Beautiful pet snakes
Okay so we’re going to try taking a new route today – a fun one, an interesting one, a reptilian one. I realize my blog is mostly about dogs, cats, animal welfare and all that four-legged jazz, but I thought you all might want to take a walk on the wild side with me and learn something new from “Jim the Reptile Guy.” Jim has raised snakes for practically his whole life and is also a great writer. He’s very passionate about all kinds of snakes, not just his own, as well as geckos, lizards, turtles, and other reptiles.
So we all know that there are tons of guys and gals and kids just like Jim all over the world. I mean, there are literally hundreds of thousands of young boys out there begging Mom for a snake or lizard right this very minute, right? So Jim has kindly put together a very detailed and informative article on the best snakes for beginners and kids. You’ll hear from Jim the Reptile Guy again in a about a month!
Who knows, maybe BlogPaws Nashville will see an appearance of a snake… or gecko…? (After all, we did have a Capybara this year!) (+ I would have to borrow one, lol!)
Are you a budding reptile enthusiast or a parent to one? Do things with scales and shells appeal to you more than those with fur or feathers? Perhaps you’re a lover of all animals and are simply looking to add a cold-blooded critter to your family? No matter the reason, the rhyme, or the season, anyone interested in learning more about reptiles is welcome company in my book.
Today I’m going to be sharing some basic information on my favorite member of the reptile family – the snake. More specifically, I’m going to be talking about which snakes make the best pets, especially for your little people (children.)
I’m an animal enthusiast, but there’s just something about snakes that I’ve always loved. While many in our culture see them as the villains of the animal kingdom (thanks a lot, Bible), or the stuff of nightmares, there’s no denying that snakes are one of the most unique animals on the planet. They can perfectly adapt to a variety of environments and, while not all snakes would be happy living with humans, there are a handful that, when cared for properly, do make wonderful pets.
First things first, though. Before we talk about which snakes may be a good fit for your home, there are some things you’ll need to understand:
– Snakes are NOT domesticated like dogs and cats. While most snakes in the pet trade have been born into captivity, that doesn’t mean they’re domesticated. They’ve evolved over thousands of years to eat, breed, and survive. It’s our job as their caregivers to understand this first and foremost. If you start treating a snake like a cat or dog, letting them roam free, bringing them out for every guest to greet, and not considering their needs first, accidents can and will happen.
– Snakes are reptiles, and reptiles are cold-blooded animals. Snakes use to manage body temperature, thus, you’ll need a hot side and a cool side for your tank or terrarium.
– Snakes and reptiles kept as pets will likely require veterinary care at some point in their lives. Before you add a reptile to your family, please be sure to have access to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.
– A snake is a long-term commitment – many live 20 years or longer.
– Snakes eat rodents. While frozen/thawed rodents are best, some snakes (like Ball Pythons, ) can be finicky eaters and may eat only live rodents. Make sure you have access to these should the need arise.
– Snakes are known in the reptile community as master escape artists, so be sure to have an escape-proof tank.
– When considering a snake as a pet for your child, consider the size and temperament of the snake and always supervise children when handling. I’d recommend six as the minimum age at which you’d acquire a snake as a pet for a child.
Now that we have the prerequisites out of the way, let’s look at some great options for you or your child’s first pet snake! I’m going to list the top five breeds I’d recommend for a novice snake owner, five being the one I’d recommend least and one being the best.
. Boa Constrictor
Boas make the list at number 5 because they’re commonly found in pet stores and are a favorite in the pet trade. I do NOT, however, recommend a Boa for a first snake, especially
for a child. I own a Boa. I’ve owned many Boas and love them. They are absolutely my favorite snake, but I’m an experienced guy who’s been keeping snakes for years (I’ve even bred them). So why don’t I recommend them for a beginner or a child? Because Boas get BIG!