Tag Archives: animal hospital Larimer County CO

Fun Facts About Hamsters

Do you have a pet hamster? If so, you may want to put a tiny pawprint on your calendar for May 10th. It’s National Hamster Day! These little furballs really are adorable, and make wonderful pets. A local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some fun facts about hamsters in this article.

Lone Hamster

There are actually several types of hamsters. The Syrian hamster is one of the most popular ones. Just don’t let that cute face fool you. Syrian hamsters will fight each other, so you can only keep one in a cage.

Cozy Pets

Like many smaller animals, hamsters feel safe and secure in enclosed spaces. It’s important to give your little buddy a good hidey-hole. This doesn’t have to be fancy. You can use tissue boxes, small flowerpots, or store-bought hamster homes.


Hamsters, as you may know, are notorious for hoarding things. This is one issue that can arise with giving them seed mixes. Hammie will stash his favorite bits for later, and then beg for more. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.

Moon Over My Hammy

Hamsters are actually nocturnal. This is something to keep in mind if you get one for a child. If you put Hammie’s cage in your youngster’s bedroom, he may keep your child awake.

Active Furballs

Hamsters are actually quite active. In the wild, they spend a lot of their time foraging. Pet ones generally enjoy spending time on an exercise wheel or runabout. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Hammie Can Learn His Name

Hamsters may be small, but they really are adorable. They’re also quite friendly. Hammie can learn to recognize his humans, and may even learn his name.

Hamster Types

There are three kinds of hamsters that are most often seen as pets. The Syrian is the largest, and can get to be about 6 or 7 inches. Teddy Bear hamsters are close to the Syrian in size, but have short hair. Then there are the dwarf breeds, which include the Roborovski, Djungarian, Chinese and Russian. Some of these tiny furballs never get any bigger than 2 inches!

Hamsters Are Clean

Hamsters often pick a spot in their cage to use as their bathroom, and will only soil there. That’s definitely a big plus for a little pet!

Do you have questions about hamster care? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, today!

Tips For Choosing Dog Treats

Does your canine buddy get super excited at the thought of a treat? Does he come running whenever you go near his treat jar? Treats are definitely one of Fido’s favorite things. However, there are some things to keep in mind when offering your pet snacks. Here, a Fort Collins, CO discusses giving your dog treats.

Store-Bought Treats

Given the option, Fido would no doubt happily sample every single brand of doggy treats that is out there. That’s probably not feasible, so you’ll need to pick for him. Get into the habit of reading labels, and choose products that list ingredients you can actually identify. Meat, fish, and/or poultry should make up the bulk of the ingredients. Also, be sure to choose treats that are the right size for your dog.

Homemade Goodies

If you like cooking, you can make Fido’s snacks. Just stick to foods that are safe for dogs. Plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken are good options. You can also include things like cheese; eggs; bacon bits; peanut butter; sodium-free broth; plain yogurt; safe fruits and veggies, like pumpkin, peas, carrots, and bananas; and/or olive oil. Look online for recipes, or just make up your own.

Tricks For Treats

Many dogs actually enjoy working for their snacks. Have Fido perform a command for his snack. Once he’s mastered basic obedience commands, teach him some cute tricks, like Roll Over or Shake Paw.

Curb Begging

We can’t really talk about dog treats without discussing begging. Some of our canine patients have their humans wrapped right around their paws! If you absolutely can’t resist your pet’s sad eyes, offer him something healthy, like a carrot, instead of that meatball he’s drooling over.

Don’t Go Overboard

Although treats are beneficial, you don’t want to overindulge your pup. Generally, they should only make up about 5 percent of his daily caloric intake. Sorry Fido, you can’t have all that bacon!

Monitor Recalls

Although fortunately the odds of your dog ingesting tainted food or treats are slim, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Monitor pet food recalls. You can do that through several websites, including the FDA site here and the AMVA site here. You can also set up email alerts.

Please contact us if we can ever be of assistance. As your local Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, 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.


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!


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!

Spring Cleaning for Pet Parents

Spring is finally here! As we leave another winter behind, many people are rolling up their sleeves and getting some spring cleaning done. Don’t forget about your pet’s things! A local Fort Collins, CO vet offers some spring cleaning tips for pet owners in this article.


Wash your four-legged buddy’s bedding, and inspect it for tears and rips. We recommend using hot water and unscented detergent. Beds that can’t go in the wash can be vacuumed.


Inspect your furry friend’s playthings, and toss out anything that is worn or ripped. Toys that are still in decent condition can be given a good cleaning. To clean a rope toy, remove metal parts, soak it in water, and pop it in the microwave for about a minute. Stuffed animals can be washed in the washing machine. Use unscented detergent and the hottest wash and dry cycles you have. Plastic and rubber toys, such as Kong toys, can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Use the hot setting, and skip the soap. The water and steam will do the trick. Check care instructions for other toys.


Go through your pet’s food, treats, and medicine, and get rid of anything that is no longer good. Don’t forget to check expiration dates! If you store your furry pal’s food in a specific container, such as a pitcher or storage tote, give that a good cleaning as well.


Many animals shed heavily at this time of year, as they lose their winter fur. We recommend brushing your pet daily during peak shedding times. If you have a dog, bring Fido outdoors for his beauty sessions in warm weather. That way, the fur will just blow away.


We recommend vacuuming regularly, especially during shedding season. This is also a good time to change your air filter. If you need to remove pet fur from your clothing or upholstery, try using a squeegee, rubber dish glove, or a damp sponge. You may also want to put some removable slipcovers on your furniture, at least until shedding season winds down.

Veterinary Care

Fleas and ticks will follow soon behind the spring thaw. Make sure that your four-legged pal is current on their vaccines, exams, and parasite control products!

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Fall Care for Fido

Fall is a beautiful time of year here in Colorado. The crisp weather, changing foliage, and seasonal trappings all have their own special charm. Unfortunately, autumn can also be quite dangerous for our canine pals. A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses fall care for dogs in this article.


This is a beautiful time of year to take a long, relaxing stroll with your furry buddy. Just be sure to avoid areas where wild animals may be lurking. Many animals are preparing to hibernate at this time of year, and could be grumpier than usual.

Household Dangers

In autumn, many people fill their cars with antifreeze, and also prep their lawns and gardens for winter by adding fertilizers and other products. This is also a popular time of year for people to set out pesticides and rodenticides. These chemicals are all highly toxic to dogs, so take care not to expose your pet to them.


Autumn’s weather is great for playing Fetch with Fido. Just don’t let your furry pal play in leaf piles, as sometimes snakes or other wild animals make nests in them. Mold and bacteria are also a concern.


Halloween is one of the most popular holidays, so it’s no wonder people like to get their pets involved. If you put your pup in a costume, make sure it doesn’t restrict his movements or vision, and isn’t itchy or uncomfortable. Avoid anything with small parts that Fido may try to eat. We also recommend keeping your dog indoors as much as possible near the autumn holiday, as the increased traffic can be both dangerous and upsetting to dogs. Last but not least, keep all candles, decorations, and candy well out of paw’s reach.

Fall Cleaning

This is a great time of year to go through your dog’s belongings, and get rid of anything that is old or worn. If Fido wears sweaters, make sure they are all clean and that they still fit him well. Give your canine pal’s bedding a good cleaning, too. When you start getting winter supplies, choose pet-friendly deicing products.


Some dogs may need to eat a bit more in cold weather. Ask your vet for specific advice on Fido’s winter diet.

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

Spring Hazards for Pets

It’s hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner. As the weather starts to warm up, both people and pets will happily head outdoors to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. This is also the time of year when many of us will roll up our sleeves and get some spring cleaning done. Remember to keep your pet’s health and safety in mind! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some seasonal hazards for pets.


As soon as the weather warms up, parasites will start coming out in full force. Make sure your furry pal is up to date on parasite control products. It’s also important to stay current on your pet’s vaccinations. Many wild animals will be out and about in spring. You definitely don’t want to take a chance of your four-legged buddy getting infected with rabies—or anything else—after a chance encounter!

Lawn/Garden Products

Once the snow melts, many people start applying fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to their lawns. These products can be very toxic to pets! Make sure to store lawn/garden chemicals in a secure spot that your furry companion can’t reach. If you treat your yard, keep your animal companion out of that area for at least a few days. Giving the lawn a good soaking will also help get residue off your grass. Pets can get sick just by walking through an area that was just sprayed, and then licking their paws!

Toxic Plants

Many popular plants are poisonous to pets. We strongly recommend choosing only plants that are safe for pets. You can check the ASPCA site for a full directory of both toxic and non-toxic plants.

Easter Trappings

Are you planning a family gathering for Easter? Chocolates, flowers, and plastic eggs are all hazardous to pets, so keep these away from your animal buddy. Also, make sure to immediately remove leftovers and uneaten food, and dispose of waste in a secure container. Bones, fruit pits, toothpicks, skewers, and tin foil are all very dangerous to our furry friends.

Household Chemicals

You may want to give your house a good cleaning once the weather warms up. Just be sure not to expose your four-legged buddy to dangerous chemicals. Many common cleaning products are toxic to pets!

Is your pet due for veterinary care? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!

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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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!


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!

Top-Notch Nutrition for Your Adult Dog

Your Labrador retriever Hunter is a rambunctious pooch who’s always in motion. Hunter loves to play fetch and retrieve his training dummies with amazing efficiency. To fuel this high-energy fun, Hunter needs top-quality food that meets his nutritional needs. Good thing your Fort Collins veterinarian prescribed a well-balanced, nutritionally complete diet. Read more about essential components of a good adult dog diet.

Carbohydrates for Consistent Energy

Carbohydrates provide that extra “oomph” that Hunter needs to maintain his busy schedule. Carbs also help to regulate Hunter’s intestinal functions and make his potty breaks go smoothly. Hunter’s female friends also depend on carbs to keep their reproductive systems functioning well. Although canine nutritional profiles don’t list minimum carb requirements, Hunter requires a certain amount of glucose to maintain his brain and other vital organ operations.

Proteins for Body Structures

High-quality proteins help Hunter’s cells, tissues, and organs to maintain their structure and integrity. Good thing Hunter loves animal proteins, as they’re the best protein sources for your active dog. Quality dog foods include turkey, fish, beef, lamb, or chicken as protein sources.

Fats for Super-Dense Energy and Insulation

Versatile fats are vastly underrated, as they’re the most energy-dense food source, much denser than proteins or carbohydrates. Fats also give Hunter’s organs valuable insulation during extreme cold or hot weather. Since Hunter’s always moving, he’s lucky that his body fats protect his vital organs from traumatic injury. Because Hunter’s body doesn’t produce much fat, his nutritious diet must provide most of his beneficial fats.

Minerals for Bones and Teeth

Hunter’s bones and teeth depend on minerals to maintain their structural integrity. Hunter’s fluid balance would also get out of whack without sufficient minerals. Since Hunter’s body doesn’t synthesize minerals, his diet must provide these valuable nutrients.

Vitamins to Maintain Metabolism

Hunter’s super-charged metabolism requires specific vitamins to keep it running smoothly. While Hunter’s top-quality diet provides an optimal vitamin mix, your vet might also prescribe a special supplement or two. Hunter will think his vitamins are just another delicious treat.

Water for Life

Regardless of Hunter’s excellent diet, his body can’t function without a consistent supply of fresh, clean water. In fact, water makes up 60 to 70 percent of Hunter’s body weight. When Hunter’s body water decreases by 10 percent, maybe from dehydration, he’ll become very ill. If Hunter experiences a 15 percent water loss, his body’s systems will begin to shut down and he’ll likely die.

As Hunter moves through his life stages, your Fort Collins vet will tweak your dog’s diet to reflect his changing nutritional needs and activity level. After all, your vet wants Hunter to stay healthy so he can enjoy life with your family.