9 Snake Species That Make Great Pets

Many people are intimidated by snakes, but there are many species that make great pets for committed owners. They include carpet pythons and hognose snakes.

Apr 30, 2024By Molly Weinfurter
snake species that make great pets

Snakes are commonly believed to be scary and dangerous, but that’s not always the case. Many snakes are docile and easy to care for, making them great pets. They’re even cute in their own unique way. However, like with any pet, you should research a snake species before bringing them home.

Carpet pythons, ball pythons, and other varieties make great additions to families and solo reptile enthusiasts alike. Here, we discuss their unique traits and other care considerations.

9. Western Hognose Snake

hognose snake on sand
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hognose snakes are one of the cutest snakes because of their upturned noses. They use their unique snouts to help them burrow, so they need plenty of substrate in their enclosure. They’re typically friendly and are content with being handled. However, they may hiss, flatten their head, or play dead if they feel threatened.

They’re smaller than many pet snakes, only growing about three to four feet long. However, there are much smaller snake species in the wild.

8. Carpet Python

carpet python face
Image credit: Pexels

Carpet pythons can make great pets, but they’re ideal for experienced owners. They can live 25 to 30 years in captivity, so they’re a big commitment. They also need lots of space because they can grow up to 12 feet long, but 6 to 8 feet is more common.

Carpet pythons get their name because their beautiful markings resemble a fancy carpet. They usually have a pattern of blotches and stripes. When they’re young, they may try to nip at their owners, but they become tamer as they age.

7. Gopher Snake

gopher snake
Image credit: Unsplash

At first glance, they might look like a rattlesnake, but gopher snakes are not venomous and don’t have fangs. Like many animals, they may bite if threatened. Their bites can still be painful, but they’re not dangerous like many other snake bites.

They’re popular pets because they’re usually tame while also being more active than other species. They typically grow between three and seven feet long. They love to bask in the sun and swim, so they need an enclosure that can encourage those habits.

6. Green Tree Python

green tree python black background
Image credit: Unsplash

Green tree pythons are beautiful snakes with vibrant coloring. However, they should only be kept by experienced owners because they need lots of space to explore. They’re arboreal snakes, so they need a tall enclosure that’s full of branches for them to climb on.

Even though these snakes can reach five feet long, they look smaller because they curl up into a clump when they hang on branches. Their bright green coloring helps them blend into the leaves around them.

5. Garter Snake

garter snake on log
Image credit: Pexels

Garter snakes are commonly found in the wild across North America, but they also make great pets. When looking for a garter snake, always buy a captive-bred one and never take them out of the wild. These snakes may not be as unique as other snake species, but they’re easy for pet owners of all experience levels to care for.

These snakes are typically active and docile, making them fun to observe and interact with. They come in a variety of color patterns, and they only grow two to three feet long. If you don’t like the idea of serving rodents to snakes, a garter snake might be a good choice for you. Garter snakes are fine eating worms and fish without any mice in their diets.

4. Kingsnake

kingsnake in water dish
Image credit: Pexels

Despite its vibrant coloring, the kingsnake isn’t dangerous. In fact, the most venomous snakes in the world often have dull colors. Kingsnakes don’t have venom to kill their prey with, so instead, they constrict animals when hunting. While they’re not a threat to their owners, they can kill other kingsnakes, so they should be kept alone.

Kingsnakes can live over 20 years in captivity, making them a pretty big commitment. They’re also known to be escape artists, so they need a secure enclosure. These snakes are popular as pets because they’re curious, so it’s fascinating to watch them explore their space.

3. Corn Snake

corn snake face
Image credit: Pixabay

Corn snakes are another species that looks like it could be intimidating, but it’s a docile snake species. They’re friendly and gentle, which is why many people love caring for them. It’s easy to handle and feed them, but they’re nocturnal, so they may burrow during the day.

Their coloring usually includes a pattern of red, orange, brown, and yellow. They rarely bite, but they eat mice, so they’re not ideal for squeamish pet owners. Their curious nature makes them escape artists, and they can grow up to six feet long.

2. Rosy Boa

rosy boa on plant
Image credit: Unsplash

Rosy boas can make great pets for beginners because they’re docile and easy to care for. They’re tame and rarely bite, making them stress-free to handle in most cases. They have a white, brown, and pink pattern.

While rosy boas can be great beginner snakes, they can live over 25 years, so they’re still a big commitment. Luckily, they’re on the smaller side, only reaching about four feet long.

1. Ball Python

ball python curled up
Image credit: Unsplash

These snakes may look intimidating, but ball pythons are one of the easiest snakes to care for. They have thicker bodies than other snakes, but they only grow three to five feet long. They’re not venomous and they don’t have fangs. While they can still deliver a painful bite if threatened, they’re typically docile and rarely harm their humans.

One of the reasons ball pythons are so popular is because they come in a wide range of color patterns, often including white, yellow, and brown. They’re nocturnal, and if they get scared, they’ll curl up into a ball, hence their name. They can live about 20 to 30 years in captivity.

Snakes aren’t as scary as they seem. Many snake species can make great pets, so if you’re interested in one of the snakes above, do some research to make sure they’re the right fit for you.

Molly Weinfurter
By Molly Weinfurter

Molly has over 5 years of experience writing about animals for various websites. She has two pets of her own: a small dog (Mabel) and an axolotl (Wooper). She’s extremely passionate about helping animals in need, so she regularly volunteers with animal organizations by fostering pets, helping at adoption events, and educating about puppy mills.