Tips on Caring for your hunting dog during freezing weather

Tips On Caring For Your Hunting Dog During Freezing Weather.

Hunting dogs should not be kept outside in sub-zero weather. It is critical that the right precautions are taken to ensure that these dogs are kept comfortable during the winter months. Most hunters make the mistake of assuming that their canines experience cold in the way that humans do, and this misconception can be dangerous because dogs have a different constitution to humans. Therefore, they will undergo sicknesses and good health in an entirely different way.

Hunting dogs could have a hard time when sub-zero weather sets in, so it is imperative to know how to provide them with proper care during the winter months. Some of the below measures can be applied to prepare your dog for the seasonal change.

Adequate Shelter.
Freezing weather is usually characterized by fierce winds, snow, and rain. Therefore, it’s essential that a hunting dog’s kennel provides adequate shelter. A well-insulated enclosure should be sturdy and draft-free. The dog’s house should be just large enough for movement, and sufficient to preserve your hunting dog’s body heat. Feel free to add other accessories that will help your dog produce and retain heat.

Extra Food.
During sub-zero weather, energy is used as heat to keep a body warm; this also applies to canines. The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine state that dogs should be given 10-15% more food during cold weather to provide extra calories that will replenish the extra energy burnt to stay warm.

Balance Indoor & Outdoor Activities.
Taking your hunting dog indoors during the freezing cold can have its positive and negative sides. Hunting dogs are especially more active canines and are not accustomed to being kept indoors. They are not trained to be docile like domesticated dogs and keeping them indoors can affect their moods and health negatively. So you will need to create a balance of activities that will keep them active while indoors and at the same time safe from the harsh climate. If the dogs are working during the sub-zero weather, then they have to spend a good portion of the day outdoors so that their bodies can get accustomed to the weather for when they do go out hunting.

Monitor Diet.
In extreme weather your hunting dog could suffer from dehydration if you don’t control its water intake. Consider using a heated water bowl that will help maintain the temperature of your dog’s drinking water and keep it from freezing. Sometimes, the food in your dog’s feeder could also get frozen, and unless you pay close attention to the food and water, you might miss out on this vital detail.

Dogs have the ability to regulate their temperatures because their anatomy has evolved over time and they can deal with extreme cold or intense heat. Their shaggy coats help resist the extreme weather conditions and seal in body heat. However, they should not be neglected because of their survival abilities. Providing the right care to your hunting dogs during sub-zero weather will guarantee that they make it safely and in good health to the end of the season. Giving your hunting dog, extra attention will keep it protected from injuries, frostbite, or hypothermia.

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