What should I do if my snake doesn't eat

If you already share your life with a snake or have decided that you are going to start doing it soon, you should know them as well as possible. Knowing what snakes are like as pets and what their diet is like are basic things that you should know. In addition, like any living being, they can suffer from various problems and diseases about which it is necessary to be as fully informed as possible..

You may have already encountered the problem that your snake does not eat. In that case, do not be left with the doubt of what should i do if my snake doesn't eat. Keep reading this AnimalWised article, in which we invite you to find out why your partner may have stopped eating lately and what you should do to help her..

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  1. Why do snakes stop eating?
  2. What to do if a snake stops eating due to natural causes
  3. What to do if a snake stops eating due to health problems
  4. Other things to know about snakes and their diet

Why do snakes stop eating?

The snakes can go from a few days to long periods without eating. What's more, There are times in your life when you completely stop eating. We must know how to detect what reason our snake may have for having stopped eating, as it may be due to a natural cause or due to some disease or health problem which must be remedied..

These are some of the possible reasons why a snake stops being interested in its food:

Natural causes

  • Digestion time
  • The dam we offer you is not the one indicated
  • The way we feed him is not adequate
  • Shedding of the skin
  • Mating season

Causes that indicate health problems

  • Stress
  • Inadequate conditions in the terrarium
  • Diseases

These are the most frequent reasons why our snake can stop eating. When we detect that you have not eaten for too long for your usual eating rhythm, we should try detect the possible cause to solve it as soon as possible. Normally, in addition to seeing that it stops ingesting its prey, we will see that it has other symptoms which will depend on what is the cause of anorexia. For example, if it is a matter of molting, we will see that the skin dries up and falls, if it is stress, it will not only not eat but it will barely leave its shelter, among many other possibilities. But, to detect the most probable cause, it is better that we go to our trusted veterinarian and that we explain everything that we have been able to observe in that period of time in which our partner has been without eating..

What to do if a snake stops eating due to natural causes

Next, we are going to talk about different things we can do to help our snake, in times when you stop eating food due to natural causes:

The duration of digestion

Sometimes, it may be that there simply has not been enough time between one meal and another for the size of our snake or for the amount it ingested the last time and that, therefore, the digestion has not yet finished. In such a case, we will only have to wait 3 or 4 more days to offer him the food again.

The prey is not the one

It may also be that we are offering you dead prey, pieces of meat or special preparations and that you do not accept them as food. If we observe that our companion does not feel any interest in inert prey, we will simply have to offer live prey. Other times, you just have to change the type of animal that we offer, as some snakes are somewhat epicureans since each type of prey smells and tastes different..

The way to offer the prey is not the right one

We must know if our snake is a species with thermoregulatory pits or not, to make sure if it needs the prey to only show movement or if, in addition, body temperature is necessary. In case of offering live prey, we will not have to worry about this. But, if we want to feed the snake with dead prey or preparations, we must simulate the behavior of a live prey to stimulate the attack. If the snake doesn't need the temperature gauge, just swinging in front of it. On the other hand, if the snake does have thermoregulatory pits, movement will not suffice, but the piece of meat will have to be previously heated or prepared so that the animal detects the temperature, recognizes it as prey and can direct its attack towards it. These snakes, without the temperature factor, do not usually eat what they have in front of them, so it is vital to know our companion and offer her food in the right way, reproducing their natural conditions to the maximum..

The shedding of the skin

We simply must wait for this process to finish to offer food again. We will only have to worry that the move goes smoothly and be attentive in case irregularities are observed during the process, to be able to solve them in time.

In times of heat

The females stop eating when they are about to lay their eggs, whereas the males will stop eating the moment they go into heat. But, once again, it is simply about wait for their natural process to finish and then your appetite recovers.

What to do if a snake stops eating due to health problems

In this section we will comment on different things we can do to help our snake When you stop eating for reasons that indicate possible health problems:


Snakes can also suffer from stress, especially due to house changes, new companions, and poorly structured environments. The first thing they will do then is stop eating and what we should do is, on the one hand, correct the environment as much as possible and, on the other hand, cover the terrarium a little so that they feel even more protected coming out of their burrow, and wait a few days or weeks for the snake to feel calmer and more comfortable in their new home to offer them food again.

The environmental conditions of the terrarium are inadequate

As we well know, when you have an animal (it does not matter if we are talking about a dog, a parrot, a reptile or other animals) at home or in a place that is not its natural habitat and even if this animal was born in captivity, we must reproduce as much as possible the conditions of their place of origin. If these habitat conditions cannot be met, in addition to all the legal requirements surrounding the species we think we have, we would not even have to consider the option of having it with us. Reptiles are animals that come from very specific habitats according to their species. Therefore, when we are preparing for the arrival of a snake to our home, we must inform ourselves very well to prepare the space in which it will live according to its needs. It will be necessary to ensure that there is always the humidity, the temperature, the vegetation, the hiding places, the light, the food and other parameters exactly as it would find it in its original place. In this way we make sure that the basis of your health is in good condition. If we see that the snake stops eating, we will need to review these habitat parameters to ensure that there is no inappropriate temperature, humidity or any other misadjusted factor. Once we correct the possible imbalances in its environment, we will see that in a short time the snake will ask us for food again.


If we observe that what can happen to our friend is that she is ill, since we observe various symptoms, we will have to go to the exotic veterinarian. This way we will detect as soon as possible what happens to our hissing companion and we will act to heal her quickly. As we follow the vet's instructions, we will see that he recovers. The specialist veterinarian will tell us when we can offer him food again. But when the animal feels better, we will see that its appetite is regaining.

Other things to know about snakes and their diet

There are some things that it is also convenient for us to know if we live with a snake:

  • After spending time without having ingested anything, it is common for the snake to initially regain its appetite demands more food from us than before the starvation period.
  • For this reason, in the first weeks after finding an appetite again, it will be necessary to offer him food more often until his rhythm returns to regularity..
  • Something very important is that every time we offer him food, if he does not take it more or less in the first 15 minutes, let's take it away since it will hardly be eaten.
  • The reasons for removing the food offered to the snake after a quarter of an hour of waiting are that, in the case of being live prey, it may happen that the animal defends itself and ends up injuring the snake. In addition, if we give it dead prey and it does not eat it soon, it will begin to decompose and can cause health problems for the snake..

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