If you live in the country like I do, you're already hearing guns in the woods. It's hunting season in Maine and that means it's time to protect our own animals. Here are a few tips to help keep your beloved pets safe this season.

We all know that there's no way to insure that your pet will always be safe. But there are a few things we can do to help prevent tragedy.

  • The first suggestion is obvious....blaze orange. I know that your dog is going to hate wearing that orange vest, but it's a great way to prevent hunters from thinking it's a wild animal. At the very least, put on a bright orange collar or bandana.
  • A bell on your pet's collar will also signal it as a domestic animal. I've seen a lot of deer and foxes, but have never heard one jingle when it runs!
  • Keep your dog in your yard as much as possible, especially during the early mornings and evenings, when hunters will have a harder time distinguishing what they're seeing.
  • When walking your dog, stay on well-traveled roads and paths, and make sure you're both wearing blaze orange. And it's a good idea to keep your dog leashed while on your walk.
  • Just in case the worst does happen, keep your vet's number pre-programmed in your phone and have a first aid kit with you.

Many of the same tips apply if you're talking about horses or livestock. And it's best to keep cats indoors this time of year. Check out a very helpful website from the USDA for more great suggestions. And let's keep our pets safe!