Snake Bites: How to Protect Our Pets


Guest Post by Rachel Hudson

adorable dog
Photo by Bruno Cervera from Pexels

Description: When warmer periods arrive, most of us feel way more energetic, and we want to spend every spare moment walking, hiking or simply playing outdoors with our four-legged friends.  But what we rarely think about is that during warm months there is a higher risk for our dog to be exposed to snakes bites. 

You might wonder, why there are more snakes in spring and summer as well as why on earth would a snake bite a dog?  Well for starters, snakes hibernate during winter, so they also feel more energetic as the sun begins to warm up. They are also searching for food to fill their empty stomachs because they have digested all the food they had eaten before hibernation. There are greater chances to encounter a snake in your garden while hiking or anywhere else for that matter.

That wouldn’t be a problem if our pets would have the same sensation regarding snakes as we do. However, no one has told dogs that snakes might pose an immediate danger in some cases as our parents or grandparents told us. For dogs, a snake on the road or in the backyard is just another animal. Dogs are by nature curious and playful creatures, and when they meet other animals, they like to sniff and get to know a potential new friend.  Some dogs can be too persistent in their curiosity or emotionality and won’t leave the snake in peace. This is when snakes bites occur.

 On the other hand, snakes are timid and cautious. Since they have no limbs or claws, the only way they can defend themselves from what they consider to be the dangerous situation is biting. You must know that both venomous and nonvenomous snakes bite. It is crucial that you immediately get your pet to the vet so it can get proper care to prevent any consequences. 

How to Protect Pets from Snakes

If you are someone who enjoys spending a lot of time in nature with your dogs, going on hikes and so on, you can never fully ensure that your dog won’t suffer from snakes bites. However, there are some tips if you want to know how to protect pets from snakes that we would like to share with you here, and if you want more information, you can find it on

  • Make sure to vaccinate your dog. Most snakes bites come from rattlesnakes so a vaccine that is made from snake venom itself will have some good effect as it will lessen the severity of a bite. However, the dog will still need to see the vet as soon as possible to get the proper treatment because the vaccine doesn’t solve the problem. 
  • It is important to know the surroundings. Even if you are against keeping your dog on a leash because it is not a prisoner but your best friend, it is better to use the leash when exploring nature. Put your dog’s safety before your beliefs.
  • You and your four-legged companions are real adventurers and love to check out the places that haven’t been visited often by humans. That is fantastic, but in hot summer months, it is way better to stay on a cleared open path where you can see everything to be sure that you have done your best to prevent snakes bites. 

Signs of Snakes Bites

Walking Dog.
Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

It is essential to know that even if you take all the safety precautions, snakes bites can happen nevertheless.

In that case, there are two main things you must know to be sure that a snake bit your dog. The more you know, the better you will be able to react correspondingly, which is crucial for getting your dog proper care.  You need to know what does a snake bite looks like on the pet as well as what the signs of snake bites are.

You may or may not see the wound at first sight, but swelling around the bite area can be the first sign. The usual place for snakes bites on the dogs’ bodies is with less fur, like face or legs.

If besides the swelling your dog experiences any of the following symptoms, you must get it to the nearest vet as soon as possible: bleeding, lethargy, excessive drooling, heavy panting, vomiting, agitation. There are other symptoms, and they can vary depending on whether a snake was venomous or not, or the size of a dog, but these are the most common.


Proper and timely treatment is essential in cases of snakes bites. If you know that your dog has been bitten, then you need to apply first aid for snakes bites and get it straight to the vet. Forget things that you saw in the movies like trying to suck the venom out with your mouth – this surely won’t help your dog. You need to put a pet in the car in a way that it cannot move much because movements can speed up the spreading of the venom. Turn on AC and apply ice packages on the place of the snake’s bites as it will slow down the circulation, thus preventing the poison from progressing.

When you arrive at the vet’s office, people who are trained on how to treat snake bike on the pet will examine your dog. After that, they will start treatment with antivenin serum that is made to neutralize the poison. It is better if you know what type of snake bit your dog because some antivenin serums are specific for a particular snake.

Final Thoughts

We love our pets, and generally, the very thought of something bad happening to them scares us tremendously, so sometimes we avoid reading texts like this. But, because we love them, we should be as informed as possible to be able to enjoy life with them while keeping them safe. We are happy that we can share these tips on how to protect and help your beloved pet. Have you had or heard of experience with snakes bites on pets?

Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a doctor of veterinary medicine and a proud mom of 3 dogs and 2 cats. She has lived in areas inhabited by snakes and treated successfully a lot of pets who have been bitten. She is more than happy to share her experience and knowledge about our pets’ care with our readers and us.