Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog
Best Practices to Keep Your Hunting Dog Safe
Both you and your dog need a blaze orange hunting vest anytime you’re in the woods. The bright color enables other hunters to see you both. It also protects your dog’s internal organs if he’s hit by a bullet or happen to get caught while navigating under a barbed wire fence. Below are several other tips from the Pet Poison Helpline. The organization created the tips after reviewing the requests for help it receives during the hunting season.
You may want to consider using an electric shock collar during the hunting season. That is because your dog may take off running after birds or other animals before you have a chance to stop him. If you prefer not to do that, make sure that he has microchip identification in case you become separated. A tag and collar is good too, but keep in mind that it could easily slip off if your dog tries to crawl under a fence.
Heat stroke is still a concern, even as temperatures slowly become cooler. Make sure that you include a first aid kit with a thermometer and take regular breaks to allow your dog to drink fresh water. Frequent panting could be an indication that she needs a break from her hunting duties.
It's important that you bring your own fresh drinking water instead of letting your dog lap up water from a pond. Unfortunately, some bodies of water have contaminated blue-green algae that can be deadly for your dog to ingest. He can die within minutes of experiencing weakness, seizures, and diarrhea.
Clay pigeons aren’t safe for your dog to chew on because they contain zinc, lead, copper, nickel, and toxic coal tar. These materials can cause long-term damage to the brain, kidneys, and liver of your dog.
Mushrooms are another thing your dog shouldn’t eat. While most are harmless, it’s hard to tell the difference if you’re not used to looking at them. Poisonous mushrooms can cause severe abdominal pain, tremors, depression, seizures, diarrhea, and vomiting. The damage to your dog’s liver or kidneys could be permanent.
You need to seek immediate help if your dog gets hit or grazed by a bullet. She could develop lead poisoning if fragments remain in her body and increase blood levels.
Come See Us Before You Hunt
We encourage you to schedule a preventive care exam before taking your dog hunting to ensure he’s up to the task. Please contact Minnesota Veterinary Hospital at 651-484-3331 if you have additional questions. We also encourage you to program that number into your phone before going hunting.
Photo Credit: Julia Zara / Getty Images