Snakes: 11 Things You Should Know (Very Important)

Snakes make interesting pets, and there are numerous types of snakes you can choose to keep at home. Some of the popular snakes kept as pets include corn snakes, ball pythons to boa constrictors.

Check out 11 amazing things about snakes below.

1. Is It Illegal To Walk Around With a Snake?

Pet snakes spend most of their time locked in tanks; therefore, taking them for a walk may seem like a good idea. Most people take their snakes for walks in public by carrying them in small cages. However, there are laws regarding taking pets out in public, and they also affect snakes too.

So, is it illegal to walk around with a snake? It is not illegal for you to walk around with your pet snake in public. However, you need to be conversant with local and state laws regarding snake pets. If you take your snake pet for a walk, ensure you exercise caution to ensure people’s safety and other pets’ safety. Many people are afraid of snakes. Therefore, try not to take your snake to crowded places. Do not take venomous snakes or large constrictor snakes outside; that is a recipe for disaster.

Owning a pet snake is quite popular, and many people are buying different types of snakes to keep in their homes. If you want to keep a snake as a pet, you need plenty of information about snakes. Read on to find out more about pet snakes.

2. Should I Wait Until My Snake Poops To Feed?

One of the responsibilities a snake owner has is providing food for their snakes. The digestive system of snakes is quite different from other pets. Therefore, you need a different approach when feeding your snake.

You do not need to wait until your snake poops before you feed it. It usually takes five to seven days after eating for a snake to poop. Young snakes need to feed twice every week. If your snake is still young, waiting for it to poop before feeding could lead to severe malnutrition. For mature snakes, they can feed once each week or two. You can feed your snakes five or six days after pooping, depending on their size and age.

You can use the frequency of defecation to create a feeding pattern for your snake. In case you own a mature ball python, you should double the length it takes to poop; this should be how often you feed your ball python.

If your snake goes for more than nine days without pooping after feeding it, take it to a vet. You can also try to make your snake poop by giving it a warm bath, massaging its belly, or using laxatives.

3. Why Do Snakes Try to Escape?

When you take your snake home from the pet store, you might see it try to leave its tank. It is the expected behavior for new snakes; however, it is not something that should cause you to worry. Several reasons will make your snake try to leave its enclosure.

One of the reasons why snakes try to escape their enclosures is the need to move around. Most snakes are nocturnal, spending the day hiding and active during the night. In the wild, the snake has a lot of space to move around while it only has its tank in your home. When the snake becomes active, it will want to explore its environment. Therefore, you will see it trying to leave the tank.

Another reason why your snakes are trying to escape is stress. If the environment inside the tank is not conducive, the snake will try to leave for a better place. A typical snake tank will have a heating lamp or pad, a cooling spot, a water bowl, and light. If any of the devices meant to provide heat or light for the snake malfunctions, the snake could become uncomfortable. You should ensure your snake lives in a conducive environment.

If your snake is hungry and there is no food inside the tank, it will try to leave. Your snake will try to leave its tank and find its food. You should feed your snake often, once a week for small and young snakes or once every two weeks for mature and big snakes. You should also ensure that the portions are large enough to keep the snake full until the next mealtime.

4. Can Snakes Smell Fear?

Many people fear snakes and avoid interacting with one even if locked in a tank or cage. Some people believe that certain animals, including snakes, can smell fear. When you have a guest who is afraid of snakes, you might wonder if your pet snake can smell their fear.

Snakes cannot smell fear, and it is physically impossible because fear is an emotional reaction, and it does not have any scent. However, some snakes can sense fear in human beings or other animals. When a person is scared, their body language changes and snakes can see such movements, which helps them notice the person is nervous or scared.

If you try to touch your snake and hesitate by moving your hands back and forth, the snake will know you are afraid by watching your body language.

5. Why Is My Snake Pushing Against the Glass?

When watching your snake, you might notice that it keeps pushing its face and body against the glass. It can be concerning, especially for new owners seeing their snakes. There are several reasons why your snake will push itself against the glass.

Your snake might be trying to escape from its enclosure by pushing against the glass. A snake will try to move if the environment is not good. Check the temperature and humidity inside the tank. Your snake will try to move if the tank is either too hot or too cold. Since the snake cannot find a way out of the tank, it will press itself against the glass. Humidity levels inside the tank can also affect your snake.

Another reason why your snake is pushing against the glass is the onset of the shedding process. Snakes usually shed their skin throughout their lifetime. The skin usually starts to loosen around the face, and the snake will be pushing its face on the glass to speed up the process.

If the behavior is caused by shedding, the snake will stop it after the loose skin comes off its face. You can increase the humidity levels in the tank to help speed up the shedding process.

Mites can also cause your snake to push its body against the glass. Mites are small parasites that feed on the blood of various animals they come into contact with. The mites will make the snake uncomfortable, and it will try to press itself against the glass to reduce the irritation. Sometimes, your snake will sit in its water bowl for hours to avoid the mites. You have to clean and disinfect your snake’s tank if you suspect there are mites in it.

6. What Does a Pink Belly on a Snake Mean?

Most snakes are covered with beautiful patterns on their back and have a white or cream belly. However, on a few occasions, a snake can have a pink belly. The pink belly can be a good source of information about your snake and its environment to an experienced snake owner.

A pink belly on a snake could be an indication that there is something wrong with its tank. Snakes move around by crawling on their bellies, and the wrong bedding will cause your snake to have a pink belly.

Snakes need smooth bedding. Therefore, you cannot choose a rough substrate to keep in the snake’s tank. You should choose a substrate that does not retain too much water. Damp bedding can cause vesicular dermatitis, whose main symptom in snakes is pink or red spots on the belly.

Also, your snake will have a pink belly when it is nearing its shedding time. Snakes usually shed after every six weeks, but old snakes only shed once or twice per year. You can check when was the last time your snake shed its skin and determine if shedding is the cause of the pink belly.

If your snake recently shed its skin, you may have to look for another cause of the pink belly. Other causes of pink belly might include burns from the heating pad and dye from the substrate.

7. Why Is My Snake Jumpy?

Snakes make beautiful pets and companions. You have to gain their trust first, and with persistence and patience, you might be holding and petting your snake within a few weeks. However, some snakes make it difficult to spend time with because of their jumpy or aggressive behavior.

One reason why your snake is jumpy is the new environment and owner. Snakes are also scared of human beings and will take a few weeks or months to get used to your presence. During the first few weeks, your snake will be jumpy or aggressive when you try to touch it or pick it up. You should leave the snake alone for a few days, let it get used to your presence at its own pace.

Another reason why your snake is jumpy might be stress. Snakes will become stressed if something inside their tank is wrong. For example, you might forget to turn off the heating pad, and the temperature inside the tank becomes intolerable.

During this time, your snake might become jumpy because of the high temperature. If a calm snake suddenly becomes jumpy, you should check and correct any errors inside its tank.

8. Why Is My Snake Twitching?

When a snake gets used to your presence, you can spend time holding it and letting it crawl on your body. Sometimes, when you are holding your snake, you might notice that it is twitching and wonder if something is wrong.

Your snake may twitch because it has a neurological problem. Neurological problems in snakes can be caused by physical trauma or genetics. Physical trauma such as getting hit on the head can cause your snake to have involuntary spasms. You should keep an eye on your snake to avoid any accidents that might cause neurological problems.

Also, your snake may twitch because it dislikes getting handled. Snakes also have personalities; some are social and allow their owners to touch and pick them up, while others prefer to spend their time alone in the tank. Some snakes will tolerate being handled for a few minutes only. If you are holding your snake and it starts to twitch, you should put it down.

9. Why Is My Snake Hiding All the Time?

After bringing in your snake from the pet store, you were hoping to spend some time playing and bonding with it. However, the snake seems to hide all the time, and you are wondering if you are doing something wrong or your snake might have health problems.

Most snakes are nocturnal, and they prefer to spend the day resting and come out at night to hunt. In captivity, snakes will also try to hide during the day in their tank. When the snake is sleeping, it is vulnerable to attacks from predators; therefore, the need to find a place secure to sleep.

You can place several hides in the tank to give your snake enough items to make it feel secure. If you want to see your snake when it is more active, you can install an infrared reptile lamp.

Hiding all the time can also indicate your snake is sick. When a snake becomes ill, it becomes lethargic, less active, and will try to hide or bury itself. Observe how long your snake is hiding. If it continues hiding when it is supposed to be active, then there is something wrong with your pet. Check for other signs of illness and take your snake to the vet as soon as possible.

10. Why Is My Snake Rubbing Its Face?

Snakes have poor communication skills; you have to observe their behavior to know what is going on. One common behavior that most snakes engage in is rubbing its face. The snake can rub its face against the tank’s glass or its body.

One of the reasons your snake is rubbing its face is that it could be suffering from a respiratory infection. A snake suffering from a respiratory infection will have blocked nostrils. You might see bubbles coming out of the nostrils, and your snake will frequently rub its faces against a solid surface. The snake is trying to unblock the nostrils so that it can breathe easily. You should take your snake to the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Another reason why your snake is rubbing its face is the beginning of the shedding process. The skin of a snake usually starts to peel off on its head or face. The snake will rub its face against a hard surface to start removing the skin. You can help your snake shed its skin faster by increasing the humidity levels in its tank.

Also, your snake may rub itself on the glass screen or other features in its cage in a bid to explore its environment. It may just be curious, creating the need to know what is on the other side of the glass.

11. Why Is My Snake Wrinkly?

The physical appearance of your snake can tell you more about its health. When you are handling your snake, you might notice it has wrinkled skin. There are a few reasons why its skin appears wrinkled.

During shedding, your snake’s skin might get stuck on its body, a condition known as a stuck shed. The stuck shed can be severe or mild. In mild cases, the condition is resolved on its own, while in severe cases, the snake will need your help to shed its skin. In a stuck shed, the old skin partially parts way with the new skin giving your snake wrinkly skin.

You can fix the stuck shed by giving your snake a warm bath or increasing humidity in the tank. Another reason why your snake is wrinkly is dehydration. The easiest way to check for dehydration in animals is by checking the elasticity of their skin.

A loose skin could be an indication of dehydration. If your snake recently shed its skin and the new skin is wrinkly, it could be dehydrated. You should provide your snake with drinking water, ensure the tank has the correct humidity levels, and mist your snake twice a day. If your snake is severely dehydrated, take it to a vet immediately.


Snakes are wonderful pets, but they require a good owner who can take good care of them. The leading cause of stress among snakes is poor living conditions. If you fail to check and control temperature and humidity levels, your snake will get stressed. A happy snake will never try to escape. You should also observe your snake’s behavior and learn what they mean.

If you own a nocturnal snake such as a ball python, ensure you provide it with enough hides to conceal itself. In the wild, snakes like to hide, and they retain this trait in captivity. Do not hit or allow your snake to be physically harmed since physical trauma is the leading cause of neurological problems among snakes. If you accidentally hit your snake, take it to the vet for treatment.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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