Petco Snake prices
Are you thinking of getting a pet snake, but you’re not sure which species is right for you? In my time working in the pet industry, I’ve had the opportunity to care for several different species, and in that time, I learned some of the defining factors across each species. In this article, I’ll break down some of the differences between the most commonly available pet snakes to help you make the best decision. While this guide can help you choose the best pet snake for you, I highly recommend researching your chosen species in-depth.
There are approximately 2, 900 identified species of snakes worldwide, with new snakes continually being discovered and bred. But not all species of snakes are kept as pets. Although some people have a fear of snakes (called “ophidiophobia”), many can attest that they make great pets. They’re beautiful and fascinating, and with regular handling, they can be quite docile.
Snakes are fairly clean, many species are fairly easy to care for, they’re typically odorless and as far as pets go, they’re quiet. With their bright colors and various patterns, it’s tempting to choose a pet snake based solely on looks, but there is much more to snakes than their appearance. Some snakes are ideal for beginners, while others are better suited for experienced snake keepers.
Before you choose a pet snake, there are several factors to consider:
- The size the snake will reach when fully grown
- The size of the food (in most cases, rodents) the snake will eat
- The average life span of the snake species
- The temperament and unique characteristics of the species
When considering which species is best for you, the most important factor to take into account is the full-grown size of the snake, as this will determine the size of the habitat and the size of the mice or rats for feeding.
If you get a juvenile snake, you’ll be able to start with a (minimum) 20-gallon glass tank or terrarium. But as your snake grows, you may need to upgrade to a larger habitat. Use a separate tank dedicated to feeding so your snake doesn’t associate your hand or the habitat being opened with feeding time. It is not recommended that it be too large as the snake just needs to be in there long enough to eat and should not be distracted by slithering around to explore. A Critter Keeper is one option for a feeding tank, depending on the size of your snake.
- Rosy and Sand Boas normally grow to be 2–3 feet and reach adulthood within 3–4 years. They can live in a 20-gallon tank, but a “40 breeder” size tank to accommodate normal behavior and exercise.
- Milk and King Snakes can grow to be 2–6 feet long, depending on the species. These snakes are similar in girth to a corn snake, and depending on how long your species will get, you should house an adult in a 20- to 40 breeder habitat. Most will reach adult size in 2–3 years.
- Ball Pythonscan grow to be 4–5 feet long and will require a 40 breeder habitat once they are full-grown, normally within 2–3 years.
- Corn Snakes can grow to be 5–6 feet long. Although they’re similar in length to ball pythons; corn snakes are much thinner, weighing less on average than ball pythons. Because of their length, they still require a 40” breeder habitat once fully grown, usually once they are 2–3 years old.
- Colombian Red Tail Boas can grow up to 10 feet long, so don’t be taken by the cute little baby in the pet store. This is the biggest of the snakes we will talk about. Because of their massive size, you will need to house a full-grown adult in a habitat that is at least 4 feet long by 2 feet deep.
Most snakes are carnivores (some are insectivores), so you will be providing frozen, thawed rodents (or live rodents) such as mice and rats, depending on the age and size of your pet. Snakes sold at Petco have been raised on a frozen/thawed diet and should remain on one.
If feeding your snake live rodents, never leave them unattended. Live rodents can injure the snake, sometimes fatally.
- Rosy and Sand Boas: Juvenile boas should eat frozen/thawed “pinkie” mice once or twice a week, and then be given larger rodents as they age. A full-grown rosy or sand boa (around 3–4 years) will eat up to an adult-sized frozen/thawed mouse once every one or two weeks.
- Milk and King Snakes: Like corn snakes, milk snakes and king snakes will normally eat frozen/thawed pinkie mice once or twice a week when they are juveniles and gradually work their way up to adult frozen/thawed mice when adults (around 2–3 years) once every one or two weeks.
- Ball Pythons: When it comes to feeding a ball python, most juveniles will eat adult frozen/thawed mice once or twice a week. As they grow older, you should increase the size and amount of food. Large adults can eat large frozen/thawed rats once every few weeks, depending on size. As a best practice, frozen/thawed rodents are safer to feed to your snake, but some ball pythons have been known to refuse frozen rodents. Snakes sold at Petco have been raised on a frozen/thawed diet and should remain on one.
- Corn Snakes: Juvenile corn snakes normally eat frozen/thawed pinkie mice and should be given larger rodents as they age once or twice a week. A full-grown corn snake (at around 2–3 years) can eat up to a small frozen/thawed rat once every few weeks, depending on size.
- Colombian Red Tail Boas: Colombian boas grow to adulthood within 3–4 years. Young pet boas normally eat frozen/thawed fuzzy mice once or twice a week and should be given larger rodents as they age. A full-grown boa will eat a large frozen/thawed rat and maybe even something larger, once every few weeks, depending on size.