Snakes are some of the unique pets out there. They are low maintenance and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. But when it comes to the question of how much a snake is, many potential buyers don’t have a clue.
If you’re considering buying a snake, it’s important to dig in and do your research. Prices can depend on the type, size, and age of the snake, along with health and other factors.
Before taking the plunge into reptile ownership and purchasing supplies and additional items, let’s learn more about how much snakes cost.
Factors Influencing Snake Prices
1. Type of Snake
Popular snake species such as Ball Pythons, Corn Snakes, and King Snakes are widely available. Their prices are relatively lower compared to rare and exotic species like Reticulated Pythons, Green Tree Pythons, and Anacondas. These rare and exotic snake species are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, which drives up their prices.
2. Size of the Snake
Larger snakes are typically more expensive than smaller ones, especially if they are already fully grown.
3. The age of the Snake
Juveniles grow quickly and require frequent feeding, making them more challenging to care for. Mature snakes, on the other hand, have reached their full size and are usually easier to care for.
Snakes that are rare in one area may be more readily available and less expensive in another. Additionally, the cost of living, local taxes, and shipping expenses can all impact the final price.
5. Physical Attributes
Some snakes are rare and difficult to breed, so they are more expensive. For example, albinos and pied snakes are more expensive than others.
6. Reputable Breeders vs. Pet Stores
Snakes from reputable breeders are often more expensive than those from pet stores due to the added value of healthy genetics and proper care. However, pet stores may offer sales or discounts on certain species, so it’s always good to compare prices before making a purchase.
Average Cost of Popular Snake Species
|Snake Species||Characteristics||Typical Cost|
|Ball Python||Docile temperament, manageable size||$50-$500|
|Corn Snake||Ease of care, vibrant colors||$20-$150|
|King Snake||Aggressive behavior, versatility as pets||$50-$200|
|Boa Constrictor||Powerful constriction||$100-$500|
|Garter Snake||Small size, affordable||$5-$30|
|Royal Python||docile, beautiful markings||$200-$2000|
|Milk Snake||docile, mimic other venomous snakes for defense||$50-$150|
|Rat Snake||good for control of the rodent population||$20-$200|
|Pine Snake||large, non-venomous species||$50-$200|
|Hog Island Boa||small size, docile temperament||$300-$800|
Additional Costs to Consider
In addition to the snake costs, there are also other costs associated with owning a snake.
One of the highest additional costs is housing. Snakes require a specialized habitat, such as a terrarium or glass aquarium, that provides the right temperature and humidity levels.
A glass aquarium with a secure lid and heating and lighting equipment can cost anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the size.
In comparison, you can get terrariums from $50 to $500, depending on the size and quality. They have fantastic features like convenient front-opening doors, adjustable air vents, a secure lid and latch, and pre-installed fixtures for your lights and heat lamps.
Cheap small plastic enclosures may also be a great choice for a temporary solution but bear in mind that some species may need more space. So, you might consider an upgrade if you’re looking for something with a bit more flair!
There is a variety of options available to suit different needs. Heating pads, cables, and lamps are typically the most affordable options, while radiant heat plates tend to be more expensive but favored by professional breeders.
You should consider second-hand options if you’re looking for a cheaper solution. Just be sure to inspect them for any damage or malfunctions before use. And don’t forget to connect your heating elements to a thermostat for maximum temperature control!
A basic heating setup requires a thermostat and an under-tank heater which would cost about $30. On the other hand, expansive heating setups for large spaces may cost over $100. Whatever you decide to set up should depend on the snake species, home temperature, and other factors such as lighting requirements.
Lights may not be necessary for snake care, but they can really bring out their vibrant colors and help keep their enclosure at the right temperature. Incandescent and fluorescent UVB light bulbs are perfect choices and can be purchased for under $20, but bigger fixtures for larger enclosures will cost more.
4. Food and Supplements
Pet snakes eat small rodents, such as mice and rats, as their main staple, which you can get at reptile and exotic pet stores and local hobby breeders who sell live and frozen feeder rats. The cost of food will vary depending on the type and frequency of feeding, but it is typically between $10 and $50 per month.
However, specialized food such as frogs, reptiles, eggs, or fish is more expensive than regular rodent feeders. It is important to research the dietary needs of your particular species before purchasing food for them to ensure they get the right nutrition.
When furnishing your snake habitat, the substrate is an essential part of the setup. Not only does it provide comfort, but it also absorbs liquids. You can easily create a great-looking home for your pet with various substrates, from economical newspaper and paper towels to more sophisticated bioactive setups.
Traditional, convenient substrate depends on the species of snake and typically costs between $5-$20, while more elaborate bioactive setups require a more initial investment but are low maintenance after established, costing between $40 and $100.
Adding plants would create a more natural habitat. Most helpful plants are affordable, costing between $5 and $20 per plant. Just ensure you research the specific needs of each species before purchasing them.
Also, ensure you know how much light, water, and fertilizer each plant requires to thrive in its new home. Additionally, ensure you have enough space for all the plants you plan on adding, as overcrowding can lead to unhealthy conditions for both the snakes and the plants. With proper care and maintenance, adding plants to your snake
7. Veterinary Care
Veterinary care for snakes can be expensive, with an average appointment costing around $100. Unexpected tests or procedures can lead to much higher bills, so it is important to set aside a few hundred dollars and/or get pet insurance to cover the costs of veterinary treatment.
Common procedures such as office visits and fecal parasite tests typically cost between $50-$100 and $10-$30, respectively. Prices may vary depending on the snake species and location, so it’s best to call ahead to get an accurate estimate.
It is important to keep in mind that regular checkups are essential for your snake’s health and well-being. Regular vet visits can help identify potential health issues before they become more serious or costly.
Additionally, having a good relationship with your veterinarian will ensure you receive quality care at a reasonable price. Proper planning and budgeting can provide your snake with the best possible care.
Where to Buy a Snake
1. Pet stores
This is a convenient option for purchasing a snake as they are often easily accessible and have a variety of species available. Pet stores often have a wide selection of snakes available, but it is important to carefully inspect the conditions of the snakes and their habitats to ensure that they are healthy and well cared for.
2. Reptile Shows
At a reptile show, you can see and handle a variety of snakes and talk to breeders and other experts about what type of snake would be best for you. This is also a great opportunity to learn about the different species of snakes and their care requirements.
Private breeders often have a wide selection of snakes available and can ship the snake directly to you. However, it is important to carefully research the breeder and their reputation to ensure that you get a healthy, well-cared-for snake.
How much a snake will cost you will mostly depend on how much you’re willing to spend. On the low end, it’s possible to find healthy snakes for as little as $20, but if you are looking for more exotic or rare species of snakes, the price will skyrocket.
- Research different species of snakes and their specific requirements and costs.
- Compare prices from different breeders, pet stores, and online sellers.
- Consider the cost of equipment, housing, heating, and feeding when budgeting for snake ownership.
- Consult with a veterinarian to ensure you have the information you need to provide the best care for your snake.
- Remember that snake ownership is a long-term commitment, so be prepared for the ongoing costs and responsibilities associated with caring for your pet.
Shop around and consider all the factors—not just cost—before making your decision. If you have any questions or require further assistance buying a pet snake, feel free to comment below.