Labradors are great hunting dogs, and getting to hunt with them is a unique experience that can strengthen the bond between you two. To keep your pup happy and healthy before, during, and after hunting season, here are some helpful tips!
Your hunting dog works hard. During hunting sessions, they’re exposed to extreme temperatures, wild animals, and extra amounts of exercise. Because your Lab is doing more than the “average” dog is, they’re also more likely to get injured or sick. Before the season starts with conditioning, training, and hunting, get Fido in for a vet visit so they can get a full physical evaluation to ensure they’re in tip-top shape. Then during the mid-season, get your Lab back in for a re-check even if they’re not showing any signs of discomfort or illness, just to be safe.
These are some of the most common illnesses and injuries that your Lab could experience when out hunting, as well as symptoms to look out for.
You want to make sure that your Lab is in the proper shape for hunting season. Just like you can’t wake up one day and run a marathon, neither can your pup. Your hunting dog will need plenty of training and practice; otherwise, they could be fatigued after only 2 hours of hunting. It’s recommended to begin training 6 to 8 weeks ahead of hunting season. Then, gradually each week, increasing the exercise routine more. Here are some great activities to consider incorporating into your Lab’s conditioning:
Hunting can be extremely dirty, with mud, grass, rivers, and dead animals playing a large part in the experience. Be sure to give your Lab a nice proper bath afterward. You don’t want the mess and smell that Fido has accumulated to spread throughout your home, so be sure to use some pet-friendly shampoo to give them a good cleaning. Bathing your pup is also a great opportunity to look for fleas, ticks, and injuries that you might not have been able to see before.
Your Lab will most definitely appreciate you taking special care of them so that they can perform their best during hunting season.
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