Ball pythons or royal pythons (Python regius) are wonderful pets that many people love. You may want to take your snake outside at some point, so the question is can you take a ball python out in public?
As a general rule, it is legal to take ball pythons out in public. This doesn’t mean you should. Your snake can escape, and some people and animals may have negative reactions to your beloved pet. There is no benefit to your snake to take it in public.
Do Snakes Benefit?
Snakes are not social animals. Ball pythons would much rather hide than be taken out in public. Being around a bunch of strange humans and other predators would be a stressful experience.
Both common animals like dogs and people may have because reactions to your pet. Many people are scared of snakes and will not appreciate being around one.
If you want to do public education with your snake, it is best to look into groups and settings where this would be appropriate.
Taking your snake out in public just isn’t advised. This includes places like parks and anywhere with significant traffic.
Snakes also do not need fresh air. While they do need exercise your snake can get that in a large enclosure with plenty of climbing room.
You shouldn’t take your eyes or hands off your snake since they could sneak away if you do take them outside. Snakes are very good at hiding and it would be hard to recover one that has escaped while outside.
New scents can be interesting enrichment, but you could easily bring new scents to your snake without the risks. Picking a branch and placing it in your snake’s enclosure is a great way to offer enrichment. Just make sure it hasn’t been treated with pesticides or herbicides.
These can harm or kill your snake. You can also easily add scents to cage decorations by rubbing fur or shed skin from other reptiles onto a branch.
Being outside or around strangers can be very stressful for a snake. Stressed snakes may not show the signs immediately beyond hissing and balling up.
Your snake may show signs later, such as a feeding strike, lethargy, or irritation. Your snake may also become illl. Signs can include excess mucus or skin changes.
Snakes that are taken outside are at risk of parasites.
This includes ticks and mites. Generally, the best standard for ball python care means lots of hygiene measures for any decorations in addition to avoiding contact with other snakes or places they have been.
Where Can You Take a Ball Python?
If you really want to give your snake some fresh air, your own yard is a good place to take your snake. You can also head to reptile-friendly spaces like reptile shows.
People at these shows would likely love to meet your pet! Just remember to keep an eye on your snake. Most snakes are stressed easily by crowds.
Ball pythons want to keep an eye on all potential predators. This is basically impossible in a crowded reptile expo. Having a safe place to put your snake like a carrier can help your snake feel more secure if you do need to travel with them.
Another idea is to see if any local organization might want to do a reptile teaching day. If you know your snake isn’t too bothered by people, then participating in an educational event can help others learn more about ball pythons.
Just remember that your snake would probably rather be at home in their enclosure.
Try to keep it short since a stressed snake can quickly become ill. Stress can kill your snake, so you should try to avoid it as much as possible.
How to Take Your Snake Out
If you’re moving house or taking your snake to the vet, it will be necessary to go outside. Generally, soft sides pet carriers are the best choice for snakes since they won’t be injured if you hit a bump.
You can find a basic soft carrier in many sizes. You should also place your snake in a pillowcase before you go anywhere. A soft, clean pillowcase can be carefully tied shut to help keep your snake calm during a car ride.
If you can, use a pillowcase that doesn’t have a strong smell to it. This is because snakes have a very strong sense of smell. If you can smell something, your snake certainly can!
Make sure the snake isn’t too cramped and use a shipping heat pack meant for reptiles if you may be out for longer or if it is very cold. Ball pythons are from a warm climate, so they need to be kept warm.
If you really want to take your snake outside, you should stick to your own yard or garden. A controlled, private area is less stressful for your snake and safer.
You should never put your snake down. Wear the snake around your neck or allow it to curl around your arm. this ensures your snake can’t get loose.
A snake that escapes outside is incredibly hard to find.
You may be tempted to give your snake a chance to explore outside, but snakes are amazing escape artists and most will blend in well to the grass. They will also hide in burrows and other tight spaces.
This makes finding your escaped pet much harder.
Generally, you do not want to take your snake outside unless you absolutely need to.
The public at large will not appreciate your pet and you risk your snake escaping or becoming ill. If you want to take your snake outside, stick to your own property and keep your snake on you at all times.
Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below.
Everything you need to know about caring for Ball Pythons in captivity:
Read our Ball Python Care Sheet (Complete Setup & Guide)