Wondering, how can I bond with my pet snails? I want them to get to know me and trust me. Is there a way I can communicate with my snails? (OK I know I sound stupid) And do snails like to be petted or touched?
That's a fun question! Snails don't bond with humans the same way that for example a dog would, BUT there is a lot you can do to improve their trust in you. Like any animals, they will begin to like anything that means they're about to get good food, and also many snails adore getting under slowly falling warm water, so use those creatively. They'll probably associate "human hands mean food" or "human hands mean nice water" more quickly than you expect, and you will see it when they start to climb onto your hand by themselves after a few times of having been fed or bathed on it!
When trust is built, they won't be so easily startled by your presence, they won't be in a hurry to get off your hand, and you will feel their little feet cling onto you tightly. All in all handling them will be much easier and they'll help you do it.
Even my most trusting snails will often initially make grumpy faces when touched, but they will calm down and let me pet them. I suppose they tolerate it. Some single individuals have been known to stretch towards me and push against my finger, which seems like they're encouraging it. Snails touch each other the most with their eyes, which is a lightness very hard to reproduce with clumsy human hands.
Always have your hands well washed and extra well rinsed, and don't dry your hands after the rinsing when you're going to touch the snails, as dry skin won't feel nice to them.
If you have a mega squeamish snail that retracts when they see you, you must go slowly. When doing tank maintenance, give them a small pat on the shell and leave a small piece of food in front of them, repeatedly. Or if you have one social snail and one shy one, let the social one show the shy one that you're okay, by handling the social one first so they can leave slime trails on your skin that the shy one can contemplate following. It takes patience and many repeats, but is usually rewarding!
Last night after bathing my snail Brownie (I don't want bacteria on her) I let her crawl onto my hand. First she was biting my hand and soon decided it's not edible XD. I let her explore my hand and get use to my scent, then put a carrot on my fingers (she loves my fingers) and she noticed the carrot and started eating it. I gently stroked her soft body with a wet finger and she didn't seem to mind at all, she even turned her head to me so I can stroke more I think that means she liked it!
Although snails can't hear, they do recognize voices by the vibrations- I swear I have snails that know their names! So talk to them, let them crawl on you so they know your smell and trust you. Whenever I have one acting shy around me, I always spend some one on one time with it, holding it and letting it crawl on my hands and arms or legs which does the trick of getting them comfortable and trusting. They have a great sense of smell and will associate your smell with the experiences.