Snakes may not be the most conventional pet, but they can make good pets for kids. Having a snake will help teach a child responsibility, and it will also give them an easy way to learn about the animal kingdom. But not every type of snake makes a good kids' pet. Here's a look at a few types of snakes to consider as your child's first.
These snakes are not named such because they eat corn, but rather because of the markings on their bellies, which look like pieces of corn. The average corn snake grows to about 4 feet long and is very docile. These snakes move slowly, are usually okay with being picked up, and rarely strike or hiss. Corn snakes only need to be fed every one to two weeks, which is a responsibility your child can easily handle. They eat frozen rodents that have been thawed to room temperature. Corn snakes can live for up to 20 years, so prepare for a long-term commitment. This is a pet your child can keep as they continue to grow and change.
Gopher snakes grow to about 5 feet long, but they have pretty wide bodies, so they do get heavy. They are very active and therefore fun to watch, and yet they are friendly to their handlers. Gopher snakes do require larger enclosures because of their high activity level. They're not picky and will eat small mice, pieces of chicken, or even rats. It is important not to overfeed these snakes, so you'll need to keep an eye on what your child gives them.
Another mellow snake, the ball python gets its name from its tendency to curl into a ball. These snakes are beautiful with their shiny, black and brown skin. They can live up to 30 years, making them another long-term commitment. A mature ball python is about 5 feet long, but it can take about three years to reach this size. Ball pythons need plenty of space as they mature, and they need to be fed mice or rats every one to two weeks. These snakes are active and alert, but they respond well to human interaction as long as you don't startle them with sudden movements.
All three of these snake breed make good choices for a kid's first pet. Look for a reptile breeder near you, and pick out your perfect snake.
For more information about reptiles for sale, contact a local pet store.