A-z - Animals

10 Best Pet Snakes

Keep reading to watch this amazing video

key point:

  • Many snakes can live for decades, especially pet pythons – choose wisely!
  • The Children's Python is a great choice for beginners and perfect if you are looking for a nice looking pet snake.
  • Snakes need live food and special habitats.

Choosing a pet snake is very different from choosing other domestic and companion animals. This is a tricky and potentially risky process. These creatures have unique care requirements and feeding styles. You need to make sure you choose the product that suits your best processing capabilities.

Picking a Pet Snake

Most snakes are tame. Many are dangerous (even the docile ones). But often life conditions lead to aggressive behavior. If you're planning on getting a snake – trust them they're fascinating! – You need to commit and understand their needs.

If you're considering getting a pet snake, consider the following:

  • Snakes can live twenty years. This is a long-term commitment.
  • Houdini could learn from snakes. They are extraordinary escape artists. Snakes don't look for freedom, but they find it. It is important to have an enclosure that your snake cannot overcome.
  • Most likely, you will need to feed live prey to the animals. You can feed them frozen or pre-killed prey (the safest options), but live food will keep them active and interested. If you get frozen, be prepared to store insects, mice, everything in your freezer.
  • Unless you are a trained handler, keeping pythons or venomous snakes – even the smaller ones – is not recommended.
Little boy puts the snake into the water tank
When you use a breeder or an appropriate supplier, you increase your chances of getting healthy snakes.


use breeder

Buy your pet snake from a reputable breeder and supplier. The wild snake you catch will be stressed. They are prone to diseases and parasites. These traits can make taming difficult.

Plus, when you use a breeder or proper supplier, you increase your chances of getting healthy animals. Even if you're not a veterinarian, give a snake a cursory check before you catch it. Look for remnants of skin, air bubbles from the nose, rotting mouths, or closed eyes.

Ask the boss for a feeding demonstration. If you're going the pre-kill route, you need to know if the reptile you want is fit for it and eating well. Ball pythons, for example, are picky eaters known for feeding problems. You want to get rid of snakes before you have them in your home.

how to deal with snakes

You want pets to adjust to your presence. No owner wants a snake they can't catch! But you want to do it safely. Young snakes that are not used to human contact will need some training.

Wash your hands first. Any smell could be mistaken for food. Cleaning also reduces the chance of transferring harmful parasites or bacteria to the snake. One day, this may not be necessary, but you want to make the snake comfortable with human presence.

Place the hand in the cage for up to three minutes before the first handling. Suspicious snakes may avoid you at first. Eventually, their strong sense of smell recognizes you, leading them to investigate.

Read more  King cobra bite: Why it has enough venom to kill 11 people and how to treat it
The Cost of Purchasing a Pet Snake
Learning to handle pet snakes requires patience and calm demeanor.


Don't think soothing talk might help. Although snakes are not deaf, they cannot hear human speech. So read a magazine or watch "America's Got Talent" just by keeping your hands in the tank.

Always move slowly as expected. Never surprise a snake! Even if you're just looking through the glass. Approach your snake directly or from the side—in or out of its enclosure. Not from above and never surprised by it. That snake will surprise you!

While we're talking surprises, avoid trying to pick up a hissing snake. Snakes are either afraid or on the defensive. Don't mess with it after it's finished eating. Please stay away when it falls off. Until you get used to it, it is best to handle your reptile when it is sleepy but awake.

best pet snakes

Snakes make great pets! They are unique and fun. There are more than 3,600 species worldwide, most of which are suitable for captivity. The following 10 animals are popular and relatively low maintenance. These are the breeds that are kept small. Most breeds eat live food, so if you're uncomfortable with that, get a guinea pig. You have options for kids, beginners and experienced people.

Therefore, here is a list of large snakes known for their ease of care, temperament, and appearance.

#1 Kid Boa

best pet snakes
Child boa constrictors are named after the scientist who first described them in 1842, John George Children, who was curator of the Zoological Collection at the British Museum at the time of the discovery.

© My Little Eyes/Shutterstock.com

Child boas grow between 2.5 and 4 feet long, making them a rare medium-sized snake. These pet pythons are great for beginners and are so tame they can be with supervised children. Reptiles require the most basic care and diet of a rodent. Their temperament is very good if they are treated regularly and gently. They live up to 30 years! Your pet python can cost between $70 and $350.

#2 Common Python

best pet snakes
The python is a nonvenomous snake known for its method of subduing its prey: by squeezing or strangling it.

©Natalia Kuzmina/Shutterstock.com

Due to their large size, pythons are not the best pets for beginners. Boa constrictors are impressive 13 to 16 feet long and require experienced handlers. Pythons are found in South and Central America and feed on deer, lizards, fish, and other creatures. As pets, you can feed them rabbits, mice and chickens. You want to keep them away from kids. Boas are strong, and they may pack tightly if they are stressed or threatened. Common pythons cost between $60 and $200.

#3 Western Hognose Snake

best pet snakes
The hood of the western hognose snake is inflated. The most distinctive feature of hognose snakes is their upturned snout, which helps dig up sandy soil by swiping side to side.

© Steve Oehlenschlager/Shutterstock.com

Native to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the western hognose snake is known for its upturned pug nose. Active in the morning and evening, this species feeds on toads and small lizards and mice (when toads and lizards are absent). Pig-nosed men dig holes in search of toads hiding in the sand. As long as snub-nosed pigs are handled properly, their hissing is not an aggressive behavior. This beautiful pet snake sells for between $100 and $500.

Read more  How Long Do Lions Live: The Oldest Lions

#4 Garter Snake

best pet snakes
Common eastern garter snake, coiled in grass. Garter snakes have no fangs and are not poisonous. However, they do have rows of small teeth that allow them to bite.

©K Quinn Ferris/Shutterstock.com

Garters are one of the most abundant wild snakes and popular household pets in the world. Captive garters will eat worms and small fish. Having common heating and lighting requirements, they do not require a lot of maintenance. Garters like to rest in the sun, so it's best to light them with a sunlamp. They do not exceed four feet in length, making them rare small snakes. A well-known backyard invader, the garter snake is very harmless and docile, making it good for kids. These snakes are cheap, less than $50.

#5 Ball Python

best pet snakes
Ball pythons are named for their innate defensive behavior. When threatened, they tend to curl up into a ball with their head toward the center of the ball.

© Krisda Ponchaipulltawee/Shutterstock.com

Ball pythons are notoriously picky eaters. They prefer thawed or freshly killed foods, but sometimes they stop eating altogether. But this pet python is calm and docile by nature, suspicious. It will take you some time to earn their trust. A characteristic of snakes is to curl up into a ball when threatened. They can get thicker but stay small, up to 5 feet. Ball pythons live up to thirty years! Depending on rarity, this pet python can cost between $25 and $200.

#6 California Kingsnake

best pet snakes
California king snakes (Lampropeltis californiae) are called king snakes because they sometimes eat other snakes, as do king cobras.

© Creeping Stuff/Shutterstock.com

Kali king snakes are usually brownish black with yellow stripes, bands or spots. An excellent beginner snake, the King Kali is a shy, docile animal that requires constant handling. Snakes do not attack violently when stressed. These breeds prefer to coil up and hide. They have basic care requirements, eat rats, and live up to 20 years. You can buy one of your own for $70 to $170.

#7 Corn Snake

best pet snakes
The corn snake is a type of python that wraps itself around its prey to squeeze and subdue it before swallowing it whole.

©Enrique Ramos/Shutterstock.com

Corn snakes are the first choice for beginners. They are native to the United States and usually live in terrestrial habitats. If done by a professional, you can catch them in the wild. The captive breed, though healthier, has a calmer temperament. You can keep this three to four foot snake in a 20 gallon aquarium. They eat pinky mice and rarely have health problems. This beautiful pet snake usually costs between $40 and $100.

Read more  What Animals are Secondary Consumers? Understanding the Importance of Secondary Consumers in the Ecosystem.

#8 African House Snake

best pet snakes
African house snake Lamprophis fuliginosus at the Louisville Zoo. They are named "house" snakes because they are often found around human dwellings, feeding on rodents that gather around human waste.

© Ltshears/Creative Commons – Licensed

Adaptable African house snakes can live in many ecosystems. In their native sub-Saharan Africa, they feel comfortable living around human dwellings. These animals are harmless but tend to become stressed by unfamiliar surroundings and loud noises. But since they prefer to run rather than bite, these animals are a safe choice for kids. Beyond its shade of brown, you can tell the African house snake by a thin white or tan stripe that runs from head to tail across the top of the body. Prices start at $70.

#9 Milk Snake

best pet snakes
The Louisiana milk snake was spotted after a fall cold front passed through southeast Texas. The common name "milk snake" comes from the mistaken belief that these snakes milk milk.


Milk snakes make their home in Mexico and the United States. For starters is a rare little snake that has orange, red, white, yellow and black rings. Often confused with coral snakes, milk snakes are non-venomous and have a docile and impressionable disposition. You can't have more than one in one environment, as the creatures tend to cannibalize each other. They grow up to six feet long. Depending on the species, a milk snake can cost between $70 and $100.

#10 Gopher Snake

best pet snakes
Because of their markings and defensive behavior, gopher snakes are often mistaken for rattlesnakes. It may hiss loudly, lower its head, vibrate its tail, and attack when angry.

© Creeping Stuff/Shutterstock.com

There are nine subspecies of gopher snake species, including bull snakes, Sonoran gophers, and Pacific and Great Basin gophers. Sizes vary from three to seven feet. Behavior and coloration often lead them to be mistaken for various venomous species. It's also because one of their defensive traits is to fool predators by mimicking dangerous animals like rattlesnakes. While not particularly domesticated, gophers do make great pets if handled with care. A gopher snake can run between $30 and $100.

Here is a summary of the 10 best snakes to keep as pets:

rank snake beginner?
#1 child python beginner
#2 common python experienced
#3 western hognose snake Middle
#4 garter snake beginner
#5 ball python experienced
#6 california kingsnake beginner
#7 corn snake beginner
#8 african house snake beginner
#9 milk snake beginner
#10 gopher snake Middle

Where to Get Food for Your Pet Snake and How to Feed It

As mentioned above, snakes are carnivores, so they must eat meat. Most pet stores sell live and frozen mice for snake consumption. If you choose to feed your pet live rats – you will need to purchase special tongs to allow rats to be placed in snake enclosures. Throwing a rat into a cage will startle the snake and may cause you to get bitten on your hand. Just be sure to leave the top on the cage so your pet's dinner doesn't escape.

Freezing mice is a good option for the delicate and a more convenient option for most pet snake owners. You can store them in the freezer instead of buying live mice one at a time. It is important to remember that you cannot feed your snake frozen rats – it must be thawed! Equally important – never defrost food in the microwave or in boiling water! Pooh. You can defrost the mouse in a bag for a few hours on the kitchen counter or in a bowl of warm water. Some people like to use tongs to place the thawed mouse into the snake's enclosure and move it around a bit — to imitate a live rodent.

'Monster' snake 5 times bigger than a boa constrictor discovered

AZ Animals delivers some of the world's most incredible facts every day in our free newsletter. Want to discover the 10 most beautiful snakes in the world, a "snake island" that's never more than 3 feet from danger, or a "monster" snake that's 5 times the size of a python? Then sign up now and you will start receiving our daily newsletter absolutely free.


  • Saw an alligator biting an electric eel with 860 volts
  • The 15 Deepest Lakes in America
  • Watch rare coyotes and bobcats now

More from AZ Animals

featured image

best pet snakes
best pet snakes

© Matt Jepsen/Shutterstock.com

about the author

heather hall

I'm a freelance writer with 22 years of experience. I live in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by nature. When I do my daily runs, I often see herds of elk, deer, and bald eagles. I have two dogs that take me on hikes in the mountains where we see coyotes, black bears, and wild turkeys.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What should you name your pet snake?

Pet snakes are often named according to their color, type, size or according to how the snake behaves (like Slider). Check out our comprehensive guide "Snake Names: 77 Incredible Pet Snake Names" to discover even more ideas! .

Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the 10hunting.com editorial team.