Feeding a Pet Snake

Snakes are known to be big eaters. Like, literally. They eat things bigger than them by eating them whole. But a question a snake owner might ask is what to feed their pet snake. Since snakes eat almost anything, what would be a good diet to feed them?

Here are some answers from Jill Fanslau for PetMD.com:

According to Adam Denish, a veterinarian at Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital, snakes will probably stick to a more basic diet of eating rats or mice. Snakes are carnivores, making a rat or mouse typically a complete and balanced meal for them. There are also certain species of snakes that eat baby chickens, guinea pigs, gerbils, or young rabbits. Some snakes also eat insects, frogs and amphibians, earthworms, eggs, other reptiles, slugs and even birds.

Here are some frequently asked questions by snake owners.

Does the snake’s food need to be alive?

Lorelei Tibbetts, a veterinary technician who specializes in exotic pet medicine, recommends only feeding your snake pre-killed prey. “There have been incidents where live prey is left in the tank and the snake doesn’t eat it right away,” she says. “As a way of protecting itself, the prey will bite or gnaw the snake and severely injure them.” Another way would be to feed your snake frozen rats or mice, which are available for purchase at most pet stores.

How much food do snakes eat?

This depends on the age, size, and species of the snake. You would have to talk to your vet about this. Make sure the prey is no larger than half the diameter of the snake, says Tibbetts.

Do snakes drink water?

They do, but not very often. However, it is best to leave a supply of a large, shallow bowl of water. Your snake will soak in it and may even go to the bathroom in it. Also, the evaporation helps maintain the humidity in the enclosure.

Read the full article here for more details on feeding your pet snake.

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