Critters for Kids Part I – Corn Snake

Matt Johnson Reptiles

This is the first post in a new series of blogs about good pets for kids. All too often we see parents and kids attracted to the some critters that aren’t the best choices. This series will help navigate some of those waters, with some of my favorites for kids based on ease of care, initial investment, and a number of other factors.

I won’t go into detailed information about corn snake care as that is readily available around the web.

Snakes in general are extremely easy to handle particularly adult corn snakes. My two year old can safely handle a docile corn snake. Its slower movements and instinct to hang on to his arms and wrists help my two year old to resist the urge to squeeze. They are fairly curious snakes and move around more than a ball python.

Initial Investment:
Corn snakes are on the lower end of the cost scale in terms of setup. Needing only a single heat source preferably a heating pad and a relatively small cage, 20 gallon long tank works nice. Including the snake initial investment can easily be under $200.

Ongoing Care Requirements:
Snakes are incredibly easy to care for. They require little interaction, infrequent bedding changes, and a week or more between feedings. Corn snakes adapt very well to frozen meals making them a great choice for new or young snake owners.

Monthly Costs:
Food: $8 a month
Electricity: $.60 a month
Bedding: $3 a month

Potential Risks:
There is always a risk of snake bite, it is however relatively harmless if it does occur. Though rare, As with most reptiles there are a number of possible zoonotic diseases notably salmonella. Basic sanitazation is all that is required to keep your kids safe.