Keeping Pets Safe From Snakes at Home

A white dog tentatively approaches a rattlesnake coiled on a tree stump in a backyard.

Californians are fairly well-versed at looking out for snakes while enjoying our state’s open spaces – especially while hiking or camping with our pets. Even though we know we share a close proximity (sometimes too close!) to various types of wildlife, it’s often a surprise to run into snakes in our own backyards. Fortunately, most snakes don’t pose a threat, but keeping pets safe from snakes remains a top priority this summer.

Equal Access

Snakes are important members of California’s ecosystem. Responsible for major pest-control, snakes deserve their place in the food chain. They reduce nuisance populations of rodents, insects, lizards, and amphibians. By virtue of their very healthy appetites, snakes can even minimize the spread of disease to humans via rodents. 

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What’s that SSSSound? Snake Safety for Pets 101

The sight of a snake slithering across their path evokes a variety of responses in people. While some of us appreciate their beauty and power, many of us react with fear or even panic.

Of the roughly 35 species of snakes in California, six of them are highly venomous, making snake safety for pets an important topic to our readers. Whether you find these reptiles fascinating or revolting, it’s important to recognize the very real threat they pose to our four-legged companions.

The Low Down

Rattlesnakes are widespread in California and make their homes in every type of habitat, including river banks, parks, golf courses, and more. Once their venom is injected, it acts immediately, compromising blood vessels near the bite and causing intense pain and swelling. The venom also affects the blood’s clotting properties, which may lead to the loss of large amounts of blood.

A rattlesnake bite can kill a pet if left untreated – it should be considered a life-threatening emergency.

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