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Even though there have been around 3,000 types of snakes discovered in the wild, many are not suitable to be kept at home as pets. Surprisingly, some people do choose to own venomous snakes as pets. While this is definitely not recommended, some people enjoy the thrill of handling a deadly snake which may have a more gently demeanor until provoked. It is also not recommended to have any snake defanged, as this is considered inhumane and cruel. If you are scared of a snake biting you, you should start out with a very small snake as a baby, as they do not have teeth when they are young. A bite from a small non-venomous snake is no worse than any other small animal nipping your hand. They usually only bite if they feel threatened, if at all. Even in the wild, no snake will ever strike at a human if unprovoked, and often times, even stepping on venomous snakes like cottonmouths or rattlers rarely results in them striking.

Some of the most popular non-venomous snakes people own are from the families of: Boidae, Pythonidae and Colubridae.

Boidae

Red Tailed Boa

This is a common type of boa constrictor commonly seen in the pet trade. They can grow to around 10 feet in length, and live for up to 30 years. Because of their large size, they are known to eat large rats or even rabbits. They are called Red-Tailed because they are known for a distinct red tip on the end of their tail.

Kenyan Sand Boa

These are smaller Boa constrictors, only growing to about a food and a half in length. Like most sand snakes, they are known to enjoy burrowing, keeping only their head above ground to see any passing prey.

Pythonidae

Ball (Royal) Python

Definitely one of the most common pet snakes out there, the ball is known for being very mild-mannered and docile. They grow to a medium size around 3-5 feet in length, but can live for several decades. They are called ball pythons because they curl up into a ball when they feel threatened.

Burmese Python

These are extremely large snakes, but because of their temperament, they are still coveted as pets. They can grow anywhere to 15-25 feet in length and love exploring. Feeding these pythons is very important, as they might bet bored of eating rats that are too small. They have been known to eat cats, rabbits, dogs, deer, even humans.

Green Tree Python

This is an arboreal snake (meaning it lives in trees) and they require this type of setting in their cage, which adds a bit of decoration to your house. They are known for their beautifully vibrant green and yellow colors, and grow to about 7 feet in length.

Colubridae

King Snakes

King snakes are known for being able to kill other more venomous snakes, even though they make relatively good pets and are good at being handled by humans. They can grow to 6-7 feet in length, making them a medium sized snake since they are relatively slim.

Milk Snake

The milk snake is a type of King Snake, but are coveted on the pet trade due to their similarity in coloring to the venomous coral snake. The old saying, “Red on yellow will kill a fellow, but red on black is a friend of Jack” is referring to the colors found on coral and milk snakes. Milk snakes can have yellow, but it does not touch the red color as with coral snakes.

Black Rat Snake

A pure black snake, the black rat is known for being a very active snake. Many homeowners find Rat Snakes due to them not being shy about exploring. The Rat Snake is known for being a good pet, rarely striking and good with kids. They also constrict their prey before eating it.

Corn Snake

Corn snakes are technically rat snakes, but with a bit of coloring. This is probably the most popular beginners snake due to its small size (only grows up to 5 feet), but they are known for being good at escaping their enclosures. They very rarely bite and are rather docile.

For a full list of snakes, try searching or viewing our “Further Reading” section.

Red-Tailed Boa

Red-Tailed Boa

  • September 24, 2017

Red Tailed Boa Constrictors are a favorite snake breed by many enthusiasts. This is considered a large snake, growing up to 10 feet by the time they are mature adults. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself…

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California King Snake

California King Snake

  • September 24, 2017

Common Group: KINGSNAKES Common Name: California King Snake Scientific Name: Lampropeltis g. californiae Distribution: S.W. U.S.A & Baja Calif. Size: 4' - 7' California King Snakes are a common snake pet known for their variation in color, and being durable…

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Kenyan Sand Boa

Kenyan Sand Boa

  • September 24, 2017

Common Group: BOA CONSTRICTORS Common Name: Kenyan Sand Boa Scientific Name: Eryx colubrinus Distribution: Eastern Africa Size: 2' - 3' Kenyan Sand Boas are a smaller breed of Boa native to regions in East Africa (hence the name Kenyan). They…

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Burmese Python

Burmese Python

  • September 24, 2017

The Burmese Python should only be considered by someone who has become a seasoned snake enthusiast. While Burmese Pythons are known for their gentle demeanor and huge size, taking care of this snake alone is like taking care of 10…

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Ball (Royal) Python

Ball (Royal) Python

  • September 24, 2017

Common Group: PYTHON SNAKES Common Name: Ball/Royal Python Scientific Name: Python regius Distribution: West Africa Size: 3' - 6' Ball pythons are among the most popular of snakes to keep as a pet. They are native to tropical western Africa,…

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