avoid snake bites in dogs


I love all animals! I love all reptiles and I love dogs too. I hate the idea of dogs being bitten by snakes just as much as I hate the idea of a snake being harmed in any way.

There have been many occasions where I have been called to catch a snake following an incident with a dog. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that in many cases, the dog does not survive.

I wanted to give you some tips on how to protect your family dog from snakes. Our favourite four-legged companions have a curious nature and do most of their exploring with their noses. In the garden or out for a walk, this means that dogs put their face right up close to a snake. Usually just to find out what it is and no sinister intention at all!

Dogs are of course, natural protectors. They will protect their humans from a dangerous snake in they detect one. In these situations, the fight between a dog and a snake goes a bit like this:

  • Dog smells snake.
  • Dog bites snake.
  • Snake bites dog.
  • Dog gets really sick.
  • Dog goes to vet.
  • Dog dies.
  • The owner is left with a broken heart and a huge vet bill.


  • Keep calm and control your own emotions.
  • Keep your dog calm as possible and reduce anything that might stimulate him.
  • Remove anyone who will make the situation worse, children or emotional adults will only make things worse usually.
  • Do NOT wash the wound.
  • Do NOT apply a tourniquet.
  • NEVER try to catch or kill the snake yourself.
  • If you can SAFELY get a photo then do so, otherwise, leave it.
  • Apply a firm bandage (without restricting blood flow) around the affected limb (if possible) but do NOT tourniquet the bite site.
  • Take your dog to the Vet ASAP. The quicker you do this, the more chance you have of bringing your dog home.
  • If you can describe the snake to the vet do so EXACTLY as you saw it and try NOT to make up information.

    Tell reception you think your dog was bitten by a snake. This will be treated as an emergency and will mean you see the vet quicker.

    The vet will conduct an examination of your dog. They may shave your dog in the affected area to get better access.

    Diagnostic tests may be conducted by the veterinarian.

    If the bite is confirmed, treatment usually consists of the administration of intravenous fluids and anti-venom. Some dogs will need more than one vial of anti-venom.

    Other care may include oxygen supplementation, and artificial ventilation and more depending upon symptoms.

    Recovery can take up to 48 hours or longer depending upon the effects of the bite.


    If you get your dog to the vet quickly, you have a much better chance of bringing it home. If left untreated, there is a much-reduced chance of survival.

    Either way, the cost of going to a vet for a snake bite is very high. If you live in an area with a high concentration of snakes you should seriously consider pet insurance.

    I cannot emphasize enough the following points:

    • Train your dog well. They are your companions for their entire lives. The more effort you put into teaching it will pay off when it really matters.
    • If bitten, get your dog to a vet immediately. Do NOT delay.
    • Do NOT try to catch, handle or kill a snake ever.
    • Keep your pets safe!

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