Best Snake Breeds That Like To Be Handled

Have you been considering buying yourself a snake as a pet? 

Are you overwhelmed with how many different snake breeds are out there? 

There are a lot out there, so you’re probably asking: 

What are the best snakes for handling?

Beginner snake owners should look into buying a ball python, corn snake, garter snake, California kingsnake, rosy boa, or gopher snake.

It’s crucial to understand the commitment of caring for a snake before you buy one, and beginner snakes are ideal for people new to snake handling. 

Continue reading if you’d like to learn more!

best snakes for handling

What Are The Best Snakes For Handling?

Snakes are fantastic pets to own! 

It is overwhelming to decide which snake to buy, as there are many different types. 

The best snakes for beginners are easy to take care of with the right direction and equipment. 

You should only consider buying a snake if you are committed to understanding their needs and doing your best to provide. 

Here are some of the best snakes for pets as a beginner.

Ball Python

Ball pythons are probably the most popular snake on the market, found in your average pet retail store. 

They are very docile and shy pets and come in various colors. 

Females grow up to 3 to 5′ feet (1.5m), while males are usually 2 to 3′ feet (.9m) in length. 

They are usually heavier snakes and can live for a long time, with some living as long as 30 years. 

Their enclosures require some humidity, which is why we don’t recommend screen tops; screen tops can allow humidity to escape. 

Due to their shy nature, we recommend hiding tops on both sides of the enclosure. 

Purchase these snakes for around $30.

Corn Snake

Corn snakes are trendy pets due to their docile nature and easy requirements. 

They stay relatively small and don’t need a large enclosure. 

Hatchlings sell for anywhere between $20 to $45. 

Their housing requirements are minimal, including a small enclosure with a screened top, a heating pad, a water bowl, a couple of places to hide, and a substrate. 

They need to be fed baby rats or mice.

Garter Snake

If you’ve seen a snake while walking around outside, it was likely a garter snake. 

These snakes are alert during the day, making them perfect for someone who wants a more active pet. 

They stay smaller at about 2-3′ feet (.9m) in length. 

They require a UV light source and eat a more varied diet, including rodents, worms, fish, and amphibians.

California Kingsnake

The name comes from their ability to kill and devour other snakes, though they are relatively easy to take care of as pets. 

Kingsnakes enjoy handling and stay relatively small, averaging 3 to 4′ feet (1.2m) in length. 

They require a small enclosure with a screened top, water bowl, a place to hide, substrate, and a tank heater. 

Feed them smaller mice while the snake is younger, and move onto larger mice as the snake grows. 

They cost around $50. 

These snakes generally don’t play friendly with other snakes, so keep them alone in their enclosure.

Rosy Boas

This type of snake is also considered docile and calm, with sizes ranging from 2 to 4′ feet (1.2m) in length. 

They sell on the market for $30-40. 

Find them at reptile stores rather than big retail pet stores. 

They come in various striped colors, like gray, brown, and orange. Because rosy boas are more inquisitive, screened tops are not recommended for their enclosure.

It may damage their noses. 

Otherwise, they have similar requirements to the snakes mentioned above and predominantly eat mice.

Gopher Snakes

Gopher snakes are commonly found in North America and cost around $50. 

They can grow larger, averaging from 3 to 6′ feet (1.8m) in length. 

They are heavier to handle and may require a larger enclosure as they grow. 

Gopher snakes like heat sources on one side of the enclosure to self-regulate their temperatures. 

Younger gopher snakes eat mice, while full-grown ones should be fed rats. 

These are fun snakes to own because they are interactive and playful.

What Are Some Things To Consider Before Buying A Snake?

Buying a snake is not something to take lightly. 

Snakes are a long-term commitment, with some living for over 20 years. 

Are you ready to take on the level of responsibility required of a longer living pet? 

You also need to make sure you’re comfortable handling and storing prey animals, whether those rodents are frozen or live. 

Also, do you have the proper space in your home for a snake? 

Enclosures can take up a decent amount of space depending on the size of your snake, and it’s essential to have enough room for them to explore and live. 

You also need to make sure you get your snake from a reputable breeder. 

Wild snakes are much harder to tame and are often the home of diseases and parasites. 

Lastly, check the laws for the area you live. 

Some snakes are considered illegal in certain places, or you may need a permit to own them.

What Types Of Snakes Should I Avoid?

In general, beginners should avoid large or venomous snakes or more complicated snakes to care for. 

Large constrictive snakes are dangerous for inexperienced snake owners. 

These snakes include boa constrictors, Burmese pythons, water snakes, green snakes, and anacondas.


The best snakes for pets are widely available, easy to handle, and long-living. 

Like before purchasing any other type of pet, make sure you have considered carefully if you have the time, energy, and resources to commit. 

However, snakes are a fascinating and rewarding pet to have at home with the proper planning and enthusiasm. 

Reading this article shows you’re willing to do some research to ensure you purchase the best snake for your lifestyle!