Keeping a ball python as a pet is not an easy task. They are shy, slow-moving snakes that need to be handled carefully at all times. However, with the right set-up and attention, you can keep a ball python as your pet. Keep reading for more information about how to look after a ball python.
What does a Ball Python look like?
The ball python gets its name from its preferred way of curling up while it rests. It is a very beautiful snake with a pattern of black and brown diamonds on its skin. It has a slender body and can grow to be up to 3 feet long. The ball python is a great pet snake for beginners because they are not very hard to care for. However, always remember that they are still a reptile, so they will need a warm and humid environment to thrive.
How to take care of a Ball Python
As already mentioned, ball pythons are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things you can do to ensure your pet is happy and healthy.
Shelter - Always provide a warm, humid environment for your ball python to rest in. The best place to put your enclosure is somewhere that is warm and quiet.
Temperature - The temperature inside your snake’s enclosure should be between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. This can fluctuate by a few degrees depending on where you live in the world.
Humidity - The humidity inside your snake’s enclosure should be around 70%. This can also vary depending on the time of year and weather in your area.
Feeding - Feed your snake once every two weeks. You can feed them either dead mice, rats or chicks. You should only choose prey that is the same size as your snake.
Housing - A ball python can be kept in a 10-gallon aquarium. To create the right environment, you must line the tank with a substrate. Use either peat moss or paper towels and make sure you keep it clean.
Feeding a Ball Python
As mentioned above, ball pythons are carnivores and should only be fed dead mice, rats, or chicks. It is very important that you do not feed them any other animals, like worms. Doing so could drastically shorten their lifespan and even cause them to die. You should only feed your snake once every two weeks. They can eat as much as they like, but they will often eat until they are full and then let the food sit in their stomach. If they eat too often, they could easily get sick. If your snake has eaten a full meal and has not pooped after two weeks, then they need to go back to eating. This could be a sign of worms, which is very dangerous and should be treated with anti-parasitic medication.
Housing a ball python
Ball pythons are very low-maintenance snakes so you don’t need to have a big set-up to keep them happy and healthy. A small 10-gallon tank will do just fine, as long as you keep it warm and humid. The tank should have a lid, as well as a substrate layer of peat moss or paper towels to keep the humidity high. You will also need a heat lamp to keep the enclosure warm. Keep in mind that you should clean the tank once a month. Ball pythons shed their skin when they are ready to grow and replace it with a new one. During this time, they will rub their face along the substrate and it will get caught there.
Health Care for your Ball Python
It is very important to keep an eye on your ball python’s health. They are very slow-moving reptiles, making them more susceptible to illness. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- Scales that are falling off: You may see a few scales fall off, but if they are falling off in large quantities, then you may have a health problem.
- Your snake appears lethargic: Ball pythons are very slow-moving snakes that would rather hide than be out and about. If your snake is not moving and appears lethargic, it could be suffering from a bacterial infection. If your snake does not get better after a few days, then you should take them to a vet.
- Your snake has a swollen abdomen: This can be a sign of a parasite or worms. Worms can be treated with parasite medication, but if it is not taken care of, it can lead to death.
- Your snake has a cloudy eye or closed eye: This could be due to a bacterial infection or a respiratory infection. If it is not taken care of, it could lead to death.
Ball pythons are beautiful and low-maintenance snakes that make great pets. They are easy to care for, only needing warmth and humidity. They are shy, slow-moving reptiles that prefer to hide, so they are best kept in a small enclosure with a lid. When you are keeping a ball python, always remember that they are still a reptile, so they need a warm and humid environment to thrive. In this guide, we have outlined how to take care of a ball python, as well as what you should watch out for.