While most breeds of hunting dogs are naturally well equipped with warm coats to protect them from the elements, that doesn’t mean that they’re completely resistant to the cold.
For hunting dogs, “Feet are what suffer the worst from the cold, snow and ice,” says veterinarian and hunter Mike Koob in an interview with the Idaho Statesman. In addition, hunting dogs can be at risk of hypothermia, particularly in conditions that are cold, windy and wet.
Keep your dog safe in cold weather by following the tips below:
- Keep your dog warm before and after hunting. A kennel cover provides excellent protection from the elements when you’re transporting your dog. In extreme conditions, however, it’s advisable to give your dog a ride in the cab of your truck.
- Protect your dog’s feet. Neoprene dog boots help to safeguard your dog’s feet from frosty temperatures and rough terrain.
- Suit up your dog with a Neoprene vest. A Neoprene vest not only shields your dog from the cold but also protects your dog from field hazards like briars, thorns, and barbed wire.
- Shield your wet dog from the wind. If your dog has gotten wet, call it over to a windblock – whether it’s your blind or another other buffer – to keep it out of the wind.
- Take a break. If significant periods of time go by where both you and your dog are inactive, take a break. Toss a few training toys for your dog; the tossing and retrieval will warm you both.
- After hunting, dry off your dog. Towel off your hunting dog before setting out on your journey back home. This removes moisture from your dog, and additionally, the rubbing motion itself can be both stimulating and warming.
For more hunting, fishing and camping tips and techniques, be sure to visit the Bass Pro Shops 1Source blog.