Monday, May 13, 2019 at 11:55AM
Drew Wolfe

How You (And Your Dog) Can Avoid Snake Bites — And What To Do If You Get Bitten

"It was a warm, wet winter this year across much of the United States. In most states, this means more greenery, more rabbits, more rodents and more snakes — which raises the risk of snake bites for humans and their canine companions."

"Biologist Gerad Fox is standing next to a loud rattlesnake. 'Right now he's in a classic strike posture, very defensive," says Fox. 'The rattle is a warning, saying, 'Back off. I'm dangerous. You should leave me alone.' "

"Fox teaches biology classes at Loma Linda University in California and also runs rattlesnake avoidance training classes for dogs."

I took my dog, Baxter, to one of these classes, where he learned how to recognize the sight and scent of snakes as a danger to avoid.

"'Snakes are part of our ecosystem and deserve to be there,' says Fox. They don't want to hurt us, he explains, but if you or your dog stumble on one by mistake, they will bite."

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