How do I convince my mom into getting a snake

Asked May 7, 2018, 9:25 AM EDT

hello! My name is shanelle I'm 13 and I really want a pet snake but my mom is deathly afraid of them I've been asking for one ever since I held one in the 3 grade I've been trying and trying to talk her into it but I'm not sure how she things there the biting venomous creatures which some can be I'm just trying to get a corn snake or a boa but she doesn't like big snakes and if I do get one what's the cheaper way of buying the tank and setup?

Sacramento County California

1 Response

Hi Shanelle! Thank you for your question. Convincing a parent who's afraid of snakes to let you keep one can be a tough sell. I would definitely start with aa captive raised species like a corn snake, ratsnake or kingsnake, rather than a boa. Boas require a little more experience to take care of properly, require larger prey and larger enclosure, and can grow to be about 12 feet long, which I suspect would not make your Mom's day.

Here's an idea that might help your Mom learn more about snakes and see that keeping one in your house is not all that unusual. There is a herpetological society in Sacramento that has monthly meetings. Here's a link to their website:

You might try seeing if she would take you to one of the society's monthly meetings, so she could meet adults that keep snakes and possibly parents who let their children have snakes as pets. If she talks to some other adults who have been keeping snakes for a long time, it might help her feel more comfortable about letting your keep one yourself.

The size of your tank depend will depend on the size of your snake. If, for example, you get a corn snake that's large enough to eat fuzzy mice, you can keep it in a 10-gallon aquarium with a secure screen top. The top can be secured with clamps that you can purchase at any store that sells aquariums and tops for reptiles. A larger adult corn, ratsnake or kingsnake can require a 20- or 30-gallon tank depending on their size. If you need a heat lamp, you can usually purchase this at the same store that sells aquariums. I recommend purchasing a stand that slides under the aquarium from which you can hang the heat lamp. The stand safely secures the lamp rather than just setting the lamp on the screen top. Also, since the stand is adjustable, you can raise or lower it to adjust temperature in the aquarium. Here's a link to show you what they look like:

You can, of course, purchase much nicer enclosures for your snake, but they can be pretty expensive. If you Google "snake enclosures", you take a look at everything from aquariums to custom cages.

I hope this information helps and good luck!!