Blog

Signs of an Overheated Dog

Signs of an Overheated Dog

The summer months provide the perfect opportunity for you and your dog to get outside for some fun and adventure. However, the hot temperatures can often lead to overheating and exhaustion. This is why it is important to understand how some fun in the sun can sometimes negatively impact your furry friend. One of the biggest ways to protect your dog is by knowing what to look out for if they are overheated. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common signs of an overheating dog.

Panting

One of the most common signs of overheating with your dog is panting. Dogs typically pant to cool themselves down. So, you may notice them do it even when they are slightly too warm in temperature. However, if you notice excessive panting with no relief, it could be a sign that this heat has reached another level. Be sure to check for this along with other signs as panting can also be a sign of overexertion as well as a plethora of other medical conditions. 

Disorientation

Another easy sign of overheating you can spot is disorientation in a dog. When it comes to disorientation, you will want to be on the lookout for the following symptoms: falling down, walking in circles, being unable to stand, vomiting, walking shakily, tripping, eyes darting back, and forth, and their head tilted to one side. Keep in mind that disorientation can become more severe over time with serious health consequences. Therefore, regardless of how mild you view the condition to be, you should still treat your dog as soon as possible before moving on with your day.

Bright Red or Blue Gums

One sign of overheating that might require a little more attention to detail is brightly colored gums in your dog. The gums turn blue due to a lack of oxygen, so given that proper oxygen levels allow us to live and breathe every day, if you notice this in your dog’s mouth, it should raise many concerns as it could be a serious sign that your pup is struggling in the hot temperatures. 

Collapsing

There are a number of reasons why your dog may collapse and none of them are good. Overheating is certainly one of them along with allergic reactions and other medical conditions. So, if you notice your dog collapsing in combination with some of the other signs mentioned, it could be a clear sign that your dog got a little bit too much of the sun. If this becomes severe, you will need to take your pet to the nearest animal hospital as soon as possible. 

If you notice any of these signs of overheating in your dog, you will need to take immediate action to cool them down such as bringing them indoors to a cool place, or, if they are willing to drink, offering cold water to rehydrate them. If you have any further questions, you can feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Science-Backed Reasons To Hug Your Pet Every Day

Science-Backed Reasons To Hug Your Pet Everyday
Science-Backed Reasons To Hug Your Pet Everyday

For those who were unaware, it is actually a proven fact that hugging your pet on a regular basis is healthy for you. It can relieve stress, build your immune system, and provide a better night’s sleep. At times, people can be very busy with their daily lives and they lose track of the things that most matter. So, if you notice your dog smashing their toy into your leg, or your cat refuses to get off your laptop, try not to immediately brush it off as an annoying inconvenience and spare some time to give your furry friend the love and affection they’re craving. Here are some science-backed reasons why you should be hugging your pet everyday.

It Can Improve Your Physical Health

As mentioned previously, it has been proven that hugging your pet has many benefits to your health. Humans and dogs have been around since prehistoric times with both having an innate craving for physical touch. So, when you cuddle with your dog, it can stimulate the brain’s production of Oxytocin which is also known as the “love hormone” in both of you. This hormone is typically associated with feelings of trust and strong bond formation. Oxytocin can also inhibit cortisol production which is beneficial as cortisol (the “stress hormone”) can cause weight gain, reduced immune function, amongst other problems. In addition, cuddling with your pet can lower your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure, and can even stimulate muscle regeneration.

Helps To Relieve Anxiety And Depression

Hugging your pet on a regular basis can also stimulate the release of the neurotransmitters known as dopamine and serotonin, both of which help to relieve depression and can help you feel happier. In fact, the act of holding your pet can be an effective way to combat anxiety as it creates a calming effect to help you focus on the present moment. Given that you may be busy and constantly on the go, you may start to feel guilty about not paying enough attention to your pet. Therefore, by setting aside a few minutes each day to cuddle with them can help you maintain a positive mental balance.

It Also Helps To Stay In Tune With Your Pet’s Health

The daily physical contact you have with your pet can also help you notice right away if something is wrong. While petting your furry friend, you may take notice of any new lumps, unpleasant smells, or areas that seem sensitive or tender. Because your pet cannot verbally tell you that something is wrong with them, it is important to be more in-tune with your pet’s body so that if something isn’t right, you can get them the medical attention they might need.

These are just some of the many reasons why hugging your pet every day can be beneficial to you and your furry friend. Plus, they are a great way to start and end the day to promote positive vibes in the morning and restfulness in the evening. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital today at (303) 532-1258!

Household Items Your Pet May Be Allergic To

Household Items Your Pet May Be Allergic To

Figuring out your pet’s allergy triggers can be a lengthy process as there are potential allergens everywhere, even in your home. Dogs and cats can be allergic to anything from detergents to houseplants to other animals. While this might seem like a frustrating process, there are some common culprits around the house that you should be aware of, so let’s take a look at some household items that could trigger allergic reactions.

Dust Mites

Dust mite allergies are much more common than most people think. In fact, according to Dr. Ashley Rossman, DVM, CVA, dust mites, pollen, and molds are the three major airborne allergens that pets are susceptible to. Now, every pet will respond differently with varying levels of severity, however, most pets will demonstrate these allergies through their skin. So, you will notice them becoming more itchy with their skin looking red and inflamed. Dust mites can be found anywhere, especially in areas with high dander loads like bedding, mattresses, blankets, and couches. This is why frequent cleaning of these bedding materials will be critical.

Indoor Plants

There are also a plethora of indoor and outdoor plants that can trigger an airborne or contact allergic reaction in your pet. Symptoms of these reactions will usually occur seasonally and include itchy skin, excessive grooming, sneezing, rashes, and even eye discharge. Regardless of the houseplants you own, make sure you are also cautious of the potting soil as it could be harboring mold which as mentioned earlier is another major trigger to your pet’s allergies.

Smoke

Cats especially can be very sensitive to smoke as it acts as a respiratory irritant. Smoke of any kind can cause these issues, including smoke from cooking. Smoke is also dirty and can leave residue on your pet’s fur that can stick to their coats the way it stocks to our clothes. Animals who live in a household of smokers are even more prone to developing atopic dermatitis which is an allergic reaction that causes itchy skin. It is important to know that because our pets want to be near us no matter our habits, we should be cognizant of how our choices can inadvertently harm their health.

If you feel like your furry friend is having an allergic reaction to something within your home, you can always try an elimination trial where you remove any new possible allergens immediately. If you haven’t added anything new to the home, then try eliminating as many possible irritants as you can to see if your pet improves. Then, you can slowly add things back in as you monitor your pet’s reactions. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your pet and its allergies, give Cherrelyn Animal Hospital a call today at (303) 532-1258!

Tips For Introduction Your Kids To A New Pet

Tips For Introducing Your Kids To A New Pet

Every pet owner understands how pets can enhance their lives and bring more love and joy into the home. However, if you have children, introducing them to an unfamiliar cat or dog might be intimidating for all parties involved. Even the most docile dog or cat can bring fear and tears to a small child’s eyes if the interaction is not handled properly. You have to make sure that the child understands how to properly approach the new pet. So, if you are bringing a new pet home, here are some helpful tips to introduce your kids to the newest member of the family.

Supervise The Interaction

It is never a good idea to leave babies or small children with a new pet. Kittens and some older cats tend to play rough as scratching and biting are the ways they interacted with their kitten siblings. Therefore, they may end up doing the same with a young child who unknowingly extends their hand. Puppies also need time to grow, learn, and develop good behavior through positive training tactics. So, you can teach your children how to properly approach a dog, read its body language and know how to appropriately pet them. Another general rule of thumb is to never leave a child under the age of 5 alone with a new pet. If you have older children, then they will need to demonstrate that they can be gentle and follow the rules before being left alone with the pet.

Let The Pet Approach The Child

Another initial step in making sure this introduction process goes smoothly is to allow your pet to approach the child, rather than the other way around. You can do this by having the child drop treats or have a toy in between them. Be sure, however, not to hand feed the pet as they either are not comfortable approaching just yet, or they could be too excited and accidentally pinch a few fingers while grabbing the treat.

Give Your Pet Time To Adjust

Anytime you introduce a pet to new surroundings, allowing it to feel secure and comfortable will take some time. Plus, a child’s excitement over the new furry friend might add to the initial stress. You might notice cats hiding in a closet or under a bed initially. Dogs can be a bit different and require more stimulation and new sights and sounds to properly adjust. As mentioned previously, you will want to supervise all interactions with a new dog to ensure no one gets hurt. Older dogs might require more training, so patience will be critical as you learn the character of the dog and how they react to people of all ages. So, make sure you give the pet time to adjust and make sure your children cooperate by leaving it alone until it is ready. 

Bringing in a new pet and letting them adjust to its new environment, especially one that includes children is a process that must be taken care of delicately and properly to ensure the safety of the children and the pet. If you have any additional questions about how to introduce a new pet to your children, feel free to reach out to Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

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!