Tag Archives: dog paw care

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!

Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog

Do you walk your dog daily? If so, that’s terrific! Even if Fido has a yard to play in, daily walks will still benefit him by keeping him active, preventing boredom, and offering mental stimulation. However, it can be easy to overlook basic safety precautions when something becomes routine. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses walking your dog safely.

Leashes

Be sure to use a steady leash, and check it regularly for signs of wear. Retractable leashes are great in certain situations, but they aren’t necessarily safe for all occasions, as the mechanisms do sometimes jam or break. Don’t use retractable leashes while walking along roads, or in areas where you may run into stray dogs or wild animals. Ask your vet for more information.

Night Walking

Always use reflective gear at night. Save exploring for daylight: after sunset, stick to familiar, well-lit paths, and keep walks short and sweet. Many predators are nocturnal, so don’t let Fido sniff around in wild or wooded areas.

Paw Care

Don’t forget that Fido is barefoot! Keep an eye on the ground, and re-route your pooch around glass or other sharp objects. In summer, try to walk your furry friend in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler out. Dog can get painful paw burns from hot tar! In winter, snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers can hurt your canine buddy’s feet. Fresh snow can also hide dangerous objects. Always try to keep your pet on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his feet.

Hacks

Designate a specific jacket for doggy walking. Keep spare keys, a portable phone charger, waste baggies, treats, a small flashlight, and a whistle in the pockets. You may also want to clip a carabiner around your pup’s leash.

Roads

If you are walking along the side of the road, keep Fido to the outside. He has a shorter profile, and is harder for drivers to spot, especially on curves.

Pulling

Does your furry pal walk you, instead of it being the other way around? This can not only take the fun out of those daily walks, it can also be quite dangerous. To break Fido of this bad habit, you’ll want to stop and change direction every time he yanks on his leash.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Winter Care for Dogs

Winter is right around the corner. Is your dog ready for the cold weather? While our canine pals do have fur coats, they still need a bit of extra TLC to help keep them safe, healthy, and warm during the cold season. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on caring for your pooch in winter.

Grooming

Tangles, mats, and dead fur can make Fido’s fur less effective at keeping him warm. Brush your canine pal regularly.

Clothing

If your dog has thin fur, he may need some clothes to help him stay warm when the thermometer plunges. Pick up a good doggy sweater for your four-legged buddy. Be sure not to choose anything that is tight on him!

Paw Care

Snow, ice, sand, salt, and chemical de-icers are all harsh on Fido’s sensitive paws, and can cause painful burns and blisters. Use balm or wax to protect your pup’s furry feet. Keeping your dog’s nails and toe fur trimmed will help him get better traction on slippery surfaces.

Shelter

We always recommend that dogs live indoors, where they are safer, warmer, and happier. But if Fido does spend a lot of time in the yard, make sure he has suitable shelter outdoors.

Bedding

Offer your pet a nice, comfy bed to curl up in at night. If Fido is in his golden years, consider getting him a good, orthopedic doggy bed. Placement is also important: don’t put your pooch’s doggy bed in a chilly or drafty area.

Diet

Some dogs need extra calories in winter. If your dog is a senior, recovering from illness or surgery, or spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need bigger portions during the cold season. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Exercise

As the weather cools, you may opt to take your dog on shorter walks, rather than a leisurely stroll. To keep your pooch from becoming a couch potato, try to keep him active inside. Playing fetch is one great way to get Fido moving.

Ice

When walking your furry pal, don’t bring him too close to frozen bodies of water where there could possibly be thin ice. You don’t want to take any chances on your pet falling through!

Do you have any questions about your dog’s health or care? We can help! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime.