This chapter has covered the steps you should take once you decide to purchase a ball python and in this Article, we will look at the process a prospective ball python owner should go through in order to become a fully-fledged snake person.
We have saved this chapter for last because you are now informed enough about the ins and outs of ball python ownership that you can make the proper decisions.
This is the first thing you need to consider. You have already made a start on this, by reading this article, but do your research about snakes in general, and reptile ownership, as well. Find out about clubs you could join, and where other local owners are situated. Sharing of information is always good, and having an independent source of discussion, where your expert is not also looking to sell you something, is a very good idea.
Reptile owners are proud of their pets, and happy to talk about them. They will often be found at fayres, craft shows, and animal shows, keen to chat about husbandry and health for their animals. Don’t be afraid to seek members of this community out. You can even start small by posting in an online reptile forum.
The next step, once you have decided that you are really keen on owning a snake, is to ask yourself a series of questions. The idea of bringing a snake into your home can seem like a good idea, but for some, the potential problems might dilute that appeal quickly. If you can honestly answer the following questions and still have no issues, then you are ready for passage to the next stage of the process:
- Where will I keep my snake? Will this present any problems? – Remember, a ball python vivarium does not have to be large, but it does need to be secure.
- Do I have young children or other animals who might stress the snake because they do not understand it? – A “yes” here is not the end of the story, provided you can find a way to protect your youngster from provoking your pet and provide a secure home for the snake where it will not be bothered.
- Do I have somebody to look after it when I am away? – A python is not like a dog, it does not need a constant companion. But it will need feeding, watering (daily), and tank cleaning. Do you have a friend comfortable with snakes and happy to carry out those tasks?
- Can I cope with dead mice in the freezer? – It may seem like a silly question, but it is an important one. Some people find such a thought disgusting. You may be okay with it, buy how will the rest of the family feel? This leads to the next question.
- Will my family and friends cope with a snake in the house? – We could find no examples at all of a ball python seriously injuring or even killing a human.
The same cannot be said for certain breeds of canine companion. However, snakes seem to be a part of our collective consciousness, and many people are (wrongly) scared of them. You would not want a situation where a family member is constantly stressed or spends their week worrying about the snake escaping or attacking them when out of its cage when, for example, having its weekly feed. Equally, you would not wish to become socially isolated because your best friends will no longer visit. Almost always, potential problems such as these can easily be solved—for example, by hosting in another room—but the question should be asked.
Can I make the commitment? – This is the big one. Your cute little baby python will grow to between four and six feet in length. It could live for thirty years. That is a heavy commitment to take on, and needs consideration
If you have no doubts about answering this question affirmatively, then you are very probably ready to become a reptile owner.
Equipment And Supplies
If you have decided that you are definitely going ahead, you can choose a spot in your house for your snake to live. And then, it is time to go shopping!
We have created a list for you:
- A tank of appropriate size and a SECURE TOP
- Your choice of substrate
- Heating element with dimmer controls and bulb guard
- A hiding place for each end of your tank (can be homemade)
- A humidity box, if necessary (can be homemade)
- A thermometer for each end of your tank
- A climbing feature (can be found in nature and sterilized)
- Artificial vegetation
- A heavy water bowl large enough for the snake to bathe in
You will also need to find a food supplier and make a place for storing the frozen mice or rats in your freezer.
Buying Your snake-python
We have looked at this already in some detail, so will not repeat the options here. We will, however, stress the importance of good research and both seeing and handling the snake you will buy.
Finally, spend some time finding a network of support, although you may well have already done this. There may be a local club or group that is interested in reptiles. Even if you do not join them, they can be a useful source of information and help.
Find a good vet who knows how to treat reptiles—not all do. There may be periodicals that can be of interest and help, especially until you get more familiar with looking after your snake. Get ahead by identifying friends, neighbors, and family members who are happy to help when you are away from home.
Enjoy your new python pal! We’re sure you’ll love your new pet!
So this chapter has covered the steps you should take once you decide to purchase a ball python. It will help you create a plan of action.
We hope that you are now feeling much more informed about ball pythons, and know whether going out and getting one as a pet is the thing for you. We very much hope it is, because they do make excellent pets!
However, if you have decided that the challenge, commitment, or cost is just too high, you have reached that conclusion based on good, solid evidence, and we congratulate you on that. There are too many animals abused, killed, or abandoned because they were bought on a whim and their owners quickly lost interest. Having taken the trouble to read this article, it is clear that you do not fit into this category.
So, if you do decide to go and buy a ball python, or you have one already, then our final words are simple ones: Have a great time with your new pet!