All posts by James

Fido’s Golden Years

Have you started noticing grey around your pup’s muzzle? Does Fido walk slowly, when he used to zip around? It can be bittersweet to notice that your canine buddy is aging. Your pooch will still need good food, proper activity, and regular veterinary care in his golden years, but his care regimen may change a bit. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some senior dog care tips.

Grooming

Brushing Fido regularly will benefit him in several ways. For one thing, it will remove dead hair and dander from his fur. This will improve the insulating qualities of his coat, so he can stay cool in summer and warm in winter. It’s also good for his circulation. Claw trims and doggy dental care are also important.

Doggy Comforts

Small touches can keep your pup much more comfortable. Pet ramps or stairs will help your furry pal get around more easily. A good doggy bed is also important. (Note: we recommend orthopedic beds, especially for medium and large dogs, because of the extra support they provide.) You may also want to get Fido some elevated doggy dishes, which will be easier for him to eat from than regular ones.

Exercise

Just like people, dogs slow down as they age. Your pooch may become more interested in napping than in chasing tennis balls. Don’t let your pup become a complete couch potato! Fido will still need some activity, even if it’s just a slow, relaxing stroll.

Mobility

Dogs often develop medical issues in their golden years. In between Fido’s regular appointments, watch for symptoms of sickness. Bone/joint issues, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia, are common. Warning signs of these problems include limping, stiffness, grumpiness, and reduced interest in play. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss. You may be surprised at how many options there are for helping older pets feel better!

Love

At the end of the day, Fido wants nothing more than to hang out with his best friend: you. Keep your furry friend’s tail wagging by spending quality time with him every day. Remember to enjoy this special stage of your canine companion’s life. Older dogs often develop a very calm, sweet demeanor that is an absolute joy to be around. Plus, they’re adorable!

Do you have questions about senior dog care? Call us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, today!

Adopting a Stray Cat

Have you been considering adopting a stray kitty? This is a truly wonderful act of kindness! Many stray cats can make wonderful pets. However, there are some things to keep in mind before deciding to adopt Fluffy. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses adopting a stray cat.

Strays Vs. Ferals

While stray cats and feral cats are biologically identical, they are worlds apart in terms of purrsonality. Strays are used to humans, as they have been around people before. Many are former pets that either got lost or abandoned at some point, and learned how to fend for themselves. Feral cats, on the other hand, have always been wild. Stray cats can become feral if left on their own long enough. And, occasionally, feral cats can be tamed. A feral kitty that won’t let you get near her may not ever make a good house pet, but will still benefit from food, fresh water, shelter, and regular veterinary care.

Veterinary Care

The first thing you’ll want to do is make Fluffy a veterinary appointment. This is especially important if you have other pets! We recommend that all cats be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept current on vaccinations and parasite control. A full exam is also in order. Don’t let your feline friend interact with other pets or children until your vet has given the all-clear.

Settling In

Just like people, cats all have unique personalities. Some strays will happily walk right into your home, hop onto your couch, and curl up for a nap. Cats that are more timid and/or wary will need more time to settle in. Start Fluffy out in a quiet room, with comfy beds, toys, treats, and kitty furniture. Don’t force attention on your feline pal, however: let her decide when she wants to be petted.

Purr Activation

Many former strays become so accustomed to living indoors that they lose all desire to go outside. To convince Fluffy that the indoor life is both fun and luxurious, set out some pet-safe plants, offer lots of treats, and take time to play with her daily. With time, patience, and lots of TLC, you’ll have that little motor going before you know it!

Please feel free to contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help.

5 Common Signs of Sickness in Dogs

Dogs may not speak our language, but they are pretty good at communicating. Fido may run and hide when he hears the word ‘Bath’ and knows full well what ‘Do you want a treat?’ means. Your pet will also let you know when he needs to go for a walk or wants to play. However, Man’s Best Friend isn’t quite that clear when it comes to letting us know that he doesn’t feel well. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some signs of illness in dogs.

Bad Breath

Fido isn’t exactly known for having winter-fresh breath. However, if your dog’s affectionate doggy kisses make you cringe, your furry friend may need medical attention. Bad breath can be indicative of many different health problems.

Excessive Thirst

It’s not unusual for dogs to gulp down some water after a vigorous walk or a fun game of Fetch. However, if Fido seems to be constantly thirsty, contact your vet. Excessive urination is also a warning sign.

Lack of Appetite

As you’ve probably noticed, our canine buddies have very healthy appetites. If Fido isn’t interested in dinner, he may be sick!

Tummy Troubles

Just like people, pets occasionally get upset stomachs. A single incident of vomiting or diarrhea may not be anything to be concerned about. (Note: we always advise erring on the side of caution, so check with your vet to be on the safe side.) Frequent, bloody, and/or excessive vomiting or diarrhea, on the other hand, is definitely a warning sign.

Lethargy

Although dogs do spend a lot of time napping, Fido should pretty much go from being sound asleep to fully alert at the sound of a cheese wrapper. If your furry pal seems listless, weak, and/or fatigued, however, he could be ill. A reduced interest in walks and playtime can also be indicative of sickness.

Tips

These are just a few signs of sickness in dogs. Others include grumpiness; skin problems; respiratory issues, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and/or wheezing; unusual behavior or vocalizations, such as uncharacteristic whimpering; red or runny eyes; and chewing or licking at a specific spot. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these signs in your furry best friend!

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care!

Spring Cleaning for Pet Parents

Spring is finally here! As we leave another winter behind, many people are rolling up their sleeves and getting some spring cleaning done. Don’t forget about your pet’s things! A local Fort Collins, CO vet offers some spring cleaning tips for pet owners in this article.

Bedding

Wash your four-legged buddy’s bedding, and inspect it for tears and rips. We recommend using hot water and unscented detergent. Beds that can’t go in the wash can be vacuumed.

Toys

Inspect your furry friend’s playthings, and toss out anything that is worn or ripped. Toys that are still in decent condition can be given a good cleaning. To clean a rope toy, remove metal parts, soak it in water, and pop it in the microwave for about a minute. Stuffed animals can be washed in the washing machine. Use unscented detergent and the hottest wash and dry cycles you have. Plastic and rubber toys, such as Kong toys, can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Use the hot setting, and skip the soap. The water and steam will do the trick. Check care instructions for other toys.

Perishables

Go through your pet’s food, treats, and medicine, and get rid of anything that is no longer good. Don’t forget to check expiration dates! If you store your furry pal’s food in a specific container, such as a pitcher or storage tote, give that a good cleaning as well.

Grooming

Many animals shed heavily at this time of year, as they lose their winter fur. We recommend brushing your pet daily during peak shedding times. If you have a dog, bring Fido outdoors for his beauty sessions in warm weather. That way, the fur will just blow away.

Household

We recommend vacuuming regularly, especially during shedding season. This is also a good time to change your air filter. If you need to remove pet fur from your clothing or upholstery, try using a squeegee, rubber dish glove, or a damp sponge. You may also want to put some removable slipcovers on your furniture, at least until shedding season winds down.

Veterinary Care

Fleas and ticks will follow soon behind the spring thaw. Make sure that your four-legged pal is current on their vaccines, exams, and parasite control products!

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Respect Your Cat Day

Did you know that there’s a very important kitty holiday coming up? March 28th is Respect Your Cat Day! While cats aren’t difficult to care for, it’s easy for us to overlook some of their needs, and unintentionally disrespect them. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers tips on how to respect your feline overlord.

Toys

Make sure that Fluffy has suitable entertainment options. Kitties can get bored, restless, and unhappy with nothing to do! Offer your cute pet lots of toys to push beneath the couch, and take time to play with her daily.

Litterbox

Make sure to keep Fluffy’s litterbox clean. We recommend scooping it out daily, and replacing the litter about once a week. No one likes a dirty bathroom!

Veterinary Care

We know, coming to see us is definitely not one of your pet’s favorite pastimes. Fluffy would probably rather be napping. However, your furball will look and feel much better with proper care. Keep up with your feline pal’s regular appointments. At home, watch for signs of sickness. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Grooming

Cats take their beauty routines very seriously, but that doesn’t mean your kitty can’t use a helping hand now and then. Senior cats and longhaired kitties in particular need some help with grooming. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Stimulation

While toys are very beneficial for our feline friends, they shouldn’t be your furball’s only source of entertainment. Make sure your pet has a good window view, so she can watch birds and squirrels. You may also want to leave a TV or radio on for Fluffy if you are leaving her alone. The sound of voices and music will provide mental stimulation, and keep her from being lonely.

Kitty Comforts

Your four-legged pal will really appreciate having a few things that were specifically made to suit her needs. Offer your cute pet some kitty furniture that encourages her to jump and climb. Cat towers are great for this!

Purrs

Cats may pretend to be independent, but at the end of the day, they are quite cuddly and affectionate, and are happiest when they feel loved. Spend time with your kitty every day, and pay attention to her.

Please reach out to us for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. As your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, we are here to help!

If Dogs Had Thumbs

Did you know that there are some super cute pet holidays? One of the most amusing ones is coming right up. March 3rd is If Pets Had Thumbs Day! It’s probably safe to say that our canine pals would get into quite a bit of mischief if they had thumbs. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some things Fido may do if he had thumbs.

Open All The Food

If dogs had thumbs, we’d have to figure out some very ingenious ways to keep Fido from opening every can or box of food in the house. You’d also have to store bacon, sausage, and hamburger in a refrigerated safe, and/or put a padlock on your fridge.

Order Pizza

We suspect that Fido would definitely order himself a stack of meat lovers’ pizzas. Your canine buddy would have every delivery place on speed dial!

Lock The Cat Out

Fluffy and Fido have had a fairly rocky relationship. While some kitties can be best friends with their canine roommates, even pets that are pals can get a bit jealous of each other. Fido may very well kick his feline ‘sibling’ out of the house, or possibly lock her in a closet.

Go For A Walk . . . Or A Drive

If your four-legged friend could let himself out whenever he wanted, he’d probably be in and out quite a bit. Dogs love exploring, so Fido may also hop into your car and drive himself to the nearest dog park or beach! It’s also probably safe to say that your four-legged pal would waste no time unlatching the gate in the yard, and heading off for some grass-sniffing doggy adventures.

Cancel His Appointments

Just like people, dogs both look and feel better with proper care. Proper grooming will keep Fido looking and feeling clean and soft, while regular veterinary appointments help keep your furry friend in the best health possible. However, given the option, your pup would probably opt to stay in and order pizza.

Use Back Scratchers

Fido can be super cute when he’s trying to scratch an itchy spot. Your pooch would definitely love the ability to use a back scratcher! (Note: if your canine companion seems extremely itchy, have your vet examine him.)

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

New Year’s Resolutions for Dogs

Happy New Year! As we move forward into 2018 and leave 2017 behind, many people are looking ahead at the next year and setting personal goals for themselves. If your canine pal could make resolutions, what do you think would be on his list? A local Fort Collins, CO vet makes a few educated guesses below.

Explore New Grass

Our canine buddies are very adventurous, and love checking out new places and lawns. Fido can actually get quite a bit of information about neighborhood comings and goings just from sniffing yards! Try a new walking route this year, or take your four-legged friend to a local dog park.

Get More Snacks

If there’s one thing dogs are always up for, it’s trying to score yummy treats. Fido may work on his sad-puppy face, or try a new tactic. (Note: treats are fine, but don’t overindulge your furry pal with fatty snacks.)

Get The Cat To Stop Stealing My Bed

If you want a chuckle, look up videos of cats stealing dog beds. If poor Fido is sleeping on the floor while Fluffy sprawls out in his bed, he may very well attempt to reclaim his doggy bed this year!

Catch That Squirrel

Does your canine friend have a yard to patrol? If so, he may be involved in some turf wars . . . perhaps with a feisty squirrel. Your four-legged friend may very well aim to catch his tiny nemesis this year!

Car Rides

Man’s Best Friend loves going on car rides! There’s nothing wrong with taking your furry buddy out and about with you. Just be sure to always put your pet’s health and safety first. Never leave Fido in a car unattended, especially in hot weather. This is extremely dangerous, as temperatures in cars can reach deadly levels in just moments. It’s also very important to keep your pet crated for travel.

Spend Time With The Humans

If Fido had just one goal for 2018, it would probably be to spend as much time as possible with his favorite human: you! Pay lots of attention to your furry best friend this year! Pet him, play with him, and offer lots of belly rubs and ear scritches.

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2018 and beyond. We are here to help!

Great Holiday Gifts for Cats

Happy Holidays! As you check items off your holiday shopping list, don’t forget to pick up a few things for your kitty! Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some great gifts for cats.

Beds

Our feline pals certainly are drowsy. In fact, Fluffy can sleep up to 20 hours a day! Get your tired pet some comfy beds to snooze in. (Don’t worry if your kitty already has a bed or two. As far as cats are concerned, you can never have too many napping spots.)

Kitty Garden

While we recommend that cats stay indoors, you can give your kitty a taste of the outside by getting her some pet-safe plants. Check the ASPCA site for suggestions.

Robotic Mouse

Robotic mice are another great gift option. These adorable modern toys react to your feline friend’s movements and vocalizations, providing lots of interactive fun.

Automated Laser Pointer

Does your furball love chasing that little red dot? Get Fluffy an automated laser pointer, so she can keep chasing after her elusive prey.

DVDs

Have you ever noticed your furry buddy ‘watching’ television? Get Fluffy some kitty DVDs, and let her binge-watch shows about birds and squirrels.

Wall-Mounted Furniture

If your kitty loves high spots, wall-mounted furniture would be a great gift option for her. Look into getting Fluffy some cat shelves, or even a catwalk.

Scratching Board

Is your pet using your sofa or carpet as a nail-care station? Give your furball a good scratching post or board. (Tip: sprinkle some catnip around it to make it tempting for Fluffy and encourage her to use it.)

Cat Tower

Cat towers are great for Fluffy! They offer her a scratching post and jungle gym, and also give her a good vantage point, so she can look down at her kingdom. If your budget is tight this year, go the DIY route and make your kitty a cat tower. Look online for step-by-step instructions.

Catnip Anything

Catnip mice are a classic holiday kitty gift, and are always a wonderful choice. However, Fluffy can now enjoy her catnip in several different forms. Why not offer your feline pal some catnip bubbles? You can also give Fluffy her own little catnip plant.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

7 Ways to Keep Your Cat Out of the Tree

Are you putting up a tree this year? If you have a kitty, you may find yourself trying to keep her from knocking it over. While some cats will content themselves with curling up beneath the tree and purring, others will see it as a kitty playground. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some tips on keeping Fluffy out of the tree.

Distract The Furball

There’s no reason you can’t give your cat her gifts a bit early. Offer Fluffy lots of fun new toys to occupy herself with. If your kitty tires herself out playing with her new squeaky mouse, she may be too tired to bother with the tree.

Secure The Tree

If you know or suspect that your cat is going to bring the tree down, use fishing line to secure the top of the tree to the wall or ceiling. It won’t show, but will add extra support. A sturdy tree base is also a must.

Decorate Carefully

If you hang a bunch of shiny ornaments on the bottom of the tree, you’re pretty much offering your furball an irresistible assortment of toys to choose from. Keep sturdy, non-breakable items on the lower branches, and put the shiny, fragile ones on the top third of the tree.

Get A Fake Tree

Fluffy will have a much harder time climbing a fake tree than she will a real one. Consider getting a synthetic tree this year.

Position The Tree Carefully

Try not to put the tree too close to a sofa, desk, or chair that Fluffy can climb onto. These things make great launching pad for frisky felines!

Playtime

Take time to play with your cat every day. If you can get Fluffy to burn off her excess energy playing Catch The Red Dot, she may leave the tree alone.

Training

We know, you can’t really train cats. (Actually, Fluffy tends to train her human pals, but that’s another topic.) However, you can make your frisky pet think twice about getting too close to the tree. When your kitty goes near the tree, make a loud noise: clap your hands, bang two pots together, or sound a bike horn. Chances are, your furball will hightail it to her favorite hiding spot!

Happy Holidays! Please feel free to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, anytime!

Holiday Hazards for Dogs

Happy Holidays! As the holiday season ramps up into full swing, many of us are busy cooking, decorating, and shopping. It’s always wonderful to catch up with friends and family members, and enjoy some quality time over a delicious meal. However, this can be a dangerous season for Man’s Best Friend! If you have a dog, you’ll want to be sure to keep Fido’s safety in mind. Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some holiday hazards for dogs.

Food

Fido definitely has a healthy appetite, and will gladly help you sample new recipes. Your canine friend definitely deserves a yummy treat, but be sure to only give him foods that are safe for him. Some of the things to avoid include garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; pitted fruits, especially avocados; nuts; chocolate; caffeine; alcohol; grapes, currants, and raisins; raw foods; and anything containing xylitol. Meat on the bone is another no-no, as cooked bones are quite brittle and can break easily. This can cause serious internal injuries! To get that tail wagging, give your pup some plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry, without the bones, skin, or fat.

Decorations

Decorations really give your home a special look, but they can be dangerous to dogs. Trees are one hazard. Tinsel, ribbons, lights, and garlands pose serious risk of choking and entangling your pooch. The water is also dangerous, as it could contain toxic residues from pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Fido can also hurt himself by stepping on or playing with ornament hooks or fragile ornaments.

Heaters

If you use your fireplace, be sure to put a protective grate on it. Also, keep candles and potpourri burners in high, secure spots, where your pup can’t reach them.

Trash

Man’s Best Friend definitely isn’t shy about looking through the garbage in the hopes of snagging some leftovers. After a big holiday feast, the trash could contain toothpicks, bones, tin foil, can lids, and many other hazards. Use a garbage can with a secure lid.

Weather

Cold weather is just as hard on our canine buddies as it is for us. Limit Fido’s outdoor time on frigid days. If your furry friend has thin fur, get him a doggy sweater or jacket to keep him warm.

Happy Holidays! Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs!