Keeping your pet safe in Bali

Bali is a jungle of its own. Keeping an animal safe here can be a challenge. There are a few things to keep in mind as a pet owner in Bali.

RW = Dog Meat.

If you ever see a warung or food cart that says “RW," that means they sell dog meat. One risk of letting your dog roam freely, like so many dogs do here, is it being captured by RW guys. They have even been known to steal dogs through closed gates, so just be aware that this danger exists. The safest thing to do is to keep your dog in and not let them roam freely.


“Pet control" and dog meat catchers usually use an ugly means to kill dogs: poison. Sometimes it is laced into meat and left for dogs. Sometimes it’s put into the offerings in front of the home. Again, the safest thing to do is to keep your dog in your yard and not let them free roam.


While you should be aware of snakes in Bali, most of the 40 types of snakes are not venomous and present no threat. Of the 6 venomous species in Bali, only four are common.

But not to fear too much: snakebites are very rare. If someone is bitten and given prompt treatment, the victim is likely to survive. If your dog or cat is bitten, take them to the closest vet as quickly as possible. Here are four of the most dangerous, more common snakes in Bali:


Triangular head, small neck, fat body, and a red tail. Active at night. Difficult to see and easy to step on.


No markings. Light cream color to brown to black. Has a hood when sitting up. Can spit venom up to 2m.


2 color forms: One banded black and white, one all black and shiny. Looks similar to several non-venomous snakes. Active late at night.


Blue and blue-grey bands, flat paddle-shaped tail. Length up to 2m. Swims in the sea, but also active on land.

To learn more about snakes, check out the information from Bali Pet Crusaders.


Diseases are one of the more dangerous things in Bali. Since the majority of animals are not vaccinated, you want to make sure your animal is.

Rabies is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. For animals, once rabies is contracted there is no cure, and death is almost always the outcome.

WebMD says:

Initially, a dog who’s become infected may show extreme behavioral changes such as restlessness or apprehension, both of which may be compounded by aggression. They may constantly lick, bite and chew at the site where they were bitten. A fever may also be present at this stage.

As the virus progresses, an infected dog may become hypersensitive to touch, light and sound. They may eat unusual things and hide in dark places. Paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles may follow, resulting in the well-known symptom of foaming at the mouth. Disorientation, incoordination and staggering may occur, caused by paralysis of the hind legs. Other classic signs of rabies include loss of appetite, weakness, seizures and sudden death.

To protect your dog or cat, keeping them up to date with vaccinations is essential. If you think your dog has been in contact with a rabid animal, take them to the vet as soon as possible. A dog who is up to date with his vaccinations and who has been bitten by a possibly rabid animal should also be given a rabies booster immediately and kept under observation for 45 days.


Because not many animals are vaccinated against diseases, Feline Panleukopenia and Canine Parvo is still a big problem in Bali.

Feline Panleukopenia is a highly contagious, deadly virus passed to unvaccinated cats and kittens. It will end in death and the virus can survive on surfaces for months, even after the cat has died. PetMD says about FPV:

Feline Panleukopenia virus (FPV), also commonly referred to as feline distemper, is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease in the cat population. This virus affects the rapidly dividing blood cells in the body, primarily the cells in the intestinal tract, bone marrow, and in the stem cells of the developing fetus. Because the blood cells are under attack, this virus can lead to an anemic condition, and it can open the body to infections from other illnesses – viral or bacterial. Kittens between the ages of two to six months are at highest risk for developing severe disease symptoms…

Parvo is also known as distemper in dogs, affecting mostly puppies under 6 months. It is a highly aggressive, highly contagious disease that can kill your dog within 72 hours. WebMD says:

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problem.

The best way to protect your cat or dog is to get them vaccinated and to follow your vet’s instructions on further vaccinations.


It is possible to keep your pet safe. These are all some things to be aware. Stay smart and keep your pet safe.

If you lose a dog, please check out this amazing resource by Mission Paw’sible on finding a lost dog.


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