All posts by Natasha

Tips on Traveling By Air With Your Pet

Traveling with a pet can be tricky. It’s all the more complicated if you’re traveling by air! You may have even heard horror stories of pets getting put on the wrong plane, or being injured or worse during flights. If you decide to transport your companion via an airline, there are a few tips to follow to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. Learn more below:

Visit the Vet

Before you even book a flight, it’s important to make sure your pet is ready for flying. First things first—have your pet examined by your veterinarian to ensure they’re in full health, and have essential vaccinations and pest-control medicines updated if necessary. Secondly, get your pet properly identified if they aren’t already. A microchip is recommended, as it is the most secure form of identification.

Generally speaking, it’s not advised to put senior pets, pets with disabilities or injuries, or pets with compromised immune systems on flights. The stress of flying may simply be too much for these pets, and it’s just not worth the risk!

Check Airline Policies

It’s very important to check the policies of the airline you’re flying with to see what their regulations are in regard to pets. Plenty of airlines don’t allow pets at all, and even those that do may have strict guidelines and restrictions based on size, breed, and more. Some pets are allowed in the cabin with the human passengers (“carry-on” pets), while some must be transported alongside checked baggage under the cabin. Certain airlines have procedures in place—and even specialized teams in some cases—to safely transport pets, while others do not. Do your research before choosing an airline!

Choose Flights Wisely

Whenever possible, don’t choose flights scheduled for the peak of summer or the coldest months of winter. Extreme temperatures won’t treat your pet kindly while flying, especially if they must be transported in the baggage area of the aircraft. It’s also best to book a direct flight with no layovers, helping to minimize the chance of a lost pet.

Check Your Destination

Remember to check your destination—whether it’s a hotel, rented house or apartment, or a family member or friend’s home—to make sure it’s pet-friendly. You don’t want to arrive at your destination only to find out that your pet isn’t welcome!

For more tips on air travel with pets, contact your vet’s office.

Homemade Holiday Presents for Fido

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? If not, you aren’t alone! Don’t forget to pick up something for your dog. Fido definitely deserves a special gift! After all, he’s loyal, loving, and super cute. Store-bought presets are fine, but if you want to save money, or just like being crafty, you can also make your pet’s things. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some homemade gifts you can make your dog.

Clothes

It may be easier than you think to make your pooch a cute little jacket. You can find patterns online that you can make from scratch. Or, you can upcycle a small sweater.

Bed

A comfy doggy bed is a great gift for your furry friend! If you have a large breed, turn over a coffee table or table with four legs. Stain or paint it, then add an orthopedic pet bed or a child’s mattress. A hard-shell suitcase, end table, or hatbox can be upcycled into a cute bed for smaller dogs. Look online for more ideas.

Rope Toys

Is Tug-O-War your pup’s favorite game? To make a rope toy for your furry pal, cut an old tee shirt or pillowcase into long, thin strips. Next, you’ll want braid those strips together. To make it prettier, use alternating colors. Then, braid the braids together. Tie the end off into a big knot. Voila! Instant happy dog.

Booties

Many of our four-legged buddies hate walking on snow. You can’t really blame them: going barefoot in freezing weather probably isn’t much fun! Salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icers can also damage Fido’s paws. You can also buy your pet some soft booties. Or, make your own! Look online for ideas and instructions.

Treats

Do you enjoy cooking? Why not make your pup some yummy homemade treats? You’ll find some great recipes online. Just stick to the ones that use ingredients that are safe for Fido. Some suitable options include sodium-free broth; plain yogurt; liver powder; wheat germ oil; natural peanut butter; eggs; cheese; bacon bits; wheat-germ oil; and whole-wheat flour. Certain fruits and veggies, such as pureed pumpkin or squash, bananas, peas, and carrots, are also safe. Ask your vet for specific advice on safe and unsafe foods.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Moore Animal Hospital, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

Fluffy’s Thanksgiving Plans

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Many people are starting to make plans for the autumn holiday. As it turns out, our feline pals may also have a few things on her agenda. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses Fluffy’s Thanksgiving plans.

Supervise

Kitties like to keep a close eye on their human friends. Your feline friend will no doubt supervise you carefully as you prepare for your guests. She may even follow you around from room to room!

Steal Chairs

If there’s one thing Fluffy can’t resist, it’s a warm, cozy napping spot. If any guests get up from the table, your furball may immediately hop into that recently-vacated seat.

Naps!

Watching people and napping can be very tiring for our furry companions! After observing your guests for a while, your feline buddy will probably start yawning, and curl up for a nap, possibly on someone’s coat.

Find The Allergic Person

Kitties have a rule about people with allergies. If one person in the room is allergic to Fluffy, there’s a good chance that she will gravitate to that specific person.

Socializing … Or Not

If Fluffy is friendly, she may spend some time hopping from lap to lap, or just going around the room collecting forehead rubs and ear scritches. Shy cats, on the other hand, may spend a chunk of their day under the bed.

Beauty Ritual

Kitties certainly aren’t shy about grooming themselves. Don’t be surprised if Fluffy starts cleaning her bottom in the middle of a room full of guests!

Dinner

Fluffy can definitely have a special treat. Just be careful with what you offer her. Plain, cooked meat, chicken, or fish are fine, as long as you remove the skin, bones, and fat. Your kitty can also have some canned tuna or chicken in water; a bit of shredded deli meat; cat milk; or sodium free broth. Never give your cat dairy products; meat on the bone; raw meat, dough, or yeast; chocolate; nuts; caffeine; alcohol; or anything seasoned with garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; pitted fruits; and anything that contains xylitol.

More Naps

After a long day of being petted and eating, Fluffy will probably be tired, and ready for some snuggles. Kitty purrs are definitely something to be grateful for!

Happy Thanksgiving! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime!

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!

Choosing Your Child’s First Pet

Has your little one been begging for a puppy or kitten? Are you debating on whether your child is ready for a pet? This can be a tricky dilemma for parents! Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses choosing your child’s first pet.

Is Your Child Ready?

Children all mature differently, so there really is no set age when it becomes appropriate for them to get their first pet. That said, we really don’t recommend getting pets for children that are younger than five. How do you know if your youngster is ready? Doing chores or homework without being reminded is a good indication of maturity. It’s also very important that your little one treat animals with kindness and compassion.

Benefits Of Having Pets

Did you know that children can benefit from having pets? Our animal companions can teach children about friendship and empathy, and are often a source of comfort for them in hard times. Having pets can also reduce your little one’s risk of developing certain allergies.

Starter Pets

Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. It’s unfortunately all too common for little children to beg for pets, and then lose interest in them. Make sure that you are willing to take over the pet’s care if that happens.

Popular Choices

As you may know, gerbils, hamsters, mice, and Guinea pigs are all popular choices for children’s pets. Goldfish are also popular. Of course, while these ‘starter pets’ don’t need as much attention as a cat or dog, they do need proper care. Every day, you or your child will need to remove your pet’s waste and give them fresh food and water. Your furry buddy’s cage (or tank) will also need to be cleaned more thoroughly every week or so. Specific care instructions vary from pet to pet, so ask your vet for more information.

Tips

Once you’ve decided to get a pet, be sure to do plenty of research, so you know what kind of care your tiny friend will need. Always supervise your child when he or she is playing with their animal companion. We recommend having your child sit down when handling their pet. That way, if the little furball accidentally gets dropped, he won’t fall very far.

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO vet clinic!

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!