The benefits of small pet snakes are many. If you’ve ever handled a 15 foot long python it’s likely you’ve found yourself wondering just how safe it really is. The truth is that it’s a safe as you make it, but the reality is that it’s not as safe as handling a three foot snake. In this article we will take a look at the benefits of getting a small snake (those typically 5 foot and under) as a pet.
Some commonly found small snakes include:
- Corn Snakes and other Rat Snakes
- Ball Pythons
- King Snakes
- Childrens Python
- They take less space
- The smaller a snake is the less space it will take up. Most of them need approximately 1/2 foot of floor space per foot in length.
Boa Constrictor: 8 feet long – cage: 4 feet
Corn snake: 3 feet long – cage: 1.5 feet
Carpet python: 5 feet long – cage: 2.5 feet
As you can see the space requirements add up quickly. Imagine having a 6 foot long cage for your Burmese python sitting in the middle of your house. That is a very large cage and many people simply don’t have the room for it.
Many times you’ll see ads on sites like Craig’s List when you are looking into adopting a pet snake and the only reason the owner is offering it is because they don’t have room for the cage in a new apartment.
- They eat less food
- Smaller snakes obviously have to eat much less volume of food per meal. It’s much cheaper to feed a small rat each week than to have to feed a large rabbit to your snake. Here’s the math:
- Small frozen rabbit from Rodent Pro is currently 4.50 EACH
- Medium frozen rats from is currently 13.90 for a bag of 10
If you are feeding once a week it will cost 18.00 to feed a snake 4 small rabbits, but only $3.46 to feed 4 medium sized rats. Over the course of a year if you were to feed just small rabbits you’d spend over $200 (18*12). Feeding with rats would come out to $41.52 over 12 months (3.46*12)
- They are safer to handle
- Even a six or seven foot snake can overwhelm many people. A rule of thumb when it comes to large snakes is that you need a person for every two feet of length over six feet. Finding people to help you with that is easier said than done especially once they get thrashed around by a large snake a few times.
By no means is this meant to say that you shouldn’t get a large snake. It’s to give you some insight into a few things you should think about before you go pick up that baby Reticulated Python from the pet store that is on sale for $75. That baby will get large, very large in fact and it’s better to know ahead of time what you are getting into before you get into it.
I always tell people who ask me about large snakes to find a full grown adult snake in your area and handle it. Actually work with it a little bit and you’ll very quickly see how much work it really is. Even if the snake is totally docile just moving it around to clean its tank can be a huge chore.