All snakes bite can bite.
So snakes that don’t bit at all don’t exist.
That said, many species almost never bite humans.
And even if they do, their bites are not dangerous. And usually not even painful.
These are snakes that are docile, small, and do not have large teeth. As a result, they all make great pets.
Which species are they? Keep reading to find out. We’ve got a list of 10 snake species that are all highly unlikely to bite and that all make for wonderful pets (except one, which is a bit high maintenance).
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What Snakes Don’t Bite?
There are a number of snake species that are unlikely to bite humans, like the corn snake, the ball python, the rosy boa, the rubber boa, the hognose snake, the Brahminy snake, the garter snake and many more.
The following ten species are all docile snakes that rarely bite humans. And even if they do, their bites do not hurt and are not dangerous, apart from the risk of infection. as a result, all are popular pets.
Brahminy Blind Snakes
Brahminy blind snakes are small, non-venomous snakes measuring about 6 inches long. They generally do not bite humans due to their small mouths and they prefer to burrow or hide from predators.
They also release a foul-smelling musk that repels their enemies. Sometimes, they may pierce the tips of their sharp tails into their attacker’s skin. But this does not cause much harm.
Brahminy blind snakes are found in parts of Asia, Australia, and Africa. They are blind and move around by sensing ground vibrations and detecting light.
They arrive in gardens after a spell of rain to eat insects, worms, termites, and ants. They do us a great service by getting rid of our garden pests, so letting them live in your yard may be advantageous.
There is a reason ball pythons are one of the most popular exotic pets in the United States. They are gentle and easygoing with docile temperaments. This makes them perfect for beginner snake keepers.
Ball pythons rarely bite humans and prefer to curl up in a ball when they feel threatened. In fact, they are named ball pythons due to this very habit.
Ball pythons grow around 4 to 5 feet long and weigh between 3 and 5 pounds. They are friendly snakes that don’t mind being touched by humans.
Their non-aggressive nature makes them ideal pets for families with children. Ball python bites are non-venomous and since these snakes do not have fangs, they are also non-painful. However, if you do get bitten, please seek medical treatment to prevent infection.
Corn snakes are the gentle and friendly “noodles” of the snake world. Adult corn snakes grow 2 to 6 feet long (61 to 182 cm) and have beautiful colors and patterns on their bodies.
They make excellent pets because of their docile nature. Corn snakes rarely bite humans and if they do, their bites aren’t painful or venomous. Corn snakes use constriction to kill their prey.
If you plan on keeping a corn snake as a pet, make sure to house it in a secure tank. They are amazing escape artists!
They are mostly active at dusk and dawn and are quite placid. They also get used to regular handling but you must not handle your pet for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Any longer will raise the snake’s core temperature too much.
Rosy boas are adorable snakes with a body width equivalent to the diameter of a golf ball. They come in attractive pinkish-brown hues reminiscent of a desert sunset.
Rosy boas are friendly and usually calm. They rarely bite humans unless they feel threatened. They enjoy burrowing and prefer hiding if they feel insecure, stressed, or threatened.
Rosy boas are non-confrontational, non-venomous snakes that are likely to use other defense tactics instead of biting. Also, their bites usually don’t hurt.
If you are a snake lover, a rosy boa will make a wonderful addition to your snake enclosure. They are gentle companions and they even get used to being handled. Their sweet, docile nature also makes them wonderful pets for beginning snake keepers. Caring for a rosy boa is a pleasure!
California King Snake
California King Snakes are non-venomous, non-aggressive snakes that make excellent pets. They grow to be around 3 to 5 feet long and typically weigh between 1 and 3.3 pounds (0.45 and 1.5 kg), making them a manageable size.
California kingsnakes rarely bite humans but they might bite if they are surprised or threatened. This is a benign and gentle species that is known for its calm and docile temperament. They are also easy to handle for beginners and they even seem to enjoy being handled.
The “king” in their name comes from the fact that they can hunt and eat other snakes, including rattlesnakes. This unique ability helps them thrive in their natural habitats across California and nearby areas.
If you are a snake enthusiast looking for a friendly and low-maintenance snake pet, then the California king snake is an excellent choice.
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern hognose snakes are quirky and fun pets, especially for beginners. They are generally not aggressive and they rarely bite humans.
Instead, when scared or touched by humans, these “drama queens of the snake world” flatten their bodies, hiss loudly, and pretend to be lifeless. This is quite interesting to watch.
While bites from eastern hognose snakes are quite rare, they are still mildly venomous. These snakes deliver the venom into their prey’s body using the two enlarged teeth behind their upper jaw. Worry not. They only bite their food and not humans. Not even in self-defense.
Please note that the western hognose snake has been known to bite humans, but its bites only result in mild symptoms such as blisters and edema.
We have a full comparison of the hognose snake vs ball python, which you already saw further up on this list. Asd mentioned, it is the most popular pet snake in the US, but that does not necessarily mean it is a better pet than the hognose.
Garter snakes are small, friendly, and docile snakes that make great beginner-friendly companions. They rarely bite humans, because they are shy.
Their preferred defense mechanism is to flatten their bodies, hide their heads, and flail their tails. They also release a foul-smelling musk from the glands near their anus to deter their predators.
Adult garter snakes weigh between 120 and 190 grams, and their length is 18 to 51 inches. They come in various colors, like green, brown, or black, with stripes down their bodies.
Garter snakes have been known to bite pet dogs. Worry not. Their bites are non-venomous and usually do not hurt. However, to prevent infections, you may want to take the usual precautions for wound care.
The Children’s Python is a non-venomous Australian snake. It is not named so because it makes a great pet for children. Rather, it was named after zoologist John George Children.
Many people worldwide keep this species as a pet since they are small, easy to care for, and generally calm.
Children’s pythons are mild-mannered snakes. While they do not usually bite, they could strike if they feel threatened. As juveniles, they tend to be snappy, but they outgrow the behavior as they mature.
Rubber boas are one of the most docile snake species. In fact, they are often kept in treatment rooms to help people get over their phobias of snakes.
When threatened, rubber boas prefer hiding or releasing a foul-scented musk. Rubber boas are usually non-aggressive towards humans, but they do not necessarily make good pets owing to their high maintenance. They are also quite expensive to buy.
Dione Rat Snake
The Dione rat snake (also known as the steppe rat snake) is a non-venomous North American snake that is friendly and rarely bites. It prefers to puff up its body and appear larger than it is when threatened.
It is also known for its exceptional agility on land and in trees. The Dione rat snake uses this agility to its advantage when escaping from predators. It also has beautiful and unique colors that help it camouflage in the wild.
The Dione rat snake does have sharp teeth that can result in painful bites. Fear not. They mostly only inflict bites on their prey and not on humans.
Snakes That Don’t Bite: Final Thoughts
We get asked a lot about species of snakes that don’t bite. The 10 above are the ones I always mention and recommend as good pets. But always with a caveat.
While none of the snakes listed here are aggressive, or large, or have large teeth, that does not mean bites are impossible. They are highly unlikely to bite, but it could still happen.
They may bite when threatened or if they mistake your hand for food when feeding them (using tongs is a good idea). The good news is that none of their bites are dangerous or overly painful. Some you won’t feel at all.
But you should still take precautions. Clean the wound thoroughly and seek medical attention, just to be safe. Infections can happen.