10 Small and Easy to Care For Pet Snakes

Snakes only bite in self-defense, so try not to stress your pet too much to avoid any painful accidents.
10 Small and Easy to Care For Pet Snakes
Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez

Written and verified by the biologist Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez.

Last update: 28 June, 2023

Snakes aren’t exactly the most charismatic animals in existence, as their elongated appearance produces repulsion in some people. As if that weren’t enough, they’re often capable of injecting poison that can endanger human health. However, it’s not always the case, because some small snakes are excellent company and easy to take care of – find out the best pet snakes right here!

The care of these reptiles isn’t usually very complicated, as most of them are independent and don’t get attached to their owners. Even so, keep in mind that not just any species should be your starting point in the world of reptiles. Keep reading this space and get to know some of the easiest pet snakes to take care of.

How to recognize a snake for beginners?

These reptiles are natural predators that are almost always on the prowl. For this reason, they’re not usually docile in captivity. Before choosing any pet snake, you need to consider the following points:

  1. Species care: This includes temperament, maximum size, longevity, and habitat needs. It’s important that you take these into account in order to see whether the reptile fits your lifestyle and the area you have available.
  2. Availability: Choose the most common specimens, as this will make it easier for you to find information about their care. In addition, the cost of the species increases if it’s difficult to obtain.
  3. Type of food: Remember that each snake can accept different types of food. Ask about the food it needs and think about whether you feel comfortable with it. Remember that some of these reptiles feed on live rodents.
  4. Avoid venomous species: Being your first pet snake, it’s quite likely that you’ll end up with a bite or two. For this reason, avoid venomous specimens at all costs.

Pet snakes that are easy to care for

Like other pets, snakes need certain indispensable care to maintain their quality of life. However, some of them are easier to care for than others. If you’ve already decided to get one of these curious reptiles, read on and discover some of the specimens you could get started in this world.

1. Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

These snakes reach a little over 1 metre (3.3 feet) in length, although they’re also quite slender. Due to their size, they don’t require a lot of food or excessively large facilities. Their diet consists of earthworms, insects, toads, fish and rodents. The latter are readily available and will form the basis of their diet.

2. Children’s python (Antaresia Childreni)

The children’s python is a species of ophidian that grows up to 1.5 metres (5 feet) in length, but has a slender body. This reptile requires little care and can adapt very well to captive environments. Also, its normal diet consists of small or large mice depending on the age of the organism.

This species is nocturnal and terrestrial, although it often climbs trees.

3. Common egg eater (Dasypeltis scabra)

This snake is characterized by its peculiar specialized diet, which consists of devouring unfertilized eggs. Due to the ease of obtaining its food, it’s often a good pet for beginners in the reptile world. The size of the species reaches 150 centimeters (5 feet), although its body is so thin that isn’t a problem when it comes to looking after it.

4. Kenyan sand boa (Eryx colubrinus)

The sand boa is quite small compared to other species of boas, as it’s usually up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length. However, it maintains the characteristic wide body of its group in order to suffocate its prey. Looking after this reptile isn’t usually difficult, but it needs a deep substrate so that it can bury itself.

5. Milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum)

This reptile is an expert in camouflage, as its bright colors are a copy of another venomous species, known as the coral snake (family Elapidae). However, this “false coral” isn’t poisonous. It’s not very difficult to look after, as it only needs a suitable habitat and a balanced diet to survive.

6. Desert rosy boa (Lichanura trivirgata)

This boa is one of the most popular species on the snake market. This is because its docile temperament makes it a good pet. In addition, it doesn’t need a huge space to maintain its habitat, so its very easy to look after. As if that weren’t enough, the specimens have various colorations that attract people’s attention.

7. Corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus)

The corn snake has a color pattern on its belly that resembles the ear of corn. It’s also known to live in grasslands and fields, where it often preys on rodents. For this reason, it’s a fairly common species that can be easily acquired. Despite this, it requires certain conditions in its habitat to have an excellent quality of life.

8. Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer)

This snake has an average size of 1.5 meters (5 feet) in length, which makes it larger than some of the previous examples. In fact, the main characteristic of this ophidian is its enormous resemblance to the rattlesnake, but with the benefit of not being venomous. Even so, it tends not to like interaction with its owner very much, as the stress causes it to launch somewhat painful bites. Take a look at the short video below!

9. Black rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

The black rat snake is another one of the more docile and calm specimens. In fact, it is very similar to the corn snakes, as they share the same genus (Pantherophis). Perhaps the biggest difference is that this organism is semi-arboreal, so it needs attachments that allow it to climb. Also, care must be taken with the lock of its terrarium so that it cannot escape.

10. Common king snake (Lampropeltis getula)

Finally, king snakes stand out from the rest thanks to their curious ability to feed on other ophidians. This includes some venomous snakes such as the rattlesnake. Despite their hunting ability, they’re calm creatures that can be fed on rodents, just like the previous snakes.

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of snakes that can help you get into the world of reptiles. We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of easy to care for pet snakes!

Remember that these animals aren’t like any other pet, as many of them aren’t used to constant handling. For this reason, snakes are good companions for those who prefer to observe rather than interact.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Jackson, K., Kley, N. J., & Brainerd, E. L. (2004). How snakes eat snakes: the biomechanical challenges of ophiophagy for the California kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula californiae (Serpentes: Colubridae). Zoology, 107(3), 191-200.
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  • Martinho, F. (2008). Milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum). Exotic DVM, 10(4), 35-36.
  • Rossi, J., & Rossi, R. (2012). What’s Wrong With My Snake. Fox Chapel Publishing.
  • Griswold, W. G. (2001). Captive Care and Breeding of the Corn Snake, Elaphe guttata. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, 11(4), 35-40.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.