Tips For Choosing Your First Snake

The snake is popular as a pet. In captivity, it is often easy to tame and keep. However, some breeds of snakes require more care than others. Some take up more space as well. If this is your first snake, there are a few breeds that are easier for you to handle. How do you choose one that’s right for you? Starting at what age? Our advice to see more clearly.

Understanding the character of the snake

Considered as a new pet, the snake can become an ideal source of distraction for humans. Yours will bring you its daily presence. However, you should know that on an emotional level, he will hardly satisfy you. Indeed, your snake will not show any particular attachment to you.

Nonetheless, your future snake will be easily tamed and educated. In addition, it often does not require excessive maintenance. Indeed, they do not need to be fed daily, do not cause any allergies in you, have no body odor, do not make any noise and of course do not need to be taken out.

A carefully considered choice

Some snake breeds can live up to 40 years. When you decide to buy a reptile, it shouldn’t be by chance. The commitment on your part is real.

Thus, you will need to answer several questions to choose the right snake:

  • The physics of the snake. One big, one smaller, what color, with what head?
  • The character of your snake. Do you want a rather curious, lively one? A little aggressive? A calm?
  • Some snakes are more manipulated than others. Talk to a NAC veterinarian to find out more.
  • You need to choose a snake whose lifestyle will suit you. Some are diurnal, nocturnal, others crepuscular.

The cost of the snake

Adopting a snake for several decades represents a significant cost. With purchase, of course, but also throughout its life with regular maintenance.

Thus, buying a snake can vary from a few tens of dollars to thousands. To this, we must add essential equipment such as a terrarium, a lamp, accessories and of course food. However, snakes don’t eat every day. So, a python can be satisfied with a rat every 2 weeks. This is not the main line of expense.

Which snake is ideal to start with?

There are breeds that are easier to tame and handle to get started:

  • The Corn Snake is a diurnal snake that arrives from the southern United States. It has a lifespan of 20 years and its height will not exceed six feet in adulthood. It is the ideal snake to start with as it can be handled without showing the slightest sign of aggression. After ingesting a food, it should be left alone for about 3 days during its digestion phase.
  • The Milk Snake (or Campbell’s False Coral) is also a diurnal animal that tends to be manipulated. In the wild (it comes from Mexico), it feeds mainly on other snakes. In captivity, its diet can be adapted with other mammals. Approximately 12 years of longevity.
  • The King Snake, or king snake, arrives from the south of the United States. His life expectancy is 15 years. It is very calm by nature and very easy to handle. Like the Milk Snake, it feeds on other snakes in the wild, but accepts food from dead and frozen rodents in captivity. It does not represent any danger to humans. Just make sure to provide it with the necessary heat in its terrarium (between 27 and 32 ° C during the day and 24 ° C at night).
  • Snakes from the Pythonidae family such as Children’s Python, which is not very tall (1 meter). Younger people can bite if they feel unsafe, but the bite is not poisonous. Docile, it is easily touched and manipulated.
  • The Royal Python can live up to 20 years. It never bites and can also be manipulated. It eats dead rodents like mice and rats. A young ball python should be fed once a week while an adult is content with one ration every 10 days. As an adult, your ball python will need a large rat for its ration. A little one will not be enough for him. It is nocturnal.
  • The Boa Constrictor is also a very popular snake, like the Ball Python. It can measure over 4 meters and impresses with its size. Nevertheless, this giant who can live up to 20 years, he is very docile and easily manipulated. It requires fairly high humidity (up to 80% during its moult). It feeds on rodents (rats, mice, gerbils, rabbits). The Boa Constrictor has the advantage of having many species with different colors.

Where to adopt a snake

Good to know, the law does not in any way prohibit the buying or selling of snakes if the snake is not considered dangerous. So, if he’s not poisonous.

There are many places where you can adopt your future snake.

  • Pet stores are full of specimens. Preferably choose a pet store with a good reputation. Some do not take care of their animals. They can therefore present illnesses or behavioral problems. Inquire.
  • From professional breeders. In this case, however, you will need to go to the breeder’s home to see the captive conditions of your future reptile. Don’t hesitate to ask whatever questions you can think of. Also observe your animal to judge its health.
  • At a private home, live or on the Internet through many sites. Nevertheless, it is advisable to always travel to meet the seller physically. This avoids unpleasant surprises.

Adopt a healthy snake

Outward manifestations are rare in your future snake if it is not in good health. Nevertheless, certain signs should alert you:

  • Your snake does not move too much (especially the case of a Python, usually toned)
  • There are soiled areas in the cloacal region with dried stools.
  • He has his mouth open and has difficulty breathing.
  • On its ventral surface, it must not present any red spots or suspicious colors.


Pet in strong increase, the snake often wants to be docile and easily manipulated. It is of course advisable to choose one that will make your life easier if this is your first purchase. Thus, you will have to decide between its race, its size, its character. You need to weigh the pros and cons and not act on a whim. Buying a snake represents a commitment over 15 to 20 years depending on its longevity.