Tag Archives: dog training

Small Dog Care Tips

Do you have a pint-sized pooch? Little dogs are super cute, and they make great animal companions. However, your cute pet will have different needs than a big dog would. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for small dogs.

Training

Although little dogs may not pose much of a threat to others, they can still bite, and sometimes tend to get a bit bossy. Make sure Fido knows key commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important for both petiquette and safety reasons. For instance, the command to Come can help you keep your pooch from approaching a dangerous area or animal.

Fear

The world can be a big, scary place to a tiny little dog. Fido may easily become frightened, especially when there are larger pooches around. Teach your canine pal that you will pick him up if he puts a paw on his leg.

Exercise

Just like any other pup, small dogs must get the right type and amount of exercise to stay healthy. However, Fido may get quite a bit of activity in just by running around the house on those tiny legs. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Toys and Treats

When shopping for Fido, be sure to get products made specifically for small dogs. Your little buddy could choke on toys, treats, or kibble made for larger pooches!

Feeding

Small dogs have small tummies, but they often have big appetites. Be careful not to overfeed your furry pal. Fido could become obese, which would be very bad for his health! Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.

Clothes

Some small pooches need extra protection against cold or wet weather. However, dogs with thick fur could easily overheat with clothes on. Ask your vet for recommendations. If you do put clothes on Fido, be sure that his things fit well, and are not itchy or constricting. Avoid pieces with dangling threads or buttons, which could choke or entangle your pup.

Ramps

Little dogs can easily injure themselves by jumping off couches or beds. This is a particular concern with certain breeds, such as Corgis and miniature Dachshunds, which are prone to spinal injuries. Get pet ramps or stairs for Fido.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your small dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!

Camping With Fido

Are you planning to spend time camping this summer? If so, your canine buddy would most likely be absolutely delighted to accompany you on your travels. Just be sure to put Fido’s health and safety first. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses camping with dogs.

Packing For The Pup

Remember to pack a bag for your pooch! Fido will need food, dishes, bedding, toys, treats, a leash and collar, and a pet first aid kit. If you are going to spend time near water, bring a doggy lifejacket as well. You may also want to include a doggy raincoat.

Preparation

Before taking Fido camping, make sure that he is microchipped, wearing ID tags, and current on all of his vaccinations and parasite control products. We also strongly recommend that dogs be spayed or neutered. Bring copies of your furry friend’s paperwork with you, just in case you need them. If your pet is a senior, small dog, or has mobility problems or other health issues, consult your vet before taking him with you. Some pooches will be more comfortable staying in a doggy hotel.

Training

Fido should know basic obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Heel, Come, and Lay Down. These commands aren’t just about petiquette: they’re also very important for safety reasons. For instance, teaching your furry buddy to Come can help you keep him from exploring a potentially-dangerous area, while the Stay command will allow you to stop him from approaching a wild animal.

Dangers

Camping offers Fido lots of chances to explore new places. It also gives him lots of chances to get into mischief! Campfires are one thing to be careful of. Be sure to keep Fido away from the fire. The danger doesn’t go away once the flames are out: your pup could easily burn his paws on hot coals. Trash is another concern. Camp garbage often contains things like skewers, bones, tinfoil, can lids, and plastic wrap, which are all dangerous to dogs.

Water

Try not to let Fido drink from unknown water sources. The water may not be safe! Boil or treat your canine pal’s water.

Cleaning

Don’t forget to pick up after your four-legged pal! Check local ordinances to see if you can bury Fido’s waste.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Call us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime!

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 Favorite Holiday

Do you have a dog? If so, you may want to put a little paw print on your calendar for February 23rd: it’s National Dog Biscuit Day! If there’s one thing our canine friends love, it’s treats! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet talks about this pawesome special occasion.

Making Fido’s Treats

If you like baking, why not make your pooch’s treats yourself? Just be sure to use only healthy, nutritious ingredients. Some of the things you can experiment with are cooked, plain meat, chicken, or fish; cheese; bacon bits; eggs; whole-wheat flour; olive oil; bananas; natural peanut butter; sodium-free broth; plain yogurt; and pureed pumpkin. It’s also important for you to know what foods are dangerous for Fido. Garlic, onions, and chives; chocolate; caffeine; grapes, currants, and raisins; and nuts are all on the no-no list. Ask your vet for more information on safe and unsafe foods.

Shopping

There are dozens—if not hundreds—of doggy treats available in stores, and Fido would probably be more than happy to try them all. When shopping for your furry buddy, avoid anything with ingredients you can’t identify and/or pronounce. We also recommend staying away from items that were made overseas, as not all countries have strict guidelines for pet products.

Training Aids

Treats are a great training aid for dogs. When working with Fido, use smaller snacks, like pieces of hot dogs or deli meat. This is a great way to make sure your pooch really likes school!

Begging

Dogs have been our faithful companions for thousands of years. They’ve certainly had plenty of time to perfect the sad stare that is so effective at getting us to offer yummy treats. Begging is bad doggy manners, however. It can be particularly problematic if Fido starts acting pushy. Don’t fall for that plaintive look! If you really can’t resist, offer your pup a carrot stick instead of that piece of sausage he is eyeing.

Recalls

Occasionally, a bad batch of pet treats makes it to store shelves. This can be quite scary, as tainted food can make Fido very sick! You can track pet product recalls online on several sites, including the AVMA website here. Another option is to set up alert notifications for your email or smartphone.

Do you have questions about dog care? We can help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!

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!

Swimming Safety for Dogs

Are you looking forward to swimming and boating this summer? If so, you may want to bring your dog along for fun summer outings at a pool or lake. When swimming with dogs, you’ll want to be sure to always put Fido’s safety first. In this article, a local Fort Collins, CO vet offers some great advice on swimming safely with dogs.

Teaching Fido To Swim

While some dogs take to water like furry, four-legged ducks, others need to be taught how to swim. Never, ever, put your dog into water with the expectation that he will figure it out. Fido may be so frightened by the experience that he develops a lifelong fear of water. Instead, get into the water with your pup, and hold him gently. It may take a few attempts for him to figure out how to use all four legs. Reward him with treats and praise, so he feels positive about the experience.

Pool Safety

The first rule of doggy pool safety is to show Fido where the stairs are. This is crucial, because if he falls in, he’ll be able to get back out again if he knows where the exit is. Don’t just show him once: test him a few times. It may not be a bad idea to put a visual marker near the stairs, such as a potted tree or patio set, to mark the exit. Another thing to be careful of is your pool covering. You don’t want Fido to hop onto a pool cover, thinking it’s a solid surface! Therefore, adding a fence around your pool is always a good idea. If you have a senior dog, a weak pup, a puppy, or a pooch with poor vision, a fence is recommended.

Lake Safety

Before taking Fido to the lake, make sure your furry pal knows and obeys the five basic commands, which are SitStayComeHeel, and Lay Down. This is crucial because it can keep him from jumping off a dock, or wandering too close to a dangerous area. Always bring a doggy life jacket along for your pooch, and never let him off-leash near the water unattended.

Do you have any questions about your dog’s health or care? We are here to help! Reach out to us, your local Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs.

Adventures With Fido – Safety Tips for Exploring with Dogs

Do you enjoy hiking or camping? Do you like exploring new places? Your canine pal may also enjoy these things. Fido certainly makes a wonderful trail mate and camping buddy. Before heading off with your pooch, you’ll want to read these safety tips from a Fort Collins, CO veterinarian.

Vaccines

Make sure Fido is current on all vaccinations, especially rabies. You’ll also want to be sure that his tags and are current, and that he is wearing them. Otherwise, you could end up facing many problems if your canine pal comes into contact with another dog or wild animal!

Training

All dogs should know the five basic commands, which are SitStayComeHeel, and Lay Down. Make sure your pooch will obey these commands every time before taking him on any explorations. This will allow you to keep Fido from venturing into unsafe territory, approaching another dog or animal, or running off.

Fitness

Not all dogs are suited to long or strenuous hikes. Senior dogs and puppies can overheat or overexert themselves very easily. Small dogs also tire out quickly, as they have to work hard to cover ground on those cute little legs. Brachycephalic breeds, which are dogs with those cute pushed-in faces, can’t pant as effectively as other dogs. Don’t push Fido beyond his limits!

Water

Always bring water along for your canine friend. Look for collapsible plastic dishes, which can fold up small enough to fit into your wallet. These are a lot easier to carry than a regular dish! Also, try not to let Fido drink from standing water, as it may not be safe.

Parasite Prevention

Be sure to keep up on Fido’s flea and tick control, as well as heartworm prevention. Also, check your pooch for ticks after returning home, just to make sure he didn’t pick up any hitchhikers. Better safe than sorry!

Leash

We recommend keeping your pooch leashed at all times. A retractable leash will give Fido leeway to explore, but still allow you to reel him in as needed.

Manners

Don’t forget baggies for Fido’s waste! In some areas, you may be able to bury it instead, as long as it isn’t near play areas, wells, or water. Check local ordinances for details.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all of Fido’s veterinary care needs!