Packing for your duck dog 101
Every duck hunter has that special bond with their retriever, and they become one of the most enjoyable things about the sport (sometimes!) So taking care of the only one who will never cancel a hunting trip on you is key. I have a black lab named Tanner, and I have had the privilege of hunting over some amazing dogs in my years of participating in the sport. These dogs work hard and make the hunt easier and more exciting for us each and every time they go on a retrieve. They go and go no matter the weather or cold the water, so keeping them safe every time they head out is priority number one. Preparing your dog their own bag is a must for any hunter with a retriever, and here are a few must haves:
– To start always bring food and water for your dog, you get hungry in the blind and so do they! Make sure you pack them some breakfast as well. Throw in a few treats as well for those long retrieves or any other awards you see fit. You can find collapsible bowls at DOG BOWLS for cheap and they will come in handy!
– Can never forget those collars and leashes, and don’t forget an extra set of batteries just in case! You never know when they will cut on you, and make the hunt a little more challenging. If you are looking to shop around different brands and see reviews check out DUCK DOG GEAR for a lot of different options.
– Picking a good dog vest is also key to a successful hunt for you and your retriever. If you know it’s going to be cold, get an insulated vest to keep your partner warm. ALWAYS look for the one that has handles to help lift the dog up! Believe me when I say there is nothing harder than picking a 105 lb. lab out of the water while you’re in a boat in the sound on a rough day. You can also get vest that match your type of hunt, from blaze orange for those field hunts, to white for the late season snow hunts. These not only keep your dog warm, but it keeps them safe from objects hitting them in vital areas. Marsh Mutt has a good chart on how to order the right size for your dog so it fits snug and works efficiently for your dog while working. You can check them out at DUCK DOG VESTS
– I put towels on the list, because there is nothing worse then that wet dog smell coming from a swamp as they jump in and out the kennels, or the back of the truck. I always bring a few, because my wild dog like to go for a last minute dip right before we leave every time just to make me smile.
– Lastly, I must for every hunter is a dog first aid kit. You can get these just about any sporting/hunting store. Don’t be cheap and get the smallest one, you never know when you might save your dogs life with the tools inside. They get scrapes and nicks just like us and band aids just don’t work. You never know what’s in the murky water and your dog good suffer a wound that needs assistance immediately. So when shopping make sure the kit includes Woundseal, and simple surgical tools. These will stop the bleeding until you can get to the Vet to bandage your buddy up!
Marsh Mutt Pro-Staff