Taking Care of Your Gun Dog

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For an avid hunter, a dog is both a hunting companion and a trusted family member. Hunting dogs require additional training and care. It is crucial that you take a healthy dog to a hunt. It is your responsibility to keep the dog safe before, during, and after the hunting trip. A healthy and well-kept dog leads to a successful hunt and plenty of game.

Regular veterinary appointments

It is vital that you schedule periodic appointments with your veterinarian. Most canines must have one checkup every year. Hunting dogs must visit the veterinarian at least twice a year. These dogs encounter multiple hostile elements like injury prone terrain and insects. It is vital to keep a lookout so that accidents and untoward events do not happen. It is vital that the dog is vaccinated and if possible, secure the animal against Lyme disease too. Do give the canine its monthly medication to keep tick and fleas at bay. Same goes for heartworm medication. Consult your veterinarian on this issue. Periodic checkups are a must if you own a senior dog. Many health problems like kidney ailments, diabetes, and thyroid problems develop swiftly over time. Older dogs may suffer from painful arthritis. These pains in their joints will need extra medications.

Diet and exercise

A proper diet is a must for any hunting dog. The canine requires a nutritious diet which will fill him with energy. It means you should give it food rich in calories which the dog can burn to be active when hunting and also stay warm. Feed your gun dog nutrient dense food to maximize dairy intake. The food should have a high-fat content. Experts recommend that hunting dogs be given foods with 20 percent fat content. Ideal fat content must balance the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Hunting dogs must be given a rich animal protein diet and not a diet full of grains and starches. Ensure that your dog drinks adequate amounts of water. Hunting is a tedious activity and the dog will be thirsty. Carry water with you.

As an owner, it is important that you regularly exercise the dog. It is specifically vital for hunting dogs. This exercise is above and beyond the standard exercise regimen which other dogs follow. Your dog must be sufficiently fit to hunt in the wild. In case your hunting dog becomes fat, it is important to put the canine into an accelerated training program so that the canine gets into shape. An obese dog cannot hunt properly. The dog loses its ability to control breathe while it sniffs for the needed animal scent. An obese dog will be out of breath and will have a much tougher time keeping on to the tracks of the hunted animal.

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