Snakes Snakes Snakes!

November 28, 2018

With snake season in full swing, Pets Training & Boarding have some top tips to keep your pet safe this Summer.

It is one of the most terrifying experiences any pet lover can experience – the fear that their beloved pet has been bitten by a snake!

For cats, a slithering snake can make a very painful play toy. While for a dog, the chase can turn pretty sour, pretty quickly. If you suspect your pet has been bitten, seeking veterinary treatment quickly is very important. Many experts will advise not wasting time looking for the snake and to get your pet to the vet as quickly as possible. If the snake is still there, take a quick photo or remember the distinctive markings.

Research indicates that in Australia around 3,000 people will be bitten each year. For our canine companions or feline friends, a snake bite can cause horrific injury and even lead to death. Many Pet Insurance companies notice a dramatic increase in snake bite claims from September to March. Making this time of year a high risk for many unsuspecting pets.

As many families move closer to native bushlands, snakes are fast becoming a big problem. Sadly, these slithering creatures can spell disaster for a curious dog or cat. If you see a snake, and your pet is nearby, it’s best to suspect possible bite and get them to the vet quickly.

Symptoms of a snake bite include:
•  Vomiting
•  Weakness and possible collapse
•  Shaking or twitching of the muscles
•  Unsteadiness
•  Bite marks on head or limbs
•  Swelling and bleeding

It’s good to remember that snakes are much more active during early morning and late afternoon – the time when most people are out and about with their dogs. During snake season it’s a beneficial to keep your dog on a short leash and don’t allow them to pounce and run through long grassy areas. This is particularly important if you do have a very curious pup who loves to chase and grab things.

Training is also important. Training your dog can keep them safe from all sorts of problems such as snakes. If you have a solid “LEAVE IT” command, you can possibly prevent your dog from taking chase after the snake.

If snakes are a big problem around your home, consider some professional help. With some assistance you can actually condition your dog to not go near snakes. Ask a professional dog handler for information on how you can snake-proof your dog.

Simple steps to help prevent snakes are:

•  Keep lawns and grass short – the longer the grass the harder snakes are to see in your area.

•  Keep rubbish to a bare minimum around the block – think like a snake, if it’s a good hiding spot you could be attracting some trouble.

•  Move woodpiles away from dog areas – wood piles are a favourite for snakes…just think of all those possible yummy mice to eat. So, keep these piles away from the house and your pet’s area.

•  Check for snakes and skins – if you find some, call in the experts.

•  Keep dog areas free from ‘hiding’ areas and check kennels daily.

•  Leave water features empty around this time of year – snakes will be attracted to the water.

•  Do not let your dog off-leash in high-risk areas such as bushland.

•  Consider keeping cats indoors during these months.

•  In high risk areas contemplate concreting around your fence line to create a border to keep snakes out or check your fences daily for rubbish and long grass.