Pet snakes are not usually dangerous because most people choose to keep species that are placid by nature and non-venomous (such as Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes).
Snake owners need to keep their snake happy, well-fed, calm, and acclimatized to human interaction, in order to minimize chances that it will harm its owner.
Appropriate handling is super important to minimize the potential for harm. But, it’s also worth noting that small pet snakes, even if they bite, will be unlikely to cause long-term harm.
Overall, people considering getting a pet snake should get training on how to keep and handle pet snakes to keep them happy!
What Snakes are Safe to Keep as Pets?
Since there are about 2,600 species of snake that are not dangerous, there is a long list out there. However, one must consider local laws regarding pet snakes.
Here are some of the most common choices:
- Corn snakes
- Milk snakes
These snakes are not venomous, and they do not grow too big to handle. Even youths can take care of them with adult supervision, but kids must receive proper education about them.
VCA Hospitals has a piece of advice for would-be pet owners. They say that, if possible, it’s best to:
- Buy snakes from a reputable breeder.
- Buy captive-bred snakes rather than wild ones, as wild ones get too stressed when in captivity.
- Captive-bred snakes are more docile and are used to the human environment.
They also advise pet owners to see the snake in person. It allows the buyer to see the snake’s health condition. If a pet owner would purchase a snake online or via mail, the pet owner must only buy from a reputable seller.
What Snakes are Dangerous as Pets?
The most dangerous pet snakes are venomous ones. There are pet snake owners who have cobras, black mambas, and rattlesnakes. But, you may need a special government certificate to keep one of these.
Keeping dangerous pet snakes like rattlesnakes is, of course, something the authorities do not encourage (rattlesnakes are also notoriously hostile, so you wouldn’t want to handle one). This is is also the reason why there are many states that require people to get a license first before buying dangerous snake species.
Pythons are also dangerous. At first, pet owners may like the idea of growing a tiny “worm” into a giant slithering monster. By the time the python has grown, it can pose serious dangers not just to the owner, but to children too.
Venomous snakes can kill, and one will do well staying away from them. Pythons may not be venomous, but they are powerful constructors. There was an incident in Florida, for example, where a python killed a couple’s daughter.
Do Pet Snakes Attack their Owners?
Yes, pet snakes can attack their owners if they are grumpy or uncomfortable.
Ask a snake owner and they will tell you that each snake has its own personality. Some snakes may be really placid while others might be inclined to nip at their owner or show they are in a bad mood.
Generally, a snake owner will not have too much trouble, but inappropriate handling, such as putting pressure on the snake’s head or squeezing its body, might lead the snake to retaliate.
In general, snakes are defensive around humans rather than aggressive. So, usually, they will seek an escape route before really attacking their owners.
But all owners need to be careful with their snake, even if they snake and handler are familiar with one another.
Related Article: Do Pet Snakes Need Light at Night?
Should People Keep Snakes as Pets?
It depends. Some people are not content with dogs and cats or birds. They want something more exotic.
Some animal rights groups advocate against pet animals, including snakes. On the other hand, snake owners argue that their pet is well-adjusted, calm, and well-behaved.
It’s important to keep in mind that snakes are reptiles, and reptiles do not have the same needs as mammal pets like dogs.
Human beings are mostly used to taking care of mammals, and these animals are easy to maintain. Owners merely have to give food and water to them, and everything should be fine.
People who want to take care of snakes must understand that snakes require a specific kind of environment. There is also the danger of losing the fear of snakes. It is dangerous because one may “graduate” from safe pet snakes and then move on to more dangerous ones.
The jury is out as to whether to keep snakes as pets or not. To an animal advocate, no animal deserves to be put in a cage. To pet lovers, there is a way to keep an animal and meet its needs without any form of abuse.
What are the Pros of Owning a Pet Snake?
Here are the pros of owning a non-dangerous snake:
- Habitat is easy to maintain – it is not as difficult to maintain a snake enclosure as an aquarium or other terrariums. You will need to regulate the temperature and provide a basking rock.
- Fewer activities are required to make the snake happy – owners do not have to walk the snake as they do with dogs. No playtime is required as one would have with cats.
- Can help reduce stress – snakes are great stress relievers; some people even use giant snakes in therapy sessions!
One thing that pet owners seem to miss out on all the time is that pet snakes are escape artists. There is a long list of escapees in many areas in the United States.
This means that pet owners must get an enclosure that prevents a snake from escaping. Ideally, the pet owner should buy the snake and the enclosure at the same time. This practice allows the pet owner to see if the pet could slip through the holes of the enclosure.
There are about 3,000 species of snake known to humans. Six hundred of these snakes are venomous, but only 200 are too dangerous to hurt a human seriously.
Not all snakes are dangerous, and it means that they can be kept as pets. Before you consider pursuing this activity, there is a need to fully understand the underlying risks and responsibilities.
People should not keep venomous snakes and pythons as pets. They are dangerous. It takes only one bite from a venomous snake to kill. Pythons, on the other hand, can grow more than 20 feet. At such size, they can kill an unsuspecting adult.
Pet snakes require maintenance in the same way you would with an aquarium. However, it is easier to take care of snakes than fish. Furthermore, you need to have the stomach to feed snakes with other animals, as snakes are carnivorous!
I am the founder and owner of Fauna Facts. My mission is to write valuable and entertaining information about animals and pets for my audience. I hope you enjoy the site!