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WHAT TO DO IF YOU WITNESS A DOG FALL THROUGH ICE
How to keep your dog away from the dangers winter brings.
During the winter months, it’s hard not to take advantage of a sunny day when you get one- it’s even harder to be kept inside all day, and our dogs feel the same way.
During these winter months, the unpredictability of the weather mixed with the excitement of going on a walk brings dangers for dogs that other seasons just don’t bring, one of them being ice.
Before bundling up for you next walk, be prepared and prevent future accidents by keeping your dog on a leash and following the 3 steps below in case you witness your dog, or a neighbor’s dog fall through ice.
1. Don’t hesitate to dial 911
We’ve heard it before, “In case of emergency, call 911.” Witnessing a dog fall through ice is one of these times. Dispatchers will send emergency response teams to your location to help rescue the animal in need.
2. Stay off of the ice
Being a witness to an accident as unfortunate as this, can make you feel extremely helpless and desperate. Should you be present during the accident, no matter how confident in your abilities you may be, never go in after them. “We know people are going to want to go after them,” Poudre Fire Authority Captain Matt Housley said. “But if the ice breaks once, chances are it will break again and you don’t want to end up in the water, too.”
“If the ice isn’t strong enough to hold a dog, it’s not going to be strong enough to hold a person,” added Poudre Fire Authority Capt. Jon McKeon.
3. Keep calm
“Dogs do a pretty good job of holding themselves tight until we can get to them,” says McKeon. Follow their lead and remain calm. Panicking with only educe more stress in your dog.
Once rescuers arrive, they will tether a team member to a leash and then walk and crawl out to your dog. They are prepared to swim should the ice break.
After the rescue, they will be able to help assess the care that your dog might need. Most times it’s as simple as a warm towel other times, veterinary assistance is required. Whatever the case may be, they are there to help assess and assist you during this time.
4. How to avoid a repeat rescue:
Always keep your dog on a leash and maintain a firm grip. It takes just one small distraction to lose control of your dog- a huge one being, geese or squirrels walking on the ice.
Have a winter tip that you’d like to share? Leave it in our comment section below!
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