Are you wondering if you can take your ball python outside in public?
In your selfless desire to be a good pet snake owner, you undoubtedly want your pet snake to feel the grass under its belly and live the life of a wild snake, so you want to take your snake to your local park.
But is it a good idea? Could it do more harm than good?
Let’s take a look at what the experts recommend for your pet snake and their outdoor adventures.
Do Pet Snakes Enjoy Being Outside in Fresh Air?
This should be the first question you ask yourself if you consider taking your ball python outside in fresh air. Ball pythons are reptiles which means they are temperature sensitive.
Interestingly, some pet snakes actually do enjoy being outside. Take King Cobras, for example. They are insanely inquisitive and enjoy being out and about exploring their environment.
But your question is can I take my ball python outside?
The answer is maybe.
Ball pythons are not quite as social and gregarious as king cobras. They tend to be a bit shier than other wild snakes you might be familiar with.
The ball python is a sluggish ambush hunter.
They’re even known to become a bit plumper with old age because they simply would rather stay in their enclosure and be fed.
But what if you have a ball python who enjoys being outdoors? How long should you let your pet snake be outside?
How Long Can A Ball Python Go Outside?
If you have a pet snake and want to give them the best life, you probably want to take your snake outdoors.
Is it a bad idea to take them outside?
Adult ball pythons are pretty flexible–pun intended–they are typically happy snakes.
But this is not like walking your dog.
Snakes shouldn’t go outside unless the temperature is warm enough.
Typically you don’t want to take your snake outdoors whenever it’s super cold outside. We’ll get into the details a bit later.
Depending on how cold or warm it is, you can take your snake outside as long as they are comfortable being outdoors.
Can I Take My Pet Snake Out in Public?
Being outside and being outside in public are two different things.
We mentioned that the ball python is slightly shier than some of their reptile friends. For this reason, if your pet snake is uncomfortable around many people, you may not want to take them out in public.
Or, you could adjust where you take your pet snake out in public.
For example, your local park might be more comfortable for stressed snakes who don’t love being around many people.
That allows them to slither around without running into people who want to touch them. Having a pet reptile is a novelty to most people, so don’t be shocked if everyone and their mother wants to touch, pet, and see your ball python.
However, a captive snake might enjoy this experience because they’re used to being in an enclosure. Open space is enriching for them.
What Temperature Can I Bring My Ball Python Outside In?
Your pet snake wants to go outside! Good news!
But what temperature is acceptable for your ball python?
Experts recommend temperatures of no colder than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remember, snakes are cold-blooded animals, requiring warmer and cooler zones than most other creatures. If temperatures drop below 70 degrees, your snake’s body will begin to shut down.
And if those temperatures persist, your snake will die.
Clearly, it’s important that you keep your snake inside if it’s a cool or cold day. If you want to take a ball python with you on errands or just to your local park, make sure it is plenty warm enough for them to stay healthy.
How Long Can You Have a Ball Python Out of Its Cage?
How long should it be outside the enclosure if you’ve decided to take your snake for a walk?
We recommend no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Ball pythons like to be safe and warm. They need that time to be isolated and in a place, they’re familiar with. Your snake’s enclosure should provide the peaceful environment they need to thrive as reptiles.
Don’t forget, another reason to keep your ball python in its cage is that you don’t want to have to deal with your snake escaping.
Can I Handle My Ball Python Every Day?
Obviously, if you have venomous snakes, you won’t handle them at all, let alone daily.
But the ball python isn’t a venomous snake.
So, how often should you handle them?
You can handle your snake 1-2x weekly, but no more than once daily. Snakes don’t require socialization, unlike dogs or other more sociable animals. Their health isn’t dependent on their relationship with their human.
However, handling your snake regularly helps it stay tame and gives it some exercise.
Tips for Handling Ball Pythons
Wash Your Hands First
Wash your hands before you remove your snake from its enclosure. Then, add sanitizer to your hands to ensure all bacteria is completely removed.
Avoid Handling Your Snake After Meals
Don’t handle your snake within 24-48 hours after they’ve had a meal. This can lead to stressed snakes and regurgitation, which is traumatic and can cause your snake’s death. Also, be sure to avoid handling your snake if its eyes turn blue or opaque.
Don’t Move Too Quickly
Snakes stress easily. They don’t like to be scared. So, it’s a good idea to avoid fast movements. This can pose a risk to your pet snake. Handle your snake gently without fast movements, and you’ll be taking good care of your snake.
What Should You Do If Your Snake Escapes?
If you’re pet snake escapes, how do you find them?
There are a few steps you can take if your pet snake escapes while you’re in public or outside.
Step 1. Know where snakes like to be.
Snakes typically hide in a warm, dark, quiet place. You’ll want to look under furniture and appliances if you lose your snake in your house. You can set up basking spots throughout your home to lure your snake out and into a safe place.
But if you’re outdoors, check out similar spots. Maybe look for rocks that are in the sun–snakes love warm rocks!
Step 2. File a Police Report
Give the police a description of your snake, contact details, and address. They will contact you if someone runs across your snake.
Step 3. Call Veterinarians
Provide local veterinarians with your phone number and full details about your snake. Then stay by your phone to ensure that you get the call if and when someone finds your snake.
Should You Take Your Ball Python Out In an Enclosure?
Yes! Always use a carrier when you take your ball python out in public.
Make sure the carrier you’re using is made of plastic or fabric, but never glass.
Keep in mind snakes need ventilation. Make sure to put air holes in your enclosure to keep your snake healthy and happy while you’re out and about.
As you travel with your pet snake, do not carry anything that isn’t fastened down in the carrier. Because as you travel and hit bumps in the road, this could frighten your snake, leaving them vulnerable to stress.
It’s also a good idea to place your snake inside a pillowcase to keep them calm.
They make snake carriers specifically for travel, so check out your options and get a carrier with soft sides and can safely transport your pet.
Keep An Eye On Your Snake After Traveling
Ball pythons don’t need outside air. Taking them outside can actually lead to stress on your snake.
It’s important to look for the warning signs of any sort of health-related issue after your journey.
The signs of health problems:
- Your snake is refusing to eat. Stressed snakes tend not to eat. Watch out for missed mealtimes.
- Look for increased aggressiveness. If your snake is more aggressive than usual, that could be a sign that your snake is ill.
- Keep an eye on the snake’s shedding process. If this changes or becomes erratic, it could mean they are having health-related issues. Observe the skin as it sheds and look for any holes. If you notice them, call a professional.
- -Identify any discharge coming from your python’s mouth, nose, or eyes. If you notice any, be sure to call your vet.
- -Is your snake moving differently? If your snake is moving as before, then it likely is okay. If it has changed how it moves, it could be sick.
These are the signs of a serious health issue in your snake. Get to a vet as quickly as possible if you spot these signs.
Taking your snake outdoors is a risk. It does pose dangers to your snake, including death. If you are insistent on taking your snake outside, be sure to follow proper safety protocols. Keeping your pet calm and safe while you drive is of the most important concerns to keep in mind.
Follow proper handling recommendations, however, and your pet should do just fine outdoors.