Tag Archives: veterinary clinic Fort Collins CO

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!

The Rules of Hugging Cats

Does your cat like to snuggle? Some of our feline buddies are very affectionate little furballs! Fluffy is a great cuddler. There’s no better way to wind down after a long day than to settle in with a good book or movie, and a purring cat. However, there are some definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to hugging cats. Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses hugging cats.

The Rules of Hugging Cats

First and foremost, never force attention on a cat. It’s always up to Fluffy to decide when it’s time to snuggle. Some of our feline pals are very affectionate, and will start purring as soon as someone pets them or picks them up. If your kitty falls into this category, you’ll want to offer hugs and cuddles on a daily basis. It’s also important to note that your cat can end the hug at any time. It isn’t unusual for cats to be purring and content in their owners’ arms one moment, and running away the next.

Alternatives For Aloof Kitties

While some of our feline friends are extremely affectionate, other cats are more aloof, and prefer that we just gaze at them adoringly from a distance. If your furry pal doesn’t like to be held, there are some other ways to pamper her. Get Fluffy some new toys, or perhaps a new kitty bed. Cat furniture, catnip, and treats are also good ways to activate the purr. Of course, for some cats, an empty box can be the best gift ever!

The Magic of Hugging Cats

Cats have many cute qualities, but one of the most adorable ones is the fact that these little furballs actually vibrate with happiness. Actually, Fluffy’s purr is very special. As it turns out, kitties purr at a frequency that has been shown to promote healing. Cat purrs also help us emotionally, by calming us in troubled times. This is one reason our feline friends can be so good for children: those soothing purrs can really be a wonderful source of comfort to a young child that is having a bad day. Last but not least, a purring kitty can make a wonderful sleep aid.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to provide your cat with excellent veterinary care.

Obesity in Cats

Did you know that obesity is one of the most common health problems in our feline friends? By some estimates, more than half of our feline friends are, well, a bit pudgy. We know, fat cats are very cute, but those extra pounds could cause Fluffy some serious medical problems! Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses feline obesity.

Dangers of Obesity

Obese felines have elevated risks of developing many dangerous health problems, including heart disease, liver trouble, diabetes, certain types of cancer, skin problems, and bone/joint problems, such as arthritis. They are also more likely to have respiratory issues, or to have complications after surgery or anesthesia.

Diet

As one might expect, diet plays a huge role in your kitty’s weight. Offer your furball good, nourishing food, but don’t overindulge her. Cats that eat dry food may be more prone to gaining weight than those who get wet food, as kibble is often very high in carbs. Don’t let your feline friend trick you into overfeeding her: if Fluffy is starting to look a bit plump, but tends to scarf down her dinner and beg for more, that plaintive meow could be a lie! Keep an eye on portion sizes: even a few extra calories a day can cause cats to gain weight. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations, including portion sizes, feeding times, and suitable treats.

Exercise

You’ve probably noticed that your feline friend is pretty fond of sleeping. Actually, napping is pretty much Fluffy’s favorite activity. This may keep your pet refreshed and well-rested, but it does make it easy for her to pack on pounds. You may have to trick your kitty into moving. Play with her every day, using fun, interactive toys. We also recommend giving your furball plenty of fun toys to play with. Offering your sleepy pet a cat tree or tower to climb will also encourage her to stay active.

Helping Your Cat Lose Weight

Do you have a chubby kitty on your hands? Talk to your vet before changing your feline friend’s diet. Cats must lose weight slowly in order to slim down without compromising their health. Crash diets are very, very dangerous for feline metabolism, and could make your furball very sick!

Do you know or suspect that your cat needs to lose weight? We can help! Call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, today!

Holiday Gifts for Bunnies

Do you want to buy holiday gifts for your rabbit, but are having trouble deciding what to get her? Treats are always a great option, but what about toys? There may not be quite as many playthings for Floppy in your local pet store as there are for Fido and Fluffy, but there are still plenty of great gifts you can get your furry buddy. In this article, a local Larimer County, CO vet offers some great options for holiday gifts you can get for Floppy.

Wooden Toys

Many wooden objects, such as children’s blocks, can make great bunny toys. Just be sure to choose only safe woods, such as aspen. Avoid anything made from pine or cedar, as they are toxic to rabbits. You’ll also want to stay away from anything that has been coated with varnish, dye, or paint, as these things could contain chemicals that are dangerous for bunnies.

Paper

Plain paper is safe for rabbits to play with. You can shred it into strips, and hide a yummy snack under it, or fold and cut it into cute shapes. You can even wad up paper around a delicious treat, or make origami snowflakes for your furry pal. The options are endless!

Balls

Floppy sometimes enjoys playing with balls. Just be sure to get ones that are suitably sized for your pet. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Cardboard

Simple cardboard boxes can be lots of fun for Floppy. Make your pet a bunny castle or obstacle course, or just leave one out for her to play with when she’s out of her cage. Add some fresh hay for an instant happy pet! You can also give your furball the rolls from paper towel or toilet paper tubes.

Bigger Cage

Bigger is always better when it comes to bunny cages. Consider upgrading Floppy’s habitat. A larger cage would make a great gift for your adorable pet. Be prepared for that adorable bunny happy dance!
Remember to put Floppy’s safety first! Never give your rabbit anything with sharp edges that could cut her. You also want to avoid anything that is breakable, or has small parts that she could choke on. Ask your vet for more recommendations.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at your Larimer County, CO vet clinic! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us whenever we can be of assistance.

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!

Debunking Animal Shelter Myths

Animal shelters are often thought of as sad, dirty places where pets go when no one wants them anymore. These misconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth! Below, a Fort Collins vet clears up five of the most common myths about shelters.

Shelter Pets are Old

Think older, unwanted animals are the only pets found in shelters? Think again. In fact, the age range of shelter pets runs from young animals—even newborns—to elderly ones, and every age in between. If you’re looking for a puppy or kitten, don’t count out a shelter because you think they only have elderly animals.

Shelter Pets Behave Poorly

Some people assume a pet wouldn’t be in a shelter if it behaved properly. This isn’t true. Pets come to shelters for all sorts of reasons, only a small percentage of which is poor behavior. The truth is that many pets in shelters have lived with human owners before, and are perfectly well-mannered and even trained!

Shelters and Their Pets are Dirty

Any shelter that is up to code and serviced regularly will be very clean and sanitized. It’s necessary to limit or prevent the spread of disease and infection. The pets inside shelters are quite clean, too—as soon as most pets arrive at the shelter, they’re bathed, clipped, given shots, and even spayed or neutered if they’re not already.

Shelter Staff Are Inexperienced Volunteers

The shelter staff may be volunteers, yes, but that doesn’t mean they’re inexperienced. Many staff members actually work full-time as veterinary technicians, assistants, behaviorists, trainers, or even board-certified veterinarians! Don’t think a shelter staff member doesn’t have the proper credentials to be informing you about pet care.

Shelters Only Have Cats and Dogs

We often picture shelters teeming with cats and dogs, but the truth is that many shelters house much more. Some have small-mammal programs and may offer mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, gerbils, and rabbits. Others may even have birds or reptiles who need a loving home.

If you’re considering adopting a pet, visit a shelter. You may just find the pet that wins your heart! Talk to your Fort Collins veterinarian about the shelters in your area.