Prepping Your Dog For The Spring

Prepping Your Dog For the Spring

The spring season is officially upon us and it is during this time that we think about all the ways we can prepare for the changes. From deep cleaning our homes to organizing things that may have gotten out of order during the winter, there are many ways to get ready for the spring and getting your dog prepared should be just as important as your spring cleaning. So, here are some tips for prepping your dog for the spring season.

Be Sure To Brush

The springtime is when dogs will typically shed their winter coat for a thinner coat more suited for the warmer temperatures. So, it will be best for you to brush your dog regularly. Try investing in a brush that is designed for shedding as it will keep the tumble fur in your home to a minimum.

Start The Prevention

Another thing that will be very important is the prevention for fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Some areas of the country require this kind of prevention all year round, but for the most part, now is the time to get your dog back on preventative medication. As the weather gets warmer, these pests are bound to come out, so you will want to be prepared with the medication.

Visit Your Vet

Every pet owner knows to bring their dog to the vet for at least one visit per year and one of the best times to do so is in the spring. As this is the ideal time to get the vaccines taken care of, you can also schedule their yearly check-up at the same time. Doing so allows you to better understand their current health status and any steps you may need to take to keep them healthy during these warmer months. You may even want to schedule your dog’s yearly teeth cleaning during this time.

Check Your Yard

Especially if you live in an area where there was a lot of snow and ice built up over the winter, this will be a critical thing to do. Be sure that there are no holes in the fence that your dog can easily escape from along with any hazards that can harm your pet while they are playing.

These are some quick tips that should get your furry friend ready for the spring season. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

How Proper Dental Care Can Preserve Your Pet’s Health

How Proper Dental Care Can Preserve Your Pet’s Health

February is known as National Pet Dental Health month which makes it the perfect time to discuss the importance of proper dental care. Eighty percent of the dental tartar that builds on your pet’s teeth consists of bacteria. In addition, it is very likely for this bacteria that is already damaging your pet’s gums beyond repair to then enter their bloodstream and cause serious infections. The scariest part about this is that your furry friend may not be aware of their poor dental hygiene to warn you of any issues. This is why it is particularly critical to stay on top of their dental hygiene. So, let’s look further into how proper dental care can preserve your pet’s overall health.

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Brushing your pet’s teeth is extremely important and you should be doing it at least three to four times a week, eventually making it a habit to do every day. Make sure you are using a brush with soft bristles along with pet-friendly toothpaste. Keep in mind that this might not be the easiest task, so try to turn tooth brushing into a bonding experience with your pet. It may take a couple of weeks, but eventually, once the habit is adopted, the process should be much smoother.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

You will also want to be sure you are taking your pet in for dental checkups on either a quarterly or yearly basis. During these sessions, the vet will be able to administer anesthesia and conduct a thorough dental cleaning. These cleaning can be pretty effective, especially if you are unable to brush their teeth on a daily basis. A dental exam will also be critical in spotting any bleeding, cracked teeth, inflammation, or cancerous bumps.

Dental Treats, Toys, & Food

Providing your furry friend with some treats and toys may not be as efficient as brushing their teeth, but will still help with their oral health and keep their teeth and gums healthy. Plus, pets love them and you can get them in a variety of flavors like chicken and tuna.

Don’t Ignore Any Signs

As mentioned earlier, your pet may not be able to warn you of any dental issues. However, this does not mean that there won’t be warning signs to look out for, like bad breath. This could indicate that your pet might have a periodontal disease like stomatitis. Some of the other warning signs to be aware of are bleeding gums, yellow or brown teeth, or loss of teeth altogether. If you begin noticing any of these signs, or your pet begins acting irritable, you will need to take them to a vet for a checkup and dental review.

Dietary Importance

Your pet’s diet can also play a major role in their overall health and hygiene. Certain foods can be very acidic and can damage their teeth. On the flip side, there are a plethora of foods specifically formulated to maintain oral hygiene and prevent dental disease.

So, it is important to stay on top of your pet’s dental hygiene as it can have an impact on their overall health. If you have any additional questions on best practices for dental care, feel free to get in touch with Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Indoor Activities For Your Dog During Bad Weather

Indoor Activities For Your Dog During Bad Weather

We are currently deep into the winter season which means there are going to be days where the weather is not suitable for your pet to go outside. In fact, at times when the temperature reaches those terrible winter lows, it can even be painful for your dog to play outside. On the bright side, there are a few activities that you can do to entertain your dog without having to step outside. So, let’s take a look at some of the indoor activities you can do with your dog in the weather is too bad.

Stair Games

If you are a pet owner with a young and rambunctious pup, then you know that it requires time and energy to wear them out. Now, while not everyone may have an indoor set of stairs, those that do will learn that they can be a great tool to wearing your dog out and getting them the exercise they need and seek. There are a couple of fun ways to use the stairs as a fun activity. For example, if your dog loves to play fetch, you can simply sit at the top of the stairs and get started. With the erratic bounce of the toys off the stairs, it will make the game much more fun than the traditional version. Another way is by having a family member or friend sit at the bottom of the steps with you at the top. Then you have treats or a favorite toy on either end so your pup can go back and forth.

Hide And Seek

Hide and seek is another great game that dog parents can use as an indoor activity. Plus, the rules are just the same as the ones you grew up with. You will first have your dog sit and stay. You may want to give them a treat to buy yourself some more time and then you go hide somewhere in the house. Then, once you are ready for them to seek, you can call them once or use a release word if they are in a stay. Your dog will then have to rely on its senses to locate you.

Scavenger Hunt

This is another activity that will put your dog’s sense of smell to the test. As your dog is occupied, you will want to go around the house and hide treats. Make sure that you don’t make the spots easy. You will be amazed at what they will be able to discover through smell alone. Once you are ready, you can let your pup loose looking for the treats. It is important to note that they may not go for the treats immediately which is not a problem. Simply help them locate the first one while saying “find the treat.” Afterward, they should know what to look for.

So, these are a few ways that you can keep your pup entertained on those days where the weather is not permitting enough for them to go outside. For further information, feel free to reach out to Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Common Holiday Hazards For Pets

Common Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holidays are a festive time for the family and the pets as well. However, sometimes with everything going on, the ongoing activities, and constant distractions, it can be easy to overlook any potential dangers to your furry friends. The curious nature of pets such as cats and dogs can lead them to holiday decorations, food, and drinks which could lead them in an emergency and that is a quick way to ruin the holidays. So, it is important to be aware of these items which can be dangerous, so let’s take a look at some common holiday hazards for pets.

Holiday Tinsel & Ornaments

Tinsel, while it is not toxic, can be very attractive to pets, cats in particular. The issue with tinsel is that if it is consumed, it can cause serious injury to your pet. Plus, if it isn’t caught in time, these foreign body ingestions could even be fatal because it will twist and bunches up inside your pet’s intestines. Along with tinsels, bright and colorful tree ornaments can also attract your pet’s curiosity. Your pets may chew and swallow these objects and the broken pieces then form sharp edges that can lacerate their mouth, throat, and intestines.

Gift Wrap Ribbon

It may be tempting to dress your pet up in a decorative ribbon “collar,” but it is important to keep in mind that these can quickly become a choking hazard. Best practices would be to quickly discard the ribbons and bows so that your curious, furry companions won’t be enticed to chew or swallow them. The ingested ribbon is not only a choking hazard but can also twist through the intestines leading to emergency surgery and could be fatal sometimes.

Lights And Wires

You will also want to keep any electrical cords clear from your pets because if they chew on them it can cause serious injuries like electrical shock and oral burns. One way to take these necessary precautions is by using electrical cord covers and cord organizers that will make them less accessible and out of sight.

Toys And Batteries

You will also want to keep small toys and loose batteries off the floor and away from your pet’s mouth. For example, if a dog happens to chew on a hard plastic toy, it can risk breaking its teeth. Batteries along with board game pieces and other small household items can contain zinc and this can cause pancreatitis and renal damage if your pet ingests them. So, if you have some time, be sure to monitor your children’s playtime and pick up any and all toys they have played with. Keep in mind that batteries can also be found in cameras, watches, remote controls, and even in some greeting cards.  

These are just a few of the many different holiday hazards that you will want to keep away from your pet this season. If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

What Your Dog Can and Can’t Eat on Thanksgiving

What Your Dog Can and Can't Eat On Thanksgiving

We have officially entered the Thanksgiving season and it is certainly a time to celebrate and spend time with friends and family as best as we can with the pandemic. Aside from that, many people also have the family pet join in on the festivities. So, with that in mind, it is important to know what you can and can’t feed your dog on the holiday. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the foods your dog can and can’t eat during Thanksgiving.

Foods Your Dog CAN Eat

Bread: Bread is a safe treat for your dog, as long as it is plain bread. Make sure that it does not include any nuts, raisins, or spices. You also want to make sure that you do not overdo it with the bread as dogs do not gain any nutritional value from bread and like humans, too much can cause weight gain.

Carrots and Celery: If you’re preparing the stuffing, you may be able to provide your furry friend some spare carrots and celery. These vegetables are low in calories while also being full of nutrients and vitamins. Just be sure to first cut them into bite-sized pieces so that they are easier to digest.

Corn: Corn is a common ingredient in many dog foods, so it is perfectly healthy to give your dog to snack on. However, do not give them the cob because that can cause choking or intestinal blockages if it is swallowed.

Cheese: Cheese is a great choice for the occasional treat, as long as your dog is not lactose-intolerant. Be sure to avoid any high or full-fat varieties. A great option would be low or non-fat cottage cheese.

Turkey: Luckily, the usual main dish for most Thanksgiving is also perfectly safe for dogs. Now, before you prepare them a plate, make sure to remove any fat or skin, and never give them the bones because they can splinter and cause tears or blockages within the digestive tract.

Foods Your Dog CANNOT Eat

Chocolate: This has been mentioned previously, but it’s always good to reiterate that you should not feed your dog chocolate as it is highly toxic, especially dark chocolate, and it can stop your dog’s metabolic process resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death.

Garlic and Onions: Garlic and onions are also highly toxic to dogs and can cause anemia, elevated heart rate, and general weakness. Be sure to remain alert in case your dog may have eaten a stray piece of garlic or onion because the symptoms may not appear for a few days.

Apple Pie: While apple pie is a staple dessert for most Thanksgiving dinners, it would be a terrible idea to feed a slice to your dog. The high-fat crust along with common spice like cinnamon and nutmeg can result in a plethora of issues like upset stomach, liver disease, and high blood pressure. 

So, these tips are here to ensure that you and your family can have a safe and pleasant Thanksgiving holiday that is also safe for your furry friend to join. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Halloween Safety Tips For Pets

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween is typically a fun and festive time for children and their families. However, for pets, it can be quite a nightmare with a lot of unnecessary stress. You can mitigate a lot of these issues by following some of these tips below. So, let’s take a look at some ways you can keep your animals safe during Halloween.

Keep Trick-Or-Treat Candies Away From Pets

One big thing to remember is that chocolate of all kinds, especially baking or dark chocolate can be dangerous and even lethal for both cats and dogs. Some common symptoms to be aware of when it comes to chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Be sure to be on the lookout for Halloween candies that contain the artificial sweetener xylitol as that can also be poisonous to dogs. This is because even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in their blood sugar which can lead to loss of coordination and seizures. Now, while the toxicity of xylitol in cats has yet to be established, your best bet to be safe than sorry.

Do Not Leave Your Pets Out In The Yard

Unfortunately, Halloween is a time where pranksters have been known to tease, injure, and even steal pets. While this is very much so inexcusable, it is also preventable nonetheless. Black cats, in particular, are at risk from pranks to the point where many shelters will not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. So, make sure you keep your animals safely housed indoors during the holiday.

Keep Pets Away From The Door

As we’ve established earlier, indoors is definitely better than outdoors on Halloween. However, it is important to note that the door will be opening and closing constantly and you will have strangers on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This can be scary for your pets resulting in escape attempts or even unexpected aggression. So, be sure to keep them in a secure crate or a room away from the door in order to reduce any stress and prevent them from dashing outside into the night.

Keep Glowsticks Away From Your Pets

Now, even though glowsticks are known to keep people safe at night on Halloween, they can cause unnecessary drama if your pet happens to chew one open. Luckily, the liquid inside glowsticks are typically non-toxic, so they won’t make them sick. They do, however, taste awful, and pets who chew on one may start to drool or paw at their mouth, and sometimes vomit. So, if you suspect or notice that your pet has chewed on a glowstick, offer some fresh water or a small meal in order to clear the material out of their mouth. 

Keep ID’s Ready

In the unfortunate event that your cat or dog does escape or become lost, it is important to have their proper identification on them to increase the chances of them being returned. Collars and tags are a great way to assist in the event someone is able to find you lost animal. Microchips offer a more permanent identification if the collar or tag accidentally falls off. The key is to make sure the information is up to date. So, use this season as a regular reminder to double check the address and phone number on the tags or with the company that supports pet microchips.

These are just a few tips that will help you keep your furry friend safe during Halloween. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Understanding Rabies And Your Pet

Understanding Rabies And Your Pet

On September 28, we recognize World Rabies Day which looks to bring further awareness to the deadly rabies disease which is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. This virus is secreted in saliva and typically transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected animal. Another less common way for rabies to be transmitted is when saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with an open cut on the skin, eyes, mouth, or nose of a person or animals. It is very important to understand what rabies is and how it can affect you and your pet.

Which Animals Actually Get Rabies

One of the first things to keep in mind is that only mammals can get rabies, so birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians cannot. Here in the United States, most of the rabies cases occur with wild animals like skunks, raccoons, bats, foxes, etc. Recently, however, cats have become the most common domestic animals infected with rabies. The reason for this is that many cat owners do not vaccinate their pets and then they are exposed to rabid wildlife either outdoors or indoors in the event a bat enters the house. Rabies can also occur in dogs in significant numbers and while it may not be as common, horses, goats, sheep, swine, and ferrets can also be diagnosed with rabies.

What Are The Common Signs of Rabies in Animals?

So, what are the common signs an animal may be infected with rabies? Once the virus enters the body, it travels along the nerves up to the brain. At that point, a variety of signs will show that indicate the presence of rabies such as fearfulness, aggression, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, paralysis, and seizures. Aggressive behavior is one of the more common signs, however, rabid animals may also become uncharacteristically affectionate. Horses and livestock who have been infected with rabies may also display depression, self-mutilation, or an increased sensitivity to light. You may also notice rabid animals losing their natural fear of humans and display unusual behavior, like wandering in the daytime when they are typically seen exclusively at night.

How To Help Control Rabies

If you are interested in how to control rabies, keep in mind that one of the main things you can do to prevent it is through vaccination. You should also reduce the possibility of exposure to rabies by making sure your pets do not roam freely. Either keep them inside or make sure they are supervised when outside. Another tip is to not leave exposed garbage or pet food outside as that can attract wild or stray animals. In regards to wild animals, if you have to see one that appears to be acting strangely, be sure to report it to the city or county animal control department. Also, be sure to bat-proof your home and any other structure to prevent bats from getting in and nesting. Bats have been known to be one of the main carriers of rabies in North America.

If you have any additional questions or concerns as it pertains to rabies and your pet, feel free to give Cherrelyn Animal Hospital today at (303) 532-1258!

How Often Should You Vaccinate Your Pet

How Often Should You Vaccinate Your Pet

For those who may have been unaware, August is known as National Immunization Awareness Month for pets. Now, the question of whether to vaccinate pets or not and how often is one of the most debtated questions in veterinary medicine. Previously, it was much simpler as you would take your dog or cat to the vet at least once a year, and they would receive the recommended vaccinations and anything else they may need, and then you were on your way. However, now that the standard of care has changed, it is no longer as simple as just vaccinating every animal every year with every vaccine available.

Nowadays, vaccines have been divided into two categories: “core” and “non-core” vaccinations. Core vaccines are the ones that every animal should get at some point during their lifetime like rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. Non-core vaccines refer to the ones that should be administered based on certain risk factors of a particular animal. For example, the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine is for cats who are allowed outside and the bordetella vaccine is for dogs who are regularly boarded in a kennel.

One of the most straightforward reasons to vaccinate your pets is to comply with the local law. For example, it is typical for every community to require dogs and cats in some communities, to be vaccinated for rabies. The reason being that it is a public health issues considering rabies is zoonotic, meaning it can spread from animals to people and it is not a curable disease. In fact, the only time it is acceptable to not vaccinate for rabies is if your pet has a disease that could be worsened by the vaccine. Another thing to consider is whether your pet goes to a day care, or a dog park or kennel. If they do, then they are likely to be exposed to more diseases so they should be on a regular vaccination schedule. Finally, you will want to consider your pets’ lifestyle. For example, does your dog encounter wildlife or play in areas where you may frequently spot wildlife? If so, then you may want to vaccinate for leptospirosis.

So, how often should your pets be vaccinated? Some recommendations include doing the puppy and kitten series, and then a booster vaccine in one year, and then every year thereafter.

Keep in mind that vaccines are important for your pet’s general health care and a cornerstone of proper wellness care for your animals. So, if you are looking to get your pet vaccinated or have further questions about pet vaccinations, please feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Poisonous Plants You Should Keep Away From Your Pets

Poisonous Plants You Should Keep Away From Your Pets

The Humane Society of the United States once reported that there were over 700 plants that can produce enough physiologically active or toxic substances that can be potentially harmful to animals. So, if you have any pets in your family, you might be thinking that there are a lot of plants to remember. However, this is not to say that all of those potentially poisonous plants are deadly. There are different types of toxins and toxin levels that can cause mild to serious reactions that range from nausea and seizures to organ failure and even death. If you have an animal that has ingested a known toxic plant part, you should look to bring them to a vet for an examination immediately. Let’s take a look at some of the poisonous plants that are most commonly found in homes and gardens and should be kept away from your pets.

Ivy

The most common ivy foliage you will find in gardens in the United States are English Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, California Ivy, Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, and Needlepoint Ivy. Now, while you may not see animals eating ivy often, it is very toxic in the event it is ingested. If you believe your pet may have ingested ivy, some of the warning signs to look out for are diarrhea, vomiting, hyper-salivation, and abdominal pain.

Lilies

Pet parents should be aware of the potentially deadly risks associated with a cat ingesting lily plants and lily bulbs. Even a small amount of any part of the plant ingested, especially the bulb, can lead to kidney failure and the toxins in the lily can cause cats to have horrible illnesses. Such signs to be aware of are vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, and kidney failure

Aloe Vera

While the soothing gel in the aloe plant is great for humans dealing with any scrapes or burns, it would be best to keep them out of the reach of animals because they can be very dangerous for them. Signs to be aware of that aloe has been eaten include depression, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, a change in color of urine, and even anorexia.

Tomato Plant

Most of the parts of the tomato plant are very poisonous to animals. Even though ingesting tomato plant leaves, vines, or stems is unlikely to be deadly, the toxins can still create great discomfort for your pet. These symptoms to look out for include weakness, unusual drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and paralysis.

These are just a few of the most common plants found in homes and gardens that can be very poisonous to your pets. As mentioned earlier, if you detect that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous plant, be sure to have them checked out by a vet or give Cherrelyn Animal Hospital a call at (303) 532-1258!

Best Cat Breeds For Those With Allergies

Best Cat Breeds For Those With Allergies

For those who were unaware, June is actually Adopt-A-Cat month. So, if there was ever a time to visit your local shelter and adopt a new furry addition to the family, this would be the perfect month to do so. However, one of the biggest, if not the biggest setbacks for adopting a cat is allergies. Now, you may be wondering what may cause these allergies and a common misconception is that it comes from the cat’s fur. In actuality, it is a protein known as Fel D1 which is found in cat saliva that causes you to sneeze and feel itchy. So, if a cat licks a piece of your clothing, the saliva will dry up and become airborne which increases the likelihood of an allergic response. 

The good news is that some cat breeds produce less of this protein than others which makes them the ideal pets for people who have these allergies. So, let’s take a look at some of the best cat breeds for people with allergies. 

Balinese

These cats are also referred to as the “longhaired Siamese” and while they may look like the unlikely candidate to be a hypoallergenic cat breed, they are one of the few breeds that produce less of the Fel D1 protein than other cats. They are also smart, sweet, and fun to be around. Similar to the Siamese, they are also known for their ability to communicate vocally and they are sensitive to your mood, so they will be willing to cheer you up if you’re feeling gloomy.

Oriental Shorthair

While these are also considered non-allergenic cats, it would still be a good practice to groom them frequently to keep danger at bay. These breeds are also natural entertainers, full of enthusiasm, and enjoy being at the center of attention. They also tend to be conceited one minute and the animated the next, depending on their mood. You can also expect them to go to great lengths to be involved in your activities as they are highly curious.

Sphynx

The hairless Sphynx is one of the cat breeds that is most associated with being a hypoallergenic breed. Keep in mind, however, that just because they are hairless, that does not mean they are maintenance-free. They will require frequent baths in order to remove any gummy buildup of oils on their skin. They also have large ears that will require frequent cleaning. As far as their personality, to say they are lively would be an understatement. They are known to keep you entertained as they perform their aerialist feats from the tops of doorways and bookshelves (if you have one). They are also very devoted and loyal and will follow their owners around as they wag their tails similar to that of a dog and constantly purr with affection.

These are some of the different cat breeds that go best with people who suffer from allergies. For more information about cat breeds or even cat maintenance, feel free to call Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!