Are Snakes Loyal to their Owners? The Truth You May Not Like

Do you love snakes? Are they your favorite animal? Are you considering getting a pet snake of your own, and want to know how loyal they are first? Read on for some information about whether snakes really care about their owners.

Snakes are different than other pets, and they don’t communicate as well as other pets do. They don’t have facial expressions, clear body language, or audible noises we can understand. This makes it tricky, but experts still found out how Snakes truly feel about us.

So, are snakes loyal to their owners? Snakes are not loyal to their owners. Snakes may feel positively towards their owners with time as they start to associate their owner’s smell and voice with feeding them and caring for them, but snakes are unable to feel loyalty to anything, including their owners.

If what you’re looking for most in a pet is loyalty, you really should get a dog. Nothing else is as loyal to you as a dog could be, but the experience of owning snakes is quite unique and rewarding in its own way.

Keep reading to find out how your snake actually feels about you

Why snakes are not loyal to their owners

snake in owner hands to answer are snakes loyal to their owners

Snakes are able to experience sensations such as fear, pleasure, comfort, and reproduction, as well as fury in order to defend themselves.

They can learn that they are safe when YOU are handling them. They will even like the warmth of your hands.

Still, no one can genuinely comprehend what goes on in a snake’s mind – or any other creature’s. It may make you feel better to believe that some of the actions and feelings of your snake are due to love and concern.

But when it comes to loyalty, snakes are not able to feel that. Snakes do not even know what loyalty is, only humans and a few other animals can feel such complicated emotions.

When you think that your snake must feel loyalty to you the way you do to your parents, for example, what you are actually doing is anthropomorphizing.

Anthropomorphizing is the practice of attributing human qualities and behavior to animals. This isn’t a negative act unless you recognize what’s harmful and unhealthy for your snake, at which point it might help you form a closer bond with your pet – resulting in improved husbandry and early detection of issues.

Can Snakes recognize their owners?

Snakes can recognize their owners by scent and sound. If you provide them with food, they learn to associate your presence with the promise of a meal!

If your snake is always hungry or if it has been previously abused by humans, then it might be best not to handle the animal at all.

Otherwise, snakes may develop fear or aggression towards those who abuse them, but they will never feel loyal to their abusers.

If you provide a snake with the right environment and care, it is possible for your snake to learn to trust you and even enjoy your company, but they are not going to be loyal to you in the way you think of loyalty.

Do Snakes even have emotions or feelings?

Every living, moving creature, no matter how sophisticated, has some sort of emotional and mental experience. This is true for even the simplest species, such as snakes.

The emotions and feelings of snakes, on the other hand, are a lot simpler than ours and are more linked to triggering actions that will aid in the snake’s survival.

Let’s look at some of the motions snakes may feel:

Snakes can experience fear

Snakes are afraid, according to both the scientific and snake owners’ communities.

Fear motivates wild snakes to slither away from dangers by urging them to do so. A fearless snake would be hunted down or consumed in the wild right away. It wouldn’t have the instincts needed to recognize danger and flee. This fight or flight response is crucial for any species’ survival.

One such example would be an encounter with dogs. Snakes fear dogs and often try to avoid them because dogs do and can kill snakes, but dogs do not fear snakes and are often intrigued by their appearance, smell, and movements, so it’s crucial for the snake to fear the dogs and try to avoid them altogether, otherwise, the dog may kill the snake.

Pet snakes may experience fear when they are…

  • Abused or handled in an improper way
  • Are in unfamiliar environments.

Snakes can feel sad and even depressed

Snakes, like humans, can feel sad, but not in the same way we do. They are probably not capable of feeling depressed as well.

Snakes do not have a social hierarchy, so being “lonely” is not a problem for snakes. A snake’s life is a pretty simple one; they just need to stay safe and reproduce. In the wild, these are not easy, but that’s not the case for captive snakes.

Snakes can feel boredom

Snakes can feel bored, but not in the same way we do and will not react to it in the same way as humans. If snakes don’t use their brains for a while, it will slow down which will result in the snake being irritable, inactive, or even uninterested in activities that sustain their life like eating.

They are not thinking of how much they would enjoy going out and having a good time. It’s more probable that they simply lose their motivation to keep doing things to stay alive.

Providing various hiding spots and toys in the snake’s enclosure will keep it happy and healthy by keeping its mind active.

And you already know that snakes can feel pain, but not loyalty. Loyalty is a very complicated emotion for snake, and they are simply unable to feel it or experience it. Not to worry, though, just because your snake is not loyal to you doesn’t mean the experience isn’t worth it.

As any snake owner would tell you; the experience is truly unique and without the normal methods of communication, you can start to communicate with your snake in more subtle ways that feel more real and authentic.

I hope you found this article helpful, and if you did, please do share it as it would help me and I will definitely appreciate it.

Helpful Resources

Secrets of Snakes: The Science Beyond the Myths by David A. Steen

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