Precautions to Reduce the Chance of an Encounter
Always Keep Your Dog Leashed and Near You on The Trail
Since the main trail is typically clear of shrubbery and other potential rattlesnake hiding places, this is the safest place for you and your pet. Don’t allow your pet to wander off leash or off the main path.
Just because you don’t see a rattlesnake, doesn’t mean they aren’t around. Actively scan the path in front of you always, regardless of where you are. Rattlesnakes notoriously show up in places other than hiking trails, such as backyards, roadways and residential areas. Also scan the areas surrounding your path - it's common for rattlesnakes to nestle in the shrubbery that lines pathways and when threatened, they can lunge up to half their body length.
Know Where to Go
Always have a list of nearby veterinarians, specialty hospitals and
24-hour clinics. If there’s a hiking trail, dog park or running path that you and your pet frequent, have a list of care centers near those places as well.
Know "The Season" | The Threat is Always Real
While rattlesnake bites can happen all year-round, snakebite season spans April through September, when the temperatures are warmer and snakes come out to sunbathe. Take extra precaution when outdoors with your pet during this time.
Have Health Insurance for Your Pet
We highly encourage all pet parents to have health insurance on their pets. Policies are affordable (Example: $37 per month through Healthy Paws Pet Insurance) and comprehensive – Policies typically cover 90% of costs related to injuries and illnesses. Other companies with good reviews are PetFirst and Trupanion.
In the Unfortunate Event Your Pet is Bitten
Don’t panic, but act fast.
Pick your pet up (if you can) and immediately drive them to the nearest animal hospital.
Allowing them to run or jog back to the car increases their heart rate which enables the venom to spread more quickly through the bloodstream.
Alert the hospital. On your way to the animal hospital, call them to let them know you’re coming and that your pet was bitten by a rattlesnake. Not all animal hospitals keep antivenin onsite, so they may direct you to another hospital that can help your pet.
Know where to look for financial assistance, should you need it.
If you don’t have a pet insurance policy or experience difficultly paying for the life-saving care your pet needs, contact The Foundation for Animal Care and Education (FACE). This local organization provides financial help to pet parents who are unable to pay for emergency veterinary costs for their beloved animals.
Rattlesnake Avoidance Training
Looking to have your pup trained to avoid rattlesnakes? Labrador Rescuers endorses the following trainers who can provide assistance with keeping your dog and you rattlesnake ready!
Natural Solutions K-9 Avoidance Training
Clinics & Private Training All Around California
Markim Pet Resort and Training