How to Care for Pet Garden Snails | Land Snails


PET GARDEN SNAILS (Decapod Crustaceans)

How do I look after pet garden snails?

Pet Snails are one of the easiest, low maintenance and inexpensive pets available. They are quiet, harmless to children and will thrive on scraps from your kitchen.

Pet Snails are fascinating to interact with, observe and can thrive in even the smallest spaces. Pet snails are easy to care for.


How long do garden snails live?

If you take good care of your garden snail, they generally live up to three to five years old, although surprisingly some pet garden snails have even lived for up to twenty years.


How big do garden snails get in captivity?

Pet garden snails can grow up to about 4cm in diameter. More mature pet garden snails can develop a slight curl on the lip of the hole in their shell.


Will my pet snails breed?

In healthy conditions, Pet Garden Snails can successfully breed in captivity. 

Pet garden snails reach sexual maturity and are able to breed after about two years.

Garden snails are hermaphrodites which means that they have female and male reproductive organs. However, snails can’t fertilise themselves, to successfully reproduce they must mate with another snail of the same species. In fact, some garden snails perform the male role one year and then the female role the following year (or visa versa) and two gardens can actually fertilise each other at the same time.  

Garden snails reproduce by laying their fertilised eggs into the topsoil So if you start with two or more pet garden snails, you may end up with a family. 

PET SNAIL HOUSE “Snailarium”

How to set up a snail home?

The best & easiest way to create a garden snail habitat or “snailarium” for your Pet Garden Snails is to use a ventilated plastic tub. 

What substrate do I need for my pet snail ensclosure?

Sterilised soil and sphagnum moss are great substrates to create a perfect snail environment.

Avoid using soil which could contain chemicals harmful to snails such as pesticides or fertilisers. Sterilise your soil to kill any dangerous bacterial and fungi by putting about 10cm deep of soil into an oven-proof container and baking it for a minimum of 30 minutes at about 85 Degrees C.

Fill the bottom of the ventilated plastic tub with about 50mm of cooled sterilised soil and a layer of about 20mm of sphagnum moss on top. The moss traps moisture inside the soil, which creates good conditions for snails.

What else do I need to create a pet snail home?

water spray bottle is perfect to spray snails daily and to keep the substrate moist will not saturating it too much.

Plant some small terrarium plants such as Pink IvyMauve Stricta or Dragon’s Flame. These plants thrive in moist soil, perfect environment for snails to thrive.

Snails like to sleep in dark and damp environments so be sure to include a hide in your snailarium. PetWave black plastic hides are perfect for use creating snail hides.

Include a food bowl in your snailrium so that non-eaten food can be removed effectively after each meal.

Pet Garden snails are vigorous and effective climbers. Always ensure that your snailarium has a secure ventilated lid to prevent their escape. 

You can add interesting decorations, rocks, twigs and hiding spaces to your pet garden snail’s home, which will provide an attractive environment and entertainment for your garden snail. You can buy garden snails online in Australia from PetWave, and even buy a snail habitat kit to help you get started.


What temperature and humidity should I keep my pet garden snail at?

Spray the tank with cold boiled water every day. Ensure that the snailrium doesn’t become water-logged, just moist. 

Also, ensure that the snailrium is not exposed to direct sun as it will overheat and dry out your pet garden snails. If it gets too cold, your pet garden snails will hibernate by forming a mucus coating over the snail shell entrance to protect it from dehydration.


What do garden snails eat?

Snails are herbivorous and eat vegetables and (non-citrus) fruit - lettuce and cabbage are real favourites. Other suggestions are  apple, avocado, banana, tomato, carrot, cucumber, mushroom, potato, pumpkin, spinach and many more fruits and vegetables. Raw eggs, brown bread, raw meat, dog and cat food can also be fed to your pet garden snails.

Raw food is best as it has better nutritional content. Ensure that you wash the food carefully to remove any trace pesticides which will kill them. Put the food into your food bowl. Remove uneaten food within 12 hours to ensure that it doesn’t spoil. Using a bowl ensures that so rotting food isn’t left behind.

Any leftovers or uneaten food must be removed and cleaned up every day.


Your pet garden snails use calcium to keep their shells thick and healthy. Sprinkle calcium powder on to your snail food or keep a cuttlefish bone in your snailarium. 


Your garden snail will benefit from a small very shallow bowl of clean, de-chlorinated water for drinking and maintaining humidity. Garden snails will also bath in this water at times to rehydrate. Cooled down boiled water is a suitable water for your pet garden snail. Alternatively, bottled water can be safely used.

Be cautious that your water bowls are shallow enough that your garden snails can climb out safely without risk of drowning. 


Is it safe to handling my pet garden snail?

It is fine to carefully handle your pet garden snail so long as basic health and hygiene practices are followed (as with handling any pet). Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your pet garden snail to minimise any risk to your snail or you. 

You should never allow your garden snails to be put on surfaces that may contain residue chemicals or fibres such as carpets as their sensitive foot can absorb nasty chemicals that they come across.  

Pet Snail Names

Favorurite names for Australian pet snails include Gary, Speedy and Gerald. 


Where can you buy pet snails?

You can buy pet garden snails online in Australia from PetWave at Pet Garden Snails For Sale. They are shipped overnight on premium couriers across Australia.

About PetWave

PetWave is an Australian online pet supply company that is expert in shipping delicate, live and frozen reptile and aquarium products to you and your pet’s door across Australia. Order before 7:30am for next day delivery. 

PetWave are very proud to offer the highest quality and largest selection of live aquarium fish, aquarium plants, live reptile food including live insects, frozen feeders especially for snakes, lizards, frogs and birds of prey and many other beautiful decorations for your aquarium and terrarium. 

Visit PetWave at or for any enquiries please email

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