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June 5, 2017

3 Types of Snakes You Can Have as Pets

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Snakes make some people squirm, but they’ve slithered their way right into our hearts. If you feel the same way, you might have considered purchasing a pet snake of your own. But with so many species to choose from when buying a snake, how do you know what type of snake is the right fit for you? To help you answer that question, our Atlanta pet sitting company created a list spotlighting three of the best types of snakes for beginners.

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Ball Python

Top 3 Best Pet Snakes for Beginners

Most people grew up around cats and dogs, so they already have at least a basic idea of what to expect or watch out for when adopting a pet. But unless your parents were researchers or scientists, you probably don’t have the same level of experience when it comes to choosing a snake. After all, only 4.7 million households have a pet snake or reptile, compared to more 47 million that have a cat and more than 60 million that own a dog, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Like any beginner pet owner, you’ll have a lot to learn so that you can help your new friend enjoy a long, happy, and healthy life. As you get ready to take home a snake of your own, one of the first and most basic questions to consider is what type of snake you should get. After all, your decision will affect feeding, habitat setup, and every other aspect of your new pet’s daily care. To help give you a few ideas, here are three of the top snakes for beginners (potentially including children, with plenty of careful supervision).

  • Ball Python — Thanks to its docile demeanor, distinctive rounded features, widespread availability, and relatively minimal care requirements, the famously shy Ball Python (Python regius) is arguably America’s favorite pet snake. They are also non-venomous, which reduces the risk of serious injury if a bite occurs. Male Ball Pythons generally grow to be two to three feet long, while the significantly larger female Ball Python can attain lengths of up to five feet. They come in a dazzling variety of colors and patterns, so it’s easy to find a gorgeous and unique specimen. Just be forewarned: Ball Pythons can live for more than 40 years, so make sure you’re really ready to take on a long-term pet commitment.

 

  • Corn Snake — Similar to Ball Pythons, Corn Snakes (Elaphe guttata) are non-venomous, generally mild-mannered snakes that are easy to find and fairly simple to care for, making them a popular choice among children and first-time snake owners. Corn Snakes and Ball Pythons also share another trait in common: they come in a wide variety of patterns and colorations, including brown, orange, red, and yellow. While Corn Snakes can grow to be roughly the same size as Ball Pythons, they only live about half as long — typically 15 to 20 years, similar to the average lifespan of a house cat.

 

  • California Kingsnake — The California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) resembles the highly venomous Coral Snake, but don’t worry — these look-alikes are venom-free, contributing to their popularity as pets. They’re also popular because of their spunky, energetic personalities, which certain owners might find more appealing than the shy nature of Ball Pythons or Corn Snakes. California Kingsnakes are known to bite while they are still hatchlings, so it is probably best to avoid letting your child handle this species when it is still in the early stages of its life cycle. However, with proper care, California Kingsnakes tend to grow more docile as they mature, making ideal pets.

It’s also important to know what types of snakes you should avoid. Until you’ve accumulated more experience handling and caring for snakes, you should probably stay away from species that have more demanding care requirements. Whether due to extreme size, prohibitive upkeep costs, or other challenging factors, snake species that are best left to experienced keepers include:

  • African Rock Pythons
  • Burmese Pythons
  • Green Tree Pythons
  • Red Tailed Boas

Generally speaking, snake enthusiasts are advised to avoid any venomous snakes, regardless of experience level. While certain keepers might possess adequate knowledge and equipment to care for a venomous species, it simply creates an unnecessary safety risk.

at home pet sitters
Corn Snake

Atlanta Pet Sitters for Snakes, Lizards, and Reptiles

Most Georgia pet sitting services only provide care for cats and dogs. At Critter Sitters, we’re qualified to care for all types of pets, including reptiles, lizards, and amphibians. We’re happy to watch your snakes, geckos, frogs, turtles, chameleons, and other exotic pets. With decades of experience, our vet-recommended team has the knowledge and training to take great care of your scaly friend while you’re away on business, off on vacation, or simply enjoying a night out on the town.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our dependable, flexible pet sitters, call Critter Sitters today at (404) 973-2541. Our service area covers Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Buckhead, Fayetteville, Gainesville, Newnan, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Smyrna, and much more.