why your dog needs an orthopedic bed
09-30-193 mins read
It’s time to get outside and enjoy a hunt with your dog by your side. You know who it may not feel as great for? Your older hunting buddy. Let Bob Owens of Lone Duck Outfitters introduce you to his dog, Buck, and why he specifically enjoys his Orthopedic Dog Bed from Gunner so much.
GUNNER News
Pet Safety
h4>Words by Bob Owens of Lone Duck Outfitters, Gunner Ambassador


The Best Accessory For An Older Hunting Dog

Reunited [with hunting season] and it feels so good! That’s right, we’re back in action and after months of training and preparation, it’s time to get outside and enjoy a hunt with your dog by your side. You know who it may not feel as great for? Your aging hunting buddy. Let me introduce you to my dog, Buck, and why he specifically enjoys his Orthopedic Dog Bed from Gunner so much.

My partnership with Buck started 9 and a half years ago and our work together helped push me to become a professional retriever trainer. I owe a lot to this dog and I’m grateful for him and the countless memories we have together.

Buck has bad arthritis and hip dysplasia, so unfortunately, he is retired from most hunting trips. I still unleash him from retirement here and there, but I have to make sure he’s well taken care of before and after the hunt. Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years about caring for older dogs who need extra attention and recovery:

Before a Hunt

Prior planning is key. While your ol’ hunting buddy may be sore and arthritic, that doesn’t mean they don’t need proper exercise to keep them at a healthy weight and a nutritional diet.

Since Buck can’t run hard and train every day like he used to, I frequently take him to swim at his own pace for exercise. This is great for him because it’s low-impact, keeps him moving and he enjoys it.

I don’t toss an excessive amount of bumpers for him because he is bound to overdo it. Just make sure your dog has consistent, low-impact exercise to stay healthy. It is also important to maintain the dog’s body weight and not allow them to become obese. Many older dogs gain weight due to lack of exercise, over-feeding, and the (not so) occasional treats. We tend to shower them with love and treats in their old age but the extra pounds can do significant damage to their joints and overall well-being.

Strategize your Hunt

Earlier I mentioned how I like to bring Buck out of retirement on special occasions and that’s the trick: special occasions only. I make sure that I’m going on a shorter, more “tame” hunt where Buck doesn’t have to over exert himself. For example, he’ll hunt great in the warmer, early season temperatures and out of our boat versus a nasty, stick-infested marsh. If you’re hunting with a friend and their dog, maybe have their dog pick up the bird that sails off 400 yards and your older dog snags the ones dropped in the decoys… they were probably your birds, anyway.

Personally, I know that Buck’s body may have slowed down but his drive and desire to chase birds and retrieve has not and I’m sure it’s similar with your dog, too. Keep that in mind. It’s your job to think strategically because they won’t. Keep it simple and keep it safe.

After a Hunt

When the decoys are put away, the gear is packed up and reminiscing over the hunt begins, my dog can be pretty sore and want to sleep quite a bit. Because of that, I make sure he is as comfortable as possible, so I have him sleep on his dog bed from Gunner. It’s specially designed with 2 inches of memory foam, which supports his sore hips and elbows and allows him to recover without inflaming pressure points. The bed also fits perfectly inside his Gunner Intermediate kennel so he is able to relax in his own space and rest easy.

When the decoys are put away, the gear is packed up and reminiscing over the hunt begins, my dog can be pretty sore and want to sleep quite a bit. Because of that, I make sure he is as comfortable as possible, so I have him sleep on his dog bed from Gunner. It’s specially designed with 2 inches of memory foam, which supports his sore hips and elbows and allows him to recover without inflaming pressure points. The bed also fits perfectly inside his kennel so he is able to relax in his own space and rest easy.

*Pro tip: I’m sure your dog gets a little wet and dirty when hunting, be sure to wash the kevlar liner to keep it in mint condition.

Chances are, your veteran dog has put on a lot of miles, retrieved a few straps of birds and been by your side through a number of adventures. You owe it to them to have their best interest in mind. Be sure to take care of them by properly fueling them with nutrition and exercise, be strategic about your hunting plans and allow them to recover like they deserve.

Lone Duck Outfitters is a professional gun dog training outfit that provides a community for all who share a passion for The Unspoken Bond. Learn more about the Owens brothers’ operation here.

Read more: Gators, Dogs & Early Teal Season in Louisiana

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GUNNER strap sets are the only ones that we recommend, and have met each of the brand’s crash test standards. They are the straps that the Center For Pet Safety recommends using when anchoring your crate to your vehicle for 5 Star Crash Test certified safety.

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Your dog works hard for you – this fan works hard for your dog. The GUNNER Fan Kit is a high-powered device designed to mount easily to the crate, with a stainless steel mounting rod and custom tensions bolts. Built to provide significant ventilation, especially while kennel is stationary. A durable structure, just like our customers are accustomed to.

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BM
07/05/2021
Brandon M.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
It’s like an insurance plan….

This is by far the best kennel made. I use mine daily and they take lots of abuse. They never even seem to wear at all. Hose them off with soap and water and they look brand new. I encourage all of my puppy buyers to get them as well. It’s like an insurance plan for your best friend!

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KT
06/14/2021
Kris T.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? TravelHomeHome & Travel Equally
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
Wow, Just Wow

Wow, this kennel is the Yeti of dog kennels! everything about this kennel is first rate. Yes, there are cheaper, but none can compare to a Gunner kennel.

AL
05/31/2021
Alec L.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
Amazing travel kennel

This thing is built like a tank. I have no doubt this will protect our little guy if we are ever involved in an accident. We recently completed an 800 mile road trip with him in the crate. It was well worth the money. This was the first time he was calm in the car and not whining. He slept easily during the drive. We felt calm know he was secure and comfortable. Cannot recommend this crate enough!!

AO
05/08/2021
Angus O.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Unlike any other crate I have seen

I purchased two Gunner kennels, a medium and a small, for my pups. Immediately, you understand this is a different level of product compared to what you’ve used before. The construction is fantastic and legitimately heavy duty. I feel so much better knowing I’ve done everything I can to keep my dogs safe in case of a worst case scenario.

PK
03/18/2021
Patrick K.
United States United States
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
Best purchase for my best friends

I’ve been buying cheap kennels for the four years I’ve owned my dogs, none of them seemed to hold up. I’ve wanted a Gunner for a year now, and the more I read stories of how they have saved dogs lives, it made me think of how losing my best friends would damn near **** me. So I made the purchase and will never look back. It is one solid kennel and I will not let the kennel hold me back from traveling farther to hunt anymore. It’s well worth the investment. I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for, and this will not let anyone down.