Corn Snakes As Pets: Pros and Cons

 Corn Snakes As Pets: Pros and Cons

Can Corn Snakes Be Good Pets?


Corn Snakes are non-venomous that are very docile and they do not grow to be very large. Their sweet temperament makes them great pets for first-time snake owners. Another plus about Corn Snakes is that they can tolerate being handled for more than a few minutes at a time. 

Corn Snake Pros

1. Docile Temperaments


Corn Snakes have a lot of patience and can tolerate a lot of human interaction. If you are looking for an interactive snake, then Corn Snakes are great for you. They will rarely strike at you if they feel comfortable under your care. 


If you want to have a friendly Corn Snake, you need to handle them weekly from a young age. You can tame a Corn Snake by gently handling them when they are young and supporting their bodies with both hands. If you do this a few times a week, your Corn Snake will learn to trust you. Rough handling will cause them to have a lot of anxiety around you. Even if you are struck by a Corn Snake, the injury will not be serious. Be sure to clean the wounded area to prevent infections. 

2. Manageable Size


Corn Snakes do not grow to be very large. Adults can grow between 3-5 feet long. They do not require a very large enclosure since they can stay fairly small. A 20-30 gallon enclosure is the ideal size that you will want for a Corn Snake. 

3. Long Life-Spans


The Corn Snake life-span in captivity is up to 15 years. This is plenty of time for you to have an awesome family pet. A healthy life for Corn Snakes is only possible through proper care and enclosure conditions. 

4. Their Beauty


There is no doubt that Corn Snakes are very beautiful snakes. Breeders have also found ways to create unique coloring and patterns in Corn Snakes. A typical Corn Snake morph comes with red and orange patterns all over their body. Other morphs that do not show any red on their skin. Each morph is beautiful and the more rare morphs are going to be expensive. 

Corn Snake Cons

1. Constant Maintenance


Like all other snakes, Corn Snakes require maintenance to keep them happy and healthy. However, Corn Snakes require extra care compared to other snakes because they can become ill fairly quickly. 


Corn Snakes require several hides in their enclosures, specific bedding, and humidity levels. Maintaining all of this can be difficult if you have a busy schedule. Corn Snakes can leave a lot of messes in their enclosure after eating. Their bedding needs to be changed weekly and spot-checked. A dirty enclosure will create health issues for your snake. 


The enclosure has to stay at a constant 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. They also need a shallow water dish that is cleaned regularly for soaking. If your Corn Snake does not have a water bowl to soak in, they can have huge issues with shedding. 

2. Prone To Illnesses


If enclosure maintenance is not done properly, Corn Snakes can be susceptible to fungal, respiratory, and other infections. A sick snake can lead to a hefty vet bill. 


Fungal infections can happen if the enclosure is not spot-checked or cleaned weekly. Any fowl bacterial growth can cause issues with your Corn Snake’s skin. They will need medical attention if they have a fungal infection. 


Mouth rot and respiratory infections are also common among Corn Snakes if they are not cared for properly. Failure to shed, eat, or stay stress-free will lead to respiratory infections. Poor tank temperatures also lead to infections. 


Overall, Corn Snakes are not as hardy as other snakes. 

3. Salmonella


There is always the risk of contracting Salmonella through handling reptiles. Salmonella is a bacteria that can be fatal to humans if left untreated. You can contract this bacteria handling snake waste without using sanitation or protective gloves. Allowing waste to build up in the enclosure also heightens the risk for Salmonella. 


Always wash your hands and avoid touching your mouth, face, and eyes after handling a reptile. 

4. Feeding A Corn Snake


A lot of people can find feeding snakes difficult because it usually requires a live feeding. Young Corn Snakes can only be fed newborn pinkie mice. The rule about feeding snakes is that their food should not be more than double the size of the widest part of their bodies. Baby Corn Snakes are very small, which means that they can only have newborn mice. 


Luckily, most pet stores have frozen mice that you can thaw and feed to your snake. The downside to frozen-thawed feedings is that your Corn Snake could reject that type of feeding method. They may prefer eating live food. 


Try introducing frozen-thawed food regularly and they may change their preference. You cannot feed Corn Snakes wild-caught mice because the mice can carry diseases or parasites. Store-bought mice are a lot less risky compared to finding mice on your own. 

More Facts On Corn Snake Behaviors


Corn Snakes love to burrow in their substrate and hides. However, they are also looking for a way to escape their enclosures. They are so small that they can fit through any tiny gaps. Make sure the lids on their enclosures are tightly sealed so they avoid injuries in an attempt to escape.


Corn Snakes are also carnivores. They like to stalk their prey and they use their sense of smell. If they feel threatened by other animals or people, they will vibrate their tails. They may even form an S-shape with their bodies. This is a warning that they may strike. Striking their owners is very rare if they feel comfortable. 

Wrapping Up


The biggest pro of having a Corn Snake is knowing that you have a very docile snake that is unlikely to bite you. They also stay very small which means that their bite is not going to be a serious injury. The biggest con about Corn Snakes is that they are not as hardy as other snakes. Their enclosures need a lot of maintenance to prevent any illnesses or infections. Corn Snakes are a big responsibility, but they can be awesome companions with proper care.

Jade Messieh

Proud bearded dragon, tortoise, crested gecko, and green tree python mom. I've always been passionate about animals and hope to help other reptile & amphibian enthusiasts along their journey!

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *