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Are Snapping Turtles Dangerous to Dogs?- Well-detailed Answer

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Are Snapping Turtles Dangerous to Dogs?

This article answers one question asked by both dog lovers and turtle lovers – Are Snapping Turtles Dangerous to Dogs? Find the answers here!

Characterized by an aggressive and ancient appearance, the snapping turtle is not an animal that lots of people know much about. It is a docile creature. However, the fact that it seems quite aggressive leaves lots of people confused. This has made several dog owners wonder if snapping turtles are dangerous to dogs.

Well, you do not need to do too much before finding out if snapping turtles are dangerous to dogs. All you really need to do is read this article to the end.

Are Snapping Turtles Dangerous to Dogs?

About Snapping Turtles

Snapping turtles are not one of the most popular animals in the water. With this in mind, before knowing if they are dangerous to dogs, it is important that you find out some things about them.
Snapping turtles are known to come in two species. They are the alligator snapping turtle and the common snapping turtle. That’s not all. Due to their physical attributes, they are predators.
The fact that snapping turtles are predators does not mean they have sharp claws and teeth. They do not have teeth. Nonetheless, their mouths are like beaks and with this mouth, they can attack other animals.
Snapping turtles are aquatic animals. Although they can survive on land, they mostly do their hunting in the water. When looking to attack a prey, they hide in the sand until the prey passes by.

Where are Snapping Turtles Found?

Just like other animals, snapping turtles have their natural habitats. They are mostly found in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, they live in streams and ponds. When they are not under the sand at the bottom of the water, they can be found on logs of wood and on the surface of water.

Will Snapping Turtles Attack Dogs?

Dogs are very agile when on land. Also, they are very curious animals. Due to these, there is a likelihood that they could get attacked by snapping turtles.
Since snapping turtles can’t bite, you might not exactly expect them to attack dogs. However, you should not be surprised if a snapping turtle attacks a dog around you. The reason for this is the curiosity of dogs could make snapping turtles feel threatened. And when they are threatened by a dog, since they move very slowly on land, their only action might be to attack the dog.
In as much as snapping turtles are dangerous to dogs, they might find it actually difficult to launch an attack on dogs.

Can Snapping Turtles Cause a Dog to Become Sick?

When people think about their dog in relation to snapping turtles, all they really seem to be concerned about is their dog being bitten by snapping turtles.
While you should be concerned about a snapping turtle biting your dog, a snapping turtle does not need to bite your dog before having a negative effect on it.
On the skin and shells of snapping turtles is Salmonella bacteria. Going by this, if a dog licks the shell of a snapping turtle, it could get down with salmonella. Additionally, if it makes its way into a place where the turtle has spent a while, it could also get infected.
Although there is a likelihood of a dog being affected by Salmonella bacteria when it comes in contact with a snapping turtle, dogs with very strong immune systems will not necessarily get affected.
When left unchecked, dogs that come in contact with snapping turtles might end up dealing with diarrhea. If this is not checked, it could cause dehydration. If you have not been monitoring your dog closely, trace amounts of blood in its poop might be an indication that it has been attacked by Salmonella bacteria. In this situation, the best thing you should do is take your dog to a vet.

What Should You Do if a Snapping Turtle Bites Your Dog?

You might never plan your dog being bitten by a snapping turtle. However, this can happen. So, you will need to be prepared for the eventuality of a snapping turtle biting your dog.
Snapping turtles bite in different ways. They could simply bite your dog and let go. Other times, they might decide to hold on to it. This will lead to your dog’s flesh being bitten off.
If your dog ends up bleeding after being bitten by a snapping turtle, put some pressure on the wound with a bandage or a clean piece of cloth. When you do this, the bleeding should stop in about ten minutes.
Since dogs do not stay at a place, there is a chance that the bandage will become dirty. So, you must be prepared to change the bandage frequently.

How to Ensure Your Dog is Not Bitten by Your Pet Snapping Turtle

Do you plan keeping a snapping turtle as a pet? If yes, then, you must come up with ways to prevent your dog from having access to it. Since dogs are very curious, you should not feel surprised if your dog tries to spend time around your snapping turtle. To make sure that your dog does not get in the way of your turtle, you will need to keep the turtle in an enclosure that is dog proof.

What will happen to A Dog that eats a Snapping Turtle?

There are quite a number of challenges that a dog can end up suffering from if it eats a snapping turtle. Some of these challenges are liver damage and intestinal blockage. In extreme conditions, your dog could die. If your dog eats a turtle, ensure it is taken to a vet.

Can a Dog Crack the Shell of a Snapping Turtle?

No. it is impossible for a dog to crack a snapping turtle’s shell.

Are Snapping Turtles Poisonous?

Snapping turtles might not be venomous. However, when eaten, they could be toxic.

Will a Snapping Turtle Attack a Human?

Snapping turtles might not be the most dangerous animals in the water. However, they do not have a very good reputation. Due to this, some people wonder if humans are also a recipient of their attacks.

While snapping turtles can attack several animals, there is no overwhelming evidence that they direct their attacks towards humans. While snapping turtles can cause some degree of injury to humans, there are no records of them killing a human. Additionally, records of them launching attacks on humans is really rare.

As a human, you really should not be scared of snapping turtles. However, you might want to stay out of their way. This is because if they feel threatened, they will end up attacking you. Additionally, the likelihood of them attacking a human actually increases when they are on the land. This might seem ironical. However, since they are aquatic animals, it is easy for them to feel more threatened when on land.

Should Swimmers be worried About Snapping Turtles?

Since snapping turtles are aquatic animals, they might not feel like a lot can be done to them when in the water. Going by this, if they see a swimmer coming around, since they swim better than humans, they could simply avoid the swimmer. They could change location or simply dig into the sand. The implication of this is the chances of a snapping turtle attacking a swimmer is really slim.

How to Avoid Being Attacked by a Snapping Turtle

To avoid getting hurt by a snapping turtle, there are things you should do, as well, as things you should not do.
That being said, below are tips to help you avoid being attacked by a snapping turtle;

Stay Away from Their Hiding Spots

Snapping turtles are not really found in deep parts of water bodies. They are commonly found in the shallow segments of rivers, lakes and ponds. So, if you are in any of these water bodies, you might want to stay away from their shallow parts if they house some snapping turtles.

Don’t Carry a Snapping Turtle by Its Sides

Averagely, the best way to carry turtles is to pick them up by their sides. This approach might seem perfect for other turtles. However, it just might not work well for snapping turtles.

Why is this so?

Well, snapping turtles are quite flexible. So, they can turn their head and bite the person carrying them. That’s not all. Their claws are sharp and can hurt you.
If you have to carry a snapping turtle, get it up by its shell and get it into a wheel barrow.

Walk towards a Snapping Turtle from It Sides

When trying to avoid being attacked by a snapping turtle, you must ensure you do not startle it. This is something that can be quite difficult to achieve. However, it is not impossible.
When walking towards a snapping turtle, ensure that you get this done from its sides as snapping turtles see properly when you approach them from the side.

Don’t get a Snapping Turtle into a Corner

When pushed against the wall, a snapping turtle will most likely attack you. So, if you must avoid this attack, you should avoid getting it into a corner.

Don’t Ever Startle a Snapping Turtle

When swimming in a water body with snapping turtles, if you must avoid attacks, you should avoid startling a snapping turtle. When you see one up ahead, you should change your route.


It is okay to keep dogs and turtles in the same house. However, if this is something you intend doing, you must be able to keep them relatively far from one another. If you fail at this, you might end up having to deal with a sick dog.

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