Snakes can make fantastic pets for children and adults alike. They are lower maintenance than animals like cats, dogs, and rabbits, take up less space in the house, and can be left alone. However, there is a lot to consider before buying your first snake, for example most snakes can live up to 15 years, some longer. They require specialist heating and lighting environments which can increase electricity bills quite a lot. And you will need to keep frozen rodents in your freezer to feed them.
If you are happy with the above, then the next step is to consider which species of snake is the best for you. When doing research, the first snake that will pop up is the famous corn snake. This snake has been kept by people as a pet for decades due to its small size and generally docile nature. They can be purchased ethically, as they are captive bred by many breeders across the country. They come in a variety of colours and can live up to 15 years. However, the heating and lighting requirements of this species changed over the last 5 years, and previously it was thought appropriate to house these snakes using simple heat mats with no UV lighting. Modern research has now shown that they do better on overhead basking bulbs with low level UVB light.
The corn snake, if handled from young, very quickly will become a happy snake around people and quite comfortably sit on your hands. Feeding requirements as a youngster are twice a week, but as they grow this reduces to around every 10-14 days when adult. They can reach lengths of around 5ft, which may sound large, but as they are quite a slim snake, they do not feel this big when handled. They are good feeders in captivity and very rarely suffer from bad health, if they are housed with the correct heat and lighting requirements.
Other possible snakes that could be considered are the Royal python and some kingsnakes. However, without doubt the ideal “beginner” snake would have to be the corn snake. As always remember to research any pet you are considering taking on and make sure everyone in the household is happy and you have someone lined up to look after them when you are away from home. We Love Pets offers pet care services for a wide range of species when you take that much needed holiday!