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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Corn Snake as a Pet?

E. Reeder
E. Reeder

As with most any animal that can be kept as a pet, having a corn snake as a pet has both positive and negative aspects. Some good things about pet corn snakes are they are easy to care for, not poisonous, and are generally healthy. Negative aspects to having a corn snake as a pet include the fact that they may escape easily, are not legal to own in certain places, and can cost a good deal of money in terms of equipment and food.

Having a corn snake as a pet has many pros. Corn snakes are normally submissive and calm in temperament. Owners of corn snakes can play with them and hold them without fear because of their peaceful nature. They do not grow to be tremendously large, as some snakes do. These snakes also have colorful patterns that keep them interesting.

For the most part, corn snakes are calm and submissive.
For the most part, corn snakes are calm and submissive.

Corn snakes are not poisonous, which may be a relief to those who have a fear of being bitten by venomous snakes. They also do not eat as often as some snakes do. Babies eat every three to seven days, while average adult corn snakes eat every seven to 10 days. If corn snakes are cared for properly, they are generally healthy and may never need to see a veterinarian, which is another reason to choose them as a pet.

Corn snakes feed on mice.
Corn snakes feed on mice.

There are a few cons associated with having a corn snake as a pet. One negative is that they can easily find ways to escape, meaning they require an escape-proof enclosure in which to live. Proper equipment, such as a terrarium, and the ongoing cost of food can be expensive when caring for a corn snake. They eat mice and similar animals, so their food can cost a great deal of money over time and can be difficult to keep, as well. A final potential difficulty associated with corn snakes is that they may not be legal to own, thanks to bans against exotic pets in some areas.

Corn snakes are popular as pets. Among the many different breeds of snakes that people can choose to keep as pets, corn snakes often prove easy and rewarding to have as a pet. Their positive temperament and ease of care may outweigh the negatives of owning and caring for them. Many people have been satisfied with their experiences owing and caring for pet corn snakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes corn snakes good pets?

Corn snakes are excellent pets due to their docile nature, making them easy to handle, even for beginners. They require minimal maintenance compared to other pets, with a simple habitat setup and a feeding schedule that's typically once a week. Their vibrant colors and patterns also make them visually appealing, and they have a relatively long lifespan of up to 20 years with proper care.

Are corn snakes dangerous to humans?

Corn snakes are non-venomous and pose no significant danger to humans. They are known for their gentle disposition and are unlikely to bite. If they do, it's usually due to mistaken identity during feeding or if they feel threatened. Their bites are not serious and typically result in minor scratches that can be easily disinfected.

How much space does a corn snake need?

A corn snake requires a secure enclosure with enough space to move around and exhibit natural behaviors. A 20-gallon tank is suitable for a juvenile, while an adult corn snake, which can reach 4 to 5 feet in length, may need a 40-gallon tank. Providing vertical space and branches can also enrich their environment and promote exercise.

What is the diet of a corn snake, and how often should they be fed?

Corn snakes are carnivorous and primarily feed on rodents in captivity. Juveniles should be fed once every 5 to 7 days, while adults can be fed once every 7 to 10 days. It's important to provide prey that is appropriately sized—no larger than the snake's girth—to prevent regurgitation or other digestive issues.

What are the common health issues in corn snakes?

Common health issues in corn snakes include respiratory infections, often due to improper humidity levels, and mites, which can be prevented with regular habitat cleaning. They can also suffer from scale rot if their substrate is too moist. With proper husbandry, these issues are largely preventable, ensuring a healthy snake.

How much does it typically cost to care for a corn snake?

The initial setup for a corn snake, including the enclosure, heating, and accessories, can range from $100 to $200. Ongoing costs for food, substrate, and occasional veterinary care can average $20 to $30 per month. These costs are relatively low compared to many other pets, making corn snakes an economical choice for many households.

Discussion Comments


@Pippinwhite -- You and me both. However, I have a friend whose son has a corn snake and she said she never knows it's in the house. But you don't get affection from a snake like you do a dog or cat.

She said he had a friend who's a snake enthusiast help her son build an escape-resistant cage, and said the snake hasn't managed to stage a jailbreak yet. Apparently, you have to seal all the corners of the enclosure and make sure the snake can't lift the lid off with its head. Her son's enclosure locks, so unless the snake has turned criminal mastermind, hopefully it won't be able to get out.


I'm not fond of snakes. I don't see why anyone would have snakes as pets. You have to feed them whole mice. Eeewww. I know a responsible owner buys frozen mice, but still. Yeah, I know. I buy cat food in a can. But it's not the whole animal.

I know from people who have them that they are interesting to watch, and they certainly don't make any noise, but I still wouldn't want one in the house.

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    • For the most part, corn snakes are calm and submissive.
      By: KJ Lodrigue, Jr.
      For the most part, corn snakes are calm and submissive.
    • Corn snakes feed on mice.
      By: Rafal Kucharek
      Corn snakes feed on mice.