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!

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!

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!

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!

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!