Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
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|A gun dog first-aid kit will be necessary sooner or later for anyone traveling with a hunting dog which requires in-the-field-first-aid-treatment. Whether home-made or commercially manufactured, a gun dog first-aid kit should have three basic components: (1) Bandages to include several types of gauze and pads in various sizes and shapes with “tape” and “elastic wrap” to hold them in place, (2) Tools such as “tweezers” to pick out weed seeds from dog eyes or to pull out junk from open wounds (have a magnifying glass to make this more efficient), “clamping type forceps” to remove porcupine quills for example, and “scissors” to cut everything from adhesive tape to fur-wrapped cockle burrs, and (3) Medications ranging from simple buffered aspirin and over-the-counter salves to prescription steroids and antibiotics.|
Make your own kit based on a list of essential ingredients and a trip to a pharmacy (take $25 to $50 to cover the cost for a “basic” to an “advanced” collection of emergency medical supplies). Or buy a “canine first aid kit” put together by professionals with veterinarian-recommended and hunter-tested bandages, tools, and medicines.
Get a hunting dog first-aid book and buy a video on the same subject. Watch the video with the purpose of getting a general over-view and understanding of common canine in-the-field medical emergencies and for specific advice on using a first- aid kit to deal with these situations. Read the book and take it with you for practical instructions on treating problems ranging from such things as minor cuts or torn toenails to snakebite and broken bones. The best books will have an “index” listing particular types of emergencies and where to quickly find information in the text for handling them.
Dog Leads, leashes, check-cords and chains with tie-out stakes can all be important gear items for traveling with a gun dog. One person walking a hunting dog across a busy highway can have a nightmare without a lead to maintain control. Likewise, a long leash or a sturdy check cord are important for airing a dog at a busy highway rest stop or in the night outside a motel room. An easy-to-install tie-out stake and an unchewable, unbreakable chain with solid swivel snaps are good for securing a dog out in the open in the field or at a hunting camp.
Leather dog collar with engraved name plate can be valuable in the event your dog gets lost.
Dog Collars for “control” and “identification” of your canine are very important when traveling with a gun dog whether close to home or 1,000 miles away. The all-metal “choke” and “claw” type are good ways to control a rambunctious hunting dog in a wide variety of situations. Leather Collars or nylon collars with bright, reflective, easy-to-see colors can make a gun dog much more visible in heavy cover both up close and at a distance. Add an “identification plate” to a leather or fabric collar for the distinct advantage of finding a “lost” dog more quickly and efficiently. Your name, address, and phone number (cell number if you have one) on the Dog ID tag can relieve a lot of anxiety when searching for a dog lost in a familiar or a strange place when you’re traveling either close to or far from home.
Bark collars and remote training collars are good canine behavior insurance when traveling with a gun dog. A bark collar can control the racket that some excited or anxious dogs will make the first night at a motel or in a hunting camp prior to the next day’s hunt. Remote training collars can be left at a home by those hunters absolutely convinced their gun dogs don’t ever need any correction, reinforcement, or training tune-up in the field. Those who don’t have this certainty about their own dogs or the dogs of their hunting partners should always bring a remote training collar when traveling with any gun dog. Bring two in case one fails to function or your hunting buddy forgets to bring his.
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