Dec 14
dogs walking in the grass

Snakes and Your Dog

Snakes love the warm weather. In a more temperate climate they are active in warmer months, especially between October and April, whereas in warmer parts of Australia they can be a problem all year around.

They are usually found close to fresh water sources such as creeks or dams, and long grass or bush is easy camouflage.

Snakes don’t usually seek out any interaction with us…or dogs, but as many dogs will chase them or try to kill them they may be bitten as a result. Tiger (mainly southern Australia) and Brown (all over Australia) snakes are responsible for most of the bites of our pets in Oz.

Reduce Risk For Your Pooch

  1. Avoidance! Most important.
    • Leave snakes alone and give them a WIDE berth.
    • If holidaying in a high risk area for snakes consider leaving your best friend with a carer in a safe place or at a good kennel facility to avoid potential disaster all together.
    • don’t let your dogs roam in snake territory when snakes are active
  2. Leash. Keep your pet close and contained. Only walk in short grass or on paths and keep alert.
  3. No Play. Don’t even let your dog play with a dead snake – the venom in their fangs can still cause a fatality even after the snake itself is dead.
  4. Secure, Safe Sleeping. Ensure your mates sleeping area is secure so they cannot escape, and so that snakes can’t easily get in. Don’t store pet food where they are sleeping as this can also attract snakes.

Signs Of Snake Bite

You may only notice one or a few of the following and they can be seen anywhere from 1-24 hours after a bite

  1. Vomiting
  2. Sudden collapse
  3. Dilated pupils
  4. Weakness, often starting in the back legs moving to all 4 legs and full paralysis where they are unable to walk
  5. Trembling/shaking
  6. Blood in urine or vomit

See A Snake?

Always stay clear of snakes and never attempt to catch one (nor kill- they are protected in Australia), if you see one around your house or work space keep calm and call a snake catcher (google is great to find a local one!), keep an eye on the snake from a far and safe distance until the handler arrives.

Possible Bite?

If you suspect a snake has bitten your pooch or they are showing any of the above clinical signs you must seek Veterinary attention IMMEDIATELY, even if they have ‘seemingly’ recovered. Stay calm, and head straight to your local Vet, have someone call them advising that your are on the way so the Veterinarian can be prepared to look after your mate the second you walk in the door.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your fur kid and snakes.

Want help? Chat with our Vets.

Our 5 years + experienced Aussie Vets are on stand-by to help your pet via video and text from 6am - Midnight, Sydney Australia time every day.

Dr. Claire Jenkins

Claire is a QLD graduate with over 15 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of Vetchat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.