How Long Can a Snake Go Without Eating?

In general, snakes eat about 25% of their body weight every day, though some consume much more than this. The python, for example, eats up to 65% of its weight. While some snakes eat regularly, others go without food for an extended period of time. 

Snakes that do not eat frequently have more internal organ growth. Their internal organs can also grow faster since larger prey takes longer to digest.

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How Long Can a Snake Go Without Eating?

You may be wondering how long a snake can go without food. Although snakes tend to reduce their food intake in certain months, the average length of time a snake can go without food is just a few weeks. 

If your snake is refusing food for months, it’s important to diagnose the problem and provide a suitable diet for your snake. Fortunately, a snake’s body temperature doesn’t drop below 73 degrees Fahrenheit during this time.

A snake’s metabolism is dependent on several factors, including its size, type, age, and season. It can go for days without food, but a snake that is several months old will go several weeks without food. 

You should not try to feed your snake for weeks without a meal, and you shouldn’t worry if you go out of town for a few days without providing food. Depending on its type, it can survive for several weeks or even months without food.

Environmental Factors

While some snakes are known to gorge only once or twice a day, this is not necessarily the case. Snakes’ digestion time varies depending on size, temperature, and meal size. Small meals can take as long as three days, while massive meals may take weeks. To avoid hunger, snakes should be kept out of areas where they may have access to a lot of food.

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As snakes need heat to maintain body temperature, cold temperatures cause them to stop eating. In fact, snakes can survive in temperatures as low as 37 degrees for a few days. 

However, they cannot withstand temperatures in the teens. The optimal temperature range for a snake is between 70 and 90 degrees. A dirty, wet, or cold environment can also cause it to refuse meals.

Why Snakes Can Go Without Food for So Long

Many snakes can survive long periods without food, but why can some survive up to two years? Some species can digest their own heart for food or grow larger heads to catch more prey. 

In fact, snakes from temperate climates only need two to four times their body weight in food each year. But if you’re not aware of this fact, you can still be amazed by the longevity of some snake species.

While resting, snakes don’t need as much food as they need. They simply wait until they have consumed a substantial amount of food. They don’t eat as frequently as other animals, which means they can go weeks or even months without eating. 

When they do find food, they don’t use up all of their energy hunting for prey and instead utilize stored fat reserves. The resulting energy is enough to sustain a small snake’s body, but it isn’t sufficient for a lion to survive for months.

How Often Should I Feed My Snake?

The answer to the question, “How often should I feed my snake?” varies with the size of the animal, its age, and its activity level. Young snakes need to be fed more often than older ones, but they can get away with less frequent feedings. 

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Smaller snakes need to be fed more often than larger ones because they do not have as much fat storage capacity, so they need to burn through its stored calories much faster.

To keep your snake happy, always offer your snake a fresh water bowl. Always add fresh water to the bowl, and make sure to use a heavy bowl that is less likely to be knocked over. 

Snakes have very specific preferences for water, so fresh water should be changed daily. If your snake is in a new environment or has been away from its water bowl for a while, it might refuse to drink from it.

Why Is My Snake Not Eating?

If your snake is not eating, you may want to address the logical cause first. Snakes may not be eating for a variety of reasons, ranging from poor husbandry to health problems. Poor husbandry is the most common problem, so try a variety of food types and try trickery and scenting to get your snake to eat. 

If none of these things work, you may need to take your snake to an exotics vet.

Your snake may be refusing normal food. Try feeding him another color rodent. If the snake will not eat a mouse, switch to another species. 

If he does not like the color, try feeding him fresh, killed, or frozen rats. Alternatively, rub a white mouse over a dead rat. If you cannot find any solution for the underlying problem, visit a reptile vet.

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