Have a fun and safe romp in the woods this fall with your dog!
I recommend the following items for your outdoor adventures and dog care:
This may sound like overkill, but I recently had an experience with my dogs that scared me. I was out in the woods with my dogs when I heard shots fired not far from me. I couldn’t see my dogs and terror ran through me. Immediately I realized we were not prepared for the hunters. Bright colored vests would have helped the hunters know we were not deer, and please don’t shoot us. Every year you hear the stories of accidental shootings. Don’t be the next casualty — don your orange vests!
Keeping a collar and current dog tags on your dog helps others get him home if you get separated. One thing I have recently done is change the dog tags to read “I must be lost. Please call Mom. (xxx) xxx-xxxx”. This gives all the pertinent information, yet doesn’t provide information for an easy abduction. I don’t want someone to know my babies’ names, which might lead the dogs to believe the stranger is a friend.
I check my dogs’ paws and body frequently to remove the debris from the fall season — gum balls, seeds, burrs, rocks, thorns, pine needles, and leaves can add up to irritation or lameness.
If I can help it, I don’t let my dogs drink standing water. I carry fresh water instead. I have had to deal with stomach problems in the past from bacteria in standing water. Carrying your own water is a small thing, but doing it can prevent lots of pain and suffering, a vet bill, and a 10-day supply of antibiotics.
Lastly, I whistle-trained my dogs. If we do separate, a blow on the whistle has them running to me. Chances are, they don’t like not being able to see me and will be happy to have me back in their sights. I highly recommend the ACME whistle that sounds from 2-5 miles. Get it on a lanyard and carry it with you.