Which Pet Snakes Stay Small?

When I took the leap of faith to get my kids their first pet, I was stunned by how difficult it was to teach them proper care techniques. I ended up enrolling them in grooming and care classes through my local pet store. While there, we learned a lot of tips and tricks for taking care of many common household pets. I knew that others could benefit from this information, so I decided to create this site to help. Whether you've had family pets for a while or you're getting ready to buy your kids their first, this site can help you be adequately prepared.

Which Pet Snakes Stay Small?

27 July 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Snakes are fascinating and relatively undemanding pets, but they're also a long-term commitment that can quickly grow beyond the confines of a starter tank. If you've been thinking about getting a pet snake for a while now, you might be worried about the scale of your new responsibilities. While large snakes are more impressive, they also require more food, space, and careful handling. A smaller snake species may be better suited to your lifestyle. Consider one of these varieties that are docile, widely available, and never grow too large. 

Rosy Boas

Rosy boas are one of only two boa species found in the United States. Their natural habitat extends from southwestern states like Arizona through northwestern Mexico. Rosy boas like a hot environment, so don't skimp on the heaters. They come in many color varieties, with a common pattern of three long stripes running vertically. These snakes are easy keepers and don't mind human handling, making them an ideal beginner's pet. 

Western Hognoses

Western hognoses are more suited for homes that will handle them less. You can easily recognize them by their short snouts and banded patterns similar to rattlesnakes. And like rattlesnakes, hognoses boast a unique threat display, flattening their heads to appear wider. They are also armed with a very mild venom, but even when threatened, they rarely bite humans.  

Corn Snakes

The corn snake is a brilliantly colored addition to any family. Their name stems not from their preferred habitat or diet, but from the bright patterns of their scales, which are said to resemble maize. As you might expect, these constrictors are available in any number of hues and patterns and are some of the flashiest snakes on the market. 


Another beauty pageant winner, members of the kingsnake genus are often mistaken for venomous coral snakes. These are hardy snakes with a range running from Canada to Mexico. Perhaps the most popular kingsnake species is the milk snake, but many varieties are kept in captivity. Milk snakes alone come in several subspecies, each varying in their potential adult length. Be sure you know the expected size of your baby snake before taking it home. 

Gopher Snakes

Gopher snakes are widespread across North America and similarly well adapted to captivity. Like hognoses, gopher snakes may perform threat displays with a flattened head and shaking tail, but they're not venomous. They're notable for their calm, inquisitive natures, making them popular snakes for handling. These snakes are, however, also somewhat infamous for making messes in their habitats. 

If you'd like to purchase your first snake but still aren't sure which one is right for you, don't hesitate to speak to an expert. Any reputable breeder with reptiles for sale will be happy to answer your questions and make recommendations. 

For more information about reptiles for sale, contact a local pet shop.