One of the main questions people ask about their pet snakes is whether or not they can eat mice. I was curious about this, too, so I did some research.
Do all snakes eat mice? While all snakes are carnivorous, there are many snakes that do not regularly eat rodents. Some snakes eat eggs, insects, crickets, fish, and other proteins.
There are many things to consider when taking a snake into your care, and its dietary needs are one of the most important things to assess.
Beginner Snakes that Do Not Eat Just Rodents
While there are thousands of snake species that live on this beautiful earth, there are, in fact, hundreds of snake species that do not need to eat rodents to survive. Here are a few that you may consider for your future pet:
- Brown Snake
- Ring-Necked Snake
- Worm Snake
- Black-Headed Snake
- Snail-Eating Snake
- Red-Bellied Snake
- Pine Woods Snake
- Flower Pot Snake
- Garter Snake
- Ribbon Snake
- Green Snakes
Perhaps you live alone and have never had a pet and you are interested in trying something new, or maybe you had a snake growing up and wish that your own children can have the same experience of learning to care for a pet. If so, here you can find an article I wrote where I talk about how to choose your first pet snake, including snakes that do eat rodents.
Whatever the reason, these invertebrate snakes are wonderful to have as beginner snakes or as general pets because they are not very large and are very easy to handle and take care of.
Invertebrate snakes are snakes that do not need to eat mice or like warm-blooded rodents in order to survive. These snakes can survive on other proteins, such as insects and eggs.
These snakes are usually less than twelve inches in length. In most circumstances, this is an ideal attribute for homes with smaller children who are just getting used to having a pet and learning how to take care of it.
Can I Feed My Snake Warm-Blooded Rodents?
While some of the listed snakes are on the smaller side, you may have the wish to feed your snake some warm-blooded creatures, perhaps as a treat.
There is no such thing as a vegetarian snake. All snakes, by nature, are carnivorous and have the first instinct to kill for food, whether it be invertebrate insects or rodents.
All species have their own specific survival instinct and will do what is needed to survive. With that being said, all snakes, including the ones on our list, are indeed able to eat and digest warm-blooded rodents or invertebrate insects without causing harm to their health.
Reasons You May Not Want to Feed Your Snake Warm-Blooded R
While all snakes can eat warm-blooded rodents, there are certain circumstances and reasons to not feed your snakes rodents such as mice. These circumstances may be the result of the reasoning for the snake’s health or the caretaker’s (the snake owner’s) choices and preferences.
One of the reasons you may not want to feed your snake a warm-blooded rodent like a mouse is because it is in the snake’s best interest. In some circumstances, the mouse that you choose to feed to your pet snake may be bigger than the snake.
As these are beginner snakes, that sometimes means they can be on the smaller side (mostly twelve inches and under). If a mouse is bigger and hungrier than the snake, the mouse may, in fact, end up eating your snake, rather than the other way around.
Another reason you may not choose to feed your snake a warm-blooded rodent is due to the preferences of the caretaker. A majority may know that most pet snakes are fed mice and other arrangements of warm-blooded rodents.
While you may have a snake for a pet, you may have once had a mouse or something similar. Many see mice at the same level as a pet snake and think that mice are not meant for food. This aspect may make it hard to feed mice to snakes
Other circumstances may include the messiness of feeding live or dead rodents to their pet snake. Though it can be seen as “the circle of life,” in almost any circumstance it is inhumane to feed a live mouse or any other kind of rodent as a meal to a pet snake.
This is because while the rodent will be killed, it will suffer from the psychological stress of being hunted if not killed immediately.
Also, if you are feeding deceased rodents to your snake it can sometimes be messy to reheat the frozen rodent, which can cause a large mess when the snake bites into the carcass.
When it comes to feeding your snake a pre-killed rodent, make sure you thaw the mouse or rat rather than heating it up in a microwave or oven. This will ensure that the rodent is not too warm for the snake to digest.
Though there are many answers to this inquiry, one of the most definite reasons to not feed your snake a mouse is because the mouse may cause physical harm to your snake in the defense of itself.
The mouse can cause many issues such as cuts, blindness, etc. If you’re going to feed your snake rodents, they should be pre-killed, so as to avoid injury to your pet. I wrote an article about whether or not snakes can eat wild mice rather than store bought mice. I also give suggestions for healthy alternative things to feed your snake. Find it here.
How Often Should I Feed My Snake?
There are different feeding schedules for different species of snake. Usually, pet snakes are fed twice a week on a regular basis, but when buying your snake you should inquire about the specific species you are buying and learn of their preferred eating schedule and meal.
The amount of times a snake needs to be fed is based on the prey they eat. It’s always wise to do some research into your specific snake’s dietary needs.
If you’re feeding it too often, it could grow to dangerous weights. If you’re not feeding it enough, it might die of undernourishment. Be wary of your snake’s biological preferences.
Where Can I Obtain Snakes That Don’t Eat R
Because these snakes are invertebrates, they are harder to find and, therefore, less available to acquire as pets. Because these snakes mainly feast on insects, they have been made to instinctually and naturally blend in easily to their environment so they can be a better hunter to their specific prey.
Usually, these snakes are found in the wild in forests and foliage of the like. But when obtained you can find these snakes at your local pet store or supermarket.
Please note that, when buying a snake, you should also buy the necessary equipment needed to maintain your snake’s health and wellbeing. Here are some products you may consider purchasing:
- A terrarium of at least 10 gallons.
- Dead leaves and foliage such as moss to coat the bottom of your snake’s terrarium.
- A firm water holder that will not be easily tipped by your snake.
- Naturalistic settings for your snake’s terrarium from your snake species’ preferences.
- Your snake’s preferred food.
Buying a pet is an adventure, and it’s also a commitment. It is important to research and learn the information needed so you can best raise your pet in the ideal comfort, peace, and safety. Here, you can find an article I recently wrote where I listed my all-time favorite accessories for a pet snake, essentials and nonessentials.
What do pet snakes eat besides mice? While most pet snakes eat mice other options include insects, and commonly rats.
What should I buy my new pet snake? When first buying a snake you should beforehand purchase a terrarium with a screen top to bring your snake home to. You should also include environmental bottoming of the terrarium based upon the home environment of your snake species so that it will feel comfortable in its new home. A heat lamp might be a smart purchase also depending upon your species of snake.
How long can a pet snake go without food? Most snakes can go months without ingesting any food (usually two months at the least). Snakes also can go days or weeks without ingesting food before and during their skin shedding process. Also, this fact depends upon whether or not your snake hibernates.