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How Much Does a Corn Snake Cost Per Month?

Curious about the financial commitment of owning a corn snake? Aside from the initial setup expenditures, prospective snake owners sometimes question how much does a corn snake cost per month that’s related to maintaining a healthy and growing pet. 

In this article, we’ll look at how much you need on average each month to take care of one of these fascinating reptiles. 

How much does a corn snake cost per month?

Corn snake on log
Corn snake on a log

After the initial setup costs which can range from $150 to $500 or more, the food and miscellaneous costs might average $20 or less per month for a corn snake. Once you have their setup taken care of, corn snakes are actually very inexpensive pets and their food is as well.  

Let’s say frozen pinkie mice are $2 each, and you feed your new corn snake once per week, you can get a month’s worth of food for around $8 for a baby corn snake. As the snake grows and needs larger food, the costs could also increase. 

You should also set aside extra money for things like fresh bedding, in case your pet needs to see a vet, or for other unexpected expenses.

Key Takeaways:

  • Monthly costs for keeping a corn snake run from $10 – $15 for a baby to $30 or more per month for larger snakes.
  • Depending on the morph, the corn snake itself can cost anywhere from $30 to $1000 or more.
  • Adult snakes would cost $10 to $15 a month to feed, while babies would cost $6 to $8.

What is the average monthly expense for a corn snake?

The average monthly expenses of a corn snake depend on a number of things. Setup and initial price can run from $150 to $500 or more, based on the type of corn snake and the enclosure quality and equipment you choose. Smaller enclosures will be less costly to maintain. 

On a monthly basis, it typically ranges from $20 to $30, considering the recurring expenses of food and extra electricity usage, if we want to count that too. The exact cost will depend on the size and age of the snake, as well as the specific dietary requirements. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that unexpected medical needs can arise, so having some extra cash set aside for veterinary expenses is advisable.

Price of a corn snake

Cornsnake on hand
Cornsnake on hand | Image by Karsten Paulick from Pixabay

The cost of your desired pet may vary greatly based on its morph, age, size, and the breeder’s pricing arrangements. The price of purchasing them ranges from thirty dollars up to one thousand dollars or more.

The morph is a significant factor in the price, as it denotes the snake’s color and pattern, resulting from specific genetic mutations. Some morphs are more common, while others are rare and highly sought after, which can make them more expensive.

The following are some of the corn snakes that are among the most often purchased, they are just estimates and may vary for you. 

  • Normal – $30-$60
  • Snow – $100-$150
  • Albino – $35-$50
  • Okeetee – $50-$150
  • Anerythristic – $70-$100
  • Lavender – $60-$90
  • Blood Red – $100-$800
  • Caramel – $90-$200
  • Hypomelanistic  – $40-$75
  • Miami Phase – $80-$200
  • Tessera – $100-$200
  • Palmetto – $500-$1,000 
  • Scaleless – $150-$300
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Things you need for your corn snake

To make sure you can offer an appropriate environment and take care of the snake’s requirements, it’s crucial to carefully prepare before bringing a corn snake into your house. It’s important to get the following ready:

1. Enclosure: $75 to $300

Your corn snake enclosure should be secure, escape-proof, and size-appropriate. A 20-gallon tank suits a baby or juvenile, while a grown snake, reaching up to 5 feet, requires a 40-gallon tank. 

2. Substrate: $5 to $75

Suitable substrates for these animals include aspen shavings, coconut fiber, and cypress. Avoid harmful materials like cedar, corncob, wood chips, gravel, and rocks to ensure your snake’s health. 

3. Heating device: $15 to $80

Your pet requires a heat source, such as an under-tank heating pad, heat bulbs, or emitters, to regulate body temperature. The enclosure should offer a gradient, with a “hot” side at roughly 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a “cool” side near 70-75 degrees, allowing the snake to thermoregulate effectively. 

ghost corn snake
ghost corn snake

4. Thermometer and Hygrometer: $10 to $30

These will help you monitor the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure to ensure they’re in the proper range. 

5. Hiding places and decors: $5 to $20

Corn snakes appreciate secure hiding spots, like caves or hollow logs, to feel safe. Incorporating diverse decor, such as rocks, wood, and plants adds enrichment and promotes a sense of security within the enclosure. 

6. Water Dish: $5 to $10

These species need constant access to fresh water, making a water bowl essential. Many owners choose natural-looking rock dishes, balancing capacity and space efficiency. Regular cleaning prevents bacterial buildup, ensuring the snake’s health. 

7. Lighting: $5 to $10

Corn snakes’ sleep cycles rely on light cues. They don’t need supplemental lighting if housed near a window with ample natural light.

Away from natural light, artificial day-night simulation is necessary. While UVB isn’t essential, a timed light source helps regulate their photocycle. Direct sunlight exposure should be avoided to prevent fatal temperature rises.

How much is the cost estimation for monthly feeding?

Corn snake eating baby mouse
Corn snake feeding | image by Dustin Miller via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

The main cost of feeding your pet depends on how often and how big the mice are that are right for the snake’s age and size. 

Usually, baby corn snakes eat a baby mouse (called a “pinkie”) every 5–7 days. As they grow, the size and amount of the food will increase accordingly. Most adults eat one big mouse every seven to ten days. Adult mice can cost up to $3 each, while small mice are around $1. 

A baby corn snake would cost about $6 to $8 a month to feed, while an adult would cost roughly $10 to $15. These approximate prices can vary depending on where you live and where you purchase the mice. You could also save money if you buy in bulk or online. 

Healthcare costs of a corn snake

Providing proper care and regular veterinary attention to your pet is important. Start by making an appointment for an initial checkup to find out how healthy it is and deal with any problems immediately.

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After that, an annual checkup with a vet who cares for reptiles should be arranged. Here are some signs that show your reptile is healthy:

  • Flicks its tongue frequently
  • Clear eyes and no discharge 
  • Intact skin with no ulcerations or stuck shed 
  • Healthy weight and body condition
  • Regular and consistent eating habits

By observing these signs of a healthy corn snake and providing the proper care, you can promote its well-being and quickly address any potential health problems that may arise. 

Final Thoughts

Each owner’s expense of maintaining a corn snake each month will differ. The setup price range for a corn snake can range from $150 to $500 or more. The monthly costs of food and regular fresh bedding can range from just $15 to $30 per month. If you want to include pet insurance then you can add to those monthly costs. This gives you an idea of the monthly costs of a corn snake. 

Setting aside money for medical needs that come up out of the blue is essential. Prioritize your reptile’s health and well-being; taking good care of it will make it a rewarding and fun companion.