How to prevent your pet from getting bitten by a snake
Animals are naturally inquisitive, and this includes being very interested in any other creatures that they may come across, including snakes. Unlike us, our pets don’t see snakes as potentially dangerous and won’t realize that they could cause them harm. This means that it is up to you as their owner to be responsible for keeping your pet safe. Snakes can be found all year round, but they are particularly prevalent during the warmer summer months meaning that now, more than ever, it is important that you know how to prevent your pet from getting bitten by a snake.
Keep your pet on a leash
Many snake bites occur because a dog has been free to roam while walking and has come across a snake before you have been able to spot it or call them away. Don’t let your dog off the leash in an area where you suspect there could be snakes and stay clear of long grasses, bushes, and rocks which are habitats that tend to attract serpents.
Don’t let your pet in your yard unsupervised
Similarly, if you have been known to get snakes in your yard, it is important to make sure that you don’t let your pet go out there unsupervised. If you have a large yard, you should even consider keeping them leashed to your chair or table so that they can’t go too far and encounter a snake. You can help by keeping your yard tidy and clearing away any undergrowth, toys, and tools that could prove to be a great hiding place for a snake.
Repel rodents from your yard
Snakes are attracted to rodents, and rodents are attracted to any food debris, fallen fruit, vegetables, or birdseed that you may have in your yard or home. Remember to clear up any spillages right away, and don’t leave any food out unattended.
Refresh your dog’s recall
The recall is probably the most important command that an animal can learn, ensuring that they will return to you when you call their name. The recall isn’t just convenient; it can also help keep your pet safe by calling them back to you if they are in the path of danger. The better your pet’s recall skills, the more likely you will be to get them to come to you if you or they see a snake. Once they return to you, make a huge fuss, and offer a treat – something that is far better than any snake!
Ask your vet about the rattlesnake vaccination
If you live in an area where rattlesnakes are common, you may want to speak to your vet about the possibility of your pet having a vaccination that can protect against the bite of the Western Diamond Rattlesnake. Your vet will be able to advise you if this vaccine is suitable for your pet.
Know the signs of a snakebite
Although you will do everything that you can do to ensure that your pet isn’t bitten by a snake, it is still beneficial to be able to recognize the signs of a snakebite so that you can get your animal the medical attention that they may need promptly. Some of the most common snake bite symptoms include:
- A local or general swelling
- Shortness of breath
- Signs of a wound and dead tissue around the wound
- Obvious pain
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms and you believe that they may have been bitten by a snake, stay calm, and contact your vet immediately to find out what to do next.
For more information about protecting your pet from snake bites this summer, please get in touch with our expert veterinary team.