Tag Archives: dog health

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!

Doggy Paw Care

Does your dog know how to Shake Paw? Fido’s furry feet are adorable! They’re also very important to his health and well-being. After all, without his paws, your pet wouldn’t be able to walk, run, or jump. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for your dog’s paws.

Claws

Overgrown claws are actually very problematic in dogs. They are quite uncomfortable for Fido, so your pup may adjust his stride to compensate. This puts extra strain on your furry buddy’s bones and joints, which can aggravate or contribute to painful conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia. If you aren’t comfortable trimming your canine pal’s nails yourself, contact your vet or groomer and set up a quick pawdicure appointment. Or, get a pair of clippers that are equipped with sensors. These will indicate exactly where to cut. Also, don’t forget to check your dog’s dewclaws. These are the ones higher up on Fido’s ‘ankle.’ Sometimes they can become ingrown, which is very painful!

Paw Pads

Your dog’s paw pads are very sensitive. Fido can get burns or blisters by running on hot or harsh surfaces. In summer, hot tar and asphalt can really do a number on your pet’s feet. Dogs’ paws are extra delicate when they are wet, so be extra careful after your pooch has gone swimming. In winter, salt, sand, snow, and ice can also hurt your pup’s feet. Use paw balm or wax to protect your furry friend’s paws.

Foreign Objects

We recommend inspecting your canine buddy’s feet regularly. You’ll want to look between Fido’s toes, as dogs often get pebbles or other foreign objects stuck between them. Ticks also sometimes latch on to dogs’ feet, so keep an eye out for hitchhikers as well. Also, if your pooch has those adorable tufts of fur between his toes, keep these trimmed back. They can easily get gunked up and matted, which is very uncomfortable.

Injuries

Paw injuries are definitely not something to take lightly! Fido can step on a sharp object, or get bitten or scratched. If you notice your furry pal limping, immediately take a look. You can treat a very minor cut yourself with antiseptic, but call the vet for anything else.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can ever be of assistance. As your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, we are always 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!

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!

Swimming Safety for Dogs

Are you looking forward to swimming and boating this summer? If so, you may want to bring your dog along for fun summer outings at a pool or lake. When swimming with dogs, you’ll want to be sure to always put Fido’s safety first. In this article, a local Fort Collins, CO vet offers some great advice on swimming safely with dogs.

Teaching Fido To Swim

While some dogs take to water like furry, four-legged ducks, others need to be taught how to swim. Never, ever, put your dog into water with the expectation that he will figure it out. Fido may be so frightened by the experience that he develops a lifelong fear of water. Instead, get into the water with your pup, and hold him gently. It may take a few attempts for him to figure out how to use all four legs. Reward him with treats and praise, so he feels positive about the experience.

Pool Safety

The first rule of doggy pool safety is to show Fido where the stairs are. This is crucial, because if he falls in, he’ll be able to get back out again if he knows where the exit is. Don’t just show him once: test him a few times. It may not be a bad idea to put a visual marker near the stairs, such as a potted tree or patio set, to mark the exit. Another thing to be careful of is your pool covering. You don’t want Fido to hop onto a pool cover, thinking it’s a solid surface! Therefore, adding a fence around your pool is always a good idea. If you have a senior dog, a weak pup, a puppy, or a pooch with poor vision, a fence is recommended.

Lake Safety

Before taking Fido to the lake, make sure your furry pal knows and obeys the five basic commands, which are SitStayComeHeel, and Lay Down. This is crucial because it can keep him from jumping off a dock, or wandering too close to a dangerous area. Always bring a doggy life jacket along for your pooch, and never let him off-leash near the water unattended.

Do you have any questions about your dog’s health or care? We are here to help! Reach out to us, your local Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs.