Spring is here, and so is rattlesnake mating season. While toxic snakes are a year-round threat here in the Lone Star State, they tend to be both more active and more aggressive at this time of year. This is definitely something for people with dogs to be aware of. A Kerrville TX vet offers some tips on protecting Fido below.
A ‘No Rattlesnakes’ sign probably won’t be particularly effective here, but there are things you can do to make your home less appealing. Remove debris, such as dead branches or woodpiles, and fill in gaps and holes beneath sheds or garages. A good fence will also help. If you have drainage pipes or culverts, use screens to block access to them.
If your canine buddy doesn’t yet know and obey basic doggy commands, such as Sit, Stay, Heel, Come, and Lay Down, take time to work with him and ensure that he will listen to verbal commands. This isn’t just about petiquette: it could one day save Fido’s life!
When walking Fido, pay close attention to the terrain, and watch where both you and your pooch are stepping. It also helps to know what type of snakes like certain terrains or times. Most rattlesnakes hunt at dusk and dawn. However, some do come out at night. If walking your furry friend after dark, take a flashlight along with you. You may want to get a leash with one in the handle, as that will be one less thing for you to carry. Also, keep an ear peeled for that telltale rattle.
Don’t Feed Them
Rattlesnakes tend to live where there are food sources nearby. They usually eat vermin, such as mice and rats. So, in order not to feed snakes, you want to make sure you aren’t inadvertently feeding mice and rats. If you have a garden, pick up fallen produce right away. If you feed birds, use spill-proof feeders.
There are rattlesnake vaccines available. However, this isn’t a one-and-done solution. The vaccines don’t offer protection against all rattlesnakes. Your furry pal will also need boosters. That said, if you and Fido live near or spend time in habitats with a lot of rattlesnakes, ask your vet for more information.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Kerrville TX pet hospital, anytime!