Ball pythons are the most popular pet snake in the world. They aren’t super long, they don’t eat giant rats, and they don’t have venom that could kill you.
In fact, ball pythons are docile snakes that make excellent pets for all ages. Yet, many new owners find themselves asking: how do I know if my ball python is stressed?
This article will give you a better understanding of stress in snakes by describing what causes it and sharing signs your snake is stressed.
We’ll also cover what to do when your ball python is stressed (so you can keep him or her from feeling this way).
Why is my ball python stressed?
Ball pythons are generally very easy to keep and breed. However, there are times when a ball python is stressed or sick. What can cause stress in a ball python?
Stress can be caused by a number of things including:
Ball pythons need to be kept at an ambient temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, but if the temperature gets too hot or cold for even just a few hours, it can cause stress.
Ball pythons prefer high humidity levels, especially during shedding and breeding season. If the humidity drops below 40%, this can cause stress in your ball python.
Ball pythons need 12 hours of UVB lighting per day to properly digest their food and absorb vitamins from their diet.
If they do not get enough UVB lighting, they will not be able to properly digest their food and may not grow as fast as they should.
How to tell if your ball python is stressed?
If your ball pythons are acting differently than normal or if they seem to be hiding more than usual, there may be something wrong with their environment or routine.
If you notice any of these changes in your ball python’s behavior, it’s important to act quickly to correct them.
Here are some signs that your ball python may be stressed:
1. Loss of appetite
A healthy adult ball python should eat voraciously every time it’s offered food. If it refuses food for more than one day, this could mean something is wrong with its environment or routine.
Lethargy is another sign that something may be wrong with the environment or routine of your snake.
It can manifest itself as a lack of movement or unwillingness to explore its enclosure, which may indicate poor health or stress from being in a new environment.
3. Sunken eyes
Sunken eyes are another sign that your ball python may be stressed.
This can be caused by many factors, including parasites, dehydration, or malnutrition.
If you notice your snake’s eyes are sunken into its skull, it’s best to get it checked out by a veterinarian immediately.
4. They have trouble shedding
If your ball python has trouble shedding or seems to have trouble getting into its shed cycle, it may be stressed out.
This can also happen if you have recently moved your snake or changed its environment in any way.
Make sure that your tank is at the proper temperature and humidity levels, and try to give it time to adjust before worrying too much about shedding issues.
What to do when your ball python is stressed
To help your ball python feel more at home, you can do a number of things. Here are some tips:
Remove the cause of stress
If the problem is with the environment, making alterations to fix the issue should be your first priority.
Do not move your snake from one place to another if you believe he might be stressed by his surroundings.
Instead, take steps to make your snake’s environment as similar to his natural habitat as possible.
If there is a loud noise or other sources of irritation outside, take steps to minimize this issue as much as possible before bringing your pet into the room again.
Create a more natural environment for your snake
Your ball python’s home should mimic his natural terrain and conditions as much as possible so that he feels secure and comfortable in his surroundings.
For example, if you live in a warm climate like Florida but keep your house at an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 80 degrees Fahrenheit like it is outside on most days, consider bumping up the thermostat in order to better accommodate his needs (and keep him alive).
You may also want to consider purchasing some plants or vines inside the terrarium.
These will give him something familiar-looking on which he could climb around or hide beneath while he’s inside!
Provide a hideout for your snake when he needs one
Lastly, A ball python has plenty of places where he could go if feeling stressed out.
However, it can be difficult for humans who don’t know their way around these spaces well enough yet to find them without disturbing them further with their presence!
It is best not only to make sure there are some hides available but also to ensure these hides are inaccessible places where neither owner nor pet will have trouble finding them when needed most.
Otherwise, both parties may become frustrated with each other due to lack of communication about what resources exist within each others’ reach.”