Tag Archives: vets Fort Collins CO

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!

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!

DIY Cat Furniture

Does your cat have any furniture of her own? If so, that’s wonderful! Cats obviously aren’t shy about getting comfortable on our beds and couches, but it’s still good for them to have some furniture of their own. You can buy things for your pet online or in stores, but you can also make Fluffy’s furniture. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some things you can make for your feline buddy.

Beds

Did you know that cats can nap up to 20 hours a day? Although we’re not entirely convinced that Fluffy actually needs that much rest, we can’t deny that sleeping kitties are adorable. You can make your drowsy pet some comfy beds by adding pillows or soft blankets to a large wicker basket, wooden crate, hat box, or a hard-shell suitcase. Or, upcycle an old end table by taking the doors off, repainting it, and adding soft bedding.

Cat Towers

Cat towers are actually very beneficial for our feline buddies. Fluffy will gain a napping spot, jungle gym, and a manicure station, all in one. She’ll also have a high vantage point, from which she can stare down at you with that adorable smug look kitties do. Take an old stepladder, and add planks to the shelves to widen them out. Then, wrap the whole thing in sisal rope or carpet scraps. You can also do this with a bookshelf.

Window Seat

Birdwatching is one of Fluffy’s favorite pastimes. Add a wide shelf to your windowsill. You can use paint or stencils to make it look nice. For extra purrs, use Velcro to attach a cat bed. Another way to please your feline overlord is to put a bird feeder in her line of sight, so she always has live entertainment.

Kitty Hideouts

You can make Fluffy a cute little pet tent out of an old tee shirt and a wire hangar. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can make your kitty a tipi or yurt. Look online for step-by-step instructions.

Scratching Board

Take a square piece of wood (an old cutting board may work) and attach a carpet scrap to it. Then, fasten it to the wall at kitty height. Voila!

Please reach out to us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to keep your kitty happy, healthy, and purring.

Household Products That Are Dangerous to Pets

Dogs and cats have many wonderful qualities. Our four-legged pals certainly brighten and enrich our lives with their loving snuggles, cute faces, adorable antics, playfulness, and curiosity. Unfortunately, our furry friends’ natural inquisitiveness can sometimes work against them. Fluffy and Fido don’t always know what’s safe for them, so it’s up to you to protect them from potential hazards. Here, a local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some common household products that are dangerous to pets.

Lawn/Garden Products

Fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and other lawn and garden products can be very hazardous to pets. Dogs and cats can get sick just by licking their paws after walking through a spot you just treated! Choose non-toxic options when possible, and wipe your pet’s paws and belly with a damp cloth after they’ve been outside. It can also help to give your lawn a good watering after applying these products, so the residue goes into the soil.

Medications

Human medications are very dangerous for pets. Dogs are particularly at risk, because they’re more likely to, well, eat things that aren’t food. Keep both prescription and OTC meds in a secure cabinet.

Pest Control

Rodenticides, insect traps, ant bait, and other pest control products are just as dangerous to pets as they are to vermin. Use pet-safe options for keeping uninvited guests off your property.

Automotive Chemicals

Automotive products are extremely toxic to pets. Antifreeze is a particular concern: it’s poisonous to pets, but, unfortunately, has a taste many animals like. Clean up any spills immediately, and cover stains with kitty litter or sand. We also recommend keeping your furry buddy out of the garage.

Cleaning Products

Many common cleaning agents contain chemicals that may work great at removing stains, but are very dangerous for our furry pals. Keep your cleaning products in a secure place, well out of your pet’s reach.

Tips

If you know or suspect that your furball has ingested or had contact with any of these substances, call your vet immediately, and ask for specific instructions. You may also want to keep a few poison control numbers handy. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 888-426-4435, and the Pet Poison Helpline number is 800-213-6680. (Note: charges may apply.)

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, anytime!

5 Ways to Support Animal Welfare

Did you know that April is ASPCA’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month? This is definitely a great cause, and one we can support whole-heartedly. Our animal friends truly enrich our lives with their love, devotion, loyalty, and adorable antics. Sadly, many wonderful pets are still in need of good, loving forever homes. Adopting another furbaby may not be a feasible way for you to help these sweet pets, but there are still ways you can help animals in need. A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses ways to support animal welfare in this article.

Volunteer

Spending a few hours, or even a whole day, helping at a local rescue or shelter is a wonderful way to help our furry friends. It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve done something to help animals in need!

Donate

Many animal rescues and shelters operate on tight budgets, and can always use some extra income. If you can’t donate money, you can still help by donating supplies. You may also be able to donate unwanted items to yard sales and auctions that benefit animal charities or rescues.

Spread The Word

If you know of an animal that needs help, or needs a home, spread the word. Social media makes it really easy to boost the signal. You could make a huge difference in an animal’s life simply by reposting a flyer!

Spay/Neuter

Spaying or neutering your own pet is one of the best things you can do to help animal welfare. Overpopulation is a major problem, and a big reason that there are so many wonderful pets in shelters. By getting your own furbaby fixed, you’re ensuring that Fido or Fluffy won’t add more pets to the mix. If your furry pal hasn’t been fixed yet, we recommend getting this done ASAP.

Foster

Fostering isn’t for everyone. We all know how easy it is to get attached to an adorable pet! Some people simply find it too hard to say goodbye when it’s time for their furry wards to move on. But if you have the time and funds, and think you may make a good foster pet parent, go for it! Ask for more information at a local shelter or animal rescue.

Does your pet need vaccinations or veterinary care? Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs.

Helpful Tips for Getting Through Shedding Season

Autumn is a beautiful time of year. The changing of the leaves, that first crisp, cool breeze, and the scents of pumpkin, apple, and caramel all have a whimsical charm. For pet parents, however, fall also brings some less pleasant things with it. Many pets shed heavily in fall, as they start growing their winter coats. A local Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on managing your pet’s shedding in this article.

Regular Grooming

Regular brushing is one way to help control your furball’s shedding. While it won’t reduce the amount of fur your pet loses, it will trap that dead hair in the brush. The more fur you get with a brush, the less you’ll find stuck to your clothes and furniture! Choosing the right tools is very important: different types of fur need different types of brushes. A shedding blade, for instance, may work on some pets, but a simple brush may be better for others. Ask your vet or groomer for recommendations.

Housecleaning Hacks

Did you know that a squeegee is great for removing pet fur from furniture? A dry kitchen sponge can also be very effective. Another way to manage your pet’s fur is to use washable furniture covers, at least during peak shedding times. Look for something that is easy to slip on and off.

Other Tips

Pets that go outdoors tend to shed more than those that spend most of their time indoors. This is because being outside exposes your furry friend to the seasonal weather changes that trigger shedding cycles. There’s no way to avoid walking your dog, of course, but kitties can stay inside. Fluffy’s also safer indoors, so this is a win-win solution!

Diet

Proper nutrition is crucial to your furbaby’s health. A good, high-quality diet will help keep your pet’s fur shiny and healthy, and may reduce shedding. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including supplements.

Keeping Your Clothes Fur-Free

When it comes to removing fur from your clothes, a good lint roller may be your best friend. Another thing you can try is wrapping duct tape around your hand, sticky side out, and use that. Or, simply dampen the palm of your hand, and wipe your clothes off that way.

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

Has Your Cat Turned Into a Picky Eater?

Your big tabby cat Slate has always had a dog’s hearty appetite. This husky five-year-old feline frequently polishes off his bowl within minutes; and you’ve often seen him steal your other cat’s kibbles. Lately, though, your hungry feline housemate has mostly been playing with his meals, rather than consuming them. You wonder what caused this appetite change. You’re also worried about poor nutrition or a possible medical problem. Tomorrow, your Fort Collins veterinarian will give Slate a complete physical exam and expert nutritional counseling.

Hectic Restaurant

Slate’s a no-frills cat who would be happy dining from a paper plate. However, he does prefer to consume his meals alone, with minimum disruptions. Unfortunately, you’ve placed your peace-loving cat’s bowls in your busy kitchen, where your family gathers throughout the day. Since your cat’s on a strict feeding schedule, maybe his human housemates could be persuaded to make alternative dining arrangements.

Substandard Menu

Your quality-conscious cat has enjoyed the same delicious kibbles for several years. However, he might have gotten tired of facing that same old blend every day. Or, if your home’s air is somewhat humid, your cat’s food has taken on a soggy texture and cardboard taste.

Maybe Slate insists on wet food. Although storing the cans in the fridge makes your life easier, your picky cat won’t eat that bowl of frigid, odorless, tasteless mush. Slightly heating the contents makes them interesting; however, make sure you don’t burn your cat’s delicate mouth.

Poor Hygiene and Dental Health

Your clean-freak cat can’t stomach the idea of dining from a dirty bowl. Besides the hygiene issue, he’s afraid the container is teeming with bacteria who will find their way into his digestive system. Or, maybe he has developed a painful dental problem, and he can’t even think about food right now. After your vet diagnoses and treats your cat’s dental malady, his appetite should return.

Craft a Creative Solution

Consider buying a high-end feline blend, honoring Slate’s preference for dry or wet food. Avoid human ingredients, as they’ll upset his stomach. When your picky-eating cat becomes ravenously hungry, he’ll likely swallow his pride and return to his bowl.

If Slate doesn’t eat for an entire day, ask your Fort Collins veterinarian to investigate a medical problem or food allergy. To resolve your cat’s persnickety food consumption, contact us for an appointment.

Keeping Your Hamster’s Dental Health in Order

There’s no question that a hamster’s teeth are some of his most vital instruments—they help him crack open nuts and seeds, eat, construct burrows, build hideouts, and much more. Here, a Larimer County veterinary professional offers advice on how to keep your hamster’s dental health in top form.

How Do I Check on My Hamster’s Dental Health?

Hold your hamster gently with one hand, keeping him secure. Use your other hand to gently pull back the skin around the neck. This should make your hamster expose his teeth, allowing you to take a look. Check for any apparent misalignment of teeth, or teeth that seem to be butting up against each other. Look for any redness, swelling, or other indications of a problem.

How Often Should I Check My Hamster’s Mouth?

The more often, the better! Check your hamster’s teeth regularly—for some owners, this could mean every day. Two or three times a week should suffice to make sure nothing’s going wrong with your hamster’s mouth. Also be sure to watch for other signs of a problem, like reluctance to eat. If a hamster’s incisor is broken, misaligned, or too long, he may not eat, which will quickly lead to other issues.

What If Something Doesn’t Seem Right?

As soon as you think something may be wrong with your hamster’s dental health, give your Larimer County veterinarian a call. Your vet will examine your hamster’s mouth, teeth, and overall health to ensure the best possible treatment. Many times, a quick tooth-trim is all that’s needed. This procedure is very quick, inexpensive, and won’t harm your pet at all.

Can I Prevent Dental Issues?

There are two main ways to keep your hamster’s mouth healthy and prevent issues: feed a proper diet, and provide good gnawing toys. A commercially-available hamster feed should have the necessary nutrients for ideal dental health; ask your vet for a recommendation. Find good chew toys in your local pet store or veterinarian’s office—these are essential for keeping your hamster’s incisors worn down so they don’t get too long.

Regular monitoring, good diet, proper chew toys, and quick action when you notice something amiss are the best ways to keep your hamster’s dental health in good order. Ask your vet for more helpful tips!