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Rattlesnakes – What Pet Parents Need to Know

Jul 12, 2017 | Dog, Pet Safety

rattlesnakesArizona is the home to more species of rattlesnakes than any other state in the country. In fact, it’s a haven for critters that bite or sting, but everyone dreads rattlesnake season because of the deadly risk to pets and people, plus the high cost of treatment.

Snakes are designed to blend in with their surroundings, so you may not realize you and pet are in danger before it is too late. Here are some important tips to help protect you and your pet from rattlesnakes and other venomous snakes.


For frequent hikers, or if you live in an area with lots of desert around, we recommend you and your pet attend Rattlesnake Avoidance Training with a professional trainer. There are different methods involved in this type of training, including use of shock collars, so be sure to ask a lot of questions before you decide on a trainer and training system. We also recommend repeating training annually – as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


When a rattlesnake bites a dog, it’s most commonly found on the muzzle or leg. Symptoms will be evident quite quickly, so it’s important to know them and to seek veterinary attention ASAP.

  • Swelling
  • Puncture marks
  • Bruising or skin discoloration
  • Intense pain at the site of the affected area
  • Collapse
  • Respiratory distress (swelling can block airways)
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle tremors

All rattlesnake bites should be considered severe. Keep your pet calm and head to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Exercise caution when moving your pet, as they are likely to be in a great amount of pain and may snap or bite.

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.