Cooling Your Dog Down During A Hunt

Overheating and Heat Strokes are Silent Killers Bella, Ryder, and Hondo after a training session

Protecting your dog from heat stroke and heat related illnesses is easy as long as you pay attention to your dog during that opening day hunt. It may mean less shooting and socializing, but can mean life or death to your dog

Warning signs of K9 overheating and heat related stress include excessive panting, uncoordinated movements of the back limbs, weaving back and forth on a retrieve, or in severe cases, complete collapse.

If your dog exhibits any of the last three symptoms, we recommend you stop hunting and get your dog emergency veterinary care immediately to prevent permanent damage to your dogs brain and vital organs.

Here are some easy ways we have found to prevent heat related illnesses among Ryder, Bella, and Hondo.

Park your vehicle in the shade and keep your dogs cool while they are in the kennels or in our case in the dog trailer.

Use a plastic kennel that has a nice tall base which you can fill with a level of cool water which you can then kennel your dog into to lay down and cool off. We keep two kennels with us at all times for this purpose. If its extremely hot, we always add some ice to the water to help with the cooling process. Too much ice can cause shock by cooling the dog off too quickly.

Provide a fan to provide air flow to the dog which when blowing over the cool water will provide your dog with a nice cooling breeze. Or you can use a crate fan cooling system that comes with a re-freezable core that will blow cool air on your dog for at least a 1/2 hour.

Keep plenty of drinking water for your dog, and it will help to add electrolytes to their hydration regimen with either a baby electrolyte drink such as Pedialite or a specially formulated dog product, Animal Naturals K-9 GoDog which is added .

With more than one dog available, make sure you rotate them about every 30 minutes to allow each dog enough time to cool down before calling on them to work again.

While nothing is sure in this world, if you keep a close eye on your dogs panting and retrieves, you should be able to prevent heat related issues from causing problems with your hunt. Think safety first, and you will be able to share many great memories with your companion for years to come.