Pros and Cons of a Pet Snake!

I’ve had my corn snake, previously named Alhiss Cooper but after a little egg incident now Alanhiss Morisette, since April so I thought it was about time to give a list of pros and cons as a newbie snake mum! I’m definitely not an expert and some of them will vary from snake to snake, but this is what I’ve come to love and not so love since I’ve had her in my care!

Cons

I’m starting with cons because I think they’re the most important things to consider before getting any pets. The first would be the feeding. It might not bother some people but corn snakes do of course have to be fed mice. I use frozen ones because she’s a rescue snake and that’s what she was used to, but also because I’m vegan and definitely would not be able to deal with live feeding. You do get used to it, or at least I have, but it’s not the nicest thing to need to do every week.

Snakes can also be expensive. Luckily for me Alanhiss came with just about everything she needs, but if she grows I’ll likely have to buy her a new viv and they can be very expensive, especially for bigger snakes. You also need to have a heat source for them and a way to control that to prevent your snake from getting burnt. The bedding and mice I use are quite cheap, but getting fully set up for a new snake can easily cost £100’s to make sure they have everything they need. Vet bills can also really add up if you ever need to take your snake to one since chances are you’ll need to find a specialist.

People aren’t always the nicest either. There have been a lot of times that I’ve ended up talking about pets to people, mentioned I have a snake and had them be really nasty about how ‘scary’ and ‘gross’ snakes are. This is definitely one of the least important cons but it really annoys me!

They can also take up a lot of space. Corn snakes don’t grow particularly big but her viv is still huge to ensure she can fully stretch out and be comfortable. The bigger your snake, the more space they take up in your home and usually also the more expensive their viv will be. It is so important to make sure they have enough space though, it’s really not something you can put off or minimise to keep more space for yourself.

Finally, they can take a fair bit of effort when it comes to handling. Corn snakes are amongst the best for beginners, hence why I got one, but it still took me a fair while to be able to handle her without her try to desperately get away. If you haven’t really handled snakes before like I hadn’t it can be quite a nerve wracking experience, but similar to the feeding I’ve gotten pretty used to it. She’s only bitten me once and it didn’t even really hurt!

Pros

Now the fun bit! I think the first pro of having a snake is that they’re a really fascinating pet. Whether you’re handling them or just watching them explore their viv they’re really interesting to watch move around. They of course also shed their skin, which I think is really cool too! There’s just a lot of interesting things about snakes that you get to experience while owning one, and some of them are a bit worrying at first like when mine laid eggs, but most of it’s just really cool!

Once you’ve got your snake all set up, they’re really low maintenance. I change her bedding once a month (and scoop out her poop as it happens), feed her once a week and handle her every few days and that’s all she needs to keep her healthy and happy! The only thing I do daily for her is change her water and check that her heat mat is at the right setting.

I’ve seen a lot of people say that snakes don’t have a personality or show emotion but I call bullshit on that. She may not snuggle into me like my cats do, but she comes out of where she’s hiding in her viv if I speak to her and when I handle her she shows so much curiosity and playfulness. It’s definitely not the pet to get if you want affection, but I often enjoy just sitting about with around my shoulders both chilling out and that’s enough for me.

Finally, having a snake will make like 60% of the population think you’re badass. People are so amazed sometimes when they find out I have a snake, show them a picture of me with her around my neck and they look at me like I’m Chuck Norris or something (is that reference to old now?). It’s honestly pretty funny because she’s such a sweet snake and yet people look at her like she’s an 8ft python or something.

What are your feelings on snakes as pets? Would you ever have one?

-Dana

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