Snakes can make great, low-maintenance pets, but they’re not for everybody. If you’re considering bringing home a pet snake, here are a few things you should know.

A few things you should know before you get a pet snake.
A few things you should know before you get a pet snake.
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Snakes aren’t very common as pets, but they can make great pets if you know how to handle them. However, it’s important to do your research before bringing a new pet into your home, and snakes can come with a few pitfalls. Here are a few things you should know before getting a pet snake.

Snakes Are Low-Maintenance, But Not Very Friendly

If you’re looking for a pet who doesn’t need too much attention, a pet snake might be right for you. A pet snake won’t require daily exercise. They won’t get upset if you don’t pay enough attention to them. Most of the attention you give your snake will involve basic necessities—the cleanliness of their tank, the ventilation, their food—but otherwise, your pet snake will probably be happy alone in their tank.

The flip-side of this is that you won’t get the same bond that you might have with a dog or even a cat. You can’t cuddle a snake. While you might hypothetically be able to teach them to fetch if you try really hard, it’s probably not worth the effort. If you want a pet that will provide you with more company and interaction, you might want to get something else.

Snakes Can Be Dangerous

Hopefully not this dangerous.
Hopefully not this dangerous.
Photo by Zach Savinar on Unsplash

Snakes have a reputation for being dangerous, even common pet breeds. However, not all snake species are venomous, and plenty of snake owners have kept pet snakes for years without incident. Still, safety may be a concern if you’re bringing home a pet snake.

Most snakes will not attack humans unless they feel threatened. However, as with any animal species, it’s possible for a human to unintentionally frighten a snake and provoke a defensive reaction. You should always be careful when handling your pet snake or allowing anyone, especially a child, to handle them.

Snakes Tend To Be Escape Artists 

Once you lose a snake, they may be hard to find.
Once you lose a snake, they may be hard to find.
Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

In my last article on snakes, I discussed the importance of having a good tank. Since your pet snake will probably spend most of their life in their tank, it’s important that the tank be well-ventilated and large enough for your pet snake to be comfortable. It’s also extremely important that your snake’s cage has a secure lid because snakes tend to be escape artists.

Once your snake is in a new environment, they’ll be compelled to explore the surrounding space. If their tank is insufficiently sealed, that space could be your entire house. Additionally, it may be difficult to retrieve a snake once they leave their cage.

Most Snake Species Will Eat Live Prey

Most snake species eat rodents.
Most snake species eat rodents.
Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pexels

Snakes are carnivores, which means they exclusively eat meat. For most snake species, their typical prey would be rodents. Even in captivity, snakes will generally only eat rodents. While some snake species might prefer live mice, most species of pet snake can subsist on pre-killed, frozen mice.

However, this will require you, as a snake owner, to handle dead mice and keep a supply of dead mice in your fridge. If this is a deal-breaker for you, you should consider getting a different pet.

Look Out For Different Species

Corn Snakes are commonly kept as pet snakes.
Corn Snakes are commonly kept as pet snakes.
Photo from Tom Spinker on Flickr

If you’re thinking of getting a pet snake, there are a few breeds to choose from. Some breeds are more difficult to maintain than others, so you’ll want to know your breeds if you’ve never had a pet snake before. Species determines several factors including size, lifespan, temperament, and diet.

Some snake species easy for beginners to manage include the American corn snake, the ball python, and the aptly named house snake. Ringneck snakes and kingsnakes are also relatively easy to manage.


Snakes can be great pets if you want a low-maintenance companion who doesn’t need much attention. Still, they’re not for everyone. If you’re thinking of getting a pet snake, make sure you do your research beforehand.