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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!

Keeping Your Pets Safe Amidst Coronavirus

Keeping Your Pets Safe Amidst Coronavirus

Last month, we discussed some of the ways you can keep your pets busy while you are all home during a pandemic. Now, while maintaining the health and safety of yourself and those closest to you is of the utmost priority during this COVID-19 pandemic, you might also be thinking about how you can keep your pets safe and clear from the virus as well. The good news is that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that the disease is typically spread to humans through person-to-person contact. Here in the US, there have been very few reports of pets or livestock succumbing to the coronavirus.

Now, while there is little evidence that suggests that the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from animals, you can’t be too safe and should still practice best hygiene practices around your animals. For example, you should be washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day and especially before and after you have direct contact with your pets, their food or their supplies. Let’s take a look at a couple of other ways you can keep your pet safe during this pandemic.

Stock Up On Pet Supplies

You should also look to prepare a kit that includes any essential supplies you would need on hand in the event of an emergency. This emergency kit should have at least a month’s supply of your pet’s medications along with about two weeks worth of food.

Designate An Emergency Caregiver

You also want to identify someone who will be relied upon to help with your pet’s short-term or long-term care in the event that you are unable to do so. This can be a family member, a friend, your neighbor, or even your favorite boarding facility.

Create A Pet Dossier

Now, if assistance is required from your designated emergency caregiver, you should try to make things easier by having all of your pet’s information in one place. Some of the things you want to make available are their habits, food preferences, any medical conditions the caregiver should be aware of and the medications they take, your local veterinarian contact information, and also any behavioral tendencies that. This information will make things much smoother for the caregiver.

At the end of the day, we all want to make sure that we are putting in the proper safety precautions that will ensure the safety of not just ourselves but everyone we come in contact with and that includes our pets. So, these are some basic guidelines that people can follow. For more information on how you can keep your pet safe during this pandemic, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

How To Keep Your Pets Safe from Wildlife

How To Keep Pets Safe From Wildlife

Wildlife and pets don’t mix well most of the time and it is up to you as the owner to keep your pet safe in the event they encounter a wild animal. Now, due to the fact that this does not happen as often, it can be difficult to foresee these types of issues. However, with the spring and summer months approaching, you can expect more and more wild animals to be out and about, making their way into backyards. Therefore, it is critical to be aware of the potential dangers your pet might face.

Depending on where you live, you might deal with different threats to the safety of your pet. Some common animals that you will want to keep an eye out for are, especially in the Colorado area include: coyotes, deer, and moose. Coyotes can be particularly dangerous as they are a rabies reservoir species which means an attack from them can put your pet at risk for rabies.

As it pertains to pet safety around wild animals, you would most likely deal with two scenarios which are home safety and walking safety. So, let’s take a look at how you can keep your pet safe in both scenarios.

Home Safety

One of the main draws for wild animals is food. So one of the easiest things you can do to keep your pet safe is to make sure there is no trash in your yard and avoid leaving food outdoors. Also, if you have noticed a lot of rodents in your home or outside near your home, you will want to take care of the problem immediately, because they can lure in snakes and other predators to your yard. Now, while you may consider your yard as a safe place, it is important that keep eyes on your pet as they are outside, especially at dusk and dawn. It is during these times that wild animals can find their ways into fenced yards and cause trouble.

Another factor that can draw in wild animals is pet waste, so, be sure to regularly clean your yard for animal waste to prevent any wildlife from wandering into your yard.

Walking Safety

Now, when you are walking your pet, make sure you keep them on a leash and near you at all times. By allowing them to roam, it puts them at risk for animal attacks, especially in a wooded area. In the event a wild animal does approach you, avoid running away from the animal. Simply face them and slowly back away. You can also try to keep the animal from approaching by making a lot of noise and make yourself appear as big as possible. Stomping your feet, throwing rocks, and shouting are all methods that can help. Finally, never approach a wild animal if you see one. Instead, try to leave a path for them to escape while staying as far away as possible.

Cherrelyn Animal Hospital is available if you have additional questions about protecting your pet from wildlife. Also, if your pet has been involved in an attack with a wild animal, give us a call at (303) 532-1258!

How to Interpret Common Dog Behaviors

How To Interpret Common Dog Behaviors

The way your dog acts and reacts to certain things can be a clear indicator of their mood. While you may not because to speak the native canine tongue, it is still very important to be able to interpret dog behavior. For example, why is your dog licking certain textures or circling the same spot in front of you? There could be reasons within a dog’s state of mind or even health concerns that may cause them to do certain things and by learning how to understand their behaviors, you will be able to help them better. So, let’s take a look at some common dog behaviors and understand what could be behind them.

Bad Breath

As it pertains to bad breath, dogs are not known for having the best smelling breath, however, if you notice a specific change, you might want to take a trip to your veterinarian as it could be linked to their oral health. A change in your dog’s breath could be a cause for concern as it pertains to their gastrointestinal tract, liver, or, kidneys as well. For example, if their breath smells like urine, they could be having a kidney problem. If they start exhibiting sweet-smelling breath, it could be a sign to vets that they have diabetes. This is particularly true if they are drinking more water and urinating more often. So, while this may not directly link to their mood, it is still something that you should pay attention to and let your veterinarian know if any sudden changes occur.

Circling

When a dog cannot stop walking in circles, it could mean they have health issues. While it is fun for them to chase their tail if they cannot stop the compulsion, there might be a deeper problem beneath the surface, for example, it could be linked to an ear infection. Other reasons include idiopathic vestibular syndrome which is common in older dogs as well as poisoning or even a brain tumor. However, only your vet will be able to determine the exact cause of your dog’s circling, so if things become a problem, bring them in for a check-up.

Biting

Puppies, in the beginning, may nip at you as they are learning to communicate with their pet parents and this will usually happen while playing. This is because young dogs tend to communicate with their mouths when they interact. However, if your pup begins nipping regularly, you should look to stop it early as it can develop into a problematic behavior down the line. Dogs usually bite out of anxiety, fear, or aggression. If you are struggling to determine the cause or teaching them not to do so, you might want to consider working with a trainer.

Panting

Dogs usually expel their body heat from their mouths. So, when your dog begins to pant, it’s likely that they are too warm and are regulating their body temperature. Be sure to pay attention to this behavior as it could also be linked to pain. The best way to help is to ensure that they are well hydrated before any physical activity, especially during the warmer months.  

Regardless of the behavior your dog is exhibiting, if you feel that it could be linked to something related to their health, be sure to bring them into your veterinarian. At Cherrelyn Animal Hospital, we will be more than happy to take a look and give you the tips you need to keep your pup on the right track. Give us a call today at (303) 532-1258!

How to Use Positive Reinforcement To Train Your Dog

How to Use Positive Reinforcement To Train Your Dog

Positive reinforcement is a great method to manipulate the kind of behavior you expect from someone and it can be especially useful when training your dog. The idea of positive reinforcement means rewarding the behaviors that you like while ignoring the behaviors you do not like. There are various tactics to use such as praise, life rewards which include games, walks, and/or car rides, and also treats to rewards your dog’s good behavior. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that come with training your dog with positive reinforcement. 

Gets Everyone Involved

By implementing positive reinforcement, it allows the entire family to get involved in training the dog. You will not have to speak in a strong tone, use any strength, or put yourself or another family member in danger. For example, it may be a little dangerous to allow a child to use certain methods of dog training like leash corrections and other forms of punishment. So, with positive reinforcement, you can give your child a handful of dog treats while teaching them the commands you are using allowing them to train your dog the same way you do, while under your supervision.

Establishes Communication

Positive reinforcement also allows you to communicate with your dog. You simply decide what it is that you want your dog to do and then let them know by offering rewards when they do that desired action. As you continue to reward them for doing things correctly, they will be more likely to repeat these good behaviors. Using punishment is not always as clear, for example, when you punish a dog for housebreaking accidents. Say, you catch your dog urinating on the carpet and you scold them or even resort to smacking them with a rolled-up newspaper. Your intention is to let them know that it is not acceptable to eliminate in the house, however, your dog might interpret it as that they should not eliminate when you are around. This kind of confusion can be avoided through positive reinforcement. Using this same example, the goal is to teach your dog to eliminate outside rather than inside the house. So, rather than punishing them, you would just reward the behavior you are seeking which is using the bathroom outside. So, every time your dog eliminates outside, you would shower them with praise and treats.

You Can Use It For Various Behaviors

Training methods like leash corrections or other forms of punishment may not be effective for every dog. In fact, sometimes, the punishment can only make the behavior problem worse. Aggressive dogs are a great example of this because, in the face of punishment, they tend to become even more aggressive. Similarly, fearful dogs might not respond well to even the slightest punishment as they may become even more fearful when you use it as a training method. Clicker trainers, however, have noticed greater success through positive reinforcement when it came to training aggressive and fearful dogs.

Keeps It Fun

If you are someone who keeps training sessions short and upbeat, positive reinforcement training can keep things fun for you and your dog. Once your dog realizes that training will lead to a lot of good things for them, they will start to view them as playtime and will simply offer good behavior in hopes of getting the rewards.

If you are looking for additional ways to best train your dog or any pet, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258.