Tag Archives: vet Fort Collins CO

Choosing Your Pet’s Treats

Did you know that there’s a special doggy holiday coming up? February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day! While our canine buddies are definitely very enthusiastic about treats, cats and smaller pets also love snacks. Choosing healthy treats for your animal companion is very important! Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses picking suitable snacks for your furry pal.

Choosing Store-Bought Foods

You can find prepackaged treats in grocery markets and pet food stores. However, choosing the right product can be tricky. Get into the habit of reading labels, and choose the ones with ingredients you can actually identify. You may also want to keep an eye on recalls. You can get updated information at several sites, including the FDA website.

Safe Foods

The list of what your pet can and can’t eat will vary, depending on what sort of animal you have. Dogs and cats can both enjoy plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry, without the skin, bones, or fat; sodium-free broth; deli meat; and/or canned fish or chicken in water. Certain fruits and veggies are also safe for dogs and cats, though Fido is probably more likely to eat them than Fluffy. As for smaller pets, many pocket pets can enjoy safe produce, such as carrots. Bunnies have a bit of a sweet tooth, and often like berries, such as strawberries. Hamsters may prefer some cheese or a dog biscuit, while gerbils may like pears or apples. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Unsafe Foods

As it turns out, different types of pets have more unsafe foods in common than they do safe ones. Never give your four-legged buddy anything that contains chocolate; caffeine; grapes; xylitol; garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; or pitted fruits. Nuts are also on the no-no list for many of our furry pals, as are dairy products; raw meat, dough, or yeast; meat on the bone; and anything high in sugar or fat. Tomato and potato leaves are also unsafe for many pets. Ask your vet for advice.

Tips

Always research new foods before giving them to your pet, to make sure they are safe. Introduce new foods slowly. Watch your furry buddy closely afterwards, and keep an eye out for digestive issues. Ask your vet for more information.

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

Tips for Choosing Kitty Furniture

Does your kitty have some furniture of her own? If so, that’s great! Fluffy certainly isn’t shy about getting comfortable on our beds, chairs, sofas, footstools, ottomans, and, well, pretty much anything and everything she can fit on. However, our feline friends really do benefit from having some things that were made just for them. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses choosing pet furniture.

Kittens

Kittens are basically tiny, adorable little bundles of mischief. Get your playful furball a fun activity center that incorporates some hanging toys. Pick something that offers little Fluffy lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

Any Cat

If there’s one thing our feline friends all have in common, it’s a fondness for napping. Comfy beds are a wonderful option for all cats! Cat towers are also a safe bet, as they offer kitties a scratching post, a napping spot, and a high vantage point that they can supervise at stare at their humans from.

Multiple Cats

If you have more than one kitty, look for pieces that can fit all of your feline friends at once. You don’t want Fluffy and Mittens fighting over the cat tower or kitty tipi!

Older Furballs

As Fluffy ages, she may have difficulty jumping and climbing. Choose pieces that will be easy for her to get into. Your feline pal may also appreciate a heated bed to snuggle up in when it’s chilly out.

Cats That Like Heights

Do you often have to pluck Fluffy off counters or bookcases? Consider getting your frisky feline some wall-mounted furniture, like kitty shelves or a catwalk. This will give your furry buddy a great vantage point, from which she can look down on you with that adorable smug expression kitties get.

Kitties That Love To Pounce

Does your furball like to hide behind plants or doors, and then pounce on you as you walk past? Fluffy may enjoy a cat tunnel. This is a great hiding spot for your adorable little hunter!

Shy Cats

Do you have a scaredy-cat on your hands? Kitties feel safer in small places, so your shy furball will likely prefer pieces with enclosed spaces. Choose a pet tent or condo, or a cat tower with a closed-in level.

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

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!

Dog Care Hacks

Dogs are much more than just pets. They are our friends and companions, confidantes, and furry family members. Our canine pals offer us unconditional love and loyalty, and ask for little in return. Caring for Fido does require some time and work, but there are some things you can do to make your pup’s care regimen a little easier. A Fort Collins, CO vet lists some dog care hacks below.

Nail Trims

Keeping Fido’s claws trimmed is very important… but it isn’t always easy. Teach your pet the Gimme Paw trick. When Fido offers you his paw, play with his toes, run the clippers over them, then give him a treat and let go. This will help get Fido used to having his feet handled.

Doggy Walking Time

Designate a specific jacket for dog-walking. Keep some must-have items, such as waste baggies, a flashlight, spare keys, a carabiner, and gloves, in the pockets.

Fur Buster

Did you know that a squeegee is great at getting dog fur off your furniture? You can also use a damp sponge or a rubber dish glove.

Pet Clothes

Dogs with thin fur often need extra protection against the cold. Look for second-hand children’s clothes that can be repurposed into doggy wear. Just be sure to avoid anything that is tight, constricting, or itchy, as well as anything with buttons or loose threads.

Bath Time

Does Fido run when he hears the word Bath? To make him a bit more willing, have him get into the tub, then give him a treat and let him go. If your pup tends to splash water everywhere when being bathed, get a clear shower curtain, and cut slits in it. The cuts should be about four feet high, and shoulder-width apart. Put your arms through them when bathing your dog to avoid getting splashed.

Records

It’s always a good idea to keep your pup’s paperwork with you. Take clear pictures of them with your smartphone, so they’ll be in your gallery.

Calming Fido

Does your pooch become a furry ball of fear when a thunderstorm rolls through? Run an unscented dryer sheet over Fido’s fur when the sky darkens. This will reduce static electricity, which is one reason many dogs hate storms.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today. We’re here to help!

Cute Tricks You Can Teach a Guinea Pig

Do you have a Guinea pig? Did you know that these little furballs can learn some super cute tricks? You probably won’t be able to teach your pet to fetch or bring your slippers, but you may be able to show him some really adorable tricks. Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO veterinarian lists some cute and simple tricks you can teach your Guinea pig.

Turn In Circles

You can teach your Guinea pig, or cavy, as they are sometimes called, to turn in circles. Start by holding a treat up, just in front of his nose. When your adorable pet moves towards the treat, move your hand in a circle, and tell him to go in circles. The little guy probably follow your hand. Give him the treat after he’s gone in a circle.

Come When Called

To teach your cavy to come when called, simply hold out a treat, and call his name. It probably won’t take long for your cute pet to pick this one up!

Jump Through A Hoop

Cavies can learn to jump through hoops. Hold the hoop and a treat, positioning your hands so that your little furball needs to go through the hoop to get his snack. Then tell him to go through the hoop. When he does, give him the treat.

Go Home

Guinea pigs need some time out of their cages each day. Why not teach your little buddy to return to his cage on command? To start, you’ll want to lay out some yummy treats, going from the cage door into your pet’s habitat. When your tiny pal goes for the treats, say ‘Go Home’ or something similar.

Tips

Before training your Guinea pig, give him plenty of time to get to know you and to trust you. When training your cavy, say the vocal command after your pet performs the desired behavior. It will take a lot of repetition, but eventually your furry buddy will associate the spoken command with both the action you want him to perform and the snack. Even after your cavy has mastered a trick, give him treats sometimes for doing it correctly, so he’ll still expect those tasty tidbits.

Do you have any questions or concerns about caring for a Guinea pig? We can help! Call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime!

Signs That Your Cat Needs Immediate Veterinary Care

Do you have a kitty? Your furball may be very clear about her wishes when she wants food or attention, but she may not be as forthcoming about letting you know when she’s sick. In fact, cats learned long ago to mask any signs of illness, as showing weakness could attract dangerous predators. Therefore, it’s very important for you to be able to recognize any possible signs of illness in your furball. Otherwise, you may not realize that Fluffy isn’t feeling well until she’s very sick! In this article, a local Fort Collins, CO lists some signs of sickness in kitties.

Hiding

While it’s purrfectly normal for Fluffy to want to curl up in a quiet spot at naptime, she should emerge, yawning and stretching and perhaps a bit hungry, after a few hours. If your kitty doesn’t want to leave her hiding place, she could be ill.

Poor Grooming

Healthy kitties always want to look their best. Your feline friend may spend hours each day grooming that pretty fur. Sick kitties, however, often don’t feel up to going through their beauty rituals. Greasy, matted, or unkempt fur can be signs of illness in cats.

Change In Appetite

A change in appetite can also be a red flag. If Fluffy isn’t interested in her dinner, or suddenly starts scarfing down her entire meal, she could be ill.

Excessive Thirst

Excessive thirst can also be a sign of trouble in kitties. To monitor Fluffy’s water intake, fill her bowl with fresh water at the same time every day.

Litter Box Trouble

Litter box issues can be another red flag. If you notice a change in your cat’s waste, or if Fluffy stops using the litter box, there could be an issue. Straining to urinate can also be an indication of a serious medical problem.

Change In Behavior/Vocalization

Just like people, kitties often just don’t act like themselves when they feel sick. If your kitty is usually reserved, but suddenly starts demanding attention, she could be sick. On the other hand, an affectionate kitty that suddenly becomes antisocial could also be ill.

Weight gain or loss, sudden aggression, lethargy, and fever can also indicate illness in kitties. If you see any of these symptoms in your kitty, or if Fluffy just doesn’t seem like herself, contact us, your Fort Collins, CO veterinary clinic, immediately.

Pamper Your Pooch With a Top-Notch Grooming Service

Your golden retriever Susie values the finer things in life. This elegant five-year-old dog sleeps on a custom-made bed and sports a handmade faux jeweled leather collar. This spoiled-rotten canine enjoys a top-notch diet, and you brush her luxurious coat daily. Every few weeks, you schedule your lucky girl for a grooming appointment. You want your prim-and-proper dog to be perfectly coiffed when she visits your Fort Collins vet for next week’s regular checkup.

Tail-Wagging Welcome

When you take Susie to the grooming salon tomorrow, she’ll literally wriggle with excitement. After the receptionist gives your dog a friendly greeting, she’ll ask you about grooming instructions. If the vet has prescribed a medicated or specialty shampoo, take it along. If you don’t want water in Susie’s ears, or would like a special coat trim, make your wishes known. Next, your canine diva will receive an escort to the work area. If her groomer isn’t ready for your dog’s pre-bath prep work, your pampered girl can briefly relax in her kennel.

Bath Preparation Tasks

First, your lucky dog will receive a complete brushout, designed to remove tangles that would become solidly matted when drenched with water. If you hardly ever groomed your canine housemate, and her coat was hopelessly unkempt, the groomer might give her a shavedown. After all, she doesn’t want to cause your dog pain by trying to resolve impossible mats. Finally, your companion will receive a nail trim and gentle ear cleaning.

Anal Gland Expression

Now we proceed to that rarely discussed anal gland expression. Susie’s groomer will place her in the tub, or perhaps at a large-dog floor bathing station. Next, the groomer will empty, or express, your canine housemate’s anal glands. These two small fluid-rich glands often empty when your dog poops. Keeping them evacuated reduces the chances of medical problems.

Scrumptious Spa Treatment

Now it’s time for that wonderful bath. Your lucky girl will receive a scented shampoo, a terrific coat massage, and a thorough rinse. Her groomer will carefully dry your dog’s coat with a kennel or hand-held dryer. Susie will receive a nice brushout and a breed-standard clip. She might even get a bandanna or cologne spritz.

When Susie visits your Fort Collins vet, she’ll prance with pride over her stylish appearance. If your dog needs a professional makeover, contact us for an appointment.

Three Cat Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Over the passage of time, many myths and misconceptions have sprung up around our beloved feline friends. The trouble is, believing these myths could actually put your cat’s health at risk! Here, a Fort Collins veterinarian sets the record straight.

Cats Love Milk

You’re probably picturing a cat lapping up milk from a saucer on the kitchen floor at this very moment. However, while cats may enjoy indulging in milk, the milk won’t love them back! Most cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they don’t possess the necessary enzyme to digest milk. Drinking too much will almost certainly cause diarrhea and vomiting. The only time a cat needs milk is when he or she is being weaned from the mother. Adult cats don’t need milk as part of their diet at all.

Cats Always Land on Their Feet

Cats are very graceful, flexible, and agile creatures. That doesn’t mean they can’t have accidents! Even the most graceful cat can slip out of an open window or off of a high perch. In fact, this happens often enough that veterinarians have a name for fall-related injuries: high-rise syndrome. Avoid the risk by keeping windows properly and securely screened, and try to eliminate any hazardous high spots in your home.

Cats Purr When They’re Happy

While cats may emit a purr when they’re content or happy, they can also purr to convey a variety of other emotions. Some cats purr to indicate anger, stress, fear, or other feelings. The truth is, every cat is different, and it may take time for you to fully understand your cat’s body language and signals. Ask your veterinarian for more information on cat vocalizations and how you can try to interpret them.

Want to learn about more myths and make sure you’re not believing something that could be hazardous to your cat’s health? Call your Fort Collins veterinarian to make sure you’re being the best, most knowledgeable cat owner you can be!