4 Things Every Hunting Dog Needs

If you're thinking of getting a canine hunting companion to help you in your efforts to put food on your family's table, you'll be glad to know that you'll be rewarded with a lifetime of love and loyalty both on the field and off. Your hunting dog will perform better as well as be more comfortable and happy if you make certain that it has certain provisions. Following are four things that every hunting dog should have.

Insulated Dog Crate With Cover

The main reasons for using an insulated dog crate with a weather-resistant cover is because you are transporting your hunting dog via a your pickup truck or your hunting trip will involve one or more overnight stays in the wilderness. They also come in handy during the day to provide your hunting dog with a warm, dry place to rest while you're stopping your hunt for hunt for breaks and lunch. The crate will keep your dog warm, comfortable, and out of the weather. These can also be used at home to provide shelter for outdoor dogs in place of a weatherized dog house.

Dog Boots

Your hunting dog is a rugged companion who performs well in wilderness environments, but nonetheless, foot pads can become cracked, pierced, or otherwise damaged during the course of a day of hard hunting. Good, sturdy dog boots can prevent this from happening. Keep in mind, however, that dog boots may reduce traction for those who are hunting in areas that involve navigating slippery surfaces such as ice. However, if your dog has a sore or wound on the bottom of any of its feet, it's best to keep that foot covered by at least a lightweight dog boot.

Other Foot Care Products

Whether or not you decide to use dog boots to protect your canine hunting companion, you should always take a stock of foot care products along with you when you go on a hunt. At the very least, you will need bandaging material, a sturdy pair of tweezers, and a tube of protective, antibiotic foot cream. Always check your dog's feet during breaks, lunch, and at the end of the day, and stay alert for any sign of pain or discomfort in your dog's feet while the hunt is in progress -- the sooner you can remove foreign objects such as slivers from your dog's feet, the less chance that the situation will lead to infection. Also, use a good pad moisturizer as a matter of routine, especially as your dog gets older. Dry, cracked foot pads are much more vulnerable to injury and damage than their supple, well-moisturized counterparts.

High Protein, High Quality Dog Food

Hunting dogs need food that is high in both fat and protein. It should contain at least 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat, and the first thing on the ingredient list should be meat. Premium dog food is going to cost you more money, but considering that your canine hunting companion is doing a hard job that helps you put good food on your family's table, the extra cost is well worth it. You should also carry along dog treats during the hunt that are high in fat to help your hunting dog maintain optimal energy levels throughout the course of the day. Keep in mind that dogs don't function physiologically in the same way that humans do -- as a human, you get your energy from carbohydrates, which is why athletes load up on pasta and other foods high in carbohydrates before a competition. However, dogs, aren't fueled by carbohydrates -- they get their energy from fat. 

You'll be rewarded in many ways by ensuring that your hunting dog is well-cared for and happy. Visit a hunting supply store to get the things you need.