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Cute Pet Pictures

 

We have the cutest clients! Every day our sitters send tons of pictures and video of their furry friends to their parents while they are away. We like to share these on social media and here on our website (with client permission of course). We love showing off our friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See WAY MORE Cute Pet Pictures (we had too many for this page)

How to Prevent Hairballs in Cats

 

If you’ve owned a cat for any amount of time then you’ve probably had the awful experience of hairballs. There is no denying that they are pretty gross, a little troubling and also, totally natural for cats.

What causes them?

hairballsCats have tongues that are full of tiny hook-like growths, that’s why they feel rough when they like you. This tiny hooks are not much unlike soft fingernails because they are both made of keratin. When grooming, these hooks catch loose and dead fur which is then swallowed. Most of it passes through the digestive system without a problem.

However, some of the hair will build up in their stomachs. When too much fur has accumulated, your cat will often start to wretch and gag, eventually vomiting up the hairball. Since it has to pass through the esophagus, it usually doesn’t actually look like a “ball.”

They may also act lethargic, have a decreased appetite as well as constipation or diarrhea. Usually once they pass the hairball they are fine. But if you feel that something is wrong, do not hesitate to contact your vet.

Five ways you can help your cat at home:

  1. Grooming is a key to eliminating the dead hair that builds up in their coats. When you remove it, they can’t swallow it. If they seem to have a lot of hairballs, try adding a dab of Alberto VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing to you the brush to help the coat.
  2. Adding oily fish to their diet also helps. A can of sardines or a tuna canned in oil about once a month can aid in lubricating their digestive system.
  3. Mix in a tablespoon or two of canned pumpkin to their food every day. Just make sure to get pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
  4. Another add in on their food is oil. Mix in a tablespoon about once a week of olive oil or corn oil to keep the hairballs moving through.
  5. Get hairball formulated cat food. This brand of food can help fight against shedding and aid in digestion. This type of food is oil based and is high in fiber, helping hairballs not form in the first place.

 

Depending on your cat’s coat and age, you may see more or less frequent hairballs. But if you ever think that they are having too many or strange looking hairballs, make sure to contact your vet about your concerns.

5 Questions to Ask Your Vet at Your Next Visit

5 Questions to Ask Your Vet at Your Next Visit

5 Questions to Ask Your Vet at Your Next Visit

 

When you’re getting ready for your yearly physical, you probably have a few questions prepared for your doctor. And it’s smart to have them prepared ahead of time. Because if you’re like me, by time you’re in the back room, chances are you’ll forget to ask at least one thing you were concerned about.

The same should go for your pet at their regular wellness checks as well. There are just as many, if not more distractions at the vet. Sometimes that leaves you floundering for words and just hoping to get out unscathed.

Having a few good questions jotted down for easy reference will go a long way in making you get the most out of your pet’s vet visit.

1. Is my pet overweight?

Being on top of your pet’s weight is important. According to the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention, more than half of the dogs and cats are overweight in the U.S. Even though we are almost conditioned to think “a fat pet is a happy pet,” that’s not true. Obesity sets them up for a whole slew of complications such as, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and more.

2. What is the best food for my pet?

This question almost goes hand in hand with the weight question, but it is still beneficial for average weight pets as well. Not all pet food is created equal and some foods have fatty fillers and sub-par ingredients. Tell your vet what food you regularly feed your pet. Also, as they age dietary needs can change. Ask them what they feel is an appropriate diet for them considering their age and weight.

3. Do you have any recommendations for flea/tick meds?

Flea and ticks are not just a problem for the spring and summer. They can actually be a threat all year round. More than just a nuisance, they can transmit deadly diseases too. Depending on the time of year and your pet’s health in general, your vet may have a better way of protecting your pet.

4.Does my pet need a dental cleaning?

Often forgotten, but still very important is dental health. Recent surveys state that an estimated 80% of adult dogs and 70% of adult cats suffer from a least some degree of periodontal disease. If dental hygiene is ignored too long, it can result serious health issues with the liver, kidney, heart. Your vet should have some easy and painless ways to help.

5. Is this normal?

This is the general behavior or health question to ask your vet. It’s whatever may concern you about your pet. Like do they have a quirky behavior, a weird eating/sleeping habit? Or you may be worried about lumps or bumps on their skin. Reserve this question to fit what concerns you about your pet specifically.


A little bit of planning goes a long way in making sure you get all the answers you need. Doctors and vet visits are stressful enough as it is, no need to add stress to it by being unprepared.

Do you have any additional questions you like to ask your vet? Let us know in the comments!

5 Tips to Picking a Veterinarian You Love!

 

Adding a new pet to your family is very exciting. It’s important to find a good vet and start their care as soon as possible. But it is likely that you feel a little overwhelmed when you see the long list of vets in the directory. It’s not too hard to narrow down the search if you know what to consider when choosing a vet.

1. What kind of accreditation do they have?

The best veterinary hospitals are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). They regularly evaluate the practices on about 900 different standards of excellence, which means the level of care is the best in the industry. Visit their website to find an AAHA accredited vet near you.

Many clinics are also starting to offer a Fear Free certification. This is a course that teaches veterinarians to work with animals in such a way as to minimize the fear and stress involve in a vet visit. Find a Fear Free certified veterinarian near you.

2. How convenient are their hours and location?

There’s no doubt that we are busy people. That is why it is important to have a veterinarian office that is located near your home or on your daily commute. Moreover, make sure that they have the hours that fit your daily schedule. If you work long days, find a location with evening or weekend hours.

3. What type of emergency care do they offer?

Accidents and sickness happens. We can’t plan for them and unfortunately they also can happen at all hours of the night. Make sure to have a plan in place for emergency care. If the vet you choose has AAHA accreditation, there is a good chance they have 24 hour emergency services.

4. Do they in house medical equipment and lab testing?

The best offices have in house testing and equipment. If your pet needs lab work or x-rays, the results will be faster; meaning you will know what is wrong and how to treat it as soon as possible.

5. Are there good online reviews and testimonials?

Nothing beats a face to face encounter to tell how much (or how little) you are going to like any particular office. However, in the great day and age of the internet, we have sites like Yelp.com that help shine the light behind the doors. Read reviews on community sites as well as testimonials on their website as well. This will help you get an idea if the practice is a good fit for you family.

 

After you’ve picked a vet, go for a regular check to assess the level of care. If they are a perfect, then great! If not, try again until you find the one that is just right for you.

Do you have any recommendations for veterinarian offices in the Fort Collins or Loveland area? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!

How to Pick a Cat

Getting a cat can be an exciting and intimidating experience, but with some guidance and tips the process can be easy and rewarding. There are a few key factors that will help you choose a new pet, such as age, and personality.

  • Age can be a huge factor.

There are benefits to adopting a kitten or an adult cat.

Kittens are a great addition to a family with children or dogs. Younger kitties are more accepting of new circumstances and easier to adapt. However, many kittens at the time of adoption (usually 8-10 weeks old) have not fully grown into their personality. Any feline you adopt from a shelter at this age should already be fixed and have gotten their first few vaccinations. Yet, they will still need their rabies vaccination and other vaccinations. These can added to the upfront medical cost of the kitten.

One benefit to older cats is that their personality is fully developed. Additionally, adult felines are usually already fixed. Plus up to date on all of their vaccinations for the year. Senior cats are a good addition to many families; most seniors are calm and just want to spend their golden years giving you their affection.

  • Choosing the personality is very important.

Just like humans, cats can have many personalities.

What temperament you choose depends on what type of companion you are looking for. Do you want a cat that will play with you? A cat who loves to sit in your lap? Or a cat who is independent? Shelter staff should be able to tell you more about a cat’s personality.

If you are looking for a playful cat, look for cats who come to the front of their cage to greet you and are interested in toys. For a lap companion look for those who seem to enjoy being rubbed. For a calmer, independent cat look for a cat who seems relaxed.

Some felines do not show their true personality in a shelter setting (being in a shelter is pretty stressful), so it is helpful to spend the most amount of time with them as possible. If they were in foster care, you may be able to talk to the foster family about their behavior in home setting. How a cat acts in a shelter is a good preview of how the cat will act at home.

Adopting a new feline family member is a huge decision, but with these tips and the help of shelter staff, you should be able to pick out the perfect best friend.

How do I Know if my Pet is Overheating?

How do I Know if my Pet is Overheating?

How do I Know if my Pet is Overheating?

 

As we prepare for the start of school it easy to think that summer is almost, but the hot weather still pounds down and the heatstroke is still very real.

So, how do you know if your pet is overheating? And even more importantly what do you do if it’s happening to your pet.

How do I spot overheating in my pet? 

  • Constant panting
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty walking, weakness or wobbliness
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Collapse
  • Bright red, grey, bluish or purple gums
  • Seizures

 

What do I do if I realize that my pet is suffering from heatstroke?

  • Remove them from heat immediately, but be careful not to over cool your dog too quickly.  
  • Lay them on a cool surface, like a tile floor in an air conditioned room.
  • Use cold compresses on their neck, armpits, and groin areas.
  • Gently wet their paws and ears with a sponge or washcloth
  • Take their rectal temperature to give to the vet
  • Get your pet to ANY vet ASAP. Call your vet on the way, but at this moment the closest vet is the best vet.
  • If you are not at home alone, have one person find the closest vet near by while you do the above subtle cooling techniques.
  • Call your vet and let them know of the situation in case you need a follow up appointment.

Things you want to make sure NOT to do:

Do not use cold water or ice, over cooling can cause blood vessels to constrict which traps the excess heat in the body’s core and can end up doing more harm than good.

Do not force your dog to drink, give them a fresh bowl of water, but do not force it if they are not interested.

Do not leave them unattended or let them “sleep it off.” Similar to any other trauma, letting them sleep it off or giving the time to relax alone can be detrimental. They can easily end up worse off in this situation.

 

The dog days of summer may be upon on us, but it doesn’t mean that we have to suffer with over heating. Check back next week to find out how to keep your Fort Collins pet safe in the sun!

What are the Best Pet Sitting Options for My Older Cat?

Leaving our pets at home can add stress to any trip, but when your older cat is the one being left at home, it can make it all the more stressful. Luckily, there are a few good pet sitting options for your older cat.

Let’s take a look at a few of these options:

  • Hire a pet sitter

This is by far the best option, but sometimes people tend to think it is too expensive. But making sure your cat has the best care while being in the comfort of home is worth it. Older cats don’t like to be taken away from their comfort zone, so bringing the caretaker to them is a great option.

  • Board them at the vet

Boarding is also good for a cat that doesn’t mind being away from home. It can be hard for cats to adapt to the sterilized, yet loving environment; but it doesn’t mean it’s not a good option. Older cats sometimes have medical conditions that can be best left attended to a veterinarian while you are away.

  • Have a dependable friend/family watch them

This is often popular decision because it’s pretty inexpensive. This can work when you have a really close friend care for them as one of their own. The problem with this option is that sometimes is when an emergency happens. If they have a flat tire, accident or aother situation, your pet may take a back seat to their situation. Pet sitters and boarding facilities have systems in place to ensure that your pet has care, no matter what emergencies arise.

As you can see, there are a lot of different pet sitting options all with their own respective pro’s and con’s. It will always come down to your specific situation, but we are always here to help!

If you’re looking for a pet sitter don’t hesitate to give us a call and set up an appointment! 

 

 

Fun Things to Do with Your Cat on a Nice Day

Flowers are popping up, the life and fragrances of spring are all around us. The sun practically begs you to get outside and play. It’s easy to get your dog out to the park for some fun in the sun, but what about the poor kitty stuck inside watching sunny days pass from their perch? Animals love to be outside, it’s in their nature, but if your cat is indoor only they don’t get as much or any time to enjoy it.

That doesn’t always have to be the case. If you think your feline fur baby is feeling left out, there are some great fun and safe outdoor activities you can enjoy with your cat on a nice day.

Visit the vet for a check up

Update shots if needed and talk to them about flea, tick and mosquito treatments along with any other health risks. Let them know your plans and ask for any special vet tips they may have up their sleeve.

Stock up on supplies

Cats are creatures of comfort any way you slice it. They are also a flight risk when outside, so make sure to get a nice harness and leash. Bring a bag full of treats, water, travel bowls, disposable litter box and anything else you think would help them enjoy the day. Also, make sure they have an updated tag and new collar if the old one was worn.

Leash training basics

A few weeks before your outdoor adventure get your cat used to the leash and harness or walking jacket. Leave it out around the house, play with it and give them treats when you try to slip it on so they think of it in a positive way. Also, never hook a leash just to a collar, cats need a harness or jacket to keep their neck safe and avoid them slipping out. Once they are used to it, start to take him or her around the yard or on the patio; somewhere quiet and close to home. 

Now your cat is ready to spend some time outside with you on a nice day, but what should you do?

  • Take them for a walk – even if they don’t like walking with the harness, they would probably love being strolled around like the diva baby they are.
  • Pet Festivals or Stores – Many stores and pet advocacy groups hold spring festivals that would be perfect to bring your favorite feline.
  • Day Trip – Take them to the beach, the park or even hiking. Whether they are on a leash and harness or in a stroller, taking in the fresh air and wildlife is always great.

No matter what you choose, just make sure you stay with your cat at all times. Watch for dehydration if it gets warm during the day or if you’re on a long walk. You know your cat better than anyone, if she seems stressed out then it may be time to call it a day and try something less adventurous next time. But I bet sooner or later they will learn to love their new outdoor side of life.  

What are some fun things you do with your cat on a nice day? Sound off below and let us know!

 

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Cats

Is your kitty your Valentine this year? What do you get him or her? Cats generally don’t like chocolate or roses, but these gifts are sure to win your cat’s heart over. Here are some great Valentine’s Day gifts for cats.

Catnip 

Most kitties love catnip! Catnip can be a great Valentine’s Day gift for cats. For a gift sure to please buy or make your kitty a catnip toy. Making a catnip toy at home is easy.

Catnip sock toy:

  1. Start with a children’s or small sock, catnip and a needle and thread
  2. Fill the sock with catnip
  3. Sew the top of the sock closed with the needle and thread
  4. Give the sock to your kitty

Another great catnip gift is fresh catnip. You can find fresh catnip at pet stores or grow it from seeds.

Treats 

Treats are awesome Valentine’s Day gifts for cats. A cool new treat is flaked tuna. These are thin flakes of freeze dried tuna that can be fed as treats or as a topping for food. For some homemade treat ideas, check out our previous blog posts on Valentine’s Day treats for cats.

Collars 

A new collar is a fun Valentine’s Day gift for cats. Many cats will love a collar with hearts on it (and maybe a bell). Be sure to fit the collar correctly to keep your cat safe.

Furniture 

A cat tree is a sure win for Valentine’s Day gifts for cats. For a new cat tree check out your local petstore. For a smaller gift try a new cat bed or scratching post. Want to make a homemade cat bed? Take a small box and decorate it, with lots of hearts using construction paper and child-safe markers. Place a pillow in the box and you have a wonderful DIY cat bed.

Valentine’s Day can be a great holiday to share with your cat. These Valentine’s Day gifts for cats are sure to make your cat’s day.

Clicker Training Tips

There are many different positive reinforcement training methods available to both cat and dog owners. One of my favorite methods is clicker training, it is a good way to quickly train your pet with less treats than traditional training.

Clicker training is used by thousands of animal trainers to teach all types of animals. It can be used to teach dogs obedience, leash manners, agility and many other things. It can also be used to teach tricks and other positive behaviors to cats.

What is clicker training?

Clicker training is using a sound (generally a clicker) to positively reinforce your pet for a behavior he or she is doing. In clicker training, a click is used every time a good behavior happens and treats are given later (which means fewer treats).

 

Why should I clicker train my pet? 

Clicker training has a couple of cool benefits. Clicker training allows you to reward positive behavior more quickly than giving your pet a treat. Depending on your reaction time, you could be clicking 10-15 seconds after your pet does the positive behavior. Giving a treat to your pet generally takes a longer time, which may cause your pet to forget the positive behavior he or she did. This helps your pet learn what the behavior you want to see, and learn it more quickly.

Because you click for each behavior rather than give your pet a treat, you feed less treats per training session. This is really helpful if you are working with an overweight pet or do not want your pet to gain weight.

 

How do I get started clicker training? 

Clicker training is all about associating a sound with a reward, so start by picking a sound. Pick a sound that is easy to make and distinct (will not be heard outside of training). For example, it is not recommended you use a clap because your pet will hear clapping outside of the training session and may get confused. This is the reason many people use the clicker. It is a very distinct sound, and it may be quicker to make than any sound you can make on your own. Clickers are easy to find at pet stores and generally cost around $2.

 

Next get started with your first sessions of training. These sessions will be very treat heavy, so pick a treat that your dog likes. Because clicker training is all about associating a sound with a reward (like a treat) you will be clicking and giving your dog a treat per click. Start by getting your dog’s attention, and simply clicking the clicker. After each click, quickly give your dog a treat. Do this for a few 5-10 minute sessions. After a few sessions, start mixing in simple behaviors with clicking. For example, have your dog sit, then click and treat. Do this for a few sessions and slowly wean down to only treating for every 10 clicks. Be sure to give your pet some treats after each session to tell him that he did a good job.

Next move on to the first behavior you want to teach, do so slowly. Because your dog is new to training, still give treats pretty frequently during the sessions. If you are teaching a complicated behavior, like how to walk nicely on a leash, use multiple steps to teach this. For simple behaviors you can use one step. An example I am going to use is teaching a pet how to come. Have someone hold your pet at the other end of the room and use your come signal. Only when your pet comes to you, give a click and give a treat. Repeat this behavior, give a click and treat the second and third times. The next time your pet comes, give only a click. Repeat this for the remainder of your session, mixing in a few treats with clicks. At the end of the session give your pet treats to tell him he did a good job. At each training session, reduce the amount of treats given during the session to only treating at the end. Do this until your pet masters the behavior.

 

Clicker training is a great way to teach pets positive behaviors. Be sure to use treats your pet likes and keep training sessions short for success!