With the cooler days of fall right around the corner, many dog owners look forward to exploring the woods and countryside with their pets. But as welcoming as the woods appear, we must also be aware that we are sharing the area with hunters and their dogs, and all of us should take precautions to keep everyone—humans and dogs alike–safe.
As we are enjoying the changing colors of the leaves of autumn, we should also think color in clothing, both for us, and in any kind of protective wear for our pets. Bright orange vests for man and man’s best friend are the recommended attire when enjoying the woods and trails.
Do some research regarding the hunting seasons in the areas you’ll be visiting. By knowing whether the season is open for hunting you can more safely assess whether a specific area is appropriate for exploration. The best advice is to only use trails in areas that are closed to hunting.
If you do take to the woods with your dog, it is best to keep your pet on a leash, as dogs can venture away from the safety of trails where hunting is prohibited. Make sure your pet has the proper identification as well in case he or she accidentally gets loose. This is especially important for dogs who are bred for hunting. Even if you are not taking your dog on a hunt, spaniels, pointers and retrievers may possibly be tempted to revert to the call or nature versus the training you have tried to nurture in him or her. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If your pet is also your treasured hunting partner it is very important to keep your animal safe. Colored vests, bells and identification may be even more important if you’re taking your dog into an active hunting zone.
And if you happen to live near an area open to hunting, make sure you keep an active eye on your pet and never let him or her run loose. Even if your pet doesn’t venture outside of your yard, and is only going outside for bathroom purposes, consider putting him or her in a colorful vest.
When it comes to your pet’s safety, remember it is always better to err on the side of safety. Enjoy the beautiful fall season in all its glory—and be safe!