Tag Archives: vet clinic Fort Collins CO

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!

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.


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.


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!

Caring for a Grouchy Cat

Did you know that today, October 15th, is National Grouch Day? While this holiday may technically be meant to honor grumpy people, there’s no reason we can’t take this opportunity to celebrate grouchy pets. Just like people, our animal friends all have their own personalities, and some of them are, well, a bit cantankerous. If you have a furry little curmudgeon on your hands, read on. A local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for a grumpy cat in this article.

Veterinary Care

If your kitty is, well, rather cranky, schedule a veterinary appointment for her right away. Medical issues can have a huge effect on Fluffy’s temperament, so you’ll want to make sure that her grumpiness isn’t caused by health problem. If your feline buddy gets the all-clear, then you know you have an ornery pet, rather than a sick one.


While some kitties are basically furry little cuddlebugs, others prefer to be admired from a distance. Always let Fluffy decide when it’s time to snuggle. Keep in mind that cats can quickly change their minds about when and how they want to be petted. Never force attention on your cat!

Hiding Spots

Cats can get very uneasy if they have nowhere to retreat to. Make sure Fluffy has somewhere to go in every room, even if it’s just a spot under the couch or behind a bookcase. Kitties often feel safer in high, secure places, so vertical space is a good option.


One curious thing about cats is the fact that they sometimes attack their human pals playfully. If Fluffy is just being silly, she probably won’t bite or scratch hard, and won’t sustain the attack. A feline that is truly angry will attack full-force, and may hiss, growl, lash her tail, or flatten her ears. If your pet is being aggressive, ask your vet for advice. Never punish your kitty for biting or scratching: this may just make matters worse!


Offer Fluffy plenty of fun toys, and take time to play with her every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will allow your feisty furball to take out her aggressions on an appropriate target – that fuzzy mouse toy—instead of on you.

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

Eco-Friendly Pet Care Tips

As you may know, Earth Day is coming up next week. This is a great reminder for us to appreciate the beautiful planet we call home. As you may have noticed, there are a lot of eco-friendly products available today. There are also many sites where you can pick up tips on how to conserve resources. But what about our furry friends? A Fort Collins, CO vet lists some tips for eco-friendly pet care in this article.


Spaying and neutering are important for many different reasons. For one thing, pets that are fixed tend to be healthier, calmer, and better behaved than intact ones. Spaying and neutering are also very important for animal welfare. There are already far too many homeless pets in shelters, hoping someone will adopt them. If you let your furry companion reproduce, there’s simply no way to guarantee that your pet’s offspring and their descendants will all find loving forever homes.

Bag The Bag

Do you have reusable grocery bags? Use these at the pet store, instead of having your goods bagged by the cashier. Also, use biodegradable garbage bags to dispose of dirty litter and substrate.


You can give many old items new life by upcycling them into pet bedding or furniture. You can make pet tents, beds, and tipis out of all sorts of things, such as old tee shirts, sweaters, and pillows. You can also make your four-legged pal beds or furniture out of old end tables, hatboxes, hard-shell suitcases, or even pallets. If you have a pocket pet, you can make many cardboard or paper items into toys for your miniature furball. Look online for specific ideas and instructions.

Choose Eco-Friendly Products

Choose pet products that favor eco-friendly materials and practices. Using earth-friendly detergent to wash your furry buddy’s things can also help. (Note: Ask your vet for specific advice about pet products, especially with things like pet shampoos and flea-control products. In some cases, traditional products are still best.)


Is Fluffy ignoring the expensive new cat tower you bought her? Has Fido outgrown his doggy bed? Don’t toss your pet’s old things: wash them and donate them to a local animal shelter or society instead.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today! We are always happy to help!

Thanksgiving Treats That Are Safe for Pets

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? Our furry companions are definitely something to be grateful for. As you start to make preparations for your Turkey Day feast, your pet will no doubt be right there with you. After all, Fido and Fluffy are important parts of the family! While it’s fine to indulge your four-legged pal with a special meal, you do want to be careful with what you offer them, as many people foods are toxic to dogs and cats. Here, a local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some Turkey Day treats that are safe for pets.


Feel free to share some of that delicious turkey, chicken, or fish, with your pet. Meat is also fine, though you don’t want to overindulge your furry companion with fatty meats, like bacon or sausage. Before giving your little buddy any meat, fish, or poultry, always remove the bones, skin, and fat. You also want to hold the gravy: it’s too rich for dogs and cats. Offer Fluffy or Fido some sodium-free beef or chicken broth instead.

Certain Veggies

Fido and Fluffy can enjoy some cooked sweet or plain potatoes; green beans; carrots; peas; pumpkin; or squash. Just be sure to give your four-legged buddy their veggies plain, without any spices, gravies, or butter.

Deli Meat

Shredded deli meat is also safe for pets, and can make a great treat! Offer Fido or Fluffy a bit of plain meat.

Homemade Treats

You can find lots of recipes for great homemade pet treats online. These also make wonderful gifts for friends and family members with furry pals of their own! Just be sure to use only ingredients that are safe for dogs and cats. Plain yogurt, natural peanut butter, shredded cheese, cooked meats, and pureed pumpkin are a few good options.

Foods To Avoid

Many holiday foods are very dangerous to our furry friends. Never give your pet meat on the bone. Cooked bones can fracture into dangerous shards, which can seriously injure your pet! Some other foods to keep away from Fido and Fluffy include grapes, currants, and raisins; garlic and onions; chocolate; alcohol; caffeine; nuts; raw dough, meat, or eggs; and anything containing xylitol. Ask your vet for more information.

Enjoy your holiday! Please feel free to contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, anytime. We are always here to help!

Tips for Bathing Your Dog

Does your dog run and hide when he hears the word bath? Given the choice, Fido would probably prefer to skip bath time altogether. While some dogs need to be bathed more than others do, all of our four-legged buddies require at least occasional baths. We are here to help! Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers advice on bathing Fido.

Clear Shower Curtain

Get a clear shower curtain. Cut two slits in it, about shoulder length apart, starting at the bottom and going about four feet up. When you’re washing your pup, you can stick your arms through the holes. You’ll be able to see what you’re doing, and you won’t get splashed as much.

Prep Work

A day or so before bathing Fido, give him a good brushing. We recommend clipping his claws, too. This will help keep your tub from getting scratched up. You may also want to put a rubber mat down in the tub.

Puppy Caddy

Store all of Fido’s bathing supplies in a shower caddy. That way, you’ll have everything you need in one spot.


Always use products that are specifically made for dogs. Human shampoos are not suitable for Fido!


If you don’t have a sprayer, use a pitcher for rinsing. To avoid getting soap in your furry friend’s eyes, use a washcloth to clean that adorable face.

Use Microfiber Towels

While any towel will do, you may find that a microfiber one works great. They’re super absorbent, so they will get your pooch’s fur dry quicker.

Head Outdoors

Weather permitting, take Fido outside immediately after his bath. As we all know, our canine buddies like to shake themselves dry. To contain the mess, close bedroom doors before bringing your dog into the bathroom. After Fido has been rinsed and towel-dried, put him on a leash and head straight for the yard.

Splash Guard

Before bringing Fido into the tub, put a few towels down on the bathroom floor. This will help soak up any spills.


Make sure to give Fido a special treat after his bath. When bath time is over, enjoy some cuddles with your clean, fresh-smelling pet!

Do you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Call us! As your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, we are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

Safe Treats for Rabbits

Bunnies are absolutely adorable, and can make wonderful pets. Just like most of our other animal companions, these little furballs enjoy eating snacks! Those cute little tummies can be quite sensitive, however, so you’ll want to be careful with what you feed your pet. A Fort Collins, CO veterinarian lists some safe treats for bunnies in this article.


Floppy can enjoy many different veggies. Artichoke leaves, asparagus, baby sweetcorns, beetroot, broccoli, carrots, celery, chicory, cucumber, kale, fennel, green beans, peas, sweet peppers, pumpkin, Romaine lettuce, butternut squash, swede, turnip, and watercress are all safe for bunnies.


You shouldn’t give Floppy too much fruit, because it is quite high in sugar, but small amounts are fine. Some suitable fruits include apples, apricots, bananas, mangos, cherries, melons, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pears, tomatoes, and pineapples. Just be sure to remove any seeds, pips, and leaves. Note: dried pineapple is a great snack for bunnies!


Many berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are safe for bunnies. It’s important to note that while strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry leaves are fine, many other plant leaves are toxic to rabbits.


Floppy can enjoy many different herbs, such as basil, coriander, parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Mint and dill are also safe.


Bunnies live on plants in the wild, so it makes sense that many plants are safe for pets. Clover, lavender, dandelion, chamomile, and mallow are all safe for rabbits. Only feed Floppy plants that you are sure you can identify and that you know are safe. If in doubt, leave it out!

General Safety

It’s important to note that just because something is identified as safe, that doesn’t mean the entire plant is safe. For instance, the flesh of a tomato is safe for Floppy, but the leaves are toxic. Always wash foods carefully before feeding them to Floppy, and don’t give her anything that has been treated with pesticides or fertilizer. Another thing to keep in mind is that some foods are just not suitable for frequent or daily consumption. For instance, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts can cause gas, so you don’t want to feed them too often. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including portion sizes and feeding frequency.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for more information on bunny care and feeding. We are here to help!

Tips for a Great Guinea Pig Cage

Have you recently decided to add a tiny furball to your household? Guinea pigs make great pets. These little ones are completely adorable, inexpensive, quite easy to care for, and very fun to watch. In order to keep your pet happy, the first thing you’ll need to provide is a comfortable habitat. In this article, a Fort Collins vet discusses elements of a great Guinea pig cage.


Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are very active little furballs! Make sure your pet’s cage offers plenty of room to run and play. As a rule of thumb, one cavy will need at least 7.5 square feet of space, as a minimum, but bigger is always better. One way to make the cage bigger without taking up more floor space is to add a second story, with an enclosed ramp for access.


Make sure the cage is properly ventilated. Wire cages are a popular choice. You can also get a cage with plastic walls, but leave the top uncovered to ensure the little one gets plenty of fresh air. Your cavy’s home does need a solid bottom, though. Wire floors can hurt your pet’s feet, and won’t keep substrate contained.


There are many options to choose from when it comes to substrate, and they all have their own pros and cons. Aspen shaving, wood pellets, and paper-based products are all acceptable choices. You can also use fleece bedding, or even soft towels, though you’ll need to wash them frequently. Avoid bedding made from cedar or pine, as these are harmful to small animals.


Guinea pigs love to play! Make sure to provide your tiny furball with plenty of entertainment options. Since cavies have open-rooted teeth, they need to chew constantly, so make sure to give your little one plenty of chewable toys. Pet-safe wood, straw, paper, wicker, and cardboard toys are all good choices.


Your little buddy will also need food dishes, a water bottle, a litter box, and at least one hidey-hole to retreat to when he wants privacy. Guinea pigs also love cozies, which are basically little beds for cavies. You can buy your furball an adorable cozy at a store or online, or make one yourself.

Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? Contact us! As your Fort Collins veterinary hospital, we are happy to help!

Hiking Safety Tips for Dog Owners

If your dog is the outdoorsy athletic type, it’s a safe bet he’ll love hiking. The smells, sights, and sounds of a wilderness excursion will probably be the highlight of your dog’s week! Make sure your next hike doesn’t turn dangerous, though—follow these safety guidelines from a Fort Collins veterinary professional.

Identify Properly

Before heading out into the forest, make sure your dog is properly identified with up-to-date ID tags, a microchip implanted under the skin, or both. You just never know what could happen, so if your dog gets lost or runs away, proper identification is your best chance of getting him back safely. Ask your vet about getting updated ID tags, and ask if microchipping is a good option for your pet.

Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date

Consider the various possibilities for infection while you’re out on the hike—stagnant water, rusty nails, and even rabid animals are just a few possible offenders! The best defense against these situations is keeping your dog’s regular vaccinations updated. Call your vet’s office to see what your dog already has and what he might need to stay safe outdoors.

Always Use a Leash

Even if your dog is obedient to a fault and can walk by your side without a leash, it’s always a good idea to use one while outdoors in the event of emergencies. Even obedient dogs might bolt after a squirrel if the mood takes them. Plus, you may run into other hikers who won’t appreciate your dog saying hello.

Bring Water

Don’t let your dog drink from puddles or public bodies of water, since there’s no telling what kind of bacteria could be living there. Bring along a bottle of fresh water just for your dog, and let him have sips from it periodically throughout your hike.

Post-Hike Check

When your hike is over and you’ve returned to the car or gotten back home, be sure to give your dog a thorough once-over. Feel the sides, back, legs, and head area to check for ticks, cuts and scrapes, or debris stuck in the coat. If your dog got especially dirty on the hike, you may want to give him a bath.

Follow these tips to make your next hike an exhilarating and safe event for your pooch, and ask your Fort Collins vet for even more helpful tips!