The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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If you’ve been looking into types of pet snakes that you can buy, you’ve likely seen corn snakes pop up time and time again. These snakes are often recommended to beginners because of how easy they are to care for.
For people who aren’t used to caring for snakes, it’s easy to get started with corn snakes. They aren’t as tough to deal with as many other popular snakes.
Do corn snakes like to be held, though? Or is this something that all snakes seem to shy away from?
Read on to learn about handling corn snakes. This should help you to understand how things will go when you try to hold your pet corn snakes.
Corn Snakes Are Easy to Handle
Corn snakes are some of the easiest snakes to handle overall. They aren’t difficult snakes to hold, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily enjoy being held.
Snakes have evolved to be solitary creatures. They aren’t used to being held by humans.
So saying that corn snakes enjoy being held or being cuddled might be a bit off the mark. Regardless, they’re much more agreeable than many other pet snakes.
Corn snakes get used to being handled regularly. They don’t try to hide or fight you once they get used to things.
When handling corn snakes, it’s imperative to do things right. Otherwise, you could endanger the snake.
Taming the Snake
Taming the snake is something that needs to occur before you start handling it. You shouldn’t try to pick the snake up immediately after bringing it home.
Snakes usually feel a bit scared and out of sorts when entering a new home. It takes them a bit of time to acclimate to their new environments.
It takes approximately two weeks for corn snakes to get used to their new homes. Sometimes it can take slightly longer.
Wait to attempt to handle the snake until it starts eating regularly. The first time you attempt to handle the snake, you want to go slowly and be cautious.
It’s best to keep handling sessions short at first. You might only handle the snake for a couple of minutes the first time.
Most experts recommend keeping the first few handling sessions under five minutes. Wait to return the snake to its habitat until it is acting calm.
This is done to teach the snake how it’s supposed to behave when being handled. As you continue to handle the snake, you can start handling it for longer periods.
Work your way up to handling the snake for ten minutes. Never exceed fifteen minutes of handling since that can raise the snake’s body temperature too much.
How Often Should You Handle Corn Snakes?
Technically, you don’t have to handle corn snakes at all. However, it’s recommended that you handle them once or twice per week.
Snakes don’t need to interact with humans to stay healthy. It’s simply good to handle them regularly to keep the snakes tame.
Also, handling the snake gives it an opportunity to exercise a little bit. You don’t want to handle the snake excessively.
Never handle a snake more than once per day. Handling the snake once per day should be fine, but remember that the handling session shouldn’t last for longer than fifteen minutes.
Most people choose to keep the handling sessions capped at around ten minutes. The snake will get used to being handled the more that you do it, and it shouldn’t feel like you’re making the snake feel uncomfortable.
How Do You Hold These Snakes?
Holding these snakes isn’t tough, but you want to do things the right way. You want to make sure that the snake is awake before you begin.
Most people choose to tap the snake with something to ensure that it’s awake. For example, you could tap it with a toilet paper roll or something like that.
Doing this action regularly will tell the snake that it’s handling time. Otherwise, the snake might mistake your intentions and assume that it’s feeding time.
When you see the corn snake flicking its tongue, that’ll tell you that it’s awake. Approach the snake from the side so that you don’t scare it or make it feel defensive.
Be careful when picking up the snake. You don’t want to grab its tail or restrain its head during this time.
Do your best to hold the body of the snake. You can hold the snake close to your body.
Corn snakes will often slither up their owners’ arms. It’s not uncommon for these snakes to move around your neck either.
Times When You Shouldn’t Handle the Snake
There are times when you shouldn’t handle the snake. If the snake has eaten recently, it’s not wise to handle it.
When a snake has eaten in the last two days, it’s not a good time to handle it. It could accidentally cause the snake to regurgitate, and it’s known to stress snakes.
If your snake is shedding, it’s not wise to handle it. You must wait until the snake is done shedding its skin.
So long as you look out for these situations, it’ll be easy to tell when it’s a good time to handle the snake. You should have a good experience when holding your corn snake.
Do Corn Snakes Bite Their Owners?
Sometimes corn snakes might bite their owners. This is more likely to happen when you make mistakes or when the snake isn’t tame yet.
In the early days, the snake will be more nervous. It might strike at you if you try to handle it too soon or if you approach it from above.
Snakes can become defensive when you do something they don’t like. Trying to grab the snake in the wrong way or bothering it too much might lead to you getting bit.
Thankfully, corn snake bites don’t hurt much at all. They aren’t serious, but that doesn’t mean that you want to get bit by the snake.
To avoid this situation, be sure to approach handling the snake in the right way. If you ever get bit by your pet snake, don’t overreact.
The snake might strike and release. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t attempt to pull the snake off of your arm forcefully.
Doing so might remove some of its teeth. This is painful for the snake and it could get a bad infection.
It’s better to pour cold water on the snake’s head to make it release its grip. You can then wash the wound using standard antibacterial soap and warm water.
You should feel more confident that you’ll be able to handle corn snakes now. Corn snakes don’t necessarily like to be held, but they get used to being handled.
Eventually, you’ll tame the snake and it’ll get used to being held by you. You can have a good experience handling the snake multiple times per week.
Most experts say that handling the snake once or twice per week is a good idea. Sometimes you shouldn’t handle the snake, though.
For example, you shouldn’t handle the snake when it’s shedding. You also don’t want to handle the snake when it has recently eaten food (within 48 hours).
Keep all of this advice in mind and you’ll have an easy and fun time with this pet snake. Corn snakes are stellar pets and you’ll enjoy owning one of them.