• Should we worry about this snake if we get a puppy?


    I have this snake under my from deck for years. This year he has gotten real big. Can you tell me what kind of snake it is. I have 8 yr old lab and i try and keep her away, we are thinking about getting a puppy and i am worried. He usually suns himself in the afternoon on or next to the ramp.

    Naturalist's Response

    The snake you photographed is a well-fed Northern Watersnake which likely has gotten big feeding on frogs, fish, chipmunks and other critters on your property. It does look like it might be eating something in your photo. This is not a venomous snake (the venomous water moccasin does not occur in Ohio), and snakes typically flee from people and pets. When grabbed, however, snakes are quick to defend themselves. A Northern Watersnake will bite and is capable of causing damage to a dog or person, especially a curious puppy. Good thing your older lab has learned to stay clear. ODNR tells us, “Northern Watersnakes are particularly fond of basking and can often be seen sunning upon logs, stumps and rocks or low branches overhanging the water. They are very wary and when disturbed drop into the water and disappear quickly.” Thanks for sharing your photo.

    -Naturalist Dottie Drockton