The Star-Herald

Hunting safety tips for pets

We are now into the hunting season, whether it is with guns or bows, hunting for birds, bear, rabbits, deer or any wild animal. 

You need to be safe and keep your four-legged family member safe. People need to wear hunter orange, but so should canine companions. Get your dog an orange hunting vest or bandana; these can be purchased online or try a local store.  If you have a talent for sewing, you can make one quite easily. 

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.  Some commonsense tips to follow will help both you and your pet stay safe.

One important thing to remember is to make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations.  

In cooler weather, hypothermia can be a concern, especially for dogs that 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 — however, this is rarely an issue when it comes to October and November in northern Maine.  

It’s a good idea to fit your dog with a safety vest to alert other hunters to his or her presence and protect him from rough terrain. Carrying a pet first-aid kit with you is important, because you never know when your dog might need medical attention.

In Maine it is against the law to transport your dog loose in the bed of a pickup or 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 lie. Always be sure to provide your pet with fresh water.  

In the event your pet wanders or becomes lost, it is so important to have tags with identification and, if possible, a microchip.  These will increase the chances of finding your pet should you become separated.

Be mindful of the seasons and the activity in the great outdoors. Even if you are not a hunter, make yourself familiar with when hunting season starts and finishes. But most importantly, get out and enjoy this beautiful time of year with your furry companion.

If you are looking for a fur baby, check out the Central Aroostook Humane Society. We have some nice animals looking for loving homes.  We are located at 24 Cross Street, Presque Isle.  Our hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We are closed for lunch from 12 to 12:30.  

Please be a responsible pet owner — have your pet neutered or spayed.

Gail Wieder is a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society Board of Directors.

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