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Guest GuyMcBeerdrinker

Taking your Best Friend along on a hunt

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Guest GuyMcBeerdrinker

I always take my dog on a hunt, and I'm sure other Geocachers do as well. I just wanted to compile a list of tips, and recommendations to make this experience more enjoyable for yourself and your four-legged friend. Feel free to add to it and post your comments if you wish.

 

-Make sure your pet is current on all his vaccines and boosters. If you have a puppy I strongly recommend against taking them along for two reasons: They may not have developed an immunity to the Parvo virus yet, and their legs may not be fully developed to take on the stress of a hike (especially the giant breeds).

 

-Take plenty of drinking water for them as well. I recommend buying a collapsible bowl to ease drinking. It folds up for easy storage, and you can shake the water off it when your dog is done drinking.

 

-Make sure your dog has a grasp of some basic commands such as sit, heel, stay. I know my dog has been tempted to run after squirrels, rabbits, whitetails, birds I just tell him to stay and it avoids me the trip of having to bring him back.

 

-I advise against buying a retractable leash. Not only can they get tangled up in branches when searching for a cache, but, in my opinion, encourages pulling.

 

-*This maybe a little extreme, but if you visit a snake habited area try to teach your dog to stay away from them. I took mine to a snake farm where he was struck on the nose by a fangless rattle snake. Now you couldn't pay him to get near a snake.

 

-If you are going to visit a rough terrain (thorns, sharp rocks, hot pavement, etc.) put some botties over your dog's paws.

 

-Dogs have a higher pain tolerance than humans, so when you get home check your dog throughly. Check his skin, coat, and inside his ears for fleas, ticks, etc. Check his paws for cuts, thorns, burrs, etc. If you catch a cut early you can avoid a costly trip to the vet to treat an infection later.

 

-Make sure your dog is properly socialized. If it is not warn others, especially children, to stay away.

 

I cannot stress the importance of having a properly trained dog. I can imagine how hard it must be trying to juggle a GPS, map, and compass while at the same time trying to keep your dog in line.

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Guest brucebridges

Good points. I would add a couple.

 

On a recent hike we ran across a mountain lion that I'm sure could have easily killed our dogs. I'm glad they returned immediately when called. I suggest taking seriously any warning signs (we saw them and didn't). Our oversight could have resulted in a really bad situation.

 

My dog got out last month and when he was found, his tags had come off. And these were pretty secured to the collar so I immediately had a microchip implanted. If you are going to have your dog in any heavy brush, I suggest considering that option.

 

bb

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Guest GuyMcBeerdrinker

Mountain Lion?!? Wow that's great I bet it was a beautiful animal. My dog has an ID chip implanted into this shoulder blade area, it was really painless. And when he was anesthetized to have his teeth cleaned I went ahead and had an ID tattoo done on his groin. You should discuss these options with your Vet and see what he recommends. A chip is a good idea if you live in a big town, but if you are going to be out in the country I would suggest getting a tattoo which is more visible and chances are that if you dog gets picked up by someone in a small town they may not have the proper scanning equipment.

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Guest WrongWay

Another good item to have in cactus country is a pair of needle nose pliers or a multi tool. Invaluable to pull needles out of the animals pads. Someone else mentioned a comb to get the burrs out of fur, another good idea.

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