I'm thinking about getting a pet for my dorm next year but I'm not entirely sure of what to get. Technically my school only allows fish but I think if I get something similar that lives in a tank like hermit crabs or a turtle or something it's pretty much the same thing so I could get away with it.
Anyways, just looking for suggestions. Preferably some kind of reptile or amphibian that does not require live food all the time. I could get some on occasion but there is no way that I could have crickets 24/7. Thought about getting a toad but I'd feel kind of bad depriving it of live bugs/worms to eat. By the way, I'm not a big fan of fish, so please don't suggest getting a betta. Or a guppie. Or a fish in general.
A small snake sounds like it could be the perfect choice for you. They are surprisingly low maintenance if you have their heat and humidity levels right. They don't make any noise, they are hypo-allergenic, they shed in one clean piece instead of all over your furniture, they are fine with being handled while you are reading or watching a movie but won't get upset if you don't take them out a certain day, they only need to be fed once a week, etc.
As far as individual species go; I'd highly recommend a Rosy boa. They are one of my personal favorites, and meet your requirements quite well. 🙂
They are incredibly docile, one of the easiest snake species I’ve ever cared for, small (under 5 feet) come in several different colors and localities, and all around are a wonderful (albeit often overlooked) snake. I've owned a few of them, so I’ll type out a short general care sheet; hopefully this will provide the information you’ll need should you consider one of these guys.
Temperament: They are very calm, slow-moving snakes. Generally quite docile, most are fine with handling, and they rarely, if ever, bite people. Mine have all been content to find a comfortable place on my hand, neck or lap and just hang out, unlike Colubrids (like King snakes and Corn snakes), which always seem to have somewhere to go. 😉
Life expectancy: When properly cared for, a Rosy boa can live 20+ years in captivity.
Size: Males average 1.5-2.5 feet, females are generally 2.5-3.5 feet, some a tad larger, but never more then 4 feet.
Feeding: start babies on mice pinks, and build up to one large mouse per week for adults. The general rule of thumb is to feed a rodent about the same in diameter as the widest part of your snake’s body. They are generally quite enthusiastic feeders; I have never had one that was a reluctant eater.
Humidity: This is a really low humidity desert species. A small water dish is fine on the cool side of the tank, but misting is completely unnecessary for these guys.
Temperature: Mine have done best with a basking temperature in the high eighties, around 87-89 degrees, with an ambient (background) temperature of 77-80. This can be achieved by use of under-tank heating pads, incandescent heat bulbs, or ceramic heat emitters.
Cage size: a 20 gallon tank is ideal for a single adult, but a 10 gallon is adequate. Just make SURE the lid of the cage is very secure, as these guys are amazing escape artists.
Substrate: Mine have done best on eco-earth by zoo-med, as long as it is COMPLETELY dry before putting it in my snake's cage. Paper towels, aspen bedding, or even reptile sand (as long as you feed your snake in a separate container to prevent sand ingestion) also works very well.
Other good species of snake would be Kenyan Sand boas, Corn snakes, Childrens Pythons.
I hope this helps, and if you’d like any more information snakes in general, on the care and maintenance of this species or any of the other species I named (or would like to see pictures of my own snakes); please feel free to message me and I’d be more than happy to assist you. 🙂