Like any new pet, the snake you wish to purchase should be thoroughly researched before you bring it into your home. It is absolutely essential that you know how large your pet will be when it is full grown, what sort of enclosure it will need and whether or not it will require special heating or a winter cooling period. Frozen feeder rodents can be ordered in bulk and shipped, but if you intend to purchase feeders as needed, then you must ensure that your local pet shops will be able to supply you with the appropriate sized prey items necessary to keep your snake well fed and healthy.
Corn Snakes are an excellent choice for beginners due to the fact that they are fairly easy to care for and will not require special heating or lighting. Many will be perfectly healthy at room temperature as long as your home is not air conditioned or drafty. They are generally voracious eaters and will need nothing larger than adult mice or small rats when they reach full size (3 - 5 feet). If you're looking for something a little more exotic, Ball Pythons are a beautiful and docile smaller snake, though they are native to Africa and will require higher temperatures than the North American colubrid species.
There are five snake species considered dangerous to human life and unless you have been keeping snakes for a number of years and have plenty of space in which to build a very large custom made enclosure, we would strongly advise against purchasing these species no matter how reasonable their price may seem. Included in this list are the Burmese Python, the Reticulated Python, the African Rock Python, the Scrub Python and the Green Anaconda. Occasionally included in this list is the Common Boa Constrictor. At adult size, none of these snakes can be handled safely by one person alone. Humans have been bitten and constricted by these species on very rare occasions and if help is unavailable, this can be fatal. Please do not even consider acquiring one of these giant constrictors unless you are an experienced keeper who is able to house and care for your pet safely. In addition to this, please be aware that many of cities and townships restrict or prohibit ownership of certain snake species, so always check your local bylaws when considering a new pet.
We have worked with various different snake species here at Pawley's Reptiles during the past decade, but the smaller species of pythons and boas have always been a favourite. At one point we had Children's Pythons, Spotted Pythons, Calabar Burrowing Pythons, Ball Pythons, Solomon Island Ground Boas, Cook's Tree Boas, Rainbow Boas, Colombian Red-Tailed Boas and many others in our collection, but now we only keep a few of the more colourful or docile species for educational purposes. Photos of some of our past and present pets can be found in the gallery below.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about snake care or how to choose a pet that best suits your lifestyle. If we do not have the answers you need, we'll put you in touch with someone who does.
Snakes Photo Gallery