What are the best small pet snakes?

Choosing any pet snake can be difficult, especially for a beginner. Nobody wants to invest in a potential pet only to find out that their care requirements are more than they can handle. Size is, naturally, a huge deciding factor for many. It determines a lot about the care requirements for that specific snake, such as how much it’s going to eat and enclosure requirements. 

If you’re looking for smaller, more manageable snakes for sale, we would recommend the following entries on this list.

Corn Snakes

If someone you know has a pet snake, it is very likely a corn snake. Due to their bright, contrasting colors and docile nature, they make for very popular companion animals. Native to the southeastern US, their environments don’t require any sort of odd or difficult accommodation, and only grow to be around 3-4 feet as adults. 

Readily available from reputable captive breeders, these snakes typically grow to be docile and extremely tolerant of handling. They are also hardy and are less picky eaters than many other snakes. 

Fun facts: 

  • They have a variety of habitats, from swamps to rocky hillsides.
  • Their name may originate from the patterning on their bellies. 
  • Corn snakes somewhat closely resemble the venomous copperhead but are completely safe. 

Kenyan Sand Boas

With females growing to be around thirty inches long and males being slightly smaller, Kenyan sand boas make the near-perfect pet for anyone with space restrictions. While they are a little bit shier than the other entries on this list, they are still known to be friendly and docile when handled and raised properly.

As the name implies, these snakes burrow in the sand as both defense from predators and as a vantage point when waiting for prey. Because of this, their eyes are set fairly high on their head and sport a blunt nose that helps the boa dig through their environment. This gives them what I believe to be a fairly unique appearance. 

Fun facts:

  • These snakes are some of the smallest boas on earth. 
  • They are born live after 4 months of gestation. 
  • They are crepuscular (active in the evening and morning). 

Ball Pythons

Another extremely common pet snake, ball pythons are known for their diverse looks and docile temperaments. Being used to living underground, they get their name from the unique habit of curling up into a ball-like shape when held. 

They are also among some of the longest-lived pets you can find with a lifespan that shoots well past 30 years. When properly taken care of, these snakes can be a nearly lifelong companion that give their keepers many wonderful memories and moments. 

Fun facts:

  • They are also known as “royal pythons”. 
  • There are 26 different species of python. 
  • The coloring of a python changes as it ages from hatchling to adult. 

What to Think About When Looking for Smaller Snakes for Sale

Ultimately, all of the snakes on this list would be an excellent choice for anyone looking for a docile, relatively low-maintenance pet. However, other factors, such as lifespan, general behaviors, and activity level will all play an important part in deciding which pet to bring home in the end. 

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