Prepping your dog for pheasant season success.

Follow these tips for getting your dog ready, and he’ll be flushing the fields like the champion he is!

Get him checked out

If you’ve got yourself a well-trained bird dog, we’re sure you’ve also got yourself a good veterinarian as well. Taking him in for a preseason wellness examination is recommended, and will help to establish his health and physical well-being. If he’s not in the proper condition, he’ll be at higher risk for injuries or heat stress. So take the time to ensure he’s just as ready as you are to get out and hunt.


What we mean by conditioning, is getting the dogs’ joints and muscles in good shape, so that when they start putting in that highly physical hunting work, they’re less likely to sustain injury. First thing’s first: keep your dog’s weight healthy. Excess weight creates more stress on his joints, and given the physical nature of bird hunting, even a little excess weight can increase his risk of injury.

Don’t expect your dog to be able to hunt all day if he’s fallen out of peak physical condition. Take it easy on him at the beginning of the hunting season, and let him get acclimated to the physicality of the hunt again.

Put together your first-aid kit

This is pretty self-explanatory, but make sure you have all the essentials for treating any minor injuries your pup, or yourself, might sustain. A few of the basics that should be included in your kit are: Hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, elastic bandages, gauze, tape, scissors, eye wash, Benadryl.

Keeping these essentials on hand should allow you to treat most injuries in the field, but anything more severe should prompt some follow-up care when you return home.

Keeping their immune system in check

High stress situations can wreak havoc on a dog’s immune function. It’s wise to keep a canine probiotic supplement handy while traveling to your hunting destination. Purina brand carries a product, FortiFlora, that is prescribed by veterinarians and contains a special strain of probiotic that’s been proven to restore normal intestinal health and balance. You can start them on this a few days before your trip to help boost their immunity.

Bring water

Your dog needs to stay cool and hydrated while out hunting birds, at all times. Pack a few gallons of fresh water, and give them small amounts from a squirt bottle as often as every 15 minutes. This will help keep them cool, and ready for the work they’re putting in. If they’ve just finished flushing some birds, and have been working hard, wait until their panting slows down before allowing them to drink a large amount of water.

We want you and your hunting companion to have a great season out in the fields. We also want you both to stay safe and minimize any potential injuries or illnesses. So take the time to follow the tips we’ve provided, and then get out there and bag some birds.

Important dates: Pheasant hunting season 2019

Open Season: October 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020

To learn more about hunting in Aberdeen, visit

For more information about the Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition and ongoing conservation efforts, visit