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!

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!

Cold Weather Safety Tips For Dogs

Throughout all the seasons, our dogs need love, support, protection, and care and, in the winter, when the weather is cold, they need extra help to stay warm.  What is a normal activity in the warmer months, can be devastating to your pet during the winter. Some of the dangers associated with dogs during winter range from ingesting anti-freeze to hypothermia that can lead to sickness and even death.  Here are a few tips that will keep your dog safe, warm and comfortable this winter.

Keep Your Pup Warm 

The first most important step to keeping your dog safe in winter is, of course, keeping them warm.  During winter, dogs are at risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Keep them warm by leaving them home rather than taking them out and leaving them in a car.  Your car acts as a refrigerator during winter and you don’t want your dog exposed to this cold that could get them sick. 

You’re still going to want to walk your dog during the winter but when it’s especially cold out, keep younger, older, and sick pets indoors.  If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for them too. Cute coats and dog boots are to help healthy, adult dogs stay warm in winter. You may want to invest in a cute dog coat or sweater to outfit your dog when you take them on a walk.  

On your walks, make sure your dog wears something reflective.  Because it gets darker earlier in winter, reflective gear will help your dog stay seen during your walk.  This might include wearing a reflector in their clothing, a reflecting leash, or a reflecting collar. You want to make sure your pets can be seen while walking on the street, protected from passing cars.  Avoid ice on your walks as well. Frozen lakes and ponds are dangerous because if the ice breaks, your pet could accidentally fall in.  

Protect Your Dog From Dangerous Situations

More pets become lost during the winter because snowfalls can disguise recognizable scents that normally help them find their way home.  Prevent your dogs from becoming lost by keeping them leashed on walks and just in case, make sure their collars have up-to-date contact information.  

When you finish your walk, wipe your dog’s paws.  Your dog’s paws can pick up all kinds of toxic chemicals like rock salt, antifreeze, and de-icers.  Wipe off their paws when you return home to prevent them from licking their paws and becoming sick. Also, purchase pet-safe de-icers for your home.  It goes without saying that your dog may or may not eat these de-icers so it’s best to have a pet-safe one.  

Remember to check your dog’s paws for bleeding and cracks.  This is a sign that they are damaging their paws while out walking and you’ll want to know why and if you need to take a break for a day or so until their paws heal.  Avoid spills of antifreeze as antifreeze attracts dogs and cats because it is very sweet to taste. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous and if a dog ingests it, this can lead to serious illness and even death.  

Blizzards can sometimes bring extreme cold that can cause power outages.  Make sure to have an emergency plan that includes your pets. Have an emergency kit with enough food, water, and medication to last your pets at least five days.  By thinking ahead, you are more likely to keep your pet safe.  While wintertime can be fun with snowfall walks, we want you to keep these safety tips in mind to protect your beloved pet.  Call Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258 with any of your pet health needs.