There are many factors that determine the right pet snake for you.
- Such as, do you have young children?
- How much spare space do you have?
- How much time do you have to commit to your new pet?
This article is to help you find the perfect snake for beginners, so lets get into it!
Snakes make fantastic pets, the list of “entry level” snakes are low maintenance and each have unique characteristics.
If you see a snake that looks like your first pet snake, we have a full indepth guide for each.
When looking for your first snake as a pet, we would always recommend getting a hatchling or under 1 year old.
This will give you time to grow in confidence handling as the snake grows.
Snakes live along time, other animals like rats or rabbits live for around 5 years or so, a snake can live up to 40 years for some species (ball python).
Pet snakes are a great alternative to a dog or other mammals as they do not require as much of your attention.
For example, you could go away for 1 week and feed just before you go, all that would be required is daily water changes and thats it.
There is even more added benefit should you choose a smaller size snake, feeding is cheap and offered every 6 – 14 days dependant on the age and meal size given.
The majority of the cost comes with the intial setup, vivarium, thermostat and so on.
The listed snakes are all hardy, which means they do not have super strict requirement to allow them to live a healthy life.
1. Corn Snake
When it comes to the best all around first pet snake, 99% of experienced snake owners will recommend a corn.
They come in hundreds of different colours and patterns (morphs), corn snakes grow to a managable size which is suitable for teenagers or supervised children to handle.
Setting up the cage and husbandary is easy and other than changing and cleaning the enclosure, there are no special requirements.
If you have considered a corn snake i would suggest just going ahead as you will not be disappointed.
Corn snakes do not require a large vivarium, adults often thrive in a 3ft enclosure.
We have a full corn snake guide which gives a in-depth care.
2. Royal Python
Second & third on the list is much harder to separate, but the royal python just took it.
Royal pythons are a rapidly growing pet snake, this is due to their breeding colour potential.
Non the less, royal pythons are great for new keepers who do not like the idea of a fast moving snake.
Also known as the ball python, this name comes from them curling up into a ball when threatened.
Another smaller sized snake that will happily live in a 3ft vivarium, in extreme females may need a 4ft cage.
The only downside to the royal python is their eating, it is not uncommon for a ball python to go off food and this can cause new keepers to worry as it can last as long as 8 months.
A royal python is the perfect pet snake for an owner who wants to sit and watch films or lounge while their snake is happy to chill out with them.
Find out more about Royal Pythons care and information here.
3. King Snake / Milk Snake
The king snake and milk snake have be put into one as they are so closely related visually and in personality.
Another colubrid snake which makes a great first snake.
Growing to an average 4ft in length and most tolerate handling well.
A King snake does love their feed and meal time, so when handling caution that the snake knows you are not food should be taken.
Other than this small downside the king and milk snake are just as great as a corn snake.
Each have a very different set of characteristics, i used to have 3 king snake and each one was very different to the other.
these snakes are not as heavy as a ball python but move fairly quickly as they are such inqusitive animals and just love to explore.
More on King Snakes care can be found here!
4. Boa constrictor
Fourth is a wildcard, the boa constrictor is much larger than any snake that is listed and appeals to the more confident new snake owner.
First we will go through the cons of the snake, first is the size.
Boa constrictors can grow up to 11ft long but on average around 6ft can be expected.
Males boa’s are more likely to grow to a smaller size as they are live baring snake and do not lay eggs the females have more girth for reproductive parts.
It is always best to get a young or hatchling boa constrictor as they grow fast and you will need time for you and your snake to get into a handling routine.
If there is little to no handling when young, this can prove very difficult for defensive snakes to accept being handled.
Other these small downsides, boas care and feeding is never an issue and very easy to set up.
They are naturally inquisitive about their surrounding but do not move very fast.
Finally the boa constrictor in my personal opinion is the most beautiful snake out of this list.
5. Hognose snake
Last in this top 5 list is the hognose but is by far the least!
A tiny snake which only grows to around 2ft on average.
These snakes a perfect for people with limited space within their house or apartment. A 2ft vivarium will be suitable for most.
Hognose for a reason! the hognose is a desired taste in its looks which can be really funny.
So why are they last on the list?
There is one drawback that puts many people off owning the hognose.
It is venomous, before you scroll away this venom is not toxic to humans and is unlike to ever come into contact with this venom.
They are a rear fanged snake, this means the fangs which the venom is located is back of the mouth and you would need to go quite far to come in contact.