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6 Best Pet Snakes for Beginners

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Milla 6 Snakes for Beginners
6 Best Pet Snakes for Beginners

Snakes are fascinating animals, but they clearly present a special kind of challenge for a pet owner compared to the more classic options of a cat or a dog.

The habitat, diet, and lifestyle needs of pet snakes are very different to most animals kept in the house.

However, there are plenty of good pet snakes for beginners who are keen to live with a more distinctive animal.

With attentive care and regular handling, beginner snakes will reveal their personality and develop a bond with their owner. 

Our guide will introduce you to six of the best beginner snakes.

How Will You Know if Pet Snakes are the Right Option for You?

Adopting a pet is always a huge commitment, but most people are more familiar with the requirements of looking after fluffier animals. Pet snakes come with their own responsibilities - make sure you're comfortable with each before you go out looking for starter snakes.

  • Are you willing to feed prey animals to your pet snake? Many good pet snakes for beginners require a rodent-based diet, which some people can find unsettling.
  • Can you create a secure habitat? A snake's house not only needs to be big enough, but it needs to be free of any gaps for your pet to slither through.
  • Are you willing to handle your snake? Some snakes don't mind physical interaction, while others prefer to be left alone. However, emergencies may make handling unavoidable.
  • Are you able to insure your pet snake? Insurance for snakes is not as common as more typical pets, but take time to explore pet insurance for exotic animals before adopting a snake.
  • Can you live with a snake for 20 years? Some breeds of pet snakes can live for around two decades, so adopting this animal is not a fleeting commitment. 

If you've answered yes to all of those questions, then you are ready to start considering which of these good starter snakes is the ideal one for you. 

Rosy Boa

Rozy Boa snake

Age:Can live for around 25 years
Size: Usually grow to around 4 feet in length
Diet: A thawed frozen rodent 2-4 times a month
Enclosure size:20 gallons for an adult rosy boa

 

Rosy boas are not one of the most common pet snakes for beginners, but it can be worth the effort to find one from a trusted supplier.

This is because the rosy boa is a generally placid animal that is easy on the eye, ideal given that your snake will predominantly live as a display pet.

A rosy boa will enjoy eating small mice a few times a month (although less often in winter), while they are usually receptive to gentle handling. 

Corn Snake

corn snake on the tree

Age:Can live for around 20 years
Size:Usually grow to 4-5 feet in length
Diet:A thawed frozen rodent every 7-10 days
Enclosure size:20 gallons for an adult corn snake

Corn snakes are one of the most popular types of pet snake, because of their docile temperament and their relatively straightforward care needs. You shouldn't have any problem finding a selection of beautiful corn snakes at your local pet shop.

While 20 gallons should be enough for an adult corn snake, bigger is always better.

Handle your corn snake confidently but carefully, and it will soon get used to your touch. 

California Kingsnake

California Kingsnake

Age:Can live for around 20 years
Size:Usually grow to 3-4 feet in length
Diet:Feed adults one rodent per week
Enclosure size:20 gallons for an adult California kingsnake

You may have seen one of these kingsnakes exploring the wilds of California, but your best bet is to search your local pet shop for one of these popular pet snakes for beginners. Despite their name, kingsnakes are on the smaller side of starter snakes.

Make sure you handle your California kingsnake regularly, so that it gets used to human interaction and learns to not be afraid of you.

Also be wary that a kingsnake will eat anything it can get its jaws on, so make sure it lives alone in its terrarium.

Ball Python

Ball Snake

Age:Can live for around 30 years
Size: 2-3 feet in length for males, 4-5 feet in length for females
Diet:A rodent a week
Enclosure size:30 gallons for an adult ball python

 The ball python has overtaken the corn snake to become the most popular type of beginner snake.

Their distinctive patterns have caught the eye of many new pet owners, while they have a calm and shy temperament.

Because of their shy nature, you'll need to provide places within its enclosure for the ball python to hide.

This also means it can take a bit more time to build up the trust needed for handling your ball python.

Gopher Snake

Gopher Snake

Age:Can live for around 15 years
Size:Usually grow to around 4-5 feet in length
Diet:A rodent a week
Enclosure size:30 gallons for an adult gopher snake

 The gopher snake might not yet have the popularity of corn snakes or ball pythons when it comes to beginner snakes, but there's no reason why not.

These are active creatures that will enjoy exploring their enclosure, so make sure you give them plenty of space.

They're also famous for eating whatever food is put in front of them, so make sure you don't overfeed your gopher snake!

Green Snake

Green Snake

Age:Usually live for around 6-8 years
Size:Usually grow to around 2-3 feet in length
Diet:A variety of insects - crickets are a good staple
Enclosure size:30 gallons for an adult green snake

These are quite shy pet snakes, which makes the green snake more challenging than other starter snakes.

The green snake is an insectivore, which makes them different from the other pet snakes in this guide, but it can take time to teach them the feeding process.

You'll need a large enclosure with plenty of greenery to provide hiding spots, but their timid nature means that you could potentially keep two or three of these pet snakes in the same space.