This is the fourth in a series of guest blog posts by my 10-year-old daughter, Zoe. Be sure to read her other “kid’s eye view” posts, too.
Is your grade school or older kid asking for a snake? Well, you should get them one!
First of all: snakes are not slimy or scary. I cannot say this enough. Snakes have hundreds of tiny scales that feel smooth and dry, not slimy. I will tell you what is slimy, though: a dog’s mouth.
Snakes are not wet unless you bathe them. And I know you will think they might get wet by peeing or pooping on themselves, but actually they are quite clean. You see, they only pee and poop once a week at most – and typically only in certain areas of their enclosure. Snakes, when well cared for, are generally odorless and super easy to clean up after.
The other thing that bothers me is the number of people who are scared of these elegant creatures. The non-venomous snakes bred and sold as pets are typically gentle and calm. They can only eat small prey, so unless you are a rat or mouse – or smell like one! – you have nothing to fear.
Yes, snakes have the ability to bite – but that goes for anything with a mouth. It is actually quite rare to be bitten by a well-socialized, captive-bred snake – and it’s no worse than a dog or cat bite. I hold my snakes at least weekly with no problems.
I cannot promise you the same with wild snakes though. Please, if you do consider getting a snake, do not take them from the wild. There are many fun snake breeds that are captive bred. These animals should not be feared.
So, why get a snake?
Snakes are easier to take care of and keep clean than common pets like hamsters, dogs and cats. Did you know snakes only eat about once a week – or even once a month for some adult snakes?
Snakes are not furry or cuddly, but they feel wonderful to the touch and many snakes seem to enjoy being held as they are cold-blooded and people feel warm. Snakes are fascinating to watch and learn about because they are so unique.
Honestly, the worst problem you might have with a pet snake is an escape attempt – but even that can be easily prevented with proper safeguards.
Now, let’s talk about good beginner snakes. Get your kid a garter snake! Garter snakes are not only cute but will eat pretty much anything, including fish, mice, chicken, etc. I personally started with Ball pythons, which are wonderful pets but can be picky eaters. Then I added a Hognose snake which is a lot of fun but they can also be picky eaters!
Anyway, if you ever want a snake or any animal for that matter, do your research! We really like the Youtube channel Snake Discovery for excellent educational content about snakes.
Purchasing or adopting any live animal is a commitment to give them the best life you can. If you truly want a snake, show this to your parents – and feel free to ask me any questions you have in the comments below.