’t forget to maintain the cage within optimal temperatures of about 75-85 F. Since snakes love burrowing, use a loose floor lining to allow them to practice their natural tendency.

Corn snakes thrive better in a typical household humidity of 40-50%. Yet, during summer, you can opt to mist the cage frequently to keep them cool.

Ball Python

Originally from central and west Africa, Ball Python got the name from its natural inclination to curl up when threatened. Interestingly, ball pythons are primarily active during the night and hidden in daylight. Compared to the brown patched Ball Pythons in the wild, captive-born ones come in diversified colors.

Commonly, Ball Python grows up to five feet long and falls under the category of longer snake pets. If fed well and kept in suitable habitat, these reptiles comfortably live for about 20 to 30 years. Although they love feeding on thawed or fresh mice, sometimes they can become picky eaters. Other than that, they are easy to handle and quite friendly.

Akin to other snake species, Ball Python may appear coy and stressed in a new environment. With time, they may warm up to their keepers and make friendly and social companions. However, if they become excessively stressed and refuse to feed, consult a qualified exotic veterinarian.

California Kingsnake

One particular reason why kingsnakes make good pets is that they quickly adapt to various conditions and habitats. Additionally, California kingsnakes are among the first species bred in captivity. Fortunately, this process brings out healthier offspring compared to those born in the wild.

California Kingsnakes are opportunistic hunters who prey on other snakes, birds, lizards, and eggs in their natural habitat. You can give a similar diet in captivity or supplement it with frozen mice or rat pups once a week. For kingsnakes hatchlings, minimize the quantity of the meals but keep on increasing as they grow.

Generally, California kingsnakes measure about three to four feet and comfortably fit in a 20-gallon cage with a glass cover. Importantly, ensure that the enclosure remains locked always to keep them safe. Similar to other reptile pets, install a heater in the enclosure to keep them thermo-regulated.  Luckily, extra warmth in the habitat helps to improve their digestion and keeps them contented.

Given that kingsnakes defecate on rare occasions, you only need to scrub the cage once monthly. In the process, change the beddings disinfect the entire space with water and vinegar to prevent infections.

Tips for Beginner Snake Owners

Even if snakes are charming, it is essential to note that not everyone can keep one. Therefore, take time to learn about various species before settling on the least complicated pet species. Follow the quick guide below on how to choose the best snake pet.

– Pick the Healthiest

It can be tricky to ascertain a healthy snake from the rest if you are a first-timer. All in all, healthy snakes have smooth scales, clear eyes, and appear alert.

If you happen to notice skin lesions, mouth breathing, aggressiveness, and discharge from eyes, mouth, or nose, that’s a clear indication that something is wrong with the reptile.

– Select Suitable Breed

Not all snake reptiles make great pets. Instead, settle for docile, easy to manage, and reasonably sized serpents. Consult a dependable vet for the best species in your area.

– Buy From a Trustworthy Breeder

Avoid buying snake pets from trade shows and other unreliable places. The thumb rule is to acquire a healthy and tame pet from reputable breeders and pet shops. Additionally, snakes captured in the wild are more aggressive and barely survive in captivity.

– Estimate your Budget

There is a significant role on your shoulders as a pet owner in keeping the reptile healthy and contented. Beyond anything else, consider if you can afford vet charges, food, increased power bills, special equipment.

– Snakes are not Affectionate

While some species tolerate handling, in totality, snakes do not express emotions. Thus, do not expect your pet to become demonstrative or cuddly like dogs and cats.

Final Advice

It is a pity that most snake owners buy them on impulse and reject them soon after.  Unfortunately, this makes them depressed, leading to inferior quality of life. Before buying one, be patient and ready to commit. With the right attitude, snakes eventually make unique and pleasant pets.

avatar William
William is a respected pet enthusiast with expertise in reptiles and birds. With extensive experience caring for these animals, he shares his knowledge through engaging and informative articles in various publications. He is an active member of pet-related organizations, volunteering regularly at shelters and promoting animal welfare and conservation. read more...

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