What dog owners need to know about rattlesnake season
As the temperatures continue to rise during the month of July in California, that means rattlesnakes are still around. The most popular sighting times are between the months of April and October. And yes, they are active during the day.
While hiking is hugely popular this time of year, there are things pet parents can do to keep both themselves and their dogs safe. First off, if pet owners approach a sign that reads, “Beware of Rattlesnakes,” rethink the hike, especially during rattlesnake season.
While most snakes in California are harmless, that’s not true for rattlesnakes. Hikers can find them in the following areas:
- Rocky terrain
When pet parents are out and about with their dogs, implement these precautions to help avoid a rattlesnake run-in.
- Keep dogs on a leash, always
- Stay on the main trail and don’t wander from it
- Keep those eyes on the trail, be alert, and look ahead
- Avoid grassy areas
- Keep the cell phone on hand
- Avoid climbing over rocks
The first rule of keeping dogs on a leash is an important one. Snake bites can occur less than a few feet away from the main trail path. Keeping pets close is vital.
If a rattlesnake run-in happens, leave it alone and stay far away from it.
Whenever taking a dog out for a hike, have a list on hand for a veterinarian hospital in the event there’s an emergency. With that said, despite all the precautions that pet parents can take, accidents do happen. If a dog is bitten by a snake, try and stay calm, but move fast.
If possible, carry the pet to the car to slow down their heart rate and the spread of venom into the bloodstream.
Call the animal hospital as soon as possible to let them know the emergency. If they don’t have the antivenin on hand, they will provide a referral. But if they do have it, the medical team will get prepared and mobilized for the animal’s arrival.
Enjoy the summer. Stay rattlesnake safe.
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