Snakes are very complex creatures. They’re very different from the way that humans, and that’s because they have many adaptations that have evolved from their time in the wild. Even as they’re taking in as pets, they still won’t lose the wild nature or adaptations that benefit them in the wild. Overall, there is a lot about snakes that people don’t know yet.
Snakes and emotions are one thing that might be confusing to people. There are many snake lovers who believe that their snake is very important to them, but their snake might not reciprocate those feelings. There’s a lot about love and bonding that snakes may not understand because they aren’t pets that are similar to a dog or a cat. There’s a lot to understand about snakes and their emotions.
Snakes and Emotions
People who have a phobia against snakes believe it’s impossible or even creepy to bond with your snake. Snake lovers believe the opposite and think that their snakes know them and love being their pet. To understand how your snake views a relationship with you, you have to understand how they demonstrate emotions.
Reptiles can demonstrate basic emotions. Their main two emotions experienced our fear and aggression but they did experience pleasure when they were stroked or given food. You usually know when your steak is being aggressive because they warned you with a hiss. This usually happens when you force your presents on the snake or try to touch them when they don’t want to be touched. They often strike out if you keep pushing their boundaries. They’re also usually very hostile when you notice them coiling in a corner to get away from you.
Fear and Love
Snakes are not aggressive unless they feel threatened. A reptile that is fearful of you may try to get away but it also might demonstrate actions that are very similar to aggressiveness. It’s a good idea to know your snakes boundaries and take your handling sessions with your new snake very slow. It’s better to have a good session without upsetting the animal that’s very short instead of having a longer session that forces your reptile to get uncomfortable.
Love is a more controversial emotion in reptiles. Many feel that they don’t experience this emotion because it doesn’t benefit them from experiencing it. A lot of reptiles do seem to recognize people who frequently handle and feed them because you are their source of food. It might not be love, but they do understand that you give them their food.
What’s interesting for snakes is that they form family groups and protect their young. Not all of them do that, but many reptiles do. Certain species of snakes stay with their eggs until they’re born or have their first shed. They care for their young and have maternal feelings.
Their interactions with humans are very much different. Some reptiles enjoy their company, but with snakes all of them are different. It’s more accurate to believe that your snake recognizes that you have good intentions towards them. The love and bond that your dog feels with you will be very different than the one that your reptile feels with you.
Do Snakes Recognize Their Owners
Snakes don’t recognize their owners. Snakes can connect with people, but it’s very different from the way dogs or cats might connect with people. Their connection is always reliant on the person that’s feeding them. They like food and associate the person feeding them with the food that they receive. This is how classical conditioning works. If your snake eats the food, they feel good. They associate the thing before receiving the food with food. Eventually the person who feeds them the food is associated with a positive sensation of being full of food.
The smell of their owner turns into something positive because they’re the thing inside of the room before they receive the food. This is an example of how Pavlov’s dogs work. It doesn’t prove that they can recognize their owners at all. It only proves how important food is to them.
Your snake can’t recognize your face because they have very small brains. Snakes have very weak and small frontal lobes and comparison to other pets. One of the issues that a smaller brain causes is a decrease in the ability to make memories. The snake is also unable to associate the smell of its owner with them being their owner. Snakes don’t have strong senses of sight or hearing so they haven’t even harder time differentiating people.
Smell isn’t as much of a benefit in the snake’s memory like it is in humans. In humans, the sense of smell is beneficial because smell is strongly tied to memory. The reason why this happens in humans is that the olfactory receptor, which tells you what smells are, is located next to the hippocampus, the part of your brain that makes memories.
Snakes don’t use their sense of smell to remember because they use it to tell the difference between what not to eat and what to eat. This is why a snake won’t bite you unless they smell some kind of prey on your fingers. This doesn’t mean that the snake remembers you, and it’s even more likely that it’s uninterested since you don’t have any food for it.
Can Snakes Be Affectionate
Looking at evidence, it’s determined that snakes don’t feel affection towards their owners. A snake not feeling any affection doesn’t even if they don’t like you. It doesn’t mean the snake was unhappy with the way it’s living. It’s just that the snake isn’t capable of feeling this type of emotion.
A lot of people think their snakes are affectionate because they want the steak to be as affectionate towards them as they are towards the snake. This makes sense, it doesn’t mean that your snake absolutely needs you. It’s like asking your shirt to be pants. It’s just something that it’s not capable of doing.
Do Snakes Feel Affection for Mates
Animals can feel very differently about their mates. Some animals mate for life and there are others that don’t care about their mates. It’s difficult for humans to imagine how snakes feel about their partners because snakes really don’t care for their partners much. Also, many snake mothers do not care for their young. Humans don’t comprehend this because children and their partners are the types of love that humans all experience.
In the wild, snakes have a very lackluster attitude towards their partners. They mate with them and usually the male snake leaves and the female snake stores the sperm until she’s ready to have children. She lets the sperm fertilize her eggs and then later she gives birth. In the wild, the mating habits are geared towards having young.
In captivity, there have been examples of snake couples, but the relationships don’t always last. The relationship will also be even shorter if there’s another snake introduced to them. Snakes are the type of animals to hold on to a relationship and the only way our relationship will bloom is through constant interaction. The constant interaction that fosters a relationship between the two snakes can only happen in captivity. Otherwise the snake is going to move on. That’s just the nature of snakes.
Are Snakes Capable of Friendliness
This answer is dependent on what friendliness means to you. Snakes will act kind to people that deserve you as a threat because it sees no reason to use the energy to defend itself. If you consider the playful nature of a snake that’s not fearful or angry as friendliness, then the answer would be yes.
Snakes are not built to have any sort of relationship with you as its owner. They can’t recognize who you are, and therefore they’re not going to want to have any relationship with you. There’s no way for their mind to install memories of you being kind or affectionate to your snake. They often won’t interpret what you’re doing to them as affection either. They won’t be able to feel any feeling that humans conceptualize.
If friendliness is a quality that you want in a pet, then a snake isn’t the pet for you. You won’t view them as friendly if you’re associating qualities that you find in a dog with a snake.
Snakes are very simple creatures. They enjoy being by themselves and they mainly focus on surviving. They look for food and warm spots, and they entertain themselves by winding around things. If you don’t annoy your snake, they won’t be aggressive towards you. If you respect your snake and their boundaries, you can have a relationship where they get the food and protection they need and you get the companionship that you need. This isn’t really friendliness, but it’s a symbiotic relationship.
Bonding With Your Snake
If you want to bond with your snake, there are few things that you need to do to ensure that your snake gets used to her presence.
First, you need to leave your snake alone for the first week. When snakes are in a new home, they’re very fearful and they need time to get used to their new environment. Leave the snake in their tank well it adjusts. After a week, you can begin interacting with them. If your snake is still aggressive after a week, wait a few more days before you try to interact with them.
You should also rearrange your snake’s tank. Rearranging their tank gives them new entertainment and it also gets them used to your presence. You can move its home, water dish or branches of the tank so your snake gets comfortable with you being in their environment. You can also hold your hand in front of your snake’s head. They recognize things by smell, and they need to get used to your scent. Hold your hand 3 to 4 inches away from the snake’s head.
Lastly, touch your snake while it’s still in the tank. Once your snake gets used to his new environment, you can try to lightly touch its body near their tail. Make sure you put your hand towards the snake from the side because if you dive your hand into the tank directly above their head that will get very scared. Make sure you wash your hands after dealing with your snake because you can get salmonella.
If you think your snake is ready, you can try to handle them. Scoop the snake up by the middle of his body after you wash your hands. You want to squeeze your snake lightly so you have a firm grip that doesn’t hurt them. Use your other hand to support the rest of his body after you pull it out of its enclosure.
If you’re comfortable you can twist the back end of your snake around your arm or fingers. If you have a thinner snake, then you might want to keep it wrapped around your fingers. If your snake is a constrictor, let it wrap around your arm comfortably. This makes it so that they don’t flail around while you’re holding then. Keep the snakes hide away from your body while you’re holding them because they are likely to strike anything that moves quickly in front of their heads.
Now, you know a little more about the feelings of snakes. If you’re a snake owner, you can tailor your relationship with your snake so it works better. If you’re thinking about getting a snake, make sure this is the kind of relationship you’re looking for in a pet.