Ball pythons are a popular reptile for beginner owners because they are a shy, docile snake that's relatively easy to care for. However, ball pythons aren't right for every household, so you'll want to make sure that you are a good fit before purchasing one. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

What Type of Family Situation is Good for Ball Pythons?

Although ball pythons are friendly and rarely bite unless provoked, they aren't great for families with very young children or infants. These snakes are too small to gravely harm someone with constriction, but because they can tightly wrap up into balls—hence their name—they could cause pain to young children's limbs if they wrap tightly. Older children are typically much better with ball pythons since they can follow directions and handle the snakes much more carefully. Plus, young children aren't great with these snakes because of potentially harmful germs that the animal can carry. Older children are better because their immune systems are hardy, and infections are less likely.

What Type of Housing is Required for a Ball Python?

Although a rack system can work as temporary housing, it's better to invest in an outfitted terrarium so that your snake can freely exhibit its natural behaviors, such as bathing, climbing, and burrowing. If you want to get a ball python, you should be ready to outfit a terrarium with the right UV lamps, basins for bathing, as well as climbing/hiding features. Although these snakes are small, you should have enough space in your home to place a large terrarium. Snakes who don't have the right housing may be unhappy and stressed because they will be unable to express their natural behaviors. Besides having the right space for their housing, you will need to commit to a proper cleaning schedule each month to clean the entire enclosure.

What Health Needs Could a Ball Python Face?

Like a lot of indoor reptiles, the good news is that ball pythons have few health concerns. Like other pets in the U.S., they can be prone to obesity from overfeeding, so you need to talk with your vet about proper dietary needs. Ball pythons cannot cough, so they can be prone to respiratory infections and a buildup of fluid in their lungs. They can also be prone to mites. Again, you should consult with a veterinary service so that you are aware of the signs and symptoms for these issues and know how to treat them.

What are The Costs?

The good news is that ball pythons are a relatively inexpensive pet. Depending on the morph that you go for, you could be able to get a ball python for as little as $25. However, as previously mentioned, there are housing and health needs that you need to factor into the overall cost. There are a lot of initial costs to set up the terrarium. You will also need to set aside money for food and potential medical care.

As you can see, there are a lot of considerations to make before you invest in a ball python. If this pet seems like a good fit for your family and budget, reach out to a pet provider in your area today for more details. Look for ball pythons for sale near you.