Water dishA water dish is about as functional as décor can get. We’ll talk about this more in the Food section, but your hognose’s water dish should be large enough to accommodate at least most of the snake’s body, and heavy enough that it can’t be tipped over.
A hide is a cave-like structure where your snake can hide and snooze in security. While your hognose will likely be spending most of their time underground, it doesn’t hurt to also provide a couple of hides: one on the cool end and one on the warm side. If possible, providing a humid hide lined with moist sphagnum moss can make shedding easier.
Hognose snakes may be fossorial, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a good climb every now and then. It’s good exercise, encouraging healthy muscle tone. It also makes the most of your enclosure’s vertical space. Don’t forget to install lid locks, though, or else you may find that you’ve given your hognose the perfect ladder.
Hollow logs are like branches and hides in one package. They’re also terribly attractive, especially cork rounds.
Rocks and stacked stones
Rocks add to the naturalistic appeal of an enclosure, and absorb heat when placed close to your heat source, creating additional basking spots. If you choose to use rocks in your enclosure, be sure to bury them into the substrate so your snake can’t burrow underneath them and get accidentally crushed.
Plants aren’t always the best idea with snakes, as their water needs can drive humidity too high, and snakes like to crush and/or uproot the plants. However, some succulents (spineless cacti) are hardy enough to do well in hognose enclosures.
Grass is another way to make your enclosure look more like the grasslands that wild hognoses call home. Wild hognoses are actually frequently found hiding in knots of dead grass. In your enclosure, live grasses can increase humidity and provide hiding space; dried grasses just plain look cool.
Leaves provide additional cover for your hognose to hide and burrow in. They also look wonderfully natural. Leaves can be collected from an untainted woodland near your home or purchased online by the gallon.
Can you collect enclosure decorations from outside?
As long as the decorations come from an area that isn’t exposed to pesticides or herbicides, and collection is legal, go for it! Collected décor is always free.
Because there’s no way of guaranteeing what bugs and germs collected materials might bring with them, it’s best to sterilize them before putting them in the enclosure. Give them a good scrub with water first, then bake them in your oven at 200°F (100°C) for 2-3 hours, depending on size. This temperature is too low for anything to catch fire.
Inspiration for decorating your hognose enclosure
The best inspiration for decorating your hognose enclosure comes from looking at pictures of their natural habitat. Do a Google Image search. Check out herping pictures of hognoses found in the wild on iNaturalist and Flickr. Watch herping videos, too!
- Introduction to Hognose Snakes
- Hognose Shopping List
- Species of the Heterodon Genus
- Terrarium Size Guidelines
- Temperature & Humidity Requirements
- Substrate Options for Hognose Snakes
- Environmental Enrichment: Decorating the Terrarium (YOU ARE HERE)
- Feeding Your Hognose Snake
- Handling Tips & Body Language Info
- Common Diseases & Hognose Health Questions
- Additional Resources