Ball Python In Water Bowl For Days: When To Worry

Snakes spending time in water are usually no cause for concern, but if your Ball Python is in their water bowl for days, you should be alarmed.

Ball Pythons like to soak. It helps them with common health issues, and sometimes they just enjoy swimming. To ensure they get enough time in the water, you should keep a separate soaking bowl in your Pythons’ enclosure.

If your snake is in its water bowl for days, you should keep a close eye on them. Typically, this isn’t a good sign, and in this article, I share why.

How Often Do Ball Pythons Soak?

Ball Pythons like water, and they have no problem soaking themselves. You’ll only need to step in when they have certain health conditions that soaking can help with, and they refuse. 

If you place a big enough soaking bowl in your Pythons’ enclosure, you’ll probably find them soaking for 5 to 15 minutes every few days. 

Learn more about Choosing Your California King Snake Substrate

Reasons Why Ball Pythons Should Soak

Ball Pythons enjoy spending time in the water, but sometimes doing so is necessary. 

Cooling Down

When their temperature rises, your Ball Pythons might soak to help regulate it. Similarly, they bask when they’re cold.

Preventing Dehydration

Sometimes Ball Pythons Soak to prevent dehydration. This is part of their natural behavior and nothing for concern. 

In the wild, they live in more humid environments, which makes the need for rehydrating less.

Getting Rid Of Mites

Snakes often soak to keep mites away. It’s common for mites to enter a snake enclosure through the food you feed them. 

Soaking can drown mites, but sometimes it’s not enough to get rid of them.

Shedding Easier

If your Ball Python struggles to shed, there’s a chance they’ll turn to their soaking bowl to help this process on.

If you notice your snake has trouble shedding, put some lukewarm water in their soaking bowl. 

 How can I tell if my ball python is dehydrated

Ball Python In Water Bowl For Days: When To Worry

There are a few healthy reasons why your Ball Python is soaking in water, but some are cause for concern. If you notice that your pet snake spends most or all of its days in its soaking bowl, you should look for indications of stress or illness. 


For some snakes, spending a few minutes in their soaking bowl each day is enough to get rid of mites. Others aren’t as lucky.

When mites clamp down on your Pythons’ skin, it can cause a lot of irritation. Your snake might spend most of its time in its soaking bowl trying to get rid of them.

You can spot mites by checking your snake’s scales. Blood mites look like small red dots, and their larvae are black. If you firmly stroke your Python, the mites will come off, but you should get your pet to a specialized vet if you notice that they don’t.


Sometimes a snake enclosure is too hot or humid.

Ball Pythons need a warm enclosure, but if it’s too hot, they will overheat and lay in their soaking bowls for days on end to regulate their body temperature. You should frequently check your tank temperature to prevent this from happening. If snakes overheat, they can become sick and even die.

When snakes get ready to shed, they need higher humidity levels in their surroundings. Your Ball Pythons might soak in their water bowl to rehydrate their body and help them shed easier. If your snake is in their bowl for days and you notice they’re shedding, check in regularly to see if they make any progress.

Snakes who don’t progress will need a visit to the veterinarian. 


Ball Pythons can get parasitic infections, and if they spend more time in their soaking bowl than usual, they might have one.

If you’ve checked for mites and ensured that the temperature and humidity levels in your pet’s enclosure are how they should be, you should take them to the vet for a check-up. Parasitic infections can be fatal if early treatment isn’t started. 

Learn more about Are Rosy Boas Good Pets?

Soaking Bowl Health Tips

You should keep the soaking bowl in your snake’s enclosure clean at all times. Ball Pythons might spend time in their soaking bowl daily, so you need to ensure that you refill it with clean water once they’re done.

You can thoroughly clean their soaking bowl once every two or three days and clean it with 5% bleach once a month.

Keeping your Ball Python’s soaking bowl clean will help prevent bacterial infections and other diseases.

Final Words

Ball Pythons love spending time in the water. In the wild, you can find them swimming or soaking in swallow pools. When you keep a Ball Python in captivity, you should give them a large enough soaking bowl to completely submerge in if they’d like to.

Remember to keep a close eye on their soaking activity to spot any signs that their soaking habits might be of concern. 

I hope this article helped answer your question about what normal soaking behavior looks like for Ball Pythons. If you have any more questions, ask them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you!

How Long Can Ball Pythons be in water?

Ball Pythons can stay submerged under water for up to 30 minutes before they need to resurface for air.

Can you shower with a Ball Python?

To play it safe, you should never bathe or shower with your Ball Python. Being in water with your snake is an unpredictable scenario, and something might happen, causing your Python to see you as a threat.

How can I tell if my Ball Python is dehydrated?

Signs of dehydration in Ball Pythons include appetite loss, creasing eyes, constipation, dry mouth and tongue, trouble shedding, and wrinkled skin.

How often should I soak my Ball Python?

You don't have to soak your healthy Ball Python regularly, but doing so from time to time can help relieve constipation and get rid of mites.