Determining a Feeding Schedule: How Often Do Snakes Eat?

a portrait of a pretty and great snake with great colors

Snakes are exotic pets, and their feeding routine is not as black and white as “usual” domestic animals, like cats or dogs.

It’s important to note that feeding a snake will involve more obscure foods than your regular domestic pet. And you’ll need to obtain their food from a specialist source or retailer. The likes of rodents, frogs, and slugs are not to be found in your local supermarket.

But how often do snakes eat? Read on for more information about keeping your beloved reptile happily full.

How Often Do Snakes Eat?

Determining this depends on the species of snake that you own. But all snakes have one thing in common: they’re all carnivores.

There is a basic feeding pattern dependant on the species, but you must also tailor a feeding schedule depending on your snake’s behavior and traits.

This is based on how it acts, how often it defecates, how old it is and what size it is.

Large or Small?

A larger snake will need feeding less than a smaller one, which some might be surprised to learn. They are bigger and so digestion is more drawn out. Small snakes, or younger ones, eat twice a week.

Male or Female?

Each gender of snake requires the same feeding schedule per species, but females often require extra sustenance when breeding season is approaching.

Are They Hungry?

As an owner, it’s up to you to understand your snake and decipher if and when they are hungry. Much like a cat or dog will “tell” you it is hungry; a snake will do so in different ways. And much like a human, snakes might vary when it comes to their metabolism. Getting to know the individual creature’s digestion rates will help determine how often you feed it.

How Often Do Snakes Drink?

Snakes – like a cat or dog – need a constantly replenishes bowl of water provided to them in their tank.

It’s also worth making the bowl a large one. This offers them lots of water, maintains humidity for their reptilian needs and gives them a place in which to bathe.

Water must be replenished every day, and the bowl should be washed and disinfected.

How Often Do Snakes Need Vitamins?

Technically – never. Snakes don’t require vitamin supplements that you might take as a human being.

But, of course, they DO require all the appropriate nutrients and vitamins that a balanced diet provides, which they will get from their food. This means that the food you source should be healthy. A healthy mouse, for example, means a healthy snake.

Your snake will also eat its prey whole, which helps it digest the vitamins in the food, and actually means they are less prone to dietary-related disease.

Caring For Your Snake

You asked “how often do snakes eat?” and we answered. But remember, it does depend on the individual creature.

We recommend getting into a fixed routine with your animal so that both you and the creature settles into it and knows what’s coming each week.

If it only needs feeding once a week, make sure its the same day each week. Similarly, if its twice, make sure it’s evenly spaced. Work to a Monday/Thursday routine, for example.

And as ever, if you’re worried, speak to your veterinarian. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

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