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What to Do if Your Dog Falls Through Ice into Freezing Water

What to Do if Your Dog Falls Through Ice into Freezing Water

What to Do if Your Dog Falls Through Ice into Freezing Water

It was supposed to be a relaxing Christmas Day hike – just me, my husband, and our three furry family members. Little did we know that our peaceful stroll would turn into a full-blown rescue mission.

As we made our way along the trails of the Delaney Flood Control Site, I noticed our youngest pup, Walter, wandering a bit too close to the icy pond. “That’s not safe ice to step on, buddy,” I warned him. But before I could blink, my husband’s panicked voice pierced the winter air – “Walter fell through the ice!”

My heart sank as I rushed to the edge and saw Walter’s lower body submerged, his front paws clinging desperately to the frozen surface. Adrenaline surging, I sprang into action, leashing our other two dogs and coaching my husband through the rescue.

Staying Calm and Focused

In a situation like this, it’s easy for panic to take over. But as a pet emergency instructor, I knew that keeping a level head was crucial. I forced myself to slow down, take a deep breath, and systematically work through the steps to safely retrieve Walter.

First, I made sure my husband distributed his weight by lying flat on the ice, reducing the risk of him falling through as well. Then, I quickly leashed our other dog, Phoenix, to prevent her from running out onto the unstable surface. With the girls secured, I could focus all my attention on guiding my husband through the rescue.

“Grab his collar!” I shouted, and with a few cautious movements, he was able to pull Walter back to solid ground. Soaked and shivering, our little boxer was alive – but we weren’t out of the woods yet.

Treating Hypothermia

As we hurried back to the car, I knew we needed to act fast to warm Walter up and prevent hypothermia. I stripped off his wet jacket and replaced it with his mother Debbie’s dry one, hoping to retain as much of his core body heat as possible.

The walk back to the car felt like an eternity, with Walter shivering and me constantly checking on his condition. I was relieved to see that his temperature was still within the normal range, but I knew we needed to get him home and warmed up as soon as possible.

Once in the car, I dried Walter thoroughly with towels and encouraged him to drink some warm liquids. It was a tense and anxious ride, but by the time we reached the safety of our home, Walter was resting comfortably on the couch, his ordeal behind him.

Preventing Future Incidents

As I reflected on the events of the day, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of gratitude and regret. We were so fortunate that the rescue went as smoothly as it did, but I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that we should have been more proactive in preventing the incident altogether.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes. If only I had been more vigilant in keeping Walter away from the dangerous ice, we could have avoided the whole situation. And as a pet safety instructor, I felt a twinge of guilt for not capturing the rescue on video – a missed opportunity to share our experience and educate others.

Still, the important thing was that Walter was safe and sound, snuggled up on the couch. And while we may have learned this valuable lesson the hard way, I’m grateful that we now have the knowledge and tools to better protect our furry family members in the future.

As I sit here watching Walter drift off to sleep, I can’t help but smile. Our once-peaceful Christmas Day may have been derailed, but it’s a small price to pay for the gift of a healthy, happy dog. And you can bet that from now on, we’ll be extra vigilant when it comes to keeping our pups safe, no matter the season.

If you’re a dog owner, I encourage you to take the time to educate yourself on pet first aid and emergency preparedness. Because as we learned the hard way, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. And when they do, being prepared can make all the difference.

For more information on how to keep your four-legged friends safe, be sure to visit – your one-stop-shop for all things dog care and adoption.

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