As with any pet, owning and properly caring for a snake takes financial investment and planning. With a little bit of proper planning and setting your expectations to what you can spend on your snake in both recurring cost and the initial setup. 

No one wants to bring home a new pet only to realize that they can’t keep up with its needs financially. With this guide, you will get a good general sense on how much money you can expect to need for your snake, and how much you may want to set aside for your budget on a monthly basis.  

Starting Out 

Startup Costs

The most important part of any setup is, of course, the snake itself. An average ball python can cost well over $100 when bought from a reputable breeder. The fancier and rarer the morph, the more expensive it will be. 

One other large and important expense will be the tank itself. The average 55-gallon tank (size appropriate for most pet snakes) can cost around $150, not including the substrate, heating lamps, hides, and other accessories. In all, you can expect your initial setup to cost around $300 (not including the snake).

Cleaning and Refurbishing 

While cleaning supplies and new items for your tank (replacing hides, heating pads, substrate, etc) may seem minimal, they add up over time. It is also important to consider that your snake may eventually grow out of its tank, necessitating a larger enclosure. We would advise budgeting around 15 dollars a month for supplies and utilities. 

Food

One of the most important recurring costs for your snake will, of course, be its food. While snakes feed infrequently (around 3 times a month), frozen mice cost around 3 dollars individually. We would advise setting aside around $10-$20 a month for your food budget. Your snake’s feeding needs will be different depending on their age and size. 

Medical Costs 

Vet visits can be expensive. This is especially true for quality exotic vets, which can be difficult to find. You can expect a typical checkup to set you back at around $75. If your snake is pregnant or elderly, you may need to see your vet more frequently. 

To catch any potential issues early and give your snake the best chance of success with any medical treatment, watch out for the following signs:

  • Frequent regurgitation with no other explanation.
  • Not shedding properly.
  • Sudden aggression or lethargy with no other explanation. 
  • Discharge in the face or nose. 
  • Weight loss or change in body condition. 

Other Considerations

When looking at snakes for sale and trying to assess what will go into their overall cost of care, there are a variety of factors that you need to consider. Adult size, habitat needs, and age of your snake are all going to affect your expenses. With that being said, investing in good care and materials for your animal will help keep overall costs down in addition to ensuring that it lives a long and happy life.