Published: 16 March 2020

With the weather warming up, adders are also coming out of their hiding places so you're more likely to come across one on walks with your dog. The European adder is the only venomous snake native to the UK. So how do you know that the animal you can see is an adder?

Adults are around 50-60cm long and are characterised by having a black/brown zigzag pattern along their back and a V shaped marking on the back of the head. Take a look at the picture accompanying this article to see a photo of an adder.

They are often found on dry sandy heaths, sand dunes, rocky hillsides, moorland and woodland edges, particularly in the south of Britain.

How common are adder bites in dogs?
Snakes generally only bite in self-defence, so normally bites occur when a snake is disturbed by your dog. This is more likely in the spring and summer when the snakes are more active.

We discuss this and other safety considerations on our First Aid for Dogs course.

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