Tag Archives: vets Larimer County 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!

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Do you sometimes come home to find that your canine buddy has made a mess while you were out? Perhaps Fido chewed up the couch cushions, or got into the trash. Or maybe he soiled the rug. These things are often mistaken for simple bad doggy behavior, but they are in fact often a sign of canine separation anxiety. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses separation anxiety in dogs.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety stems from the fact that your loving pet is hardwired to function as part of a pack. In the wild, dogs are always with their buddies, and are hardly ever left alone. Fido sees his human family as his pack mates, and may feel distressed, anxious, sad, and lonely when he is separated from them.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

As noted above, many of the signs of separation anxiety are often confused for bad petiquette. When left by himself, Fido may pace, whine, howl, or bark to vocalize his distress. (This may also be his way of trying to let his pack know where he is.) Your canine friend may also chew things, dig, defecate inappropriately, or try to escape. Sometimes dogs with separation anxiety engage in pica, which is the term for eating things that aren’t food. Some of these behaviors can be quite dangerous: Fido could hurt himself trying to get out, or could swallow something hazardous.

Dealing With Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is treatable, although the exact course of action you’ll need to take will depend on how severe your pet’s anxiety is. We recommend consulting your vet or a professional behaviorist for specific advice. That said, there are some general do’s and don’ts for helping dogs cope with their anxiety. First and foremost, make sure your canine buddy is getting enough exercise, and offer him lots of fun toys to play with while you’re away. Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys are great, because they can keep Fido amused for hours. You also want to avoid long, emotional greetings or farewells: ignore your furry friend for a few minutes when you are coming or going. Also, never punish your pooch for misbehaving when left alone: you may only make him even more anxious.

Does Fido need vaccines, microchipping, or spay/neuter surgery? Call us! As your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, we are here to help!

Anxiety in Cats

Do you have a scaredy-cat on your hands? Just like people, cats can suffer from different fears, phobias, and anxieties. Some of our feline friends are very anxious! Below, a Larimer County, CO vet discusses anxiety in cats.

Signs of Anxiety

Feline anxiety can manifest in many different ways. Fluffy may run and hide when approached. Your cat may also tremble, have digestive issues, or lick or bite herself obsessively. Some kitties can also become aggressive when they feel threatened or nervous. Have your vet examine your cat to rule out medical causes, as these things can also indicate health problems.

Causes

Cats can become anxious for a wide variety of reasons. Fluffy’s nervousness could stem from a bad experience she had in the past. Inadequate or improper socialization during kittenhood can also contribute to anxiety. Separation anxiety is also not uncommon in our feline friends, especially those that have been abandoned, re-homed, or neglected in the past. Of course, some cats are just naturally skittish.

Treatment

Before you can help Fluffy conquer her fears, you’ll need to figure out what she’s frightened of. Watch your timid furball closely to see if you can identify any specific triggers. Making sure your cat feels safe is also important. Give your kitty hiding spots in every room, so she always has a place to go if she feels scared. We also recommend playing with your cat daily, using interactive toys. Vigorous play will burn off excess energy, and can help shy furballs gain confidence. In some cases, medication may be needed. If your cat is afraid of a specific person or thing, desensitization may help. Ultimately, the treatment that will work best will depend on the type and severity of your furry friend’s anxiety. Ask your vet for recommendations.

What Not To Do

Never punish Fluffy for being frightened. You may only end up making her feel even more scared. Don’t coddle your kitty too much, though, as this may just reinforce her anxiety. Also, never corner your cat, as she may feel threatened and lash out in self-defense.

It can take time and patience, but with a proper diagnosis, a sound plan of action, and a little help from your vet, you can help Fluffy get over her fears.

Do you have questions about cat care? We can help! Contact us, your Larimer County, CO vet clinic, anytime.

Caring for a Senior Cat

Is your kitty starting to slow down? Cats normally age gracefully, but as Fluffy enters her golden years, you may want to make some minor adjustments to your cat care regimen. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for a senior cat.

Mobility

Just like people, kitties often develop aches and pains in their senior years. Your cat will probably still make herself comfortable on your bed or sofa at naptime, but make sure she has at least one good bed of her own. Put it on the floor so she doesn’t have to jump to get into it. If you find her kitty bed becoming her favorite spot, pick up one or two more, and put them in different rooms. Fluffy may also find it difficult to get in and out of her litter box, so look for one that has lower walls.

Handling

Be very gentle when picking up a senior cat. When you put her down, be sure to place all of her paws onto the floor. Don’t let her drop!

Confusion

Kitties often experience a decline in their cognitive functions as they age. Fluffy may forget where the litter box is, or lose her way between the bedroom and kitchen. Interactive play can be very beneficial, as it will keep your furball’s mind engaged.

General Health

Keep an eye on Fluffy’s behavior, and take note of anything out of the ordinary. Hiding; poor grooming; change in appetite, thirst, or vocalizations; and litter box mishaps are a few signs of illness in cats. If you notice any unusual behavior, contact your vet right away.

Diet

Your vet will be able to advise you when it’s time to move your furball onto a senior formula of cat food. Certain supplements may be beneficial to her as she ages. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate stiff joints. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Love

Most of all, just do what you can to keep your furry pal comfortable. Make sure that your feline friend feels safe, loved, and secure, and keep up with her veterinary care needs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, if we can ever be of assistance. We know your pets are part of the family, and we always do everything in our power to keep our furry clients in excellent health.

Larimer County Dog Parks

Would you like to give your Larimer County dog a special fun day? Why not take him to a park? Dogs love to explore new faces and meet new friends, both those on four legs and on two. As long as your dog is properly socialized and friendly to other dogs, bringing him to a park will really give him a special treat.

Here are a few suggestions for dog parks in Larimer County:

Fossil Creek Dog Park 5821 S. Lemay Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80525

Admission is free at this dog park. Fido can run and play off leash to his little heart’s content. Separate sections are available for small dogs and shy pooches, and there are drinking fountains for both you and your furry pal.

Spring Canyon Dog Park West End of Horsetooth Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525

This is a very popular dog park. Affiliated with the Larimer County Humane Society, the park is over 2 acres, and is fenced in. There is a separate area for little dogs and shy dogs. Water fountains for both you and Fido are available as well.

Soft Gold Dog Park 520 Hickory St., Fort Collins, CO 80524

Fido can run freely off leash in this fenced one-acre park. Covered seating is available for you to sit in the shade while your pup romps and plays with his new buddies. There is also water available on site. There is no fee for entrance.

Estes Valley Dog Park N. St. Vrain Ave. & Community Drive, Estes Park, CO 80517

Dogs may go off leash in the enclosed fenced area at Estes Valley Dog Park. You can bring up to three dogs at one time.

Many parks require that you bring proof of your dog’s registration and vaccination records. We suggest keeping copies in the car at all times. Generally, rules and regulations will be posted outside the fenced areas. These are typically common sense and common courtesy regulations, forbidding people from bringing aggressive dogs to parks, and mandating that you pick up after your pooch. Most parks provide bags and trashcans for convenience.

Take advantage of these parks while summer is here, and don’t forget to bring your camera. That candid shot of your furry buddy jumping for a Frisbee or playing in the fountain just might become your favorite.

Please visit our site for more articles on caring for your Larimer County dog.