Are Water Snakes Poisonous Or Dangerous To Humans And Dogs? - Tips For Preventing Water Snakes Bite


Updated: 09 Aug 2022

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are water snake poisonous

If you live near the water bodies, you must know, are water snakes poisonous? This blog will help you to find out the truth.

It is an interesting fact that there are eight types of water snakes in the world, including the brown water snake, the banded water snake, the Northern water snake, the plain bellied water snake, the green water snake, and the concho water snake, and Brazos water snake.

Mostly water snakes have a body length between 4.5 feet to 5 feet. Water snake species vary slightly in their colors and patterns. Most water snakes are brown, gray, olive green, or reddish in appearance. They also have dark bands or spots on their backs. When wet, they may appear solid brown or black.

In this article, we will explore in detail are water snakes venomous.

Are Water Snakes Poisonous?

Water snakes are not poisonous. Unfortunately, most people do not know the difference between a poisonous cottonmouth snake and a water snake. Understanding the difference between a water snake and a water moccasin is essential. Otherwise, it may have side effects.

Water snakes have necks that are not separated from their bodies. But cottonmouths have necks closer to their heads. While the apparent difference between the two is the shape of their heads. A water snake has a flat or thin head. At the same time, the cottonmouth has large, blocky heads.

Mostly water snakes, especially Northern watersnakes, live in lakes of freshwater, rivers, ponds, and wetlands where there are abundant food sources. They live less in brackish water. Water snakes mostly like to eat toads, mice, insects, shrews, frogs, and crayfish, and salamanders are also included in their food and diet.

Water Snakes Bite

Water snakes are naturally aggressive. Although water snakes are not poisonous, it is not good to touch them. They often hiss or bite when they sense danger. They are ready to strike and bite when they flatten their body and jaws. Although a water snake bite is sometimes painful, it is entirely harmless because it lacks teeth and venom glands.

Water snake Bite Symptoms

A water snake bite leaves many tooth marks of similar size on the skin. This makes it easy to identify. Because they contain anticoagulants in their saliva, their rows of tiny teeth do more than just scratch the skin. Anticoagulants prevent blood from clotting. It causes more bleeding than usual after a snake bite. These proteins can help a water snake track the blood flow of its prey if it runs away. The good news is that their anticoagulants are not dangerous to humans or large animals.

Are Water Snakes Dangerous To Humans?

Northern water snakes are generally harmless snakes. These snakes are generally of little danger to humans as their venom is not lethal. Like other non-venomous snakes, they usually try to run or swim first. However, these snakes can become hostile if threatened. Because of this, they are not acceptable as pets.

Water snakes guard their hiding places very carefully. They may approach humans when they are looking for food. They can attack their opponents repeatedly and deliver severe bites with their powerful jaws. If you encounter this snake, keep your distance or run away. If a water snake bites you, don't panic. Wash the cut with soap, and apply a bandage if necessary. Water snake bites often cause pain and swelling. Bites can occasionally cause an allergic reaction. If this happens, you can get medical help.

Are Water Snakes Dangerous To Dogs?

Like humans, your pet dog is not at risk from water snakes. Water snakes are not poisonous to dogs. If a water snake has bitten your dog and you believe it is a water snake, do not panic. Your dog is fine, but it would be an excellent strategy to take him to a vet for a better diagnosis.

Tips for preventing water snakes bite

  • When a water snake flattens its body and jaws, it means it is getting ready to attack.
  • When you see this, leave the snake alone and move as far away as possible.
  • Be careful where you walk when traveling in the grass.
  • Check the ground and see if your walking threatens any snakes.
  • If you plan to swim in areas where you know they exist, you should learn all you can learn about snakes.
  • Snakes can bite you underwater, but only if you provoke them.
  • Always remember that treating every snake as poisonous is the best way to stay safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Northern water snakes poisonous?

Northern water snakes are not venomous. However, poisonous cottonmouth snakes are sometimes mistaken for water snakes, which can prove fatal. In addition, if water snakes become irritated, they may flatten their bodies and bite.

Are brown water snakes poisonous?

Brown water snakes are non-venomous. However, if provoked, they can attack and bite badly. Brown water snakes mate in the spring. Therefore, males are often seen chasing females during this season.

Are red-bellied water snakes poisonous?

The red-bellied water snake is a non-venomous snake that lives in wet environments and is native to Georgia. They are recognized for their unique spiked scales. In addition, they have smooth scales that appear dull and raised from the snake's body.


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