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REPTILE / nutrition

How to Feed Your Snake

Mice. Water. Repeat.


A frozen feast

The snakes sold at PetSmart are carnivores, which means they eat meat — specifically, mice or rats.

  • PetSmart recommends “Arctic Mice,” which are frozen. Feeding your snake frozen prey as opposed to live prey reduces the chances that the snake will contract a disease or parasites, or suffer an injury while trying to eat.
  • Be sure to thaw frozen rodents before giving them to your snake.
  • Feed baby and young snakes “pinkie mice” (the smallest size mouse) and increase the size of the food as your snake gets bigger. As a general rule, the prey should be approximately the same diameter as the snake.
  • Feed young snakes twice a week and mature snakes once a week. Remove any food your snake hasn’t gotten to in four hours. Don’t be surprised if your snake isn’t hungry around shedding time.
  • Give your snake some private digesting time after a meal. Don’t handle snakes directly after they eat; they might not keep their meal down and might not enjoy being fed in the future.


  • Provide a shallow, heavy, stable dish for drinking and the occasional snake-soak. (If you notice your snake seems to be spending a lot of time in the water dish, that’s a clue that your pet might be getting ready to shed. Be sure the tank is humid enough to make the shedding process easier.)
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