There are many snakes spotted on Colorado trails, but the deadliest one is the rattlesnake. Snakes bask in the sun or on warm surfaces for much of the day. They can lie in one location for hours or even days, waiting for a prey animal to pass by. They’re not built for speed and flight when threatened. If a snake perceives a threat, it will stand its ground and defend itself. This is why it’s important to be aware, stay on the trail and avoid big rocks or dense grass, and keep your pet on a short leash.
Below is an informational flyer we have created with precautions you can take to help prevent a snake bite, symptoms to look for, steps to take if you think your dog may have been bitten, and what treatment typically looks like.
When Snakes are Most Active
Rattlesnakes usually come out of their winter shelters in April or early May, or when the average daytime temperatures reach and remain about 60F and higher. The snakes are then most active when the temperatures are between 80-90F. This means that the snakes may be active most of the day during the spring, and during the early mornings and late afternoons throughout the summer. Exposure to temperatures above 110F for more than a few minutes is enough to kill a rattlesnake; therefore, during the hottest part of summer, snakes are seldom observed, except occasionally at night. Snake activity picks up again as temperatures begin to fall in late summer and early autumn before they go into hibernation as early as September or as late as December.