For your convenience, we have put together a list of supplies that ReptiFiles personally recommends for the health of your new pet hognose snake, as well as your own peace of mind. In other words, we did the shopping for you! ?
Click the link for each item to see which specific products we recommend. This page contains affiliate links.
- 36″x18″x18″ terrarium (minimum)
- Dome heat lamp with dimmable switch
- Halogen flood heat bulb
- Flagstone basking rock
- 22″ T5 HO forest UVB bulb
- 24″ T5 HO reflective light fixture (may include UVB bulb)
- Power strip with programmable digital timer
- Heavy water bowl
- Enrichment items: plants, cork logs, branches, rocks, etc.
- Infrared temperature gun
- Digital probe thermometer/hygrometer
- Digital kitchen scale
- Appropriately-sized frozen rodents or Reptilinks
- Frog Juice (for scenting)
Approximate cost before hognose snake and prey purchase: $315-$660 USD
Keep in mind that everything should be purchased and set up BEFORE you get the snake. This will save you a lot of stress, and does your new pet a big favor, too.
We also recommend finding an ARAV-certified reptile veterinarian in your area. It’s always better to do a little bit of research when nothing’s wrong than to find yourself in a panic when your pet gets sick. Start here: Finding the Reptile Vet of Your Dreams.
How to Select and Buy a Hognose Snake
When shopping for a pet hognose snake, what you want is a CBB — Captive Bred and Born. WCs — wild caught — snakes are less likely to thrive as pets. If you’re at a pet store or at a reptile expo, ask about the snake’s breeder. If they can’t answer, it’s likely that the snake was wild caught. If you find a hatchling, it’s most likely from a breeder; very few hatchlings are collected from the wild.
North American hognose snakes are readily available from breeders in the US, and popular enough that most pet stores carry CBB Western hognose snakes. CBB Eastern and Southern hognoses are only available from breeders, and many WC Easterns (as well as a few Southerns) are still on the market.
Western hognose snakes are available in the following primary morphs. Morphs are more expensive than Normal, or wild-type snakes, but they come in a variety of fun patterns and colors. For picture references of the morphs, visit Extreme Hogs.
- Albino (note: predisposed to blindness)
- Anaconda (Conda)
- Pink Pastel
Don’t commit to buying the snake before you’ve had a chance to see and handle it (if possible). As it’s in your hands, ask yourself:
- Is it alert and responsive? (good)
- Is there a lot of curious tongue flicking going on? (good)
- Are the ribs or spine visible? (bad)
- Are there any injuries or scars? (bad)
- Do you see any kinks in the spine? (bad)
- Is the vent dry and flush with the rest of the body? (good)
- Can you hear wheezing/clicking while it breathes? (bad)
- Is there mucus around the mouth? (bad)
- Does the mouth close tightly, without scars or lesions? (good)
- Can you see any external parasites like mites or ticks? (bad)
Also ask the breeder/store owner these questions:
- How often does it eat, and what size of prey? Get a feeding video if possible.
- How well is it feeding on rodents?
- How many times has it eaten on its own?
BEWARE – many breeders/store employees will lie about the above just to make a sale.
Hognose Snake Care Guide — Table of Contents
- Introduction to Hognose Snakes
- Hognose Shopping List (YOU ARE HERE)
- Species of the Heterodon Genus
- Terrarium Size Guidelines
- Temperature & Humidity Requirements
- Substrate Options for Hognose Snakes
- Environmental Enrichment: Decorating the Terrarium
- Feeding Your Hognose Snake
- Handling Tips & Body Language Info
- Common Diseases & Hognose Health Questions
- Additional Resources