Before bringing any pet snake into your home, it is best to research the type of snake you consider acquiring. Boa constrictors are popular among snake pet owners. If you are a beginner thinking of bringing a boa constrictor into your home, you need to know some crucial things about these snakes.
So, are Boa constrictors good pets for beginners? Boa constrictors can make good pets for beginners that understand the size certain boas can reach and everything else associated with keeping boas. As they can comfortably maintain boa constrictors as pets without putting themselves or the boa constrictor at risk.
Beginners who do not understand much about keeping any snake, it is highly recommendable for these beginners to start with another snake other than a boa constrictor. As their size is one of the main reasons why boas are often not recommended for beginners.
Apart from boas, pythons are also popular among pet owners, and for this reason, maybe you are weighing between keeping a boa constrictor or a python. To decide, you need to know which between the two can make a better pet. Read on to find out which, between boas and pythons, make better pets, what boas make good pets, and much more.
Deciding to become a pet owner is always fun and exciting. However, snakes are not like most pets. Snakes have different needs and unique features that can make it tricky for beginners to keep some of them comfortably.
Boa constrictor snakes can make good beginner snakes for adults but not children, this is mainly due to their large size, that could put children at risk. A Boa constrictor can grow up to a length of 13 feet. Generally, adults that understand the size a certain boa can reach and other crucial information necessary to ensure a boa’s needs are met, and safety is maintained can comfortably keep a boa as a pet.
Meeting a pet boa constrictor’s needs is crucial for its overall health and contentment. For example, a boa owner needs a large enclosure that can fit a grown boa snake to maximize the boa’s growth potential. This means investing in a large and robust enclosure. To some beginners, investing in an enclosure with at least ten square feet of floor space once these snakes start growing might be challenging.
Apart from most beginners finding it challenging to invest in large and robust enclosures, handling grown boas can be challenging for beginners. Even though they can be calm and docile, boa constrictors are among the large snakes. Therefore, in addition to these snakes being suitable for owners that can provide large enough enclosures, boas make great pets for owners capable of handling large snakes. As a beginner, you might not be well-prepared to handle a large Boa snake.
Beginners must note that even though they are non-venomous snakes, boa constrictors’ bites can be painful. Therefore, these snakes need to be kept away from children. Boas usually bite when they feel irritable or stressed.
Snake enthusiasts must also keep in mind that boas can get used to occasional handling. They can enjoy sharing humans’ body warmth. Because of this, if children are left to handle them, boas can get around their necks and constrict them.
It is also a bad idea to allow a boa to wrap itself around an adult body. Even adults can be constricted considering the size of boas. Usually, owners should handle boa snakes gently to make them accustomed to humans and not allow the snakes to wrap themselves around their bodies.
What Boas Make Good Pets?
Boa snakes are diverse, and their diversity makes them one of the most popular pet snakes. Learning about what boas make good pets is crucial because such information can help you choose the pet that can suit your desires and circumstances.
Boas that make good pets include the Common Northern Boa (commonly known as the boa constrictor imperator, the Red-Tailed Boa (Boa Constrictor), the Rosy Boa (Charina Trivirgata), the Kenyan Sand Boa (Gongylophis Colubrinus), and the Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus Hortulana).
Here is a detailed description of the five types of boas that make good pets.
Common Northern Boa (Boa Constrictor Imperator)
Common Northern boas are the most common types of boa constrictors among boa constrictor enthusiasts. The boa constrictor imperator is native to parts of North, Central, and South America.
Due to their proximity to the U.S., common Northern boas have been famous among U.S. snake-keeping fans. Additionally, the world is interconnected, and the pet trade is filled with common boas, meaning they are popular even outside the U.S.
The boa constrictor imperator is docile. Some common Northern boas might be defensive and willing to bite if they sense a threat, but, generally, these snakes live up to their tame reputation. Common Northern boas are also easy-maintenance, and captive-bred common boas usually eat voluntarily. Common Northern boas can grow up to a length of six or seven feet depending on several factors. Some can grow even over seven feet. It usually depends on certain factors.
The boa constrictor imperator exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the females reaching larger sizes than males. A female can grow up to nine feet. Lastly, the majority of common Northern boas kept as pets today are kept and bred in captivity.
Red-Tailed Boa (Boa Constrictor)
The red-tailed boa is also called the boa constrictor or the common boa. It is a native of South America. When grown, the red-tailed boas are large, just as is with other boa constrictors. However, they seem to grow larger than common Northern boas.
Red-tailed boas and the common Northern boas are quite similar in several ways. However, most people prefer red-tailed boas to common Northern boas. Red-tailed boas are frequently kept and bred in captivity. However, they are produced with some regularity.
Quite a number of the red-tailed boas in the pet trade are wild-caught imported creatures. Because of this, they are more suited for snake enthusiasts with some skill. Additionally, red-tailed boas are better suited for experienced individuals because they can be challenging to maintain.
Rosy Boa (Charina Trivirgata)
Unlike the first two discussed boas, the rosy boa is significantly small. It is native to the American Southwest. They are docile creatures, although personalities may vary from snake to snake.
Rosy boas are not as big as the red-tailed boas and the boa constrictor imperators. They are easy to keep, and most of them are quite affordable too. These factors and several others make rosy boas perhaps one of the best options for beginners who feel they must keep boa constrictors as pets.
Kenyan Sand Boa (Gongylophis Colubrinus)
A Kenyan sand boa like the rosy boa is a good option for beginners. It is generally a relaxed creature and is relatively undemanding. Like the rosy boas, Kenyan sand boas are somewhat smaller than red-tailed boas and common Northern boas.
It is important to note that sand boas can be boring to the extent of causing keepers to lose interest in them. However, if such a personality is not an issue to a keeper, a Kenyan sand boa can be an excellent beginner option.
Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus Hortulana)
Amazon Tree boas often make gratifying pets, but an Amazon tree boa is not a good pet snake for a beginner. Amazon tree boas can be defensive, and some can be difficult to feed. Nonetheless, for those that can keep such a pet, Amazon tree boas are easy to find in the pet trade, and they are affordable.
Are Boas or Pythons Better Pets?
Being among the most popular pets, snake enthusiasts often find themselves torn between keeping pythons or boas.
Both pythons and boas can make great pets. Nonetheless, there are some differences you should keep in mind before choosing which snake to keep. Generally, boa constrictors are smaller than pythons. Whereas boas can grow up to 13 feet, pythons can grow up to a length of 20 feet.
Whereas boa constrictors are always eating well all-year-round, pythons tend to be picky sometimes. Even though boa constrictors are generally larger than pythons, they don’t eat as much as pythons. This is because boas have a slower metabolism.
Boas are often more laid-back than pythons. However, with proper handling and care, a python can be as tame as a boa constrictor. Pythons enjoy hiding and don’t enjoy climbing. Their lack of interest in climbing is because they do not live on trees when in the wild.
Pythons are oviparous, and boa constrictors are ovoviviparous. Oviparous snakes lay eggs, whereas ovoviviparous snakes incubate eggs internally and have live births. Also, pythons have a pair of upper jawbones, whereas boas don’t have these. Generally, boas have lesser teeth than pythons.
Ball pythons are the most popular among python enthusiasts. Other pythons that make good pets include:
- Burmese pythons and
- Reticulated pythons
Even though a beginner who understands the size of a boa can research everything to do with caring for boas and can keep it as a pet, it is generally not recommendable for beginners to keep boa constrictors. As much as they can make fun pets, boas are mostly better off with experienced snake enthusiasts.
However, if you feel you must keep a boa as a beginner after learning everything you need to know about boas and what you need to do to meet their needs in captivity, you should consider keeping one of the highly recommended types.
Apart from the ones discussed in this article, like the common northern, red-tailed, and amazon tree boas, several other boas make good pets. Since pythons are also popular, research more about boas and pythons before deciding on which snake to welcome into your new home.