Snakebite Prevention

Snakebite readiness and prevention isn’t just for rural dogs. Urban pooches visit yards and sometimes go on vacation or road trips, so here’s a primer on what to know:

Prevention. Beware of yards that have undergrowth, brush, or shrubs where snakes can hide. Ditto spilled birdseed or fruit; food attracts rodents, which attract snakes. On walks, keep your dog on leash and steer clear of long grasses, bushes, or rocks.

What to look for. Swelling, bleeding, intense pain, shortness of breath, and weakness are all telltale signs of snakebites.

In case of a bite. Stay calm. If possible, keep the bitten area below heart level. Immediately seek veterinary care. Don’t delay to apply ice or a tourniquet; only use such methods if you can do it on the way to the vet clinic.