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Springtime hazards

Bell in springtime
Belle is on a leash due to unsafe water conditions.

Keep your pet safe around water and ice

With spring on the way, it’s only natural that pet owners want to get outside with their dogs and enjoy the sights and smells of the seasons changing. Spring brings thawing snow and ice, so don’t forget that rivers and lakes are also melting at this time of year, and this change in the outdoor temperatures can present a safety hazard for dogs. As temperatures rise, ice surfaces thaw and begin to break up.

When everything is melting in spring, it’s best to keep yourself and your dog completely off the ice, as it’s not always easy to judge its thickness with the naked eye. Every year, we hear horror stories of dogs getting stranded on ice, falling through ice, or being swept away by rising waters. These tragic accidents are almost always preventable. 

Spring ice may be thick enough for a small animal like a rabbit to run across, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily hold up for you or your dog. Despite their fur coats, dogs can quickly suffer hypothermia… or even drown. An owner’s natural reaction is to run in and attempt to save their pet, which also puts you at risk. It’s not only large bodies of water that are of concern – smaller creeks and streams should also be avoided, as they can present the same dangers with rising and rushing water.

The last thing you want to do is deny your pet their playtime, especially when the weather is finally making a positive turn, but be safe by sticking with securely enclosed backyards and dog parks. If you’re out for a walk keep your dog securely on a leash, so you know where your dog is at all times. 

Avoid taking your dog on any remaining ice surfaces, no matter how stable they may seem.

If your pet does fall through the ice,  and never attempt the rescue yourself. Rescue professionals have the equipment needed to keep everyone safe.

Focusing on a safe spring for you and your pet means you’ll both be able to enjoy spring to the fullest!


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