Snake Poop Guide (Here’s what you need to know)

Excretion is vital for all living creatures as it helps get rid of unwanted toxins from the system; this also applies to reptiles such as snakes. While most animals have an elaborate digestive and excretory system, it may not be easy to detect how the snakes excrete.

So, how do snakes excrete? Snakes excrete by eliminating all the liquid and solid wastes via an opening called the cloaca. Once ingestion and uptake of the necessary nutrients and minerals occur, the remaining waste materials pass through the same path as a combination of pee and poop. Thus, you will notice that a snake’s excretion is moist. It is also through this opening that the snakes mate and lay eggs.

Toxins are dangerous to the animals’ system, so eliminating them is necessary. Snakes excrete through an opening at the base of their tail. Once the food has gone through their system, the body disposes of the remaining unwanted substances through this anal opening. The waste mimics dog poop; however, it is wetter since it combines with the snake’s urine.

This rate and amount of poop will depend on the snake’s size and how much food it has ingested. For instance, if a snake eats a small meal like a mouse, it may excrete faster than another that has consumed a larger animal like a deer.

Snakes defecate (poop) through the anal opening, but they can also relieve some food particles through the mouth. Indigestible food substances will form a pellet enabling the reptile to regurgitate and get rid of them via the mouth. Some people may confuse this regurgitation with excretion, but it is not. Your snake regurgitating is a common phenomenon that should not worry you.

However, it could be due to inappropriate handling of the animal soon after feeding. Other times, it can be due to unfavorable temperatures or an illness. Therefore, it would be best to contact your vet to help solve such instances.

Before defecation occurs, full digestion must occur, and a snake may take a long time to eat again and consequently to excrete, especially after a big meal. Smaller snakes will eat smaller and lighter meals, so they will frequently poop because they are still growing, requiring lots of nutrients and minerals.

Once they eat, they will have to digest and dispose of all the waste simultaneously; this way, it can remain light enough to hunt for another catch. Remember that the bigger the snake, the thicker the poop. It is also important to note that snake dropping may contain parasites that can cause you infections, so it is wise to clean your hands after handling the reptile’s poop.

What Does a Snake’s Poop Indicate?

Snake poop differs from other reptiles’ in terms of frequency and appearance. By understanding your snake’s poop, you will recognize any changes you can use to know its health status. A responsible pet owner needs to understand all the aspects of their pets, including the state of their feces.

A snake poop ranges from black to brown log-like feces or a chalk-white poop in some areas. Sometimes, you may notice that the excretion appears as liquid urine, with mucous or with the presence of indigestible feathers, bones, and fur.

However, this is not very common. A slight color change in the snake’s poop may be a clear indication that something is amiss. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the following tinge changes; green urates may be healthy, but green feces may indicate an infection of the internal organs.

On the other hand, a yellow tinge may be due to a mixture of urate and feces, but you need to be sure that the poop is yellow. Another sign that your snake’s poop is abnormal is a red hue that looks like it has blood traces. If you notice a bright red color on the animal’s droppings, then it indicates that the snake’s digestive tract has infections.

What Do Snakes Pee Out Of?

The snake’s pee can come in urate form due to lack of water on the animal’s body; if the snake is well hydrated, the urine will be more liquid. Otherwise, if the snake does not take enough water, it may have constipation, leading to other complications. Snake’s urine smells just like that of any other reptile, so a predator can easily trace the smell. Thus, if you own a pet snake, it is best to provide it with adequate water since it is necessary for hydration and peeing.

Snakes pee out through the cloaca, an organ at the lower abdomen just where the tail begins. The cloaca is used for excretion, egg-laying, and copulation. This organ is divided into three portions; coprodeum, urodeum, and proctodeum, all of which facilitate the urination process.

The snake pee never comes separate and in isolation, but it comes out of the anal opening already mixed with poop. The only way to realize that there is urine on the poop is signs of wetness or white substances mixed with the poop.

Do Snakes Have Excretory Systems?

Typically, food enters the mouth and then goes into the esophagus, where peristalsis, aided by the unique internal folds pushes the food down into the stomach, where most digestion occurs. Without an elaborate excretory system, the reptiles won’t eliminate the toxic substances from the body.

For excretion, the snakes have small kidneys located in the coelomic region. These organs are more superficial than that of mammals and are essential in filtering waste substances from the blood. The kidneys are metanephric and have a limited number of glomeruli than the mammals’.

The reptiles have no loop of Henle but one or more renal arteries. A separate ureter drains the lobules into the urodeum since the snake does not have a bladder. Given that the snake tends to conserve more water in its body, it secretes uric acid, which doesn’t need much water to dispose of.

The snake’s body temperature will be vital in determining how long the digestion will occur; when the bodies are warm, digestion may run for a few days. For venomous snakes, digestion begins immediately after a bite. This process is due to an elongated esophagus, which has a sphincter where it joins the stomach.

It is here that the digestive enzymes and gastric juices act on the food to break it down. Afterward, the stomach conveys the soluble substance into the small intestine from where absorption happens.

The snake’s liver also secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine completing the digestion process and sends the feces to the large intestines through the cloaca. Here, there are chambers such as coprodeum, which receives the poop, and urodeum, which contains urine combined with the feces before the animal expels it through the anal opening. If your snakes excrete wastes between meals, then you need to consult with your veterinarian.

Do snakes poop while shedding?

Snakes, like other reptiles, shed their skin as part of their natural process. During this process, your pet may experience slight differences in its biological functions and behavior. Whether your snake poops while shedding or not, we understand it is a matter of concern that requires attention.

Snakes hold their poop before shedding and releasing it during shedding. Naturally, a snake poops once in a week or a week and a half, but they may hold their poop longer before shedding. They will then poop inside their skin and wrap their poop. Given this process’s intensity, it is advisable to avoid feeding your pet as some snakes will not deny food offers, which could negatively affect the shedding process.

If you want to know whether snakes poop while shedding, this is the ultimate guide for you. We help you know whether you can pull the shed off your snake, whether it hurts to help your snake shed and if you can pull the skin off your snake. Read through this article to find out all the answers you need.

Can You Pull the Shed Off My Snake?

If you are a reptile lover, you know that regular shedding in snakes is a natural and healthy process. It allows your pet to shed its old skin and grow another. However, unlike humans who generate new skin on a daily basis, snakes shed their skin periodically.

From time to time, you will need to pull the shed off your snake, but your pet will do most of the task independently. The skin on top of the snake’s head and chin comes off in pieces and requires some pulling.

However, if your pet needs your help, try as much as possible to be gentle to prevent damage to the new skin. Also, you should know when your snake is about to shed its skin before you can give it any help to avoid rushing the process.

When your snake is about to shed its skin, its eyes will become cloudy and blue. This is due to the loosening of the eye cap, a special scale that covers the eyes. During this period, your pet may become a little more defensive due to poor vision. After some time, the eyes will become clear, and your pet will revert to its temperament.

Your pet’s old skin will also look dull, and the belly may appear pink in color. Other changes you will note include loss of appetite and your pet’s tendency to hide more often. A few days after observing these signs, your pet will start to shed its skin. During this period, you should give your pet space by avoiding constant movement in and out of its enclosure.

While you should avoid touching your snake during the shedding process, you should be aware that age and health will contribute to a successful shedding. This is especially if you keep a snake adapted to a humid environment. To keep their temperatures low, you may have your air conditioning on, but this will affect the humidity; hence, shedding.

Also, older snakes have a problem with shedding. In captivity, snakes will live longer due to the constant supply of food and water, preferred temperatures, and predators’ protection. As they grow older, they will have problems in food digestion and will become thinner.

This, in turn, affects the shedding process, and their skin will come off in pieces rather than whole, with most remaining in patches, requiring manual removal by their owner or vet.

Your snake may also have a problem with its shedding if you insist on feeding it around the shedding period. Generally, snakes lose appetite around this time and will reject most of your food offers before shedding, as they are aware of their process way early before you can see the signs. However, if you continue supplying food to your pet, it will eat the food.

Feeding affects shedding by interrupting moisture secretion between the old and new skin. Since most snakes cannot multitask, the body’s water distribution will be lower, resulting in incomplete or abnormal shedding. Thus, if your snake is not as old or as well-fed during the shedding process but still has difficulty, it may be time to see your vet for a diagnosis of any other underlying condition.

Does It Hurt a Snake To Help It Shed?

Allowing your snake to go through the shedding process normally is advisable. However, there are instances where you or your vet may need to help your snake and whether this is painful is a matter of concern for most owners.

Helping a snake shed is not a painful process if done the right way. Pulling off the slithery skin is usually painless, but if the skin is still firmly attached, your pet will flinch or bite you if you try pulling it, indicating pain or discomfort.

Generally, some snakes are more prone to poor shedding even after keeping them under the proper humidity. Such pets will require human intervention to complete their shedding. In most cases, most of their skin will come off or hang loosely and will not require pulling that may cause pain.

If your pet has problems shedding its skin, you can ease the process by removing the remaining skin. Using a damp and rough-textured towel, you can wrap your pet and allow it to wriggle inside the towel and apply some gentle pressure to help remove their remaining shed painlessly. If the remaining shed is on their tail sheath, you should remove it as soon as possible as this skin could kill the tail tip.

Another alternative to handle shedding is to soak your pet in water. You can make a soaking box by drilling holes in a large plastic container for aeration. Add a rock to the box and fill it with warm water enough to cover your snake.

You can then leave your pet in the box for about an hour while checking on it frequently. After that, remove your pet from the box, dry it and return it to its habitat. Your pet should be able to complete shedding by itself.

Can I Pull The Skin Off My Snake?

Shedding is expected to be normal, and your snake should complete it on its own. However, there are instances of incomplete or abnormal shedding, normally referred to as dysecdysis. This is where your snake fails to shed its skin properly due to a health or habitat problem requiring your help.

Generally, you should not pull off your snake’s skin unless you are sure it is completely unable to shed it independently. The skin requiting manual pulling will attach firmly and in patches on your pet’s skin. Pulling this skin will cause pain and stress to your pet. Instead, you should talk to your vet or moisten your snake to allow natural shedding.

If your pet’s incomplete shedding results from husbandry issues, try providing your snake with surfaces it can rub its body against. Your snake may also try rubbing itself against your hands, but this does not mean you should pull its skin. Other factors you should check and adjust are the enclosure temperature and humidity.

Inadequate humidity is usually the main culprit behind the unsuccessful shedding. Most pet snakes will require an enclosure with 50 to 70% humidity, but this may vary depending on your snake; hence, the need to check its specific needs and adjust accordingly.

Incomplete shedding could also indicate a health problem. This could include disease, nutrient deficiency, internal abscesses, or parasite infestation. Thus, before taking matters into your hand, you should contact your vet for advice.

Finally, while your pet may shed its whole body skin, it may have retained caps and require safe removal. If unsure how to pull out your snake’s shed and caps, talk to your vet first before taking any step. Also, understanding the reasons behind incomplete shedding will enable you to make an informed decision before pulling your pet’s skin and causing them unnecessary pain.


Snakes don’t excrete feces frequently, so it takes days or weeks before defecation. Some snake species, however, can pee without expelling poop. However, it is common for snakes to discharge a combination of feces and urine to enable smooth excretion. The snakes tend to retain a lot of water in their bodies. Hence, they can excrete urine as uric acid, which does not need much water to eliminate.

It is also essential to know the nature of your snake’s feces so that you can tell the state of their health. If you notice any abnormalities, then the best cause of action is to call in an expert to help. When the snake pees, it mixes with the poop making it difficult to examine it independently. Usually, it is white, so if you notice some white patches in the poop, there is urine present.

From time to time, your snake will shed its skin as part of its biological processes. Ensuring appropriate conditions in the enclosure, such as the right temperature and humidity, and putting rocks and other items for your snake to rub against will ensure successful shedding.

However, even with the best husbandry, some snakes will still require help to shed off their skin. This could be due to age or health-related factors such as parasite infestation, disease, and internal abscess. Before you can help your pet, ensure they are in their shedding season and allow them to initiate the process on their own.

If, after they are done shedding, some skin still hangs on their body, you can talk to your vet. Given your vet’s go ahead, you can soak your pet in warm water or use a rough damp towel to aid the shedding process. You should exercise care when pulling off any shed to avoid hurting your pet, as this may trigger them to bite you. With gentle care, you will remove most of the shed and enable our pet to live a healthy life.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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