Do Ball Pythons Like Water?

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Ball pythons are one of the most popular pet snakes in the world, known for their docile nature and beautiful coloring. However, many owners often wonder if their beloved pet enjoys being around water. After all, snakes are known for their aversion to water, right?

The truth is, ball pythons do like water, but in their own unique way. While they may not enjoy taking a dip in a pool, they do need access to water to maintain their health and well-being. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of ball pythons and their relationship with water.

Do Ball Pythons Like Water?

Do Ball Pythons Like Water? A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding the Water Needs of Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are native to the arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa, where they have limited access to water sources. As a result, they are not known for their love of water, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it. Ball pythons require water to stay hydrated, to aid in shedding, and to help with digestion.

When it comes to water, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure that your ball python stays healthy. First and foremost, you need to make sure that your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times. This means that you need to change the water in their bowl at least once a day, and more often if it becomes contaminated.

The Role of Humidity in Ball Python Health

Ball pythons are also unique in that they require a specific level of humidity in their enclosure to stay healthy. In the wild, these snakes live in burrows and other underground shelters that provide a moist environment. As a result, they have adapted to thrive in higher humidity levels than many other snake species.

In captivity, it’s important to maintain a relative humidity level of 50-60% in your ball python’s enclosure. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as misting the enclosure, providing a humid hide, or using a humidifier. Failing to maintain adequate humidity levels can lead to a variety of health problems, such as respiratory infections and difficulty shedding.

How to Provide Water for Your Ball Python

When it comes to providing water for your ball python, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to choose an appropriate water dish that is large enough for your snake to soak in but not so large that it takes up too much space in the enclosure. You can use a heavy ceramic or glass dish that won’t tip over easily, or you can purchase a specific type of water dish designed for reptiles.

It’s also important to choose the right type of water for your ball python. Tap water is generally safe for most snakes, but you may want to consider using bottled or filtered water if your tap water is particularly hard or contains high levels of chlorine or other chemicals. You should also avoid using distilled water, as it lacks the minerals that are essential for your snake’s health.

Benefits of Providing Water for Your Ball Python

Providing your ball python with access to clean, fresh water and maintaining proper humidity levels in their enclosure has a variety of benefits. Here are just a few:

– Helps with hydration: Snakes need water to stay hydrated, just like any other animal. Providing clean, fresh water ensures that your ball python stays healthy and hydrated.
– Aids in digestion: Water is essential for digestion, and without it, your ball python may struggle to digest their food properly. Ensuring that your snake has access to water can help prevent digestive issues.
– Promotes healthy shedding: Proper hydration is essential for healthy shedding. If your ball python is dehydrated, they may have difficulty shedding their skin, which can lead to a host of health problems.
– Prevents health issues: Maintaining proper humidity levels in your ball python’s enclosure can help prevent respiratory infections and other health issues that can arise from living in a dry environment.

Water vs. Other Types of Moisture

While water is essential for your ball python’s health, it’s important to note that there are other types of moisture that are also important. For example, providing a humid hide in your snake’s enclosure can help them regulate their body temperature and aid in shedding. It’s also important to provide a substrate that retains moisture, such as coconut fiber or sphagnum moss, to help maintain proper humidity levels.

That being said, water should still be the primary source of moisture for your ball python. While other types of moisture can be beneficial, they should not replace access to clean, fresh water.

When to Change Your Ball Python’s Water

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to change your ball python’s water at least once a day to ensure that it stays clean and fresh. However, there may be times when you need to change the water more frequently. For example, if your snake defecates in the water dish, you should immediately dump the water and replace it with fresh water. Similarly, if the water becomes contaminated with substrate or other debris, it should be changed immediately.


In summary, ball pythons do need water to stay healthy, but they are not particularly fond of it. It’s important to provide your snake with access to clean, fresh water at all times and to maintain proper humidity levels in their enclosure. By doing so, you can help prevent a variety of health issues and ensure that your ball python stays happy and healthy for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Ball Pythons Like Water?

Ball pythons are semi-aquatic creatures that require water to stay hydrated and maintain their overall health. They enjoy soaking in water, and it is an important part of their natural habitat. However, it is crucial to note that ball pythons are not strong swimmers and can easily drown in deep water. Therefore, it is essential to provide a shallow water dish that is easily accessible to them.

It is also important to ensure that the water in their dish is clean and free from any harmful chemicals or bacteria. You should change the water regularly and clean the dish to prevent any infections or diseases. Overall, ball pythons do like water, but as with any aspect of their care, it is important to provide it in a safe and appropriate manner.

How Often Should I Provide Water to My Ball Python?

Providing clean and fresh water is essential for the health and well-being of your ball python. You should provide a shallow water dish at all times, and it is best to change the water daily or every other day. This will prevent any bacteria or harmful chemicals from building up in the water and keep your snake healthy.

In addition to their water dish, you can also mist their enclosure with water to increase the humidity levels. This is especially important during shedding, as it helps the snake to shed their skin more easily. Overall, providing water to your ball python is a crucial aspect of their care and should be done regularly and with care.

What Temperature Should the Water Dish Be?

The water dish for your ball python should be at room temperature, which is typically between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that the water is neither too hot nor too cold for your snake and will prevent any discomfort or harm. You can also monitor the temperature of the water using a thermometer to ensure that it is at the appropriate temperature.

It is important to note that ball pythons are cold-blooded animals and rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the water dish is not too cold, as this can cause your snake to become lethargic and inactive. Overall, maintaining a consistent and appropriate temperature for the water dish is essential for the health and well-being of your ball python.

What Happens if My Ball Python Doesn’t Drink Water?

Ball pythons can survive for long periods without water, but it is not recommended to let them go without it. If your snake is not drinking water, it may be a sign of dehydration or illness. You should monitor your snake’s behavior and appearance for any signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes or dry skin.

If you suspect that your snake is dehydrated, you can try offering them water in a different dish or misting their enclosure to increase humidity levels. It is also a good idea to take your snake to a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. Overall, it is important to ensure that your ball python is drinking water regularly and to address any concerns about their hydration levels promptly.

Can I Use Tap Water for My Ball Python?

Tap water can be used for your ball python, but it is important to ensure that it is clean and free from any harmful chemicals or bacteria. If you are unsure about the quality of your tap water, you can use filtered or bottled water instead. It is also important to change the water regularly and clean the water dish to prevent any bacteria or infections.

If you live in an area with hard water, which contains high levels of minerals, it may be beneficial to use distilled water instead. Hard water can leave mineral deposits on the water dish, which can be difficult to clean and may cause health issues for your snake. Overall, it is important to provide clean and safe water to your ball python, regardless of the source.

Why is my snake soaking in water?

In conclusion, while ball pythons may not be the strongest swimmers, they do enjoy water to some extent. Providing a shallow water dish that is cleaned and refilled regularly can offer a refreshing spot for your ball python to soak and drink from. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all ball pythons have the same preferences, so it’s important to observe your snake’s behavior and adjust accordingly.

Overall, providing a comfortable and healthy environment for your ball python should always be your top priority. By understanding their natural behaviors and preferences, you can create a suitable habitat that promotes their well-being and happiness. With proper care and attention, your ball python will thrive and enjoy their home for years to come.

Aubrey Sawyer


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