Snakes are the most popular reptile pet to keep, but are they easy to look after? They do make unusual pets, but with good pet care – the right equipment, food and environment – they will thrive.
If you’re a beginner, what snake should you get to start you off? Here’s our rundown of five snakes that will make a great pet for first-time snake keepers.
Corn snakes are one of the most popular first-time snakes to buy. They don’t grow too big – an adult corn snake needs a 20-gallon tank. They will live for around 20 years.
They’re easy to handle and to look after. They feed on mice. Corn snakes are quite active, so will need time outside their tank for exercise.
Royal or Ball Python
The royal python (also known as the ball python) can live for up to 30 years, and grow up to five feet.
Royal pythons are a timid species, so don’t appreciate much handling – they need somewhere to hide within their tank. For tank size allow 1 square foot to each foot of snake in length.
Royals eat mice or rats, depending on the size of their mouth.
King snakes live for about 15 years. There are lots of different types, with some growing up to six feet.
King snakes are active, so they will need time out of their tank and can bite when cornered, but with careful and regular handling should settle.
They feed on mice and rats and need the same sized tank proportions as a royal python.
Rosy boas are fairly docile but can bite if caught unaware. Rosy boas grow to about four feet in length and will live for about 30 years. They need a reasonable size tank, and places to hide as well. Rosy boas feed on mice.
Garter snakes grow up to three-foot long, and live to about 10 years.
They need around a 29-gallon tank to be comfortable. Garter snakes do eat mice but prefer fish, and food like frogs, so it’s best to give them a varied diet.