Do Ball Pythons Like Water? – Swimming, Bathing & Shedding

Yes ball pythons do like water. In fact, water plays a huge part in a ball pythons life. More so than humans. They mainly like to soak in shallow water whilst bathing. This is because it softens their skin which really helps with their shedding process and the removal of any unwanted mites.

This is essential for ball pythons as there can sometimes be some complications when shedding their skin if it isn’t soft enough. Their skin can shed in patches, and this is bad for their blood circulation. This can commonly cause necrosis and sometimes death in the worst cases. Necrosis is a form of cell injury which results in the premature death of cells in living tissue by autolysis.

(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).


Bathing in water is also good for ball pythons as it helps relieve them from constipation. It also aids the killing and removal of any unwanted mites. It’s always recommended to use warm spring water or filtered water, NOT tap water. The chlorinated water from our taps can irritate a ball pythons skin. A range between 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit is a commonly recommended water temperature for most snakes to bathe in.

Ball pythons are usually willingly to bathe themselves, so there is no need to force them to bathe.  Just let them bathe in their own time, as and when they want to. 5 – 15 minutes is usually enough time for your ball python to bathe, so its skin can soften. However they do sometimes bathe for relaxing purposes, just like humans. So you may see them bathe a little longer then usual, but that shouldn’t be anything to worry about. There should be enough water for the ball python to move round freely. Commonly they will just curl up and enjoy the warmth and softness of the water, but they do like to adjust their position, so make sure there is enough room in the water bowl to do this. 

Irritation Signs

You should always look out for signs of irritation whist your ball python is bathing in its bowl. If they are constantly moving, or get out quickly and start rubbing again the furniture of their vivarium, then you should act quickly. Signs like this mean their skin has become irritant. Which is a result from water which is highly chlorinated. 

You should take the snake out immediate and gently dry with a soft towel to get all the water off them. Remove the water bowl from the vivarium to replace the water. If you have the chance, go to the shop and buy some bottled spring water. Use this spring water and gently pour over your snake, and then dab dry again. This should remove any of the remaining chlorinated water on its skin.

Finally use the bottled water to refill the water bowl. You may likely see your snake bathe back in the water, but this as absolutely fine. You can be confident the bottle water is dechlorinated. Check up on your snake for the next day or two. If the signs if irritation are still there, then please seek advise from your local veterinarian.

Do ball pythons swim?

You may not think it, but the answer too, do ball pythons like to swim is actually yes. Ball pythons don’t commonly swim on a daily basis. However they are known to swim from time to time, if they really need to. The main reason for ball pythons having a swim is for travel purposes. They sometimes have to swim to cross rivers or flooded fields to get to their desired destination. However, it’s not their preferred method of travel.

Captive ball pythons should never be exposed to deep water. What I mean by deep water is a depth which would cover its whole body. Always allow just enough to bathe in as ball pythons shouldn’t ever really put their heads under water. They’re not the best swimmers, nor is it natural for them to swim. In some serious cases, deep water has caused death to ball pythons.

Ball pythons can not self regulate their body temperatures. So spending too much time in water can actually drain their body heat. Specially if the water is fresh running water of a river. As a result of not be able to regulate their body temperature, ball pythons (and most other snakes) can actually hold their breathe for up to 15 minutes. This is all down to the fact they don’t actually need as much oxygen as humans because of the inability. 

Most Recommended For Ball Pythons

Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here

Heat Lamp and Guard – Click Here

Reliable Thermometer – Click Here

Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here

Climbing Branches – Click Here

Hydrometer – Click Here

Other pages you might like…

Do Ball Pythons Have Teeth?

Are Ball Pythons Constrictors?

When Do Ball Pythons Stop Growing?

Are Ball Pythons Arboreal?

Are Ball Pythons Aggressive?

How Fast Do Ball Pythons Grow?

Do Ball Pythons Like Water? – Swimming, Bathing & Shedding

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