Pet Snail Care for Beginners

Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by ellen

Learn more about pet snail care. Snails are curious creatures and fun to keep. Check out these tips for keeping pet snails.

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Learn more about pet snail care. Snails are curious creatures and you'll want to check out these tips for keeping pet snails.

Pet Snail Care

Having a pet snail can be a fascinating hobby. If you are a snail lover like I am, you’ll want to check out these tips about how to care for your snail properly.

Keeping garden snails may not be one of the most traditional pets, but they are a unique pet that will provide you with yours of fun. Check out these tips for keeping a happy snail.

Tell the world how much you love pet snails with one of these snail gifts.

Best types of snails for a pet?

There are many different types of pet snails, but the most popular one for beginners is the garden snail. Garden snails are easy to care for and have interesting personalities.

If you are a beginner, I recommend you start with garden snails. Exotic snails and a larger land snail will have more complex requirements. You can always try a different species once you have more experience.

If you’re wondering how to care for garden snails, keep reading.

Where to get pet snails?

They are found all across nature. So you could find a snail pet in the woods around your neighborhood. Look for a garden snail in your garden or under plant pots.

If you want them immediately, pet snails can be found in numerous aquariums and pet stores.

a snail on a green leaf

Choosing a snail species

Before buying snails for sale online check their state and national regulations for the species. The Giant African snail is illegal and USDA officials have declared it illegal because they consume crops.

Other land snail species are allowed only on USDA permits. In some instances, land snails are found in the garden in woodland or cultivated gardens and are kept as pets.

Check with your local pet store. Pet shops should know what type of snails you are allowed to have in your area. You can also pick up a snail terrarium and learn more about keeping happy snails while you are there.

What do you feed a snail?

Are you wondering what snails eat? Snails consume fresh vegetables and fresh fruit along with other types of plant matter. It’s best to offer these in a small food bowl or shallow dish. It makes cleaning and adding fresh food very easy. You can also use pet snail food.

Remember to wash your food and wash your hands before feeding your snail. Many vegetables and fruits get pesticides from their skins and they can kill your snails by eating them.

If you freed your pet snails dandelion leaves, make sure that you do not use pesticides in your garden. They will enjoy other leafy greens from the grocery store as well.

A few cuttlefish flakes on top of the dish are important for snail health. And, providing crushed eggshell powder can be a valuable source of calcium. Do not use crushed egg shells as they can be sharp and injure garden snails or other land snails. An organic calcium stick will work as well.

You can buy pet snail accessories at your local pet store.

a brown snail on a green plant

Where do you get baby snails?

You could find a baby snail in the wild or buy them online. Buying online is probably the best way to get baby snails because you can be sure of their health and age.

Most snails are purchased as adult snails, not baby snails. You should have no problem finding them in a good-sized pet store. If you can’t find snails locally, check out Amazon.

How to care for pet snails?

To ensure your snail’s shell is healthy, give them a cuttlefish bone to gnaw on and supplement their diet with crushed eggshell once a week. If your snail’s shell is smooth and without bumps, they are healthy. If the shell has bumps or ridges, your snail is not eating enough calcium.

Make sure to keep the water clean and change it every other day. You can use tap water but you’ll need to dechlorinate it by using a water conditioner.

Pet snails like to have hiding places so provide them with some rocks or wood to hide in.

Learn more about pet snail care. Snails are curious creatures and fun to keep. Check out these tips for keeping pet snails.

Best snail homes?

There is no one perfect answer to this question. Some people keep their pet snails in a fish tank, some in a special snail habitat, and others in a terrarium. It really depends on your personal preference and the size of your pet snail.

If you choose to keep them in a fish tank, make sure the water is deep enough for them to swim in and that there are plenty of plants for them to hide in.

If you choose to keep them in a snail habitat, make sure it is big enough for them to move around and has plenty of plants for them to hide in. Keep it out of direct sunlight.

If you choose to keep them in a terrarium, make sure it is big enough for them to move around and has a grated top to keep them from escaping. A grated top will allow fresh air into your snail home.

baby snails in a terrarium

Can I have multiple snails?

Many snail owners keep multiple snails in their snail home. Just make sure you have enough food and water for all of them and that they have plenty of hiding places. Keeping two snails is not much more difficult than one.

Be prepared for your snail’s waste. Snail poop is high in nitrogen and can cause algae blooms if not cleaned up regularly.

How to clean your snail house

When cleaning your snail housing, take out the rocks and clean them with hot, soapy water. Rinse them off and put them back in the tank. Do not use any chemicals in the tank because snails are very sensitive to them.

Best substrate for snails

Many people use potting soil or garden soil as a substrate for their pet snails, but you can also use pebbles. Just make sure the substrate is damp but not wet when you add it to your snail’s home.

an apple on a cutting board

How often to feed your snail?

A good rule of thumb is to feed them every other day. If you are feeding them vegetables, you can just leave them in their habitat.

If you are feeding them fruits, you should remove any uneaten or rotten fruit after 12 hours to prevent it from rotting and attracting pests.

Can snails eat dog food?

No, snails should not eat dog food. This is not nutritionally balanced for snails and can make them sick.

Snails love many fruits and vegetables that are easy to find at the store.

How often to change the water?

You should change the water every other day. Clean the plastic container that holds the water each time you give them fresh water.

Do not use cleaning chemicals when you change your snails water dish.

a pet snail on a pink flower

How long do pet snails live?

The average lifespan of a pet snail is about 2-3 years, but some can live up to 5 years.

What to do if your snail dies?

If your snail dies, you should dispose of it by burying it in the ground or flushing it down the toilet. Do not compost it as this can spread disease.


Snails make great pets and are easy to care for. With a little research, you can find the perfect snail for your home.

Learn more about keeping pet snails and good snail names for your pet.

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