No hunter would go out without the proper gear. From safety vests to GPS units, there are essentials that most hunters cannot do without. The same can be said for the faithful dogs that accompany them. Keeping your dog stress-free and relaxed on a hunting trip can be beneficial to you both. Here are seven pieces of gear that your dog shouldn’t be without.
1. Travel Kennel
A travel kennel will keep both you and your dog safe in the truck. A dog that is permitted to ride loose can become a projectile in an accident. Not only can your dog be injured, but you could be injured as well. A collapsible travel kennel will help to ensure that your dog is contained and safe in your vehicle. Not only are kennels great for travel, but they give your pet an area of its own if you spend the night away from home.
It should go without saying that your dog may need to be fed while on your trip. Don’t rely on being able to find a pet store. Don’t think that it is good enough to feed your dog whatever you are having. Dogs need a regular diet to help prevent stomach upsets. By packing a few meals’ worth of your dog’s own kibble, you help to ensure that you aren’t dealing with a sick animal that can’t hunt.
3. First-Aid Kit
It is not unusual for dogs to be injured on the hunt. Scratches, punctures and even bug bites can virtually ruin a hunting trip for your companion. Keep a well-stocked pet first-aid kit in your vehicle. Many of the same things you use to stock your own can be used to stock a kit for your pet. At a minimum, your kit should include medical tape, gauze wrap, hydrogen peroxide, blood-stop powder or gel, scissors, and tweezers.
A neoprene vest made for dogs will keep your animal warm and dry. A vest can also help to protect your pet’s flank from being scratched or punctured by sticks. A pair of properly-fitted boots will help to protect your dog’s foot pads from being torn by rocks and rough terrain.
It may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at the number of people who don’t think to pack towels for their dogs. A wet, muddy dog can lose body heat rapidly. Keeping a few spare towels in your vehicle will ensure that you can keep your dog dry no matter what it gets into.
6. Collar and Lead
You already have a collar and lead for your dog. Be prepared with a second set in case the first breaks. You don’t want to be in a dangerous area without the ability to control your animal.
7. Dog Bed
A dog bed is not necessarily for the comfort of your dog, but for your peace of mind. If you train your dog to retreat to its bed when you give it a specific command, you can translate the behavior to your hunting excursion. Put your dog’s bed on the ground, give it the command and you know exactly where your dog is at all times.
When you take the time to make sure you have the right gear for your dog, your hunting trip is more likely to go off without a hitch. A happy and healthy dog is a more productive hunter. Use this list to stock up on your dog’s hunting gear before you head out on your first trip.