Why Your Snake Won’t Leave Water Bowl?

Snake Won't Leave Water Bowl

Owning a pet means you have a special place in your heart for your friend. Better yet, if you have a snake. It might have happened to you that the snake just won’t leave the water. Anxiety hits you, and you wonder why it is doing it. Depending on its upbringing and breed, your pet may or may not enjoy the water.

Understanding why your pet likes to spend so much time near its water dish is essential. As marine reptiles, snakes can only thrive in saltwater. Ocean water is their primary source of oxygen. Don’t worry if it never leaves the water.

But what if it is an aquatic breed? A pet snake dozing off or lazing in its water dish is harmless in most situations. Knowing whether a snake’s soaking indicates a health condition is crucial. A recent Reddit user was concerned with the same question & I wondered if someone like you might be looking for some urgent answers.  So, in this article, you will have the answers to the following questions:

  • 7 explanations for why your snake won’t leave the water bowl.
  • What will happen if the pet stays in the water bowl for too long?
  • Do long stays in the water cause sickness?
  • Do snakes lie down in water dishes because of temperature?
  • How should your reptile be soaked?

Hence, without wasting any more time – let’s dive deep into the water!

Normal Conduct

The majority of snake species are now aquatic or adapted. It is expected that these snakes will spend plenty of time in their water bowls in light of this fact. Several common snake species like to spend most of their time submerged in water, including anacondas, and North American, and Asian water snakes. This is why it’s essential to give these animals a large water dish that allows for total submersion and to change the water in it.

Extreme Heat

When we discover a species rarely associated with lounging in its water dish, we must examine the cage temperatures. For example, a rat snake’s critical thermal greatest is approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, it can be easily killed in an overheated cage. Also, the snake’s muscle tone begins to deteriorate under hot conditions.

A snake will seek lower temperatures when the outside temperature rises above roughly 90 degrees Fahrenheit. So, the snake won’t leave the water bowl to maintain its temperature because it is often his last choice. As a result, extreme heat must be mitigated immediately to avert potential catastrophes.


Snakes have a greater need for water during their shedding season. Snakes in the wild will drink a lot and find a wet place to rest. Snakes kept in captivity will spend the day submerged in their water dish. Many snakes will choose to stay dry in a moist hide box.

Extreme Humidity

Many species in the rainforest need high humidity to thrive. Rainbow boas and viper boas are two of the most well-known species. Spraying the cage with tepid water can help. Reducing a habitat’s relative humidity can also be accomplished by decreasing ventilation.


Comparable to fleas, snake mites are ectoparasites that feed on the skin of their host snake. Infested with mites, the snake won’t leave the water bowl to kill them. The soaking does kill some mites in practice, but not enough. So check for mites if a snake spends much time submerged in water, and it’s not due to environmental factors.


Snakes, like people and other mammals, can have constipation. Generally, dry air or a lack of moisture in the air is to blame. But low temperatures and heavy meals can also play a role.

While constipation is rarely a medical emergency, it is unpleasant and should be treated as such. Please read if your snake is constipated and wants to help it go. An impaction might develop if constipation is not treated.

But, let’s say your snake is already suffering from constipation or an impact. It will do wonders to soak in a warm bath for ten to fifteen minutes.

It is the most common, reliable, and risk-free treatment, as many snakes will defecate after being soaked. But, if any reptile has trouble defecating, the snake (which is no exception) won’t leave the water bowl to calm down its inside imbalance.

Laying Eggs

Most often, snakes search for moist places to lay their eggs. Unable to do so, they turn to water as their last option. So, your pet won’t leave the water bowl because it is warming up the eggs.

You might be interested in Snake hasn’t moved in days!

Identify The Issue At Hand

Whatever may be the reason, reptiles absorb water through their skin, which is impossible for mammals. It could just want to soak or bathe itself. If it doesn’t fall under the water-lover kind, follow these guidelines for helping your reptile clean itself under the proper conditions.

  • You should start using water, without any soap or other cleaning agents.
  • Reptiles urinate and defecate in their water dishes after soaking. Thus, you should change the water in these dishes often.
  • The water should be lukewarm or tepid, meaning it’s neither too hot nor too cold to touch. In the third place, reptiles are homeotherms, meaning that they regulate their body temperature based on the temperature of their environment. So, the water temperature should be moderated so that soaking is comfortable.
  • For reptiles, a 10-minute bath is usually enough, regardless of species. Yet, staying in the tub for too long, as when we get old, can cause our skin to become soft and crinkly.
  • Last but not least, the depth of the water must be correct; it must be deep enough to cover the reptile’s body but not so deep that it can’t keep its head above water.

Sick reptiles who lack the strength to lift their heads and take up much water need your attention. These creatures need shallow water and close supervision to avoid drowning. You should call the vet if your snake, which does not like water, has been submerged in it for more than four or five days (and refuses to leave it!).


Many reptiles enjoy a warm dip; hence it could be one reason the snake won’t leave the water bowl. If their enclosures are large enough, you should provide an open water pan that the animals can swim into.

For water haters, the alternative is to spritz them once or twice weekly with a plant mister. Soaking or spraying them can aid in shedding if the skin isn’t coming off in large chunks.

Reptiles feel the same way we do when we bathe. But, as a bonus, they’ll be better able to keep themselves hydrated thanks to their skin’s increased ability to absorb moisture. Most reptiles like soaking, and it’s essential for their health as a pet.


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding snakes being left in the water for too long:

Is it normal for snakes to lie in the water bowl for hours?

Depending on their breed and upkeep, reptiles (snakes, too) may or may not stay in the water dishes. Some love spending time, and some don’t.

Is my snake sick if it won’t leave the water bowl?

Of course. There are various reasons your pet would stay in its water dish (sometimes, just for fun!)



I'm Jennifer Mecham, worked for 7 years in an animal shelter in New York. I created this blog to educate people about these amazing creatures and to show them that reptiles can make great pets. Join me on this journey as we explore the world of reptiles.

About The Author

Scroll to Top