Hognose snakes are increasingly gaining popularity as pets. Sure, you may have never even heard of a hognose snake until recently, but these reptiles have adorable characteristics, such as an upturned nose, a silly-looking grin, and a tendency to play dead.
So, it’s no wonder that you are amongst the growing number of people who are interested in learning more about hognose snakes, and since owning these snakes as pets is a relatively new trend, you are certainly not alone in your curiosity about what to feed your Hognose snake.
What Do Hognose Snakes Eat?
Hognose snakes primarily eat toads. Toads account for over 75% of their diet! However, Hognose snakes have been known to feed on frogs, lizards, salamanders, insects, and small mammals, such as rodents. If you have a pet Hognose snake, the best food to offer is frozen mice that have been flavored with frog juice.
Hognose Snakes Primarily Eat Toads and Frogs
Although geckos are the best starter pet for new reptile enthusiasts, hognose snakes may still be a fairly low-maintenance alternative when compared to other common pet snakes, such as the python.
Although hognose snakes aren’t very picky eaters, their favorite food is amphibians! Most varieties of hognose snakes are non-venomous or excrete a milder venom that only affects toads and small mammals, which explains this snake’s tendency to play dead as a survival mechanism.
Hognose snakes are found throughout North America.
Their species’ are classified by the climates that they are found in, hence the names Western and Eastern Hognose Snakes, and they prefer to feed on toads while in their natural habitats.
Of course, you may be able to find toads at your local pet store, but as an alternative option, you can add frog flavoring to frozen and thawed mice, and feed them to your Hognose snake.
Adult hognose snakes should be fed once every week or two, and offered prey that is smaller than their body’s diameter.
Hognose Snakes Will Eat Lizards and Salamanders
When given a choice between the two, hognose snakes will usually go for the salamander. If you want to stray from a rodent diet, gecko tails, frozen anole lizards, and redback salamanders are great dietary options for your Hognose snake.
Of course, they will continue to prefer frogs and toads, so if you are up to catching slimy creatures to feed to your Hognose snake, it’s best to stick with toads.
Hognose snakes love to eat cane toads, tree frogs, and African clawed frogs, some of which may be found at your local pet store. If you decide to naturally harvest prey for your Hognose snake, you should avoid catching frogs and lizards in areas that may be contaminated by pesticides.
Ideally, you should just go on a nature walk through a wooded area and see what you can find to bring home to your snake to provide the most natural and nutritious diet.
Also, you can freeze wild-caught prey before feeding it to your snake to kill off any possible parasites.
Hognose Snakes Will Eat Insects, Birds, and Small Mammals
Although insects are a very filling meal for a hognose snake, they have been known to occasionally consume insects when they cannot locate an ideal food source.
However, baby hognose snakes can be fed insects or small, frozen, and thawed pinky mice. Baby Hognose snakes should also be fed more often than adults, preferably every 4 to 5 days.
Hognose snakes will eat a bird or bird eggs, once in a while, and will enjoy occasionally being fed quail eggs, but mammals and birds are not the main dietary staples for hognose snakes, while in their natural habitat.
While rodents are recommended for Hognose snakes in captivity, these reptiles would much rather eat a toad instead of a mouse.
When feeding your Hognose snake, be mindful that they may strike their prey from any direction and that they are stimulated by movement, so wiggling the food will trigger them to go for it.
Always make sure that you hold the meal with a pair of tweezers to avoid being bitten accidentally. No, a Hognose snake bite won’t harm you, but it would still be unpleasant, nevertheless.
Frequently Asked Questions about What Hognose Snakes Eat
How Long Can a Hognose Snake Go Without Food?
As long as your Hognose snake is in good overall health, it can survive for months without food and will not starve or become ill. Although any pet owner would be concerned about their snakes’ refusal of food, your hognose snake will continue to thrive in spite of missed meals.
What Can Hognose Snakes Eat?
Hognose snakes are carnivorous reptiles that feed mainly upon toads. However, these snakes are not extremely picky if they become hungry. They have been known to consume frogs, lizards, insects, birds, salamanders, and rodents.
Can Hognose Snakes Eat Eggs?
Hognose snakes have been known to eat quail eggs while in their natural habitat. If you own a Hognose snake as a pet, they’ll enjoy an occasional treat of fully-cooked eggs or human-grade meats, but these dietary options should be provided sparingly as they will not meet the nutritional needs of your snake alone.
Hognose snakes are reptiles with spunky personalities. They have broad heads, upturned noses, quirky-looking grins, and love to play dead, which makes them fun snakes to have as pets.
Plus, they aren’t picky eaters, making them easy to care for.
Sure, they would definitely love it if you were to just toss a toad in their tank, but if that isn’t possible, they are content with frozen and thawed rodents or even your leftover scrambled eggs.