What Do Snakes Eat?

PetMD Editorial
Updated: November 25, 2020
Published: September 28, 2015
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The carnivorous snake can survive solely on rats and mice to survive, though some snake species can also eat baby chickens, guinea pigs, gerbils or young rabbits.

As a snake owner, you are responsible for providing pre-killed prey to your pet snake. Snakes don’t eat often, so a snake diet composed of a weekly meal will usually meet a snake’s nutritional requirements. Always consult your veterinarian about your pet snake’s diet and feeding schedule.

The thought of your pet snake fitting their mouth around frozen mice or rats may seem impossible. But, pet snakes are equipped with a specialized jaw that unhinges, so they’ll have no problem gobbling up a meal. Just make sure the prey is no larger than half the snake’s diameter to help with digestion.

Keep in mind that your pet snake may require some time to digest—so be sure to wait at least 48 hours before handling your snake after their feeding.

For more information on snake food, take a look at our infographic below.