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Are corn snakes good pets?

are corn snakes good pets

Corn snakes, known as pantherophis guttatus, are smaller-sized rat snakes endemic to the eastern united states. They are important for many ecosystems they reside in, sport a beautiful contrasting red and orange coloration, and are harmless to humans. They are also capable of thriving in captivity and forming bonds with their keepers. Because of those traits, they are popular among reptile keepers and make for good pets.

If someone is looking for corn snakes for sale, they will be doing their research and trying to assess if these snakes may be a good fit for their home. New pet keepers want to make sure that their relationship with their animal is set up for success. This is an important part of any pet-acquisition process. Fortunately, you’re in good company. Corn snakes are extremely popular as pet snakes and for good reason.

Why Corn Snakes Make Good Pets

As with any pet, there are pros and cons to keeping a pet corn snake. If you’re still wondering “are corn snakes good pets”, here are some reasons beginner and experienced handlers alike keep this beautiful Eastern American reptile in their homes.

Smaller Size

At a manageable 2-4 feet long, corn snakes can fit into smaller, relatively inexpensive setups (typically requiring a terrarium that’s around 30-40 gallons) and are tolerant to handling. That means fewer complications when having to maneuver or transport your pet. This can be especially important when having to take your snake to the vet or moving it into a different enclosure setup.

An additional consideration is that corn snakes must not be housed together. They are naturally asocial animals. This means that cohabitation can cause stress to both of these animals, and can even lead to cannibalism. If you must remove one snake from its enclosure for cleaning or reconfiguring, be sure to house it in its own temporary tank rather than with another animal.

Infrequent Feedings

Due to the relatively slow metabolism of reptiles, snakes can thrive on being fed only around two or three times a month. This can be convenient for owners who are excessively busy. Frozen feeder mice are also readily available in a variety of sizes at all large chain pet stores, and can be easily and safely stored. To make the food item more appealing to your snake, warm it up to above room temperature.

Note: Snakes will require different feeding schedules depending on their age. Here’s a general guide on how often to feed depending on your pet’s age:

Hatchling (less than six months): Every five days.

Juvenile (6 months- 2 years): Every seven to 10 days.

Adults: Every 14-21 days.

For further advice and information on feeding your snake, consult a veterinary professional.

Wide Variety of Morphs

“Morphs”, as we call them, are naturally occurring mutations bred in reptiles that give them a different appearance. This means that these snakes will be bred to display certain colors and patterns that don’t occur commonly in the wild. While corn snakes have naturally eye-catching red and yellow coloration, breeders are constantly breeding for new, attractive morphs and colors for their lines like the sunkissed corn snake and honey corn snake. Currently, there are around 800 morphs of stunning patterns and colors for any taste. An additional reason as to why corn snakes are good pets is that there aren’t any prevalent genetic issues with any particular morph gene.

Friendly to Handlers

Corn snakes are typically somewhat fearful and avoidant of humans in the wild (expected of any prey animal). However, they can be docile, tolerant of handling, and even cuddly. Of course, this is dependent on the individual animal’s personality. A snake’s personality should be predictable. Especially when it is handled from a young age. If you do see any sort of sudden behavioral change, take it to a vet as soon as possible. Unexplained, sudden aggression, food refusal, and various other issues can indicate serious health problems. If you would appreciate additional consultation on your pet’s behavior, there is a large online community of reptile fanciers that can point you in the right direction. Of course, this is not a substitute for veterinary expertise.

To recognize normal and abnormal behavior patterns in your snake, here’s a list of basic body language you should understand:

Musking: Corn snakes sometimes release a foul order when threatened.

“S” shape: Your snake is likely preparing to strike. Usually at a threat or food.

Tail rattling: Snake feels threatened. Attempting to scare off an aggressor.

A gentle grip on arm or branch: Relaxed or content. May also be casually smelling the air.

Understanding body language is important to taking care of any pet. As you spend more time with your snake, you will get a better intuitive grasp of what to expect.

What to Think About Before looking at Corn Snakes for Sale

Every companion animal has certain traits that might not make it a great fit for every home. These traits can be beneficial or a turnoff. For instance, corn snakes aren’t naturally very active. This makes them a less than ideal choice for owners looking for an interactive experience. As previously mentioned, these reptiles do occasionally release a bad-smelling order and defecate when threatened. New owners will be surprised to discover this when bringing their snake home, and aren’t terribly happy about it.

Diet and feedings are, of course, another factor that you will have to consider. While feedings are relatively easy, some people would prefer to not handle frozen mice and other food items. There’s also the fact that snakes need differently sized food items based on age.

Preparedness is the best way to set yourself up for success. Corn snakes are good pets. However, jumping in without doing any research is asking for disaster. We always recommend finding a trustworthy, exotic vet beforehand. It is important to make sure that you buy any setup and enrichment/habitat items well in advance of you bringing your new snake home. Taking these factors into consideration, you should be well on your way to creating a happy life with your snake.

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