Keeping Pet Snails

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021 by ellen

Keeping pet snails can be one of the easiest and least expensive small pet choices. Find out how to keep a snail as a pet with these simple tips.

There are all sorts of exotic pet ideas you can choose from. Have you thought about keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets?

Of course, caring for an exotic pet is different from having a dog or a cat. Check out what you need to know.

Keeping pet snails can be one of the easiest and least expensive small pet choices. Find out how to keep a snail as a pet with these simple tips.

Keeping Pet Snails

There are several different types of snails that you might be wondering about. One of the most common pet snails is the apple snail. To keep this type of snail, you will need to have an aquarium.

If you would prefer to have a land snail, you’ll want to choose either the Garden Snail or the Orthalicus Tree Snails. While some people recommend the Giant African Land Snail, it is illegal to own this type in the United States.

Can I keep a snail as a pet?

Yes, snails are wonderful pets that are interesting to watch. There are a few rules about what kind you can own in this country so be sure to do your research.

They require very little attention. And, unlike dogs don’t need to go for walks. They are low upkeep and need only an aquarium and a few basic supplies.

A pet snail aquarium with dirt and plants

How do you keep a pet snail alive?

Snails like to live in places that are dark. So, it’s important that you have places in the aquarium for them to hide. 

This can be as simple as a small rock, an upside-down garden pot, or even a few small sticks.

Just think about their natural environment outside and try to replicate that in their new home.

Are pet snails legal in the US?

As I mentioned, you cannot have a Giant African Land Snail in the US because the Department of Agriculture has decided they are invasive. Other types of snails may require a USDA permit.

Different states have different requirements so be sure to check with yours. But, a popular choice is the Orthalicus tree snail.

What do you need for a snail habitat?

Snails will like dirt that is damp and they like to have places to climb and hide. A small aquarium with dirt, leaves, small rocks, and sticks will be fine. 

a pet snail eating a berry

What is a snails favorite food?

They love juicy leaves and vegetables. Good choices are vegetable trimmings or cooked potatoes.

Try a few of these:

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Dandelion greens
  • Tomato
  • Mushrooms
  • Basil
  • Cherries
  • Watermelon

But, it’s very important that anything they don’t eat is removed quickly so that it doesn’t spoil. You can also feed them snail food.

Do snails recognize humans?

Snails have very bad eyesight so they won’t recognize you by sight. But, their sense of smell is quite good and they will begin to recognize how you smell.

To bond with your pet snail why not try rubbing their shell? Or, rub them gently around their head and neck.

Are snails low maintenance?

Yes, they are. They don’t require daily care or special lighting or food requirements. If you are looking for an interesting small pet, you might want to consider a pet snail.

Keeping pet snails can be one of the easiest and least expensive small pet choices. Find out how to keep a snail as a pet with these simple tips.

Foods that you shouldn’t feed snails

  • Salt or salty foods
  • Avocado
  • Onion
  • Citrus
  • Leeks
  • Rhubarb
  • Celery
  • Spinach

Tips for feeding

  • Be sure to place the food in one area of the aquarium so they know where to find the food if they are hungry.
  • Always wash food before you give it to them.
  • Feed them once a day and remove anything that is not eaten promptly so it doesn’t spoil.
  • Give them clean water every day for bathing.
  • Make sure that you feed them a variety of foods.
  • Add calcium regularly to help their shell stay hard.

Where can I find a pet snail?

The best place to find your first snail is outside in the garden. It’s a fun way to learn more about pet snails and get started. 

If you want a specific type of snail, there are places you can order online. But, be sure to check with your state to find out what you can legally own.

Love pet snails? Check out these pet snail gifts and let everyone know.