Snakes make for a great pet because they are relatively low maintenance and rather cost-effective. Lots of people want to become snake owners but most of us don’t really know the kind of expenses that come with owning and caring for snakes. So, having this question I did a lot of research and then wrote it down to share with all of you.
So, how much is the average cost of pet snakes? Normally a snake will cost about 50 dollars up front (without a terrarium, food, bedding, and all of that jazz). Adding all of that together with the first time price of buying a pet snake will normally cost around 350 dollars.
350 dollars can seem like a big investment, but broken down it really is very affordable and well worth it. Knowing the basic price of a first time buy for a snake is great but snakes can live a long time and it is nice to know what the expenses of a snake can be long term. Keep reading to learn about initial snake costs, lifetime snake costs, what are the types of snakes you can own, and how snakes compare to other pets that you can own.
What Kind of Snakes Can I Own, and How Much do They Each Cost?
There are a lot of snakes out there that make great pets and there are a few that make okay pets and then there are some that do not make good pets. Snakes that are not good pets tend to be venomous and really should not be kept in homes as pets as they are extremely not safe.
Listed below I have 6 snakes that make great pets and are well loved and 4 snakes that are commonly kept as pets but maybe shouldn’t be as they do not make the greatest pet companions. The rest of the snakes are great pets but may need a little more experience with handling snakes before buying.
1. Corn Snake
Corn snakes make for great pets! They are on the smaller size, they are easy to handle, and have very docile personalities. These colorful snakes are very popular on the market and as such are relatively easy to find.
When purchasing a corn snake you can usually count on spending around 30-50 dollars more towards to the 50 dollars side of the spectrum.
Corn snakes can be more expensive though depending on where you purchase them and whether or not you want a morph. Morph corn snakes can be a lot more expensive and usually are between 70-150 dollars. (although, certain morphs can sometimes be more than 150 dollars.)
2. California King Snake
California King snakes tend to be known as the second best beginners pet snake. They make for great pets, are beautiful, and get their name for being able to eat not only other snakes but other venomous snakes. Basically, California King snakes are dope.
These snakes are well loved and come in a variety of colors and patterns. As such, they normally cost a little bit more than corn snakes and their prices usually range from 50-100 dollars.
Like all snakes, you can always find California King snakes that can cost way more than 100 dollars, but on average they only cost around 50-100.
3. Rosy Boa
Rosy boas are so cute and tiny, and they make for the most adorable pet snakes. They range from around 2-3 feet long and as such are relatively small for pet snakes and very small for a boa.
These snakes are very liked not only for their size but also for their coloring and their sweet easy to handle dispositions.
Rosy boas normally cost around 100 dollars. You can find some for slightly cheaper and some that are slightly more expensive, but of average they sit in that 100 dollars slot.
Rosy boas cost more than the other two because of their breeding and really because they are very beautiful. They may be a little more expensive, but these snakes make up for it in their size and their handling.
4. Gopher Snake
Gopher snakes are more of a typical looking snake and can often be found roaming in back yards. Although they can seem common, and to some almost like a plain Jane, next to other snakes, gopher snakes make for great pets and can be rather beautiful.
The range in pricing for gopher snakes can be rather extreme finding some that cost 30-40 dollars and some that cost 90-100 dollars. These snakes are diverse and so are their prices.
5. Ball Python
Ball Pythons are currently the most popular pet snake in America and for good reason. Their beautiful looks mixed with a very docile personality makes them very appealing but added on top of that is their love of being held and all the incredibly morphs that come from them.
Normally ball pythons cost about 50 dollars give or take and are very easy to find in pet stores and reptile shows. Ball python morphs, on the other hand, have an average asking price beginning around 200 dollars.
There are a few don’t cost quite that much and there are a lot that can cost more than 200 dollars, but 200 dollars is the normal range for ball python morphs.
6. Rat Snakes
These little constrictors are fairly common and make great pets. They can be very beautiful but their prices are normally pretty low. On average rat snakes range from 20 dollars to 50 dollars and can be found pretty easily. They make great pets and are relatively easy to care for.
7. Carpet Pythons
Carpet Pythons are beautiful snakes that are originally found in Australia. They get their name because the colorful and unique patterns of their scales resemble the intricately woven carpets that are typically found in the middle east.
Carpet pythons are widely available in the United States and are almost always captive bred. These snakes make great pets but tend to be better suited for someone who has dealt with snakes before.
Young carpet snakes are seen as prey in the wild and so they tend to be a little bit nippy and defensive when it comes to caring for them in captivity. They normally grow out of this stage around 1 to 2 years and then they handle being handled like pros.
When purchasing carpet snakes they typically go for 90-200 dollars but if you decide to purchase a morph these snakes can get wildly expensive. As with all snakes it is important to remember that these snakes will live quite a while, so they are a big investment.
8. Green Tree Python (hard to take care of)
These stunning snakes are becoming increasingly popular in the snake world and are generally loved by all those who own them. Green tree pythons normally start out yellow or a reddish-brown color as babies and as they grown into adults their color changes to be the stunning green they are known for or an equally brilliant blue.
Occasionally green tree pythons will keep their yellow or brown color as they become adults. This color change in green tree pythons is what makes them so attractive to snake owners.
Green tree pythons get a bad rap for being aggressive snakes, but they really don’t have to be. If properly handled green tree pythons actually do fairly well.
If you want to handle a green tree python always come at it from underneath while it is perching on its climbing tree. Support its lower coils and then let it chose to slither into your hands.
Because these snakes are popular, they normally range from 300-900 dollars.
Green tree boas are popular in the United States and can normally be easily found, but you always want to check where the snake came from. If it was bred outside of the United States it could possible have parasites and so you will want to find a different seller.
9. Brazilian Rainbow Boas (A Little More Advanced)
These snakes are beautiful but can sometimes need a little more care, so they aren’t normally suggested as a first time pet. They can be a little more work because they tend to be a bit nippy while young.
Brazilian Rainbow boas normally cost around 200-300 dollars because of there amazing coloring and their docile adult natures.
10. Green snakes
These snakes are beautiful and small which is perfect for some snake owners. They are a bright green color with yellowish-cream bellies. These snakes are not snakes that like to be handled so many owners get them simply to be looked at.
Green snakes normally live around 6-8 years and get to be about 2-3 feet long. Because they are very skinny it is important to have an escape proof terrarium.
Green snakes can be purchased anywhere from 10 dollars to around 30 dollars depending on the breeder, size, and sex.
REMEMBER: These little guys make great pets but really shouldn’t be handled.
11. DeKay Brown Snakes
These adorable little snakes stay about 10-20 inches long and make great beginner pets. If you are looking for a pet snake that you don’t have to feed mice brown snakes are the snake for you.
DeKay Brown snakes normally survive off of bugs, snails, and slugs so they are great for kids and adults who don’t want to watch their pet snake devour a rodent.
DeKay Brown snakes are normally around 20-30 dollars and can be found online and at most snake shows.
12. Western Hognose Snake
These snakes have become increasingly popular in the snake world because of their beautiful patterns and interesting habits. Western Hognose snakes tend to exhibit bluffing and because of that they aren’t as suggested as a beginner snake.
These snakes rarely bite and are easy to handle. They normally cost around 100-500 dollars depending on the breed of hognose.
13. Sand Boa (more advanced care)
These snakes are normally even tempered but can get quite feisty and need practice when handling. As such these snakes need some advanced care, but these African beauties are great pets and many people adore them.
Normally Sand Boas go for around 50-100 bucks but like all snakes can get more expensive if you want.
14. Burmese Python
The Burmese python is our first snake on the list that does not make for a great pet. These snakes get very large and are very expensive to feed, and because of their size and weight it is hard to house them.
On the really bad side Burmese pythons have been known to kill their owners, so even though they can be docile they are still wild creatures and are big enough to kill.
Needless to say, even though they are dangerous people still want them as pets because they are beautiful and large. Because of their massive size and exotic nature, Burmese pythons are very expensive.
The cheapest Burmese pythons start around 400 dollars while the most expensive can to 1600 dollars. The price of these snakes can add to their list that makes them not the best pets.
15. Boa Constrictor
Boa constrictors can also get very big and get very expensive but people love to own them as pets. Snakes like large boa constrictors aren’t the best pets.
It takes a lot of food to feed them, and their upkeep is a lot more expensive than other smaller snakes. Although, there are smaller boa constrictors that do make for good pets.
Boas can range from 100 dollars to 500 dollars very quickly and tend to be more expensive the bigger you want them. These snakes are tricky and although some remain small and make great pets, it can be hard to care for those that are big and live for a long time.
16. Reticulated Python
Considered the world largest snake it is crazy to believe that people own these mammoths that weigh around 350 pounds, get up to 32 feet long, and live more than 20 years. Talk about a crazy commitment and you’ve got yourself reticulated pythons.
Speaking of crazy and reticulated pythons I have to bring up the price. These snakes can cost anywhere from 200 dollars to 3500 dollars. Yes, I do mean 3500 dollars.
But, normally they sit in the 1500-3500 pocket. Reticulated pythons not only are expensive but if you were to add on housing and food, paying for these creatures can get extremely expensive
If you’ve ever seen the movie anaconda you know that it is rather ridiculous but you will also agree that these creatures were meant to be in the wild and not in somebody’s home.
Although people do keep them as pets and some are successful zoos around the county ask that people do not keep anacondas as well as reticulated pythons and Burmese pythons as pets.
Anacondas do make it on people pet lists and are fairly accessible, and as such, they normally cost around 800-1000 dollars. Just like the bigger snakes above though the price to maintain house and feeding snakes of this size can be astronomical.
How Much do Terrariums Cost and How do I Tell Which Ones are Good?
Now that we’ve gone over the prices of some of the most common snakes and a few of the exotic ones it is important to know just about how much a terrarium will cost and where to find a good one.
For the more popular normal sized snakes finding terrariums is fairly easy. You can go to almost any pet store and purchase one, or my favorite is shopping online at Amazon.
There are a few questions that can help you know what kind of terrarium to buy and why that hopefully will make the shopping experience more enjoyable.
The first thing that must be discovered to make sure you are buying the right terrarium for your snake is finding out whether or not your snake needs a solid top or a mesh top on its terrarium.
Second you need to know how big your snake is going to get so that you make sure that you buy a big enough terrarium or that you don’t buy a terrarium that is too big.
The third thing you want to check for or decide is whether or not you want to start with a smaller terrarium and have it grow with your snake. There are a lot of people who do enjoy raising their snake like this, but it is more expensive and isn’t always necessary.
The last thing that you will want to keep in mind is the importance of researching your snake before you buy it terrarium. Although a lot of the snake breeds are very similar they all have their unique quirks and no two snakes breeds will need exactly the same thing out of their habitat and terrarium.
So, what makes for a good terrarium? If you are an avid Amazon shopper like me I’m going to leave some links below to some of my favorite terrariums that you might want to look into. Some of the most important things to look for are…
- Security: All snakes are escape artist
extraordinairesand as such will do anything to get free. That means that whatever terrarium you decide on needs to be able to be locked up tightly and securely.
- Size: The size of the terrarium will make all the difference to your snake whether they like it big on small.
- Materials: Some snakes are sensitive and because of that it is very important to make sure you check up on your snake before buying its terrarium.
Terrariums always alter in price depending on how fancy they are, what the screen is like, and what they are made of, but there is a good general price to remember when looking at terrariums.
When buying a little one you can expect the cost to be around 40-80 dollars and when buying a larger one for a full-sized snake you can expect to spend around 200 dollars.
One of my favorite little terrariums with a screen top is the REPTIZOO mini reptile glass terrarium. It has great reviews and lots of people love it. Click here for common popular terrariums.
Normally though people are going to be buying anywhere from 22 gallon tanks to 40 gallon terrariums. This is pretty normal and there are some great options out there.
One of the best larger glass terrariums I have found that has a screen top is the Carolina custom cages terrarium extra long. You can get this terrarium in a lot of different sizes and depths and it is just really awesome. Click here for one of my chosen favorites.
When it comes to the 4 larger snakes we talked about providing an enclosure for them is way more difficult. They are hard to find and purchase and most likely need to be made which can cause problems because it is very important that there are no weak spots where the snake might be able to escape.
The dimensions for snakes this size tend to be around 3-foot-tall by 4-foot-wide by 10-foot-long. Besides just housing them, you need to make sure that you have sufficient room to keep them and make sure their habitat will be the best.
How Much Does Snake Bedding Cost and How Often do I Need to Buy More?
Snake bedding is a very important part of any snakes habitat. Some snakes can use reptile carpet while some snakes need wood shavings. There are a lot of snakes that do better with just newspaper or paper towels.
Some snakes can react badly to certain types of wood. These are perfect examples of why you need to research your snake before purchasing bedding for it.
Bedding for snake ranges in price. Most reptile carpets are going to be less than wood shavings and are usually around 8-12 dollars; although, some reptile carpets can cost more around 20-30 dollars if you want to go all out but that isn’t needed.
Most snake substrate that is wood shavings costs around 10-20 dollars and can cost around 30 for bigger bags. Basically, you want to get what is best for your snake.
If your snake is comfortable on reptile carpet there are two really great ones that are sold on Amazon. The first is called Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner. It’s a green carpet that is around 6 bucks and works great.
The second is called Hamiledyi Reptile Carpet. This carpet is made of coconut fibers and works great. With both of these, you will want to check and make sure that these will work with your specific breed of snake.
The other main type of bedding is wood shavings. Most snakes can handle Aspen shavings, but only a few can handle Cypress. Before purchasing, it is imperative to make sure wood shavings won’t make your snake sick. Amazon also has a great selection of wood shavings that work really well and are delivered to your door.
As far as changing the bedding of your snake a good rule of thumb is to pick up the soiled parts of the terrarium once a week and to completely clean your terrarium every month. Make sure that you replace the old substrate with fresh new bedding.
Just like humans snakes need clean living environments to stay stress free and healthy. While, the once a week and once a month rule of thumb is normally true there are some snakes that need their terrariums cleaned more often, so always look up your snakes needs and make sure you follow them exactly.
How Much Does it Cost to Feed a Pet Snake?
The price of feeding a snake really depends on the snakes size and frequency of eating. It normally costs a lot more to feed big snakes, like the four mentioned above, than it does more medium sized snakes.
With medium-sized snakes, they normally need to be fed about once every two weeks. They will normally eat large mice or small rats. This varies slightly for different snake species.
An average price is around 85 dollars per 10 months. Most snakes will take frozen but thawed food and this seems to be the most cost effective way to feed your snake. Click here for a good deal on frozen mice for your snake.
Do I Really Need to Buy Snake Accessories? The answer to that question is always yes because all snakes need snake bowls and most need one or more hiding spots, but it is not necessary to buy the most expensive ones, and not all snakes need the same accessories.
What are the Best Beginner Snakes? The best beginner snakes tend to be ball pythons, corn snakes, rosy boas, and California King snakes.
Is it Worth the Price to Buy Morph Snakes Instead of the Normal Gene? This question is totally based on the buyer. There are a lot of cool colors and patterns that are brought to the mix because of morphs but the natural snakes are also beautiful. So, the best answer for that is to figure out if you want to pay more for different looks.