Ask a Vet

What Do Snakes Drink?

Photo of author
Updated on

Snakes are fascinating creatures that make for great pets. However, it’s no walk in the park. Many things need to be considered, like what the reptile drinks and how often they have to drink it.

A curled-up snake

The vast majority of creatures on this wide planet will drink water to keep hydrated, but do snakes?

Follow our guide to find out what the slithery creatures drink and whether you need to keep water nearby in their enclosures.

What Environments Do Snakes Live In?

Snakes live in a variety of habitats, from deserts to rainforests.  Even if there’s been some recent rainfall, it may not be enough to sustain a snake.

For example, desert environments may get less than an inch of rain per year, while tropical forests only receive about 1/4 of an inch per month, depending on the time of year and where they are in the world.

That being said, even if you don’t have access to a lot of fresh water, your snake can survive just fine without large quantities.

Water Snakes

Water snakes live in surroundings that are abundant with water. They’re usually found near rivers or lakes, although they can also be found in swamps and other moist areas.

These reptiles are able to regulate their body temperature by staying close to bodies of water, so they don’t necessarily need regular drinking habits.

What Do Snakes Drink?

There is a misconception that all snakes drink water. While many species do consume water when they’re dehydrated, most rely solely on food to stay alive.

It’s important to know the difference between these two behaviors because it could lead to problems in their health, especially among domesticated snakes.

If your pet has developed a habit of consuming water when he isn’t thirsty, it might indicate that he needs more attention or stimulation.

This behavior is called “hydro-ingesting,” and it can cause digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. However, this is fairly uncommon and can be fixed with a trip to the vet.

Why Do Snakes Drink Water?

The main reason why snakes drink water is to maintain their body temperature and to stay hydrated, although some species need to ingest more liquid than others.

Their body temperatures naturally fluctuate throughout the day, which means they’ll require periodic replenishment.

If your snake doesn’t drink frequently enough, it will start losing heat faster. It won’t be able to regulate its temperature properly, which could result in illness and other health complications that will need fixing.

How Often Should My Snake Be Drinking Water?

Most snakes don’t need to drink very frequently. Most species simply need to take sips every few hours. Some animals, however, can consume up to 8 ounces (240 ml) of water each hour.

It depends on how active your pet is and how much activity he gets during his daily routine.

As long as your snake stays hydrated, it should be receiving enough fluids. If it’s getting too little, then you’ll want to increase its intake or bring it to a vet who specializes in snakes.

They can give you professional advice and will make sure your snake is happy and healthy.

Benefits Of Snakes Drinking Water

Keeping Themselves Hydrated

Snakes tend to lose water through breathing and urination. But, if they don’t drink regularly, they could develop kidney failure, which is very serious for them.

In addition, they can become dehydrated if they don’t drink enough. This can affect their skin and coat, making them look duller and thinner.

When they aren’t drinking enough, they’ll also be less alert. This makes them easier for predators to catch, so they’re at risk of becoming prey themselves.

Healthier Skin And Coat

When they’re well-hydrated, snakes’ skin and coats are smooth and shiny. They often have a healthy, vibrant coloration that many people like to see in their reptile pets.

Keeping them hydrated will improve their skin quality and will help them to retain their colors.

More Energy

When snakes drink regularly, their bodies get an energy boost, much like other creatures in the world. This helps them perform better in both physical and mental activities.

They may even feel happier and more energetic, having more motivation to be active throughout the day.

This can also help them find their food and hunt their prey, as opposed to if they’re dehydrated and lacking energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Do Snakes Drink Water?

Although most reptiles only need to drink occasionally, some species actually need to drink more often. These include boas, pythons, corn snakes, and king snakes.

How Much Water Do Snakes Need To Consume Each Day?

There is no set amount that all snakes need to consume each day. Every individual is different. You’ll need to consult with your veterinarian about what is best for your specific situation.

Why Does My Snake Drink So Much Water?

Your snake might be drinking because he’s thirsty. Or, he could be suffering from dehydration, which is common in snakes.

Dehydration occurs when there isn’t enough water in your snake’s system to keep him warm and functioning normally to facilitate processes such as regulating internal temperatures.

Final Thoughts

If your snake doesn’t seem to be drinking enough, ask your vet about ways to encourage it to do so or about how much water it should be ingesting. If these methods fail, then bringing your snake to a specialist is advised.

A qualified reptile carer knows how to properly care for your snake and can offer guidance on helping it stay healthy and comfortable while giving it the right amount of fluids it needs.

At the end of the day, snake owners will want to keep the health and happiness of their reptiles at the top of the priority list, with many snakes needing lots of care and attention in order to thrive under the watchful eye of humans.

Photo of author
About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.