Does Dog Poop Keep Snakes and Pests Away?
You may have heard that leaving dog poop out in your yard is a great way to keep snakes and other pests away. After all, why would any animal, even a snake, want to spend time around stinky, disgusting dog poop?
While dog poop is definitely not attractive to snakes, it doesn’t necessarily keep snakes away either. And because it can attract other pests, it’s possible that dog poop could attract snakes as well.
Do Snakes Dislike Dog Poop?
Snakes don’t necessarily dislike dog poop—in fact, they’re pretty ambivalent about dog poop. As you can imagine, snakes are used to coming up against all kinds of poop out in the wild, from bear to deer to wolf or coyote poop.
Likely, snakes don’t even notice poop much. While no one can say for sure what goes on in their minds, it’s unlikely that anything that we would consider nasty acts as a deterrent for a creature who lives constantly on the ground, slithering over or around anything that crosses their path.
Will Dog Poop Attract Pests?
Dog poop itself doesn’t usually attract pests. It is common to hear that dog poop attracts rats and rodents, and it is common for yards that are full of dog poop to attract rats and other pests.
However, it isn’t clear that rats actually like to eat dog poop. More often, you’ll see rodents eating trash and old food. Dog poop could have undigested bits of food that is attractive to rodents, though the poop itself is not something rodents usually feast on.
In addition, it’s possible that a yard full of dog poop tends to also have a lot of trash and other junk outside, and rodents and snakes alike prefer to hang out in places that are dirty and have lots of areas to hide.
What Snakes Eat
According to a 2019 study, the most common foods for snakes to eat include:
- Small mammals
If your yard is full of dog poop, it could be attractive to creatures who hang out in dirty, damp spaces such as those listed above. If these pests come to dine and hide in your yard, a snake may come along to see if they can’t snag something tasty to eat as well.
Do Dogs Keep Snakes Away?
Some types of dogs can scare snakes away. Snakes are not fond of loud noises and sudden movements, both of which dogs are quite good at. Therefore, dogs may scare snakes by their presence in the yard.
However, snakes are not an attractive prey to dogs. Plus, snakes are often carriers of parasites and diseases, not to mention poisons. You wouldn’t want your dog to chase and eat a snake no matter what.
If you want a dog who will kill snakes that enter your yard, choose one that likes to hunt small creatures and has a very protective instinct. For example, some dogs who commonly kill snakes include:
- Jack Russel Terriers
- German Pinschers
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Rat Terriers
- Norfolk Terriers
- Yorkshire Terriers
- West Highland White Terriers
- Lakeland Terriers
- Australian Terriers
- Airedale Terriers
- Cairn Terriers
If you see a lot of snakes in your area and want to avoid letting them near your home, you may want to consider purchasing one of these dogs who would enjoy killing snakes and protecting their owners from harm.
How To Keep Snakes Away
In addition to getting protective dogs, there are multiple other ways to keep snakes out of your yard:
- Trim bushes and trees.
- Clean up piles of leaves, old branches, and junk piles where snakes might like to hide.
- Drain standing water, which is incredibly attractive to snakes.
- Mow your lawn regularly to keep the grass short and eliminate shelter for snakes.
- Consider a snake-proof fence, which should be buried deeply and slanted outward to make slithering over or under it difficult.
- Try planting certain plants that repel snakes such as kaffir lime, lemongrass, mother-in-law’s tongue, cactus, wormwood, onion, garlic, rosemary, basil, mint, sage, ginger, thyme, marigold, and pepper.
- Buy a snake repellent or an essential oil like cinnamon, rosemary, clove, garlic, cedar, or pine, which snakes don’t like.
- Pick up your dog’s poop, pet food, and other objects in your yard that may attract small pests.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to keep snakes away without too much trouble.
What If a Snake Bites My Dog?
If your dog gets a snake bite, it’s important to talk to your dog’s vet as soon as possible. Ask if your vet has antivenom, an incredibly effective treatment for snake bites. If your vet does not offer antivenom, call around for a clinic that does. Antivenom is the most effective treatment for snake bites on dogs.
Your vet will likely also recommend blood work to monitor how much poison entered your dog’s veins and may prescribe pain medications to help your dog feel better. Intravenous fluids and hospitalization, while rare, may be required.
After calling the vet, rinse the bite wound with water (if you can see it) and keep it below the heart. Keep your dog as still and as calm as you can to help avoid the spread of venom.
While you help your dog heal, you may want to join the National Snakebite Support Group on Facebook. Here, you can chat with experts and others who have seen their dogs through snakebite injuries.
Keeping Your Yard Clean and Snake-Free
If you’d like help cleaning dog poop out of your yard to provide a safer environment for your dogs and family, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is happy to pick up your dog’s poop and provide you with a clean, safe yard that is less attractive to pests and snakes.
Picking up dog poop and cleaning a yard is a big task, especially if you’re busy (and aren’t we all?)! Check out our services to learn how we scoop dog poop and get in touch with us to get your yard cleaned up today!