Tag Archives: dog behavior

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!

Tips for Stopping Problematic Chewing in Dogs

Have you ever come home to find that your dog chewed up your shoes, or destroyed a couch cushion? If so, you’re not alone! Fido has many adorable habits, such as his tail wags, head tilts, and playful antics, but he also has a few not-so-adorable ones, like chewing. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses stopping problematic chewing in dogs.

Causes

Dogs chew for many different reasons. Separation anxiety is one common cause. Fido could also be chewing out of hunger or boredom, or due to excess energy. If you’re not sure why your pooch is chewing, consult your vet or a professional dog behaviorist.

Teething

Teething is also a common cause of chewing, particularly in puppies. Try giving Fido ice cubes to chew on. Kong toys are also a good option.

Toys

It’s important to realize that chewing is a natural behavior for Man’s Best Friend. It helps keep dogs’ jaws strong, and it also cleans their teeth. Therefore, it’s important to make sure Fido always has suitable chew toys. Keep an eye on your furry friend, to find out what he likes best. You’ll also want to change his toys out frequently, so he doesn’t get bored with them. Edible chew toys, like bully sticks, can be beneficial, but they can be dangerous if not used properly. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Tools

Taste deterrents can be very helpful for stopping problem chewing. Check your local pet store, and ask your vet for recommendations.

Petiquette

Training is also important. If you see Fido sniffing or licking something he shouldn’t, tell him ‘Don’t chew that’ and give him a chew toy. If he goes for it, reward him with treats and praise.

Don’t Tempt The Pup

It may seem like a good idea to give Fido that old shoe you were going to throw out, but don’t do it: this will only confuse him.

Keep It Pawsitive

Finally, when working on your pet’s etiquette, avoid negative reinforcement, such as punishment or muzzles. Focus on rewarding Fido for doing well.

Puppyproof

Remove or protect anything that could be dangerous, such as toxic plants; small or sharp objects; shoes, purses, and other personal items; medicine; chemicals; and plastic bags, wrappers, or ties. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, anytime. We’re here to help!

Fido’s Tail Wags

Dogs have many wonderful qualities. They’re smart, fun, playful, loyal, and loving, just to name a few. They’re also super cute! One of Fido’s most charming attributes is that furry tail of his. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet talks about dog tails.

Tail Language

As you probably know, dogs often use their tails to communicate. When our canine companions are happy, they let us know by wagging their tails. With some dogs, you may only need to look at your pet for him to start thumping his tail. When Man’s Best Friend is feeling particularly joyful, he may wag his tail so hard his hips move. This super cute way of saying ‘Hi! I missed you!’ is definitely one of Fido’s most adorable habits!

Warning

Wagging tails aren’t always a sign of joy. Dogs also wag their tails when they are uncertain, wary, and/or nervous, though this is a much slower movement. This often happens when Fido meets a new person or dog he isn’t sure of yet. In some cases, it can be a warning sign. Ask your vet for more information.

Happy Tail

Does your pooch sometimes smack his tail on things so hard that you wince? Unfortunately, our furry pals sometimes wag their tails so forcefully that they actually hurt themselves. This type of injury is known as Happy Tail, and is most common in big dogs with thin tails, like Labradors. Fido can actually hit his tail so hard that he starts bleeding, in which case you’ll also have blood spatters to deal with. Happy tail injuries can have some serious consequences, such as bleeding ulcers and/or infections, so if your canine friend hurts his tail, contact your vet immediately. Love hurts!

Preventing Tail Injuries

Tail injuries can be extremely painful for Fido! It’s very easy for our canine buddies to get their tails caught in doors. Man’s Best Friend is also prone to getting his tail stepped on or caught beneath reclining chairs. Keep a close eye on your pet. When it comes to treating injuries in our furry friends, an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure!

Is your pup due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? We are here to help! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs! We love keeping our furry patients’ tails wagging!

5 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Behavior

Fido is a wonderful pet and companion. His unwavering loyalty, complete devotion, and unabashed affection can truly melt our hearts! That doesn’t mean our canine pals are perfect, however. In fact, Man’s Best Friend has a few bad habits. We are here to help! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some great ways to improve your furry friend’s behavior.

Training

First and foremost, make sure that your canine buddy knows and obeys at least the five main commands of basic doggy obedience. These commands, which are SitStayHeelCome, and Lay Down, are extremely important, both for good petiquette and safety reasons.

Toys

Don’t let your furry pal get bored while you’re away. Offer Fido lots of fun toys to keep him amused while he’s alone. Puzzle toys, for instance, can keep your canine pal intrigued for hours. Keeping your pet amused and occupied will help keep him from channeling excess energy into destructive habits like chewing or digging.

Exercise

While every dog has different exercise needs, all of our canine pals need some sort of activity. If your pet is a bouncing, furry ball of energy, he could be quite a handful! Exercise will tire Fido out, so you’ll have a calmer, less zoomy pooch on your hands. If you don’t have the energy to go for long walks, keep your pooch moving with games of fetch, which will have your four-legged friend running around while you stay stationary. A laser pointer is another great option.

Veterinary Care

You may not think that veterinary care would do much for your pup’s behavior, but it actually does. Fido is much more likely to be grumpy if he doesn’t feel well. Make sure to bring your dog to the vet at least once a year for vaccinations, exams, and dental checkups. Keep up on that parasite control as well!

Quality Time

Man’s Best Friend needs to feel loved to be truly happy. Spend plenty of quality time with your four-legged buddy. To keep that furry tail wagging, dole out plenty of belly rubs and ear scritches. It’s also fine to give Fido treats, as long as you don’t go overboard with fatty snacks.

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. That’s what we are here for!

Introducing Dogs and Cats

Cats and dogs have had a long and rather complicated relationship. Fido and Fluffy can be the best of friends, or the worst of enemies. If you have a cat and are considering getting a dog, or vice versa, you’ll want to proceed with caution. One thing that is very important is the manner in which your pets are introduced. First impressions are a big deal to our furry pals! Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses introducing cats and dogs.

Make A Good Match

Choosing the right pet is often half the battle! When looking for your new furbaby, try to choose one that has already cohabitated with the other type of pet. Dogs that like to chase things, are territorial, or play rough may not be a good match for a feline roommate. Timid or aggressive kitties, on the other hand, might not do well with a dog. The dog’s size is another issue: large dogs can injure cats more easily than small dogs. That doesn’t mean that Fido is always the instigator, however: some cats bully their canine ‘siblings’! Try to choose pets that are close in age: don’t match a fragile, elderly cat with a big, rambunctious puppy.

New Arrivals

Keep your furry pals separated at first. When you bring your new pet home, put them in a private room with all the required necessities, so they can adjust slowly. Before letting your new arrival explore, secure your resident pet in another room. Over the next few days, rotate the pets so that whenever one has free access, the other is confined. Your furbabies will grow accustomed to each other’s scents during this stage. Once both pets seem calm, you can make official introductions.

Meet N’ Greet

Make sure Fido is leashed when he meets Fluffy for the first time. Your kitty may hiss and ‘poof’ her fur at first: this is normal. Repeat this process several times. Don’t let them loose together until both pets seem calm and relaxed around one another. Be sure to monitor all interactions until you’re confident that your furbabies are getting along. If your dog barks or lunges at the cat for more than a few days, or if either animal shows signs of aggression, separate them and consult a professional.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your pet care needs.

How to Stop Your Dog From Digging

Has your canine buddy taking up landscaping as a hobby? Is Fido making your yard look like a construction site? Digging is a fairly common complaint from dog owners. Before you can take steps to correct your pup’s mining habits, however, you’ll need to figure out why he’s digging in the first place. Never punish your dog for digging. Instead, determine the cause, and look for a solution. A Fort Collins, CO veterinarian offers some possible reasons and resolutions below.

Escape

Is your dog intact? Is he inclined to run off, or love exploring new territory? He could be trying to escape. Be sure to spay or neuter your pooch. Bring Fido to dog parks or hiking trails to satisfy his urge to explore.

Weather

Do you sometimes find your pooch lying in a hole he made? Is your dog outside when it’s hot or cold? If so, your pet may be seeking relief from the weather. Keep your canine friend indoors as much as possible. If Fido absolutely has to spend a lot of time outdoors, get him a comfy doghouse.

Treats

Some dogs dig to bury or retrieve treats or food. If this is the case, work with Fido. Build him a sandbox, and bury toys and treats in it. If he knows where the good stuff is, he may leave the rest of the yard alone!

Prey

Is your pup digging in straight lines? Is he a terrier? If so, he may be after a burrowing animal. Use safe and humane methods to banish your unwanted guests.

Boredom

Look at Fido’s routine and yard area. Does he have ample toys and entertainment? Provide your canine pal with plenty of fun playthings, and change them out frequently so he doesn’t get bored.

Excess Energy

Dogs that don’t get enough activity may dig to relieve excess energy. Take Fido for daily walks, and play with him long enough to tire him out a bit.

Breed

Some breeds are simply more inclined to digging than others are. Researching your pup’s breed characteristics may give you valuable insight.

Anxiety

If Fido mostly digs when he’s left alone, he may have separation anxiety. Ask a professional for advice on helping your dog overcome his fears.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime!

Are You Living With a Stressed-Out Pooch?

Your retriever mix Duke is constantly on the lookout for fun. This infectiously happy four-year-old dog bounces through his neighborhood walks, eagerly greeting his human and canine buddies. He also relishes his dog park visits, energetically romping with his friends like he hasn’t seen them in years. However, your canine exercise machine has recently shown a drastic behavioral change. Although an emerging medical problem could be to blame, you wonder if stress is the culprit. Tomorrow, your Fort Collins vet will give Duke a physical exam and expert behavioral counseling.

Decreased Appetite

Duke has a legendary appetite, quickly inhaling his kibbles and often stealing the cat’s food. Recently, though, your hearty-eating pooch merely toys with his meals, pushing his bowl around the floor before consuming a few bites. You’re concerned about a nutritional deficiency, and you’d like the vet to determine if stress is behind this meal hiccup.

Sluggish Behavior

Your canine companion combines an energetic spunk with well-honed socialization skills. He loves any form of exercise, and he’s even happier if he can enjoy it with a buddy.

Lately, though, your outgoing pooch has ignored his friends. He doesn’t even want to go for potty walks. When you finally drag him outside, he quickly completes his business and trots toward home for another nap. You wonder if stress is behind this strange transformation.

Unusual Aggression

Duke thinks everyone is his best friend. You’ve never seen him react negatively to any person, dog, or cat. This week, however, you watched him snap at two of his best buddies; and he even growled at you. Ask the vet if stress has caused your super-friendly dog’s attitude to take an unfortunate turn.

More Physical Activity

If the vet confirms that Duke’s healthy, an extra dose of exercise might help to relieve his stress. Provide more of his favorite activities, and ask the vet if several vigorous sports might be appropriate.

Safe Canine Retreat

Although Duke’s a generally fearless guy, he might become spooked by noisy parties, fireworks, thunderstorms, or other loud sounds. Create a quiet refuge, such as a cozy closet or small room. Stock his retreat with his favorite blanket and toys. Stay with him until his anxiety subsides.

Your Fort Collins vet can provide more stress reduction guidance. If your dog has shown similar symptoms, contact us for expert advice.