If you’re a pet snake owner we a weak stomach, you may be looking to feed them with something other than rodents. Likewise, you may be thinking about switching things up so that your reptile doesn’t get bored. Well, we’re here to share some pet snake food alternatives with you!
When it comes to feeding a snake, it is better to stick rodents because of their nutrients. Yet, depending on the species, you can offer worms, toads, eggs, and even small rabbits to your pet as snacks. That said, snakes are happy sticking to a rodent diet since they don’t crave novelty by nature.
But how often can you offer these “treats” to your pet snake? And what can your snake eat according to its species? We have all the answers below!
Different Types of Food Alternatives for a Pet Snake
As we already mentioned, rodents such as mice and rats are the most common food for pet snakes.
Unlike other cold-blooded pets, you don’t have to add supplements to a snake’s food. These reptiles get everything they need from their prey. And rodents also happen to have more nutrients for your reptile.
Thus, rodents are the most wholesome and best food alternative for a pet snake.
Another thing we said earlier is that snakes don’t have a deep need for novelty. You can feed these animals with the same meal forever, and they’ll be content. As long as the food keeps on coming, a snake won’t reject a free dinner.
That said, there are a few reasons why you may be looking for other types of food for your pet snake.
On the one hand, you may be looking to switch things up and see your snake eating other things. You could also have a weak stomach and may wonder if there’s something less gross to feed your pet.
But then, no offense, if you have a weak stomach, why would you get a snake in the first place?
These animals are full-on carnivores that swallow their meals in their entirety. So, you can’t expect them to eat cute flowers and vegetables anytime soon. But, we promise you, watching a snake eat can be fascinating.
Yet, there are other animals your snake may enjoy eating as snacks.
Here’s a list of other food alternatives for your pet snake, in no particular order.
1. Amphibians (toads, frogs, and salamanders)
Amphibians are the second most common food for pet snakes worldwide. Some snake species, including the popular hognose snake, love to eat toads and frogs both in the wild. So, in captivity, many owners choose to feed their pets with amphibians.
Yet, it would help if you didn’t make your snake’s diet revolve around amphibians. Why? Because whether you catch them or buy them, wild toads and frogs can carry diseases and parasites.
And, as you can imagine, your pet can end up getting sick by ingesting an infected toad.
As a result, many people choose to breed amphibians in their houses. But that practice requires time, money, and effort.
So, although you can give your snake amphibians now and then as a treat, be careful. Or, you can rely on rodents as the primary meal for your pet.
Other species who like to eat amphibians are the water snake and the garter snakes, to name only a few.
As you can imagine, any snake species that spend time in the water can eat fish very often.
So, if you a water snake, you’ll notice how much your pet will enjoy eating fish.
Fish is also a safer food option for a pet snake than amphibians because it doesn’t carry as many parasites. Thereby, you can try giving fish as a snack to almost any snake. Whether the reptile accepts your offering or not is a whole other story!
The downside of offering fish to a snake is that it may alter its excrement. As a creature of habits, any new flavor in a snake’s diet may cause its poop to smell more or be harder to clean.
So, you may want to keep fish to a minimum.
Earthworms are a good snake food alternative when your pet’s young. Why? Because these worms are small and easy to digest but still have nutrients.
Likewise, some baby snakes refuse to eat rodents but will take earthworms right away. This behavior relates to some young snakes’ inability to take on (what seems like) giant mice or rats at first.
These snacks also happen to be cheap, which doesn’t hurt either!
Earthworms are a safe food alternative for any pet snake. Ribbon snakes, in particular, seem to love these treats the most.
You may notice we refer to earthworms as treats or snacks, and that’s for a reason. Although these worms have nutrients, they are not the most wholesome food for your snake. Even if you offer plenty of these fellows to your pet, it could still starve if that’s the only food in its diet.
And, because of their size, earthworms will never be enough for an adult snake.
So, please, keep the earthworms for special occasions only. Otherwise, your snake’s at risk of dying of hunger.
A less shocking to witness food alternative for a pet snake is eggs since they’re also a typical human meal.
In the wild, several snake species eat bird eggs. So, it is safe to offer your pet eggs now and then, but what kind?
Well, even if you own a toothless, egg-eating snake, you should avoid feeding large eggs to your pet. Otherwise, there’s a risk your reptile will have an intestinal obstruction.
Thus, chicken eggs are a no-go. Instead, you’ll need to buy quill eggs, which work for snakes of most sizes, including corn snakes.
The good news is you can buy quill eggs at most supermarkets and pet stores. But, if you’re planning only to feed your snake with these eggs, you could end up spending way more than you thought.
Still, quill eggs have many nutrients, and watching a snake eat them won’t disturb anyone. So, you could give them to your pet for special occasions.
Some snake species like the garter snake can enjoy having insects for dinner. But these small treats are not a recommended meal to base your pet’s diet.
Why? On the one hand, snakes are small, so the snake would have to eat many invertebrates to satisfy its hunger.
But the most crucial reason insects are not enough to feed your pet snake is their not the most healthy option.
Unlike rodents, insects lack the fat your pet snake needs to stay happy and healthy. They don’t have the same amount of protein your snake must ingest either.
That said, insects are available at most pet stores worldwide.
Thus, you could try giving your snake a couple of insects sometimes. But your pet may also refuse to eat them.
Although rabbits are mammals, they have similar nutrients to rodents. So, in theory, a snake could eat rabbits without experiencing a shift in its health. But there’s a catch.
Rabbits are too big for the most common pet snake species. Only a ball python could digest a rabbit, and it would have to be a baby one.
And there’s more. Likely nutrients aside, if your pet snake’s been only eating rodents, it may refuse to eat baby rabbits. This behavior has to do with the snake not knowing the rabbit’s smell, texture, or consistency.
Also, watching a snake eat an adorable rabbit may be disturbing, too, even if the mammal’s already dead.
Chicken is one of the worst food alternatives for a pet snake.
For starters, these birds are too big for most snake species. So, unless you own a giant reticulated phyton, your snake won’t be able to eat chicken.
You could also think of buying chicken at the supermarket or a store, but that’s also a bad idea. Your snake could end up getting bacteria from the chicken you bought and getting ill.
So, you should avoid trying to feed your pet snake with any chicken, even if you own a farm.