Do you know about snakes and their diet?
Are you worried your snake hasn’t pooped in a while?
After consuming a meal, most animals need to poop to relieve their bowels.
Snakes are no different.
You might be wondering: how often do snakes poop?
How often a snake poops is dependent on the frequency of feeds. If a snake eats more frequently, it poops more regularly. Ball pythons, for example, typically poop about 5-7 days after feeding.
The timing and mechanisms behind poop for snakes are extremely different than what we’re used to in humans and other mammals.
The rest of this article will answer all the questions you may have about snakes and their pooping habits.
Table of Contents
How Often Do Snakes Use The Bathroom?
As mentioned above, snakes will defecate after various durations depending on the amount and frequency of feedings.
This is because it takes different snakes different lengths of time to digest their food.
Snakes do not defecate until after they have fully digested everything and extracted every nutrient possible.
Rather than have several small poops as the food digests, snakes instead wait to excrete a single deposit, which encompasses the entire previous meal.
While this could take some snakes only a few days, other require weeks before the process is complete.
Remember, your snake isn’t chewing up its food before eating; prey is ingested whole, which takes a much longer time to break down.
A good rule of thumb is to use the frequency of feedings as a gauge for the frequency of pooping.
If your snake eats once a week, it’ll probably defecate once a week.
If your snake eats every other day, it’ll likely defecate every other day.
You should also use an episode of defecation to determine when to feed your snake.
If they’ve recently pooped, it means it’s probably time for another feeding.
(The exception to this rule is if your snake has an obesity issue, in which case it’s better to let them exercise a bit in between meals.)
NOTE: If your snake is pooping several times between meals, this could indicate potential sickness.
Please take your snake to the vet so they can do a full evaluation and assess what the underlying cause might be.
Where Do Snakes Poop From?
Snake anatomy is different than human anatomy.
Humans eat food which passes through the stomach and into the intestines, where any nutrients are absorbed.
Anything leftover becomes stool, which excretes out of the body through the anus.
Snakes, however, have a different setup.
They have a hole called a “cloaca” or “vent,” located on the tail’s underside.
Interestingly, this orifice is not used solely for pooping.
This same hole is utilized for peeing and reproductive purposes as well.
What Does Snake Poop and Pee Look Like?
Snake feces are usually elongated tubular shapes which taper off at the end, similar to dog poop.
They will appear as either one long piece or several smaller segments.
Sometimes, you will find undigestible pieces of prey in the feces, like fur and teeth.
Feces are generally located alongside snake urates.
Urates are the same compounds which make up human urine, but they take a different form in snakes.
A fresh urate will have a paste-like appearance, while an older one takes on a drier appearance which resembles small stones or pieces of chalk.
They vary in color from white to yellow.
NOTE: If you notice a sudden change in the appearance of your snake’s stool, please take your snake to the vet.
It may be useful to collect the feces in a bag and bring it to your vet so they can test it for any potential issues, like an infection.
What Should I Do If My Snake Isn’t Pooping?
If your snake hasn’t been pooping and acting more lethargic than usual or out of character, visit the vet.
This can often be a sign of some sort of disease or infection in your snake.
If your snake hasn’t been pooping, but there are no other concerns, it’s likely just constipation.
There are a few different ways to help in these scenarios.
Sometimes snakes are unable to poop because the meals are too large, and it’s taking too long to digest.
If you think your food’s size may be the culprit, start feeding your snake smaller meals.
Another option is to pre-soak the meals in water.
Sometimes, too much moisture is absorbed from a meal, leaving the stool too dry and compacted to travel through the bowels properly.
By pre-soaking the meal, you help retain some water and prevent dehydration.
Instead of soaking the food, consider soaking your snake.
A few minutes in the water bowl can help get the bowels moving.
Another technique is to handle your snake and ensure it’s adequately moving around.
Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of movement to stimulate the bowels.
If you have a gentle touch, massage your snake’s belly for a few minutes.
Make sure you don’t apply too much force when doing this.
Lastly, optimize your snake’s environment for its unique needs.
This means checking the temperature and humidity to ensure its within normal limits and providing the appropriate substrate.
Sand and walnut shells are two substrates which cause impaction in a snake’s bowel if ingested while your snake is eating or burrowing.
It’s good to know how often snakes poop.
Stressing about your snake’s pooping habits can feel like a full-time job sometimes.
However, with the right knowledge about when and why snakes poop, as well as a few tips to stimulating a slow bowel, you should be well-equipped to handle any poop concerns.
You might also be curious about how often do corn snakes poop.