Tag Archives: vet Larimer County CO

Walking Your Cat

Did you know that January is Walk Your Pet Month? While many people associate walking pets with dogs, some of our feline friends also enjoy going for the occasional stroll. In fact, walking can be a great way to let your cat enjoy a change of scenery. This is also a good way to let Fluffy get some exercise and mental stimulation. However, this isn’t going to be the best option for every cat. Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses taking your kitty for a walk.

To Walk, or Not To Walk?

Some cats enjoy the outdoors, while others become frightened and uneasy. If your pet used to have the freedom to go outside, or was once a stray, she may enjoy going outdoors. Super-active and playful cats may also benefit from being walked. However, if your kitty is nervous, or has never been outside, then she’s probably better off just staying indoors.

Training?

Before you take Fluffy out for a jaunt, you’ll have to work with her to get her used to her leash and harness. Start by just putting the harness on your pet while she is indoors. Offer her attention, praise, toys, and treats, so she forms a good association with it. Leave the harness on for a while, but don’t leave your cat unattended while she’s wearing it. You don’t want to risk your furball getting caught on something! The next step is to attach the leash. Just let your kitty drag it around behind her. For safety reasons, you’ll need to supervise your feline pal closely during this stage. Once your kitty has gotten used to the leash, try ‘walking’ her around your home.

Safety

Once your kitty seems comfortable with both her leash and her harness, you can try taking her outside. Don’t go too far at first: just let your pet start by sniffing some grass. Stay away from trees, as you definitely don’t want Fluffy climbing a tree with her leash on! Pay attention to how your kitty behaves. If your feline pal doesn’t seem comfortable, take her back inside. Never force your cat to go outdoors, and never leave her outside alone. Ask your vet for more information.

Please reach out to us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care. We’re here to help!

Keeping Your Cat Entertained

Did you know that cats can get bored? We know, Fluffy loves doing as little as possible, so boredom may not seem like a big concern for our feline friends. However, in order to keep your pet happy and content, you’ll need to make sure she is getting enough stimulation. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses kitty entertainment options.

Playthings

First of all, make sure that Fluffy has lots of fun toys to push under the couch. There are now some very cute modern toys for kitties. You can spoil your pet with catnip bubbles, robotic mice, or automated laser pointers. You can even download apps for your furball to play with on a phone or tablet! We also recommend taking time to play with Fluffy daily.

DVDs

Did you know that you can get DVDs made just for kitties? Fluffy may really enjoy watching documentaries about birds, fish, or squirrels. Hockey is also popular with some of our feline friends. Of course, your pet’s purrsonality will determine whether this is a good option. Some cats will watch TV for hours. Others won’t pay attention at all.

Kitty Garden

Give your feline pal a taste of nature by setting out some kitty safe plants for her to nibble on and hide behind. Some good options are Rubber tree plants, Boston ferns, Money plants, and Ponytail palms. You can find more nontoxic plants at the ASPCA website here.

Purrniture

Fluffy will really enjoy having some pieces of her own. Choose things that encourage healthy activities like climbing and jumping. If you have a super-frisky feline, look into wall-mounted furniture, or get your kitty a fun activity center.

Window View

Even if your furball wouldn’t know what to do if a mouse ran out in front of her, she’ll still enjoy watching birds and squirrels. Offer your pet a comfy window seat. This allows Fluffy to combine three of her favorite things: sunbathing, napping, and spying!

Playmates

If your kitty is young, and is an only pet, she may enjoy having a buddy to play with. Of course, there are many things to consider before adopting another cat, including Fluffy’s age, history, and temperament. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

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

Kittenproofing Tips

Has a kitten recently joined your household? Congratulations! We probably don’t have to tell you that you are in for some adorable moments with your little ball of fuzz. Baby cats are one of the cutest things on the planet. They’re also extremely mischievous, and can easily get hurt. Therefore, you’ll need to do a little kittenproofing to keep your tiny furball safe. Read on for some great kittyproofing tips from a local Fort Collins, CO vet.

Dangling Threads

Cats have an innate fascination for ropes and dangling things. Wires and cords are both dangerous: you definitely don’t want little Fluffy getting entangled in a drape cord, or chewing through a live wire! Protect or secure wires and cords. You can also ask your vet about using a taste deterrent.

Plastics

Plastic bags, wrappers, and ties are also dangerous to a curious little feline. Many cats, for some reason, really like the crinkly texture of plastic, which is a serious choking hazard. Keep all plastic bags, wrappers, and ties away from your furball.

Small Objects

Little Fluffy will be very interested in figuring out what she can and can’t eat, and what is most fun to play with. Small items, like safety pins, earrings, and buttons, are all dangerous for your playful ball of fluff!

Appliances

Kittens are nothing if not curious. Little Fluffy has a lot to learn about the world, and will thoroughly investigate all the nooks and crannies of her new home. Appliances, such as washers, dryers, and even open toilets, can be very dangerous to baby cats! Keep major appliances shut when they aren’t in use. Just to be on the safe side, keep an eye on your cute pet when you are doing laundry, just in case your tiny adventurer hops into the machine when your back is turned.

Toxins

Many common household items are toxic to cats. Make sure that all of your plants are pet-safe, in case your furball develops a penchant for chewing greenery. You can find a complete list of toxic and nontoxic plants on the ASPCA website. Plants aren’t the only danger here: medicine, household chemicals, automotive products, and lawn/garden chemicals are also hazardous. Keep all unsafe materials away from those cute little paws.

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

Common Cat Care Mistakes

Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, and it isn’t hard to see why. Our feline friends are not only absolutely adorable, they’re clean, cuddly, and lots of fun. Fluffy is quite easy to care for, but even the most independent furball needs proper care to thrive. A Fort Collins, CO vet lists some common cat care mistakes in this article.

Lack of Veterinary Care

Cats should see the vet at least once a year, though some kitties may need to come in more often. In addition to vaccines, exams, and parasite control, Fluffy should be microchipped and spayed or neutered. At home, watch for signs of illness, such as hiding, poor grooming, or unusual behavior. Since cats often don’t show any symptoms until they’re very sick, it’s important for you to contact your vet as soon as you notice something is amiss.

Overfeeding

While dogs may get the gold medal for begging, cats aren’t very far behind. If your kitty is getting, well, a bit chubby, but always wants more food, that plaintive meow could be a lie. Let your vet, not your furball’s theatrical begging, determine what Fluffy eats.

Lack of Stimulation

Even though your furball may spend a ridiculous amount of time sleeping, she’ll still need something to do when she’s awake. Offer Fluffy lots of fun toys, and take time to play with her daily. We also recommend giving your kitty a comfy window seat with a good view, so she can spy on birds and squirrels and daydream about hunting.

Letting Fluffy Roam

Although Fluffy may love fun outdoor activities like digging up your flowerbeds, putting paw prints on your car, and leaving ‘gifts’ on your doorstep, she’s really much safer living indoors. Outdoor kitties are exposed to many dangers, including cars, weather, and predators. They’re also more likely to pick up parasites, and are at much greater risk of getting hurt, lost, or killed.

Punishment

Never punish your kitty for doing something wrong. Cats act mostly according to instinct, so punishing Fluffy may backfire by making her feel anxious, angry, or frightened. Positive reinforcement is a much better course to take when dealing with feline behavioral issues. If your kitty is misbehaving, ask your vet for specific advice.

Is your cat due for an exam or vaccinations? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime.

Caring for Fido’s Furry Feet

Your dog’s paws are integral to everything he does. Those cute furry feet let Fido run after his favorite toy, hop into the car when it’s time for a fun ride, and jump for joy when he sees you. Caring for your canine pal’s paws isn’t difficult, but it is very important! In this article, a local Fort Collins, CO veterinarian discusses doggy paw care.

Claws

Overgrown claws are very painful for our canine pals. They can affect your pet’s stride when he walks, and, over time, can even contribute to bone/joint disorders, such as arthritis. Make sure to keep Fido’s nails trimmed! If you’re nervous about doing it yourself, consider investing in a pair of clippers with sensors, which will indicate exactly where to make the cut. Of course, you can also just call us to schedule a quick ‘pawdicure’ for your furry best friend!

Weather Hazards

Summer and winter both bring specific hazards for those cute little (or not so little) paws. In summer, walking on hot tar can give your pet painful burns or blisters. Fido’s paws will be very delicate after he’s been swimming, so take extra care with your furry pal after he’s been in water. As a rule of thumb, if it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, it’s too hot for Fido! In winter, snow, ice, salt, sand, and chemical de-icing agents can cause abrasions and burns. Wipe your canine buddy’s feet down with a damp cloth after each walk, and use a paw balm or wax to protect them. You’ll also want to be careful when walking your furry friend on fresh snow, as it can hide dangerous objects, such as broken bottles, from view.

General

We recommend inspecting your canine pal’s paws regularly for any signs swelling or injury. To make this more fun for Fido, work in a gentle paw massage for your furry friend! If you notice a light nick, you can treat it yourself with an antiseptic cream or spray. For anything more than a very minor wound, contact your vet right away. You definitely don’t want to take any chances with paw infections!

Do you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health, care, or behavior? Is Fido due for shots or an exam? We are here to help! Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime.

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.

Colorado State Pets

If you’re a Larimer County resident and an animal lover, you have good reason to be proud to live in Colorado. In 2013, Colorado made a wonderful statement in support of animals by making shelter dogs and cats the official state pets. We love to assist clients who have helped change the lives of animals by adopting their pets from shelters. Watching animals thrive and flourish in new homes is extremely rewarding, both for those of us in the veterinary care industry as well as for the pets’ human families.

The legislation was championed by kids from Peak Elementary school. Colorado’s citizens made their wishes clear when it came time for lawmakers to decide on the issue. So many people showed up to testify that many had to wait outside the chamber.

Service dogs and guide dogs were also considered. Shelter animals won the day, but this was one case where many Colorado citizens were really rooting for both teams. Service dogs and guide dogs are amazing. They save lives and help us every day, and are well deserving of all and any recognition they get. The underdog won this round, but they are all winners in our eyes.

While puppies and kittens in pet stores are very likely to find a home fairly quickly, animals in shelters may not be so lucky. Shelters are overflowing with wonderful animals in dire need of good forever homes. Animals can wind up in shelters for many reasons. Their owners may be sick, or incapable of caring for the animals. Stray animals and unwanted kittens and puppies also often end up behind bars.

Rescuing an animal from a shelter can be a very gratifying experience. You’re giving an animal a second chance at life, and that is definitely something we are happy to support. Animals that are rescued from shelters are often very clearly grateful to their new human friends, and can be all the more appreciative and joyful for the second chance. These pets often pay back their human benefactors with unconditional love and loyalty, hours of fun and laughter, and unwavering affection.

If you are looking for a new pet, why not go to a Larimer County shelter? You might find your best friend is already there, just waiting for you.