General Pet Snake Care

snakes

As a warning, pet snake care oftentimes can turn into a hobby. It is hard to just get one snake because they are so adorable! That may sound silly to most, but its the way I feel! :)

The hobby of herpetology, often called “herpetoculture,” has enjoyed tremendous growth over the last two decades. And among all the herptiles, snakes are by far the most popular, the most beloved.

There are well over 2500 snakes species worldwide. That’s a lot of snakes! Interestingly, however, less than 5% of that 2500 (which would be 125, for those who don’t feel like doing the math) are commonly kept as pets. That’s a pretty exclusive group, wouldn’t you say? Kind of a serpentine country club. The cream of the crop, as it were.

Because snakes can come from all different regions of the globe, they may have different requirements in captivity to stay healthy. Snake pet care can be both simple, and difficult depending on the type of snake chosen as a pet as well as the experience level of the owner.

For these reasons, I have split the snakes commonly found in the pet trade into the groups: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

Pet Snake Care : Beginner

corn snakes

Corn Snake
Click the link above for a detailed corn snake care sheet!

(Warning, it is intimidatingly informative)

Summary:

The corn snake, also known as the red rat snake, is by far the easiest to keep, and most docile snake in the pet trade. They come in a beautiful array of colors, and make great family pets. Kids love them, and they are absolutely harmless.

Unlike pythons or boas, they have very tiny little teeth. In the unlikely event you were ever to be bitten by a corn snake, you probably would not even feel it. The corn snake is the first true domesticated snake, and can be a great addition to the family. Both beginner and advanced snake keepers alike love these snakes. I just don't see what there is not to love!

king snakes

King Snake
Click on the above link for a detailed king snake care sheet!

Summary:

The king snake is another great reptile for those new to pet snake care. They exhibit a similar mild temperament as the corn snake and have very similar conditions as far as husbandry and general care is concerned. They too can be purchased from breeders in a variety of different colors (commonly referred to as "morphs").

The main difference between this particular reptile and a corn snake is that king snakes tend to be longer on average, and are predominantly cannibalistic in nature. Only keep one of these snakes to a cage!

milk snakes

Milk Snake
Click the link above for a detailed milk snake care sheet!

Summary:

If you are interested in a snake that is physically very similar to the king snake, but as small and compact as a corn snake, then the milk snake may interest you. They characteristically are shy and secretive, so they typically are not as aggressive as other species. Because of their timid nature, they will spend much of their time burrowed away under the substrate.

Pet Snake Care : Intermediate

ball pythons

Ball Python
Click the above link for an information Ball Python care sheet!

These docile, but sometimes picky eaters, can make great snakes for the first time pet owner; however, I consider them intermediate level reptiles due to their finicky eating behavior and decreased capacity to thrive unless a high level of humidity is maintained.

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