Humans and dogs have been hunting partners for centuries.
Hunting is easier when you have a furry companion, and your hunting dog probably loves to hunt more than you do. He follows all of your commands, helps you track down a sneaky animal and catch or retrieve a prey.
But, you also need to take care of your dog.
In this blog post, I will teach you how to take care of your hunting dog in as much detail I possibly can.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
- 1 How to Take Care of Your Hunting Dog the Right Way
- 1.1 Taking Your Dog Regularly to the Vet
- 1.2 Proper Nutrition and Diet for Your Hunting Dog
- 1.3 Meeting the Exercise Needs
- 1.4 Grooming the Doggy
- 1.5 Command Refresher Course
- 1.6 Training Your Dog’s Hunting Skills
- 1.7 Scent Training
- 1.8 Buying the Right Safety Gear for Your Doggy
- 1.9 Protecting for Animal Bites and Other Injuries
- 2 Final Words
How to Take Care of Your Hunting Dog the Right Way
In this section of the blog post, I’ll go through how you can take care of your hunting dog and provide him with the best quality of life you can offer.
Taking Your Dog Regularly to the VetHunting dog or not, you should always take your furry friend to regular vet appointments at least once a year.
Some dogs may need semi-annual check ups.
Other than that, you should always keep track of your dog’s vaccinations and ensure that they are all up to date.
For hunting dogs, make sure that they’re vaccinated against Lyme disease.
You should also regularly give your dog his flea and deworming medicines—ideally once every month. These things seem small and insignificant but, they’ll help improve your furry friend’s life in the long term.
Proper Nutrition and Diet for Your Hunting Dog
Feeding your hunting dog the appropriate diet is another important thing that you need to take care of.
Ideally, you should go on the diet that the vet recommends for your dog and always call the vet before making any changes or tweaks to your furry friend’s diet. Following are some important things to keep in mind:
- Since hunting dogs are active, their diet is usually high in fat. In fact, 20% of their nutrition should come from fat
- Grains and starches aren’t an efficient source of energy for hunting dogs. Instead, they should be fed animal-based proteins
- You must keep your hunting dog hydrated at all times
Don’t play doctor because your dog’s nutritional requirements are different from those of humans. Instead, let the vet make a diet plan that’ll work for your furry friend.
Meeting the Exercise Needs
Meeting your hunting dog’s exercise needs is important.
The thing is that hunting dogs have been bred to hunt. To be able to hunt efficiently, they have higher activity needs that have to be met to keep the physically and mentally fit.
A healthy dog that has all his activity requirements met will make a better hunting dog that one who doesn’t get exercised.
It is essential to keep your dog active—even during offseason for him to be a useful companion on your hunting trips during the hunting season.
Grooming the DoggyAlthough grooming needs seem superficial, that’s not actually the case.
In fact, grooming your furry friend plays a big role in maintaining your dog’s health and ensuring his wellness.
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind:
- Consider getting your dog professionally groomed (especially during summer months) to prevent heatstroke. A professionally groomed coat will also help keep your dog cool during summer months and will dry more quickly after swimming, reducing the chances of getting an infection
- Depending on the breed, brush your dog’s coat regularly so that you don’t have to deal with having dog hairs everywhere. All you need is a good grooming clipper and a comb. You should ideally brush your dog’s coat once a day while he’s’ shedding
- You can reduce your furry friend’s chances of getting painful cracks on his nails or getting injured toes by making sure that you clip his nails on time
A grooming schedule can help you keep track of everything in one place. I recommend that you make one for your doggy.
Command Refresher Course
Proper command training can help save your hunting dog’s life.
So, you need to keep reinforcing the basic commands such as:
Just teaching these commands to your dog is half the battle. You also need to continually reinforce them (even during offseason) to minimize forgetting.
Yes, dogs do forget.
It is really important that you take 5-10 minutes out of your dog to reinforce these commands and give your dog a refresher course of the need arises.
Keep in mind that anything can happen in the field.
You need to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Training Your Dog’s Hunting Skills
Hunting dogs have strong hunting instincts thanks to the years of breeding.
They are made to hunt.
So, you need to sharpen their hunting skills and ensure that your furry friend. Using a remote-controlled launch are an excellent way to hone your dog’s tracking, chasing, and guarding during offseason.
These will help your dog polish his skills and make him a better hunter for the next season.
After all, you need to practice a skill to keep it, right?
If your dog has excellent tracking abilities, you need to polish them by scent training.
In this, all you have to do is create a ‘trace’ of scent from an object with a distinctive smell—maybe your clothes—and hide the object in question and let your dog find it.
For a challenge, keep lifting the object to add gaps to the scent trail and let your dog figure it out.
Buying the Right Safety Gear for Your Doggy
Taking care of your hunting dog also involves keeping him safe on the field.
I recommend that you invest in the right safety gear for your dog. The first thing you need to do is to buy appropriate weather gear—such as a raincoat, something to protect your dog from the snow, or the heat.
Another important thing is to get your furry friend a neon-colored jacket so that other hunters realize that he’s not a wild animal.
Protecting for Animal Bites and Other Injuries
Snakes and other animals can seriously injure your dog out in the field.
So, you should prepare for the worst and hope for the best in this case. One way of protecting your hunting dog is by keeping an emergency first aid kit with almost everything you might need when out in the field—even snake venom antidotes.
Being prepared for such events can be crucial for your dog’s health.
Your hunting dog is your faithful companion on and off the field.
And, you must take care of your furry friend so that he lives a happy and healthy life and continues to accompany you on your hunting trips.
Following is a quick refresher of the things you need to keep in mind:
- Take your dog to regular vet appointments
- A proper diet goes a long way
- Take care of your dog’s exercise and grooming needs
- Make sure that your dog knows all of his commands
- Polish your dog’s hunting skills
- Buy safety gear for your dog and ensure his safety