What Species of Snake Should I Get For A Beginner Owner?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 09/13/21 •  3 min read
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1.8 million households in America have a reptile as a pet. For beginner pet owners, reptiles can be ideal. They are relatively low maintenance, require only a little daily care once they are set up in a good environment, and they are interesting to keep. If you are thinking about getting a pet snake, it is important to choose the species of snake carefully, as not all snakes are suitable as pets. Although many species are docile and non-venomous, there are some types that grow quickly and require large enclosures that you might not have space for.

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Corn Snakes 

The humble Corn Snake is one of the most popular species of snake that are kept as pets in America. They are thin, small-bodied, will rarely grow longer than 5ft, and only require a simple vivarium to thrive. It is important when you are looking after cold-blooded reptiles that they have the right environment, with a suitable enclosure. The temperature of a vivarium should replicate a snake’s natural habitat – for a Corn Snake, this is around 90℉ at the warmest, as they like to bask in the sun. Baby mice are the best thing to feed Corn Snakes – you can buy these frozen. They only need feeding every 7-10 days. Corn Snakes generally don’t mind being handled occasionally, and are lovely, docile creatures, making them perfect for a beginner snake owner.

Green Snakes 

Green Snakes are a beautiful and fascinating species. They are native to North America and come in a range of shades, from vibrant yellow to emerald green. Green Snakes are timid and shy, so they don’t appreciate being handled, but if you would like an easy pet that you can watch every day, then a Green Snake is perfect. They like having a heat mat underneath their vivarium, but don’t require any other specialist equipment. Green Snakes have a diet of insects, in particular crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms, and you will only have to feed them once or twice a week.

Grass Snakes 

Grass Snakes are easy to keep for the beginner reptile owner. One of the most important things however, is to make sure that they always have a clean environment to live in – you should aim to clean out their vivarium at least once a month. You can use a reptile-friendly disinfectant to clean any decorations. You should always provide a Grass Snake with a large bowl of water, so that they can bathe, and water will also help them to loosen their skin when they are shedding. Like the Corn Snake, Grass Snakes live on a diet of mice and small amphibians, and you will only need to feed them every 1-2 weeks, or they will get overweight.

Snakes can be fascinating pets that are relatively low maintenance – you certainly won’t have to take them for a walk twice a day. You should make sure that you choose a snake that isn’t venomous or too big though, and never forget that they are ultimately wild animals.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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