On Wednesday, a rambunctious yellow Labrador retriever fell through the thin ice at the Lone Tree Golf Course in Lone Tree, Colo. Luckily the chilled pooch was rescued a short time later by a local firefighter who wore an insulated dive suit and pulled the dog to safety.
According to the Denver Post. com, the South Metro Fire Rescue, who facilitated the dog’s rescue wants to warn people to keep their dogs on leashes. Even though the ice may seem safe, the warm Colorado weather is responsible for thin ice on many rivers and ponds.
Owners can be fined for allowing their dogs off leash, and owners can also be charged with animal cruelty for letting the dog get into a dangerous situation. In Denver, the first offense for no leash is an $80 fine. The fine for animal cruelty is $1,000.
Most communities demand dogs be on leashes while outdoors. When your dog is on a leash, he is safer because his human companion has control. One has to remember that not everyone wants a dog to greet them with jumps or wet kisses, and loose dogs tend to get in trouble with other dogs or can just wander away.
And as the coldest time of the year approaches, most dogs can not spend a lot of time outdoors comfortably. If you’re ready to come in from the cold, more than likely so is Fido. If a dog must stay outdoors, then provide an insulated shelter with plenty of warm blankets to cuddle in and stay warm. Make sure Fido’s water bowl doesn’t freeze and check on him often.
The two biggest dangers of extremely cold weather to dogs are frostbite and hypothermia. Both conditions require the advice and services of a licensed veterinarian. Frostbite may not be immediately recognizable, but ice crystals on a dog’s ears, paws, or tail are symptoms. Never rub the frostbitten tissue because the ice crystals can cause more damage. Instead apply warm water to the affected areas to help restore circulation, wrap your pet up in blankets, and transport him quickly to a veterinarian.
Symptoms of hypothermia may include shivering, depression, and weakness. As the condition worsens, the pet may suffer from muscle weakness and slower respiration. Again, wrap your four-legged friend in blankets and immediately seek the advice of a veterinarian.
Dogs depend on their human companions to keep them safe. Winter can be fun and safe; just take precautions and enjoy.
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