Pet Snakes Killing Their Owners: Statistics and Facts [2023]

Pet Snakes Killing Their Owners Statistics

According to Gallup, 2% of American pet owners have snakes, reptiles, or lizards as pets.

Pet snakes aren’t as popular as other types of pets – they are exotic, and most people prefer to own dogs or cats.

For many, pet snakes are threatening animals, but how true is this in reality? 

Your Pet, Your Love conducted an expert and fact-based research to bring you this Pet Snakes Killing Their Owners 2023 Statistics guide, so let’s dive deep into this topic.

Quick Pet Answer

Pet snakes do not kill their owners that often. The chances of a pet snake killing its owner are 1 in 1,500,000 million. Read further to check up-to-date statistics.

Table of Contents


Can a Pet Snake Kill You?

Yes, a pet snake can kill you. Whether you own a python or a little snake, there’s always the possibility for pet snakes to kill their owners, mostly if we talk about venomous species of snakes.

But that doesn’t mean that pet snakes will kill you. Pet snakes kill their owners in very rare scenarios, so this is not something that happens that often.

Let us elaborate on this topic by showing you in-detail research about this matter.


Are Snakes Safe to Keep as Pets?

As a general rule, yes, snakes are safe to keep as a pet. 

Pet snakes do not act in the same way that other pets do (Are Pet Snakes Affectionate?), and they surely have a hard time showing their love because they are not “designed” to do so.

Every pet owner that decides to get a pet snake should know what kind of animal they are getting.

Nevertheless, it depends on the type of snake you want to keep as a pet. It seems obvious to us that a python ball snake will be less dangerous than a venomous cobra, and that’s what regulations are for.


Do Pet Snakes Eat Their Owners?

Pet snakes rarely “eat” their owners. In odd cases, big pythons have eaten their owners, but this has happened due to unfortunate circumstances that have led to this moment. 

Although it’s not clear whether Pet Snakes Recognize Their Owners or not, it is worth noting that most pet snakes in the United States are fairly small and physically incapable of eating their owners. 


Pet Snakes Killing Their Owners: Casualties and Statistics [2023 Research]

Snakes are scary – they remind us of some of our darkest nightmares. This is not the case for all of us – we are sure that snake owners absolutely love their little reptiles.

But it’s time to take a look at fact-proven statistics about pet snakes killing their owners. It is worth noting that this original research has been conducted by Your Pet, Your Love’s pet expert writing team. 


Has a Pet Snake Ever Killed its Owner?

Yes, pet snakes have killed their owners in the past. This is something sad that has repeated itself in the past few years, but it is not the common rule.

Let’s take a look at some of the most relevant news about pet snakes killing their owners in the United States of America and more:

  • A Pennsylvania police officer shot and killed a 15-foot-long snake that strangled its owner to death (source:
  • A recognized animal lover was strangled to death by his pet python (called Tiny) in Hampshire, UK (source:
  • In a horrible event, a pet python killed a two-year-old kid in Florida – her parents will face 35 years in jail (source: DailyMail).
  • In Canada, a pet python escaped from its cage and killed two young brothers (source: The Star).

As you can see, there’s a pattern here: most pet snake deaths are caused by strangulation. 

Although owning venomous snakes in the United States is not entirely forbidden in some states, not most pet owners have venomous pet snakes themselves.


Pet Snakes Killing Their Owners Risks and Statistics

The risk of being killed by a pet snake is extremely low. National Library of Medicine (NIH) says that only one or two people die each year from snake bites in the United States, and most of these fatalities are the result of encounters with wild snakes, not pet snakes.

A survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) in 2019-2020, showed that there were an estimated 5.3 million reptile pets in the United States, which includes snakes as well as lizards, turtles, and other reptiles. 

It is not clear what percentage of these pets are snakes, but we can assume that there are at least 1.2 million snakes kept as pets in the country.

The US Census Bureau (CB) says that there were 8,792 pet and pet supplies stores in the United States. Not all of them sell pet snakes, but it is not hard to spot pet stores that sell pet snakes in the United States.

But the landscape changes when it comes to venomous snakes. The Journal “Wilderness and Environmental Medicine” (WEM) says that there were a total of 1,214 venomous snakebites in the United States between 2005 and 2015, resulting in 20 deaths.

Wild snakes represent a greater risk than captive snakes.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported 18 721 pediatric snakebites, resulting in only 20 deaths from 2000 to 2013. Although snakebite-related deaths are rare, ICU admission is common.


So, How Often Do Snakes Kill Their Owners?

Based on the statistics provided earlier by our research, the risk of a pet snake killing its owner is relatively low. The number of serious or fatal snake bites in the United States involving captive snakes is quite small – most snake-related incidents have something to do with wild snakes.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that many cases of snake bites can be attributed to human error or negligence, such as mishandling the snake or failing to provide proper care and housing.

With proper knowledge and responsible ownership, the risk of a pet snake causing harm to its owner can be greatly reduced.

Overall, it is important to recognize that pet snakes are generally not a significant threat to their owners’ safety when proper care and handling guidelines are followed.


Pet Recap: How Often Do Pet Snakes Kill Their Owners?

It is very rare for snakes to kill their owners – it only happens once or twice a year in the United States of America.

If we consider that there might be over 1 million pet snakes in the country, then we can say that the chances of a pet snake killing its owner are 1 in 1,500,000. 

That’s what statistics say – in reality, snake owners must learn how to handle them so they can ensure their safety at all times.

For more in-detail and expert reports, check out the articles that we have for you here, at Your Pet, Your Love.



Can All Snakes Kill Their Owners

No, not all snakes are capable of killing their owners, and even among venomous species, most snakes are not aggressive towards humans and will only bite in self-defense if they feel threatened or cornered.

What Is the Safest Snake to Keep as a Pet?

There are several species of snakes that are considered safe to keep as pets due to their docile nature and relatively low maintenance requirements. Popular species include ball pythons, corn snakes, California kingsnakes, rosy boas, and garter snakes. These snakes are generally not aggressive towards humans and are easy to handle, making them good options for beginner snake owners.


Latest Pet Posts