When you have a dog, your main goal is to keep them safe and healthy. You wrestle them away from chicken bones that they try to eat on the street, you make sure they get plenty of water when it’s hot out so they don’t get dehydrated, you buy them little coats when it’s chilly out so they don’t get sick, and you check your floors constantly for choking hazards. But, according to one tragic Facebook post that has since gone viral, there’s one danger you’re probably not even aware of.
On October 24, one woman experienced every dog owner’s worst nightmare. As she walked into her house, she saw that one of her Labrador retrievers, Skyrah, had somehow gotten her jaw entangled in the collar of one of her other Labrador retrievers, Ryder.
“I screamed, dropped everything, and ran to the dining room,” she wrote on her Facebook page, Labradorablebffs, in a post that has received 16,000 shares since it went up on Monday. “I quickly unbuckled their collars, shook Ryder, ‘Wake up, wake up,’ and realized he was gone. I quickly grabbed Skyrah and we both went outside on the back porch. I kept petting her, holding her close repeating ‘It’s not your fault,’ while screaming in horror as to what I found.”
Apparently, he had lost his life due to “collar strangulation,” which injures or kills an estimated 26,000 dogs a year. It’s feels counterintuitive to take your dog’s collar off when you leave the house, because you’re told that a dog should always have ID on in case he or she runs away and gets lost. But the reality is that, every year, there are tragic reports of dogs getting their collars stuck in something while their owners are away, and end up panicking and strangling themselves to death.
In Ryder’s case, it’s likely that Skyrah’s lower jaw got twisted into his collar, or her tooth got stuck in one of the collar holes, while they were playing, which made both of them panic. Collar strangulation can occur within seconds, and is therefore possible anytime the dog is unsupervised.
“Please tell your dog-owner friends to remove their collars from their dogs when they are home alone,” she wrote. “The collars (unless they are a true breakaway collar) can get hung up on anything. The carpet, a knob, furniture, walking by a kennel, you name it….it was a total freak accident….it should have never happened. I’m heartbroken beyond any loss we have sustained thus far….and it’s going to take a long time for me to move forward from this. I’m thankful for every dog hair he shed, every moment he was a part of our lives, and the blessings he brought to my life.”
If you’re nervous about removing your dog’s collar when you’re away, you can also buy a breakaway collar like this “Keep Safe” one, which unhooks anytime when there’s any tension on the neck.
You will be greatly missed, Ryder, but hopefully your tragic story will save the lives of other very good boys everywhere.
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In Loving Memory of Ryder Jackson <3 💔 I’ve struggled since October 24th, 2018 writing this post. I’ve gone back and forth about writing it. First let me start by saying I’m absolutely devastated, and shattered by the loss of my beautiful chocolate Ryder, and in the same breath thankful, that Skyrah survived. It’s a strange place to be – heartbroken/shattered, and thankful at the same time. **PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING IF YOU HAVE A DOG. IT COULD SAVE THEIR LIFE.**
For more important information on man’s best friend, read this heartbreaking comment one vet made about putting down pets.
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