Rattlesnakes live in many areas in the United States and they range in size. The eastern diamondback can reach up to eight feet long, or you could have one that is as small as one foot. You can find rattlesnakes in trails and parks where you may walk your dog. Keep your dog safe from being bitten by a rattlesnake by following the tips below.

Rattlesnake Vaccine

Visit your veterinarian to get your dog the rattlesnake vaccine. It may sound strange, but the vaccine is made from snake venom. When the venom is introduced into your dog's system, it stimulates your dog's immune system to make antibodies to protect it from the snake venom if it is bitten. This lessens the chances of your dog becoming ill if it is bitten. A vaccinated dog may not have any reaction at all to the snake bite. This is not a regular vaccine, so you will have to ask your veterinarian to give it to your dog.

Dog Training

If your dog is not trained, sign it up for an obedience training class with a qualified dog trainer. They can teach your dog to stay in your yard, walk on a leash, and not to pull you or try to get away.

When training your dog, use a short leash so you have more control over it. This is also helpful if you encounter a snake, as you can pull your dog back to you much easier with a shorter leash. Your dog should walk either behind or beside you, as you need to be the one leading it instead of it leading you.

Safe Yard

Even if your yard is fenced in for your dog, the fence will not stop snakes from getting in. Snakes can easily crawl into your yard from under your fence unless you use a solid cement base under it. This works much like a brick wall, and the snake can not get through it.

Clean up clutter so snakes do not have a place to hide, and mow your lawn regularly, as snakes love to lounge around in tall grass. You should also keep your bushes trimmed. If not, frogs, field mice, and other small animals may hide in them, and snakes like to eat these things.

If you have any structures in your yard, such as a shed, make sure there are no gaps under it. Check the foundation around your home for any small holes that snakes could get into.

Talk with a dog trainer, like those at Canine Behavior Center, who may have some other tips to protect your dog from rattlesnakes through training.