Leave It! What’s Your Policy for Pet Safety Around Snakes?

Pet safety around snakes is no joke.This time of year it’s increasingly common to have an encounter with a snake. Whether they’re swimming through the lake directly towards you and your pet, or you encounter one while out for a walk together, the fact is you have to be on your guard. Many pets are downright intrigued when it comes to a slithering serpent, while others may get struck in a surprise attack. Water moccasins, or cottonmouths, have a reputation for being rather aggressive, so it’s best to have a proactive approach to pet safety around snakes.

A Lay of the Land

There are many – venomous and non-venomous – water snakes. While you may teach and train your pet to leave all snakes alone, we recommend at least a fundamental, working knowledge of what a water moccasin looks like:

  • Heavy-looking or thick body shape
  • Tan to brown coloring with darker cross bands
  • Rough-looking scales
  • Thick or blocky head shape
  • A visibly narrow-looking neck
  • Dark eye stripe or facial band
  • Vertical pupil
  • Heat-detecting facial pits between the eye and nostril

These snakes will not retreat before attacking a perceived threat, increasing the need for pet safety around snakes.

Avoidance Is Key

Most pet owners are highly tuned into possible dangers facing their pets while out and about. Taking it an extra step further, we offer the following helpful measures for pet safety around snakes:

  • Keep your pet’s off-leash time to a minimum
  • Discourage exploration near tall grasses, overgrown areas, or thick underbrush
  • Do not play catch the stick with your dog in bodies of water known for cottonmouths (they may inadvertently get ahold of one in the mouth, but rattlesnakes and copperheads can swim, too!)
  • Do not pick up or turn over large stones
  • Do not reach into crevices or holes

You’ll Know When It Happens

Pet safety around snakes must also include knowing the signs of a snake bite, and what to do to help your pet. Water moccasins are venomous and can cause:

  • Extreme pain at the bite site
  • Redness and swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Blurry vision or vision loss
  • Numbness in the face and limbs
  • Increased salivation
  • Weakness

Inspect the bites marks closely if if your pet allows you to. Attempt to wash the wound with clean, soapy water and then wrap the area in sterile dressing. Seek emergency care immediately and on the way be sure to:

  • Remove the collar from the neck if there’s swelling
  • Keep the bite mark below your pet’s heart level
  • Calm your pet as much as possible, taking care to keep them as stationary as possible

Pet Safety Around Snakes

Pet safety around snakes is so critical because of the terrible consequences of a venomous bite. Low blood pressure, kidney damage, and blood clotting disorders are among them.

Once your pet is examined, we’ll test their blood. Pain medication, antihistamines, IV fluids, and more may be necessary. Sometimes, effects of snake bites aren’t exactly clear until later, increasing the importance of monitoring and repeated lab work.

Move Quickly

If you need our assistance with pet safety around snakes, please let us know at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital. Stay safe out there!

Warm Weather on the Horizon: Rattlesnake Safety and Your Pet

rattlesnake safetyLike most wildlife, rattlesnakes become active when temperatures warm up, and spring is in full swing. Like many wild species, rattlesnakes are part of our urban environment now, as much as coyotes and raccoons. Living among these wild species, it’s important to know a bit about rattlesnake safety and your pet. The team at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital is here to help!

Continue…

Rewarding Pets Without Food: It Can Be Done!

CHAH_iStock_000080256971_LargeAll pet owners know that the way to a pet’s heart is through his or her stomach… Or is it? Why is it that we tend to use treats and snacks to show love for our pets or to get them to do what we want? Could there be a healthier way to accomplish these important tasks?

Using anything other than food to accomplish basic pet obedience training is hard to imagine. Besides using treats and other food for training purposes, a delicious morsel here and there is one of the ways we express our affection for our furry friends. After all, who can resist that wagging tail and puppy dog eyes, or insistent purring when our pets know we are eating one of their favorite meals?

Rewarding pets without food can actually be a wonderful way to accomplish training goals, though, and to bond with pets. With a little planning and forethought, you and your pet can enjoy the many far-reaching benefits of non-food rewards. Continue…

The Boot Scoot Boogie: What to Know About Pet Butt Scooting

Purebred Bulldog puppyIt is bound to happen at the most inopportune time: Just when you invite guests over for dinner and drinks, Fido decides that he should drag his rear end across your living room rug. Most pet owners have experienced this embarrassing and annoying behavior, but do you know what causes pet butt scooting? If not, it’s time to learn more than you ever wanted to know about your dog or cat’s derriere. Continue…

Six Tips to Alleviate Pet Thunderstorm Anxiety

Dog in rainThunderstorms, with their sky-illuminating lightning strikes, cooling winds, and windowpane rattling thunder claps, can be dazzling displays for us. But, for our pet friends, not so much. Pet thunderstorm anxiety, as with general noise anxiety, is quite common among dogs and cats, and one of the main types of phobias for which pet owners seek behavioral consultation. Continue…

Life Made EASIER with Dog Obedience Training

AllPets_iStock_000019367479_MediumWinter is a great time to take advantage of dog obedience classes for your puppy or adult dog who needs some pointers. Life typically slows down a bit after the holidays and you may have noticed a few “not so pleasant” behaviors in your dog or puppy over the holidays.

Have you had difficulties socializing that new pup? Or has your adult dog continued to bark at everything and everyone? The great news is that most (if not all) dogs can benefit from dog obedience training classes.

Effective canine obedience training can help teach your dog to: Continue…