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Are Corn Snakes Good Pets for Beginners?

Corn snakes make excellent pet snakes. They are not only a particularly beautiful species of snake, coming in many different colors. They also have a very docile temperament, which is why it’s not surprising they’re among one of the most popular breeds of snakes among pet owners. So are corn snakes good pets for beginners?

Let’s find out!

Are Corn Snakes good pets for beginners?

Corn snakes are probably one of the best options for first-time snake owners. However, like any pet, you need to be prepared and always do your research. In this article I’ll answer some common questions people have before purchasing a corn snake, and tell you everything you need to get started in corn snake ownership.

Another species of snake that is suitable for first time snake owners is a Ball Python, check out this article comparing Corn Snakes vs Ball Pythons as pet snakes.

Are corn snakes friendly?

Corn snakes are one of the most mild-tempered snakes making them easy to handle, very friendly, and the reason they’re beloved among the snake community. While they’re already extremely calm snakes, frequent handling will ensure they stay used to your presence.

Do corn snakes bite?

Any animal has the potential to bite, but rest assured you’re not likely to be the victim of a corn snake bite. They’re so calm they very rarely become aggressive. As young hatchlings and juveniles, you’ll barely even feel them when they bite. You may not even realize you were bit till you look down and see your finger in their mouth, been there!

A full-grown corn snakes bite feels like the equivalent of a pinch. They may draw a little blood but nothing major. Rest assured, you won’t be bleeding all over the place.

If you are still worried, this may help calm you. A snake does give warning signs when they’re getting aggravated and when they’re about to strike. When holding your snake pay attention to them. They’ll let you know if they’re upset. Honestly, these guys don’t want to bite unless it’s to eat. This fact alone makes them an excellent choice for beginners.

Why do corn snakes make good pets? – 5 reasons

Corn Snakes make great pets for multiple reasons, a few having been mentioned already, but wait, there’s more. I’ve provided a list of the top 5 reasons corn snakes make the perfect snake for beginners, and even kids.

1. Corn Snakes are great eaters

One of the biggest worries for first-time snake owners is having a snake that refuses to eat. Your first snake can be overwhelming at first until you start getting the hang of things, and the last thing you need to worry about is them not eating. Well, whereas other recommended beginner snakes can be very picky eaters, corn snakes are not.

Now, like with anything, you can find a problematic snake in the bunch, but for the most part, this isn’t a worry for corn snake owners. These guys love to eat and hardly ever pass up a meal.

2. Corn snakes are easy to handle

With their docile temperaments and their reluctance to bite, it’s not surprising that corn snakes are very easy to handle. They are a little fast as babies but slow right down as they get used to being held. This easy-to-hold aspect of corn snakes makes them great pet snakes for kids and beginners alike.

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image: Pixabay.com

3. Corn snake’s food is not as expensive, or as large as other snakes

Corn snakes can stay on a frozen-thawed mouse diet, whereas other snakes will eventually need larger rodents such as rats to eat. Larger food means a larger hole in your pocket, and If you’re not excited about this part of snake ownership, smaller food is a great place to start.

4. Corn snakes are very hardy

Corn Snakes can live and tolerate improper conditions better than most other snakes. Now, this doesn’t mean they should live in unfit conditions. But as a new snake-owner, it’s helpful when you’re starting and learning which setups work best to know your snake is not going to suffer while you are figuring things out.

5. They’re extremely curious and fun to watch

While this may not be directly related to how they make great pets for beginners, it’s a bonus. Corn snakes are one of your more active pet snakes. They are very curious by nature and love to explore their tanks. You’ll have fun watching all the things your snake does.

So, are corn snakes easy to take care of?

Ok, so far, everything sounds great. These snakes are perfect, and you’re ready to go out and bring home your first corn, but wait, are they easy to care for?

Yes, corn snakes are easy to care for, however, there are a few things you’ll need to buy and prepare before bringing your new snake home.

What you’ll need to take care of a corn snake.

When buying your first snake, there are a few essential things you will need. Here is a list of the things you will need if considering a Corn Snake:

1. An enclosure

A proper enclosure is a must if you want to become a Corn Snake owner. There are many different sizes and types of snake enclosures out there. You will need a 20-gallon terrarium or a 24x12x12 enclosure for a young corn, and upgrade to a 40-gallon terrarium or a 36x18x18 or larger when they’re full grown.

Although this is a slightly debated topic, you can buy a 40-gallon to start with as long as it is extremely cluttered with greenery and hides to make sure your snake has plenty of hiding spots leaving your young snake feeling safe and not stressed. You can find enclosures at your local pet stores, local reptile shows, or you can order them online. Here’s a great corn snake starter tank on Amazon.

2. Under tank heating pad (UTH)

You’ll need a heating pad to ensure your snake has a warm side and has adequate heating. They adhere to the bottom of your snakes’ enclosure. There are many different brands to choose from. Here’s one on Amazon that would work perfectly for a corn snake.

3. Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller

To safely use a UTH, you will need a Thermostat to regulate your heating pads temperature. This is to keep your pad safe so as not to burn your snake. Without a thermostat, your heating pad can become hot enough to kill your snake. Your mat will plug directly into the thermostat. You’ll have a probe you place on the inside of the tank directly over the pad. You might like this combo with both on Amazon.

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4. Temperature and Humidity gauges

You will need at least two gauges one for each end of the enclosure. It’s important to keep track of your snakes’ temps and humidity levels to keep your snakes’ tank maintained. You can find these at your local pet shop, or here’s a double pack from Zoo Med Labs on Amazon that would work great.

5. Ceramic heat emitter (CHE)

This is a non-light heat emitter that is perfect for through the night or all-day use. Here’s a Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter on Amazon that would work perfect!

6. Dome lamp fixture

You’ll need a Lamp fixture for your CHE, and it’s crucial to get one with a dimmer so you can set it to the right temperature. Here’s one that would be a great choice.

7. Bedding

There are a few options and multiple brands to choose from. You can use cypress mulch or Aspen bedding that comes in multiple forms, from shavings, to chips. Corn snakes don’t need high humidity, and they love to burrow, keep this in mind when picking out bedding.

8. Water Dish, Hides, and decorations

image: Pixabay.com

There are lots of hides and decorations to choose from, so have fun with it! Some like to keep their enclosures as close to their natural habitat as possible, while others like to create unique enclosures. Your local pet shops or reptile shows will have a wide variety of options to choose from, but you can also find everything you need online at places like Amazon or even Chewy.

Shop snake hides on Amazon


Corn snakes make exceptional snakes for beginners with being great for all ages because of their natural tendency to be calm and gentle. Their tanks don’t take up as much space as larger species would. They’re inexpensive to feed compared to other pet snakes, they come in a large variety of morphs, and they live upwards of 25 years, giving you a friend throughout life.

The only warning I’ll leave you with is they’re such an incredible snake, it’s hard to stop at one! Soon you may find yourself with a house full!