When you are setting up your ball python enclosure for the first time, you want to ensure you create a comfortable place for your new pet. Hides are an essential part of their habitat, ensuring your pet feels safe, secure, and comfortable in their captive environment. Not sure how many hides to add in your ball python enclosure? Wondering if your python needs a hide? Wondering what to look for in a hide? Continue reading to find out more.
Why Does A Ball Python Need Hides
Ball pythons look for a secure and dark space to spend their time, giving them a sense of security. It's essential to add hides to the enclosure. Many ball python owners also include a damp hide, giving the python the ability to seek more humidity as and when they need it. Hides are not negotiable when it comes to the setting up of your ball python enclosure.
How Many Hide Does A Ball Python Need
You need to supply a minimum of two hides for your ball python, though adding more can be greatly beneficial to your pet. One hide must be placed on the cool side of the enclosure and one on the warm side. Fill one or both of the hides with sphagnum moss, creating a humid hide, which is beneficial during your pet’s shedding process.
What Make Good Hides For Ball Pythons
One of the main things to look for when selecting a good hide for a ball python is security. Choose hides with one opening, so your pet can feel secure. The hide should be slightly bigger than your pet, enabling them to curl up tightly, feeling snug and secure. You will need to upgrade the size of your hides as your pet grows.
Easy to clean
As with other accessories, the hides in your ball python enclosure will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to ensure the habitat is kept clean. Look for hides which are easy to clean. You want something you can soak, scrub, disinfect and return to the enclosure with ease.
Safety is very important when selecting a ball python hide. Identify hides that have sharp edges and stay away from them. Sharp edges can injure your pet. When your hide arrives, before you add it to the enclosure, check all sides and openings for sharp edges and sand them down to reduce injury moving forward.
Your python is going to climb into the hide, curl up and sleep or relax. In the same breath, your pet is also going to explore its surroundings and move around the enclosure, climbing over its hides. This means choosing a hide that will not fall over and remains steady once placed in the tank.
Choosing a hide that looks natural, such as something that looks like natural wood or rock, can add an aesthetic appeal to your tank design.
Help with shedding
Some hides offer a rough, but not sharp, surface. This can be very beneficial in helping your ball python during shedding.
Best Hides For Ball Pythons
Pangea Reptile Hide Box
This hide box is ideal for snakes with a door placement which is designed to give a sense of security, helping to reduce stress. It's an affordable hide that is durable, made from heavy 1/8” plastic that is thick and can withstand what your pet will put it through by climbing over it.
This hide box is quick and easy to clean with a non-porous and smooth plastic surface and available in a host of sizes to meet your pet’s needs. The small is suitable for hatchling pythons, with the medium suitable for juveniles and the large is suitable for small adult ball pythons. The extra-large will be required when your pet reaches full adult size.
Niteangel Natural Coconut Reptile Hideouts
These hides are excellent additions to your ball python enclosure, made from real coconut, it offers a secure hide to reduce stress. Suitable for wet and dry habitats. Due to being natural, sizes do vary slightly with a diameter of around five inches. Coconut hides can be used as a humid hide and can be placed anywhere in the enclosure to provide a comfortable and safe space for your pet.
Zoo Med Reptile Shelter 3 in 1 Cave
This large reptile shelter is three in one and measures 12” x 8” x 8”. It can be used as a humid hide by adding sphagnum moss to aid with shedding. Made from durable resin, this hide is quick and easy to clean, it can be washed and sterilized with a removable lid, which makes it easy to check on your pet.
ZILLA Den Rock
The Zilla Rock Den has been crafted by hand to give a natural look in the enclosure. Made from non-porous material on the exterior, it does not retain water and will not promote bacteria growth. Made from a solid foundation, which enables your snake to climb over it without the risk of it falling onto your pet.
It comes in a natural color and helps with climbing, hiding, and basking. The non-porous exterior reduces the risk of unwelcome odors.
Exo Terra Reptile Cave
The reptile cave from Exo Terra offers a secure hiding place for your ball python with a natural look that can be easily blended into your enclosure design. The security the hide provides helps to reduce stress and it's quick and easy to clean. Made from food-grade resin, it has a realistic rock finish and has been coated to reduce the risk of bacteria growth.
This stable cave cannot be tipped easily, even by larger ball pythons, making it completely safe for inside your pet’s enclosure.
ZILLA Rock Lair
The Zilla Rock Lair is a very popular choice with ball python owners with its side entrance and a heavy top, which is great at holding humidity. It has a natural look and is made from heavy materials to reduce the risk of the hide moving or falling over. The rough external texture is not sharp but rather assists with shedding.
This hide comes in three sizes, to meet your ball python’s size with ease. It has a large side entrance which allows for natural airflow with an entrance ramp, which reduces light inside the hide, mimicking a natural burrow in the wild.
FTVOGUE Reptile Basking Hide
This basking hide is made from non-toxic resin, which will not cause harm to your ball python. The gentle slope makes it easy for your snake to get onto the top of the hide to bask under the UV light. These hides are slightly on the smaller side, so ensure you measure your needs accurately to identify the right reptile basking hide to meet your pet’s size needs, creating a snug, comfortable and safe hide to reduce stress and ensure your pet remains happy and healthy.
Exo Terra Snake Cave
The Exo Terra Snake Cave is the perfect hide for your ball python, offering a secure hide to prevent stress. It is stable and cannot be tipped over easily. The large size measures 9.8” x 7.4” x 4.7” and is natural to blend into your enclosure design. This hide comes with natural moss, which simply needs to be dampened to create a moist hide or nesting box for your pet.
The features of this hide include being ideal for snakes, it looks natural, it’s easy to clean and provides a secure hiding place that is stable, reducing stress in the long run.
Zilla Herp Hotel
The Herp Hotel from Zilla offers a great hide with a basking area. It has a prehistoric design to compliment your tank design. It has shallow stairs which are easy for your snake to navigate to get to the top of the herp hotel. It is made from non-porous materials to reduce the risk of bacteria.
Made from durable non-porous material makes it quick and easy to clean by simply soaking in soapy water, giving it a scrub and a good rinse before using reptile disinfectant, and allowing it to dry.
Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Hideouts
The Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Hideout Stump Den is a place to bask, climb and burrow. It has a realistic design which can be incorporated into your snake enclosure with ease. It has been handcrafted to create a natural appearance made from non-porous materials, that are able to resist bacteria growth.
The non-porous material ensures easy cleaning with soap and water with a good rinse. It has a realistic faux bark finish, which is also easy to clean and provides a rough surface to aid with shedding. It is non-toxic and completely safe for your ball python enclosure.
There are so many excellent hide options on the market. The most important thing to focus on is the size, ensuring it provides a snug fit to keep your ball python feeling safe and reducing stress.
Remember to look for hides that are made from natural or non-porous materials, which are easy to clean and provides a sturdy and durable hide that won't top over and injure your pet. Remember to keep an eye out for sharp surfaces that could cause injury and look for hides with one side opening, so your pet can feel secure when curling up inside.
Try and include more than two hides where possible, giving your pet a choice of hiding places to create a natural habitat.