Dog & Snake Safety Tips
There's nothing like soaking in the sunshine with your canine BFF on a hike. While it can be pawsitive bonding time for you and your furry friend, one thing to keep in mind is the presence of snakes on those winding trails, especially during warm months. Even when you play catch on your lawn, these slithering creatures can be lurking around, too. Before heading out with your pup, it's important to know how to stay safe around snakes.
Do Snakes Avoid Dogs?
Snakes generally like to be on their own and won't attack you if you don't provoke them. In most cases, they’ll slither away on their own. However, they can strike when dogs stick their faces inside of bushes or rock crevices — snake bite injuries on dogs often occur on faces because of this. When hiking, keep your dog on a leash to control where they go. Stay on the main trails — snakes usually reside in wooded areas near lakes and ponds.
If you live somewhere with lots of rattlesnakes, ask your vet about the canine-approved rattlesnake vaccine, which creates neutralizing antibodies against Western Diamondback venom.
What to Do If You See a Snake on a Hike
If you spot a snake, the best course of action is to slowly back away from it and keep your dog from interacting with it. Let it slither away and assume that it can lunge a far distance. Should your dog get bitten, head to the vet immediately. You can also call the park ranger's office to see if they can help — definitely don’t try to suck out the venom on your own!
What to Do If You See a Snake In Your Yard
Snakes don’t only pop up during hikes. During summer, they can actually slither out of the woodworks and show up in your yard as well! The best course of action is to leave the snake alone and get professional help to remove it if it doesn’t leave. If you see a snake on your property, close your doors and fill in any gaps beneath them.
Signs of Snakes in Your Yard
If you suspect you might have snakes in your yard, telltale signs include:
- Snakeskin sheddings
- Dust or dirt trails from snakes slithering
- Strange odors in crawl spaces
- Snake droppings, which look like bird feces but may contain bones and hairs from prey
How to Prevent Snakes in Your Yard
It’s always best to call a snake removal service when you see a snake in your yard, but you can prevent snakes from visiting in the first place. The key is to eliminate spaces where they can hide. Cut long grass, clean up debris, and fill in burrows. You also want to keep up with rat and mice maintenance, as these critters are snake food.
Seeing a snake on the trail or in your yard can be scary. When you spot a snake while hanging out with your dog, don't panic! It all boils down to staying calm and getting professional help as soon as possible.