The National Hockey League is taking a tough stance on dog owners who use water sources to play sports such as water skiing, according to the league’s chief medical officer.
The League says it has issued more than 700,000 warnings to owners and has banned some players from using ice or ice-cream to keep cool while in the water.
But it’s unclear how many of those warnings are accurate, said Dr. Scott B. Friesen, the league medical officer for public health.
“The league does not have an internal policy that would require players to remove their dog from a sport that is likely to be hazardous,” he said in a statement.
He said the league has had about 1,000 cases of “extreme heat, cold or dehydration” from owners using ice and ice- cream.
The league has warned owners of the dangers of playing water skiing and water skiing with their pets, although there are no specific guidelines on the subject.
Friesen said he is also considering a new approach to dog owners using their dogs in water sports.
He is studying the use of devices like bubble baths, which he said are used to treat respiratory infections.
Bubbles, like ice and bubble baths have been approved for use in sports that are hazardous, but they are not approved for water sports, he said.
He wants to develop a new type of device that would allow owners to use their dogs for ice and water sports with their pet.
“It’s not a new idea, but it is a different way of doing it,” he added.
“I think it would be a very safe way to do it.”
Frieser said he has also met with state health departments, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Canadian Veterinary Association to develop guidelines.
He said it is possible to use the devices without a water mask or to wear one, but owners should also be aware of the risks associated with using the devices.
“You can use a mask but you need to make sure that it is well-tipped and that it’s safe for your pet,” he explained.
“There is a lot of safety issues associated with the use and the disposal of the device.”
Frye, who is the league health officer, also said the leagues rules regarding dog use and water consumption have been amended.
He also said owners who are on a short leash should also wear a muzzle.
“This is not an issue that should have been a concern to us,” he told reporters Thursday.
“We’ve looked at this extensively and there are very few cases of dogs being left in water.”
Friede said he would like to see the use in some sports limited to a certain amount of time a player is on the ice.
“I think the time is too short,” he remarked.
“It is not something that we want to see happen.”
Frazier said the League would work with local governments to implement safety measures in places like parks and recreation areas, but he said he did not expect that to happen overnight.
“We want to ensure that people have access to appropriate care and safe water for their pets,” he acknowledged.