Stuff happens. Being prepared for it can mean more than simply the difference between having a good and a bad day; it can mean the difference between life and death. This is especially true for dog owners, who can encounter any number of unexpected situations. The following items can help you be proactive in taking care of your dog and ensuring against disasters—large and small—in the field and at home.
▲ This vest keeps your dog doubly protected, with “honeycomb” rip-stop fabric in the body and a puncture-resistant rip-stop chest plate. Stretch-fabric side panels aid in a comfortable fit, and adjustable webbing straps secure with low-profile, side-release buckles. The safety-orange color and reflective trim and accents provide visibility even in low light. Sizes: Small, Medium and Large. Price: $45.
▲ Tired of birds flaring because your retriever is moving around or sticking out like a sore thumb? The new Delta Waterfowl Alpha Dog Blind will keep your partner hidden and protected from the elements. Made of polyester, with blacked-out backing on the interior sides and a padded floor, the blind measures 37” (l) x 21” (w) x 19” (h) and has a two-hub design for quick and easy setup. Dual-swing doors in the front and rear have magnetic closures and buckles, respectively. There is a paracord handle and stubble straps for added concealment. Tie-down stakes and a shoulder carrying bag are included. Weight: 4 pounds 9 ounces. Color: Realtree Max-5 camo. Price: $100.
▲ If your dog tends to stretch it out in the field or hunt in heavy cover, Dogtra’s new Pathfinder collar allows you to not only keep track of him or her but also access training functions using your smartphone. Using Google Maps, you can see all tracked dogs (up to 21) plus your location, or there is an Offline Maps mode. A “Compass” function gives a dog’s distance and direction, and a “Geo Fence” option alerts you when a dog enters or leaves a set radius. There are custom alerts for dog actions using pop-ups, sound and vibration, and “E-Collar” mode allows quick access to training functions, with up to 100 stimulation levels. (A TRX version of the collar has no stimulation and is approved for UKC and AKC events). Range: 9 miles. Batteries: rapid-charge lithium-polymer. Price: $399.
▲ Whether you’re close to home or miles from your vehicle, it’s never a bad idea to have emergency supplies at the ready. The Workin’ Dog Kit from Adventure Medical Kits is designed to treat major and minor ailments, so that you can either continue hunting or get your dog to a vet. In addition to ointments, medications and bandages are items like a disposable skin stapler, a cold pack, QuikClot gauze, a hemostat, an irrigation syringe, an LED headlamp and an emergency blanket. The book Canine Field Medicine is included as a reference guide. Price: $110.
▲ Though not a life-or-death situation (hopefully), there is nothing fun about a dirty dog jumping onto a clean couch. Mud River’s new Lounger can help you avoid having to scrub your furniture—or worse, getting an earful from your spouse. Measuring 42” (l) x 31” (w) x 7” (h), the Lounger is made of single-brushed suede and has a non-slip backing. Padded bumpers on the sides and back add comfort for your pampered pooch. The Lounger is also machine washable—the bumpers being removed through zippered openings. Color: tan. Price: $50.
▲ Designed with the hunter in mind, Dakota 283’s Dine N Dash is a portable food-and-water source for your dog(s). Made of crush-resistant, BPA-free polyethylene, the unit holds 2½ gallons of water and 8 cups of dry dog food. An 8” twist lid seals in the food, so it doesn’t get wet. To water your dog, simply hold the Dine N Dash vertically with the handle, remove the rubber plug (which can be stored in a recess in the bottom) and set down the unit. Water will fill the bowl area and keep backfilling until your dog is finished drinking. When it’s time to go, tilt up the unit and reinsert the plug. Colors: Light Granite, Orange and Sandstone. Price: $79.