It may sound incredulous to believe, but many animal lovers adore their pet snakes as much as you may love your doggo. And, with that love comes concern for their pet. Hence, you’ll often find guardians of snakes searching up the internet to understand the primary diet of snakes as well as their upkeep.
Sometimes out of curiosity or because our beloved pets try to get into things, you may find yourself wondering what our mammalian or reptilian friends can eat. Now, if you’re wondering whether or not snakes can eat bread, wonder no more.
So can snakes eat bread? No, snakes do not eat bread. Nor would they find it the least bit appetizing as they are not herbivores nor omnivores. Snakes are carnivores and they do not eat vegetables, fruits or any human food, processed or otherwise.
Continue reading to find out more about why snakes do not and cannot eat bread, what they do eat, and what else is good or bad for their well-being regarding their dietary needs.
Why Don’t Snakes Eat Bread?
It’s true that many creatures that keep a protein diet and at times consume animal prey also enjoy the occasional treat of bread, such as your average dog, who can eat a surprising variety of foods.
But, snakes are not like some of these mammals, amphibians, or even other reptiles. There are thousands of species of snakes across the globe, but the one thing that they all have in common is that all snakes need to consume animal matter to survive.
Any or all kinds of animals are a welcome treat for snakes. But, for smaller-sized snakes, the smaller the prey, the easier the hunt. Also, most adult snakes tend to feed only once a week. So, you won’t have to worry too much about getting your hands bloodied trying to supply a regular meal for your beloved, slithery friend.
Moreover, snakes don’t munch or chew away on their meals bite by bite. Snakes tend to swallow their meals whole. So, you can let your headrest easy about getting your hands full of blood.
As we said, snakes do not and could not eat bread, nor can they eat vegetables, fruits nor any other non-meats.
So, trying to feed your snake some bread is a futile feat. Snakes are ‘mandatory carnivores.’ Hence, you can’t get your snake to eat vegetarian meals even when starving. Your snake has to remain a carnivore.
What Do Snakes Eat?
Snakes eat a variety of foods. But all of it must be animal matter (basically meat).
Smaller prey is gobbled up whole by minimal exertion on the snake’s part. And, for larger prey, snakes either use venom or their massive body strength to crush the bones of the prey before consumption. Now, let’s take a list of the foods that snakes do enjoy eating.
Some of the most commonly found snakes globally are the green snake or rough earth snake that will eat everything from cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, and meal larva to mealworms.
Many species of snakes that are insect eaters are neither venomous nor particularly dangerous in any way. Their daily meal consists of nothing more than a few bugs. And, if you’re concerned that that might be unsanitary for your buddy, you can always make use of the options of buying sterilized mealworms that are available at most pet stores for pet snakes.
Many snake species particularly enjoy the hunt and only feed on warm-blooded animals, both large and small. Hence, you have to ensure that your snake gets what it needs.
Rats and mice are both popular choices for pet snakes. Both are usually available as “feeders” from the average pet store, or you can invest in “breeder” mice and rats of your own.
And for those who feel squeamish about feeding their pets live animals, you can buy frozen mice that can be thawed before serving (yum! for snakes, that is). But, as mentioned earlier, there are many species of snakes. And if you’ve opted to adopt a pet that loves the hunt, then you need to make sure that all of your pet’s basic needs are met.
It’s also possible that, regardless of breed, your snake will have a preference and refuse to eat anything but live, fresh food. This especially happens if your snake is an adult and already used to eating live food.
Many snakes love to snack on eggs. And, many snakes are infamous for feeding on chicken eggs.
But you have to remember that when you are feeding your pet snake eggs, you need to find out if your pet belongs to a species that appreciates snacking on eggs or not.
Moreover, you have to feed your snake raw eggs.
You see, eggs are a fantastic source of protein and present minimal challenge in fighting to survive. Larger snakes even manage to get the mother birds to give up on their nests to steal eggs. And, some water snakes feed on fish eggs as well.
Birds And Fish
Many snake behavioral studies have shown that rat snakes are the most popular predator of birds and birds’ nests. Moreover, studies also showed that rat snakes attack during the night and they do so more during the birds’ nesting stages rather than the egg incubation period.
Then, there are water snakes that love to hog it up on fresh fish. Water snakes and ribbon snakes eat both insects as well as fish.
Snakes that eat fish don’t usually go for the garden variety of fish such as goldfish, rosy reds, or tuffies that we may be used to thinking of. You can try feeding your pet some brook trout, sunfish, or bullhead catfish – but as always, check your snake’s breed first.
Other Reptiles And Amphibians
Yes, some snakes eat frogs and toads. They even snack on tadpoles. Some species of snakes also love to eat lizards, turtles, and even other snakes!
King cobras, Cape cobras, and king snakes are opportunistic in their diet. Hence, they will eat whatever they can find. Thus, if more enormous snakes come across smaller snakes and cannot find other prey, they’ll happily eat other snakes.
When it comes to larger snakes, they pretty much eat anything and everything that may come their way when they hunt.
Hence, cats, dogs, pigs, goats, and sometimes even humans may be in danger of being eaten by a genuinely massive snake such as a boa constrictor or green anaconda. Mammals as large as deer or cattle may even come under attack by a large snake with venom or powerful muscles to take down other animals.
Snakes are known as exotic pets. Mainly as not many animal lovers will take up the challenge to adopt a snake. And though there are over 3000 thousand species of snakes worldwide, there is much fear and myth attached to these creatures.
Hence, you will often see snake parents looking up the internet to find answers to any queries related to their beloved serpents. You can read on to find answers to some of those inquiries here.
How Do You Know When Your Snake Is Hungry?
When your snake is hungry, you’ll find it far more active than it typically is. You will see that your snake may prowl its enclosure far more than average. You may even find that your snake’s tongue flicks have increased, both in number and frequency.
Now, as vital as it is to understand the frequency with which your snake likes to feed, it is essential to find out about its dietary needs. So, when you adopt a pet snake, you’ll have to find out from reliable sources what species it is and what it eats.
As mentioned earlier, not all snakes eat insects. Some enjoy smaller mammals, while others like reptiles or amphibians. Furthermore, you’ll also have to take particular care about the provision of water, habitat, and temperature.
How Often Do Snakes Feed?
As with every creature alive on planet Earth, snakes eat according to their size, age, and activity level.
Hence, a smaller and younger snake may feed twice a week on smaller food. Larger and older snakes eat once every week. But, if the snake is giant and the prey is small, your snake may feel the pangs of hunger more frequently.
Also, female snakes eat more when they approach the breeding season. But, your snake will give you pretty clear indications of when it is hungry. When your snake is starved, it’ll devour the food. And when your snake hesitates from eating or doesn’t touch the food at all, that may tell you that it is not hungry (or that it may not be feeling well).
Why Doesn’t My Snake Eat Anything?
For first-time snake parents, you’d better find out the species of your pet and what its dietary needs are. You see, many times, animal lovers adopt snakes and try to feed them mice thinking all snakes eat rats. But that’s not true.
You have to find out about your pet as much as possible before you adopt one so that you can make its transition into a new environment as easy as possible. And your local vet will be a great help to help you figure out what best for your beloved creature.
For seasoned snake guardians, it’s best to monitor your snake’s general behavior. Snakes aren’t very active creatures. But, if your snake isn’t moving around at all and refusing to eat, then a visit to the vet is necessary.
Sometimes snakes don’t eat for a while due to changes in their environment. So, if your snake is stressed out, suffering from noise pollution, has improper environmental temperature, hibernation, or shedding, it will eat less.
Breeding season anorexia or pregnancy are also reasons for a reduced diet. More serious causes for lack of appetite in snakes are cancer, kidney failure, parasites, and other health concerns.
It’s always safest to consider all these factors and share this information with a vet.
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