06/10/2009 at 01:35 PM EDT
Kellie Pickler has a pet that keeps things secure when she's on her tour bus, but it's not a watchdog. "Ever since I got the snake, everybody's scared to come on the bus, so that's always a plus -- I don't ever have to worry about anybody just walking on there now!" she tells PEOPLE Pets about her python, Boots.
And Boots is just one member of the country star's family: She's also got Moo Moo the Chihuahaua and a tabby cat named Pickles. "They're like my little kids," says the country star. "I think for the most part I got them because, you know, it got lonely. I moved to Nashville, I didn't have any friends, I didn't know anybody. I don't have any family out here, and so that's what first triggered me to get my first cat, Pickles. He just keeps me so much company."
Learn more about Kellie's "zoo," including where her pets sleep and how they get comfortable when they're on the road
in our exclusive video!See more exclusive celebrity interviews on PEOPLE Pets:Dog-Lover Jesse JamesLance Bass Shows Off His Pups