Never Feed Live Food to Snake

When it comes to snake feeding, you need to stick to pre-killed food.

There are a lot of reasons that people prefer to give their snakes live food. One of the most common is they feel that a snake in its natural habitat would eat live food so in captivity they should be given live food as well. I used to agree with them. However, it only took one incident for me to change my mind.

I was feeding my Brazilian rainbow boa like I usually did. I removed the driftwood from her cage but left the plants inside because she preferred to hide in them before she attacked. I put a medium sized rat in the pet cage as usual. As usual, she attacked quickly. However, she made a fatal error. She managed to get herself bit, and that caused her to puncture her lung. She died a few minutes later.

The main reason you need to stick to pre-killed food is for pet safety reasons. Yes, 99% of the time your snakeFeeding your snake live food is simply an unnecessary risk.

will take care of the live food quickly and efficiently. However, it only takes one incident to kill your snake.

There are other benefits to giving your snake pre-killed food. It’s more readily available in pet stores. The pre-killed animals are killed humanely and didn’t suffer. That’s not likely to be the case when putting live prey in with your snake.

If you’re worried about your snake not accepting pre-killed food, you’re likely unnecessarily worrying. Almost every snake will accept pre-killed food. It may take a few tries to get your snake accustomed to pre-killed food if it had been on a live prey diet previously, but almost every snake can be taught to eat pre-killed food.

The process of feeding your snake pre-killed food is really quite simple:

  1. Thaw out your rodent in warm water for 30 minutes. Snakes won’t eat it if it’s frozen, so make sure it’s warm.
  2. Dry it off.
  3. Put the rodent in the cage.
  4. If the snake appears uninterested, grab a pair of tongs and move the rodent around to make it appear alive.

Snakes make great pets and can be companions for years. Why risk unnecessary injury or even death by feeding your snake live prey?

About the Author

Gary Ruplinger is the owner of – a comprehensive snake resource site. If you’re interested in learning more about pet snakes then be sure to stop by his website. You’ll find all the basics to caring for a pet snake, a great snake newsletter, and specific advice on how to care for 20 of the most popular pet snakes. If you have any questions during your visit, make sure you visit the snake forum and participate in discussions about this great yet misunderstood pet.

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