Are Ball Pythons Nice Pets?

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The ball python is a moderately sized constrictor native to central and west Africa. They have since migrated to pet stores, zoos, reptile shows, and family homes all around the world. Due to their popularity, you have likely heard plenty about them. You may even be considering purchasing one at this moment. Whether you’re curious or actively looking for a new pet, it’s important to better understand this wonderful animal by asking certain questions. That includes inquiring as to whether these snakes make nice, loving pets. With a better understanding of the nature of these animals, you will be more equipped to provide it with the best life possible.  

1.What is “Being Nice”

When assessing an animal’s temperament as “nice” or not, we typically take a few factors into consideration. These include assessing if it’s tolerant of being handled and showing obvious signs that it wants to be in your company. While the ball python may not show what we think of as “affection” or “love”, they are still highly desired for their docile, low-key personalities. This is a snake that will be happy lazing about all day in its enclosure. While ball pythons may not show obvious signs of wanting to be around you, it’s not like they are totally ambivalent to your presence. In fact, it is often noted that these snakes have definite preferences to who handles and feeds them.  

2.Socializing Your Ball Python

Part of the trick to having a well-tempered snake who will be able to spend an extended amount of time around you is listening to what it has to say. If your snake is showing obvious signs of distress, such as vomiting, not eating, hissing, or anxiously moving about its enclosure then it is time to make some changes. There are certain occasions where you shouldn’t handle your snake unless it’s an emergency, such as when it is in shed or right after your receive it in the mail.

Socializing your snake and having it become accustomed to your presence will also play a factor in its temperament. You want to spend plenty of time around its enclosure, and make sure that you provide it with plenty of positive, stress-free interactions with you.

3.Dos and Don’ts of Handling

While handling a tame ball python isn’t necessarily difficult, it’s still important that you avoid common mistakes that first time snake handlers make and stick to best practices.

Do: Provide it with plenty of enrichment items. This will keep it more relaxed and even-tempered.

Don’t: Pick it up by the head or tail.

Do: Patiently wait for your snake to climb up your arm rather than grabbing it.

Don’t: Directly hand feed your snake.

Do: Feed it with tongs.

Final Thoughts

The ball python is known for being an excellent first reptile pet for a good reason. It’s a low-maintenance adorable reptile with an unobtrusive, relaxed personality. Overall, you can expect your ball python’s temperament to be predictable regardless of morph. If you seek out a ball python for sale from a reputable breeder, you can expect to enjoy the company of a stable, friendly, healthy animal for a long time to come.   

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