Snakes are fascinating and beautiful creatures. It isn’t a shock that some people would love to keep them as pets.
There are a variety of snake species, each one with unique behaviors, needs, and habitats. It will be best to choose a snake you can care for and meet its needs. While some people like to keep venomous snakes as pets, we recommend you only stick to non-venomous and friendly pet snakes.
What are the friendliest pet snakes?
Some of the most popular and friendly pet snakes include Corn snakes, Rosy boas, California Kingsnakes, Gopher snakes, Ball pythons, Hognose snakes, and Milksnakes. Apart from not being dangerous, these snakes are popular because they do not have a lot of needs and husbandry requirements.
Before you decide to go out and get a pet snake, you must always make sure you can take care of it and give it the time it deserves. Once you get a pet, you must understand its long-term commitment. Let’s not forget, it will cost you money and time to get it and keep it safe and alive.
If you want to get a pet snake, you can go for one of the best friendly pet snakes as they are easy to maintain. If any particular type of snake interests you, continue reading below to find out more information and facts about the species.
7 Friendly Pet Snakes
1. Corn Snakes
This snake breed is among the most beautiful and friendly pet snake species. There is no other snake breed that looks like them.
Most people love corn snakes as pets. Snake lovers keep corn snakes as pets because of their gorgeous look. It is possible to find them in various colors, shapes, and sizes.
If you want a snake that looks good in your living room, think about getting the corn snake breed.
The merits of having this breed of snakes go far beyond looks; they can live for more than twenty years. Their length is between three and five feet.
This breed is docile and easy to look after, so they’re great for people who do not have much experience with snakes.
These pet snakes are calm and let people touch them. If the snake perceives a threat, its tails will oscillate and strike. These snakes can get away or stick their nose out if there is a crack or opening in their enclosure.
To keep your corn snake safe, ensure that the lid is tight and not easy to push open.
2. Rosy Boas
The Rosy Boas snakes are widespread, and you can buy one for around $25 at a reptile exhibition or online. They live much longer than King or corn snakes. They can live to be 25 and even more.
Similar to king snakes, these snake breeds look for holes in their cages, specifically at the upper part of the enclosure. They like to stretch their necks. Make sure you shield the top of the enclosure with screens.
This way, you won’t have to worry about your pet scratching or bruising its nose because they keep rubbing it against the top of the enclosure too much.
A tank of about 20-gallon is more than enough. Rosy boas are only around 3 feet when they’re adults. Furthermore, make sure there are branches to climb on, hide-boxes, and different temperatures in the enclosure.
Rosy Boas are a little pickier than most other snakes regarding temperature preferences. The low point should be about 80 Fahrenheit (F) degrees, while the high temperature should be around 90 F degrees.
The area where the snake will bask should be approximately 7 to 10 F degrees higher than other parts of the enclosure tank so that they can stay warm.
It’s peculiar, but Rosy Boas do well if they don’t always have access to water. For only a single day in a month, put a water dish in your pet’s enclosure. Don’t give the snake water on the day before it’s time to eat.
Instead, try to provide it with water a couple of days before.
However, providing water once after 3 weeks is best for younger snakes.
Your Rosy Boa enclosure should imitate the seasons. Do your best to match the temperature and condition of each one. For around 3-4 months in the winter, you should keep the enclosure’s temperature at least 55 F degrees.
Just as the Rosy Boa would do in its natural habitat, begin by having the snake not eat for two weeks. You should gradually reduce the temperature to 55 F degrees. After this, you can feed the snake. The snake’s digestive system must be ready to receive the food in colder temperatures because it can’t process food as quickly. Take it easy for about three months, and slowly increase the enclosure’s temperature.
A Rosy Boa likes to eat prey that is alive. However, you should note that live prey like mice could hurt your snake.
To make sure the mouse doesn’t attack the boa, buy mice that aren’t wild. Small mice are a good start for your snake. You can buy bigger prey as your snake grows. Feed your rosy boa after 7-10 days.
When you handle the Rosy Boa, remember that they may be feeling a strong urge to eat. Forceps are an excellent tool to prod your pet snake before picking it up gently. The forceps alert the snake they aren’t getting any food and thus should be easy to handle.
Make sure you don’t stop the snake from moving around. Never hold the pet snake in place with two hands; just let them move through the fingers. Please don’t do anything that makes them feel like you are holding it back, or they’ll fight back.
3. California King Snakes
Many people like to keep King snakes because they aren’t dangerous and are friendly pet snakes. In captivity, they’ll live for approximately 20 years. They like to consume mice and can grow to about 6 feet.
King snakes are wild creatures, so they have the instincts that make them want to sleep, bite, hunt, and roam around. It is best if you do not keep king snakes in a cage or enclosure that isn’t safe since they can quickly get out of one that isn’t adequately secured.
The way your pet king snake acts and behaves is dependent on the snake and the frequency of your interaction with it. Wild animals, including snakes, will have their personalities.
King snakes are a bit more protective than some other types of snakes you might own as pets. It is like a skunk and releases a bad musk smell when they are afraid. You don’t want your pet snake emitting this odor anywhere inside your home.
They’ll oscillate their tails as a way to warn you. As a defense against predators, they try to make their tails rattle like a rattlesnake.
Many people like to keep King snakes as pets, even though they can be snappier than most small, non-poisonous snakes. Proper maintenance and handling are crucial to taming this snake which can occur within no time.
When you learn how to handle King snakes for the first time, you should move your hands over each other and let your snake move freely. The position is a great way to handle them. Try not to look into their eyes.
Do not touch the snake within a few days after consuming something or when the snake is shedding to get rid of its old skin. As soon as your snake sheds, its eyes will become blue or milky.
The best way to handle a pet snake you just got from is once or twice a week. Afterward, you can start increasing the frequency and length of time gradually. They’ll love you handling them, and become friendly in no time. They become docile when they become friendly.
4. Gopher Snakes
These snakes are daring, curious, accepting, and without venom, which makes them good, friendly pet snakes for newbies and long-time hobbyists. Since gopher snakes are so lively and curious, they do well in confinement in a manner that other snakes and or animals don’t. The reason is that they are so playful and curious.
Gopher snakes love contact, and they are constantly moving around. This breed of snakes is diurnal; they tend to be active during the daytime. Keep moving your hands under the gopher snakes as they move around when holding it.
Gopher snakes may grow to a length of six feet. They have a big body and live for about 15 years. Some Gopher snakes may live for 30 years while in captivity.
Even so, never count on your snake being around for more than 15 years.
A 30-gallon enclosure tank is good for a pet Gopher snake because it’s bigger than other snakes. Because Gopher snakes burrow, they will require long and low enclosures with a lot of loose soil to hide.
It’s also a good idea to use aspen shavings or bark chips. Just remember to keep your pet’s enclosure neat.
As always, make sure there are hide-boxes, different temperatures (high 70’s to high 80’s), water, branches, and a basking area. Gopher snakes need a lot of water, unlike rosy boas. It’s essential to keep the enclosure’s soil, water, and environment clean. Take the necessary steps to prevent the snake from escaping its enclosure.
When it’s cold outside, gopher snakes slow down while eating less. If their enclosure is near a window, they will do this even more often. These snakes hibernate outdoors, which is not out of the norm. You can, however, relocate them from the window and give them half a day of light.
Gopher snakes prefer it drier, unlike many snakes, because they live in deserts found in southwestern parts of the US, where there are a lot of drylands. The standard humidity in any home is about 40%, which should be enough for your pet gopher snake.
When the gopher snakes are about to shed their skin, they tend to be more private while their scales become dull and cloudy. When you see this, ensure that you give them a moist box.
Your snake’s box has to be sizable enough for the snake to coil around in, with wet moss or paper towels inside. It keeps the snake’s skin dry while also helping them get rid of dead scales. Mist the snake’s enclosure at least once daily.
Gopher snakes need to eat at least once every week to stay alive and healthy. They can eat mice that have been thawed and killed, which is good because it stops your snake from getting hurt by live prey. These snakes will eat mice and rats of all ages and even babies.
Ensure the snake’s prey is the same size as the snake’s head.
These snakes are shy eaters and tend to be sneaky about it. You can try wiggling the mouse with tongs if your snakes won’t eat it. The mouse could be in the anterior of the snake’s hiding box, and they could “hunt” it. If your snake still doesn’t eat, consult a vet.
5. Ball Pythons
Ball pythons are a great option as pets, even for people who have never had a snake before.
However, remember to always treat them with the same respect as any snake you might find in the wild.
Even when you keep these snakes in a cage or enclosure, they are still wild in every way. So, always be careful when you handle any wild animal.
They are a good breed for someone who wants to learn more about snakes. Keeping this snake as a pet can also be a bridge to a more challenging snake.
Many other snake breeds are not as resilient as this one, and they don’t get sick as quickly with poor care. Ensure you know plenty about the snake you’re getting before buying one.
Ball pythons are friendly pet snakes, and they even like it when people touch them for a little while every day.
Every day, you should pick up and touch your ball python. Doing this regularly will help your snake get comfortable with you picking and stroking it.
Checking your pet snake every day will allow you to look for any scratches, bruises, or other health problems.
Please take note that ball pythons are afraid of contact with their heads. They don’t like having their head touched. So, if you keep doing that, you might get angry. It doesn’t mean that your snake is dangerous. If your snake gets irate when you try to touch its head, it’s best not to handle it.
6. Hognose Snakes
It’s not easy to see hognose snakes in the wild. They are peculiar because they have ridged (keeled) scales, the end of their snout pointing.
These snakes are smaller, usually less than three feet long, strong, easy to handle, and constant eaters. They can live for 18 years. You can keep them in a small space because they don’t need much.
Whenever they are afraid, they imitate the hissing sound of the rattlesnake and the cobra’s “hood” when they hiss. There are times when they will strike with their closed mouths. They don’t bite. They are straightforward to handle and don’t fight back.
During the daytime, they get out and are active. Since these snakes are from a desert environment, they like warmer weather. Keep the enclosure between 78 and 86 F degrees, with an area for basking 7 to 10 F degrees warmer than the rest.
You need to have full-spectrum illumination for 14 to16 hours throughout summer and about 10 hours a day at night during winter.
They don’t need a lot of security because they aren’t likely to get out of the cage. A medium tank or enclosure is enough to keep this breed of friendly pet snakes. As always, substrate, water, hide-boxes, and branches are essential.
They aren’t snakes that burrow into the ground, so you don’t need to use a lot of loose particles as a substrate. You can opt to use newspapers.
These snakes can live well with other pet snakes in one enclosure or cage. You can change the enclosure’s size to meet your needs.
As soon as they notice you bringing them food, hognose snakes will go right for it with their mouths open. We recommend you use tongs whenever feeding your snake.
It would help if you fed them a thawed, dead mouse after 7 to 10 days. It should be no bigger than their head.
7. Milk Snakes
Like the king snake, the milk snake is territorial and might fight, eat, or kill other pet snakes when they live in one enclosure.
These snakes are among the best friendly pet snakes because of their lesser size and bright color. They are well-known for being confused with the venomous coral snake, which is very dangerous.
As pets, these snakes are some of the most docile. They are also unlikely to bite. They eat a lot and develop quickly, but they don’t usually get taller than four feet.
Milk snakes are very good at getting out of their cages, so pay close attention when opening their cage or enclosure. In one moment, they’ll be gone.
They might not be the best pets for kids, but they are still a good choice for someone who wants a friendly pet snake they can easily manage right away.
The best thing to do is buy a well-made and tight enclosure that doesn’t have any gaps or holes. Milk snakes can get through tiny spaces. These snakes can live in medium enclosures or tanks.
Milk snakes have a lot of choices when it comes to where they live. They aren’t snakes that like to dig in the ground, so you may use aspen shavings, AstroTurf, bark chips, or newspaper to cover the ground where they live.
Ensure your snake stays away from dusty surfaces and woods with strong smells that it doesn’t like (i.e., redwood, cedar, pine, etc.).
Using newspapers makes it easier to clean up after the snake. One good idea is to use an AstroTurf because it can be cleaned and reused, which helps protect the environment. It would be best if you did this every ten days.
As we said previously, they are ravenous eaters, and in general, they don’t have a problem attacking their prey. You can put the target in the snake enclosure while holding it and do not let it go until your snake attacks it if you think the prey is to bite your pet snake. Again, thawed, dead mice are best.
They don’t usually hibernate, so keep the temperature and light level the same all year long for milk snakes. They don’t need any extra lighting. It should be around 78 to 85 F degrees outside and about 93 F degrees inside for them to be happy.
Ensure there is clean water, a place to hide, and branches.
What You Should Keep in Mind Before Getting a Pet Snake
There are several factors you should consider before you start keeping a pet snake.
- It’s critical that you think about how long you want to keep a snake as a pet when you choose one. Many species live for 20 or more years.
- You should be ready to give prey animals to your snake (however, already frozen, pre-killed prey is the safest option), and you will most likely need to set aside freezer space for frozen prey such as rodents.
- Keep in mind that snakes are good at getting out of their cages. Snakes don’t give up on finding and getting through any small gaps.
- As gorgeous as they are, big constricting snakes and poisonous snakes should not be kept as pets because they can be dangerous.
- Try to get a snake from a good breeder if you can. Because they came from the wild, snakes that aren’t tamed are more likely to get parasites or diseases, and they’re also more stressed.