Some kids bug their parents for a dog. But not all kids actually want a dog. If your child wants a more exotic pet, perhaps they've been dropping hints about how snakes are low-maintenance pets. Perhaps you're considering these hints, and with a bit of research, you might agree that some snakes are low maintenance, and of these snakes, ball pythons are about the easiest to obtain. But what can you expect from your potential new family member?
The Size of the Snake
If you were to adopt a puppy or a kitten, you would have a pretty clear idea of how big the animal will get once they reach adulthood. Snakes are a little different, and while a hatchling will only be around ten inches in length, they will grow considerably larger than that. Females are larger than males, growing from three to five feet in length. Males typically only reach two to three feet in length, so you should try to find a reputable breeder who sexes their hatchlings, since you might prefer a male for future ease of care.
The Size of the Enclosure
Although a young ball python can be perfectly comfortable in a smaller enclosure (and a terrarium is best), you might want to select an enclosure that will accommodate your new pet once they reach their full size. Otherwise you will need to keep upgrading their terrarium as they develop in size over the first few years of their life. An appropriately-large enclosure also allows you to set temperature variances throughout the space, allowing the ball python to regulate its body temperature by moving in and out of the warmer areas of the terrarium.
What Should Be Inside the Enclosure
A full size enclosure that will accommodate a full size snake also allows you to create a variety of different environments within the terrarium. This can include appropriate plants and base materials (rocks, tree bark, etc.), as well as a hollow log or other hiding place. Like any pet, snakes need stimulation and enrichment, and since you can't take your snake for a walk, this stimulation needs to be found inside their enclosure.
What the Snake Will Eat
Reputable breeders with ball pythons for sale will be able to advise you about the snake's best feeding schedule, and this is a great way to gauge your child's commitment to their potential pet. While they only need to be fed every few days (at most), they require rodents (rats and mice). Of course, these creatures won't be alive, and can be bought frozen from most pet stores, so your child will need to thaw a whole rodent and feed it to their ball python. If they don't have the stomach for this, you might need to take care of it yourself.
Yes, ball pythons are low maintenance pets, so perhaps you will need to start listening to your child's hints. For more information about ball pythons for sale, contact a local pet shop.