All posts by James

Teaching Your Puppy His Name

If you’ve recently adopted a puppy or plan on getting one soon, one of the first orders of business will be teaching young Fido his name. It’s the foundation of your relationship and the starting point for all other training. Use the following tips to successfully teach your puppy his name:

Choosing a Name

First, set yourself up for success by choosing a great name for your pup. Try to pick a name with two or more syllables, rather than a single-syllable name; it’s easier for your puppy to distinguish and understand, and it won’t sound like any single-syllable commands such as “sit,” “stay,” or “down.”

Another naming tip: don’t use nicknames (“Bud” instead of “Buddy”, for example) when training your puppy, as this could confuse him. Consistency is key!

Training

Begin by simply saying your puppy’s name. Speak clearly and firmly, but use a pleasant tone of voice throughout the whole process. When your puppy looks at you, reward him with a treat. Allow your puppy to look away, then repeat the above process. Offer a treat as soon as he looks—this is reinforcing the notion that looking at you upon hearing his name results in a reward.

Repeat this process a few times, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want your puppy to lose interest and make things harder on yourself. Try breaking up name-training into a few short sessions per day, and try training in different rooms of the home so that your puppy doesn’t start to associate his name with one particular area. It won’t be long before your puppy has learned his name successfully!

Avoiding Negative Reinforcement

Many puppy owners make the mistake of accidentally providing negative reinforcement. This might occur, for example, when your puppy has an accident in your home. Your instinct is probably to yell “Fido, no!” or “Bad dog, Fido!” but this could backfire. It’s associating your puppy’s name with a negative scenario, which could lead to behavior and training problems in the future. When your puppy misbehaves, leave his name out of your reprimand. Simply say “No!” in a firm, authoritative voice without adding your pup’s name.

Do you need help with your puppy’s training or behavior? Does your pet need his initial veterinary examination or vaccinations? We’re here to help with all of your puppy’s care needs. Set up an appointment here at the clinic today.

5 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Has your dog or cat been fixed yet? If not, we strongly recommend that you see to this right away. Although spay/neuter surgery should ideally be performed before your pet reaches sexual maturity, it can safely be done on adult pets as well. Making sure your furry pal has been spayed or neutered is very important! Read on as a local veterinarian lists some reasons to get your four-legged buddy fixed.

Better Behavior

Good petiquette is one of the biggest benefits to spaying or neutering your furry friend. Dogs and cats that have been fixed are typically much calmer—and therefore better behaved—than those who are intact. They’re also less likely to engage in unwanted behaviors, such as mounting and marking their territory by spraying.

Safety

Safety is another concern with intact pets. They often try to escape so they can go looking for love. This puts Fido and Fluffy at greater risk of being lost or seriously injured!

Support Animal Welfare

Pet overpopulation is a huge problem, and one of the main reasons that there are so many homeless pets out there. A single pair of cats can have 11,606,077 descendants in just nine years! We know, kittens and puppies are adorable, but there are already far too many wonderful dogs and cats in need of loving homes. Also, even if you do find great homes for your four-legged friend’s babies, there’s really no way to guarantee that their own offspring will fare so well. Making sure your pet doesn’t contribute to pet overpopulation is a great way to support good animal welfare!

Health Benefits

Did you know that spaying and neutering can prevent certain health issues? Getting your female dog or cat spayed will reduce the risk of her developing uterine infections and breast tumors, which are often malignant. Neutering male pets protects them from certain prostate problems and testicular cancer. Ask your vet for more information.

Spare Yourself The Sound Of Kitty Caterwauling

Have you ever heard the “love songs” of an amorous kitty looking for a mate? If so, you probably will agree that being spared Fluffy’s singing is reason enough to get your furball fixed!

Are you ready to make an appointment for your pet? Contact us, your vet clinic, anytime. We offer excellent veterinary care.

Tips on Choosing a New Canine Companion

Are you thinking of adding a dog to your family’s ranks in the near future? There are plenty of considerations to make before deciding on your next canine companion. Here are a few tips for making the best possible choice so that you and your dog can enjoy years of happy, healthy companionship down the road.

Consider Your Lifestyle

First, consider your own lifestyle. Do you have young children? This is an important consideration to make when thinking about adding a dog to your family, as young children will need to be taught about proper handling techniques, safety measures, and more when it comes to owning a dog.

Consider your living situation; do you live in a home or an apartment? In the suburbs or in the center of a city? A large-breed dog may not work well for apartment dwellers depending on size and exercise needs.

Finally, take time to think about what kind of commitment you’re willing to undertake. Most dogs will live to be at least 10 years old, and many can live twice that long. Make sure that you’re prepared for the responsibility, and remember that older dogs need loving homes too!

Consider the Breed

Different breeds of dogs come with different personalities, although temperament can vary greatly even within a single breed. Generally speaking, working dogs and sporting dogs have a lot of energy—they’ll require a good bit of physical activity and will want frequent human contact to be as happy as possible. Something like a terrier, on the other hand, could display an independent streak and might have a more difficult time following commands. It all depends on the dog, so make sure to perform your due diligence before making a final choice.

Consider Care Requirements

Make sure to factor in your potential companion’s care needs before making a decision. Budget for supplies like food, dishes, beds, a leash and collar, and a crate, as well as the cost of veterinary care. Think about what kind of grooming requirements your pooch might have; long-haired dogs will require frequent brushing and bathing, as well as trips to the groomer’s office. Take note if the kind of dog you’re considering is predisposed to certain types of medical issues—ear infections, hip dysplasia, eye trouble, etc.—and factor in the costs of veterinary bills and preventative care.

For more help choosing a dog, contact us today!

6 Things Every Cat Owner Says

Do you talk to your cat? If so, you’re not alone. Many people chat with their furry pals. Sometimes Fluffy even talks back! However, we suspect that many of our feline patients hear the same things from their humans. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some things every cat owner says.

Get Down From There

Kitties don’t have a very good vantage point from ground level. Therefore, it’s not surprising that they like to climb to higher places. Fluffy loves to be able to get a better look of her servants (that would be you) and her kingdom. Many people owned by cats find themselves plucking their furry companions off tables, counters, and even bookcases.

What Are You Doing In There?

Kitties are very curious, and absolutely love to explore new places. For Fluffy, investigating an open closet or cabinet is a fun adventure. Your furball also won’t be able to resist hopping into open suitcases, or jumping into cardboard boxes.

That Isn’t A Toy

Fluffy may be a pampered and beloved pet, but she’s actually a predator at heart. That said, it isn’t uncommon for cats to ignore their toys, and play with cotton balls, bottlecaps, or even shoes instead.

What Do You Want?

Sometimes, it’s easy to figure out what Fluffy wants. For instance, if your kitty is sitting in front of her empty food bowl yelling, she’s probably demanding you feed her dinner right meow. And if your furry buddy is scratching at a door, she wants to get in or out. (She may change her mind as soon as you open the door, but that’s another topic.) However, sometimes cats can be a bit more vague. Fluffy may meow to tell you about the squirrel in the yard or the moth in the kitchen. Or, she may just want to complain about something. With cats, you just never know!

I Just Fed You!

Fluffy has been known to immediately eat her breakfast, and then demand more. We know, those plaintive meows are hard to resist, but don’t overindulge your pet. Follow your vet’s nutritional advice.

I’m Sorry, I Have To Move You

You’ve probably noticed that kitties are pretty sleepy. Sooner or later, you’ll have to move your furball mid-nap!

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

Getting Your Dog Ready for Winter

It’s hard to believe, but autumn is already here. Snow and cold weather are just around the corner. As you start stowing away your summer things and pulling those heavy coats out of storage, don’t forget about your canine buddy! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on getting Fido ready for winter.

Clothes

If your four-legged pal has thin fur, he may be more comfortable with a sweater to wear on cold days. This isn’t a universal recommendation, however: some dogs, like huskies, have thick fur that provides sufficient protection from the cold. Ask your vet for specific advice. If your pooch does need clothes, go through his wardrobe, and make sure everything is clean and still fits. Avoid anything that is tight, constricting, or itchy, as well as items with buttons or zippers.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all cause painful paw abrasions. Use paw balm or wax to protect your dog’s furry feet. You may want to wipe Fido’s paws down with a damp cloth when you bring him inside. We also recommend using pet-friendly de-icing agents. Last but not least, if your canine companion has tufts of fur growing between his toes, you may want to trim these: otherwise, they may collect ice balls.

Bedding

Fido may spend a good chunk of winter napping. Make sure your furry pal has a comfy bed to snuggle up in. Older dogs and large breeds may appreciate orthopedic beds, which will provide extra support. If you really want to pamper your pup, get him a thermal blanket, or even a heated bed.

Food

Some dogs need to eat a bit more in winter, as they burn extra calories just staying warm. If Fido is outdoors a lot, or is a working dog, nursing mama, or a puppy, you may want to increase his serving sizes. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Doghouse

Does your canine buddy have a doghouse? Give it a good cleaning before it gets really cold, and make sure it is well-insulated. Hang strips of carpet or thick plastic in the door. This will help block the wind. The doghouse should also be raised off the ground a bit to keep snow out.

Please call us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

The Benefits of Playing With Your Cat

Do you take time to play with your feline buddy regularly? If so, that’s great! Playing is actually really good for Fluffy! In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some of the benefits of playing with your cat.

Exercise

Cats, as you may have noticed, tend to get rather lazy as they grow older. This makes it easy for them to gain weight. Chubby cats are cute, but they face some very serious health risks. Playing is a great way to keep your pet active. Even a few minutes of chasing that elusive red dot will help keep your kitty’s muscles strong, and reduce the risk of her becoming obese. You don’t have to worry about your furry buddy overexerting herself. When Fluffy is done, she’ll just walk away.

Relieve Stress

Just like people, kitties can suffer from anxiety and stress. Playing gives your feline companion a chance to take out her frustrations in a healthy manner. This is great for cats that are grumpy or anxious. Playing can also help soothe tensions between multiple cats. Of course, this is also a great way for you to relieve stress: it’s hard not to smile when watching a frisky furball pouncing and rolling around. In fact, this may be just as fun for you as it is for Fluffy!

Bonding

Kitties can become very, very attached to their humans, but that friendship really has to be nurtured. Playing is a wonderful way to bond with your pet. It can also help you build the trust of a furball that is shy or frightened. When you take time to hold that laser pointer for Fluffy to chase, your kitty will know that you are doing something just for her, and she will appreciate it. (Cats tend to show their thanks in some fairly odd ways, but that’s another topic.)

Beat Midnight Zoomies

Does your feline pal tend to sleep all day and then race around at night? Does Fluffy have a habit of pouncing on your toes while you’re trying to sleep? Tire your frisky pet out with a fun play session before bed. Then, give her a late dinner. We all know what happens when cats are both full and tired: naptime!

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are happy to help!

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Did you know that September is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month? This is one cause that is truly near and dear to our hearts. If you are ready to bring a new pet into your family, please consider going to a shelter to find your furry friend. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some great reasons to get Fido from a shelter.

Save A Life

Our canine friends often wind up in shelters through no fault of their own. Some shelter dogs are lost pets whose owners cannot be located. Others have been abandoned by their owners, or surrendered due to unfortunate circumstances. Unfortunately, Fido may not have much time to find himself a new forever home. Giving a sweet pup a second chance at happiness is a wonderful thing to do!

Find The Right Pup

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and they all have their own unique personalities. Whether you want a small cuddly companion pooch, an athletic pup to hike and jog with, or a jovial family pet, you’ll likely find exactly what you are looking for at a shelter. You’ll also be able to hang out with Fido before making a final decision. This is very important! Doggy adoptions are long-term commitments, and definitely not something to take lightly.

Save Money

Adopting from a shelter is often significantly cheaper than getting your canine buddy from a dealer or pet store. You may also save on veterinary care costs, since many shelters provide basic services, such as spaying/neutering.

Promote Good Animal Welfare

Adopting from a shelter is a great way to give that one lucky canine a new lease on life. You’ll also be helping other dogs in need. The money you put towards Fido’s adoption fees will help the shelter feed and care for their other furry wards. Plus, you’re freeing up space for another homeless pup.

Make A Forever Friend

Dogs are very smart, and know when someone has helped them. It’s no surprise that many people report that the pups they have adopted from shelters are extremely loyal and affectionate. Fido will reward you with unconditional love and friendship, endless tail wags and happy dances, and lots of cuddles and face licks. What more could you ask for?

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to providing great veterinary care.

Doggy Paw Care

Does your dog know how to Shake Paw? Fido’s furry feet are adorable! They’re also very important to his health and well-being. After all, without his paws, your pet wouldn’t be able to walk, run, or jump. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for your dog’s paws.

Claws

Overgrown claws are actually very problematic in dogs. They are quite uncomfortable for Fido, so your pup may adjust his stride to compensate. This puts extra strain on your furry buddy’s bones and joints, which can aggravate or contribute to painful conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia. If you aren’t comfortable trimming your canine pal’s nails yourself, contact your vet or groomer and set up a quick pawdicure appointment. Or, get a pair of clippers that are equipped with sensors. These will indicate exactly where to cut. Also, don’t forget to check your dog’s dewclaws. These are the ones higher up on Fido’s ‘ankle.’ Sometimes they can become ingrown, which is very painful!

Paw Pads

Your dog’s paw pads are very sensitive. Fido can get burns or blisters by running on hot or harsh surfaces. In summer, hot tar and asphalt can really do a number on your pet’s feet. Dogs’ paws are extra delicate when they are wet, so be extra careful after your pooch has gone swimming. In winter, salt, sand, snow, and ice can also hurt your pup’s feet. Use paw balm or wax to protect your furry friend’s paws.

Foreign Objects

We recommend inspecting your canine buddy’s feet regularly. You’ll want to look between Fido’s toes, as dogs often get pebbles or other foreign objects stuck between them. Ticks also sometimes latch on to dogs’ feet, so keep an eye out for hitchhikers as well. Also, if your pooch has those adorable tufts of fur between his toes, keep these trimmed back. They can easily get gunked up and matted, which is very uncomfortable.

Injuries

Paw injuries are definitely not something to take lightly! Fido can step on a sharp object, or get bitten or scratched. If you notice your furry pal limping, immediately take a look. You can treat a very minor cut yourself with antiseptic, but call the vet for anything else.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can ever be of assistance. As your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, we are always here to help!

Keeping Kitty Cool

Do you often find your cat sprawled out in a sunbeam? Our feline friends certainly do love sunbathing. However, summer can be tough on kitties. After all, Fluffy is wearing a fur coat, and doesn’t have many ways to cool herself off. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses keeping cats cool.

Brushing

Cats are pretty good about grooming themselves, but that doesn’t mean your pet can’t use a helping hand now and then. Brushing your feline pal regularly will get that dead hair, dust, and dander out of her coat. This will help keep her cooler. (Bonus: this is also a great way to spend time with Fluffy, and make her feel pampered.)

Water

Make sure that your feline buddy always has plenty of fresh, cool water. You may want to get your furball an automated waterer, or a pet fountain. Many kitties actually prefer to drink running water.

Cool Bed

Offer your kitty some comfy napping spots in cool areas. Fluffy may like a shaded corner near the AC, for instance. Of course, if you let your furball roam, she probably won’t have trouble finding a cool napping spot. Cats are very, very good at getting comfortable!

Pawckey

Did you know that batting an ice cube around can help your kitty cool off? Fluffy’s paw pads—or ‘toe beans,’ as some people call them—help kitties regulate their temperature.

Hammock

It’s really very easy to make Fluffy a hammock. Just get a table or end table with four legs, and a sturdy piece of material. Cut the fabric so that it’s smaller than the tabletop, and then just tie the corner to the legs. Presto!

Keep Kitty In

The best way to keep your kitty cool in summer is to keep her indoors, in rooms with climate control. If you do let your furry buddy roam, limit her outdoor time during the hottest parts of the day.

Cold Snacks

Who says kitties can’t have a cool treat? Drop an ice cube into your cat’s bowl on sweltering days. Fluffy may also enjoy a cool bowl of sodium-free broth, or perhaps some cat milk, which you can get in pet stores. Some chilled, boneless tuna, fish, or chicken in water is also fine.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, with any questions about your cat’s health or care. We are here to help!

Work Like a Dog Day

Did you know that August 5th is Work Like A Dog Day? Some of our canine pals really work very hard! Dogs can be found in a variety of fields, and have proven absolutely invaluable partners. In this article, a local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses working dogs.

Breed Separation

Did you know that dog breeds are separated according to ‘jobs?’ Some pooches, such as German Shepherds, Australian sheep dogs, and Corgis, are grouped as herding dogs. That means that these breeds originally were developed to help herd and guard livestock. Other pooches found jobs hunting, pulling carts, or tracking. What pups had the easiest work? That would probably go to toy breeds, who, as companion dogs, had no duties at all, aside from cuddling their owners!

Law Enforcement

Many of our canine buddies can be found working in law enforcement. These smart pups can be found in many areas, from narcotics to search-and-rescue. Fido is also sometimes found on bomb squads, and/or helping apprehend criminals. Our fearless furry friends have saved countless lives! These amazing pups often bond so closely with their partners that their humans end up adopting them when it’s time for them to retire.

Therapy

One area where Fido really shines is in therapy. Comfort dogs are becoming quite popular in nursing homes, hospices, and hospitals. Dogs just have a special way of sensing our emotions, and comforting us. Even just spending a few minutes petting a sweet canine can help lift people’s spirits.

Service Dogs

Man’s Best Friend has really earned his title in this area. Dogs have helped thousands—if not millions—of people with disabilities live independent, happy lives. Fido can help guide the blind, but he is also a wonderful companion to people who are dealing with other issues, such as autism, epilepsy, and PTSD.

Pet On Duty

While not all dogs work for a living, even pampered pets usually have a few duties. Some of the things on Fido’s ‘chore list’ may include chasing squirrels out of the yard, making people smile, listening to us rant about something that’s annoying us, comforting us, and, of course, helping us finish leftovers. Our wonderful four-legged friends are definitely wonderful gifts, and something to celebrate!

Please feel free to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO veterinary clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!