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Are Hognose Snakes Good Pets?

Have you ever thought of keeping a snake as your pet? If yes, it’s time to turn your plans into actions learning more about hognose snakes. You might be wondering: Are hognose snakes good pets?

With their large, beautiful eyes and unusual features, hognose snakes have become ‘’one of the most favorite’’ snakes for pet owners. Moreover, people love there small size and non-aggressive nature, making the easy for enthusiasts to handle. 

One thing you find while researching hognose snakes for sale is that they are full of personality and provide much enjoyment for their owners. That said, they need proper care and handling at all times. If maintained properly, they will add to your list of favorite repitile pets. Let’s have a detailed look at hognose snakes below. 

Morphology and Behavior 

Hognose snakes have derived their name from their upturned snout or rostral scales. This unique snout makes them look like a pig or frog. But don’t confuse yourself by looking at their hog-like nose and wide-head appearance, they are indeed a snake. You’ll find them in various colors, including brown, black, green, white, and red. Yet the most common ones have black and white markings with a sandy-colored body. 

When looking to answer: Are hognose snakes good pets? An important thing to check for is their behavior. Sometimes they act aggressive or defensive when someone approaches them. That being said, most hognose snakes have a calm attitude but with a solid self-defensive mechanism. 

When they see a predator approaching them, they use multiple tactics to protect themselves. For instance, you’ll find them hissing like a cobra and playing dead like a dummy. For this reason, they are called the drama queens of snakes.

Size of Hognose Snakes

Compared to other pet snakes, hognose snakes don’t grow too large. They are timid and are usually 20 to 30 inches in length. This size range may vary depending on different hognose snake types and nourishment. However, on average, they grow to almost 20 to 30 inches as adults. To get an idea of their size and dimensions, let’s enlist a complete size chart:  

  • The medium-sized hognose snake can grow from 15 to 25 inches in length.
  • The highest recorded size of the Eastern hognose snake is 30 inches. 
  • Mainly, they occur in small size ranges of 13 to 23 inches.
  • In addition, if you want a hatchling hognose pet snake, it should be 7 to 9 inches. Similarly, the adult snake will be sized at 14 to 24 inches. Remember, these sizes vary greatly depending on the gender of your pet. This is because the females are typically larger than males.


Just like all snakes, hognose snakes are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature depends on the change in environmental temperature. As they are a ground-dwelling snake species, they love to be in moderate temperatures. Hence, a temperature range of around 80 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit would work perfectly for daytime. Make sure it does not reach below 75 degrees at night. Besides this, here are two other things that count in maintaining the temperature of your reptilian friend: 

1. Lightning 

Hognose snakes get their daily dose of Vitamin D3 from light energy. Without excessive light, they may face nutritional imbalance and become lethargic. For this, you can keep a maximum of two heat bulbs in their territory to provide ultraviolet-B (UVB) light. Using white halogen bulbs of 40-60 watts is recommended so your lovely companion can get optimal body heat.

2. Humidity 

You might have observed that snakes like to reside in hideouts primarily. Hognose snakes, especially babies, love spending most of their time in humid areas. Thus, you should provide 40-50% humidity in their vivarium to maintain their body needs.  

Habitat for Hognose Pet

When keeping a pet, one of the most important things to look for is their living area. Hognose snakes don’t usually climb, so you can utilize floor space to create a house for your non-social friend. You can make an enclosure that is safe and big enough to provide ample space for your pet when crawling or moving. Below are some steps you can follow to make a habitat for hognose snakes: 

  • Prepare an enclosure of roughly 36 inches wide and 18 inches long. Of course, this will vary depending on the size of your snake. A smaller enclosure will also work best if you own a baby hognose unless there is enough space to walk around. A 20-gallon tank can also do the job. 
  • Fill the space with bedding, hides, rocks, plants and other materials to enrich your pet’s life. Snakes love exploring, so you can place decorations in their habitat.
  • Keep a water dish and hide boxes to protect your reptilian companion. The more hiding boxes you can keep in the habitat, the more it will benefit the snake. 

Feeding Requirements for Hongose Snakes

They feed on various animals, but their favorite dish is amphibians. Among amphibians, frogs and toads are their anytime meal options. But don’t overdo their diet, as it can cause serious health issues. Besides amphibians, their second-most favorite food items are rodents such as mice. 

When feeding your pet, avoid giving them live prey as it can tangle in their body and cause complications while ingesting. The majority of the hognose keepers give them frozen-thawed mice. These frozen items serve as a well-balanced and convenient feeding option for your pet. Alongside mice, you can also give them frozen thawed frog legs. They are readily available at the local grocery stores. 

Feeding Guidelines for Your Hog-Nose Pets

When nourishing your adorable pet, don’t forget to give them an ideal-sized meal. This means the prey size should not be too large to stick in your snake’s stomach. Moreover, take notes of the feeding frequency. Baby hognose are good to go with feeding them twice a weekly. On the contrary, you can reduce the food to once a week for adults. 

Another crucial tip is never to handle your snake after feeding it. At least wait for 48 hours so they can digest the food properly. Moreover, when feeding them, use tweezers or some other instrument to protect yourself from an accidental bite. Some people with allergies have seen swelling in accidental bite areas. 

Life Span 

If you still have the question: Are hognose snakes good pets, consider their life expectancy. Being native to the United States, Mexico, and Canada, they have a lifespan of about 9 to 15 years. Again, this depends on the type of species and whether they’re cared for properly. In the wild, most have shorter life spans. This is due to environmental factors, such as the risk of predators, human hunting, etc. 

On the other hand, if you have a baby hognose snake in captivity, your bond can last for at least 10 to 20 years. Considering all factors, their average life expectancy is 15 to 25 years. Thus, you can expect long-term companionship with your pet.  So the answer is yes it you are looking a long term companion.

Are Hognose Snakes Good Pets?

If the question: Are hognose snakes good pets is still unanswered, read on. Unlike other species, they are easy to handle because they are small. They also are full of personality and will play dead as well as hood up like a cobra to look bigger. These personality traits make for great entertainment for enthusiats at all levels.

However, there are some factors you must consider while reseaching them. Let’s have a look at them one by one below. 

1. Choosing the Perfect Size

Before buying any snake pet, check for the size you can handle. For instance, a hatchling would be great if you’re a beginner at keeping pets. However, if you can handle an adult, go for it. 

2. Checking the Breeder

Carefully check the breeder before you buy. Read their customer reviews, verify their identity, and gather information on what type of feeding is required for your desired pet. Furthermore, check for your snake’s price range before buying. Usually, hognose snakes range from $190 to $399, depending on the type and size. 

3. Selecting the Best Type

There are different species of hognose snakes and they will have varied life spans, sizes, and behaviors. The three most common species include the Eastern hognose, Western hognose snake,  and Southern hognose snake. You can choose the one that best fits your preferences after completing your research. 


Finally, you have a detailed guide on whether hognose snakes are good pets. Remember to give them proper care and feed as instructed. Besides this, always check for health concerns, as snakes can get respiratory and stomach issues. In such a case, visit a veterinarian to keep your reptilian friend in the best possible health condition. Keep their enclosure clean and maintain a hygienic environment whenever handling or feeding your new pet.

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