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Corn Snake Care 101

Are you considering adopting a snake? Corn snakes are a great choice for beginners. These pretty snakes are generally very calm, don’t grow too large, and are available in a stunning variety of colors. A London, ON vet discusses corn snake care below.

Basics

The corn snake is aptly named, for two reasons. The first is that these snakes naturally live in and near cornfields, where there are plenty of rodents to eat. Their patterns also resemble Indian corn. They can live up to 20 years with good care, though the average is about 15.

Size

An adult corn snake will need a vivarium that is about 20 gallons, though bigger is always better. These pretty reptiles are master escape artists, so make sure the vivarium closes tightly! Once you pick the enclosure, you’ll also need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen, cypress mulch, or butcher paper. Avoid substrates made of pine or cedar. Place a small bowl of drinking water in a corner. Your pet will also need clean, disinfected climbing branches and a few comfy hide boxes. One of the hides should be moist, to help with shedding. Be sure to keep the enclosure clean!

Food

Corn snakes eat prey food, usually mice, quails, or rats. It’s best to buy your snake’s food frozen, and then let it thaw before offering it to your scaled buddy. Your vey may recommend feeding your snake outside of its enclosure, to make sure he doesn’t swallow substrate. Ask your vet for more information, including feeding schedules and portion sizes.

Humidity

Corn snakes require humidity levels at about 40 -50 percent. If your pet’s home is too dry, he’ll have trouble shedding. (The reverse is also true here: if your snake has trouble shedding, his home may be too dry.) Too much moisture is also unsuitable. As for temperature, corn snakes do best in a range of between 70 and 88 degrees. One end of your pet’s home should be cooler than the other. This will allow your scaled buddy to regulate his temperature by moving back and forth. You’ll also need to provide proper lighting, which should include UVB lights and should be on a timer. Ask your vet for more information on setting up the enclosure.

Please contact us, your London, ON vet, for more information on corn snake care. We’re here for you!

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