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  • Molly Weinfurter

Best Pet Snakes: Do Snakes Like Being Pet?

Updated: 7 days ago

Snakes might seem like odd pets to many people, but they can be the best pet for the right person. However, snakes are very different than dogs or cats. They’re not fluffy or overly affectionate, but they may be sweeter than we give them credit for. So, do snakes like being pet? And do snakes bond with their owners? Keep reading to find out.

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Are Snakes Good Pets?

Snakes can be great pets, as long as you’re not intimidated by their long bodies and sharp teeth. Whoever gets a pet snake also has to be okay with feeding them live food, such as mice. They’re typically not beginner pets because they need a lot of space and unique needs, but they can make good pets for the right person.

Overall, pet snakes have gentle temperaments and they like being handled more than other reptiles do. They can live for over a decade, depending on the species, so they’re a long-term commitment. If you think a snake is a good pet for you, make sure to do lots of research about the specific species before you bring them home.

holding best pet snakes

Are Pet Snakes Venomous?

No, most pet snakes aren’t venomous. Many wild snakes can deliver a venomous bite, which is why some animals are resistant to snake venom. However, the most popular snakes as pets are non-venomous because they’re the safest and easiest to maintain. Getting bitten by a non-venomous snake can still be painful, but it’s unlikely to cause severe damage.

Do Snakes Like Being Pet?

It depends on the snake. Most snakes won’t like being pet if they’re not familiar with the feeling. They don’t seek out attention like a dog would. However, many snakes become accustomed to being pet by their humans, so they may end up liking it and wanting more pets from their humans.

So, you can pet your snake sometimes, but if they show signs of discomfort, such as slithering away, it’s best to leave them be. If you’re looking for a cuddly animal, a snake probably isn’t for you.

Do Snakes Bond with Their Owners?

Snakes can bond with their owners, but not in the same way a dog or cat would. These reptiles can recognize their humans and associate positive things with them, such as getting food or attention. Thus, they may get excited when they see their human approach. Your pet snake may become comfortable around you while still being wary of strangers.

However, snakes likely don’t bond with people on the same level as a dog would. They probably won’t feel sad when you’re away or require playtime with you. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you, it just means they love you in their own unique way.

What are the Best Pet Snakes?

There are lots of snake species that make great pets, but they all have unique needs. Make sure you do lots of research on a species before deciding to get one. Below are a few popular pet snakes to consider.

Ball Pythons

Ball pythons might look intimidating because of how thick their bodies are, but they’re one of the most docile and friendly snake species. They come in a variety of color morphs, which is why many people are drawn to them. They’re generally easy to care for, as long as you’re comfortable serving rats or mice.

ball python curled up

Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are another friendly and docile species. They have beautiful red, orange, and yellow scale patterns, making them stand out from other snakes. They like to live in a warm habitat that mimics their natural environment.

corn snake on person

Hognose Snakes

Hognose snakes are adorable because their snouts are pushed upwards like a pig snout. Their upturned noses are perfect for helping them burrow, so in captivity, they need a substrate they can dig into. They’re on the smaller side, growing only three to five feet long and having thin bodies.

hognose snake face close up

King Snakes

King snakes have bold, striped patterns on their scales which may make them look dangerous, but don’t worry, they’re not venomous. However, they could harm other snakes, so they’re best when kept alone. They’re more curious and active than other snake species, making them one of the best pet snakes to observe.

king snake on furniture

Rosy Boas

These snakes are named for their white and rosy pink coloring. They’re typically tame and rarely bite, which is why new snake owners are often drawn to them. For the most part, they’re easy to care for, but they require a hot environment to thrive.

rosy boa on plant

Garter Snakes

Garter snakes are common in the wild across North America. While you should never take them out of the wild to keep them as pets, they are often bred in captivity. They come in a variety of color patterns and they’re on the smaller size, only growing two to four feet long.

garter snake on wood

Gopher Snakes

Gopher snakes are sometimes confused with rattlesnakes, but they’re not venomous. They may even shake their tails when threatened to make predators think they’re dangerous. However, they don’t have fangs and are typically mellow. They love to bask in the sunlight, so they should have a nice basking spot in their enclosure.

gopher snake pet

Milk Snakes

Milk snakes have a bold white, black, and red pattern that causes many people to mistake them for dangerous snakes. It’s likely because they closely resemble venomous coral snakes, minus the yellow stripes. Milk snakes are very docile and prefer a warm environment with lots of places to hide.

red and black snake

Preparing for a Pet Snake

If you're interested in a pet snake, you need to be aware that they require lots of space. The exact tank size depends on the length of your snake and the species, but in general, larger is always better for a pet's enclosure.

Here are a few tanks that could work well for a pet snake:

Make sure you do plenty of research on the specific snake species you want before you decide what type of tank to get them. Once you have your snake enclosure set up, you'll need to fill it with plenty of places for your snake to hide and be prepared to feed them whatever food their diet requires (usually live animals.)

Here are a few large reptile hides to get you started with decorating your tank:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Pet Snakes Eat?

Pet snakes eat a variety of animals, such as rats, mice, worms, insects, and fish. Some prefer live food while others may be okay with frozen options. The exact diet will depend on the snake’s species and age.

What is the Best Snake to Have as a Pet?

Ball pythons and corn snakes are the most popular species to have as pets. However, the best snake for you as a pet depends on what you’re looking for. Research a variety of breeds to find one that fits your lifestyle best.

Where Are There Pet Snakes for Sale?

Snakes often show up at rescues and shelters, especially if there’s a rescue near you that specializes in exotic pets. You may be able to buy a snake from a breeder or pet store, but do your research to make sure the snakes are treated well (and avoid pet stores selling puppies).

Are Pet Snakes Dangerous?

No, pet snakes are usually not aggressive or venomous. However, they could bite if they feel stressed. A non-venomous snake’s bite can still be painful, but it’s not likely to cause severe damage.

Are Pet Snakes Friendly?

It depends on the snake. Some snakes are friendly, especially if they’re used to being around people. Other snakes may be shy and prefer to keep to themselves.

pet snake on arm

The Best Pet Snakes Make Great Companions

Some pet snakes like to be pet and some even bond with their owners, but not in the same way dogs and cats do. The best pet snakes can make great companions, but only for someone who’s prepared and knowledgeable about the breed. 

Snake owners need to be prepared to give live food to their snake and be committed to them for their long lifespans, which could be decades. If you think a snake is a good pet for you, start researching them to determine which species is the best for your lifestyle.


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