There is no denying the fact that hunting dogs are great companions for anyone impassioned with the sport. Hunting dogs can help you track where the games are and where their bodies would fall. And in the event that the games are wounded because of a misfire, hunting dogs would help you track them down so that you may finish them off so that the injured game won’t have to suffer any unnecessary misery. It is for this reason that hunting dogs have become invaluable aids for many, many game hunters the world over. Hunting has become a more enjoyable and convenient sport because of hunting dogs.
But because of the rigors that hunting dogs have to go through, more care should be afforded to these faithful canine companions than, say, your ordinary house pet. All the running, jumping and exposure to often harsh environmental conditions can take their toll on your hunting dog, hence, they should be given more attention when it comes to their proper conditioning, diet, and overall care.
But how, exactly, can you properly care for your hunting dog? Below are some tips to help ensure that your dog would always be happy and healthy despite the profession that it has been assigned.
• Make sure that your hunting dog would receive fresh vaccines and booster shots. Since he would be operating outdoors, he is more susceptible to catching a variety of diseases. Hence, his immune system must be properly attended to so that he may be able to combat these diseases more effectively. Essential vaccinations are those that prevent the contagion of diseases like giardia and parvovirus.
• Longhaired breeds should have their hair shortened. Outdoor activities promote the fast spread of mites and other parasites which seem to fester more on longhaired dogs. Also, long hair can sometimes hamper the mobility and dexterity demanded from hunting dogs.
• Make sure that your hunting dog would receive a high protein diet. Protein, of course, is a vital energy source, and with all the activities that your hunting dog is expected to take, he would need all the energy he could get. Though a high protein diet is recommended, however, you should never fail to provide your dog with a well balanced diet as well. Your hunting dog would need other essential nutrients for good health and proper development.
• Make sure that your dog would have access to fresh drinking water at all times. Hunting dogs consume more liquids than household ones, as their bodies exert more energy. When out hunting, always bring water with you so that you could replenish your hunting dog’s fluid whenever necessary. Dehydration is a common occurrence among hunting dogs.
• Consider investing on special equipments for your dogs. All those tracking and running, for example, can take their toll on your dog’s rather delicate feet. For this reason, some commercial companies have distributed dog booties, and they are available in most retail hunting stores. Dog booties would protect your hunting dog’s paws against the perils that can be encountered in often unpaved trails.
• Prepare a collar for your hunting dog, with your contact information if needed, or any identifying mark. This would help you retrieve your dog in the event that he would get lost in the great outdoors.
• Always carry a first aid kit with you. Your dog is susceptible to so many injuries while tracking. A first aid kit should contain bandages, medication, ointments for cuts, and a variety of multipurpose tools. You can never be too sure, so might as well come prepared.
Dogs are not only investments to improve the efficiency of your hunt, they are your friends as well. As such, they demand a lot of care and concern for their faithful service. A well cared for hunting dog would provide many, many enjoyable years of hunting experience.