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Having a pet snake sounds cool, right? Oh wait, you don’t want to feed mice or rats to your pet? Usually that comes along with the turf of being a snake owner. But some people who have a true love for reptiles have a strong aversion to feeding rodents to them. It could be because you just don’t like the furry little creatures. Or it could be that you have kept rodents as pets and you could not bear the idea of using them as food. We’ve got good news for you. You can keep a snake without having to feed it mice. Take a look at these 4 snakes that don’t eat rodents.

Garter snakes

Garter snakes are quite common in many areas of the US, which leads many exotic pet owners to shun them as a potential pet. To some, they are not as exciting as other types of snakes. However, for the snake owner who doesn’t want to feed rodents, garter snakes actually make excellent pets. Like other types of reptiles, you can feed them insects and worms, though some garter snakes will refuse to eat insects, and they also eat small fish. It is true that garter snakes will eat mice, but you don’t necessarily have to give mice as long as you provide a variety of other food to meet the snake’s nutritional requirements.

Ribbon snakes

Ribbon snakes are similar to garter snakes and often confused with them. Like garter snakes, these are a smaller snake that is easy for beginner snake handlers to care for. And they often have good temperaments that are conducive to handling. You can feed ribbon snakes crickets, earthworms, nightcrawlers, guppies, silversides, and tadpoles. Larger prey, like a frog, can also be given occasionally.

Water snakes

Because water snakes prefer to live around a water source, they have adapted to eat many types of prey that live around the water as well. Common prey include fish and frogs. Like garter and ribbon snakes, you can feed a pet water snake insects and worms, as well. That being said, water snakes are not known for being an easy pet to care for. Some adapt to handling, but others may never lose their aggressive temperaments.

African egg-eating snake

The African egg-eater is somewhat rare as an exotic pet; however, they are quite easy to care for if you are able to find one born in captivity. This snake is typically docile and has no teeth. As the name implies, you should feed eggs to this snake. Egg feeding is unoffensive to most pet owners who are squeamish about other snake food. Note that chicken eggs are not typically advised, but you should be able to find quail eggs that are suitable for your snake. These eggs are smaller and safer for the snake to eat. If you have a larger adult you may be able to feed it chicken eggs.

Note that feeder goldfish (and certain other fish) should not be the primary part of your snake’s diet because they contain an enzyme that blocks thiamine (vitmain B1) absorption. Your snake can develop a nervous system disorder and die from thiamine deficiency. If you’re thinking about one of these snakes for a pet, check out The Tye-Dyed Iguana care sheet for more information about keeping garter, ribbon, and water snakes.