How to keep your dog safe from snakes this summer

Keeping snakes from your yard and dog can be challenging, especially if you’re living in a snake-dominated area. However, there are some things that can help

By Guest Blogger, Laurel Tied

As summer continues, temperatures are increasing as the days get longer. This is the perfect condition for snakes. In the United States, about 150,000 animals – the majority of which are dogs and cats – get bitten by snakes every year. Common venomous snakes in the US include the copperhead, cottonmouth, rattlesnake, and eastern coral snake.

Therefore, you must keep your dog safe from snakes during this period. In this post, we’re going to examine several tips to help keep your dog safe.

Prevent snakes from entering your yard

Keeping snakes from your yard can be challenging, especially if you’re living in a snake-dominated area. However, some of the things that can help include:

  • Tidy Your Yard

Keep your yard and garden tidy at all times. Clear undergrowth and leaves, mow your lawn regularly and remove all objects that could serve as hiding spots for snakes. Make sure you store firewood away from your house.

  • Eliminate Food Sources

If you have a rodent infestation, that’s an open invitation for snakes. Snakes primarily prey on rodents. That’s why you have to deal with your rodent problem by removing food and shelter these pesky critters seek. Ensure your garbage can is always closed. Also, don’t leave your pet food lying around.

  • Install a Snake-Proof Fence

If you live in a snake-infested area, you may want to install a snake-proof fence around your property so your dog can play outside without you having to worry.

Train Your Dog to Avoid Snakes

Dogs are very curious creatures and their hunting instinct will drive them to closely observe a snake rather than avoiding it. A good strategy is to train your dog with moving toy snakes, rewarding it with a treat anytime it avoids it. This way, it learns to stand back when it sees a real snake. Some trainers make use of shock to teach a dog to associate snakes with unpleasant electric shocks as well.

Keep Your Dog on a Leash When Going on Walks

When going on walks, keep your dog on a short leash of about 6 feet. Don’t allow your dog to stray into tall bushes and stop it from turning over stones. By keeping your dog close to you, you can easily deter it from approaching a snake if you spot one.

Be Vigilant

Ensure to scan through your yard before you let your dog play outside, especially if you don’t have a snake-proof fence.

What to Do If Your Dog Is Bitten

When a venomous snake bites a dog, it injects venom via its fangs into the tissue below the skin. The venom is rapidly absorbed and circulated through the dog’s lymphatic system. Some of the common signs you might notice include:

  • Severe weakness, collapsing or coma
  • Twitching or shaking
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding from the wound
  • Blood in urine

When a dog is bitten by a venomous snake, time is of the essence. You have to promptly call a local animal hospital near you.  You will then have to take it to the vet for proper examination and treatment.

about the author

Laurel Tied is a dog-lover who has spent her whole life researching how to best keep dogs safe and healthy. She is the guru to all things dog, from grooming, keeping snakes away or training.

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