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Dogs and Hunters, Clay Pigeons & Vest Safety

Updated on April 3, 2013

The hunter and his loyal K9

"Thorns may hurt you,

men desert you,

sunlight turn to fog;

but you're never friendless ever,

if you have a dog."

Douglas Mallock

Hunter and hunting dog in the field
Hunter and hunting dog in the field

Hunting Pointers for You and Your Pointers

Learn What Can Kill Your Dog in the Field!

We humans value our canine companions in many different ways. He is our home security, herds our livestock, guides us when our sight has failed, battles beside us when we go to war, wears the honored badge of law enforcement, retrieves prey when we take it from the sky, and whether you are a manly hunting guy, or a tough hunting gal, when in the field on the trail of prey, it is the loyal canine that makes finding the beast possible.

One of the greatest functions of the K9 has been on the sporting/hunting field. Our hunting techniques often rely on the skills and genetic pride of these dogs. Unlike pet k9's that hang around the house, these dogs venture out to run, romp, wrangle and lead. These are the tri-athelets of the k9 world.And in being such, we who are responsible for their well being, must do just that, take responsibility for their good care by being aware of some safety measures and extra nutritional needs.

K9 KORNER™

As you read you will find some extra noted information brought to you by K9 KORNER™. The information is placed throughout this article for you to read and take with you as you and your hunting dogs head into the wild! Enjoying the outdoors is easy when you rely on common sense and safety first

Hunters and Their Dogs

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Let's get rolling with 4 really good need to know things

  1. Be sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations (primarily rabies) before the season begins Make certain to maintain (or start) heart-worm prevention (your Vet will advise you on the best choice for your dog)
  2. Never feed entrails, raw meat or any offal to your k9's. (bacteria and parasites reside in these places and can be transmitted to your hunting dog)
  3. Regularly take stool samples to your Vet for testing. (parasites or other ailments in your pooch can be detected early)

K9 KORNER: The Most Popular Breed in the USA

The most popular breed of dog in America? The Poodle. Close to one in five pedigreed dogs registered in the U.S. is a Poodle (The German Shepard is second). We should never underestimate the toughness of this properly preened and fluffy creature. With all of its pom-poms and fluff, the Poodlewas originally bread for the hunt. It has webbed feet for swift swimming retrieval and a muscular physic for durability. Oh, and all of that pom-pom stuff? The poms are strategically placed on leg joints, hip joints and shoulders to protect them from cold water and frigid weather. And what about all of that fluffy hair? Well, it's almost as good as a high quality field vest! Who new? (Poodles are also one of the absolutely most intelligent dog breeds around. They come in tea-cup, toy, miniature and standard sizes.)

10 Pointers for the Hunters Safety

Best 10 Hunting Safety Tips

  1. Use discretion if you happen to gut shoot a beast, millions of bacteria reside in the abdominal area where the intestines and stomach are found.
  2. If at all possible, use non-lead ammunition. Lead is a toxin and can cause illness and death.
  3. Be aware of (and report) any sick wildlife or bird die-off to the authorities.
  4. Check your body (and your dogs body) frequently for ticks.
  5. Refrain from smoking, drinking, eating or touching your face while cleaning fowel or any game.
  6. Cut away large areas from around the gun shot (and/or kill shot) and any other wounds found on the prey.
  7. Remove intestines as soon as possible from all downed prey.
  8. Minimize all contact with any spinal and brain tissue (many diseases and organisms found here are transmittable to humans and dogs).
  9. Prevent fly landings on all carcass' you have.
  10. Wash your hands with soap and water using alcohol based hand sanitizer following any and all cleaning of the carcass.

K9 KORNER: Removing Ticks Safely

What's the correct way to remove Ticks safely? When removing ticks from you or your dog, you should use tweezers. If you don't have tweezers on hand, use something to protect your hands (plastic wrap, gloves, gum foil, etc.) and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull up-ward, steady and evenly. Do Not twist the tick as you remove it, this can separate the head or mouth parts from the bug leaving bits of these in the skin causing increased potential for infections. Do Not dowse the tick with alcohol; this will make it vomit, spilling debris into the skin and again increasing possible infection risks. Once the tick is removed be sure to wash the area with soap and water and treat the site with alcohol and/or anti-bacterial ointment. One of the better choices for tick repellents is DEEPWOODS OFF!SPORTSMEN (it is unscented and has a neutral scent profile, making it perfect for hunters).

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Hunter and dog TEAM WORK
Hunter and dog TEAM WORK

A Dog Vest is an Important Piece of Hunting Equipment!

Your dog works hard just like you do when on the sent of prey. Serious hunters know this and protect their dogs as much as they do themselves. Using a blazing orange colored vest has proven to be the best choice in the field. The bright color makes your dog visible from distances and through the thick tree lines. Finding a vest that offers chest and stomach protection is best for your canine companion hunter. Newer modern styled vests are made using neoprene and thinsulate materials for light weight comfort, warmth and buoyancy in the water. Making sure that the outer shell is made of a durable material, such as the new denier cordura nylon, will insure your K9 has the most modern and best protection in the pack!

K9 KORNER: Treating Paw Injuries

If your dog cuts its foot pad it may bleed a great deal as this area of the dog has a very rich blood supply (same with an ear cut or head cut). The most important response is to get the bleeding to stop. Applying firm pressure to the cut with an absorbent piece of cloth or gauze (you should have these items handy in your K9 emergency kit). Your fingers will work fine if you are unable to gain access to any other materials. Washing the cut first with clean fresh water or saline solution (again, should be in your K9 first aide kit) is a good idea. Now you will want to bandage the dressing firmly in place. Having a veterinarian remove the bandage may be the best choice, as the wound may begin bleeding again when the dressing is removed. Also, your vet may feel the need to stitch the cut or treat it with antibiotics.

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Kal (a two year old Golden) is out for a practice run. Getting your K9 in hunting condition is a must!

To prevent unecessary injuries, your dog needs a few practice runs before the season begins.
To prevent unecessary injuries, your dog needs a few practice runs before the season begins.
Swiming gets those joints limber and strong
Swiming gets those joints limber and strong
The thrill of retrieving is a dogs favorite thing.
The thrill of retrieving is a dogs favorite thing.
Remind your hunting dog that water is a blast!
Remind your hunting dog that water is a blast!
Bring out the retiever in your hunting dog
Bring out the retiever in your hunting dog
It's not always about the type of kill your hunting dog brings back, but rather that he brings it back at all!
It's not always about the type of kill your hunting dog brings back, but rather that he brings it back at all!
Retrieve softly....
Retrieve softly....
...and carry a big stick!
...and carry a big stick!

HUNTING DOGS ARE TRI-ATHLETES

Your athletic K9

Treating your hunting dog as an athlete is quite important. This creature is not a lap dog, a couch pup or a lazy bonz! He has a higher risk of dehydration, injury and disease (but his life is far richer than any old house mutt!).

Here are a few special treatments you should consider for your hunting dog (just do it!).

  • For long haired breeds, you need to shorten the coat. The hair can hinder his mobility, speed and agility.
  • Your K9 hunter requires proper nutrient rich food. (Animal protein not any other kind, means healthy reliable hunting. (The packaging must indicate animal protein -beef, chicken, lamb - as the first listed ingredients).
  • You are responsible for keeping fresh clean water available 24/7! Again, your canine is very susceptible to dehydration.
  • Your dogs can get hurt while hunting so carry a pet emergency kit. (your kit should include at least; bandages, medication, ointments and a variety of multi-use tools, like tweezers).
  • Keep your dogs feet healthy. His feet and pads should be toughened up before the hunting season begins. Running him in rough terrain or bush regularly for a couple of weeks prior should help.
  • Keep his nails trimmed back, making sure to trim the dewclaws (little thumb-like nail on the inside ankle area of the front legs) and clear out the tufts of hair between his pads, this hair gets matted and cluttered with debris. (Think of it like running around with a stone in your shoe.)

4 Super food choices for your hunting dog

  1. Nutro- This is a natural high energy food choice for your K9. High proteins and fat with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.
  2. Eukanuba Premium Performance 30/20 - As the name depicts, it offers 30% protein and 20% fat. This food is specially formulated for hunting dogs.
  3. Science Diet Adult Active - This food is manufactured for sporting dogs. It has 29.8% protein and 27.2% fat, while stuffing in 35.4% carbohydrates for added K9 performance.
  4. Cynotechnique Energy 4800, by Royal Canine - Now this is super-food! Incredibly high proteins at 32%, and fat at 30%. This food offers your athletic dog the greatest nutrients for off-the-hook stamina!

K9 KORNER;

Heat stroke is always to be considered but more so in the early hunting season. Things are new and exciting for your dog, the temperature is higher while your canine may not be in full peak condition yet. Have a thermometer handy (in your K9 first aide kit). Normal temperature will range from 100.5°f to 102.5°f. If your dog has sustained periods of excess panting you need to react by giving him a cool-down break. Be certain he has plenty of fresh clean water and have him take a water dip (in a Blue-Algae free pond). Remember your dogs well being must be on your mind, so play it safe and give your dog a cool-off break.

Signs of heat stroke in your canine

  • Dark red gums
  • Dry or tacky gums
  • Lying down, unwilling to get up
  • Collapse or loss of consciousness
  • Thick saliva
  • Drunk walking or staggering
  • Vigorous panting

How to Treat Over Heating in Dogs

3 Canine Temperature Conditions You Must React to:

  1. Any temperature under 100°F requires assistance.
  2. A temperature of 104°f requires action
  3. any temperature of 106°f is a dire emergency and requires immediate veterinary care.

Getting you and your dog in shape! The bonus is that it's a blast!

They may not look dangerous, but these three common hunting encounters can kill your hunting dog! AND QUICKLY!

This is an image of a highly advanced bloom of Blue-green Algae. It will kill your dog if it is ingested.
This is an image of a highly advanced bloom of Blue-green Algae. It will kill your dog if it is ingested.
The pretty swirl of blue-green algae is a trick, because this beauty kills!
The pretty swirl of blue-green algae is a trick, because this beauty kills!
Clay pigeons have lead, copper, nickle and other poisonous heavy metals that can cause liver and kidney failure in your dog if ingested.
Clay pigeons have lead, copper, nickle and other poisonous heavy metals that can cause liver and kidney failure in your dog if ingested.
A diagram of a labeled Death-cap mushroom. It is better to error on the side of caution. Never assume that a mushroom is safe, only professionals can truly tell.
A diagram of a labeled Death-cap mushroom. It is better to error on the side of caution. Never assume that a mushroom is safe, only professionals can truly tell.
Death-cap mushrooms have many different appearances so always avoid any ingestion of wild mushrooms by your dog.
Death-cap mushrooms have many different appearances so always avoid any ingestion of wild mushrooms by your dog.
Measurable differences occur when sizing up the deadly Death-cap mushroom.
Measurable differences occur when sizing up the deadly Death-cap mushroom.

PLANNING AHEAD FOR HUNTERS AND THEIR DOGS SAFETY

Plan ahead by locating the address and number for the local Vet (be sure to find the vet nearest where you are going to be hunting) and program the number into your cell phone. While you're at it, always know your GPS hunting location (or at least have directions to help guide medical assistance) to where you are most likely going to be hunting. Having them written down and easily accessible will help if you need them in an emergency situation.

Keeping your hunting dog safe from poisons

As we discussed earlier, a hunting dog is not your average backyard dog. This hunter seeks prey in the forest and wilderness regularly. In taking these treks in the great outdoors, your canine is exposed to a greater number of poisons and toxins than other dogs. The three most reported toxins are, Blue-Green Algae, Clay Pigeons and the #1 most dangerous toxin in your hunting dogs field trips? The Death-Cap Mushroom.

The Three Top Deadly Hunting Dog Toxins

Dogs and Blue-Green Algae, Clay Pigeons, and Death-Cap Mushrooms:

  1. BLUE-GREEN ALGAE (cyanobacteria) - It shows up in the hot and dry seasons during warmer weather. It is found in ponds and can be be spotted by the 'pea soup' color and look of the water where it resides. If your dog drinks this contaminated water, as have hundreds in the United States, he will die, and rapidly before your eyes. This Algae contains liver and/or neurotoxin that bring on immediate symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, collapse, seizure, tremors and jaundice (yellow skin and gums). I can not stress just how important providing fresh clean water 24/7 is to your field dogs good health!
  2. CLAY PIGEONS - These contain coal tar and heavy metals like lead, zinc, copper and nickle, and are toxic if ingested! If your hunting dog likes to eat toys or rocks, or is 'mouthy', you need to be aware when he is around your used clay pigeons. He may be eating the shattered and broken clay pigeon pieces, resulting in liver, brain and kidney damage.
  3. DEATH-CAP MUSHROOM- Your hunting dog is likely to encounter the death-cap mushroom while on the hunt. Most mushrooms are non-toxic, but certain types are very poisonous. Found in the U.S. commonly, the Death-Cap Mushroom (Amanita phalloides), is one the most deadly yet plain looking -see images provided- mushrooms around. It is best to leave the identification of these deadly fungi to the experts as it is such a risky undertaking (pun intended). You should consider any ingestion of mushrooms to be poison until proved otherwise.The symptoms include - Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, tremors and seizures, leading to kidney and liver failure.

No matter where are, programing the PET POISON HELPLINE(1-800-213-6680) into your cell phone as well as having it on speed dial in your home is a responsible way to show how much you care for your pets.

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Comments for Hunters and Their Dogs

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  • Paulart profile image

    Paulart 5 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

    Very useful hub.

  • K9keystrokes profile image
    Author

    India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

    Thank you Kaie!~ What a beautiful breed the wolfhound. This breed does have a deeply inbred instinct to hunt,as real as it gets in my book! Thank you for the read and for stopping by! It would seem your brother is missing out a very cool experience.

    Bug hugs to your Wolfy!

  • Kaie Arwen profile image

    Kaie Arwen 7 years ago

    This was great! I often told my brother to take my female wolfhound and train her for hunting............ he didn't want to invest the time for the amount of time he's able to hunt. I figure had he done it I might be able to control her very real hunting instincts, and in turn lessen the gifts she leaves for me at the back door. Thanks for this......... I found it quite interesting! Kaie