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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Checkered Garter Snake Nutrition and Maintenance

Checkered Garter Snake

Experience Level: Beginner

Nutrition and Maintenance


Checkered Garter Snakes are carnivorous, meaning their diet consists primarily of meat, or more specifically, fish and insects.

  • Checkered Garter Snakes should be offered food every other day and should be fed at daytime.


  • Snakes are creatures of habit and will often associate opening of the habitat with feeding, especially if there is not frequent interaction other than feeding. Be aware that snakes move quickly in anticipation of feeding.
  • Feed 1-2 earthworms or night crawlers every other day to a juvenile snake or 1-2 times per week for adults.
  • Feed 1-2 Rosy Red minnows 1-2 times per week, alternating with earthworms. To feed, place your snake in a small habitat with shallow water, just enough to cover the fish. Return your snake after feeding.
  • Insects should be dusted with a calcium supplement once weekly and a reptile multivitamin once weekly.
  • Your snake may skip occasional feedings during shedding or due to a habitat temperature change. If more than two meals are missed, contact your veterinarian or a PetSmart store associate for advice.


  • Checkered Garter Snakes will drink from a shallow dish and soak in the water to maintain hydration.
  • Empty, clean and refill the water dish daily.

Other Reminders

Use caution when handling your pet and remember that all pets may bite or scratch, especially when stressed. Supervise children around pets.

Pets may transmit disease to humans, so be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning the habitat.