September 28, 2021

The top tip to avoid snake bites

The top tip to avoid snake bites
Dr. Chris Brown

Oh yes, snakes are busy right now! It’s officially snake silly season with food and romance top of their tick list. But here’s the best tip to ensure your pets don’t get in the way…

Coming through! You’re not the only one to feel that warmth in the air. It’s why snakes are being spotted on roads, in parks, backyards and even wrapped around toilets. But sadly, inquisitive and protective pets all too often end up wearing a bite for doing what they think is the right thing.

But just like dogs and cats, snakes are only being led by instinct. They’re hard wired to respond to the recent warmth and explore all corners of our suburbs and towns. Even surprisingly busy ones. So if you live in a snake prone area AND have a high risk type of dog like a terrier or working dog breed or a little mate who’s inclined to defend your yard at all costs, I’d be moving them inside or into a snake proof area for the next month at least if they're left home unsupervised.

Foe everyone else, keeping lawns well mown and removing any hiding spots like logs or overgrown garden furniture will help keep snakes away from your yard. However, a surprisingly important tip centres around their food and water bowls. While it’s well known that leaving food out can attract rodents and then snakes, a water bowl is also a big snake drawcard.

You see, as the wind blows off the water in the bowl, it sends tiny droplets through the air that the snake is able to taste. And to a snake, water means food (like frogs and other small creatures) are nearby. So the recommendation? Move their food inside and get water bowls up off the ground to the highest point where dogs and cats can still access them. It might ultimately save their life...

I’ll post some more tips tomorrow on what you can do if they do get bitten…

Pics: Sarah Oxenham and Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers

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