How to Care for A Ball Python – A Simple Guide to Get You Started

HOW TO CARE FOR A BALL PYTHON

How to Care for A Ball Python – Before I go ahead here are the main facts about Ball Pythons:

POPULARLY KNOWN AS:  Royal Python

SCIENTIFICALLY KNOWN AS: Python Regius

NATIVE ORIGIN: Central and Western Africa

LIFESPAN: Can live between 20 to 40 years if properly taken care of

SIZE: Grows from 3-6ft. the female ball python grows bigger than the males.

TEMPERAMENT: They are usually very shy. the older they get, the more curious they get

EXPERT LEVEL: Great choice for beginners

BALL PYTHONS

The ball python snake popularly known as the royal python is the ideal snake for a beginner snake keeper.

The ball pythons also known as the royal pythons or the python regius comes from the same family as the boas known as the constrictors. The constrictor snakes are known for wrapping their body around their prey and stretch until the prey suffocates and die then they swallow the whole.

They got the name ball pythons because whenever they are threatened, the roll themselves into a ball like-shape and tuck their heads into the coil formed. – How to Care for A Ball Python

How to Care for A Ball Python 

HOW TO CARE FOR A BALL PYTHON

It is very easy to take care of a ball python, and with proper care be ready to have a long-term commitment because, on an average, they live from 20 to 40 years. In other to carefully understand and take proper care of your ball python, we have made it very simple and clear to understand. You’ll be far from getting it wrong should you follow the laid down steps and instructions.- How to Care for A Ball Python

SETTING UP A PLACE FOR YOUR BALL PYTHON

GET A 30LT-GALLON OR A BIGGER AQUARIUM

You shouldn’t mind if your snake is currently of a small size, it will definitely grow and need space to move around, choose a different area to stay, places to hide etc. you should get your pet a large aquarium. When getting a gallon or aquarium for your snake, you should make sure that the top meshes, so there will be no room for escaping. – How to Care for A Ball Python

BUY TWO THERMOMETERS AND A HEAT LAMP

You should make an area of the aquarium between 90 to 95 degrees in temperate because your python (ball python) will also need a hot spot for basking. The heat lamp will help In making sure that a part of the aquarium remains warm. Also, your snake will need a cooler spot with a temperature between 75 to 80 degrees. Here is where the thermometers come into use: in order to make sure that you get the actual temperature of both ends of the aquarium, you should place the thermometer in both locations and make sure you monitor it every day. – How to Care for A Ball Python

PROVIDE TWO HIDING SPOTS FOR YOUR SNAKE

It’s very important to set up hiding spots for your ball python because they love hiding. You should set up the hiding spots for them: one in the warm part of the aquarium, one in the cooler part of the aquarium. You can make use of flower pots or even purchase hiding boxes or something similar. – How to Care for A Ball Python

THE BOTTOM OF THE AQUARIUM SHOULD BE LINED WITH EITHER A MOSS OR A SHREDDED NEWSPAPER

You should abstain from making use of aspen shavings or pines. This is because they take in too much humidity and will end up making the place too dry for your python. – How to Care for A Ball Python

ADD A SOAKING TUB

At times, your snake will want to take a dip, so you should make his water dish a large one so it can be accommodating for him whenever he needs a little soaking. Get a shallow dish so as to prevent drowning. For your snake, the dish should contain about 1 inch of water. – How to Care for A Ball Python

CLEANING YOUR BALL PYTHONS HABITAT

DO A DAILY CLEANING IN YOUR SNAKES HABITAT

Get rid of any feces or wet beddings daily. You should note that your ball python defecates just once in a week but will urinate regularly. You should also remove the dead skins in the tank when your snake starts shedding. – How to Care for A Ball Python

WASH OUT THE WATER DISH ON DAILY BASIS

It is of utmost importance that you wash the water dish with soapy water daily because your snake might have soaked in it. After washing, you should refill with fresh lukewarm water. – How to Care for A Ball Python

USE DISINFECTANT ONE A MONTH

Get rid of everything in the tank and do a thorough washing with a diluted bleach and water solution. Soak the place for 15 minutes and then rinse properly. Before setting up your clean bedding and replacing the cage accessories, you should make sure that the cage is properly dry. – How to Care for A Ball Python

CLEANING YOUR BALL PYTHON

MOST TIMES, YOU SNAKE DOES THE BATHING HERSELF

If the water dish you provide you snake with is large and has a shallow amount of water, she will always take the opportunity to soak her in the water. That means you don’t have to stress yourself about bathing your snake. – How to Care for A Ball Python

YOU CAN DO THE SOAKING YOURSELF

At times, your snake might not be in the mood to take a soak or dive by itself. You should make use an inch of warm water that is about 100 to 104 degree I temperature, put it in a large container and soak her for about 10 minutes then take her out.  – How to Care for A Ball Python 

PLACE YOUR SNAKE IN A HOLDING CAGE

Most snakes defecate immediately after taking a bath, so if you have a spare cage, you can place your snake in it after the bath for some time so she doesn’t have to mess up her aquarium.

DURING MOLTING PERIOD, GET HER SOMETHING TO RUB AGAINST

You should place some small tree branches, pine cones, or even stones in the aquarium, your snake can rub off its dead skin on it. You’d notice her rubbing the smooth sides of her tank, that’s a sign that she needs something coarser. – How to Care for A Ball Python

FEEDING YOUR BALL PYTHON

FEED YOUR SNAKES WITH RODENT ONCE EVERY ONE OR TWO WEEKS

Traditionally, a ball python eats every 7 to 14 days, during winter, they eat less often.  For younger ball pythons, they eat every week and on a regular basis. As for older snakes, they can go two weeks in before feeding. You should feed your snake with rodents that are of the same dimension in width at your snakes’ widest point. Feed your snake with either a pre-killed live rodent or a thawed frozen rodent. It is not advisable to give your snake a live rodent so as to prevent your snake from getting hurt. – How to Care for A Ball Python

PLACE THE RODENT IN THE HABITAT OF YOUR SNAKE AND WAIT

You should not be in a hurry hen feeding your snake. Should your snake not be interested to eat at the moment, you should place the rodent in the aquarium and wait for at least an hour before removing it. During warmer periods, for younger snakes, you should try the next day. While for older snakes during winter, you should wait several days before trying again. – How to Care for A Ball Python

AFTER FEEDING, DO NOT HOLD YOUR SNAKE FOR AT LEAST A DAY

It is advisable to let your snake rest after eating because handling it immediately can make your snake vomit.

DURING WINTER, EXPECT YOUR SNAKE TO SKIP FEEDING

This is a common trait in adult ball pythons. Just keep offering her the rodent once per week and when she’s ready, she’ll start eating again.

PROVIDE YOUR SNAKE WITH CLEAN, FRESH WATER AT ALL TIMES

Always bear it in mind that your snake might from time to time soak herself in her water dish. So changing the water daily is advisable. It is also advisable to immediately change the water if she defecates in it. Make the water a little bit warm between 100 and 104 degrees. – How to Care for A Ball Python

BENEFITS OF HAVING A BALL PYTHON AS A PET

Due to the fact that a ball python is easy to care for, most people love and enjoy owning one. The ball python gets used to your touch the more you handle and hold them. You should endeavor to have a chat time with your snake at least once a day.

  • Here are other benefits of a ball python.
  • Compared to dogs or cats, ball pythons require very little maintenance.
  • Feeding a ball python is easy as they eat only once every week.
  • Ball pythons defecate only once on a weekly basis.
  • Cleaning up the habitat of a ball python is really easy.
  • An average ball python can live for as long as 20 to 30 years but if properly taken care of in captivity, they can stay for up to 50 years.
  • Unlike other snakes, a ball python grows between 3 to 5 feet in length. For other snakes like boa constrictors which grows between 9-10 feet long
  • Having a pet snake is cool because it’s not a common pet so you can take it as an exotic pet.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR BALL PYTHON

The ball python is usually shy, so holding your new pet and allowing it to get used to your new home will take some time. A good sign to know if your new pet is relaxed is if you see him eating. Here are steps to handling your ball python. – How to Care for A Ball Python

PATIENCE

As you must have known, ball pythons are fearful and shy at first. You should give you new pet some time to get to know you. if in the course of picking him up, you get bitten, just wash off the bite with soap and water and try again after a few days. – How to Care for A Ball Python

USE BOTH HANDS TO SCOOP UP YOU PYTHON

Handling your ball python this way will help it stay comfortable and help you stay still

DON’T HANDLE YOU SNAKE BEFORE OR AFTER FEEDING

Most snakes tend to feel stressed and will refuse to eat after handling. Also, handling your snake immediately after eating will cause your snake to regurgitate. Give your snake at least one day before you handle him.

  • Make sure you feed your snake at least once before you think of handling it. This is so you’d know he’s is already feeling relaxed with you.
  • Avoid picking up your snake when he’s shedding or during shedding times
  • Don’t startle your snake as this may make it become defensive. Make sure your snake sees you before picking him up.
  • Don’t restrict the movement of your snake by griping him tightly especially his head. Lift him around the middle area of his body and support with the other hand.
  • Before you pick up you snake, endeavor to wash your hands and after please do the same.

CONCLUSION

With proper care and good health, you will have many years of excitement and companionship with your ball python. Learning how to care for your ball python will help you enjoy her long life.

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