How To Care For A Corn Snake

Are you a new corn snake owner wondering what you need to do to care for your new pet?

Do you like the idea of owning one of these oddly cute pets, but you want to know about its care needs before you commit?

Learning about the care needs of your pet or one you’re interested in is one of the hallmarks of a good owner. These pets aren’t difficult to provide for, but you still need to know how to care for a corn snake.

Caring for a corn snake requires a balance of providing the correct habitat, appropriate diet, and watching for health issues. These elements aren’t hard to provide as long as you know what these snakes need.

Read ahead for a quick breakdown of a corn snake’s care needs.

how to care for a corn snake

Habitat Needs

A corn snake’s habitat needs are broken down into five elements.

In this section, we’ll give you a quick breakdown of what they need and why for their habitats.

Medium-Sized Tank

Corn snakes do well in medium-sized tanks.

If you get a tank at least at 20 gallons, your pet will be just fine.

See-through sides are nice for you to see your pet and interact with it.

Glass tends to be higher quality, but it does tend to release heat more often.

Other materials are often cheaper and hold heat better, but they don’t always have the same feel.

It doesn’t matter as long as you get the 20-gallon size and secure the top.

Corn snakes have been known to escape occasionally.

Note: Look for a tank with more width than height.

Corn snakes like to wiggle around, but they don’t need to climb as much.


Corn snakes are from the mild temperatures of the United States and can survive in a wide range of weather.

But for a full and healthy life, you’ll want to keep it as steady as possible.

A temperature of 85° degrees Fahrenheit (29° C) is just fine for heating during the day.

It won’t take much to get the temps up this high.

Choose to use either heating lights or heating pads for the tank.

Heating lights do a good job of heating the air in the tank, but they sometimes don’t keep the whole tank at a steady temperature.

This is especially true if the tank is fairly large.

But heating lights are usually inexpensive as well. This ZACRO heat lamp works well.

Zacro Reptile Heat Lamp 150W with One Digital...
  • Perfect 24 hour heat source for all types of reptiles, amphibians, birds, hamsters, and one digital thermometer included
  • 99% high thermal efficiency, the non-light heater lamp will not disturb animals sleep pattern.
  • Solid ceramics element has a good heat radiation feature(also works in sealed box), which can works

Heating pads or under-the-tank heaters go under the substrate and give off heat from below.

It provides a nice, even heating you have a lot of control over.

With these, you do need to watch out if you have a glass tank.

There have been cases where the heating pad heats the glass too much, and it cracks.

But if you’re going for it, the ZACRO heating pad won’t disappoint you.

At nighttime, it’s a good idea to shut off the heater and let the tank cool down.

This naturally simulates what happens in the wild at night.

The temperature shouldn’t get too far below 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C) regularly, and 75° degrees Fahrenheit (24° C) may be better.

Don’t stress about it too much, though.

Some corn snakes live in places which experience full-on winters.

Just make sure you get a good thermometer like this thermometer/hygrometer by BALDR.

BALDR Thermo Square Thermometer and Hygrometer,...
  • Easy-to-read Display - This humidity gauge thermometer has bright front panel with a clear LCD display which is easy to read...
  • Accurate & Authentic Temperature Monitoring - Temperature range: 14 ~122°F(-10°C~50°C. )and Accuracy about +/-1. 0 C...
  • Indoor Humidity Monitoring - Relative humidity range 10%RH~99%RH. which is perfect used in green house guitar room or larder.

It’s a quality product and also tracks relative humidity.

Water Bowl

You should also keep a shallow water dish in your corn snake’s tank.

This dish should have low sides, so the corn snake can get up and in to swim if it wishes.

Corn snakes will absorb water through the skin and by drinking as many reptiles do.

Make sure the water isn’t so deep the snake is submerged.

Another major purpose served by the water dish is to increase the relative humidity of the tank.

Corn snakes operate best in humid environments.

While they can survive in drier areas, it tends to cause shedding problems which can hurt or severely injure them.

Aim for a 40-50% relative humidity for your corn snake.

In most cases, you’ll achieve this by simply putting the water dish in the tank.

In other cases, you may need to add a tank humidifier or spray down the substrate occasionally.

Use a good hygrometer to keep track of the humidity.


Substrate gives your snake to crawl over and bury itself into.

It also makes your life easier by making cleaning easier.

Good substrates for corn snakes include:

  • Coconut fibers
  • Aspen
  • Newspaper
  • Reptile carpet

Check out the best bedding for corn snakes for more information.


Corn snakes need some furniture to keep their attention.

You should include at least three pieces of furniture in addition to the water dish.

One of these items should be a hide box.

Corn snakes are natural hiders and need a place to go to be happy.

Other items may include logs, rocks, or plants.

Diet Needs

Of course, no pet would have a happy and healthy life if it didn’t have the right diet.

Luckily for you, corn snakes are easy to feed and require little worry when it comes to diet.

You need to feed a corn snake one mouse every 7-10 days.

The mouse should be no larger than 1.5 times the size of the corn snakes girth at mid-length.

Check out more about what size mice do feed a corn snake.

Health Issues To Watch For

Corn snakes are naturally hardy creatures.

They don’t tend to get ill easily.

The main things you need to watch for are signs of sickness, including:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Wrinkled skin
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Visible injuries
  • Swelling of the body
  • Shedding problems
  • Lethargy (lack of movement)
  • Discolored mouth

The two most common problems with corn snake health include shedding issues (when the skin doesn’t come off the body easily) and mouth rot.


We hope you enjoyed learning how to care for a corn snake.

These not-so-little guys are one of the easiest reptiles to care for, so enjoy your time with your oddly cute pet!

Spend Less Time Figuring Out What To Do And More Time Enjoying Your Pet

You’ll save time and money right away with this easy-to-follow handbook. This is the guide you’ve been looking for everywhere.

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