Summer in Texas can be brutally hot. While people may have divided opinions about the heat, Texas’ slithering denizens are all about it. Although rattlesnake encounters are most common during their mating season, which is February and March, they can happen any time. This is definitely a big concern for dog owners. A Castle Hills, TX vet offers tips on protecting Fido below.
Obedience training isn’t just about petiquette: it can literally save your furry buddy’s life. Make sure Fido obeys basic commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, and Heel. This can help you keep your pooch from sniffing around areas where snakes may be lurking, such as rotten logs. If your canine pal has a strong prey drive, consider snake avoidance training.
While there’s no way to completely snake-proof your yard, you can definitely make it less appealing for them. As the name suggests, snake-proof fencing is a pretty good defense. We’d also recommend blocking off spaces snakes may find appealing, such as culverts and spaces under sheds. Pick up debris, such as fallen branches. If you have a garden or fruit trees, pick up fallen fruit right away: otherwise, it may attract rodents that snakes feed on.
When walking your canine companion, pay close attention to where both you and your pup are stepping, especially at night. You may want to get a leash with a flashlight attached to it, so you can see what’s around you. If you like to use earbuds, keep the volume down low: it’s important to be able to hear that telltale rattle.
Texas is home to several types of snakes. Most of them, fortunately, are quite timid, and would rather run (or slither) away from threats than face them. There is an exception here, that being the Western Diamondback, which, unfortunately for us, is both the most commonly-encountered and the most aggressive snake in the Lone Star State. Do some research, and learn what local rattlesnakes look like, when they’re most active, and where they like to hide.
There are rattlesnake vaccines available. These aren’t completely foolproof: Fido will need boosters, and he won’t be protected against every type of venomous snake. However, it is definitely worth talking to your vet about.
Do you have questions about your pup’s health or care? Contact us, your Castle Hills, TX animal clinic, today!