What Happens When Dogs Eat Snakes?

What Happens When Dogs Eat Snakes?

Most of our pet dogs may just bark at snakes and possibly turn away, and will only attack if the snake makes an advancement. However, some dogs will attack and attempt to kill the snake,  they may get bitten or end up killing the snake and possibly eat the snake. So, What happens when dogs eat snakes?

There are lots of things that could happen when your dog eats a snake, but it depends on the kind or part of the snake the dog ate. This article will provide you with everything you should know concerning dogs eating snakes.

Types of snakes your dog could encounter

Non-venomous snakes

There are lots of snakes that don’t have venoms that your dog could come across, depending on the region you reside. These snakes could include corn snakes, garter snakes, and rat snakes.

While these snakes may not be venomous, they could still pose some risk to your pooch; if eaten and swallowed by your pooch. For instance, your dog could face obstruction in its digestive system, or the snake’s skin or saliva could trigger allergic reactions.

Venomous snakes

A venomous snake will likely cause more problems for your dog as it could lead to tissue damage, internal bleeding, and in rare cases death. Identifying the venomous snakes peculiar to your region will help you take proactive measures.

What happens when dogs eat snakes?

You may have just walked in on your dog eating a snake that it rounded in the yard, or you may have just watched your dog kill and eat a snake and you’re wondering if it’ll cost its life or create health complications.

Dogs are usually fine when they eat snakes, but in some other cases, they may not be fine as a result of the type of snake they may have just eaten. Some snakes have lots of venoms that could prove fatal to dogs while others that don’t have venoms can be harbingers of parasites that could trouble your dog.

If your dog eats a snake, it is usually very important to speak with your vet, but below are the common signs you may notice if your dog has been infested with parasites:


Spirometra is a parasite that is usually gotten from reptiles, birds, and amphibians. When these parasites get into your dog’s body, they may experience loss in weight, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Spirometra infestation is not usually something to give yourself a headache about as they are rarely serious and can be easily treatable, but in some rare cases, it could cause death.

Upset Stomach

Just like newly introduce foods or treats, your dog could also face dealing with stomach upset if it’s just getting to eat a snake for the first time. It is no secret that a dog’s digestive system reacts in multiple ways to notable changes in diet.

A dog can eat a variety of foods without having many issues, but when this development is sudden, symptoms like vomiting, bloating, or diarrhea may occur.


Salmonella poses a mild risk to dogs since their stomach acid effectively takes care of this parasite but in some cases, the parasite may still prevail, leading to your pooch developing fever, lethargy, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

What happens when dogs eat snakes’ skin?

Besides the possible parasite, your dog could be faced with, the snake’s skin is less likely going to cause many problems since it is made from keratin a protein responsible for the formation of nails, hair, and the outer layer of both a human and snake’s skin. This protein is also essential in the healing of wounds.

What happens when my dog eats a snake’s head?

A snake’s head will likely cause little to no harm as it may only have some bacteria or parasites that could be dealt with by your dog’s stomach acid.

However, you might be wondering what will happen if a dog eats a venomous snake. If your dog eats a snake that is venomous, nothing is going to happen to it as the venom has to get into the bloodstream of your pooch before it could have any effect.

In the absence of any injuries or a bite from the snake your dog killed and has eaten, where the venom could get into your dog’s bloodstream, there is no cause for alarm if your dog eats the head of a snake.

However, you still need to observe your dog for any strange signs and report them to your vet immediately.

My dog ate a snake, actions to take

Scan for possible snake bites

Your dog may be snacking on a snake, but that doesn’t mean the duel may have been a one-sided affair. There is a possibility that the snake bit your dog, but this can be a daunting task especially if your dog has long furs like my afghan hound.

Weakness or possible collapse are telling signs. Recovery is usually quick if prompt medical attention is meted. Paralysis, weakness, excessive drooling, and blood in their urine are also signs that your dog was bitten by a snake.

Monitor the dog

This art cannot be overstated, you need to observe your dog for as long as you can for any signs of discomfort. If you notice any severe symptoms beyond vomiting or upset stomach, or diarrhea get in contact with your vet.

The surveillance should extend to weeks if possible, so you can be certain if parasites were contracted.

How to prevent such encounters from taking place in the future


Snake-proofing your yard can negate possible encounters between your dog and a snake. Eliminate food sources, such as mice or rat infestation, and hide places such as woods or rocks. I installed a fence to ensure snakes are kept out of my house since is tay in a rural area.

Snake away and Natural repellents

The use of snake away and natural snake repellents can deter snakes from getting into your compound. I sprinkle the substance around the perimeter of my house. It can b very effective if you don’t have money to snake-proof your yard with a fence.

Train and supervise your dog

Training your dog on some basic command always prove to be helpful as they can be effective to get the dog to abandon eating a snake or other items that could potentially be harmful.

What happens if my dog eats a snake? – Final thoughts

Your dog may sometimes hunt, kill and eat snakes in your yard, which means that the presence of snakes is attributed to the lack of effort in keeping them away.

If you take the necessary precautions, such scenarios are less likely to happen.

But in a situation where your dog eats snakes, you should scan for any bites and take prompt medical measures to ensure your pooch is safe.



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