Can Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?


Ball Python

While most people are, understandably, worried and even terrified by any and every kind of snake, there are those who wonder what it’d be like to have a snake for a pet. Ball pythons, in particular, seem to be a common type of snake that people consider, and is even recommended online as a good pet snake, especially if you’ve never owned snakes before. So in this article, we’ll take a look at the reasons that might make a snake a good pet. We’ll also look at why a ball python may not be the greatest pet.

Keep in mind, if you’re experiencing trouble with a nuisance snake, the solution is not to adopt it, but rather to hire a professional like Metro Wildlife Control for nuisance snakes.

So, what are the pros and cons of keeping a ball python pet?

Since ball pythons are non-venomous, and largely docile creatures, many people claim this makes them an ideal choice for a pet.

First off, the pros:

  • Ball pythons are low-maintenance.  One of the reasons why some people prefer reptilian pets to, say, traditional cats and dogs, is that they are actually a lot easier to take care of than a furry, four-legged creature. And ball pythons may be the easiest of them all. Their food cost is fairly low, and they are pretty tiny, as far as snakes go, which means you won’t need a lot of room to house them.
  • They can live for a very long time. In captivity, and with the proper care, ball pythons can live up to 30 years.
  • They’re fairly friendly, and don’t mind being handled. Perhaps one of their biggest draws is that, unlike other species of snake, the ball python is fine with being physically handled, and is non-aggressive. This makes it an easy-going companion, even for children.
  • They’re not overly active. An overly active animal will need to move around a lot, and as such, will require roomier living space, or else, it may get restless and aggressive. A ball python, however, isn’t overly active, so keeping it in a fairly small living space is fine.

Tip: Be careful not to confuse ball pythons with Burmese pythons. When young, they may look similar, and since they are both non-venomous snakes, some people confuse them. However, bear in mind that where the ball python typically won’t grow past 6-7 feet in length, the Burmese python can grow to up to 20 feet in length, and may become aggressive past 8 feet. If experiencing Burmese pythons problems, call a professional snake removal expert.

Now, for the cons:

At a first glance, the ball python seems like a rather lovely house pet. But are there really no downsides?

  • It may be trickier to find them specialized care. This will be a problem with any non-traditional pet. Before you adopt one, you need to contact a veterinarian in your area, to ensure you can provide your pet with adequate care, should the need arise.
  • They still require care. Some people make the mistake of adopting a ball python, on the assumption that since it’s a low-key pet, they’ll be able to sustain it with their busy schedule. However, low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. If you don’t have the time to handle the snake at least a couple of times a day, then maybe a pet is not the best choice for you.
  • You may get bitten. Even with the nicest snakes, there is still the risk of getting bitten, should the snake feel threatened. Read some basic snake bite advice here, to be prepared for the possibility.

Bottom line – are ball snakes good pets? 

To be fair, we’re hard-pressed to find compelling downsides to keeping a ball python for a pet. As long as you’re mentally prepared, and acknowledge the fact that keeping a reptile for a pet is different from keeping a dog, for instance, then a ball python is probably the best snake to keep as a pet.

They are docile, friendly, low maintenance, like being physically handled, and will live a long time, if cared for properly. Since they remain small, so do the costs of feeding them, so overall, the ball python may be the ideal pet, as far as reptiles are concerned.

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