– At pups4sale we have spoken with a number of members across Australia this summer who have reported unusually high levels of snake sightings around their homes. Of course together with the increased number of sightings go the increased numbers of dog on snake encounters too.
With Australia being home to many of the most venomous snakes in the world, such encounters often don’t end well for the dog (Editor’s note: couldn’t care less about the snake), but now there is an even stranger “twist in the tale” (pun intended!) of snake vs dog encounters. In the last week alone, two pythons in two different States have taken a liking to Toy dogs – and not in a friendly way either.
In Northern NSW, a 2.5m python was discovered early one morning inside the kennel of a Maltese X Chihuahua, with the dog nowhere to be found. The python had a large bulge in its stomach and the dog chain protruding from its mouth. The owner put two and two together, with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary confirming suspicions the python had indeed eaten the dog.The snake is now in the care of a wildlife rescue organisation until it has regurgitated the dog chain.
An even larger, 3.5m python has also eaten a family’s beloved dog, this time in the Whitsunday region of Queensland. A Maltese X Shih-Tzu named “Walter” has fallen victim to the huge serpent, with the culprit discovered by the property owner under a verandah, replete with a “Walter-sized” bulge in its stomach. Walter actually belonged to the property owner’s seven year old daughter, who was left understandably distraught by the whole event. In this instance the Daily Dog does not know what happened to the snake, but we do hope it never has the opportunity to partake of another pooch.
For dog owners from warmer climes who have small dogs that live or at least sleep outside, both recent dog killings are a reminder to think about the issue of “python prevention”. Several tips the pups4sale team have come up to help protect dogs from pythons (as well as snakes in general) include:
. Have more than one dog! If one dog is being attacked by a python and unable to bark (as happened in the above two cases), you can bet a second dog will be going crazy in terms of barking its head off and alerting its owners.
. Invest in some snake repellers, as featured in an earlier blog post on the Daily Dog. They may or may not work (the jury is out on that one), but they surely can’t hurt either.
. Fence your dog kennels in snake-resistant mesh (often called “vermin mesh”), which is readily available from most hardware and produce stores. The holes in the mesh are too small for snakes to slither through, and as long as your kennels are made properly; with no gaps in the mesh, your best friend should be able to sleep soundly at night without having the “squeeze” put on him or her.
. Ensure you have no snake friendly habitat around your house, garage or other shed on your property. Pythons in particular love to get up into ceiling cavities, with many property owners in warmer climates consequently being given a nasty surprise when venturing into such spaces themselves.
. Keep your supply of “snake food” to a minimum – and we don’t mean Toy dogs! In our own garage and shed we are on a permanent “de-clutter” drive, with storage bins up on blocks so we can see anything that may be lurking under them. We also have a ready supply of rat/mouse bait available (where dogs can’t access it of course) to keep rodent numbers down to an absolute minimum. As snakes love to eat rodents, this also discourages snakes by limiting their food supply.
Hopefully the above tips give our readers some ideas on how to minimise snake + dog encounters around the home. We also hope the two cases highlighted here will be the last python vs dog encounters we hear of for a very long time.