Keep your dog warm while hunting
Same as us, dogs may suffer of temperature drops while hunting and even when they have their own coat, it's necessary to help your hunting dog to stay warm, especially during storms, snow or particular strong weather conditions.
Remember that your dogs might die because of cold and unlike us, they don't have a backpack with extra clothing and can't say "it's too cold out there", so keep eyes wide open and help your dogs to stay warm when hunting.
Next you'll find a few tips to keep your dogs warm during your hunting raids:
1- Prefer big dogs over small ones.
If possible, go out hunting with big dogs during winter season. Smaller dogs have more problems to regulate their temperature, so big breeds are better to face extreme low temperatures.
2- Don't go out with dogs too young or too old.
Youngest and older dogs don't suit extreme low temperatures due to their physiology; thus on extremely cold weather conditions, leave these dogs at home and go out only with mature hounds. There will be warmer days ahead for younger dogs gain experience.
3- Fat is the key
Fat is a natural insulation layer for dogs, so prepare in advance your dogs for the winter season feeding them with high protein, high fat diet. The thicker their fat layer, the better to protect them of low temperatures. In addition they will be stronger and ready to face whatever mother nature throws them.
4- Check paws regularly
Especially on snowy conditions an when dogs need to enter on the water. Check for cracks, bleeding or ice formation on the paws and take proper actions depending of what you find, even if this mean to a premature end of the raid, after all your dogs are important as well their safety and health.
5- Use Warm Clothes
If necessary, use doggy warm clothes to keep your dogs comfortable and warm. There are many models and sizes available in the market, so find the one that best fits your dogs.
Dogs boot are still available, that will be a plus to take care of their paws!
Finally, be aware about your dogs normal behaviour and if you see something out of normal suspect about an injury or body temperature drop. If so, react properly taking care of the injury or warming your dog to prevent hypothermia. If after proper measures, your dog's behaviour is still out of normal, find professional advise as soon as possible.