What do I need to know about owning a snake?

My daughter wants a snake and I cannot stand them but I am going to get her one…what do I need to be educated abotu snakes before purchasing?


That they grow really big , they eat mice all at one time ( which you have to buy ) , and they can wrap themselves around your kids necks and suffocate them . My ex had some when my sons were young and no other parents wanted their kids around when the snakes were there


My daughter (14) has a ball python. I would say it kind of depends on how old your daughter is. Is she going to be able to actually take care of it? If so ball pythons are pretty good because they are not usually aggressive and they don’t get really huge like some of the boaa do. They can usually eat mice that you buy Frozen and then just defrost them in warm water. But that will also depend on where the snake comes from and if it has eaten alive food yet. I have worked in a few pet stores and owned several snakes so feel free to PM me with anything that you need to know…

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I’d do a lot of research and maybe join a snake group to ask questions. They are all different types and different sizes. Some eat bugs and others will need bigger food but not all snakes grow big. They are cool pets and a lot of them are pretty docile. Maybe go to an exotic pet store if you have one near you and ask them about the snakes they have and what would be the best option and the items you will need to take care of them.


I have a banana ball python, they’re calm and easy to care for in my experience.
First things first, do your research, about it all.
Find a reptile vet near you and get acquainted. A proper feeding habit and habitat are essential.
Mine takes both live and frozen/thawed. Easiest but more expensive is the frozen method but some snakes are picky.
Humidity and clean enclosure with fresh water (use repti-safe in the water) daily are important. They have to hold a certain temperature in the enclosure. Handle regularly if you want it to be social, and do not feed it in the enclosure or you risk it associating you opening the enclosure with feedings and you might get bit. I feed my snake in a tote away from his enclosure then I put him back in after he resets his jaw. Coconut fiber works well for his substrate but each snake types needs may vary.
Hope this helps 🫶🏻

Please don’t ONLY listen to these comments. (Though I haven’t seen much bad information yet)
Good job ladies :clap: I’m so freaking proud of this thread so far!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Join some local reptile groups, &&& the Facebook group reptile lighting.
Can’t link it as it might get declined.
Do not listen to brand name pet stores.
If you have any smaller family owned pet stores, go check them out. Ask them for information.
Husbandry is a huge money pit. It’s not cheap owning a snake. You cannot get everything one needs, and the snake, for under 300$. Hell might even be more if you get an adult, and an adult tank.
Biggest thing to remember is NATURAL! We don’t get belly heat from natural heat outside. When basking in the sun, we receive our heat from the sun. From the sky. Not from the ground. Something you need to worry about with any heating element, is a thermostat specifically for that. As heat mats especially & other electrical heating systems can error and start house fires.
Don’t fear that you can’t do this. But do expect it to be a hefty chunk of change, time, and knowledge. You will not learn everything overnight. You will not learn it all in a week. You will not learn everything even within a year. Husbandry for all sorts of animals is drastically changing throughout the years with the more research that is coming to light.
Please do you best to find that research.
Remember natural is best. & you’re a great mom for wanting to do this!


Different snakes need different things just like any other pet once you figure out what species then do a lot of research and find the best info on it

Fuck that my kids could want a snake all they like no snake would ever be entering my house

Corn snakes are really easy

Rebecca Lessard other than them being excellent at escaping what advice do you have…lol

Yes do a lot of research
Reptiles need a lot more work
Then the average pet
Also find out if you need a permit
For reptiles

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Please PLEASE take the time to do some serious research on the type of snake you are considering getting, especially as a first time snake owner. There is so much false information out there about proper care of a snake. Most of the time the “complete reptile kits” you find in the stores are not suitable for the snake. Sticking an animal of any kind into a tank with the bare minimum it needs to barely survive is straight up inhumane. Use thermostats to help control/maintain the proper temperature inside the enclosure. Use digital thermometers and hygrometers. Do NOT use anything in the tank or on the lid that has sticky/tape on it. The heat and humidity will cause it to come loose and the snake can become stuck on it, which can result in serious injuries and even death. You’ll have to watch the type of substrate you use because some can be toxic to the snake, and learn how to sanitize the substrate because snake mites are a gigantic pain to get rid of and are extremely harmful to your snake. Find a good exotic vet in your area that is capable of handling the care of a snake. If you choose to live feed the snake, that comes with the responsibility of taking proper and humane care of the feeder animal should the snake refuse its meal. It also means watching your snake the entire time that live animal is in the tank, and being ready to intervene if your snake starts being attacked/bitten. If you chose to feed frozen/thawed, then you’ll want to find a reputable company to get your feeders from. You’ll need to invest in an infrared thermometer so you can be sure the feeder is at the correct temperature. Some snakes can grow very large so prepare yourself to increase in enclosure sizes as it grows.
Understand that if your daughter gets bored of this animal, you’ll be left to take care of it for the remainder of its time with you.

It can be a lot of work to properly raise a snake, but it’s very rewarding. I love my guy Chaos!


Get a license and they will train you :roll_eyes::roll_eyes:

Nope, kids shouldn’t own something like that until they can do the research and take care of it. I don’t like snakes but they are still animals that need lots of care. It isn’t cheap to start with. Also you might have to travel quite a bit to even get a vet to see them.


Are you prepared to feed your new pet live mice? Do you have an escape proof cage/enclosure? Do you have small pets that could be endangered? Kids are not able to fully care for a complicated animal.

Highly suggest you join a Facebook group with a lot if members in it for the species you’re going to be buying. Pet stores give out so much wrong care information it should be criminal. Ball pythons are great starter snakes due to their docile nature but they require quite a bit!!

Join a snake group on fb, but make sure your child is old enough for the responsibility and you have to step in if he’s not, too many snakes make it to animals rescues or released in the wild. Snake groups will happily give you information esp if your telling them your doing research first. I have plenty of reptiles, my snakes are in locking tanks with heating pads, but have a sunbeam and a KSB. Definitely look up different temperaments of the snakes too. You’ll get a good quality from a reptile show most the time.

Not sure how old your daughter is. If you go to a pet shop and ask which snake they would recommend for you to get as a first time snake owner they will respond with a royal python also known as a ball python they only grow to 5ft in length or a corn snake which grow to nearly 6ft. Now as a snake owner myself I really do recommend a corn snake as an actual first time snake as they are so much easier to feed. I wouldn’t personally recommend a royal/ball python as a first time snake as they ain’t overly easy to get to eat. I have 7 corn snakes and my 6 year old daughter does hold them. You will need to go to the pet shop and buy pre killed mice some pets shops do deals on snake food so you can buy so many for so much but you will also have to be prepared to have frozen rodents in your freezer if you decide to go down the much cheaper option of buying the offers. Snakes only need feeding once a week. You will have to think will your daughter be able to feed the snake every week like will she really be able to stick her hand in the vivarium to offer the snake its food you have also got to ask yourself what do you intend to do with the snake if your daughter stops caring for it I’m not saying she will but it has been known to happen. It’s recommend that the snake doesn’t get held for a couple of days after being fed. I would strongly suggest you get your daughter and yourself to do a lot of research on snakes before going and buying one. Another thing if you do end up getting a snake if their eyes go a milky colour and the normal colour of the snake looks duller then it is a sign they are due to shed (take off the old skin) which they usually do roughly every month which is how they grow. Good luck

I’d personally choose a bearded dragon over a snake, especially because a child will not be able to care for it fully and you will have your step into the role of caregiver. If you don’t like snakes, you’re not going to be having a good time lol Our girl just passed last month, but she was an amazing pet and our kids loved her dearly. They helped with her care for sure, but could never to an adequate job to ensure she lived her best life alone. I miss my girl so much, she loved to be handled!

Try to find someone that has an older, well handled animal when you do pick out what you want. Baby snakes tend to be very defensive and nippy and can quickly put you and your child off of the animal even though they can’t actually hurt you.
Be careful in most reptile groups on FB. They can be a little gatekeep-y and judgey. Most people are good but some tend to think you need a mansion to keep a pet. I owned and bred many snakes, they are not a lot of work as long as you set yourself up for all their basic needs.
For good info in a fun and friendly way, I would search YouTube for beginner snakes and check out Clint’s Reptiles videos and Snake Discoveries videos. They are both excellent sources and will give you a good starting point for your decision. I do recommend against a ball python the first time, they can have feeding problems that will give you weeks of stress but it’s pretty normal for them.

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The only thing I’m going to say is make sure your daughter is responsible and old enough to care for it because you’re not going to. Don’t make an irresponsible decision.

If she’s serious and old to do most of the work try watching YouTube channels dedicated to snake care. That way you know what products work what different types of snakes need

First snake should be a ball python


Depends on the species of snake :slight_smile: caring for a snake is not one size fits all, same goes for any reptile, mammal, fish, or bird. Honestly, my favorite snake is the hognose! But we had a lovely ball python :heart: but the care for both differs quite a bit.

I highly recommend getting an adult snake that has already been handled. We made the mistake of getting a juvenile and it was impossible to hold and ended up escaping because they are so small and can get through any crack even though you think it’s escape proof

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You need to know what size mice to give it compared to the size of the snake, the best bedding for it, humidity that he may need, proper lighting, the light is different at night than it is at day so it has to be switched or you can put it on a timer to automatically switch it. If the power goes out then the timer can reset and you will need to know how to fix it. If you get frozen mice then you can store several and won’t run out. You have to thaw them before you give them or they won’t smell right to the snake. You can give live mice but don’t leave them in with the snake unsupervised or they will bite him. Snakes don’t eat very often. Every couple weeks might be good or he might want to eat once a month. He might eat one mouse or two at a time. The snake needs to be handled frequently so it is used to people, but don’t handle it when it is shedding. If it starts yawning then it is hungry and you should not handle it & need to feed it. Don’t handle it immediately after feeding it. He will need a large enough water dish to fit inside of and an enclosed hiding rock that he can fit inside of. It would also be good to get him a large piece of wood from the pet store that he can climb, never from nature because they have mites that can infect your snake and make him sick. Make sure you get him a large enough tank with a locking lid and teach your kid to keep it locked or he will definitely escape. You can buy lids with locks at the pet store or on Amazon or you can buy the locks separately. Put him in the bathtub every once in a while - not too often (supervised) with lukewarm water to clean him & so he can get exercise but make sure he has something he can rest on.

Join a group and do lots of research to make sure you know what your getting yourself in to. When kid is tired of taking Carr of the animal. That will leave you to holding it and taking care of it. This alone is the reason we won’t have snakes in my home. I’m to scared of them to hold and I know after a while my kid’s would get tired of being the only ones tending to it. It’s to big of a responsibility for them.

Some of these comments show how little yall know. If you don’t know anything about owning a snake, please don’t give advice. We own a ball python and a hognose. They are the easiest animal we have. Compared to our dogs, cat, oh and children lol. I wouldn’t suggest any snake besides one of the ones I listed for a child. Ball pythons are laid back and docile. Her name is Medusa, is 3ft long, eats live rats ($4.00 every 2-3wks). She won’t grow bigger than the enclosure she is in. If we got a bigger one, she would get bigger. Our hognose Noodle is a silly little guy. He eats pinkies (frozen mice $7.00 for a box that lasts several feedings). He won’t get very big. He plays dead (typical hognose) and play strikes, which is again hognose behavior. My 4 kids think it’s funny. They can easily grab either snake out and play with it, no issues. Their bedding is cheap, about $20 for a bag and it lasts 6 months. They do have to soak in water when shedding their skin, it helps it come off easier. We’ve had Medusa for 6yrs and Noddle for 4yrs. Never had to take them to the vet. Their tanks where decently priced. Only suggestion is have is make sure when you get the snake, you go thru a reputable place. Where they handle them daily. Snakes can bite like any animal, but if you handle them frequently, their temperament is great! Also only a constrictor will try to suffocate someone, and that typically happens due to them being hungry. My husband walks around with Medusa around his neck, and she does not constrict. My mother is terrified of snakes :snake: but has no issues with ours. She cares for them if we are gone. The kids that come to our house and their parents are all shown the snakes, told the dos and don’t, and are allowed to handle the snakes for comfort. So far not a single person has had an issue.

Make her do alot of research on the specific snake before you get one different ones can require different care ball pythons can have shed issues if not enough humidity and too much can give them URI also do your own research join reptile groups, another thing is always feed them outside of their enclosre as they an get territorial fed insde their cage, always fed my boas in the bathtub for that reason.

Ball pythons are great for beginners but require alittle more for enclosures. My advise is put alittle more $$ into your set uo and it makes the snake alittle less high maintenance. Weekly feeds and clean up woth the right housing!.

My son wants one. He wants a snow corn snake. I tried to push the leopard geckos since they’re cuter and cheaper, but nope :laughing: The corn snakes are supposedly one of the easiest to take care of. They can live up to 15 years though :crazy_face:.

You can find used enclosures and other items you will need on the marketplace

Depends on the species of snake, they all require a different type of husbandry. Feel free to message me. Also, depends on the age of the child, their capability of looking after such an exotic animal.

That would depend on the age of the child.

Snakes.are.a.lot of maintenance
Start her with a gecko…even bearded dragons are high maintenance.

Ball python or corn snake first off. Research their tank size requirements, they will need a humidifier and heat lamps. They live a long time and its a life commitment. Also feed frozen then thawed mice/rats, not live. A lot of domestic bred snakes can catch and squeeze a mouse and think its dead and eat it only for it to crawl out from the inside and kill the snake.

Ball pythons can make amazing pets .
Join some snake groups. see what you feel comfortable getting.

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Make sure you are ready to care for a snake depending on her age she’ll probably only care about it for a week

Ball pythons are great beginner snakes. Do your research and learn about the snake you choose.

There’s alot of herp and snake groups. Research research research!! There’s nothing worse than getting an animal that solely depends on you and then not giving it the life it deserves. I would stay away from pet stores and find a reputable breeder. Find the snake you’re wanting and find the specifics to its needs.
Keep in mind basically anything a pet store tells or tries to sell you is the bare minimum and 8/10 wrong info.

Go to a reptile show. They can answer good questions

Watch some videos from snake discovery YouTube, there’s tons of great info for beginners.