Snakes might be enough to make a lot of people run, but did you know they can actually make great additions to the family? In fact, certain more laid-back breeds are a popular choice for plenty, but are ball pythons really good pets?
How do ball pythons behave?
There’s a good reason ball pythons earned their name: they ball up to sleep or when they feel threatened. However, did you know that ball pythons also periscope to see the world around them? One of the best things about this breed of snakes is how they’re one of the most relaxed breeds you can buy, making them a great addition to the family. They grow around one foot a year for approximately three years before filling out and can live for around 30 years.
How do you house a ball python?
Ball pythons aren’t the most active breed of snake, meaning they don’t need a huge enclosure. A rough rule is to have a vivarium as long as at least one-third of their size, with no maximum. They need a substrate, such as astroturf, shredded bark, or even newspaper which needs to be spot cleaned and changed periodically. Ball pythons, like many other snacks, appreciate plenty of places to hide and branches to wrap around, as well as a water dish.
What do ball pythons eat and drink?
Mice and rats are all that’s on the menu for ball pythons. Young snakes need to be fed smaller critters every five to seven days. In contrast, larger snakes don’t need feeding as much – potentially leaving up to two weeks between meals depending on the season. It’s often a good idea to move your snake out of its enclosure to help with taming, but be sure to leave them to digest before moving them back. Fresh water should be offered at all times.
Do ball pythons have common health issues?
Sometimes, ball pythons have a habit of not eating for a while. This can often be down to the changing season or mating times of the year. While this usually doesn’t mean anything, it’s essential to keep an eye on your snake to ensure they don’t lose too much weight. Ball pythons can also get mites, which are easily treated with spray available at many pet shops or from a reptile veterinarian.
How do you choose a ball python?
Choosing a ball python doesn’t have to be hard. However, be sure to check it’s been bred in captivity to ensure you aren’t purchasing one caught from the wild. You also want to check they have no breathing problems, such as bubbles around their nose or wheezing. Take a look at their eyes to ensure they’re clear and keep an eye on how they’re handled. Ball pythons should grip firmly and be relatively calm.
Are ball pythons really good pets? In short: yes! That is, if you’re willing to welcome a snake into your home. Their docile nature and easy-to-keep personalities certainly mean they shouldn’t cause a fuss.