Everyone has a different opinion on what snake is the best. When looking for a snake as a first-time snake owner, you will want a snake that is both easy to keep and also very social.

What Are The Best Pet Snakes?

The best pet snakes are ball pythons, red tail boas, corn snakes, and California king snakes.

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When trying to figure out what is the best snake for you, there are other things that you need to consider, such as how big they can get and other husbandry issues.

What is the best snake to have as a pet?

These are 4 snakes that are easy to keep and usually very docile and social. While some of these can grow to be very big and need a very big enclosure, some stay small and are great for a small apartment.

Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are great pet snakes for beginners. But you should always treat them with the same respect as any wild snake you might come across. They are bred in captivity, but they are still in all respects wild. So, caution should always be taken when handling any wild animal.

The Best Pet Snakes: Vet Reveals 4 Snake Breeds To Consider!

This is a great breed for a beginner to learn all about keeping snakes and may even serve as a stepping stone to a more difficult to care for a snake. This breed of snake is a little heartier than many of the other snake breeds, and They do not decrease in health as quickly with poor husbandry.  Before you purchase a snake, learn everything about the snake you’re going to get.

Ball pythons are very friendly, and actually enjoy it when people handle them for a few minutes every day. It is advised to handle your ball python each day so that your snake is used to being picked up and touched. This will also allow you to fully examine your snake each day for any scratches, bruises, or other health related problems.

Keep in mind that ball pythons tend to be very head shy. Meaning they do not as their head touched. So, continuing to do so might elicit an aggressive response. It does not mean that your snake is aggressive. It just means your snake does not like for you to touch its head. If your snake gets agitated when you try to touch their head, it is best to avoid touching their heads all together.

Red Tail Boa

Red tail boa constrictors can be big mellow giants and a very fun snake breed to own. They actually can make awesome pets.

If you do buy a boa constrictor, you need to understand they are a long-term commitment that you will need to be able to provide care for them for many years.

The Best Pet Snakes

A typical boa constrictor’s lifespan in captivity is 20 to 30 years, and some can even live much longer if given the proper care and attention.

Red tail boas can grow to be very long and will need a very large enclosure for them to stay healthy and happy. Many of these snakes will grow to be close to 10 feet long and will need a tank that is at least 10 feet long for them to live in. This is not an ideal snake for someone who lives in a small apartment since they will take up a lot of room.

Corn Snakes

The corn snakes are one of the most popular pet snakes to own. Corn snakes are very gorgeous snakes, and many people choose this breed for their looks. They can be found in many different colors, sizes, and patterns. If you are looking for a pretty snake to match your aesthetically flawless living room, you should definitely consider getting a corn snake.

There is no other snake breed that can parallel the corn snake in terms of beauty. 

The Best Pet Snakes

The benefits of owning a corn snake do extend far beyond just eye-appeal. Corn snakes can live for a very long time. Some corn snakes can live up to twenty years. They are also a great medium size snake of about three to five feet in length. These snakes are extremely docile, and they’re easy to care for, so they’re perfect for those of you who don’t have much experience with snake supervision.

Corn Snakes are very low key and allow people to handle them.  They are very docile, but if they feel threatened will vibrate their tails and attack.  These snakes are great escape artists.  They are known for pushing their nose into any crack or craves to get out of their cage. If you have a corn snake, you will want to make sure that the lid fits tight and is not easily able to be pushed open.

California King Snake

A CaliforniaKingsnakes are nonvenomous snakes and are very popular to keep as pets. They will live about 20 years in captivity and like to eat thawed pre-killed mice. They can grow to be as long as six feet and are very harmless.

Kingsnakes are wild animals, and they do have the wild instincts that lead them to want to hunt, bite, sleep, and just explore the world around them. This wild attitude will carry over to captive kingsnakes, and they can easily escape an enclosure that is not safely secure.

The attitude and temperament of your pet kingsnake will depend on your individual snake and how much you interact with them. Animals, even snakes, will develop unique personalities.

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Kingsnakes can be a little more defensive than you might see in some other breeds of pet snakes. When they feel threatened, they will emit a horrible musk smell, just like a skunk. You definitely do not want them releasing this smell in your bedroom.

They will also shake their tails at you, which is another example of mimicry. They are trying to copy the rattle of a rattlesnake’s tail in order to scare off would-be predators.

Even though kingsnakes can be known for being a little snappier than other small nonvenomous snakes, they are extremely popular pet snakes. When the proper care and correct handling, kingsnakes can often be tamed very quickly.

When your first start to handle these snakes, using a hand-over-hand movement and allowing your snake to slither from one hand to the next is best and is the ideal method of handling. Try to stay away from their face. Do not handle your snake after they have eaten for a couple of days so they can digest properly or while they are shedding. You will know that your snake is about to shed if its eyes turn milky or blue.

If you have a snake that you got straight out of the wild, it is best to start with handling them just once every few days, then feel free to increase the time and frequency a little bit. They will get used to you and be tame in no time. Once they are tame, kingsnakes are docile for the rest of their lives.

Final thoughts

When looking for a snake for a first-time pet owner or one that is very easy to keep, consider one of these 4 snake breeds.

Before you purchase a new snake, make sure that you have done all your research, including finding a vet who sees snakes before bringing your snake home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of snake is the friendliest?

Corn snakes are probably the most friendliest snake breed. These are very docile and one of the most popular pets.

What is the easiest snake to keep as a pet?

Corn snakes are also the easiest snake to keep as a pet. They are very hardy and can easily adjust to their environmental parameters being off just a little.

What is the best snake for a first-time owner?

For a first time snake owner, a corn snake would be a great choice. They grow big enough for you not to harm them when you are handling them but not too large that you are going to need a giant tank for them to live in.


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