What Do Snakes Eat? A Complete Guide.

What Do Snakes Eat A Complete Guide.
Written by Daniel Paul

Pet snakes are becoming very popular in the United States. They are loved for their mesmerizing colors, patterns, and characters. People admire it for its extremely brave features, and

However, after getting a snake, no one knows what to feed this king. Well, all snakes are carnivores. But no, they do not eat humans like most of those actions and animated movies (chuckles). Precisely speaking, the type of meat the snake wants depends on the breed you are having.

In this article, I am going to cover all the important details regarding snake diet, how to get all this stuff and other things you need to consider before you get one for yourself.

Let us divide the diet schedule into two different classes, i.e., wild or pet for each class.

Snakes Sizes Diet Of Snakes In The Wild Diet Of Snakes As Pets

Diet of Small-Sized Snakes

Worms, lizards, other small snakes, salamanders, and frogs
Crickets, worms (gut-loaded)

Diet of Medium-Sized Snakes

Insects, worms, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, other small animals
Rats, mice

Diet of Large-Sized Snakes

Other small snakes, animals, rats, mice, frogs, reptiles, and precisely anything that fits in the mouth
Rats Mice

Diet Of Snakes In The Wild

In the wild, snakes usually have an opportunistic diet. However, the food choice and size also depend on the type of snake. To be precise, let us discuss the diet of each category of snake separately.

Diet Of Small Snakes In The Wild

Small snakes like garter snakes, Californian green snakes and ring-necked snakes have a pretty simple and easy to obtain diet.

 Small snakes usually eat multiple types of insects. Moreover, they can also eat worms, lizards, other small snakes, salamanders, and frogs. Most of the small snakes are not lethal for humans. However, there are a few that can be venomous. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with the type of snake, you should always be careful around it.

Diet Of Medium Snakes In The Wild

Among the medium-type snakes, we have the Honduran milk snake, the green unicorn, and the corn snake etc. Their diet is more or less like that of small snakes but in larger quantities.

In the wild, medium-sized snakes usually feed on insects and worms. However, if these things are in scarcity, they may also hunt for other small prey like mice, birds, frogs, toads, and lizards. Moreover, they also feed on the eggs of birds and other reptiles.

Medium-sized snakes are not safe. Most of them are venomous and can cause fatality in men and other animals. The venom in the snake is meant to protect it from predators. So, they attack in reflex and danger. Therefore, you need to be very careful whenever you approach a snake.

Diet Of Large Snakes In The Wild

Among big snakes, we have Burmese python, green anaconda, and boa constrictor etc.

In the wild, big snakes eat reptiles, fish, squirrels, birds, smaller snakes, rabbits, and even small deer. Usually, they live in the wilderness and do not like human interaction. Even if they encounter humans, they would love to pass away quietly and do not bother their presence.

Diet Of Snakes As Pets

When you get a snake as a pet, you have to know in detail about the breed of the snake. In this section, let us discuss some basic details about the food you can feed your pet snake.

Diet Of Small Snakes As Pets

When keeping a small snake as a pet, the best option is to feed it insects like earthworms, mealworms, and crickets. Also, you need to include some sort of high calcium supplements in the diet of your pet.

The other things you need to consider can be Vitamin D supplements. These supplements are particularly essential when you do not install a UVB source in your snake’s housing.  Most of the companies offer a combination of Calcium and Vitamin D3. These powdered supplements can easily be dusted on the insects before feeding them to your pet snake.

Before feeding a pet snake, make sure the insects are gut-loaded. By gut loading, you make sure that your pet is getting all the essential nutrients it needs. Gut loading is necessary because store-bought insects are usually malnourished. Therefore, you need to feed them healthy, nutritious food to give your pet friend a good treat too.

Another reason that makes gut loading a necessity before feeding your pet is removing harmful parasites from the stomachs of the insects. Store-bought insects have multiple parasites that are not harmful to them but can actually take the life of your pet. Therefore, it is recommended to gut.

Gut loading the insects means that you need to feed the insects for the whole night and the day back before feeding them to your pet. Gut loading is essential in all the cases where you need to feed insects to your pet.

Diet Of Medium-Sized Snakes As Pets

When you get a medium-sized snake at home, you can feed it with mice. You can also swap mice with insects and better introduce both for a balanced diet. Froze-thawed mice breeds are often the best catch when it comes to providing complete nutrition and making your pet behave well.

If you catch a wild mouse and feed it to your pet, it will not only excite its innate hunting nature but will also make it more aggressive towards you. Exciting this can make things difficult between you and your pet. Moreover, the wild mouse can also transfer tons of parasites and microbes to your pet which can be detrimental and even fatal to its health.

Snakes eating a mouse and other living animals with lots of bones and fur do not need added calcium in their diet as the animal is a complete source of all the vital nutrients.

Diet Of Large-Sized Snakes As Pets

Large snakes are thought to eat only big prey. However, that’s not true. Moreover,  most of them are not venomous to humans and are pretty well behaved. Therefore, they make great pets.  If you want to have one of these for you, do study their diet in detail so you may avoid any restlessness in the future. The prey you are going to feed your pet snake needs to be well nutritious, containing all the vital elements needed for its healthy living. The food that perfectly fits this category is rats or mice. The best way is to get some store-bought frozen rats and thaw them before feeding. Rats are good-sized foods that not only fill the gut but also provide all the required nutrition.

Choosing store-bought rats is the best way to avoid any chance of parasitic infection and keep the hunting skills under rest. Also, as they are eaten whole, you do not need to use extra calcium on the food to fulfill the need. The bones, skin and cartilage on the rat will do the job.

Other than that, we also have some interesting questions in the box. So, before ending the article, let us discuss them briefly.

What Do Snakes Eat In The Rainforest?

Snakes are abundant in rainforests. So, people usually question what do they eat to live there. In the rainforests, generally, snakes feed on any kind of small mammals, amphibians, insects, and small birds.

What Do Snakes Eat In Amazon Rainforest?

Amazon rainforests are popular with Inhabitat’s several breeds of snakes. Many new breeds are discovered there every year. So, why does this climate produce so many snakes? Is there a special kind of food there?

Well, the answer to the abundance of breeds lies in the optimal climate of snake growth. As far as food is concerned, snakes feed on insects, worms, small reptiles, mammals, and amphibians in Amazon Rainforest.

What Do Snakes Eat Besides Mice?

Besides mice, snakes can eat lizards, eggs, birds, fish, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and even snakes.

What Do Snakes Eat In Australia?

In Australia, snakes usually feed on frogs, toads, mice, fish and birds. Other than that, large mammals and reptiles can always be a go-to option.


Snakes are primarily carnivores. So, if you are nauseous to the idea of feeding them animal food, they might not be the best option for you. In the wild, most of the snakes eat almost any kind of live prey they encounter. This type of feeding is ranked in opportunistic kind, where the type of food becomes a second preference to survival.

Large snakes are seen eating the whole dears. However, the smaller ones usually prefer insects and worms. In the scarcity of these, they may also prey on small animals like rats, squirrels, rabbits etc. Snakes have the capability to open their mouths close to an almost horizontal position. Therefore, most of the prey fill in their flexible gut and is digested slowly.

For captive breeds, always go for store-bought frozen and thawed rats to keep your pet in the best of their health and behavior. I hope this article answers all of your basic questions. In case of any other queries, you may comment down below or contact us through email. We would be happy to help.