Should you buy your Child a Pet Snake?

Sep 24, 2009 Full story: Netscape 37

Should you buy your Child a Pet Snake? >> Posted By daducha 21 hours, 46 minutes ago in Family Beautiful as well as fascinating, snakes have become increasingly popular in recent years.

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ftnbh

Kannapolis, NC

#1 Jan 13, 2010
YES if he really likes them a ball python or cornsnake would be good
gu7srt89

Mcallen, TX

#2 Jan 13, 2010
um guess not!
1234567890abc

Mcallen, TX

#3 Jan 13, 2010
NO NEVER!
A Mom

Aurora, CO

#4 Jan 20, 2010
How old is the child in question? Personally, snakes aren't my choice of pet so therefore I wouldn't. If it is for an older child, like a teen or young adult who is responsible, I see no problem with it.
Another mom

Chino Hills, CA

#5 Jan 20, 2010
I bought my son a snake three years ago. I really didn't want it but he went to great lenghts to read everything about reptiles. What an easy pet to take care of. You feed make sure it has water and it doesn't need a babysitter when you want to go out of town. Just remember to teach your child and friends to keep the caged locked and never take it out when an adult is not present to help.
ONCE THE INTEREST IS GONE

Pompano Beach, FL

#6 Jan 21, 2010
ABSOLUTELY NOT...... I HAVE BEEN IN THE PET INDUSTRY FOR OVER 25 YEARS. TOO MANY PARENTS GET KIDS SNAKES OR REPTILES. THEN ALL TOO OFTEN 6 MONTHS OR LATER THEY ARE RETURNING BECAUSE THAT SAME CHILD NO LONGER HAS INTEREST IN THAT SAME SNAKE OR REPTILE THAT THEY SPENT HUNDREDS ON TO BUY THE SNAKE AND EVERYTHING NEEDED TO PROPERLY CARE FOR IT. THAT CHILD'S INTERESTS RAPIDLY CHANGE AND THEY NO LONGER WANT TO TAKE CARE OF THE SNAKE, REPTILE, HAMPSTER, GUINEA PIG, FERRET OR WHAT EVER IT MAY BE AND THE PARENT IS STUCK TAKING CARE OF IT WHICH DOES NOT LST VERY LONG.
WHY DO YOU THINK WE ARE HAVING ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THE EVERGLADES NOW WITH ALL THE SNAKES THAT ARE NOT NATIVE HERE ???? BECAUSE OF IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE BUYING SNAKES THAT THEY NO LONGER WANT TO TAKE CARE OF AND THEY FEEL THE EASIEST WAY TO GET RID OF IT IS TO LET IT GO IN OUR WATERS !!!
FL FISH AND WILDLIFE HAS MADE THE LAWS STRICTER ON PURCHASING SNAKES .... UNFORTUNATELY IT IS NOT STRICT ENOUGH.
SO .......... NO DO NOT BUY YOUR CHILD A SNAKE !!!
Marina

Whippany, NJ

#7 Mar 12, 2010
NO! Snakes, turtles and most reptiles carry salmonella although very rarely a pet store owner will let you know this. I alsmot lost my 7 year old due to a salmonella infection caused by an iguana's scratch I would have never bought it but my brother in law gave to him for his birthday. We were not aware they carry the deadly disease at the time. Please, inform yourself of the potential dangers or disease a pet could carry before you purchase any. Nothing is worth losing your child.
larana

Brisbane, Australia

#8 Apr 9, 2010
I think snakes are a good choice for a pet.but be careful of what you buy.buy your snake on the trading post.childs pythons are only $120 and license for 5 years is only $55.training is along process but stick to it for the best results.

“Snow days!”

Since: Nov 08

A winter wonderland

#9 Apr 12, 2010
A snake is only appropriate as a pet if the parents are willing to put the work into taking care of it. Children lose interest in a relatively short period of time. They also don't understand that feeding a snake can be pretty gruesome. A lot of kids freak out when they find out some snakes need to be fed live animals, then learn they can't handle seeing the mouse, rat, whatever die.
Bruce is a sk8er

Canton, GA

#10 Jun 22, 2010
Marina wrote:
NO! Snakes, turtles and most reptiles carry salmonella although very rarely a pet store owner will let you know this. I alsmot lost my 7 year old due to a salmonella infection caused by an iguana's scratch I would have never bought it but my brother in law gave to him for his birthday. We were not aware they carry the deadly disease at the time. Please, inform yourself of the potential dangers or disease a pet could carry before you purchase any. Nothing is worth losing your child.
Read before you type!The only way u can get salmonella from a reptile is not washing your HANDS if u would read that is what is says on the back of every Petsmart bought contract but feces has to be ingest or rubbed in your ev=yes so yes they are COMPLETELY SAFE JUST WASH YOUR HANDS!
Bee

Canada

#11 Nov 21, 2011
@marina, you have a higher chance of catching salmonella from raw chicken than you do a rep reptile. As long as you're cleaning your hands before and after handling the snake then you're pretty safe. Obviously it's important to practice proper husbandry and to keep your snake and snakes enclosure, as well as all equipment used on the snake, clean.
Interesting post by "once the interest is gone." while I do agree with him/her in theory, I don't usually take an "all or nothing approach.". Meaning that I wouldn't say that a snake should NEVER be bought as a pet for a youngster but serious thought should be given before doing so. I own Many snakes and I also volunteer at a reptile rescue center. We receive at minimum 2-3 phone calls a week from teens or parents of teens trying to get rid of the snake they bought for their kid years before. Usually the kid is going away to school and can't or don't want to take it with them. The majority of reptiles being given up are green iguanas, chameleons and snakes and it's beyond sad to see this happen. These reptiles do very poorly with being re-homed and often the stress will cause them to fast, thus creating an array of health problems and/or death. So as I said, in theory, yes I absolutely agree with the poster above.
However, if you're committed to making this work then it can. You have to know that a teens interests and future is ever changing at that age so there's a good chance that he may come to a time and place in his life where he can't or doesn't want to care for the snake anymore. if this happens you MUST be prepared to step in and care for the snake yourself. Because of this, I would suggest you do much research yourself as to the care requirements and proper husbandry in taking care of snakes. And familiarize yourself with it; learn how to handle it with confidence and care. Snakes can be wonderful pets and quite easy to care for if you know what you're going. So if you're prepared and knowledgable enough about the specific snake you're planning to buy your son, then I think it could work. You just need to be prepared to take on the snake as Your own pet if your son bails on his responsibilities.
Tips-always feed frozen/thawed; much safer for your snake and much easier for you.
Good beginner snakes - rosy boas, Kenyan sand boas, ball pythons, woma pythons, corn snakes, king snakes, Hog island boas, milk snakes and Nicaraguayan boas. All these snakes stay fairly small so they're quite manageable and all have quite good temperaments.
Good luck.
Green Bean

Winnipeg, Canada

#12 Nov 22, 2011
I currently have several green iguana breeding pairs at the moment that my son tends to every day. I make sure to trim claws, clean enclosures and otherwise maintain the area to keep him safe. There hasn't been a moment when I doubted his safety. I think that own a pet, no matter what kind will help teach responsibility within a child. I grew up around reptiles, and my children are now following in my footsteps, eager to please.
Josh

Boston, UK

#14 Feb 15, 2012
I really want a corn snake and I already have a bearded dragon but my parents wont let me get one. How could I convince them?

Since: Dec 11

havelock, nc

#15 Feb 21, 2012
Josh wrote:
I really want a corn snake and I already have a bearded dragon but my parents wont let me get one. How could I convince them?
Show them how cute little hatchling corns are and all the different colors/morphs they come it. Taking care of a corn snake is much easier than taking care of a beardie, also... because they don't have to eat as often, only eat one thing(rodents), and don't need uv light.
Shawn

Bristol, CT

#16 Apr 14, 2012
Marina wrote:
NO! Snakes, turtles and most reptiles carry salmonella although very rarely a pet store owner will let you know this. I alsmot lost my 7 year old due to a salmonella infection caused by an iguana's scratch I would have never bought it but my brother in law gave to him for his birthday. We were not aware they carry the deadly disease at the time. Please, inform yourself of the potential dangers or disease a pet could carry before you purchase any. Nothing is worth losing your child.
The snake will only get salmonella if you don't clean their tanks enough. It should be cleaned weekly.
Snakefan115

Hampton, NH

#18 May 22, 2012
It depends how old your child is. Snakes are a much bigger responsibility than most people think. If you child is to young he or she will probubly Los interest.... but that depends entirely on how strongly your child feels about getting a pet snake. People commonly think snakes are agressive, but most snakes are tame and non-agressive. Corn snakes are (in my opinion) the best beginner snake. If you get them as a baby and handle it often your child will bond with it a lot like a person bonds with there dogs or cats. Many Snakes do have salmonella, but the fact is your more likely to get salmonella from eggs, fish and poultry (chicken, turkey .ect) just remind your child to wash his or her hand before and after handling your snake. If your child is under 8 years old I would advise against a snake, but all depends on how mature your child is. Oh and be sure your child can handle feeding them....snakes typically eat frozen or live rodents so it may be to graphic for him or her (there is little to no blood seen, but the idea of dead mice is un-settling to say the least). Snakes are a great pets even for kids, but just remover they are a big responsibility and some kids can't handle it
Carolina

United States

#19 Jul 30, 2012
Snakes arent at all expencive im gonna get one on september.im thinking of getting a milk snake or sand boa..and im only 12.im getting it for my birthday its a early birthday gift.
A kid

UK

#20 Apr 10, 2013
Hi am 12 year old and I would like to get a ball python my dad says he would get it but I would probably get bored of it so no from him. I asked my mum and she said no they are ugly and they can be dangerous and gross I told here if they were classified as dangerous animals they would be ilegal and they aren't gross all they do is chi out and look cute how can I convince them into getting me one?
Reece

Richmond, Australia

#21 Apr 25, 2013
Snakes are very interesting creatures if you have a child that really wants a snake compromise with other reptiles such as geckos or even little turtles or tortoises and if he is still interested after a couple of years there should be no reason why he is immature or unable to care for the reptile
Raeyin

United States

#22 Jun 11, 2013
Bee wrote:
These reptiles do very poorly with being re-homed and often the stress will cause them to fast, thus creating an array of health problems
I have a responsible teen who won't lose interest, and I'm willing to watch the snake while he's at college. But this post makes me concerned - what if we move? What about when he's out of college and wants his snake back in a new home? Will they not tolerate that?

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