Best Snakes to Have as Pets

Reptiles are becoming more popular as pets. According to PFMA(Pet Food Manufacturers Association) snakes are in .4% of homes in the United States in 2020.

It seems like a small percentage, but that’s approximately 1.3 million homes! There are lots of snakes that make great pets. Let’s take a look at the best ones.

Don’t worry I won’t be mentioning anything venomous here. 

These are the top snakes species to have as pets including corn snakes, milk snake, ball pythons and more! Let’s start with the best friendly snakes to have as pets. 

Make sure you know THIS before getting your first snake.

Friendliest Pet Snake

Snakes have a bad reputation for being scary, mean and vicious, but not all are bad. People fear venomous snakes like cobras and rattlesnakes, but there are tons of species that are non-venomous and docile.

The way dog breeds share common traits amongst each other, certain snake species share commonalities in behavior. 

This is one of the tamest species that you can find today

Corn Snakes

I have a corn snake and can vouch for their friendliness. They are a North American species that can be found in fields, forests, farms and various other places.

Corn snakes are known for being nice, docile, and rarely striking.

They are a fleeing type of snake so they don’t constrict around your hand like a ball python would.

Best Friendliest snake to have as pets
Best Friendliest snake to have as pets

Biting and striking are their last lines of defense. Corn snakes would rather “buck” (push against) you or run away….well slither away. 

They only grow to be 4-6 feet long as adult. In captivity they live to be 10-15 years. I’ve had mine for 7 years and he’s been in a 20 gallon tank his entire life, thriving. 

Best Snake to Have as a Pet

You might think the friendliest snake is the best snake to have as a pet, but there is another snake that is friendly and docile and overall easy to care for. 

Ball pythons

Ball pythons make the best snake to have as a pet since they are great snakes to have overall. Here are 3 reasons why: 

  1. They are easy to handle
  2. They are low maintenance 
  3. They stay relatively small

Ball pythons like to feel secure by gripping onto things which makes them great for handling. Unlike a corn snake, they will stay wrapped around your arm to feel secure and won’t try to squirm away.

They only get to be 3-5 feet as adults so they can live in a 30 gallon tank their entire lives. They are docile in nature especially when as adults. 

You can even make an enclosure out of a storage tub by drilling air holes, filling it with substrate and necessities and adding a heat source.

Check out this article where I list the different types of enclosures ideal for ball pythons.

blue-eyed lucy

Best Pet Snake for Small Spaces

Ball pythons and corn snakes are two species of snakes that stay relatively small(4 feet or so). Get this, there is a friendly snake that stays even smaller. 


hog nose

The hognose snake average length is between 1 and 3 feet. So cute! These little noodles won’t wrap around you like a ball python; they are a bit more squirmy.

Even so, they are perfect for living in a place with not much room to spare since their maximum size is only 3 feet.

Getting a hognose, like most snakes, is a long time commitment since they live about 15-20 years in captivity which is about average among pet snakes.

OK. Here’s the thing. I lied when I said I won’t be talking about venomous snakes because this one is.

So why have one as a pet?

Well, their venom is only strong enough to harm small creatures like the ones they would hunt in the wild. Technically their saliva is venomous, but they will rarely strike as a defense mechanism.

They are actually known to puff up to look “scary.” They are also known to play dead, laying on their back and sticking their tongue out. 

Best Pet Snake for Kids

You may think that all of these friendly snakes are great for kids. They are indeed, but there is one snake species in particular that wins this category. The garter snake.

Garter Snake

GGernPhoto by Pixabay on

The Garter snake takes the spot for the best snake for kids because they’re known to be docile, they are small and they have the shortest lifespan.

I know the lifespan shouldn’t be a huge factor, but kids get bored with things quickly so this one has the best solution for that. Their lifespan is about 10 years in captivity which is still a commitment, but significantly shorter than most snakes mentioned here.

They can get up to 4.5 feet, but they stay slender so they are easy to hold especially for little ones(with supervision of course). 

So, if you have an awesome kid that wants a snake for a pet, definitely keep this on in mind.

Not sure which one fits your lifestyle? Here are our TOP 3 SNAKES TO HAVE AS PETS.

Best Snakes for Beginners

Corn snakes, ball pythons, and garter snakes are easy to take handle, low maintenance and docile, but there are more snakes that have the same qualities that deserve a spot on this list.

Rosy Boas

Rosy boas are a the best snake for beginners, here’s why. They grow to be up about 3 feet in length, and like the hognose will live a happy life in a 10-15 gallon tank.

Rosy boas are nocturnal so they’ll be more active at night and during the day they’ll mostly be hiding.  

Like many of these snakes mentioned rosy boas rarely strike and are easy to care for.

Milk Snakes

Another snake that is beginner friendly and has the same care qualities as a corn snake is a milk snake. Milk snakes are a subspecies of a species called king snakes. In other words, all milk snakes are king snakes, but not all king snakes are milk snakes.

The reason this milk snakes are beginner friendly and not the entire king snake family is because other species of king snakes are known to be a little snippy. Milk snakes, however, have a more docile personality in comparison to their king snake cousins.

They are known to be one of the friendliest snakes, alongside a corn snake of course. 

Are you sold yet? If you are check out the Top 5 places to buy ball pythons


In the end there are plenty of species of snakes to choose from when deciding on a pet. Corn snakes, garter snakes and rosy boas are amongst the best snake for you and your needs.

All of the snakes in this list are easy to care for, docile in nature, and most importantly fun to have. Snakes have a bad reputation for being mean, venomous, and pesky but hopefully at least one of these changes your mind.