Tag Archives: veterinarian Larimer County CO

Keeping Kitty Cool

Do you often find your cat sprawled out in a sunbeam? Our feline friends certainly do love sunbathing. However, summer can be tough on kitties. After all, Fluffy is wearing a fur coat, and doesn’t have many ways to cool herself off. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses keeping cats cool.

Brushing

Cats are pretty good about grooming themselves, but that doesn’t mean your pet can’t use a helping hand now and then. Brushing your feline pal regularly will get that dead hair, dust, and dander out of her coat. This will help keep her cooler. (Bonus: this is also a great way to spend time with Fluffy, and make her feel pampered.)

Water

Make sure that your feline buddy always has plenty of fresh, cool water. You may want to get your furball an automated waterer, or a pet fountain. Many kitties actually prefer to drink running water.

Cool Bed

Offer your kitty some comfy napping spots in cool areas. Fluffy may like a shaded corner near the AC, for instance. Of course, if you let your furball roam, she probably won’t have trouble finding a cool napping spot. Cats are very, very good at getting comfortable!

Pawckey

Did you know that batting an ice cube around can help your kitty cool off? Fluffy’s paw pads—or ‘toe beans,’ as some people call them—help kitties regulate their temperature.

Hammock

It’s really very easy to make Fluffy a hammock. Just get a table or end table with four legs, and a sturdy piece of material. Cut the fabric so that it’s smaller than the tabletop, and then just tie the corner to the legs. Presto!

Keep Kitty In

The best way to keep your kitty cool in summer is to keep her indoors, in rooms with climate control. If you do let your furry buddy roam, limit her outdoor time during the hottest parts of the day.

Cold Snacks

Who says kitties can’t have a cool treat? Drop an ice cube into your cat’s bowl on sweltering days. Fluffy may also enjoy a cool bowl of sodium-free broth, or perhaps some cat milk, which you can get in pet stores. Some chilled, boneless tuna, fish, or chicken in water is also fine.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, with any questions about your cat’s health or care. We are here to help!

Choosing Your Pet’s Treats

Did you know that there’s a special doggy holiday coming up? February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day! While our canine buddies are definitely very enthusiastic about treats, cats and smaller pets also love snacks. Choosing healthy treats for your animal companion is very important! Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses picking suitable snacks for your furry pal.

Choosing Store-Bought Foods

You can find prepackaged treats in grocery markets and pet food stores. However, choosing the right product can be tricky. Get into the habit of reading labels, and choose the ones with ingredients you can actually identify. You may also want to keep an eye on recalls. You can get updated information at several sites, including the FDA website.

Safe Foods

The list of what your pet can and can’t eat will vary, depending on what sort of animal you have. Dogs and cats can both enjoy plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry, without the skin, bones, or fat; sodium-free broth; deli meat; and/or canned fish or chicken in water. Certain fruits and veggies are also safe for dogs and cats, though Fido is probably more likely to eat them than Fluffy. As for smaller pets, many pocket pets can enjoy safe produce, such as carrots. Bunnies have a bit of a sweet tooth, and often like berries, such as strawberries. Hamsters may prefer some cheese or a dog biscuit, while gerbils may like pears or apples. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Unsafe Foods

As it turns out, different types of pets have more unsafe foods in common than they do safe ones. Never give your four-legged buddy anything that contains chocolate; caffeine; grapes; xylitol; garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; or pitted fruits. Nuts are also on the no-no list for many of our furry pals, as are dairy products; raw meat, dough, or yeast; meat on the bone; and anything high in sugar or fat. Tomato and potato leaves are also unsafe for many pets. Ask your vet for advice.

Tips

Always research new foods before giving them to your pet, to make sure they are safe. Introduce new foods slowly. Watch your furry buddy closely afterwards, and keep an eye out for digestive issues. Ask your vet for more information.

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

Tips for Choosing Kitty Furniture

Does your kitty have some furniture of her own? If so, that’s great! Fluffy certainly isn’t shy about getting comfortable on our beds, chairs, sofas, footstools, ottomans, and, well, pretty much anything and everything she can fit on. However, our feline friends really do benefit from having some things that were made just for them. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses choosing pet furniture.

Kittens

Kittens are basically tiny, adorable little bundles of mischief. Get your playful furball a fun activity center that incorporates some hanging toys. Pick something that offers little Fluffy lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

Any Cat

If there’s one thing our feline friends all have in common, it’s a fondness for napping. Comfy beds are a wonderful option for all cats! Cat towers are also a safe bet, as they offer kitties a scratching post, a napping spot, and a high vantage point that they can supervise at stare at their humans from.

Multiple Cats

If you have more than one kitty, look for pieces that can fit all of your feline friends at once. You don’t want Fluffy and Mittens fighting over the cat tower or kitty tipi!

Older Furballs

As Fluffy ages, she may have difficulty jumping and climbing. Choose pieces that will be easy for her to get into. Your feline pal may also appreciate a heated bed to snuggle up in when it’s chilly out.

Cats That Like Heights

Do you often have to pluck Fluffy off counters or bookcases? Consider getting your frisky feline some wall-mounted furniture, like kitty shelves or a catwalk. This will give your furry buddy a great vantage point, from which she can look down on you with that adorable smug expression kitties get.

Kitties That Love To Pounce

Does your furball like to hide behind plants or doors, and then pounce on you as you walk past? Fluffy may enjoy a cat tunnel. This is a great hiding spot for your adorable little hunter!

Shy Cats

Do you have a scaredy-cat on your hands? Kitties feel safer in small places, so your shy furball will likely prefer pieces with enclosed spaces. Choose a pet tent or condo, or a cat tower with a closed-in level.

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

Fido’s Favorite Holiday

Do you have a dog? If so, you may want to put a little paw print on your calendar for February 23rd: it’s National Dog Biscuit Day! If there’s one thing our canine friends love, it’s treats! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet talks about this pawesome special occasion.

Making Fido’s Treats

If you like baking, why not make your pooch’s treats yourself? Just be sure to use only healthy, nutritious ingredients. Some of the things you can experiment with are cooked, plain meat, chicken, or fish; cheese; bacon bits; eggs; whole-wheat flour; olive oil; bananas; natural peanut butter; sodium-free broth; plain yogurt; and pureed pumpkin. It’s also important for you to know what foods are dangerous for Fido. Garlic, onions, and chives; chocolate; caffeine; grapes, currants, and raisins; and nuts are all on the no-no list. Ask your vet for more information on safe and unsafe foods.

Shopping

There are dozens—if not hundreds—of doggy treats available in stores, and Fido would probably be more than happy to try them all. When shopping for your furry buddy, avoid anything with ingredients you can’t identify and/or pronounce. We also recommend staying away from items that were made overseas, as not all countries have strict guidelines for pet products.

Training Aids

Treats are a great training aid for dogs. When working with Fido, use smaller snacks, like pieces of hot dogs or deli meat. This is a great way to make sure your pooch really likes school!

Begging

Dogs have been our faithful companions for thousands of years. They’ve certainly had plenty of time to perfect the sad stare that is so effective at getting us to offer yummy treats. Begging is bad doggy manners, however. It can be particularly problematic if Fido starts acting pushy. Don’t fall for that plaintive look! If you really can’t resist, offer your pup a carrot stick instead of that piece of sausage he is eyeing.

Recalls

Occasionally, a bad batch of pet treats makes it to store shelves. This can be quite scary, as tainted food can make Fido very sick! You can track pet product recalls online on several sites, including the AVMA website here. Another option is to set up alert notifications for your email or smartphone.

Do you have questions about dog care? We can help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!

Check the Chip Day

Did you know that August 15th is Check The Chip Day? It’s also National Relaxation Day, and, while we totally support this occasion too, we’ll just focus on the microchips. Microchipping your pet is one of the best things you can do for your furry friend. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses microchips.

What Is A Microchip?

A microchip is no larger than a grain of rice. Microchips don’t actually contain your pet’s records: instead, each chip has a unique ID number. This number correlates with your records in the manufacturer’s database. This can link you and your pet, even if your furry buddy isn’t wearing ID.

Why Microchipping Is Important

That tiny chip could very well save your pet’s life one day. Vets and most animal shelters check lost pets for microchips. If your beloved pet is ever lost or stolen, that microchip will greatly increase the odds of your furry pal coming home.

Getting Your Pet Chipped

Getting your pet microchipped is a very quick and simple procedure. Your vet will use a hypodermic needle to inject the chip beneath your furry friend’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. For your pet, it’s very much like getting a shot. Ask your vet for more information.

Ongoing

Microchips don’t need any maintenance. However, we do recommend having your vet check the chip during your pet’s examinations, just to make sure it hasn’t slipped or malfunctioned.

Checking The Chip

Is your pet microchipped? If so, try using the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup tool to check your records. This site contains information from most, though not all, of the major chip manufacturers.

Records

Getting the chip is only part of the process. You’ll need to fill out your records, so that your information is associated with your furry pal’s chip. Be sure to update the records whenever you move or change your contact information.

Looking Forward

It isn’t hard to believe that in the future microchips will do much more than they do now. For instance, we may at some point see chips with GPS tracking. While that may be a ways off, there are currently pet doors available that work with microchips, allowing pets to enter but keeping other animals out.

Does your pet need a microchip? Call us! As your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, we are here to help!

5 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Behavior

Fido is a wonderful pet and companion. His unwavering loyalty, complete devotion, and unabashed affection can truly melt our hearts! That doesn’t mean our canine pals are perfect, however. In fact, Man’s Best Friend has a few bad habits. We are here to help! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some great ways to improve your furry friend’s behavior.

Training

First and foremost, make sure that your canine buddy knows and obeys at least the five main commands of basic doggy obedience. These commands, which are SitStayHeelCome, and Lay Down, are extremely important, both for good petiquette and safety reasons.

Toys

Don’t let your furry pal get bored while you’re away. Offer Fido lots of fun toys to keep him amused while he’s alone. Puzzle toys, for instance, can keep your canine pal intrigued for hours. Keeping your pet amused and occupied will help keep him from channeling excess energy into destructive habits like chewing or digging.

Exercise

While every dog has different exercise needs, all of our canine pals need some sort of activity. If your pet is a bouncing, furry ball of energy, he could be quite a handful! Exercise will tire Fido out, so you’ll have a calmer, less zoomy pooch on your hands. If you don’t have the energy to go for long walks, keep your pooch moving with games of fetch, which will have your four-legged friend running around while you stay stationary. A laser pointer is another great option.

Veterinary Care

You may not think that veterinary care would do much for your pup’s behavior, but it actually does. Fido is much more likely to be grumpy if he doesn’t feel well. Make sure to bring your dog to the vet at least once a year for vaccinations, exams, and dental checkups. Keep up on that parasite control as well!

Quality Time

Man’s Best Friend needs to feel loved to be truly happy. Spend plenty of quality time with your four-legged buddy. To keep that furry tail wagging, dole out plenty of belly rubs and ear scritches. It’s also fine to give Fido treats, as long as you don’t go overboard with fatty snacks.

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. That’s what we are here for!

How to Stop Your Dog From Digging

Has your canine buddy taking up landscaping as a hobby? Is Fido making your yard look like a construction site? Digging is a fairly common complaint from dog owners. Before you can take steps to correct your pup’s mining habits, however, you’ll need to figure out why he’s digging in the first place. Never punish your dog for digging. Instead, determine the cause, and look for a solution. A Fort Collins, CO veterinarian offers some possible reasons and resolutions below.

Escape

Is your dog intact? Is he inclined to run off, or love exploring new territory? He could be trying to escape. Be sure to spay or neuter your pooch. Bring Fido to dog parks or hiking trails to satisfy his urge to explore.

Weather

Do you sometimes find your pooch lying in a hole he made? Is your dog outside when it’s hot or cold? If so, your pet may be seeking relief from the weather. Keep your canine friend indoors as much as possible. If Fido absolutely has to spend a lot of time outdoors, get him a comfy doghouse.

Treats

Some dogs dig to bury or retrieve treats or food. If this is the case, work with Fido. Build him a sandbox, and bury toys and treats in it. If he knows where the good stuff is, he may leave the rest of the yard alone!

Prey

Is your pup digging in straight lines? Is he a terrier? If so, he may be after a burrowing animal. Use safe and humane methods to banish your unwanted guests.

Boredom

Look at Fido’s routine and yard area. Does he have ample toys and entertainment? Provide your canine pal with plenty of fun playthings, and change them out frequently so he doesn’t get bored.

Excess Energy

Dogs that don’t get enough activity may dig to relieve excess energy. Take Fido for daily walks, and play with him long enough to tire him out a bit.

Breed

Some breeds are simply more inclined to digging than others are. Researching your pup’s breed characteristics may give you valuable insight.

Anxiety

If Fido mostly digs when he’s left alone, he may have separation anxiety. Ask a professional for advice on helping your dog overcome his fears.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime!

How to Tell if Your Gerbil is Sick

Do you have a pet gerbil in your Fort Collins home? These charming little pets are quite bright, and are very cute to watch. To keep your gerbil healthy, you’ll want to monitor his behavior, and take note of any changes.

Just like any other animals, gerbils can be susceptible to illness, disease, or parasites. These little furballs aren’t always very easy to read, however, especially when compared to a more expressive animal like a dog or cat. Healthy gerbils will be playful and alert, and will have a good appetite. They often like being held and played with, and will be quite aware of everything going on around them, and will react to different stimuli. Signs of sickness in gerbils can be subtle, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your pet gerbil in order to know if your little buddy is sick.

Here are a few symptoms of illness in gerbils:

Behavior

If your gerbil is in pain, he may squeak or nip at you.

Hiding

Like many animals, gerbils sometimes hide when they aren’t feeling well. If you notice that your little one is hiding most of the time, he could be feeling ill.

Runny Eyes/Nose

Gerbils produce mucus that has a reddish tint. If you see red around your gerbil’s eyes or nose, this could be a symptom of illness.

Fur Loss

If you notice your little buddy has bald patches, something is very likely going on with your gerbil.

Lethargy

A gerbil that seems listless, over-sleepy, or lethargic may be ill.

Diarrhea

While a gerbil may on occasion get an upset tummy, diarrhea should not be a normal occurrence in your little pet.

Problems Eating

If your gerbil seems to be having issues eating, or can’t properly open or close his mouth, he could be having issues with his teeth. Gerbils need to chew to keep their teeth in good condition, so make sure your little buddy has plenty of things to chew on.

Temperature

If your gerbil feels too hot or too cold, he may have heat stroke or hypothermia. Gerbils are very sensitive to temperature changes, and something as innocent as keeping your buddy’s cage too near an AC vent can cause problems with your little pet.

Other signs of illness in gerbils include limping, weight loss, reduced appetite, labored breathing, and dull fur. Contact your Fort Collins vet immediately if your pet gerbil shows any of these symptoms.