Rattlesnakes are out and about quite a bit at this time of year. Here in Texas, we have ten different types of rattlesnakes. Because spring is their breeding season, many of them are more active and aggressive than usual at this time of year. That’s definitely something for dog owners to be aware of. Snake bites can be deadly to our canine companions! Here, a Rockwall, TX vet offers some advice on keeping Fido safe.
Snakes like small, shady spaces. Some potential hideouts include things like wood piles, fallen branches, rotten logs, toys, tires, and empty plant pots. Clear these things off your land. It’s also good to keep your grass trimmed, so as to not provide habitats. If you have fruit trees and/or a garden, pick up fallen produce. These may attract rodents, which will in turn attract snakes.
Training isn’t just about petiquette: it’s also important for safety reasons. Make sure that Fido knows and obeys commands like Sit, Stay, and Come. When you’re out and about, don’t let him explore any places that could be housing snakes. That includes things like rotten logs, woodpiles, and small crevasses.
While there’s no way to make your property 100 percent snakeproof, you can reduce the odds of one getting into your place. Putting up a fence that is at least 4 feet high can help. (Tip: Aluminum and galvanized wire mesh are both great options for keeping snakes out.) If you have drainage pipes or culverts on your property, put a screen or mesh over openings. Finally, block off empty spaces beneath sheds, doghouses, and other buildings.
When walking Fido, pay close attention to the terrain and watch where both you and your pup step. At night, you may want to take a flashlight with you. (Tip: consider getting a leash with a built-in flashlight.) It’s probably best not to wear earphones: you’ll want to keep an ear out for that telltale rattle.
What do you do if you come across a snake? Nothing! Stand still, and then back away slowly. Most snakes are actually quite timid, so the odds of it running (or technically, slithering) away are pretty high.
Please reach out to us, your local Rockwall, TX animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. We’re here to help!