It is September, which means that hunting season here in Montana is in full swing. Whether you are gearing up to go out yourself or just living in the area, you need to make yourself aware of things that you can do to make this hunting season a safe one. 

Make sure to follow these tips to help your pet stay safe:

Hunting Safety For Hunting Dogs

  • Make sure that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and is on appropriate parasite prevention. Diseases like leptospirosis, rabies, and Lyme disease are serious.
  • In cooler weather hypothermia can be a concern, especially for dogs who become wet. Be sure that they have a place where they can get out of the wind and dry them as best as you are able.
  • If the weather is warm, be on the lookout for early signs of heat exhaustion. These include heavy panting, drooling, confusion, and weakness. Always provide your pet with fresh water.
  • Provide safety gear for your dog. Use a breakaway collar that will allow your dog to break free if it becomes entangles. Fit your dog with a safety vest to alert other hunters to his or her presence and protect him from rough terrain. Consider a pair of boots fitted to your dog as well to protect its paws.
  • Carry a pet first-aid kit with you. You never know when your dog might need medical attention.
  • Never transport your dog loose in the bed of a pickup truck or a trunk. You may choose to mount a crate in the truck’s bed for transport. Be sure to provide shelter from the wind, and a soft, dry place to lay.
  • Be sure that your dog is identifiable with tags and a microchip so that he or she can find the way home should you become separated.

Hunting Safety For Pets

  • Know the seasons. Even if you are not a hunter, make yourself familiar with when hunting season is.
  • Find out where hunting areas are. During hunting season it is safest to avoid these areas and adjacent public areas. Take precautions even if hunting is not allowed in the area.
  • Make yourself obvious. If you are going out in a wooded area, Make sure that you and your pet are wearing bright “hunter orange” to make yourselves visible to hunters. Consider adding a bell to your pet’s collar to add an additional warning. If you see a hunter, announce yourself and your pet.
  • Keep your pet leashed or confined. A loose pet is more likely to be mistaken for game than one on a leash. Consider keeping pets in at night as well.