Snake being handled

Do snakes make good pets? That is a question that many people ask, and the answer is not always clear. Some people believe that snakes make great pets because they are low-maintenance and relatively docile. Others believe that snakes are best left in the wild, where they belong. So, what is the truth about keeping snakes as pets? There are so many different species of snake that ultimately, whether snakes make good pets will depend on the snake and the prospective owner. Let’s take a closer look.

Why Do We Have Snakes as Pets?

Many people enjoy keeping snakes as pets for a variety of reasons. For some, snakes represent a link to the natural world, and they enjoy the challenge of caring for an animal with such specific needs. Others simply appreciate the beauty and grace of these creatures. Regardless of why someone chooses to keep a snake as a pet, there are a few things that all potential snake owners should know. First and foremost, it is crucial to research the species of snake you are interested in before making any commitment. Different snakes have different temperaments and care requirements, so it is important to select one that will be a good fit for your lifestyle and personality.

Some of the most popular snake species that are kept as pets include pythons, boas, corn snakes, and garter snakes. These snakes generally range in size from around two feet to six feet long, although some grew much larger than that.

Is it Legal to Keep Snakes as Pets?

It is legal to keep snakes as pets in most states, but there may be some restrictions on the type of snake that can be kept. For example, some states prohibit the keeping of venomous snakes. Before acquiring a snake as a pet, it is important to research the regulations governing pet snakes in your state.

Is it Legal to Release a Pet Snake into the Wild?

It is not legal to release a snake into the wild that is not native to the area. This is because it can not only threaten local ecosystems and disrupt the food chain, but non-native snakes can struggle to survive in unfamiliar environments. If you’re looking to get rid of a snake due to its size or because you are no longer able to provide adequate care for the animal, it’s best to contact a professional who can humanely remove it.

What do Pet Snakes Eat?

Snakes are strictly carnivorous meaning that they will eat other animals whether alive or dead but there are so many different species of snake that are kept as pets that it is hard to generalize and say what pet snakes eat as some may like to eat certain foods and others may not. Some common pet snake foods include small rodents (like mice and rats), baby chicks, eggs, fish, and insects. Some snakes have a tendency to become obese if they’re not given a healthy and varied diet, so it’s important to make sure that your pet snake always has access to fresh food. Obesity can lead to health problems for snakes just like it does for humans.

Is it Legal to Live Feed a Snake?

Yes, it is legal to feed snakes live food in the United States. There are no federal laws prohibiting this practice, and states generally allow it as long as the animal being fed is not protected under state law. From a practical perspective, however, feeding a snake live food is generally not a good idea. There are several reasons for this.

  • First, if the animal you’re feeding to the snake is too large or aggressive, it could potentially cause serious injuries to the snake.
  • Second, if the animal you’re feeding to the snake is too small, it could escape.
  • Third, live food can sometimes carry diseases that can be transmitted to snakes. For these reasons and others, it’s generally advisable to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding live food to snakes.

How Much Space Does a Pet Snake Need?

There isn’t a single answer to this question since it will depend on the species of snake you are keeping as a pet. Some snakes, like garter snakes, can be kept in relatively small enclosures since they don’t grow too large and other species, like pythons and boas, can get quite large and will need a much larger enclosure. Personally, I like to keep my snakes in enclosures that enable them to stretch out in full. That means for ground-dwelling snakes, the terrarium will be at least as long as the snake and for arboreal snakes, the terrarium will be as tall as the snake is long.

Note: To find out how much space you need for your snake, you will have to do your species-specific research.

Are Snakes Easy to Care for?

There is no single answer to this question since there are many different types of snakes with varying needs. That said, some snakes are definitely easier to care for than others. For instance, garter snakes and corn snakes are two of the most popular beginner snake species; they’re relatively small, docile, and easy to take care of. On the other hand, more exotic or dangerous species like boa constrictors and cobras require much more experience and knowledge to properly care for. Overall, it really depends on what type of snake you’re looking to get as to how easy (or difficult) it will be to take care of.

How Long do Pet Snakes Live For?

Pet snakes typically live for around 20 years, depending on the species. Although these snakes are not beginner-friendly, some of the longest-lived snakes include the green anaconda and the king cobra, which can live for up to 30 years in captivity. The shortest-lived snake is probably the ringneck snake, which typically only lives for around 5-6 years. Many things can affect a snake’s lifespan, including diet, genetics, and exposure to diseases or pests. Snakes that are well cared for and have access to a healthy diet generally have a longer lifespan than those that do not.

Are Snakes Expensive to Keep?

It depends on the snake. Some snakes are relatively cheap to keep, while others can be quite expensive. The most expensive snakes to keep are typically those that require a specialized environment, such as a rainforest or desert climate. These types of snakes often need custom-made habitats with special humidity and temperature controls in order to stay healthy. Other factors that can affect the cost of keeping a snake include the size and temperament of the snake, as well as the price of food, insurance, and veterinarian care.

Do Pet Snakes Smell?

Snakes are known as being clean and hygienic animals that do not smell although, just like any other animal, pet snakes can have bad days where they might not smell so good. If your snake isn’t smelling too great, there are a few things you can do to help him out.

  • First, make sure he has a clean cage. A cluttered cage will make it difficult for your snake to stay clean and will make the smell worse.
  • Secondly, give him a bath! You can use lukewarm water to gently bathe your snake. Be sure to rinse him off thoroughly afterward.
  • Finally, if your snake is still smelling bad after taking these steps, you may want to take him to the vet to check for any health problems.

Recommended for You: How to Give a Snake a Bath

Do Pet Snakes Need Worming?

It’s a common misconception that pet snakes need to be wormed. However, this is not the case! Snakes are actually quite efficient at ridding their bodies of parasites and don’t typically require routine worming treatment. There are a few instances in which worming may be necessary, however. If your snake is sick or has a weakened immune system, it may be more susceptible to parasitic infections. In these cases, your veterinarian may recommend worming your snake as part of the treatment plan. Additionally, if you’ve recently acquired a new snake, it’s always a good idea to have them checked by a vet to ensure they’re free of parasites. A course of worming may be recommended as a precautionary measure.

Do Snakes Make Good Pets?

Snakes can make great pets for the right person, but they’re not right for everyone. They can require a lot of specialized care and species-relevant knowledge that not everyone is able to provide.

  • Yes – If you’re looking for a unique pet that will politely keep to itself most of the time, a snake might be the right fit for you! They are interesting animals to watch and can be very tame if well-cared for and handled correctly.
  • No – If you are unable to provide the required living conditions and adequate care or are looking for a cuddly, lovable pet that will curl up on your lap and sleep with you at night, then a snake is definitely not the right pet for you!


Do snakes make good pets? Well, as you can see, the answer is entirely dependent on yourself and whether a snake is a right pet for you. If you are considering getting a snake, make sure that you do as much species-specific research as possible before purchasing – having a snake may be a nice idea but they can be extremely long-lived and are a huge commitment. That being said, these fascinating creatures can make wonderful pets as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Snake Infographic

Reptile Wrestler Tips!

“Worming snakes is not required unless recommended by a veterinarian professional!”

“If you want to get a pet snake, it’s important that you’re aware of all the laws in your area!”

“If you get a snake, we do not recommend live food, many prey animals can injure your snake quite easily!”

“All snakes are not created equal, make sure that you DO YOUR SPECIES-SPECIFIC RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING ANYTHING!”


What snake lives the shortest as a pet?

The ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus) is a species of small, thin-bodied colubrid snake. It is the smallest adult snake in North America, and arguably one of the most popular beginner pet snakes in the United States. Captive specimens typically live 5 to 6 years.

What is the easiest snake to take care of?

The easiest snake to take care of is the corn snake. Corn snakes are a very popular pet snake and for good reason – they are generally docile, easy to handle, and have a moderate temperament. They tolerate being handled well and can be great pets for both adults and children.

What Snakes Make Good Pets for Beginners?

The best pet snakes for beginners tend to be the smaller ones as they are easier to care for and handle. Some of the more popular snakes that make good pets include the Ball Python, King Snake, ringneck snake, and Corn Snake.

What snakes are not recommended as pets?

Snakes that are not recommended as pets include anything venomous because they are particularly dangerous and big snakes like the Burmese Python, Reticulated Python, and African Rock Python as they can all grow very large and require a lot of space.

About Me

Hi, I’m Stuart and I’ve had reptiles for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I studied for a master’s in Herpetology. Over the years I have worked at several zoos before opening my very own reptile sanctuary. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their little beasties.

RW Face

More You Might Like