Tag Archives: dog care tips

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!

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!

Doghouse Repair Month

Did you know that July is officially Doghouse Repair Month? Does your pooch have his own little doggy pad in the yard? If so, this is a great time to give your Fido’s doghouse a good cleaning. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses doghouse repair.

Cleaning

Give Fido’s home a good scrubbing. If you keep bedding in Fido’s doghouse, give that a thorough cleaning as well. (Note: bedding in doghouses can attract fleas and pests, so you may just want to put down a carpet or mat.)

Inspection

Take a good look at your furry buddy’s outdoor home. Look for places where Fido may have tried to eat or chew his house. You’ll also want to check for large splinters and sharp parts, like nails or screws, that may be sticking out.

Setup

Fido’s doghouse should be in a shaded area, with the opening facing away from prevailing winds, at least in winter. Your canine companion may enjoy a breeze in summer, so you can move it seasonally if you like. The doghouse should be raised off the ground a bit. This will help keep it dry when it’s raining, and can keep critters out as well. If you want a door, try hanging thick strips of plastic from the opening.

Improvement

Want to really get that cute tail going? Add some fun features to your canine pal’s outdoor area. Your pooch may love a kiddie pool to splash around in on hot days. Fido may enjoy a sandbox, so he can bury treats and toys. Outdoor toys are also a hit with our furry friends, as are doggy decks. Another project is to change out the ground cover near the doghouse. Artificial turf is safe and pet friendly. Buffalo grass is another good choice.

Tips

While Fido may enjoy having an outdoor spot to hang out in when he’s in the yard, he will be safer, healthier, and happier living inside. Man’s Best Friend is part of the family, and will feel isolated, sad, and lonely if he spends all his time outdoors! Last but not least, when it’s time to replace your pup’s doghouse, pay close attention to the material. Choose something that offers great insulation. Be sure to avoid pressure-treated wood: it’s actually toxic to dogs.

Please call us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, anytime. We are always here to help!

5 Common Signs of Sickness in Dogs

Dogs may not speak our language, but they are pretty good at communicating. Fido may run and hide when he hears the word ‘Bath’ and knows full well what ‘Do you want a treat?’ means. Your pet will also let you know when he needs to go for a walk or wants to play. However, Man’s Best Friend isn’t quite that clear when it comes to letting us know that he doesn’t feel well. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some signs of illness in dogs.

Bad Breath

Fido isn’t exactly known for having winter-fresh breath. However, if your dog’s affectionate doggy kisses make you cringe, your furry friend may need medical attention. Bad breath can be indicative of many different health problems.

Excessive Thirst

It’s not unusual for dogs to gulp down some water after a vigorous walk or a fun game of Fetch. However, if Fido seems to be constantly thirsty, contact your vet. Excessive urination is also a warning sign.

Lack of Appetite

As you’ve probably noticed, our canine buddies have very healthy appetites. If Fido isn’t interested in dinner, he may be sick!

Tummy Troubles

Just like people, pets occasionally get upset stomachs. A single incident of vomiting or diarrhea may not be anything to be concerned about. (Note: we always advise erring on the side of caution, so check with your vet to be on the safe side.) Frequent, bloody, and/or excessive vomiting or diarrhea, on the other hand, is definitely a warning sign.

Lethargy

Although dogs do spend a lot of time napping, Fido should pretty much go from being sound asleep to fully alert at the sound of a cheese wrapper. If your furry pal seems listless, weak, and/or fatigued, however, he could be ill. A reduced interest in walks and playtime can also be indicative of sickness.

Tips

These are just a few signs of sickness in dogs. Others include grumpiness; skin problems; respiratory issues, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and/or wheezing; unusual behavior or vocalizations, such as uncharacteristic whimpering; red or runny eyes; and chewing or licking at a specific spot. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these signs in your furry best friend!

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care!

New Year’s Resolutions for Dogs

Happy New Year! As we move forward into 2018 and leave 2017 behind, many people are looking ahead at the next year and setting personal goals for themselves. If your canine pal could make resolutions, what do you think would be on his list? A local Fort Collins, CO vet makes a few educated guesses below.

Explore New Grass

Our canine buddies are very adventurous, and love checking out new places and lawns. Fido can actually get quite a bit of information about neighborhood comings and goings just from sniffing yards! Try a new walking route this year, or take your four-legged friend to a local dog park.

Get More Snacks

If there’s one thing dogs are always up for, it’s trying to score yummy treats. Fido may work on his sad-puppy face, or try a new tactic. (Note: treats are fine, but don’t overindulge your furry pal with fatty snacks.)

Get The Cat To Stop Stealing My Bed

If you want a chuckle, look up videos of cats stealing dog beds. If poor Fido is sleeping on the floor while Fluffy sprawls out in his bed, he may very well attempt to reclaim his doggy bed this year!

Catch That Squirrel

Does your canine friend have a yard to patrol? If so, he may be involved in some turf wars . . . perhaps with a feisty squirrel. Your four-legged friend may very well aim to catch his tiny nemesis this year!

Car Rides

Man’s Best Friend loves going on car rides! There’s nothing wrong with taking your furry buddy out and about with you. Just be sure to always put your pet’s health and safety first. Never leave Fido in a car unattended, especially in hot weather. This is extremely dangerous, as temperatures in cars can reach deadly levels in just moments. It’s also very important to keep your pet crated for travel.

Spend Time With The Humans

If Fido had just one goal for 2018, it would probably be to spend as much time as possible with his favorite human: you! Pay lots of attention to your furry best friend this year! Pet him, play with him, and offer lots of belly rubs and ear scritches.

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2018 and beyond. We are here to help!

Small Dog Care Tips

Do you have a pint-sized pooch? Little dogs are super cute, and they make great animal companions. However, your cute pet will have different needs than a big dog would. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for small dogs.

Training

Although little dogs may not pose much of a threat to others, they can still bite, and sometimes tend to get a bit bossy. Make sure Fido knows key commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important for both petiquette and safety reasons. For instance, the command to Come can help you keep your pooch from approaching a dangerous area or animal.

Fear

The world can be a big, scary place to a tiny little dog. Fido may easily become frightened, especially when there are larger pooches around. Teach your canine pal that you will pick him up if he puts a paw on his leg.

Exercise

Just like any other pup, small dogs must get the right type and amount of exercise to stay healthy. However, Fido may get quite a bit of activity in just by running around the house on those tiny legs. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Toys and Treats

When shopping for Fido, be sure to get products made specifically for small dogs. Your little buddy could choke on toys, treats, or kibble made for larger pooches!

Feeding

Small dogs have small tummies, but they often have big appetites. Be careful not to overfeed your furry pal. Fido could become obese, which would be very bad for his health! Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.

Clothes

Some small pooches need extra protection against cold or wet weather. However, dogs with thick fur could easily overheat with clothes on. Ask your vet for recommendations. If you do put clothes on Fido, be sure that his things fit well, and are not itchy or constricting. Avoid pieces with dangling threads or buttons, which could choke or entangle your pup.

Ramps

Little dogs can easily injure themselves by jumping off couches or beds. This is a particular concern with certain breeds, such as Corgis and miniature Dachshunds, which are prone to spinal injuries. Get pet ramps or stairs for Fido.

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

Fido’s Tail Wags

Dogs have many wonderful qualities. They’re smart, fun, playful, loyal, and loving, just to name a few. They’re also super cute! One of Fido’s most charming attributes is that furry tail of his. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet talks about dog tails.

Tail Language

As you probably know, dogs often use their tails to communicate. When our canine companions are happy, they let us know by wagging their tails. With some dogs, you may only need to look at your pet for him to start thumping his tail. When Man’s Best Friend is feeling particularly joyful, he may wag his tail so hard his hips move. This super cute way of saying ‘Hi! I missed you!’ is definitely one of Fido’s most adorable habits!

Warning

Wagging tails aren’t always a sign of joy. Dogs also wag their tails when they are uncertain, wary, and/or nervous, though this is a much slower movement. This often happens when Fido meets a new person or dog he isn’t sure of yet. In some cases, it can be a warning sign. Ask your vet for more information.

Happy Tail

Does your pooch sometimes smack his tail on things so hard that you wince? Unfortunately, our furry pals sometimes wag their tails so forcefully that they actually hurt themselves. This type of injury is known as Happy Tail, and is most common in big dogs with thin tails, like Labradors. Fido can actually hit his tail so hard that he starts bleeding, in which case you’ll also have blood spatters to deal with. Happy tail injuries can have some serious consequences, such as bleeding ulcers and/or infections, so if your canine friend hurts his tail, contact your vet immediately. Love hurts!

Preventing Tail Injuries

Tail injuries can be extremely painful for Fido! It’s very easy for our canine buddies to get their tails caught in doors. Man’s Best Friend is also prone to getting his tail stepped on or caught beneath reclining chairs. Keep a close eye on your pet. When it comes to treating injuries in our furry friends, an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure!

Is your pup due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? We are here to help! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs! We love keeping our furry patients’ tails wagging!

Dog Care Hacks

Dogs are much more than just pets. They are our friends and companions, confidantes, and furry family members. Our canine pals offer us unconditional love and loyalty, and ask for little in return. Caring for Fido does require some time and work, but there are some things you can do to make your pup’s care regimen a little easier. A Fort Collins, CO vet lists some dog care hacks below.

Nail Trims

Keeping Fido’s claws trimmed is very important… but it isn’t always easy. Teach your pet the Gimme Paw trick. When Fido offers you his paw, play with his toes, run the clippers over them, then give him a treat and let go. This will help get Fido used to having his feet handled.

Doggy Walking Time

Designate a specific jacket for dog-walking. Keep some must-have items, such as waste baggies, a flashlight, spare keys, a carabiner, and gloves, in the pockets.

Fur Buster

Did you know that a squeegee is great at getting dog fur off your furniture? You can also use a damp sponge or a rubber dish glove.

Pet Clothes

Dogs with thin fur often need extra protection against the cold. Look for second-hand children’s clothes that can be repurposed into doggy wear. Just be sure to avoid anything that is tight, constricting, or itchy, as well as anything with buttons or loose threads.

Bath Time

Does Fido run when he hears the word Bath? To make him a bit more willing, have him get into the tub, then give him a treat and let him go. If your pup tends to splash water everywhere when being bathed, get a clear shower curtain, and cut slits in it. The cuts should be about four feet high, and shoulder-width apart. Put your arms through them when bathing your dog to avoid getting splashed.

Records

It’s always a good idea to keep your pup’s paperwork with you. Take clear pictures of them with your smartphone, so they’ll be in your gallery.

Calming Fido

Does your pooch become a furry ball of fear when a thunderstorm rolls through? Run an unscented dryer sheet over Fido’s fur when the sky darkens. This will reduce static electricity, which is one reason many dogs hate storms.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today. We’re here to help!