One of the most attractive qualities of owning a snake is how wallet-friendly it can be. They don’t need toys or special treats to stop them from destroying furniture. They don’t need a babysitter if you have to go out of town for an extended stay. The inherent low maintenance of snake ownership is a boon to both your time and your bank account.
So let’s talk numbers. Compared to the expenses of the average dog or cat, snakes are far less demanding. Be it food, entertainment, or accommodations, they beat traditional pets in virtually every category. But being relatively affordable doesn’t necessarily mean that a pet is cheap. No matter how great the savings might be, most first-time reptile-owners want to know how expensive is it to own a pet snake?
Costs Of Owning A Snake
In general, keeping pet snakes is about as economical a pet option as a person can get. These cold-blooded animals don’t need much by way of entertainment; they don’t eat often; and being mostly sedentary creatures, they don’t need a lot of space to roam around in. All in all, snakes make for impressively inexpensive pets that are sure to delight the bank account of any would-be owner. For the average owner, the cost of owning a snake can be as little as $15 a month!
Habitat & Setup
The biggest costs of owning a snake are the upfront ones: the enclosure, decor, and the proper equipment, and last but not least, the snake itself. The average snake will range from about 4 to 6 feet in length, and can comfortably be housed in a 20-gallon terrarium. These can range by material and layout, and cost between $100-$300.
To keep your snake healthy and happy, you will also need a few other key items to set up a proper habitat. Substrate is the material that lines the bottom of their enclosure and gives them bedding to burrow and hide into. This only costs a few dollars and on a monthly basis could be as little as $5. However, a snake’s bedding needs to be cleaned fairly often and a generous assumption total cost could be a hundred dollars per year.
Other crucial aspects of a snake habitat are lighting and heating. Fortunately, this equipment is much longer-lasting and doesn’t need to be replaced as often as substrate. Depending on the snake species, your snake may need several different types of bulbs including heating lamps, UVB lighting, day or night lighting, or even a humidifier.
Feeding Your Snake
Expenses for day-to-day maintenance of a pet snake are nominal, with food being the primary ongoing costs (but still quite inexpensive). The average frozen mouse averages about $2 each. Taking into account how infrequently a snake eats (adult snakes eat about once every 10-14 days and juveniles each about twice as often) and the size of the snake, feeding costs can come out to less than $10 a month.
The one aspect where reptile ownership can cost more than a traditional pet is healthcare. Vet visits for a snake can be costly since it’s a relatively niche area of expertise. For the most part, this will likely rarely need to be more than a once-a-year expense that still makes the overall cost of owning a snake, fairly affordable.
Snakes Aren’t Expensive Pets
There’s plenty to love about snakes: they are unique, stunning, and a lot more low maintenance than a traditional pet. But their being easy on bank accounts is probably one of the most appealing qualities (especially to first-time snake owners). Owning a pet snake can be one of the most rewarding pet experiences a person has, and also one of the most affordable.
Ready to take the plunge? You can find all sorts of snakes for sale at online reptile stores for great prices. If you are a snake-lover on a budget, stick to the standard morphs to stay at the lower end of the price range. If your budget has some wiggle room, you can also find plenty of rare and beautiful morphs as well.
Online reptile shops don’t just have great snake selections, however. There you will also find the best deals on all the products needed to take care of your new scaly friend. From tanks to heating apparatuses to substrate and more, setting up your snake’s environment has never been easier (or more affordable). If a great snake deal is what you are after, go ahead and skip the big-box pet retailers.