How Much Does a Pet Snake Cost? A Comprehensive Guide to Owning a Pet Snake

Pet Type


July 7, 2024

Owning a pet snake can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s essential to understand the costs involved before bringing one home. The cost of a pet snake varies based on species, age, and where you purchase it.

Additionally, there are ongoing costs for housing, feeding, and healthcare. This comprehensive guide explores the various expenses associated with owning a pet snake to help you make an informed decision.

Initial Purchase Cost

Common Snake Species

  • Corn Snakes: Corn snakes are a popular choice for beginners due to their docile nature and ease of care. The cost typically ranges from $30 to $150, depending on the morph (color and pattern).
  • Ball Pythons: Ball pythons are another common pet snake, known for their manageable size and calm temperament. Prices can range from $50 to $500 or more, with rare morphs fetching higher prices.
  • Kingsnakes: Kingsnakes are known for their vibrant colors and patterns. They usually cost between $40 and $200.
  • Garter Snakes: Garter snakes are relatively inexpensive, with prices ranging from $10 to $50.

Rare and Exotic Species

  • Boa Constrictors: Boa constrictors are larger snakes with a price range of $100 to $500, depending on their size and morph.
  • Green Tree Pythons: These snakes are prized for their striking appearance and can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 or more.
  • Reticulated Pythons: Known for their impressive size, reticulated pythons can cost between $200 and $1,000, with some rare morphs priced even higher.

Essential Equipment Costs


  • Tanks and Terrariums: The cost of an enclosure varies based on size and material. A basic glass tank for a small snake can cost around $50 to $100, while larger, custom-built enclosures can range from $200 to $1,000.
  • Lids and Locks: Secure lids and locks are essential to prevent escapes. These can cost an additional $20 to $50.

Heating and Lighting

  • Heat Lamps and Mats: Snakes require a regulated temperature, which can be achieved with heat lamps, mats, or ceramic heaters. These can cost between $20 and $50 each.
  • Thermostats: A thermostat to control the heating elements typically costs around $20 to $50.
  • Lighting: UVB lighting may be necessary for some species, with costs ranging from $20 to $50 for bulbs and fixtures.

Substrate and Furnishings

  • Substrate: The substrate (bedding) needs to be safe and suitable for your snake. Options include aspen shavings, cypress mulch, and reptile carpet, costing around $10 to $20 per bag.
  • Hides and Decorations: Providing hides and decorations creates a comfortable and stimulating environment. These can range from $10 to $50 each.

Ongoing Costs


  • Prey Items: Snakes primarily eat rodents, which can be purchased frozen or live. The cost depends on the size of the prey and the frequency of feeding. Expect to spend $1 to $3 per mouse and $2 to $5 per rat. Monthly feeding costs can range from $10 to $50.


  • Veterinary Visits: Regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian ensure your snake remains healthy. Initial visits can cost around $50 to $100, with annual check-ups ranging from $50 to $200.
  • Medications and Treatments: If your snake requires medications or treatments, costs can vary widely. Be prepared for potential expenses of $20 to $100 or more.

Maintenance and Supplies

  • Substrate Replacement: Regular substrate replacement is necessary for hygiene. Budget around $10 to $20 per month.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Reptile-safe cleaning supplies are essential for maintaining a clean environment. These can cost around $10 to $20.

Additional Considerations


  • Pet Insurance: Pet insurance for reptiles is available and can cover unexpected veterinary costs. Monthly premiums range from $10 to $20, depending on the coverage.

Travel and Boarding

  • Pet Boarding: If you travel frequently, you may need to consider boarding costs for your snake. Prices vary but can range from $10 to $20 per day.


Owning a pet snake involves both initial and ongoing costs. From the initial purchase of the snake and its enclosure to feeding, healthcare, and maintenance, the expenses can add up.

By understanding these costs and budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that you provide the best care for your new reptilian friend. With proper planning and care, owning a pet snake can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.