Truth be told, I’ve wanted a pet snake ever since I was 11 years old. That was the first time I held a young Boa Constrictor and realized how soft and sweet they could be. Yes, the snake did try to hide in my shirt, but aside from her unawareness of personal boundaries, she was a darling.
Finally, 14 years later, I moved into a house where my landlord and roommates were open-minded. Then, I found a new friend: Lexicon (yes that is her actual name, I am a nerdy writer okay?) Lexicon is an 8-year-old corn snake that I rehomed thanks to a post on Craigslist just 30 minutes away from my house. I had searched before, and the snakes were always too far away from my city or someone had already bought them.
During 2020, her presence has been a life-saver. We spend lots of time watching John Oliver and cuddling in my bed (basically all I need from a friend). Since I bought her a month ago, this is what I’ve learned, and why you, too, should adopt a cute little snake friend.
1. Snakes are exceedingly low maintenance.
I only feed my corn snake once every ten days. Yes, you read that right. Every. Ten. Days. That’s wild! I wish I ate and pooped so seldom. They also don’t need the dirt in their cages to be changed that often. Usually, you can clean the enclosure once every 1–2 months.
2. It is ridiculously cheap to take care of all their needs.
Aside from a bit of an initial investment in a tank, decorations, and the snake itself, they don’t cost much. And, if you’re resourceful, you can probably find a tank and decorations online or second-hand just like I did. Once you’ve got the setup, it’s smooth sailing. I buy a pack of four frozen mice at PetsMart for $15, which lasts about a month and a half. The only other thing I buy is a bag of coconut shavings or $10 that lasts me 2–4 months. Who doesn’t love to save time and money???
3. You would be shocked at how little they smell.
Don’t get me wrong, Lexi has pooped on me. It was gross and I smelled rank. I had to wash my shirt and the duvet that day. However, most of the time she poops in her cage and it’s not any different from a litter box. It comes out in one clump and I use a scooper to sift it out of the coconut shavings before tossing it in the trash. As soon as it’s out of her cage, everything smells fine.
4. Snakes are easy to find at pet stores or online.
Every time I would go to a pet store, my feet took me to the reptile section and I would stare longingly at the snake habitats. Of course, I live in a city, so it’s a bit different. The pet stores that I frequented in the small suburb I grew up in certainly did not have many weird animals. Thankfully, even if your local store doesn’t have reptiles, you can still buy them online and they will ship them to you. (Shh, don’t tell anyone I’m shipping my snakes on a plane…)
5. Great conversation starter!
Any time we have a guest over, the large reptile tank is the first thing to catch their eye. Naturally, I love showing her off, so Lexicon gets to come out for an escapade. Everyone is in awe of her. Sure, sometimes they are afraid to hold her. In that case, for her safety and theirs, they usually just watch me handle her; then, if they want to they can feel her scales and soft oreo-patterned belly.
That’s it! Five fantastic reasons for you to get a new snake pal. And now, to wrap up this article, I present you with a bonus reason to buy a snake if you aren’t convinced already:
6. You can put hats on them.
Hopefully, this article encourages you to try a new kind of pet and you will fall in love with a snake as I did.