Are Arabian Sand Boas Good Pets?

If you’re considering getting a pet, and you’re looking for something unique, a sand boa might be worth considering. Arabian sand boas are a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts because of their docile nature and fascinating appearance.

But before you decide to bring one home, it’s important to understand what it takes to care for these creatures properly. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of owning an Arabian sand boa as a pet, so you can make an informed decision.

Are Arabian Sand Boas Good Pets?

Are Arabian Sand Boas Good Pets?

Arabian Sand Boas, also known as Eryx jayakari, are small, non-venomous snakes that are native to the deserts of Arabia and northern Africa. They are known for their unique appearance, docile nature, and ease of care, which makes them popular pets among reptile enthusiasts. However, before deciding to adopt an Arabian Sand Boa, it’s essential to understand their characteristics, requirements, and behaviors.

Appearance and Characteristics

Arabian Sand Boas are small snakes that typically grow to be around two feet long. They have a distinct appearance with a short, stout body, a wedge-shaped head, and a blunt tail. Their coloration varies from light tan to reddish-brown, with darker bands or blotches running along their back and sides. Arabian Sand Boas have small eyes and nostrils, which they use to detect prey and predators.

Arabian Sand Boas are nocturnal and solitary creatures, spending most of their time hiding under rocks, sand, or burrows during the day and coming out at night to hunt for food. They feed on small rodents, such as mice and rats, and occasionally on lizards and other small reptiles. Arabian Sand Boas are non-venomous and rely on constriction to subdue their prey.

Care and Requirements

Arabian Sand Boas are relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for beginner reptile keepers. They require a warm and dry environment with minimal humidity, as they are adapted to the arid desert climate. A 20-gallon terrarium with a secure lid is suitable for a single adult Arabian Sand Boa. The enclosure should have a substrate of sand, gravel, or paper towels, and a hide box for the snake to retreat into during the day.

The temperature in the enclosure should be maintained between 80-90°F during the day and around 70°F at night. This can be achieved by using a heat lamp or under-tank heating pad. Arabian Sand Boas also require a shallow water dish for drinking and soaking, which should be cleaned and refilled daily.

Behavior and Temperament

Arabian Sand Boas are docile and non-aggressive snakes, making them suitable pets for families with children or other pets. They rarely bite, and when they do, it’s usually a defensive reaction to being handled roughly or feeling threatened. Arabian Sand Boas are shy and may take some time to adjust to their new environment and owner. Once they feel comfortable, they will become more active and curious.

Arabian Sand Boas are not social creatures and should be kept alone in their enclosure. They do not require regular handling, but frequent gentle interaction can help them become more comfortable with their owner and reduce stress.

Benefits of Owning an Arabian Sand Boa

Owning an Arabian Sand Boa can be a rewarding experience for reptile enthusiasts. They are relatively low maintenance, quiet, and fascinating to observe. They are also easy to feed, as they will eat frozen-thawed rodents, which can be easily purchased at pet stores or online. Arabian Sand Boas are also relatively long-lived, with an average lifespan of 10-15 years in captivity.

Arabian Sand Boa Vs Other Snakes

Compared to other snake species, Arabian Sand Boas are relatively small and easy to handle. They also have a unique appearance and are less intimidating than larger constrictor snakes. Arabian Sand Boas are less likely to bite than other snake species, making them safe for families with children or other pets. However, they do have specific care requirements, such as a dry and warm environment, that may not be suitable for all reptile keepers.


In summary, Arabian Sand Boas can make excellent pets for reptile enthusiasts looking for a unique and low-maintenance snake species. They are docile, non-venomous, and easy to care for, making them suitable for beginner reptile keepers. However, it’s essential to understand their specific care requirements and behaviors before deciding to adopt one. With proper care and attention, Arabian Sand Boas can live long and healthy lives in captivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Arabian Sand Boas are becoming increasingly popular as pets, but many people are still unsure about whether they make good pets. Here are some frequently asked questions about Arabian Sand Boas as pets.

1. Are Arabian Sand Boas easy to care for?

Yes, Arabian Sand Boas are relatively easy to care for. They are small, so they don’t need a lot of space. They also don’t require any special lighting or heating, making them a low-maintenance pet. However, they do require a specific type of substrate (sand) and a hide box to provide them with a suitable environment.

It’s also important to note that Arabian Sand Boas are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. This can make them a good pet for people who work during the day and are looking for a pet that they can interact with in the evening.

2. Are Arabian Sand Boas good for beginners?

Yes, Arabian Sand Boas are a good choice for beginners. They are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of space or special equipment. They are also relatively docile and don’t get very large, which makes them easy to handle. However, like all snakes, they do require some basic knowledge and understanding of their behavior and needs, so it’s important to do your research before getting one as a pet.

It’s also important to note that Arabian Sand Boas can live for up to 20 years in captivity, so they are a long-term commitment. Make sure you are prepared to care for your snake for its entire life.

3. Can Arabian Sand Boas be housed together?

No, Arabian Sand Boas should not be housed together. They are solitary animals and prefer to live alone. Housing two or more together can cause stress and aggression, which can lead to injury or death.

It’s also important to note that male Arabian Sand Boas can be territorial and may fight with other males if housed together. If you want to keep more than one Arabian Sand Boa, it’s best to provide separate enclosures.

4. What do Arabian Sand Boas eat?

Arabian Sand Boas are carnivorous and primarily eat small rodents, such as mice and rats. They can also eat other small prey, such as chicks and lizards. It’s important to feed your snake a diet that is appropriate for its size and age, and to ensure that the prey is appropriately sized for your snake to avoid choking or other health problems.

It’s also important to note that Arabian Sand Boas only need to be fed once every 7-10 days, which makes them a relatively low-maintenance pet in terms of feeding.

5. Are Arabian Sand Boas venomous?

No, Arabian Sand Boas are not venomous. They are constrictors, which means they kill their prey by suffocating it. While they are not venomous, it’s still important to handle them carefully to avoid injury and to always wash your hands after handling them.

It’s also important to note that while Arabian Sand Boas are generally docile and not aggressive, they can still bite if they feel threatened or stressed. Always approach your snake calmly and carefully, and avoid handling it if it seems agitated or defensive.

Arabian Sand Boa – Animal of the Week

In conclusion, Arabian Sand Boas can make great pets for the right owner. While they may not be the most social reptiles, they are low-maintenance and can be fascinating to observe. With proper care and attention, they can live up to 20 years in captivity.

However, it is important to consider the level of commitment required before bringing an Arabian Sand Boa into your home. They require a specific habitat and diet, and may not be suitable for beginners. It is also important to purchase from a reputable breeder and ensure that the snake is healthy before bringing it home.

Ultimately, whether or not an Arabian Sand Boa is a good pet for you depends on your experience level, preferences, and commitment to providing a suitable environment. With the right care, these unique and beautiful snakes can make a rewarding addition to your family.