All posts by Natasha

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!