As temperatures dip below freezing and hunting season starts to wind down, remember to keep your hunting dog warm, safe and dry!
- Now is the time for dog booties to help protect against ice between pads and cuts and abrasions from the frozen terrain.
- Never put a dog away wet, so keep plenty of dry towels and even an auto chamois in your vehicle to get the water off your dog.
- A comfortable dry bed or rug in the kennel makes for a happy dog on the ride home.
- Waterfowlers who have open water and choose to work their retriever in a creek or river should consider investing in a neoprene vest to help keep their dogs warm.
- Always use good judgment – if your dog looks cold, he probably is.
- Get the dog to the car or close to a heater to warm up.
- Older dogs are probably better left in the kennel or car on harsh days. They’ll want to go, but you know best!
- Be mindful of thin ice -- keep dogs off ponds and rivers.
- Dogs require more calories when it gets cold, so increase their food appropriately.
- Dogs also need to be hydrated – continue to carry water and force them to drink.
- Remember that dogs can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia, so be careful out there!