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What Do Snakes Eat?

If you think of snakes then you may believe that they all eat mice as their common food source but that is not entirely true. Our Seattle vets answer the question of what snakes eat and how to go about feeding them.

Not All Snakes Eat Mice

When we think of snakes we commonly make the assumption that all snakes eat mice or at the very least it will make us wonder, what do snakes eat?

In actuality, snakes eat a variety of creatures, while the specific diet may change based on the type of snake the one thing that all snakes have in common is that they are carnivores.

You should never attempt to feed your snake plants or plant matter as their diet is naturally made up of meat and plant matter cannot sustain these creatures.

Luckily, snakes that are purchased from the pet store typically eat mice and rats which are widely available. You should be sure to monitor your snake's feeding schedule, they may occasionally go a couple of weeks without wanting to eat, while this is normal you should contact your vet if it has been more than a month since your snake last ate.

Factors That Determine What Type of Prey Snakes Eat

If you have made the decision to purchase a snake you should be sure to do comprehensive research on these creatures and the specific diet for the breed that you are interested in keeping. Regardless of what type of prey your snake will eat you should always focus on humanely killing and feeding the prey to your snake whenever possible. 

Snakes that have been fed live food their entire lives may not be willing to eat food that is no longer moving so it is best to ensure that the snake you choose has already been on a frozen food diet. This frozen food diet consists of rats, mice, or whatever your breed of snakes prefers that has been humanely killed through freezing and then thawed to room temperature prior to feeding.

There are many reasons why choosing to have your pet snake eat previously frozen food is ideal aside from the fact that freezing the prey is the most humane method of killing the feeder animal.

Another great reason to choose previously frozen food for your pet snake is that these feeder animals will typically attempt to survive throughout the feeding process. This means fighting back against the snake, and while the snake will almost always win this fight there is still the chance that the snake could be injured, sometimes seriously. This is a risk that is not necessary. Along with injuries, live food also poses the risk of transmitting various parasites and diseases. All of these possible dangers are avoidable through the choice to feed frozen food.

What Do Snakes Eat?

While the food that your snake will eat depends on the type of snake you have, these are some of the most common foods for your carnivore:

  • Mice and rats
  • Rodents such as rabbits and chipmunks
  • Birds
  • Frogs and toads
  • Fish
  • Invertebrates like earthworms and slugs
  • Other snakes, especially babies and juveniles
  • Bats
  • Lizards
  • Eggs of mammals, birds, and reptiles

It is important to research the breed of snake that you have decided to bring home, not only for proper care information but for information on what those types of snakes eat. Your local pet store should carry various feeder insects and animals such as live crickets, fish and small mammals like mice and rats. It is important to know what your snake eats and how often so you can ensure that you always have the appropriate food available when it comes time for feeding. 

If you are considering having a snake as a pet and you have more questions about how to care for these creatures or what to feed them please contact our experienced Seattle vets to book a consultation. 

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