Yes, today we marked the beginning of summer, I mean rattlesnake season, here in our home in the San Bernardino Mountains. We saw not one, but two angry rattlers yesterday on our hike near Sugarloaf Mountain over a course of two miles. I really don’t like rattlesnakes and I like them even less when they go and bite our friends awesome dog the very next day.
Bolt is going to be fine but hearing the tale (And hearing about the $4,000 vet bill) was a stark reality about the dangers of dogs vs. rattlesnakes. Unfortunately after being screwed over by Subaru which in it is still an ongoing saga of terrible customer service, I have no money left for anti venom.
So Carly is now an on the leash pup, at least until the cooler autumn months. How do I keep my pup safe from rattlesnakes in the warmer summer months you may be asking? Let me give you just a few tips on how to keep Fido out of harms way and away from a rattler’s fangs.
Invest in anti venom
Seriously, you can buy anti venom on Amazon in 2017. You can buy everything on Amazon these days including this medication to keep your pup safe from nature’s bite-y reptile villain! Investing in anti venom gives you a few precious hours to get your pup to the vet if he or she does get bit by this villain of the wilderness. When it comes to veterinary care, finding a vet you can trust is crucial, especially where snake induced injuries are concerned! If you are looking for a vet in Texas, you might want to Contact ATX Animal Clinic, an Austin vet clinic that provides quality care & reasonable prices for pet owners. One of my friends lives in Texas and takes her dogs to this vet often.
Don’t hike or run with headphones on
I love my tunes as much as anyone but this is just common sense! The great thing about rattlesnakes (The only great thing!) Is that they warn you before they bite you! If you are listening to headphones how are you going to hear them if they rattle at your pup? A rattlesnake’s warning is loud but still if you are listening to the newest One Republic song you may not hear it if your mutt decides to play with Bite-y McRattlesnake.
Rattlesnake Avoidance classes
Let’s shock some sense into Fido! Okay, it may seem a bit mean but if young shock your dog when they try to smell rattlenakes, as soon as they hear that rattle they will learn. I don’t honestly feel bad when our dog gets shocked because she is kind of silly.
Also it will (We hope) keep her snake bite free in the future. Always go to your vet or a licensed trainer for rattlesnake training and avoidance classes. Do not try this at home!
Keep your dogs on leash
This is a hard one for us because we like to let our dogs run free off leash but we also kind of like our dogs and don’t want them to die. So we leash the bitches, every month June-September. It sucks, for us and for them but it’s just the safe option. It’s hard enough for us humans to spot rattlesnakes on the trail, it’s harder still to be watching your pup 24/7 and also if you happen to spot a rattler, have the bitches listen to you! Because rattlesnakes sound fun, right?
Stay on well maintained trails
The easiest way to avoid rattlesnakes (Well, besides sitting on the couch and watching T.V. and not getting outside) is to stay on maintained trails. It’s just way easier to spot rattlesnakes on these trails. Sure it’s fun to go rock climbing and check out new off the trail spots but it’s hard to see rattlesnakes when you are climbing through leaves and off trail. There have been many times I have come across a Western Diamondback that does not rattle a warning. (Sometimes snakes sleep too!)
We all love our pooches and having them off leash is always a fun time but take my advice; Wait for the cooler autumn days for this! It’s just way safer in the long run for your dogs safety and your pocketbook!