Lately, I've thinking a lot about rattlesnakes. Blogworld is lit up with mention of rattlesnakes out on the trail & even hiding under rigs and toads thanks to a warmer than usual spring. I asked myself how we would protect our dear girl Ari against snake bite when we're out in the desert next year. Please note--I have been accused of being an extreme planner & I plead guilty. Although there is a vaccine that can be given annually and antivenin that can be given after a bite, might there be a more effective way of protecting our dogs? Treating dogs after they're bitten can be expensive. A web site I read said that, because it takes about 30 minutes for the dog to experience pain from a bite, they don't associate a snake with the pain so they don't associate rattlesnakes with the bite.
A little digression. My friend Sharon has an adorable Vizsla pup named Stella. Sharon (and Stella) spend time in eastern Washington (snake country) and they will be spending winters in Arizona beginning next winter (snake country). Sharon asked herself how she could protect Stella from snake bite. She found many businesses in the Phoenix and Tucson area that train dogs & their owners how to avoid snake bite. It's called "Rattlesnake Avoidance" training. Some companies train dogs using a shock collar & others don't. Sharon asked her dog trainer (a man who used to train dogs for the military & who knows dogs better than anyone I know--he's the dog whisperer of Camano Island) about this training & he gave it a hearty "YES!" Here's what Cesar Millan has to say about rattlesnake avoidance training "Many people feel that this is the most effective method out there right now to teach your dog to stay away from rattlesnakes."
Our goal is to keep Ari safe while we're out in the desert. She likes to roam around while she's outside & isn't accustomed to being on a leash. I can see rattlesnakes being a big potential problem for her. How do you protect your dog against rattlesnake bite? Have you done rattlesnake avoidance training with your dog or vaccinated them? I appreciate your input. Thanks for dropping by. Take good care.