A pet snake's eating habits depends on the snake species, but all snakes are carnivorous. Some snakes eat insects, frogs and amphibians, other reptiles, eggs, earthworms, fish or slugs. Others eat warm-blooded creatures like birds, rabbits and rodents.
The majority of pet snakes feed on small mammals such as hamsters, mice, rats and gerbils. Large snakes may also eat rabbits whole. According to About, determining whether to feed a snake live or dead prey is a controversial topic for snake owners. Unless the snake inflicts immediate damage to the prey, the snake may be wounded or even killed. Most experts advise owners to feed a pet snake dead, frozen prey.
About recommends feeding pet snakes prey approximately the same size as the snake at its largest point. As the snake grows, it requires larger meals. Snake hatchlings, or very small snakes, are often fed newborn mice. If the snake is a species that grows large enough to eat rats, About recommends getting the snake accustomed to eating rats early by feeding it mouse-sized rats. Food that is too large to be digested properly may be regurgitated.
Feeding schedules vary according to species, age and size. Young or small snakes eat an average of twice per week, and larger snakes feed between once a week and once every few weeks.