Tag Archives: vets in Fort Collins CO

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!

Choosing Your Child’s First Pet

Has your little one been begging for a puppy or kitten? Are you debating on whether your child is ready for a pet? This can be a tricky dilemma for parents! Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses choosing your child’s first pet.

Is Your Child Ready?

Children all mature differently, so there really is no set age when it becomes appropriate for them to get their first pet. That said, we really don’t recommend getting pets for children that are younger than five. How do you know if your youngster is ready? Doing chores or homework without being reminded is a good indication of maturity. It’s also very important that your little one treat animals with kindness and compassion.

Benefits Of Having Pets

Did you know that children can benefit from having pets? Our animal companions can teach children about friendship and empathy, and are often a source of comfort for them in hard times. Having pets can also reduce your little one’s risk of developing certain allergies.

Starter Pets

Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. It’s unfortunately all too common for little children to beg for pets, and then lose interest in them. Make sure that you are willing to take over the pet’s care if that happens.

Popular Choices

As you may know, gerbils, hamsters, mice, and Guinea pigs are all popular choices for children’s pets. Goldfish are also popular. Of course, while these ‘starter pets’ don’t need as much attention as a cat or dog, they do need proper care. Every day, you or your child will need to remove your pet’s waste and give them fresh food and water. Your furry buddy’s cage (or tank) will also need to be cleaned more thoroughly every week or so. Specific care instructions vary from pet to pet, so ask your vet for more information.

Tips

Once you’ve decided to get a pet, be sure to do plenty of research, so you know what kind of care your tiny friend will need. Always supervise your child when he or she is playing with their animal companion. We recommend having your child sit down when handling their pet. That way, if the little furball accidentally gets dropped, he won’t fall very far.

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO vet clinic!

Camping With Fido

Are you planning to spend time camping this summer? If so, your canine buddy would most likely be absolutely delighted to accompany you on your travels. Just be sure to put Fido’s health and safety first. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses camping with dogs.

Packing For The Pup

Remember to pack a bag for your pooch! Fido will need food, dishes, bedding, toys, treats, a leash and collar, and a pet first aid kit. If you are going to spend time near water, bring a doggy lifejacket as well. You may also want to include a doggy raincoat.

Preparation

Before taking Fido camping, make sure that he is microchipped, wearing ID tags, and current on all of his vaccinations and parasite control products. We also strongly recommend that dogs be spayed or neutered. Bring copies of your furry friend’s paperwork with you, just in case you need them. If your pet is a senior, small dog, or has mobility problems or other health issues, consult your vet before taking him with you. Some pooches will be more comfortable staying in a doggy hotel.

Training

Fido should know basic obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Heel, Come, and Lay Down. These commands aren’t just about petiquette: they’re also very important for safety reasons. For instance, teaching your furry buddy to Come can help you keep him from exploring a potentially-dangerous area, while the Stay command will allow you to stop him from approaching a wild animal.

Dangers

Camping offers Fido lots of chances to explore new places. It also gives him lots of chances to get into mischief! Campfires are one thing to be careful of. Be sure to keep Fido away from the fire. The danger doesn’t go away once the flames are out: your pup could easily burn his paws on hot coals. Trash is another concern. Camp garbage often contains things like skewers, bones, tinfoil, can lids, and plastic wrap, which are all dangerous to dogs.

Water

Try not to let Fido drink from unknown water sources. The water may not be safe! Boil or treat your canine pal’s water.

Cleaning

Don’t forget to pick up after your four-legged pal! Check local ordinances to see if you can bury Fido’s waste.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Call us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime!

Understanding Your Bunny

Have you recently become a bunny owner? Congratulations! Rabbits make absolutely adorable pets. As a good pet owner, it’s important for you to be able to read your furry buddy, so you can tell if she is happy, sad, or sick. We can help! A Fort Collins, CO vet offers tips on understanding your bunny below.

Stubborn Bunnies

Don’t let that innocent furry face fool you: bunnies can be both stubborn and temperamental! Your little furball may get mad at you if you rearrange her belongings, throw away her favorite toy, or don’t pay enough attention to her. How can you tell if Floppy is angry? She may turn her back on you and sulk. If she’s extremely upset, she may even try to bite you. Pay close attention to your pet, and get to know her body language.

Happy Bunnies

Cheerful bunnies are super cute! If your furball is content, she may express herself by doing ‘binkies,’ which is basically the term for bunny happy dancing. Needless to say, binkies are absolutely adorable to watch. But how do you score a binkie? Toys and treats will help, but the best ways to keep Floppy content are really to just to take great care of her and offer her lots of TLC.

Training and Discipline

Floppy is quite intelligent, and is entirely capable of learning good petiquette. You can teach your furball to use a litterbox and come when called. Bunnies can also learn what is and is not okay to nibble on. Be patient and consistent when training your bunny. If you see your furry buddy misbehaving, just tell her ‘No’ in a disapproving voice. You can also stomp your foot, snap your fingers, or clap your hands, which all more or less translate into ‘Bad Bunny.’ Never punish your pet for doing something wrong, though: you may only frighten your four-legged friend, or make her angry!

Signs of Illness

Be sure to watch Floppy closely for any signs of illness. Some common ones are tooth grinding, fever, drooling, a runny nose, lethargy, reduced appetite, dizziness, and changes in waste. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these warning signs, or any other unusual behavior. The sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better!

Do you have questions or concerns about bunny care? Call us, your Fort Collins, CO vet hospital, anytime!

The Cat’s Meow

Do you have a talkative kitty? Or does your furball only meow occasionally? Cats all have their own unique purrsonalities, and, just like people, some are more vocal than others are. A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses the cat’s meow in this article.

Meow History

Did you know that kitties may have started meowing just so they could boss humans around? While kittens and mama cats meow at each other, adult cats mostly use facial expressions and body language to communicate with one another. As it turns out, the fact that Fluffy’s meows often sound like the cries of a newborn baby probably isn’t a coincidence. Apparently, our feline overlords figured out long ago that combining plaintive meows with just being adorable is a very effective way to get us to feed them.

Breeds

Some breeds are known for being very vocal. The Siamese, for instance, is renowned for the fact that their meows sound very much like the cries of human babies. Maine Coons, on the other hand, vocalize with some very cute chirps and trilling noises. On the quieter end at the spectrum, we have kitties like the Abyssinian and American Shorthair, who just don’t seem to have much to say.

Senior Cats

It isn’t unusual for cats to vocalize more in their senior years. Older kitties sometimes become confused or forgetful. Fluffy may forget where the litterbox is, and could meow to express her distress. If your aging kitty starts talking more, have your vet examine her to make sure there isn’t a medical issue behind her behavior. Otherwise, just do what you can to comfort your pet.

Signs of Illness

Changes in your cat’s vocalizations can be a sign of illness in cats. If Fluffy is usually quiet, but then starts meowing loudly, she may not be feeling well. The opposite is also true: kitties that normally talk a lot, but then fall silent, may also be sick. Contact your vet immediately if you notice changes in your cat’s meowing habits.

Conversations With Fluffy

When Fluffy meows at you, go ahead and talk back to her. To have a little fun with your furball, try mimicking her meows. It can be fun to see how long you can keep this cute game going!

Please call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, with all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

5 Things to Consider When Adopting a Cat

Are you considering adopting a new kitty? We love seeing cats go to wonderful homes. Choosing a cat can be tough, however: they’re all adorable! If a certain furball has already captured your heart, you may already have your mind made up. Otherwise, there are several things to consider before adopting. Below, a local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some things to think about before adopting a cat.

Age

Kittens, adult kitties, and senior furballs all have their own charms. Kittens are, of course, irresistibly cute. Adopting a kitten also allows you to raise your furbaby from an early age. Baby cats do require more care, however, and can definitely be quite a handful. Adult kitties are also wonderful, and can make great, loving pets. Senior kitties are great as well, and are often very sweet and calm.

Breed

While every kitty has their own purrsonality, certain breeds do have specific characteristics. Some, like the Siamese, are quite talkative. Other kitties, like Ragdolls, may be known for being mellow cuddlebugs. Of course, if you decide you want a specific breed, don’t assume you won’t find your kitty in a shelter: humane societies often have cats of every kind.

Other Pets

Do you have other furbabies? If so, look for a kitty that has lived with other pets before. This will increase the odds of your pets getting along.

Cost

Just like any other pet, kitties need good food, comfortable living conditions, and regular veterinary care to thrive. Fluffy will also need litter and toys. Before committing, make sure you can afford to give your furball proper care.

Time

While our feline friends can do very well as only pets, they can get lonely if they’re left alone frequently. If you’re out a lot, you may want to consider getting two kitties. Your furballs can play together, and keep each other company while you’re away. Look for a bonded pair, two kittens, or two calm, sociable adults.

Commitment

Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. Kitties are very emotional, and can be traumatized by a change of ownership. If you’re thinking of bringing a new furry friend into your home, make sure you can commit to Fluffy for the rest of her life.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, anytime!

Introducing Dogs and Cats

Cats and dogs have had a long and rather complicated relationship. Fido and Fluffy can be the best of friends, or the worst of enemies. If you have a cat and are considering getting a dog, or vice versa, you’ll want to proceed with caution. One thing that is very important is the manner in which your pets are introduced. First impressions are a big deal to our furry pals! Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses introducing cats and dogs.

Make A Good Match

Choosing the right pet is often half the battle! When looking for your new furbaby, try to choose one that has already cohabitated with the other type of pet. Dogs that like to chase things, are territorial, or play rough may not be a good match for a feline roommate. Timid or aggressive kitties, on the other hand, might not do well with a dog. The dog’s size is another issue: large dogs can injure cats more easily than small dogs. That doesn’t mean that Fido is always the instigator, however: some cats bully their canine ‘siblings’! Try to choose pets that are close in age: don’t match a fragile, elderly cat with a big, rambunctious puppy.

New Arrivals

Keep your furry pals separated at first. When you bring your new pet home, put them in a private room with all the required necessities, so they can adjust slowly. Before letting your new arrival explore, secure your resident pet in another room. Over the next few days, rotate the pets so that whenever one has free access, the other is confined. Your furbabies will grow accustomed to each other’s scents during this stage. Once both pets seem calm, you can make official introductions.

Meet N’ Greet

Make sure Fido is leashed when he meets Fluffy for the first time. Your kitty may hiss and ‘poof’ her fur at first: this is normal. Repeat this process several times. Don’t let them loose together until both pets seem calm and relaxed around one another. Be sure to monitor all interactions until you’re confident that your furbabies are getting along. If your dog barks or lunges at the cat for more than a few days, or if either animal shows signs of aggression, separate them and consult a professional.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your pet care needs.

How To Make Your Older Cat More Comfortable

Your older cat’s life isn’t quite as easy as it once was—older cats have more trouble moving around, using the litter box, eating, and doing many other daily routines. Make her life a little more comfortable with these helpful tips from a Larimer County vet.

Multiple Litter Boxes

It’s a good bet that your senior cat doesn’t like trekking down or up the stairs constantly to use her litter box. Try placing multiple litter boxes around your home, perhaps one on each floor. This way, one is always within a relatively short distance when your cat has to go. It will make her life a lot simpler, and reduce the chances of accidents on your carpets or floors!

Grooming

Kittens don’t have any trouble twisting and turning around to groom all parts of their bodies, but an older cat might not be so nimble, especially if they have arthritis. Help your cat out in the hygiene department by grooming her yourself. Use a cat-specific brush to remove loose hair, untangle mats, and spread essential skin oils throughout the coat.

Raise Food Dishes

Your cat may benefit from having her food and water dishes raised on a platform. This way, she won’t have to bend down, straining the neck, to eat or drink. Again, this technique is especially helpful for arthritic cats. Try using something as simple as a shoebox to put the dishes on.

New Bed

If your cat has been sleeping on the same pet bed for many years, it’s probably time for a new one. Your cat will love the extra cushioning and warmth of a new bed. A therapeutic or orthopedic bed might even be beneficial—ask your vet for a recommendation.

Quiet Zone

What older cat wants to be in the thick of all the family action? She’d probably rather view the goings-on from a safe distance. Try setting up a quiet zone just for her in a back room. A safe, comfortable space will go a long way toward helping your older cat feel more comfortable.

Ask your Larimer County veterinarian for more easy and helpful tips to make your cat’s life more comfortable. With a little help, you’ll be able to make your cat’s golden years her best yet!