Tag Archives: arthritis in dogs

Teaching Your Dog Tricks

February is Dog Training Education Month. Has your pup finished his petucation yet? If not, this is a great time to show Fido something new! Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet offers tips on teaching your canine companion some cute tricks.

Start With Basic Doggy Obedience

All dogs should know simple commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. If your furry pal doesn’t have all of these down yet, work on these first.

Choose Tricks That Fit Fido’s Personality

All of our canine pals are unique, with their own doggy personalities. Keep this in mind when choosing tricks. For example, not all dogs fetch very well. Some will run after the object, but won’t bring it back. Others will just tilt their heads and look at you as though wondering why you threw away a perfectly good toy. Keep your pet’s personality and capabilities in mind.

Class Curriculum

Dogs don’t have very long attention spans, except perhaps when it comes to watching their human buddies cook bacon or cheeseburgers. Your furry pupil may get bored with long sessions. Keep ‘classes’ short and sweet. About 15-20 minutes at a time is fine. Also, if possible, try to work with your pet at the same time each day.

Build On Basics

Many of the more complicated dog tricks—such as fetching slippers—are built on a foundation of simpler tricks. For example, if you want to teach Fido to get your remote, start by teaching him to Fetch. Then, have him start learning the words for specific objects. Look online for step-by-step instructions.

Offer Rewards

When teaching dogs anything, it’s very important to provide positive reinforcement. Praise and compliment your pooch for doing well. Of course, snacks are also a great reward. Choose small portions, though: you don’t want to overfeed your adorable student.

Have Fun

Classic dog tricks, like Shake and Roll Over, will always be cute, but Fido can learn much more than that. You can teach your pup to Smile, Hide Your Eyes, or Play Dead. Or, if you want to teach your canine buddy something more useful, show him how to put his toys away, turn lights off and on, or get you a drink from the fridge.

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

Arthritis in Dogs

Is your canine buddy approaching his golden years? Fido will be just as cute as a senior as he was as a puppy! Your pet will slow down as he ages, and may develop a very calm, sweet demeanor that you truly enjoy. However, just like people, dogs often develop certain health problems as they grow older. Arthritis is one of the most common ones. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses arthritis in dogs.

At-Risk Breeds

While any dog can develop arthritis, some breeds do have a higher risk of it than others do. For instance, it is particularly common in retrievers and German Shepherds. However, there are also some additional risk factors that can increase the chances that Fido will become arthritic. Obesity is a big one. Infections, traumas, and joint abnormalities can also contribute to arthritis. Ask your vet for more information.

Warning Signs

Arthritis often develops fairly slowly, but there are some ‘telltail’ symptoms to watch for. Limping is often one of the earliest warning signs that a dog is developing arthritis. At first, Fido may only limp right after he gets up, but that limp will become more pronounced over time. Reduced interest in play is another common sign. Your pooch may have trouble getting in and out of cars, or climbing stairs, if he has arthritis. You may also notice your canine friend licking or chewing his paws.

Veterinary Care

If you know or suspect that your dog is developing arthritis, contact your vet immediately. While arthritis cannot be cured, there are now many wonderful options for helping soothe pets’ pain. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Keeping Fido Comfortable

In addition to making sure that your canine companion gets proper veterinary care, there are some small but significant things you can do to help your pup get around more easily. We recommend getting a good, orthopedic doggy bed, which will help your pooch sleep more comfortably. Pet ramps or stairs will make it easier for your furry friend to get in and out of the car, or climb onto the sofa. Last but not least, follow your vet’s recommendations for Fido’s diet and exercise regime. Good food and safe, suitable activity will both benefit your pet, and help keep that furry tail wagging.

Do you think your dog is developing arthritis? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!