A veterinarian in Yellowknife is cautioning dog owners to keep their animals leashed after two reported wolf attacks. 

Around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, a resident near Finlayson Drive let her dog outside. She waited for him to come back to the door, but he never came.

When she went outside to look for him, she found him dead in the snow. 

The owner brought her dog to the Great Slave Animal Hospital to be cremated. 

"It was a puncture wound in the aorta," says veterinarian Dr. Tom Pisz. "It damaged the aorta so it bled to death very quickly."

No one saw the animal that attacked the 80 pound lab cross, but Dr. Pisz suspects it was likely a wolf. 

Wildlife officers suspect that the same wolf was involved in a second encounter Thursday morning near Magrum Crescent.

In that incident the owner was able to scare the wolf away.

Wildlife officers weren't able to track the animal because of the heavy snowfall.

Pisz says wolves are scared of humans but they may view dogs and foxes as competition for food. 

"Don't panic but be cautious," he says. "It's not a situation which happens all the time. It's isolated. If you live in the outskirts of town, let the dogs out, you might want to pay attention."

If your dog's on a leash, Pisz says it's unlikely the animals will attack because they're scared of people.