What is the best pet snake for a beginner?


So, you’ve decided to finally go for it. After months of consideration, you finally want to purchase your first snake and bring it into your home as a pet. However, as a first time reptile owner, the process of researching, sourcing, and caring for a new snake can be overwhelming. Fortunately, some snakes are known to consistently be good “first time pets” such as:

Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are known to be a relaxed, low-expectation companion that can adapt to nearly every household. With over 4,000 gorgeous morphs available on the market, there’s one that’ll fit your aesthetic preferences. Of course, you can expect to pay more for a rarer, specially bred animal. 

Corn Snakes

These moderately sized constrictors originate from the Southeastern US, managing pest populations across a variety of environments. Fortunately, they have also found a place in our homes and hearts. While they are known to be a bit more shy compared to other entries on this list (especially as juveniles), they still make for easy to handle, docile pets. 

Dwarf Boas

While some boa varieties grow to be around 10 feet long, these guys tend to max out at around 3-4 feet. This is due to the fact that dwarf boas originate from areas where the size and type of prey may be restricted, such as the islands of the Caribbean and South America. 

Milk Snake

These brightly colored reptiles are among those who have evolved red and black bands in an attempt to look like more dangerous animals, including the coral snake. Of course, they are completely harmless, conflict-avoidant constrictors without an ounce of venom in them. These snakes get their unique name from the old belief that they would drink milk directly from the udder of a cow, causing a lower yield or sickness.

Choosing a “Beginner” Snake

It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a true “beginner” or “zero effort” pet. Every snake is an individual with its own needs that need to be monitored and attended to. Regardless of what snakes for sale you’re looking at, it is going to need to be consistently fed, provided a climate-appropriate vivarium, and given regular veterinary care.  

Unfortunately, many people assume that the relatively easy temperaments and basic needs of these modestly sized, non-venomous snakes makes them a stepping stone to a more “advanced” animal. This can lead to this “beginner” pet to be neglected, or little more than a way for an owner to experiment on what works or not when raising a snake. 

As long as you manage your expectations and do your homework, any of the snakes on this list should make an excellent pet, regardless of how much experience you have. 

Final Thoughts

It is true that snakes for sale don’t generally make the most labor or emotionally intensive pets. This makes them excellent companions for owners of all experience levels. However, it is still important to understand that you are taking responsibility for a life. After all, no matter how independent they seem, your snake will rely on you for all of its basic needs.

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