Young boy admiring beautiful Royal or Ball python at the serpentarium holding in hands

What Do Snakes Eat? Feeding Your Snake a Whole Prey Diet

Did you know that 4.7 million households in the USA have a reptile as a pet?

It’s true that dogs, cats, or a tank full of fish are the most common household pets. But if you’re into something a bit more exciting and exotic, why not take care of a reptile? For example, a snake!

You might be wondering: What do snakes eat? How often do they eat? Keep reading to find out all you need to know.

What do Snakes Eat?

You will never find a snake that’s a vegetarian! Every snake species is carnivorous. But a snake diet will vary according to the species.

Some specifically eat rodents, rabbits, birds and other warm-blooded prey. Other species prefer insects, amphibians, eggs, fish, worms or slugs.

For example, what do corn snakes eat? Rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, and eggs, but they do not eat crickets. And what do ball pythons eat? Mostly rodents and not a lot else.

The most popular food for pet snakes is mice, rats, gerbils, and hamsters, as you can buy most of these things in pet stores. Larger snakes may also eat a whole rabbit. These types of prey give a balanced nutrition package for a snake diet.

You might be wondering what do baby snakes eat? Pinky mice are the best option. However, some baby snakes prefer lizards.

How Often do Snakes Eat?

Feeding schedules for a snake diet vary greatly depending on the age, species, condition, and size of the snake. But generally, pet snakes are fed once every 1-2 weeks.

Young snakes can be fed more frequently for rapid growth rate, yet older snakes can be fed less frequently. Avoid overfeeding your pet snake, or they could be at risk of obesity.

Dead or Alive

It is not recommended to feed live food to your snake.

Surprisingly, even a small mouse can bite and severely injure or kill your snake if he isn’t feeling peckish at the time. So if you do feed your snake live prey, ensure the snake has killed the prey before you leave.

Secondly, if the live prey isn’t killed and eaten immediately it will be hunted by the snake. Of course, it’s what would happen in nature, but the prey will suffer psychological terror while being hunted down. Feeding your snake dead animals is just a bit more humane.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to kill the prey yourself. Most pet stores can supply you with freshly killed or frozen snake food. Just make sure to thaw the food before you give it to the snake.

A Few Words of Caution

Due to the simplicity of the snakes “prey diet”, many other diet-related diseases that other pet reptiles face can be avoided. However, some prey animals can have disease-causing agents in them. So always make sure to buy your snake food from a reliable source.

When you’re feeding the snake, be extra careful, even if you’re buddies.

This is especially so if the snake is hungry. A craving overzealous snake may even strike his keeper when the enclosure is opened. Large snakes are particularly dangerous at these times as they have the ability to overpower their keeper.

A Tassssty Snake Diet

Now you know the answer to the question: what do snakes eat? But if you’re a lover of snakes and other weird and wonderful reptiles, you might have so many more questions! Check out our blog for more handy guides on how to care for your reptile pets.

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