Milk Snake Care Guide To Raise Healthy Pet Snake at Home

Are you looking for a pet snake that is easy to care for?

Milk Snakes are one of the most popular pet snakes in the world because they are so easy to care for. These snakes make great pets for beginners and advanced hobbyists alike.

If you’re looking to add a new pet snake to your collection, you should consider a Milk Snake as your first reptile. 

These beautiful and docile snakes can be found in many different color variations including reds, browns, yellows, greens, and more. They are ideal pets for people who want a smaller snake that is not aggressive or poisonous.

The milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) is a non-venomous species of colubrid snake which ranges from Puebla, Morelos, and Oaxaca, Mexico.

They are large constrictors and will generally not bite when handled. Milk snakes average 36-48 inches in length and they can vary in coloration.

While these snakes do occasionally make their way into pet shops, they originate from the wild and are not bred in captivity.

However, with proper care, milk snakes can make wonderful pets that are easy to take care of and perfect for any level of the keeper. 


The milk snake’s coloration and markings are extremely variable. Like other snakes, the milk snake has a skin type that lacks scales. 

The color is determined by the relative thickness of the melanin in each scale, with more pigment giving darker colors.

The Colbreed snake, a native of South America, has a triangular patch at the base of its head, giving it a scientific name.

Gray color can be noticed on their body which has brown spots on both sides. And a checkerboard pattern is also observed in the abdomen which helps to distinguish this snake from others.

But sometimes it is difficult to recognize this snake because the color and pattern of copperhead snakes are very similar to these snakes.

Although there is a slight color difference, they are mainly red and yellow. Triads or black rings can be seen around their bodies.

Again, there are some species whose triad is white. This color sets them apart from other snakes.

Another question that may arise in your mind is, how big will milk snakes be? It depends on which species of milk snake you come home with. They are mainly 3 to 4 feet long on average.


Milk snakes tend to be quieter than other snakes. And it is a non-venomous snake which makes it an excellent pet.

They can adapt to new environments much faster than other species of snakes.

The personality of Milk Snake is much better than other snakes and they are always active and are seen to do tricks.

We suggest that you spend as much time as possible with your milk snake so that your snake will behave well which can be a cause of joy for you. Unstable behavior is observed in adult snakes.


If you have read this far, I hope you are also interested in learning about the behavior of this snake.

Milk snakes are more active from evening to night and they come out during the day when the soil is cold or wet.

 As the daytime temperature rises they prefer to hide under wooden logs or rocks.

Especially in winter, many of them gather to control body temperature.


Before bringing a milk snake into your home you should consider that you have enough time to spend with it.

Because their average life expectancy can be 15 to 20 years or more if they are given proper food and care. For example, feeding, maintaining, cleaning, etc.

And of course, it can be a great addition to your home. So you must reconsider its long lifespan before taking charge of this snake.


You need to know the exact size of the milk snake house or habitat. Because the living space next to you is not comfortable for it, it can be detrimental to its health.

Here are some suitable measurements for your pet’s cage: The size of a baby milk snake cage should be 10 gallons (20 “x 10” x 12 “H) and it should be placed in a circle.

But for adult milk snakes the cage size should be 20 to 70 gallons and the measurement should be like 36 “x 18″ x 25” H, and should be kept in a large enclosure.

An additional room can be added to their cage depending on their size and with that, the design of the room should be good.

These snakes tend to escape, so you must use a protected screen top to control them. And with that in mind never keep more than one milk snake together in one cage as both can harm both.


This is a general guideline for temperature. You can’t always predict the seasons. Usually, milk snake species can live for up to 25 years in captivity.

Smaller milk snakes can be maintained in 20-70 gallon containers and larger snakes can be kept in larger terrariums with enough room to roam and sun.

Some people might choose to store milk snakes in a mildly heated environment such as 78 degrees Fahrenheit all the time.

Others choose to keep them in a warm temperature, 20 degrees Fahrenheit environment, during the day and then bring them out to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.


Like other snakes, milk snakes do not need special light. I don’t even recommend adding UV bulbs.

But if you want to arrange the light inside the cage, I would suggest adding a basking bulb. However, you need to make sure that the temperature of the terrarium does not exceed 44 degrees after connecting the bulbs. This can be harmful to your pet.


Like all other reptiles, milk snakes shed their old skin. Babies shed their skin more frequently than adult milk snakes because they grow faster.

The color of their eyes becomes cloudy and blue as a symptom of this process.

Naturally, milk snakes shed their skin but if they do not have proper moisture then they will face problems.

This is important to maintain the humidity of your snake cage at least daily by misting it. 

Another way to keep cage moisture properly is to use moist sphagnum moss or forest floor cypress inside the cage.

Food and Diet

Feeding milk snakes as a pet is not a very difficult task. Since these snakes are carnivores, you can feed them meat from rats to other animals.

Feed your milk snake frozen rats in captivity which they like the most. And when your snake grows, you can feed it small pink, jumbo rats, etc. to keep up with its age.

Before feeding, you should make sure that the rats you give to your favorite pet are about one and a half times thicker than the most swollen part of his body.

When your pet is a teenager, you need to feed him small pink rats every week. On the other hand, as his age continues to increase, he needs to be fed more frequently.

But it should also be noted in his shot that adults should be fed every 7 days, otherwise he may gain weight, which is not good for his health.


Unlike other animals, snakes do not need extra vitamins. You can nourish this snake by feeding it rats or other meat.

But there are some exceptions because some food ingredients can make your snake malnourished. 

I would advise you about his nutrition that you should consult a veterinarian to improve his nutrition.


These snakes naturally hibernate in hostile climates. That means if they are in a cool place or during the winter. 

This time they are forced into hibernation to protect themselves from the cold and keep themselves strong as the temperature drops.

Natural hibernation of milk snakes in captivity is not necessary, however, you need to make sure that your snake stays warm during the cold season and continues to eat and drink.

If your room temperature fluctuates during the winter season, this can be seen as a reflection of the reduction in your daily diet.

They will come from hibernation as the weather changes but the maximum time that process will depend on their habitat and climate.


Photo by Jack Sacre on Flickr

After reading so far, you are wondering how to handle your pet milk snake. Will this task be easy for you?

So first of all let me tell you that milk snakes are humble, friendly, and non-venomous animals.

Easy enough to handle because of their humble nature. As teenagers, they tend to be shy.

After bringing this pet home, let him eat regularly for a few days. Handle him once every 7 days, it is a good practice. 

It is better to keep a gap of several days between re-feeding after feeding once. This will give him time to digest.

That alone is not enough to handle them. I am informing you about some more things which will be beneficial for you.

They are very fast, and with that, the skin of baby milk snakes becomes very smooth. 

So use both hands when holding them. Keep one hand down and the other up while holding. That way he will be safe in your hands.

You should try to keep the first handling session short. If he is upset, hold him until he is calm. One minute session should be done every day, not more than that.


The breeding of milk snakes is similar to that of other colbreed snakes. According to many, they need hibernation to reproduce.

This causes follicles to grow in female snakes and produce sperm in males. But it is important to know that they can reproduce without winter.

For their healthy reproduction, you need to keep in mind some things like stopping their food supply as soon as October starts. This will help clean their digestive system.

You have to make a breeding shed and keep the female snake inside it then leave the male snake in that shed at night and remove it the next morning.

Within about a month of mating, the female milk snake will gain weight and develop anorexia before laying its eggs. 

If the time for laying eggs is near, it is necessary to keep a box with sphagnum moss inside its shed. Usually, they lay 3 to 15 eggs together.

Common Health Issues

Notable among the common health problems of milk snakes is their respiratory infections. 

These snakes can also catch colds or pneumonia. Because of this, you will see rashes on their face and mucus around the nose.

To avoid these problems you should maintain the correct temperature of their cage.

Also, keep in mind, always keep the milkshake’s habitat moist enough or they will have problems removing their skin.

In addition, stomatitis is the most common cause of mouth rot. If they are hit in the mouth in any way, if a residue is deposited inside the food, a kind of yellow substance sticks to their mouth and teeth, which is observed due to a kind of bacterial razor.


With proper care and attention, milk snakes can become a great pet for you. I hope that after reading this article you have got some idea on how to care for them.

You are always welcome to share your experience and thoughts about milk snakes. It may be helpful for others.

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