Are Snakes Good Pets?

Couples lounged on the grass in Highland Park, waiting to watch the sunset. Dogs tugged at leashes to inspect nearby bushes. And one little girl in a pink shirt sped down the sidewalk on her scooter before stopping abruptly and staring, her jaw dropping.

But snake owners like Johnson and Wisotzke say that their scaly friends are a cheaper, more convenient and even safer alternative to traditional household pets. “Unless youre walking around with some 20-foot long snake, its slow, its got little tiny teeth, and the worst its going to do is squeeze you a little bit and poke a couple small holes,” he said.

Additionally, only certified herpetological professionals can own venomous snakes, so the risk of lasting damage from those tiny teeth is slim. But he says Lucifer (named for the upside-down cross coloring on his head) and Leviathan (who goes by Levi) have calm temperaments and enjoy curiously surveying their surroundings. She sometimes tags along with Winterkorn for days out, like when she walked down the pier at Charlotte Beach and attracted a small crowd of curious passersby.

Its just a natural bacteria resident in their digestive tract, he said, advising that people who handle a snake should wash their hands immediately afterward. Rochester actually becomes Snake Central twice a year, when it hosts an annual event drawing hundreds of reptile enthusiasts from far and wide. Johnson says that chain pet stores arent able to provide key information that a responsible snake owner should know, such as age, where it came from, and gender.

The couple is in the early stages of developing ROC City Reptiles , but they hope to creating a space where they can not only provide high-quality animals but also information to lessen the stigma around snakes.

Are pet snakes friendly?

Pet snakes can appear to be friendly, but for the most part they are just indifferent to humans. They will ignore people because they do not consider them either a threat or food. Generally, snakes lack the intellectual ability to sense human emotions such as affection or love.

Is a pet snake a good idea?

Their diet can also be challenging, particularly if you think small fuzzy rodents are cute. Snakes are not a traditional, cuddly choice of pet. They grow large, live a long time and require a certain exactness and even bravery from their owners, but the benefits of owning a snake are also rewarding.

Why snakes are bad pets?

In recent years, scientists have discovered that just like warm-blooded animals, snakes suffer from anxiety, stress, distress, excitement, fear, frustration, pain and suffering. … The stress of captivity can lead to diseases and death — not just for their human keepers — but more commonly for the snakes themselves.

Is it cruel to have a pet snake?

A: No, snakes such as ball pythons are wild animals and not domesticated. … Because these animals are domesticated, with the right care and conditions, they are able to live with humans in captivity without suffering.

In the wild, ball python snakes live in a wide range of habitats, often hiding in burrows during the day and trees at night. These large (and long) animals need space to stretch out and roam in search of food.

The breeding of snakes is already dangerous as it reduces the gene pool when breeders inbreed the animals to have more to sell. This is particularly common in snakes and other reptiles as buyers increasingly want genetically-altered versions or designer morphs that bear little resemblance to their wild relatives.

We recently published detailed reports on African grey parrots and river otters in Asia . Ethics 2014, 4, 7494; Ashley, S.; Brown, S.; Ledford, J.; Martin, J.; Nash, A. E.; Terry, A.; Tristan, T.; Warwick, C. Morbidity and

Are snakes safer than dogs?

The term “pet” usually evokes images of golden retrievers bounding across a green lawn or lazy tabby cats sunbathing on a windowsill. Perhaps a goldfish swimming laps around its bowl. But snake owners like Johnson and Wisotzke say that their scaly friends are a cheaper, more convenient and even safer alternative to traditional household pets. Yes, safer.“I’m less afraid of a snake being in public than a dog,” Johnson said. “Unless you’re walking around with some 20-foot long snake, it’s slow, it’s got little tiny teeth, and the worst it’s going to do is squeeze you a little bit and poke a couple small holes,” he said. “Where a dog — a dog can do a lot of damage.”New York state does limit the size of acceptable pet snakes at 10 feet. Additionally, only certified herpetological professionals can own venomous snakes, so the risk of lasting damage from those tiny teeth is slim.Wisotzke acknowledged there’s no official guidance saying snakes need time in a park to enjoy some summer weather. But he says Lucifer (named for the upside-down cross coloring on his head) and Leviathan (who goes by Levi) have calm temperaments and enjoy curiously surveying their surroundings.“I mean, I wouldn’t want to be cooped up in a box all the time,” Wisotzke said. “I’m sure they at least on some level appreciate being out a little bit, get some fresh air.”He acknowledges the average person might not appreciate sharing the fresh air with them, but he says that shouldn’t be the case. And he has set out to convert the unconvinced.

From “Oh” to “Ewww”

Kristi Winterkorn often works in her garden with a ball python, Serenity, around her shoulders. She sometimes tags along with Winterkorn for days out, like when she walked down the pier at Charlotte Beach and attracted a small crowd of curious passersby.“When I do walk like that, I either get people that are like, ‘Oh, can I touch it?’ or I get people that are like, ‘Ewww’ and go as far away from me as possible,” Winterkorn said.When it comes to behavior, she believes that nurture is just as important as nature. “You know how people are afraid of pitbulls and stuff like that? It’s all in the way you handle them.”Winterkorn’s young niece was tasked with naming Winterkorn’s other ball python, ultimately deciding on Luna. She and Winterkorn’s nephews are comfortable handling the snakes.“Both my snakes will just chill,” Winterkorn said. “I don’t have to worry about them trying to strike at anybody. I’ve never had them bite anybody.”Winterkorn has had Serenity for almost 12 years. Wisotzke says it isn’t uncommon for a captive-bred pet snake to live for 15 or more.“They’re very inexpensive, they live a long time, they’re very forgiving as far as husbandry goes. So that leads to them being a better pet for your kid,” he said. “People buy their kid a puppy, and then at the end of the day — as a parent — you’re stuck taking care of it.”In the same way many parents use a dog to teach responsibility, he says kids who own snakes have to practice periodically cleaning their tank and feeding them. But there’s no need for regular walks or potty training, and the snake will still have a long and healthy life.“They could graduate college and still feasibly have the same snake,” he added.Then there’s affordability. Wisotzke says that after the initial purchase of a tank and heat lamp, he spends single digits on snake food for a week.Johnson and Wisotzke’s 3-year-old son has spent supervised time with their snakes since he was 1, and safety hasn’t been an issue. Even the worst-case scenario, they explained, isn’t so bad.“Say you walk out of the room for a split second and the snake decides to bite your kid. It’s going to probably be one bite before your kid drops the animal, and then the snake is going to hide or just curl up, and that’s that.”