Best Pet Snakes: The Ultimate Selection Guide (2020)

Snakes are exotic creatures, and if handled well, you can easily tame them as pets. If you are a snake lover, hoping to keep them in your home, but you are not sure of the best choice, I have compiled a list of the best pet snakes to make your search easier and manageable.

Pets come with unique requirements compared to other pets, and you must, therefore, be willing to commit and meet the snakes’ needs.

Table Of Content

Chapter 1

Ball Python

This is most people’s favorite pet snake, and it is all for the right reasons. For starters, it is easy to handle and it is barely aggressive to humans.

It comes with a few requirements and easy feeding. These snakes are generally shy and friendly to humans, so you do not have to worry about your safety.

Price

One of the things that will make you fall in love with this pet snake is the price.

The pythons go for around $30 at reptile shows, which makes it quite affordable for anyone.

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The price ranges at the same rate in pet stores.

The best part is that the reptile shows have all sorts of ball python morph so you can quickly select your preference and how much you are willing to spend.

This means that you can get the same snake at a much lower price at the show.

I recommend the normal ball python primarily due to its striking color, which makes is pet-friendly.

Place of Origin

Ball Pythons are central and western Africa natives. The snake’s origin is in Egypt and other parts of native Africa.

Rumors have it that Cleopatra used to wear the snake as jewelry, and this is the reason why Ball pythons are also known as ‘royal.’

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Today, some Igbo individuals in Nigeria value this snake and view it as a symbol of the earth due to how close it is to the ground.

The name ball originates from its curled shape, which makes it look like a ball.

Body Size in Adulthood

Contrary to their name, these snakes do not grow to be large pythons, but they are heavily bodied.

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The male’s size is about 2 to 3 feet while the female is about 3 to 5 feet. The sizes vary, and you can, therefore, select one that fits your preference.

Ball pythons are long-lived snakes. Some of them can live for up to 30 years, and this is a plus because you can have your pet for the longest time possible.

Suitable Temperature for Feeding

Suitable Temperature for Feeding

Ball pythons are relatively easy to take care of.

They have simple feeding requirements compared to most snakes. It is crucial that you consider the temperatures before feeding the snake.

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The snake pet will feel more comfortable with minimal stressors, and you, therefore, need to work towards providing it with balanced temperature levels. Make sure that the food is warm.

The snakes will shy away from cold food as they use the innate behavior to detect what is right to eat and what to avoid.

Suitable Humidity for Feeding

They originate from equatorial areas and therefore need some humid and warm temperatures of around 90 degrees.

Make sure that one side of the pet’s cage is cool (about 80 degrees), and the other one is warm.

Aggressiveness Towards Humanity

The main aspects that make ball python one of the loved pet snakes is its timidity, which makes the snakes easier to handle and enjoyable as pets.

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You will have peace of mind, even with children around.

With their extended lifespan, the pet can grow along with your reptiles-loving kid if well looked after.

My Reasons for Recommending It

I love everything about ball pythons.

Its timidity and shyness make me love it most because, with all the dangers associated with snakes, I feel like this one is more home-friendly and excellent around kids.

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I also love its simplicity. You do not have to take extreme measures to maintain this pet. Both their feeding and housing requirements are super simple compared to other pet snakes.

They love rodents, which are easily accessible, and their temperature requirements are quite easy to adjust.

I think that this is an incredible choice for both veterans and beginners who want to venture into snakes for pets.

Chapter 2

Rosy Boa

Although this snake is not as popular as the ball python, it is still among the common pet snakes in the market.

For starters, I love its easy-to-manage size and simple feeding requirements. The snake is easy to breed and very docile, thus easy handling.

Price

Rosy Boa is a readily available snake in nearly all pet stores and herp shows. It is quite affordable too, and with as little as $25, you can take the pet home with you.

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Prices vary depending on where you choose to buy yours. Locality-specific snakes cost more than other morphs precisely due to the time taken to breed the creature. Some of the most expensive choices include Mexican, Coastal California, and Desert phase rosy boa.

Place of Origin

The rosy boa is a native American snake. Its name originates from its salmon or rosy coloration on its belly.

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The coloration is typical in Baja Mexico and coastal southern California Rosy boas while the rest have a pattern of orange or dark sports.

Body Size in Adulthood

Rosy boa’s size is favorable for caging and makes it the best pet snakes for families with kids.

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The pet snakes grow to a length of up to 4 feet when mature with a record length of 48 inches, which is rare to find. Most of these snakes’ length range between 24 to 36 inches, which make them perfect for keeping in a 15-gallon glass aquarium.

Suitable Temperature for Feeding

The right feeding temperature for rosy boas ranges at 80 to 85 degrees on the warmer side and 65 to 75 degrees on the cooler side. These snakes are Southern US natives, and they, therefore, love fairly warm temperatures. They, however, need cooling off when the temperatures rise.

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Consequently, you should be able to regulate the temperatures to offer them both cold and hot when need be. Note that you should not guess the temperatures. Instead, use a quality temperature gauge to ensure that you are following the exact regulations.

Suitable Humidity for Feeding

Rosy Boas do not do well in very humid conditions. They love warm temperatures, and this is a plus because you do not need to implement any special measures to maintain humidity levels.

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You simply need a well-ventilated cage, and you are good to go.

Aggressiveness Towards Humanity

Rosy boas are friendly but require gentle handling. You should be careful, especially when feeding them to avoid the pet snakes from associating you with food.

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It is recommendable that you use an inanimate object when reaching to pick the snake rather than your hands to let the snake know that it is not time to feed.

My Reasons for Recommending It

The rosy boa is attractive, and this makes it a perfect pet. It is also easy to handle and maintain as it comes with minimal feeding and housing requirements.

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The snake is human-friendly, so you should not worry about your safety and that of your loved ones. Once you establish a bond with these snakes, they enjoy physical contact and crawling playfully along your arms. This makes them incredible best friends.

Chapter 3

Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are among the most loved pet snakes, and it is all for the right reasons. The creatures are beautiful with their gorgeous color and patterns, so you don’t have to worry about scaring kids and visitors away.

What I love most about these snakes is their ease of care and breeding. Their size is just perfect for captivity, not forgetting that they are easy to relate to and super friendly to humans.

Price

You can easily find corn snakes at reptile expos, pet shop, or get one at an online reptile shop.

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You may also go directly to the breeder, depending on your budget. The cost ranges between $25-40 based on where you get yours and the color variation.

Origin

Corn snakes are North American natives and are closely related to rat snake. The snakes are mostly found in the central and southeastern United States. Corn snakes’ docile nature, moderate size, friendliness, and simple care requirements are among the reasons why people choose to keep them as pet snakes.

Body Size in Adulthood

The snakes’ moderate adult size makes them suitable for caging in a 20-gallon glass aquarium. They do not grow too big and, therefore, do not require you to go out of your way to find a big enclosure.

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You can keep yours in a 20-gallon enclosure for up to 20 years, and it will still fit perfectly. Their adult length is around 4-5.5 feet.

Suitable Temperature for Feeding

Like any other reptile, corn snakes are cold-blooded, but that does not mean that you should subject the pet to extremely cold temperatures. You should be able to regulate the temperatures in the terrarium to avoid subjecting the snake to environmental stressors.

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The suitable temperature range should be between 82-90 degrees on the warmer side and 75-75 degrees on the cooler side.

Suitable Humidity for Feeding

Corn snakes require the right humidity levels to maintain a healthy respiratory system and enhance shedding.

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The ideal humidity should range at around 40-50%. You can manage this level with a large water bowl without putting in much effort, depending on the climate in your region.

Aggressiveness Towards Human

Corn Snakes are a bit nervous and defensive in their hatchling state, but this gets betters as they get used to your company.

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The snakes are calm and incapable of harming you, so you have nothing to worry about when it comes to your safety and that of your loved ones.

My Reasons for Recommending It

The corn snake is among the best pet snakes for beginners as it comes with minimal care and feeding requirements. I feel like anyone can manage to handle this snake in both its hatchling and adult stage.

Its moderate size, shyness, calmness, and ease to handle are just a few of the aspects that I find most attractive, not forgetting its beautiful appearance. You will find peace in knowing that your kids are safe around the pet, as it is incapable of harming anyone unless wrongly approached.

Chapter 4

Garter Snakes

When I was a teenager, my friends and I enjoyed playing with Garter snakes around my neighborhood.

One of my neighbors had several of them as pets, but my strict parents could not let me keep one until recently when I moved to my apartment and got a garter snake as my best friend.

Price

The cost varies depending on where you choose to get yours. Also, if you live in an area where these snakes roam freely, you can catch one and keep it at no cost. Garter snakes come with limited morphs variations with the most expensive, albino garter snake going for $50. However, you can acquire the normal garter snake.

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Origin

Garter snakes are North and South America endemic but can also be found in the Canada subarctic and Costa Rica. The name garter originated from clothing garters because the snake resembles the clothing patterns. It features stripes down its back, just as the clothes do.

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These snakes can live in a wide range of wild habitats, all from the woodlands, grassy knolls, and near water bodies.

Body Size in Adulthood

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Adult garter snakes do not exceed 2-3 feet. The males are much shorter than the females, but ideally, you can comfortably keep the creature in a 15 gallons cage for the longest time without outgrowing it. This size makes them the best pet snakes for children, and if well-fed and taken care of, the snakes can live for up to 10 years, healthy and happy.

Suitable Temperature for Feeding

Garter snakes love hot environments. You should take the pet out for basking or get a basking lamp or heat tape to regulate the temperatures in the aquarium.

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The ideal temperature should range at 60 degrees during the cold season and 95 during the warm season.

Suitable Humidity for Feeding

Garter snakes thrive well in moderate humidity levels, which should range between 30-60% depending on the season.

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The high end is suitable during shedding. You can control the humidity levels by using a large bowl of water or a hygrometer.

Aggressiveness Towards Humanity

Garter snakes are friendly, and that is where there are many of them roaming in the woods without any harming alerts. When threatened, the snake may flatten and get ready to strike, but this only happens in extreme cases.

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It may also release a foul odor or hide its head. It is, however, one of the safest snakes to keep as a pet, even with kids around.

My Reasons for Recommending It

I love everything about the pet, all from its docile nature, friendliness, and easy handling. There has not been a day when I felt like I have to give up on some activities to look after the snake.

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With the right feeding and temperature, you can easily maintain a healthy garter snake to serve you for up to 20 years.

Chapter 5

Gopher Snake

Gopher snakes qualify to be among the best pet snakes, primarily due to their friendliness and calmness. The snakes are attractive and fit for homes with kids.

Gopher snakes come in a variety of morphs so you can quickly select one that meets your preference.

Price

Gopher snakes are a bit pricey compared to my other recommendations as their prices start at $50, depending on where you choose to get yours.

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You can find them at reptile shows, stores, or get one online.

Origin

Gopher snakes are mostly found in North America. Their existence extends from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and can also be found in southern Canada, Mexico, and Southern Sinaloa.

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The snakes’ name originated from their chain pattern on the backs. Their original name was catenifer, and it is a Latin name for ”chain bearing’.

Body Size in Adulthood

Gopher snakes have a moderate growth of 3to6 feet and an average length of 4-5 feet.

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This size makes them easy to handle, and with a 30-gallon enclosure, the snake can live in there for up to 15 years without outgrowing it.

Suitable Temperature for Feeding

These snakes require high temperatures to help in the digestion of food. The ideal temperature should range between 75-85 degrees, which is quite achievable with a heating pad for heat control, especially during the night.

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Gopher snake does not require any special lighting when feeding, and this adds to the advantage of easy care and maintenance.

Suitable Humidity for Feeding

You should offer the snake with fresh, non-chlorinated water for soaking. The creatures do well in dry environments and therefore do not require additional humidity until the shedding season.

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Once you notice that the snake’s scales are turning reclusive, that means shedding time, and you should add a humid hide box filled with moss or damp paper towels for extra humidity.

Aggressiveness Towards Humanity

Gopher snakes are docile and will allow you to handle them calmly without making a fuss. They rarely attack, and once a bond is created, they become comfortable and playful around you. When threatened, the snake becomes loud by producing a throat flap to alert you.

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The snake may also flatten itself on the ground to get ready to strike, but this rarely happens. It only does so to fool you into mistaking it for a dangerous creature when mishandled.

My Reasons for Recommending It

I love the snake’s docile nature, moderate size, and simple handling requirements. The snake does not require you to go out of your way to provide it with healthy foods and the environment. It is also easy to relate with, and if you handle it gently, you will soon have the snake as your best friend.

Chapter 6

California King Snake

There is a reason why these snakes are known as kings. For starters, they have a fierce nature and capability to hunt and eat rats and other snakes.

They are also the best pet snakes for beginners as they come with minimal handling requirements.

Price

The baby California snakes go for around $50, give or take. The price will slightly differ depending on the morph or where you buy yours. With $50, you can get anything from an albino king snake to an aberrant black snake.

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Place of Origin

California kingsnakes are Northern Mexico and Western United States natives. However, they refrain from the northeast corner and damp redwood region.

Body Size in Adulthood

These snakes feature a moderate size with an average growth of 4-5 feet in adulthood.

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Most of the morphs attain adulthood at 4 to 5 years of age. If well-handled and cared for, the snake can live for 10 to 15 years in captivity, and with a 20-gallons enclosure, you are good to go.

Suitable Temperature for Feeding

California kingsnakes do well at moderate temperatures. The cold side of the aquarium should be about 70 to 75 degrees while the basking side should be 85 to 90 degrees.

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You should not operate on guesswork. Instead, use a thermometer to check the correct temperature. The snakes do not require any special lighting, and you should refrain from using any type of bulb.

Suitable Humidity for Feeding

You should maintain a humidity level of 50-60%.

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This level is suitable, especially for shedding. You can do this by placing a large bowl of water for soaking.

Aggressiveness Towards Humanity

California kingsnakes are known for being aggressive towards rodents and other snakes, but they are super-friendly to humans.

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They are calm, and you do not have to be an expert to handle them. They are docile but a bit anxious. They never get hostile unless extremely agitated.

My Reasons for Recommending It

These snakes are highly adaptable, and this means that they can survive in nearly all environments.

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They require minimal care and are versatile in what they eat. They are friendly to humans and will help you keep pests away. They are perfect pet snakes, even around kids.

Chapter 7

Conclusion

There have been a lot of myths and stereotyping surrounding snakes. Most people believe that they are not safe pets, but I’m here to clear this and help you understand that snakes are one of the best pet choices.

They are friendly and great protectors, but only if handled well. Before you go out to look for a pet snake, make sure that you are ready and willing to take good care of the creature.

Snakes deserve love just like any other animal. There are endless pet snakes selections in the market, and these are just my top six choices as per their behaviors and care requirements.

If you have always wanted to own a pet snake, but you are not sure if it is the right choice, do not let anything stop you. Take a step today and get any of the mentioned choices.

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