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Are Snakes Good Pets?

Pet Snakes have a lot to offer when it comes to deciding on a family pet. Though they may not be as cuddly, snakes can be very low maintenance and they are educational to watch and raise.

It’s important to consider what type of snake you want to purchase as a pet for your home and family, especially when considering children. Below are listed several different breeds of snakes and the upsides to purchasing one over the other.

Garter Snakes

Garter Snake
Garter Snake

Garter snakes start out very small, thought they can reach up to a length of 4 feet. These snakes are generally inexpensive to purchase and with proper care they can live up to as long as 12 years.

Of course, one of the main concerns is whether they are okay for handling by your. These snakes tend to be one of the most tolerant of all snakes you can purchase as a pet. They require a very minimal habitat, which is an added bonus when you are starting out and just learning about caring for a pet snake.

Corn Snakes

Corn Snake
corn snake

One of the biggest benefits of choosing a corn snake as a family pet is that they are generally a docile snake. As with garter snakes, they are fairly easy to care for and do not get as large as other breeds of snake.

Though they are a favorite of beginner snake owners, you will also find that more experienced snake owners also will lean toward this breed of snake; due to their range of beautiful colors and patterns that breeding can produce.

This breed of snake tends to like to burrow and hide versus the aforementioned garter snake. You will definitely want an enclosure including loose material in the bottom. Corn snakes prefer to burrow down, versus staying above the ground on a tree limb or in a small enclosure in the tank.

King Snakes/Milk Snakes

king snake
king snake

The King and Milk Snakr are yet another domicile breed of snakes. The Milk and King snakes are related and you can even go beyond that to find several sub species of these snakes. One commonality of both these snakes, and their sub-species, is the beautiful and vibrant patterns you can find in the colors of the snakes. These vivid and colorful results are produced by breeders when mating various pairs of these snakes to get a colorful, resulting pattern.

You definitely need to consider a secure cage when purchasing any snake – the last thing you want to do is have to ask if anyone has seen the snake – but King snakes are notorious for testing out their enclosures and for sneakily escaping from these same spaces.

One thing to consider when deciding on purchasing a Milk or King snake is that you do not want to have more than one snake in each enclosure/tank. King snakes do not play well with other snakes. The last thing you want to find is only one snake in your previous two-snake enclosure. Something you definitely don’t want to have to explain to your kids, not to mention the cost of to your pocketbook.

Ball Python

ball python
ball python

These snakes are very common as pets. They tend to grow to a maximum length of 3 to 5 feet, and as with the former mention snakes, tend to be quite docile and easy to handle.

Amazing Fact: Did you know that ball pythons can typically live 20 to 30 years, but they have been known to live up to 50 years? Pretty amazing.

One thing about Ball Pythons is that they are not very active, so you can get away with a little smaller enclosure than you would with other, more active snakes. As with the King snake, you need to make sure that the enclosure is secure. Ball Pythons have a lot in common with Harry Houdini, they are great escape artists!

Gopher Snake

gopher snake
gopher snake

One of the best kept secrets in the snake world are Gopher Snakes. They are fairly easy to locate at pet stores and are very reasonably priced; normally around the $50 range.

These snakes tend to grow to about 3 to 6 feet in length and are very common in the 4 to 5 feet range. They are fairly heavy bodied breed and can live in excess of 15 years in captivity.

Gopher snakes are commonly known as burrowing snakes (same as Corn Snakes). This is one thing to consider when you are purchasing the interior setup for your enclosure. Starting out, a 20-gallon tank will do just fine. Just make sure you purchase enough substrate for snake to be able to comfortably burrow down under the surface of the substrate.

Docile Note

As mentioned, the above listed snakes are considered some of the more docile of the snake breeds available to purchase as pets. One thing to keep I mind though is that snakes need a period of time to get used to you and your family, the same as you need a little time to get used to them. It’s important to be careful when first handling the snake in their new habitat. With gentle handling, the snake should settle down and become more docile with time.

There you go. You now know that you can include “snakes” on your list of family-friendly pets. With some care and a little studying about the exact breed you intend to purchase, you will have a great pet that can last for years to come.

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