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Five Docile Snakes Perfect for First Time Snake Owners

The most docile pet snake for a first-time owner is the garter snake. It has a good temperament, and it is easy to maintain. 

Garter Snake in Someone's Hand

Others would serve well for a first-time owner, and there are many to mention. At best, experts highly recommend snakes that do not grow so big and are easy to feed. 

Best Docile Snakes For Beginners

Below is a list of the most docile pet snakes available. These species are perfect for first-time snake owners because they are not aggressive, non-venomous, and have a generally relaxed temperament around people and other snakes. 

1. Garter Snake

These snakes are crepuscular, which means they are active at dusk and dawn. Garter snakes are also small, and they grow only up to three feet long. One can fit them in a small 20-gallon tank. 

Garter snakes are also social animals. Therefore, they can live together in one tank. As far as the heat source is concerned, they can thrive under a lamp, so one does not need an under-floor heater. 

A garter snake is an excellent pet because they do not have to eat mice. Instead, the owner can feed them fish and worms. However, they have to get calcium and vitamins if the owner does not want to feed them mice. 

Garter Snake
Garter Snakes get on well with other snakes and people

2. Mexican Black Kingsnake

Although kingsnakes primarily feed on other snakes, a first-time pet owner does not have to provide snakes to them. They are the most docile species of kingsnakes and can grow up to four feet. 

They have big appetites, and they are not picky with what they eat. The trick to this snake is to handle them while they are young. 

One downside to this snake is that it is not always available. There is a high demand for it, and it is expensive. They sell for about $250 for each snake. 

Mexican Black Kingsnake
Mexican Black Kingsnakes look menacing with their black color, but they are non-venomous and docile

3. Ball Python

While a ball python sounds scary, many people do not realize that they are docile. They are gentle snakes and are easy to handle.  

Even younger people can handle them. They do not move so quickly. They only grow up to five feet long, and there is a lot of supply in the market. 

Ball pythons also have a variety of color marks. There are more than 5,000 color marks for this species of snake. Some are more expensive than others. Ball pythons are nocturnal, so they are curled up in their hiding spot during the day. 

Read More: What do Ball Pythons Eat?

python
Ball pythons are gentle and easy to handle

4. Milk Snake

These are some of the most beautiful snakes in the world. Milk snakes are a type of kingsnake, and they can grow up to five feet long. 

The milk snake is excellent at handling, but they can be squirmish when they are young. They are great to feed, as they eat any size of prey, and they will also eat frozen-thawed food. 

One problem is that the milk snake is hard to find. They are pricey, and you will pay between $75 and $150 for each. At this price, you will get a basic milk snake, like the Mexican milk snake.

Read More: What Do Milk Snakes Eat?

milk snake
Milk Snakes are visually striking with their red and black coloring, but are completely non-venomous and have a good temperament

5. Corn Snake

Like ball pythons, this snake has a lot of color mutations. They are always available in the market, and they are affordable. They only cost about $20. 

They can grow up to 6 feet, and females are bigger than males. The corn snake is easygoing. They are calm, and even kids can handle them. But, like most baby snakes, they are defensive and wiggly when handled. For eating, they are easy to maintain. They can eat live prey or frozen-thawed ones. 

Corn Snake
Corn Snakes are not aggressive, non-venomous, and easy to handle

What is the Friendliest Snake to Have as a Pet?

The friendliest snake is the ball python. They do not move a lot, even if they are already big. Some snakes squirm a lot and can be scary to handle. 

There are also other snakes that show aggression. So far, the friendliest snakes to have as a pet for a beginner are those found in this list. 

What is the Friendliest Small Snake?

The friendliest small snake is the garter snake. It is docile and can grow only up to three feet. Also, they do not get big in terms of their width, so any kid or beginner could easily handle them. 

Pythons, on the other hand, are friendly, but they are not small. Since pythons have varying lengths, it is not good to give them as pets for kids.  

Snakes That Don’t Bite

All snakes bite. However, not all snakes show the same level of aggression. Below are some common pet snakes that are less aggressive than other breeds:

  • Rubber Boas
  • Rosa Boa
  • Ball python
  • Western Hognose snake
  • Corn snake
  • California kingsnake

Snakes bite for two common reasons: hunger and fear. They would bite if they felt threatened. If they are hungry, they would also think of a human hand as prey. 

To prevent this from happening, a pet snake owner must feed the snake regularly. The owner must also handle the snake at least twice a day. These activities will make the snake feel secure.

Read More: The 12 Least Venomous Snake Species

Best Pet Snakes for Kids

The best pet snakes for kids are garter snakes. They are highly docile and do not get overly large. As such, a child can easily handle them.

Because garter snakes are social, a kid who wants two of them can easily do so. They can live in the same tank. Generally speaking, it is best to keep snakes in separate enclosures. 

These snakes are also easy to maintain. They like basking under the sun, and the pet owner can replicate this with a lamp. There is no need to buy a heat mat for the tank, which means it is cheaper to maintain. 

Summary: Most Docile Snakes for First Time Pet Owners

The best pet snake for a beginner is the corn snake. They are widely available and affordable. They are not picky eaters, and one can feed them either live or frozen-thawed food. 

Corn snakes are also docile and can grow to a size that is easy to handle. While baby corn snakes squirm a lot, they easily earn and do not become aggressive as they mature. 

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