In this month’s article, we will be discussing a common fear that many face of whether keeping a snake as a pet is safe or even logical.

On Earth, there are over 3,000 species of different snakes. Some are deadly with poisonous venous and hot tempers. Others are as gentle as a breeze and completely safe for even children to play with! From all these various species, the most seen to be kept as pets are Ball Pythons, King Snakes, certain Boa Constrictors, Garter Snakes, Rat Snakes and Corn Snakes. The most common from all of these listed above would be the Ball Python Snake. In most general cases, the snakes that are often distributed in pet trade are those of easy-going nature and easy to handle by the owner and family.

Majority of people will fear that having a snake pet will lead to having their loves ones being bit and killed. Interestingly, statistics show that almost 800,000 individuals go to the doctor due to dog bites and around 400,000 people seek medical attention for cat bites. Pet snakes: Are they safe? In this month’s article, we will be discussing a common fear that many face of whether keeping a snake as a pet is safe or even logical. Only around 80,000 people approximately go to the emergency hospital for snake bite related incidents. Despite more than 1 million households having pet snakes, less than 10 fatalities occur in North America from such snake bites. In comparison, an individual is more likely to die or become seriously ill from a bee or wasp sting, than a household snake pet.

When one thinks of keeping a snake as a pet, certain dangerous points commonly come to mind. Venomous bites are one of the most common dangers that every individual likes to consider. It is important to keep in mind that in majority provinces and states, high venomous snakes are illegal to be owned. Rarely, certain special collectors will gain ownership of such species, but these cannot, however, be commonly owned. One of the safe snake species to keep as pets, known as the Garter Snake, is recorded to produce small amounts of venom, however this dose is harmless to a human, if bitten. Another concern many people will have is being constricted to death by a snake. Snakes will normally constrict around prey that they have hunted, by coiling around the victim and squeezing until the heartbeat stops. A large constrictor snake should only be kept as a pet by an experienced snake owner.

Some owners become concerned that snakes might spread disease to themselves or their loved ones. Like dogs and cats, snakes can also carry certain organisms in their waste, such as: Salmonella, Leptospirosis, Campylobacteriosis and Botulism. Owners simply need to wash their hands after handing feces or urine and to keep a clean environment for the pet and others. This can be said the same towards dog and cat owners as well.

Snake species that are excellent examples for children and beginner snake owners would be Western Hognose, Corn Snakes and Ball Pythons, Garter Snakes, Rough Green Snakes, Milk Snakes, Ringneck Snakes, California King Snakes and African Brown House Snakes. Snake species that are best to be cared for only by very experienced snake owners are Green Anacondas, Reticulated Pythons, Boa Constrictors, Burmese Pythons, Cobras, African Rock Pythons, Reticulated, and Elephant Trunk Snakes.

It is important to keep in mind that in majority provinces and states, high venomous snakes are illegal to be owned. Rarely, certain special collectors will gain ownership of such species, but these cannot, however, be commonly owned.

 Dr. Sifti Bhullar