Buyer’s Guide: Bedding for Corn Snakes

If you have a pet corn snake, you’ll want to make sure it has a comfortable bed. I researched the best bedding for corn snakes and I thought I would share what I learned.

So, what is the best bedding for corn snakes? Aspen shavings make the most comfortable bedding for corn snakes. Most breeders use aspen shavings because it is absorbent and holds its shape when snakes burrow. If you want to go another route you can also choose to use Cyprus mulch, but you’ll want to be careful not to use any wood with a strong scent.

Now that we know what kind of bedding is best for a corn snake, it makes me think of a few other pointers that could be helpful, like where to buy bedding or if you need to buy anything else to make sure your corn snake is happy. Do corn snakes make good pets? If so, how long do they get and what do I feed them? These questions are all important so I wrote up what I found and hopefully it can help you.

Where Can I Purchase Bedding for a Corn Snake?

There are a lot of places where you can find the right supplies to make your snake’s terrarium turn into a home, like Petco or PetSmart, but as for me, I like to do my shopping online. So, I looked up some bedding choices and found some really great deals!

If you want to buy Aspen Shavings, they have a lot of choices and I provided a link below to the best seller for snake shavings, but if you wanted to save a little bit of money, there are also some great deals of Cyprus mulch, so I also provided the link below.

There are some people out there who don’t love the idea of using wood shavings, so if you are one of these people, you can choose to use a Reptile carpet or newspaper.

If you choose that route, don’t be alarmed if your snake finds its way underneath the carpet or newspaper. Corn snakes like to burrow and as such will get underneath your bedding as often as they possibly can. In the chart below, I put links to the Aspen shavings, Cyprus mulch, and Reptile carpet.

Do I Need to Buy Any Accessories for My Corn Snake’s Terrarium?

Most snakes need a little bit more than just bedding and a comfortably sized terrarium, but every species of snake needs their terrarium to be set up slightly differently than the rest.

For corn snakes, hiding spots make them feel safe and comfortable. So, you want to make sure you provide a couple for them. With corn snakes, these hiding spaces don’t need to be anything fancy, but they do need to be able to provide complete coverage for your snake, so they can be completely hidden, and the need to be a snug fit, not smaller than the snake but not too much larger either.

The next thing you need to make sure to have is a water dish. This should be a shallow dish that is heavy so it is not easily knocked over. The water dish should be placed in a corner so that it is easy to find when the corn snake is making its way around the perimeter at night.

Lighting and heating are super important for all snakes, and corn snakes are not the exception. For corn snakes, using a fluorescent light to provide lighting for your snake will add to their comfort and health. They only need the light on for about 10 hours a day, so if you buy one with a timer, it can be a hands-off situation and acts as a safety net so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the light off.

With all snakes, providing a heat source is imperative as they can’t heat their own bodies, so under the cage heating pads or a basking lamp can provide the perfect amount of heat for your corn snake.  All of these items can be purchased to help make your snake’s terrarium become a home.

Here, you can find an article we wrote where we list our favorite pet accessories, the essentials, and the fun non-essentials.

Do Corn Snakes Make Good Pets?

Corn Snakes are medium sized snakes that only grow to be 4-6 Feet in length and when the first hatch they come out only about 8-12 inches long.

Because of corn snakes’ docile and easy to tame natures mixed with their size, they are one of the most popular species of snakes to own as a pet. Most pet stores and reptile shops carry them.

Corn snakes are inquisitive and fairly active, which adds to their appeal and makes them a great pet for adults and kids. Like most snakes though, corn snakes do like to escape and try to get out whenever possible, so it is best to have a lock on the cage to make sure they don’t find a way out.

We wrote a list of the pros and cons of having a corn snake as a pet. Find the article here.

How to Care for a Corn Snake

Corn snakes are like a basic pet, they need housing, food, water, to be cleaned, and general care. But, there are some specific things that can help when trying to care of a corn snake.

The first thing in caring for a corn snake is to make sure that you have the right size terrarium. When corn snakes are babies, they don’t need a very big space, but once they become adults they will need a terrarium that is at least 20 gallons, but the bigger the better for your snake. And making sure to have comfy bedding and hiding places will make all the difference to the comfort of your snake.

If you are planning on having more that one snake it is important to remember that snakes are not social creatures, so they both will need separate living spaces, even if they are the same species. Doubling up with snakes causes a lot of stress for the reptiles and can be quite bad for them.

Another important thing to know about when trying to care for a snake is how, when, and what to feed it.

For corn snakes, it is best to feed them appropriately sized rodents. Although in the wild they may eat some lizards or birds, in captivity mice are more than sufficient.

For your baby corn snake, you are going to want to feed it baby mice and as your snake grows so should the mice. You can feed corn snakes mice that have been previously frozen, but they need to be completely thawed. When you first get your new corn snake, you will probably need to feed it alive baby mice as it is adjusting to its new home, but after a couple of feedings, you can switch to frozen mice.

If your snake is having trouble with the transition, put your snake in a box with just the pre-killed mice, away from a heat source, and it should start to eat.

Related Questions

How long do corn snakes live? In the wild, corn snakes live to be about 6-8 years old, but in captivity, they tend to live longer. Most corn snakes will live well into their teen years and some have been known to live around 20 years.

How often should you feed corn snakes? Baby corn snakes should be fed every 5-7 days, but when they reach adulthood they really only need to be fed every 7-10 days.

Do corn snakes bite? Not normally. Corn snakes are rather docile creatures and really don’t even bite when frightened or hurt. If you do happen to get bit by your corn snake, an adult’s bite can sometimes draw a tiny bit of blood like two pinpricks, and if it’s a baby corn snake, the chances of you feeling the bite at all are slim.

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