How to Buy a Corn Snake

I’ve noticed that corn snakes are some of the most sought-after pet snakes on the market. Because of this, I brought together some information to help you attain and house your corn snake in an easy and simplistic way.

There are several ways you can buy a corn snake, but there are two that are most common. First, you can buy a pet snake from your local pet store or super marker and personally bring it home. Or, you can buy your pet corn snake online and have it shipped to your home through other methods of transportation. 

While these two options seem rather easy, they can actually require a level of difficulty where having a prior knowledge of your snake and its needs will be extremely helpful during the transition for both you and your new pet.

Before You Purchase a Corn Snake

Before you put a payment down to purchase your corn snake you want to make for certain that the specific snake you are purchasing will be the best one for you. This means that you want to be sure your snake was bred in a proper, humane way, and that your snake is in excellent health before you buy it and bring it to your home.

It is important for you to have an awareness of your snake’s welfare prior to your purchasing because buying an unhealthy snake can cause a lot of difficulties not only emotionally but economically.

Buying a pet snake (especially if it is non-refundable) can lead to many undesired vet bills. For instance, payments on a snake that is not capable of recovering because of the conditions of its initial breeding or homing location (breeding home/factory or pet store).

To be sure you are getting the best and healthiest snake possible, be sure to look out for the following things.

  • Do the owner’s seem to know what they are doing? After doing personal research from credible sites before venturing to purchase your pet snake, be aware of how the store or breeder acts and treats the pet snake. If it seems that they do not know what they are doing or are unsure of things it means they probably don’t, and therefore the snake you are considering purchasing may not be the best in health due to the malnourishment and result of little experience and knowledge in the specified area of snake care.
  • Is the enclosure and/or cage of the snake proper? When venturing out to purchase your snake at a store or supermarket be aware of the environment you find the snakes and other animals enclosed in. Are the enclosures big enough? Is there fresh water easily available for the snake? Are the enclosures clean? Taking these things into consideration can be very enlightening to the health of your snake. If the answer is no to any of these, this could mean the result of an unhealthy snake due to lack of human conditions.
  • What is the appearance of the snakes for sale? When going to purchase a pet snake it is wise to watch the activity and behavior of other snakes of the same breed. Studying the breed out can help you get an idea of if your snake is acting out of the ordinary resulting from sickness, nervousness, or wildness. Knowing how your species of snake acts is very useful when purchasing so you can be sure that you are acquiring the best snake for you and your circumstances.

If you find yourself in any negative situations like these you do not need to worry. There are many different places and means whereby you can acquire the perfect corn snake for yourself. Don’t give up on your desires from having one bad experience.

Other Thoughts:

If you are in a situation where you can not see your corn snake before purchase because you are buying from a specific breeder or online there are options for you too. 

Researching the breeder or company you are purchasing your snake from is a very wise decision when you are buying a snake online. Though you can not see the specific snake you are buying, you can see specific ratings and reviews about the breeder or the company themselves.

Having feedback from others who have bought snakes from the same source as you can be very comforting because it can either let you know it is a trustworthy source you are buying from or if you should find other means of acquiring your desired pet snake.

Be aware. You can be scammed.

Be sure that the website or location you are purchasing your snake from and means of shipping are legitimate and trustworthy. There are many places online that are a farce and a scam to get your money and you get nothing in return except maybe a computer virus, empty pockets, and most definitely a petless home. Here, you can find an article we wrote all about how to choose your first pet snake.

Purchasing Corn Snakes in Person

So you have decided that you want to have an addition to your home, a pet! More specifically, a pet snake. You have done the research and decided in particular that you want to buy and own a pet corn snake. Now the next step is to purchase your new snake and bring them to their new home, but how do you do that?

With those prior thoughts in mind, you have decided to purchase your pet via the personal route. You can buy a pet snake from a local pet store or supermarkets such as Walmart.

Depending on the breed of corn snake you are purchasing supermarket prices usually are between twelve and forty American dollars. Local pet stores have prices specific to their stores, due to it being a local business.

Nationwide pet stores such as PetCo sell corn snakes as well. These snakes are available only in-store (not available for online ordering, buying, or shipping) and prices vary due to the location you are purchasing from.

When purchasing from a store in person, you will be able to purchase your snake and have the ability to bring it back to your home all on the same day. Depending on where you purchase your snake from you may have to bring your own transportation carrier for them.

It is wise to call ahead and inquire about this. Some locations will supply a transportation carrier for you to bring your pet snake home with you in an easy fashion.

If no container is supplied you may purchase your own transportation container or you can make your own. If you are making your own, you can either bring a box that is big enough for your snake, (containing some substrate with a secure lid) or you can place your snake in a bag and put the bag in a secure box. This provides for the comfort of the snake- in order to decrease nervousness.

Be sure that when you are transporting your new pet snake or any time at all that your pet is safely secured in a place where it can not fall, slip, or be injured.

It is smart to have a passenger hold the enclosure and if no passenger or assistance is available to secure it by fastening a seat belt around the enclosure, or simply securing it flatly on the floor. For more information about where to buy a corn snake, read this article that we wrote where we different places you can buy a pet snake.

Purchasing a Corn Snake Online

Purchasing pets online has become one of the most common ways of obtaining animals as pets. The internet has a seemingly endless array of purchasing areas and options for all different manner of animals and reptiles for your home from exotic to domestic.

Buying online is also easier if you do not have easy access to a pet store or are too far away from a location that sells your desired species of animal or snake.

The cost of snakes, when bought online or in person can tend to differ. It is said that buying your snake by means of online is actually cheaper than buying a snake at a local pet store or supermarket.

I think it just depends on the situation. While snakes may seem cheaper online, shipping can tend to be very expensive and add on much more money than you originally wanted to pay.

When buying a snake online, be aware that snakes are usually shipped overnight. This is because the snake is a living creature and the sooner it gets from one handler to another the better. 

While there are many private and certified means of shipping, the only well-known, and legally licensed snake-shipping company in the United States, is FedEx.

Be sure to do the proper research about the place and website you are purchasing your snake from. Along with that, know what means of shipment and transportation that will be used to transfer your new pet from one place to another. 

Preparing Your Home for a Corn Snake

When purchasing your snake, just like any house guest, you want your home to be ready for them when they arrive- that way they can be at their best ease and comfort.

Before you purchase your snake, you should purchase the proper items and tools needed to best situate your snake. These items include- but are not limited to- a terrarium, heating aspects, substrate, water container, hiding spots, and food.

For an adult corn snake, a properly sized terrarium would be twenty gallons or bigger. Your snake will need to be comfortable in its new habitat; so, therefore, the bigger the better. Here, you can find an article we wrote where we talk more in-depth about the right terrarium size for corn snakes, and how to choose the right terrarium for your snake.

Be sure that the terrarium you purchase is secure. Snake’s are curious by nature and will find a way out of their enclosure if given the opportunity.

There are many things that need to be included in a snake’s terrarium for the comfort of your pet. 

  1. It is important to have proper heat in your snake’s habitat. Most snakes tend to need a warm side and a cool side of their habitats, the corn snake is included. The warm side should be eighty degrees Fahrenheit while the cool side should consist of lower seventy degrees Fahrenheit. This can be achieved with heating tools such as cables, pads, or heat lighting. 
  2. Second, proper substrate should be kept at the bottom of the terrarium. A substrate is much needed like cat litter. It should be cleaned once every one to two months. If proper substrate can be used, other options include newspaper, paper towel, and certain indoor carpets. 
  3. Just like every living creature, fresh water is a necessity. Fresh water should be kept in a sturdy bowl, usually metallic, and changed daily. When you fill your snake’s water container be sure that you only fill it to about halfway. Snake’s tend to cool off by resting in their water bowl. Filling your snake’s water container only halfway will prevent the water from overflowing and creating a mess of your snake’s enclosure.
  4. An item(s) that your corn snake will need is one or two hiding spots. These can consist of hollow logs or other hollow structures where your snake can go in its enclosure. Hiding spaces are needed so that your snake can have a place where it feels secure and non-threatened.
  5. An item that is not needed but encouraged is a climbing branch or two. While it doesn’t need to be very high a climbing branch could provide your snake with the opportunity to climb which is in its nature and something to do if it finds itself bored. 

While no light is required for the corn snake, it is highly recommended that you keep your corn snake’s enclosure in a naturally well-lit room, or area.

A large aspect of your interaction with your snake, other than handling it, will be feeding it. Snakes in the wild can eat many different things from their environment, but a captive snake’s diet will be a bit more altered and minimized. Snakes do not kill their prey by venom, (corn snakes are non-venomous snakes) but by restriction.

Captive bred snakes usually tend to eat properly sized rodents, mainly mice. While some snake owners feed their snakes live rodents it is recommended that you feed your pet corn snake thawed mice.

If cuts are made into the mice it will ensure a quicker digestion. An adult pet corn snake should be fed once every seven to ten days. A baby corn snake should be fed once every five to seven days.

Different Types of Corn Snakes and Their Prices.

Okeetee Corn Snake$50.00 +/-
Miami Phase Corn Snake$45.00 +/-
Hypomelanistic Corn SNake$12.00-$72.00

About Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are beautiful snakes to have as pets in your home. It is important though to make sure that the species of pet snake you are buying is the best one for you. I have extended my research to that of corn snake characteristics, so that you know exactly what you are looking for a receiving when you go to buy a pet corn snake for yourself or others. 

Corn snakes are non-venomous species of rat snakes that can be found throughout the entirety of the United States. In the wild they can manage to live up to an estimated amount of six to eight years. In captivity however, corn snakes can live up to twenty years. This is because in captivity they are provided exactly what they need concerning food,  and environment.

In the wild, there are many circumstances that could cut a corn snake’s life short (and any snake for that matter). There may not enough food available, the temperatures are too hot or cold, or other predators may pose a threat.  All of these situations could end up as a cause of death for corn snakes in the wild.

As stated before corn snakes are non-venomous, they are carnivores and kill their prey by means of constriction. It is a common belief that when a snake kills by constriction it cuts off oxygen and suffocates its prey, but actually, constriction cuts blood flow to the brain therefore killing their prey in that manner. 

Adult corn snakes can reach up to six feet in length and generally weigh around two pounds.  They are usually orange and yellow in color and are decorated with various beautiful patterns. 

These gorgeous snakes are very docile and are not aggressive. These characteristics make these snakes a big draw to the pet snake owner community. While these characteristics are great for handling your pet snake, the corn snake is also a very shy creature and does like to burrow and hide. 

Overall, these are very beautiful snakes that will most definitely make a great addition to your home, and well worth the investment!

Related Questions

Do corn snakes make good pets? Corn snakes are one of the top five recognized pet snakes that are titled the best. The corn snakes low-key attitude, easy handling, price, and various arrays of colors and patterns make this snake an amazing pet to consider for your home and/or family.

Do corn snakes bite? Receiving a bite from a corn snake is extremely rare. Corn snakes are very well-behaved and are very easy to handle once used to their owner(s). A hatchling or snake adjusting to a new environment may lash out due to nervousness or fright. Tend to use soft, fluid motions when near the snake or handling so as not to scare it or cause nervousness. If you are bitten by a snake be sure to clean the wound immediately with the proper medicine and cleaning supplies. If you think any major injury has occurred due to your snake that requires immediate attention call your local emergency department or present at your nearest emergency room.

how to buy a corn snake How to Buy a Corn Snake

How long do pet corn snakes live? Pet corn snakes can live (if cared for properly and taken care of) up to twenty to thirty years).