Caring for a dog is a big responsibility. You can find many guides online, like from The Pampered Pup to tell you the best dog foods, or the best flea collars. But many people don’t know the best ways to keep your dog safe—especially when it comes to snakes!
You should know that when you walk your dog or let them play in the backyard, there is always a possibility they could encounter an unsafe situation. All pet owners should know how to identify venomous snakes, and how you can keep your dog away from them in the future! Here’s everything you need to know to protect your pet.
What do venomous snakes look like?
There are many different kinds of venomous snakes throughout North America. Though they vary in appearance, there are some key signs to tell whether or not a wild snake is venomous.
· Most of the time, a venomous snake will have a varying color pattern. If you see a snake that is one solid color, it is most likely harmless.
· Venomous snakes have a triangular-shaped head. Harmless snakes will have a more rounded head. This is because the venom glands require more room in a snake’s head.
· Venomous snakes have rattles. If you see a snake with a rattle, it is the venomous rattlesnake. Some harmless snakes copy the rattling noise but lack the actual “rattle” on the end of the tail.
· There will also be a possible heat sensor in dangerous snakes. These heat sensors look like a small depression on the head, and are called “pits” (which is where “pit viper” comes from) Not all dangerous snakes have a pit, but if it does, it is a dangerous snake.
Even if you don’t know how to identify these snakes in the wild, you should treat every snake you see as a venomous one. This is the best way to ensure that you don’t get poisoned or get your dog into trouble.
So how do I keep my dog safe?
Ensuring that your dog is safe in your backyard or on a walk is relatively straightforward. You can use training techniques or control your environment to help them stay safe. Here are the best methods to keeping your dog safe from snakes:
1. Teaching them to “leave it.” This means that the dog will be able to respond to a command such as “leave it” when they need to turn their attention away from something. Start of teaching your dog to ignore smells, toys, and other dogs. Then you can train your dog to ignore snakes in controlled environments with real snakes.
2. Keep a short leash. When you’re on a walk, a shorter leash can give you more control over your dog and where they walk. It may take a few walks for your pet to get used to it, but making sure they are close to you is a great way to monitor them.
3. Remove any wood from your backyard. If you find that you have snakes in your backyard, get rid of any piles of wood where snakes may live in.
4. Fence and chemical barriers to keep snakes out. Solid fences can prevent them from sneaking through. Combining this with snake-deterring chemicals can help your dog run freely in the yard once more.
As a responsible pet owner, keeping your pets safe should be your number one priority. Always keep in mind these signs to tell dangerous snakes apart from harmful ones, and make sure you take the proper precautions against these snakes with training or environmental control. Do this, and you won’t have to worry about your pet getting hurt.