When looking at snakes for sale, many potential first-time owners may be deeply curious about whether or not these reptiles make for docile pets. After all, it’s an unfortunate fact that snakes (even non-venomous ones) are maligned and stereotyped to be aggressive and harmful.
While, yes, snakes make for wonderful, calm, low-key pets that are very tolerant of (and may even enjoy) handling, there are a few things a first-time fancier may want to consider. That is, the natural behavior of these animals and how they may change in captivity should be taken into consideration.
The Natural Behavior for Most Snakes
In the wild, most snakes that make popular pets would be considered mesopredators. This simply means that they are (as the name implies) in the middle of the food chain. They both prey on others and are preyed upon. This means that many snakes choose to live in relative quiet, attempting to keep hidden in a tree or burrow. Being solitary animals, they prefer to not be interacted with.
With this being said, most snakes can absolutely still be non-aggressive and will tolerate the presence of other animals that don’t pose a threat to them.
Of course, the natural behavior of a snake can change vastly depending on its species. Some snakes are nocturnal (such as the ball python), crepuscular (corn snakes), or diurnal (milk snakes). Different snakes also have varying levels of activity. Some are simply more defensive and fearful than others. Whatever snake you choose as a pet will entirely depend on your own preferences and lifestyle.
How Snakes Behave in Captivity
From birth, your snake will likely be handled by its breeder, seeing it during check-ins and feedings. This will help it acclimate not only more to the presence and sensory stimuli that humans bring but the handling that will be required for future interactions with its owner.
As this hypothetical snake’s owner, you can do your part by making sure that your pet lives comfortably and bond with it in a way that ensures their comfort around you.
With proper nurturing, a snake for sale should be a perfectly docile pet that thrives in the home you give it. It’s worth reiterating that a healthy, captive-bred snake should be perfectly docile and amicable in your company. If your snake is exhibiting any form of sudden aggression, there may be some underlying health complications, and we would advise you to seek out a vet that is experienced in the care of exotic animals.
A few signs of sudden stress and aggression in snakes are:
- Your snake is leveraged in an “S” shape.
- It is rapidly shaking its tail.
- Tongue flicking.
- Closely observing various movements around it.
- Tightly constricting your arm.
Snakes make for fairly popular pets, and for good reason. They are relatively low maintenance, very tolerant of handling, and make for good companions when socialized properly. As long as you respect this animal for what it is, and understand its needs/body language, everyone should be able to coexist happily.
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