Do Dogs Eat Snakes? What To Do If Your Dog Eats a Snake

If you have a dog and live in an area where snakes are common, it is very likely your dog will encounter one at some point. Do dogs eat snakes? Do they die if they do?

These are all critical information to know in order to keep your dog safe.

Let’s start with the main question: Do dogs eat snakes?

Dogs can eat snakes, but this can be dangerous for the dog as eating snakes can make dogs sick, and you should try to stop your dog from eating snakes. If you see your dog with a dead snake in its mouth, you can either use the drop it command or spray them with a hose to get them to move away from the snake as soon as possible.

To understand why it can be dangerous for dogs to eat snakes, what you should do to stop this from happening, and what to do in an emergency, keep reading.

Why Do Dogs Eat Snakes

dog hunting snake to show why do dogs eat snakes

Dogs are hard-wired to attack and kill anything that moves, and if they think it can be eaten, your dog will try to eat it. Unfortunately, dogs do happen the tendency to eat things can be very bad for them.

Can Dogs get sick from eating snakes?

Yes, dogs can get sick if they eat snakes but how sick they can get will depend on which type of snake they eat.

For venomous snakes, the dog will get sick from eating or biting the snake but may not get the snake from swallowing its venom.

For poisonous snakes, the poison may cause significant illness or even the death of the dog. Some non-venomous snakes are still very dangerous for dogs. One example would be the common garter snakes which still eat venomous animals so it is very dangerous for the dog.

Snakes can also carry parasites that can infect the dog, such as tapeworms and Salmonella.

The southeastern and Gulf Coast states are particularly vulnerable to spirometra infection, although infections have been reported in Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats a Snake?

Assuming you have no idea what the snake is, you should call your vet. Your vet will know what kinds of snakes are common in the area and will tell you if you need to bring the dog, to monitor the dog for any symptoms, or to do nothing.

If your dog has ingested a snake and becomes ill, keep an eye on him for 24 hours to 1 week. If he has diarrhea, he might have contracted Salmonella poisoning. Consider an infection if your dog’s appetite falls or if his stools are loose for several weeks or months.

If the snake was venomous, you must call the veterinarian immediately for treatment advice. If it is non-venomous or poisonous but still bites or stings your dog, take them to the vet right away because even without venom, a snakebite can become infected.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats a Non-Venomous Snake?

If your dog eats a non-venomous snake and presents no symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weakness after 24 hours, you do not need to take any action. However, it is important to monitor your dog for a few days to make sure they do not develop any symptoms.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats a Poisonous Snake?

If you notice that your dog ate a poisonous snake, call the vet immediately and bring them in even before any symptoms appear. The earlier you can get treatment from this kind of situation, the better. Do not wait for symptoms before you seek veterinary care as this can be fatal to your dog.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats a Snake and Vomits?

If you see that your dog vomited after eating a snake, it is likely they will recover without further need of treatment unless they are showing other symptoms. Do not feed them anything for the next 12 hours, but give them water or small amounts of ice cubes to help with hydration if they seem thirsty.

What Do I Do if My Dog Eats a Snake and Has Diarrhea?

If your dog has diarrhea after eating snake, you should take them to the vet immediately.

Do not let them eat or drink anything until you can get them help as they will need IV fluids for hydration and antibiotics to fight any infection caused by either the venomous snakebite, ingestion of a non-venomous snake with disease from its mouth, parasites such as tapeworms that may have been on the snake or exposure to germs such as Salmonella from a non-venomous snake’s mouth.

Can Dogs get sick from Eating a Copperhead snake?

Copperhead snake bites can be fatal to dogs, as can bites from other poisonous snakes.

It’s the same as eating other snakes, according to experts. In certain situations, there is a possibility of bacterial infection, nausea, and even a blockage.

Can Dogs Get Sick from Eating Snake Eggs?

If your dog has eaten a snake egg, keep an eye on them for symptoms of illness. Snakes’ eggs are consumed in some areas of the world so that should really not be an issue in the majority of the cases.

How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Snakes

The best way to stop your dog from eating snakes is to make sure they don’t encounter them in the first place. This means:

  1. Keep your dog on leash when walking outside, and bring their attention to something else if they do see a snake.
  2. Protect your home from snakes. Don’t feed your dog outside, trim your grass, fence your yard well, and use a yard pole to attract owls and hawks that can kill snakes.
  3. Train your dog well, so that when you tell them to “come” or ‘drop it’ so they leave the snake, they actually do what they’re told.
  4. Use a spray hose in dire situations to make your dog drop the dead snake.

If you can’t get a hose and can’t get your dog’s attention, DO NOT RISK YOUR OWN LIFE. A snake bite to the dog is a bad thing for sure, but you really must not risk your own life as well.

What to do if you see a snake?

If it’s a venomous snake, you should call the authorities to have it removed and kept in a safe place, such as one where people are allowed.

What are the signs of a poisonous snake? Now is an excellent time to learn about the snakes in your region.

You should check the snake identification site. Make sure to bookmark it or bookmark this post so you can get to it quickly when you need to.

If it is not venomous, you should at least warn your neighbors and locals so they can be on alert and protect their dogs as well.

Do Dogs like killing snakes?

Some dogs enjoy hunting snakes, while others will find the experience frightening or traumatizing. It all depends on the dog’s breed, history, and training.

Dogs do kill snakes, and they do it mostly to protect their families and homes.

However, if you have other pets than the dog and find dead snakes around, I would bet a lot of money that the kitty did it.

What if you live in a snake-infested area?

If you live in a snake-infested area, and you are considering your dog to be one of the protectors against the threat of snakes, you should put consideration into what breed of dog you want.

A terrier is an excellent choice in this case, but there are many other dogs that can serve this purpose. Check out this guide to the dog breeds that can kill snakes for all your best choices and to know how to choose the right dog for you.

Helpful Resources

What’s the Difference Between Venomous and Poisonous?

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