how much does a snake cost? All You Need To Know

Snake ownership is becoming increasingly popular, and it can be both rewarding and educative. As a result, the question arises: how much does a snake cost?

The good news is that snakes have a minimal cost of ownership when compared to other popular animals.

You should be informed of all the costs associated with owning a pet snake before purchasing one. While the cost of purchasing a pet snake is significant, long-term upkeep costs must also be considered.

A pet snake is a long-term commitment. As a result, it’s critical to evaluate the price before purchasing one. Pet snakes are available in a variety of price ranges. Ball Pythons, for example, prefer warmer, more humid settings.

Others, such as Hognose Snakes, prefer drier environments. With all of this in mind, you’ll want to know how much a pet snake will cost, as well as how much it will cost to maintain and care for one. And thus, it is imperative to answer all these questions before you decide to bring home a snake as a pet.

How much does a snake cost?

how much does a snake cost

When it comes to the price of owning a pet snake, the one-time expenses can be the most shocking. However, they are often less expensive to care for than other types of pets.

Surprisingly, the cost of the snake itself isn’t the most expensive part of getting into herpetology. Snakes are reasonably priced. On the other hand, your snake’s price will be determined by two primary factors.

  • The morph
  • The species

Some species are simply more expensive. A regular corn snake, for example, will be far less expensive than a Brazilian Rainbow Boa. You might expect to pay a lot more if the corn snake you’re looking for has an uncommon morph (color variety).

The first step in determining the total cost of snake ownership is to determine the price of the snakes themselves. Now, the cost of a snake is highly dependent on the species and morph you choose.

The actual type of snakes, such as a Ball Python or a Boa Constrictor, is referred to as a species. On the other hand, Morphs are the various patterns and colors that a species might display.

Purchase From a breeder

The price of a pet snake can range from $100 to $5,500 or more. Yes, you read that correctly: some snake fans will have to spend $10,000 to obtain an exceptionally rare morph.

However, most potential snake owners will not have to spend that much money on their slithery companion. The average cost of a snake is $50-150 dollars in most circumstances.

This price, of course, only reflects the most basic variants of numerous snakes. If you want a more exotic snake morph, be ready to spend a substantial amount of money. Some of them are even in the thousands of dollars.

Adopt a snake

It’s extremely improbable that you’ll be able to get a snake as a pet for free. You might, though, if you come across someone who is seeking a new home for one. They’ll usually only charge you a little rehoming fee as confirmation that you can afford to care for one.

Rattlesnake, Poisonous, Line, Dangerous

However, if you’re lucky, all of the necessary gear and equipment for caring for them will be included. Snakes aren’t plentiful at your local animal shelter or the ASPCA. As a result, adopting one is practically impossible.

How much does a corn snake cost?

Opal, Corn Snake, Line, Natter, White

Corn snakes are excellent first-time snakes. As adults, these gorgeous snakes remain little and have a placid demeanor. When compared to a snake-like ball python, they can be a little flighty, but most owners adore these lovely creatures.

If you’re thinking of getting a corn snake, you should do your homework first. The price of a corn snake is as follows. A traditional corn snake will cost between $60 and $100, depending on the snake’s particular genes and age.

More unusual hues, such as albino, blooded, and lavender, can cost anywhere from $200 to $300, depending on the sex and other genes the snake has.

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Price of Classic Corn Snakes

Line, Eye, Corn Snake, Dandruff

Normal corn snakes are snakes with the species’ typical wild colors and markings. Corn snakes are often brown or red in color, and they are among the most affordable corn snakes accessible. The majority of them will cost under $80.

Normal corn snakes, which are either scaleless or have the gene for it, are the only exception. A scaleless corn snake lacks scales, yet its skin retains the pattern of a typical corn snake. Even if they have the wild color, scaleless corn snakes sell for at least $700.

Snakes that have been verified to contain the gene could sell for as much as $1500 for a female that may have given birth to scaleless offspring.

Price of Okeete Corn Snake

Corn Snake, Choke Snake, Terraristik

Okeetee is a term used to describe a certain color variety of corn snakes. When compared to a conventional corn snake, Okeetee corn snakes have a considerably deeper red saddle marking and stronger black lines surrounding the saddles.

This wild type of corn snake is usually descended from snakes called this in the pet trade. A normal Okeetee corn snake will cost less than $150, especially if it is darker brown in color.

Instead of black, the reverse Okeetee has white or pink. They usually cost around $200. Depending on rarity, other genes will cost between $500 and $1,500.

Price of Albino Corn Snake

Line, Natter, Corn Snake, Reptile

Corn snakes with the albino gene, as well as combinations of this gene, are extremely popular. The hue of these snakes is usually brilliant orange or red with a pink tint. Pink or orange eyes are common.

A basic albino corn snake can be purchased for less than $150. Prices can reach $200 and above when you combine varieties like creamsicle or tessera. Rare genes can cost upwards of $500.

Various other Morphs

Corn snakes have been around for a long time. Therefore you can discover some truly interesting snakes for sale. Butter snakes have more yellow in their coloring than a regular corn snake.

Depending on the gene mix, they will cost between $200 and $500. Instead of the traditional saddle marks, Tessera corn snakes feature a unique, almost pixelated striped pattern. Many of these snakes have stripes that run the length of their bodies, either broken or solid.

A simple version will cost roughly $150, but adding extra genes such as albino raises the price to nearly $250. Prices for other morphs range from $100 to over $550. Look around for a color that appeals to you, and you should be able to discover a snake that you enjoy.

You don’t have to be concerned about non-visual genes if you aren’t breeding your snake. If you buy something online, keep in mind that you will have to pay for shipping.

Any reputable breeder will only ship by overnight delivery and will not ship a snake until the weather is safe. If they don’t, look elsewhere because your snake might not make it.

How much does a pet snake cost?

If you want to purchase a pet snake but are on a budget, you should go with one of the less expensive snakes available.

The more unusual, exotic, or intriguing the creature you’re going to buy costs more, just like it does in any store—and just as it does with other pets in a pet shop. The most prominent cost of owning a pet snake is the animal itself.

When thinking about bringing one home, it’s also the simplest item to budget for. The cost of different snakes varies greatly. Some species are very common and thus reasonably priced, while others are uncommon enough to command five-figure sums.

Fortunately, most beginners opt toward reasonably abundant species, which can help keep their initial costs modest. You should budget between $100 and $500 for a suitable beginner’s snake in terms of price.

Just keep in mind that a snake’s species isn’t the sole factor that affects its price. The snake’s age, size, and gender will all play a role.

In general, older and larger animals will cost more than younger animals (at least when talking about captive-bred animals; wild-caught animals typically follow the opposite pattern).

Females are normally more expensive than males since they are more valuable to snake breeders. You’ll have to spend more for a snake with an interesting color pattern or simply a really gorgeous individual than you would for a more common specimen.

You may also discover that different breeders and dealers charge varying prices for their animals, so browse around to find the best offer.

SnakesPrice
Ball Pythons$50-$150
Corn Snake$40-$50
Garter Snake$30-$60
California Kingsnake$100
Hognose Snake$50-$80

Here are some popular pet snake options that you can consider:

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The Ball Pythons Snake

Snake, Python, Animal, Ball Python

Ball pythons are native to Africa’s sub-Saharan region. They’re easy to keep because of their nice conduct, defense mechanism, and manageable size. They won’t try to squirm away when you handle them.

Because they’re little, they save money on things like food and shelter in the long run. A ball python can be purchased for $50+, though the price fluctuates based on the snake’s age. You can expect to pay $150 for a female royal python that has shown to be a good breeder.

Thousands of dollars can be spent on rare morphs. There are almost a hundred distinct morphs available, which you may find in pet stores, trade shows, and online.

The Corn Snake

Snake, Corn Snake, Pet, Silvestre

Corn snakes are North American Colubrid snakes that can be found in the southeast, near Florida. Because one can care for them easily because they behave well, they’re a wonderful first snake.

The market has been inundated as a result of the popularity of both snakes. As a result, a standard corn snake morph can be had for as low as $40-50. Three factors make it worthwhile to get your corn snake from a reputable breeder:

  • Ticks, mites, and worms are less likely to infest the body.
  • The snake breeder followed proper snake husbandry procedures.
  • Because your snake has already eaten, it is less likely to refuse food.

And thus, buying from a reputable breeder may be worth more than $50. This is true of any snake you buy, whether it’s a corn snake or not.

The Garter Snake

Garter Snake, Forest, Macro, To Crawl

From Canada to Mexico, garter snakes can be found all over North America. They just require simple maintenance and make excellent beginner snakes. They’re incredibly energetic and want constant stimulation.

This entails more frequent handling and exercise, as well as feeding. A baby garter snake can be purchased for $30. A $60 albino garter snake, on the other hand, is easily available.

The California Kingsnake

California Chain Snake, Chain Snake

Another Colubrid found in North America is the California kingsnake. They’re another of the most common snakes kept as pets. In captivity, the kingsnake grows to be around 4 feet long and can survive for almost 20 years.

They have a banded/striped pattern on their bodies and a fairly common black/brown, white, and yellow color. Because of their size, kingsnakes are excellent beginner snakes, but keep in mind that tiny hatchlings are very wary.

California kingsnakes are generally easy to keep in captivity. A kingsnake may be purchased for $100 if you want a conventional morph.

The Hognose Snakes

Animal, Wildlife, Snake, Reptile

These snakes have various species and groups, but they all have a common trait (their noses.) Our hognose snake care guide will tell you everything you need to know about them. Hognoses have snouts that are upturned, nearly like piglets.

Their underside curls up to meet their top jaw, and the nose is an outgrowth of that. They’ve evolved this adaption so that they can burrow into loose earth or other materials.

You may buy hognoses from North America (western hognoses are the most prevalent), but you can also purchase them from Madagascar or South America. A typical captive-bred western hognose snake can be purchased for $50 to $80 at a pet store.

Because they’re a common snake, they come in a variety of morphs. For $300, you can have an albino western hognose in a lovely creamy orange color. Grey and white axanthic hognoses cost around $500 on average.

The Boa Constrictors Snakes

Constrictor, Snake, Close, Danger, Boa

Boa constrictors are excellent pets. They can weigh up to 60 pounds and grow to be over 12 feet long if properly fed. Female snakes grow to be bigger than male snakes.

Normal boa constrictors cost a little more than the ordinary snake. They cost between $150 and $170 on the internet.

What is the Average Annual Cost of Owning a Pet Snake?

AccessoriesPrice
Enclosure Tank$50-$150
Enclosure Lid$50-$150
Under Tank Heater$25-$30
UVB Light Bulb$10-$20
Timers and Gauges$20-$50
Substrate$20-$50
Light Bulb Mounting$10-$15
Hides$10-$20
Water Bowl$10-$20
Food$40-$50
Enclosure Decor$20-$30

Owning a pet snake can cost anywhere between $500 to $1700.

As you can see, numerous factors influence the expense of owning a snake. Keep in mind that the price varies greatly depending on the snake species. And the bigger the snake, the more money you’ll have to spend.

To correctly estimate your costs, make sure you conduct a lot of research on the snake species you’re considering and what they require.

Is it Expensive to Keep A Pet Snake?

Snake, Boa, Emerald, Reptile

The cost of snake ownership is at least $150, including the initial outlay for a vivarium and everything in it and the purchase of the snake (budget setup). The size of the snake species and the quality of the equipment both play a role.

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Keep in mind that snakes in captivity can survive for 25-30 years. For the next 2-3 decades, you’ll be buying snake food, bedding, and paying vet costs, among other things. You must be very certain that you are willing to demonstrate that degree of devotion.

How much does it cost to keep a corn snake?

Like a dog, the cost of owning a corn snake will never be the greatest cost of ownership (unless you get an expensive corn snake morph). The things required for a corn snake’s initial setup add up quickly.

Line, Boa Constrictor Imperator, Cub

It’s best to acquire a good quality mat stat and heat mat the first time you get the equipment because these will transfer to the vivarium they have as an adult.

You’ll need at least two vivariums, which cost an average of $170+ for a large and tiny one. Substrate only has to be changed every two months for a full cleanout, which costs roughly $20+ every two months.

Energy expenditures for heating the cage and the thermostat vary greatly, but if your corn snake is on a heat mat rather than a bulb, it should only cost $10-15 per month at most.

Because they are reptile-safe, cleaning and hygiene tools such as a snake poop scooper and F10 cleaning solution are essential. You’re unlikely to use more than an F10 mix on a single corn snake throughout their lifetime; thus, $30 for both is a good deal.

A thermostat is a really vital piece of equipment, and for a heat mat, all you need is a mat stat, which is roughly $50+. I always recommend big brands for this because it keeps your snake safe.

Frozen mice are easy to come by and relatively inexpensive, costing between $1 and $2 depending on how many you order and the number of mice your corn snake requires. This will be done four times every month, for a total of $8 per month.

Decorations for the terrarium are required, such as skins and branches; however, because the extent to which you go depends on the cost, I estimate that everything, including the water dish, will cost around $80.

Conclusion

The initial expense of owning a pet snake is roughly $600, with monthly care costs ranging from $40 to $70 depending on what needs to be updated. The upfront cost includes the snake, which varies by breed and morphs, and the vivarium setup.

Depending on the tank’s size, the vivarium might cost anywhere from $200 to $500. Depending on your tank and the substrate you choose, the substrate will cost between $50 and $100. Hides are necessary and will set you back around $50 for two.

After you’ve installed the tank, you need to think about how you’ll heat it. Basking bulbs cost roughly $50 and provide the temperature range that your snake demands.

A thermostat will set you back an extra $30 if you decide to purchase one. For food, you can buy frozen captive-bred rodents in bulk for $80, which will last several months.

Another crucial budget item to consider is veterinary checkups. Most procedures should be covered with a savings of around $250 in case of an emergency.

Overall, your snake will cost around $600 to start up, $250 for vet visits, and $50 per month for food and tank upkeep. Now it’s time to choose your new slithery companion!

FAQ

What snake is best for beginners?

The most popular beginner pet snake is the Corn Snake. Corn snakes are the most docile and friendly of all the snakes. They’re also noted for being simple to care for and feed.

Is owning a snake expensive?

The price of a pet snake varies dramatically depending on the species and morph. Pet snakes can cost as little as $50 for common snakes such as corn snakes and gopher snakes, but they can potentially cost hundreds of dollars.

What is the friendliest small snake?

Corn snakes are widely considered to be the friendliest of tiny snakes, and they are undoubtedly the most popular. This is owing to its widespread availability and ease of maintenance. They’ve also been found to be the friendliest and most docile snake species.

How much does it cost to own a snake per month?

To get started, be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars. To put up your snake’s enclosure, you’re looking at a total cost somewhere between $120 and $600. Plan on spending roughly $40-50 per month to feed and maintain your snake’s enclosure.

Is owning a snake easy?

The majority of snakes sold as pets are gentle and non-aggressive. Although some snake species kept by professional reptile collectors are naturally violent, these species do not frequently appear in the general pet trade; hence they are not generally available in pet stores.

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Author
Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.