A garter snake slithers through the lawn.

Your pets can easily encounter snakes when they’re out for a walk or in tall grass or brush or around rock piles, especially in Northern California. Most of us cannot distinguish a venomous snake from a harmless one, which means we need to be extra vigilant about snake safety for our pets. The veterinarians at MarkePlace Veterinary Hospital are here to help you learn a little more about how to keep your pets safe outdoors this season.

Stay Away from Snakes to Keep Your Pets Safe

It may be impossible to avoid every snake in the county, but there are things you can do to keep your pets out of snake bite range.

How to avoid snakes on a walk:

  • When you’re out for a walk, keep your pet on a leash.
  • Teach your pet to walk at your side when on the leash.
  • Don’t let your pet run ahead to the furthest reach of the leash.
  • If you see a dead snake on your walk, don’t let your dog investigate. If the snake is a rattler, there could be active venom that would harm your pet. 
  • Stick to the path. Venturing into grassy areas, outcroppings of rock, and piles of stones or wood will lead to trouble. Snakes like to hide in those places.

How to avoid snakes around the yard:

  • Short grasses are not happy places for snakes. Keep to a regular mowing schedule.
  • Rock and woodpiles provide shelter for snakes. Remove them or keep them away from pet areas.
  • Bird feeders attract rodents, too. They come for the seeds and hulls that fall to the ground. Snakes will move in to feed on rodents. Remove seed feeders or clean up the spillage.
  • If you see holes in your lawn, fill them. 
  • Don’t use pet doors. If the pet door is left open, a snake can slide right into your home!
  • Keep outside doors and ground-level windows screened or closed.
  • If you can, provide a clean and well-groomed fenced area for your pets to play.

You’ve done everything you can to discourage snakes from coming into your yard. You practice pet safety when walking with your animal outside. But still, somehow, your pet was bitten by a snake. Now what?

Snake Safety Mishap: What to Do If Your Pet Gets Bit

  • Assume the bite was from a venomous snake.
  • Get your animal to the nearest veterinary hospital as quickly as you can.
  • Ask us about what you need to do in a snake-bite emergency.

At MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital, we want the best for your pets. Schedule a wellness visit to talk with our staff about what to do if your pet is bitten by a snake.