Your New Pet Hognose Snake — The Shopping List

ReptiFiles’ Hognose Snake Kit

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! 😉 Just pick one option from or click the link for every category.

Disclaimer: ReptiFiles’ reptile kits contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small portion of the purchases, at no additional cost to you. These proceeds help keep the information on ReptiFiles free. Thank you for your support!

(And don’t worry — we never endorse products that we don’t like.)

  • Enclosure
    • Hatchling (up to 6″) — 5 gal (16″x8″x10″)
    • Juvenile (up to 12”) – 10 gal (20″x10″x12″)
    • Adult (12”-30”) – 20 gal (20″x12″x12″)
    • Large adult (>30”) – 40 gal (36″x18″x16″)

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.

Downloadable Shopping Lists

Do you prefer to have a physical shopping list in hand as you peruse your favorite independently-owned pet shop? We like shopping lists too, so we made one that you can either pull up on your phone or print out. Here you go:

Axanthic het lavender western hognose — The Hognose Snake Care Guide

Axanthic het lavender H. nasicus. Photo contributed by Torii Rider

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)
  • Axanthic
  • Diablo
  • Hypo
  • Lavender
  • Pink Pastel
  • Snow
  • Toffee

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.

Next → What’s the difference between the 3 species of Heterodon?