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Fort Collins Shelters in Need – Ways to Help Your Local Shelters

Our local shelters do so much for our community. They take in pets without homes and help them find families to call their own. Without them, the streets would be overcrowded with strays. However, it truly is a labor of love. Often these shelters operate on a shoestring budget and rely on volunteers and donations. Thankfully, there are some things that we can do to help.

 

Ways to Help Your Local Shelters:

  • Be a Photographer

You can be a professional or amateur photographer, either way, you can be a great asset to your local shelter. Getting great photos of the animals can help immensely when trying to find them a home. You can also hold a workshop to teach shelter workers how to take the best photos so they can keep up the good work.

  • Help with Transportation

Since a lot of people “shop” shelter animals online they don’t always live close by. Sometimes a foster or adoptive home may be an hour or two away. You can volunteer to shuttle dogs to their home and get a fido fun-filled road trip at the same time. Plus, you get to be an integral part of helping them get out of the shelter and into a home.

  • Donate Items

If you’re cleaning out your closets don’t forget about your local shelter for donations. They are always in need. Even if you don’t have gently-used pet beds or leashes, you can donate towels and sheets. They are used for comfort, bedding and also privacy curtains in the shelter.

  • Share Your Computer Skills

Are you good at graphic design, writing or social media marketing? Chances are your shelter could benefit from your skills. Most shelters need these things, but they are often out on the back burner for more pressing operations.

  • Check Affiliate Sales

Some places, like Amazon Smile, allow you to donate a percentage of your purchases to the charity of your choice. Check with your local shelter and see if they have programs like this.

 

You don’t have to just write a check to help shelters in need. Consider your skills or surplus in the home and you’re sure to find some way to help out. Then contact your local shelters and see what their needs are to get started.

 

Shelters in Fort Collins are always in need:

 

2200 N Taft Hill Road Fort Collins, CO 80524
Ph: (970) 224-DOGS (3647)


2321 E. Mulberry St., Units 1 & 3 Fort Collins, CO 80524

Shelter: (970) 484-8516
Clinic: (970) 484-1861

 

 

Getting a Dog – Complete Checklist for New Dog Owners

 

Bringing a new dog into the family is a very exciting time. Becoming a pet parent is rewarding, but also full of responsibility. The best way to prepare for your new dog is to have a checklist to lay the groundwork for your new addition.

 

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

Four Important Considerations:

1. Time: It is very important to think about how much time you’ll honestly be able to give your new pet.

  • At the very least dogs need to be fed 2-3 times a day and walked at least once a day.
  • Dogs with more energy may need even more time for proper exercise and stimulation.
  • Healthy pets should get at least an hour or day of direct attention, even if it’s just cuddling.
  • Don’t forget to add in time for grooming, hygiene, and appointments.

2. Costs: You want to make sure that you can always care for your vet. The best way is to create a budget for a new dog before you bring them home.

  • Does your new pet need to be spayed or neutered?
  • Is there an adoption fee that needs to be paid?
  • Monthly expenses such as food, pet sitting or new supplies
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Microchipping
  • Grooming equipment and supplies
  • Will you want to sign them up for training classes?
  • Beds and toys
  • Spare supplies

3. Age & Size: These are also two important factors in getting a new dog.

  • Puppies take far more time and training
  • Is your home accommodating to a large dog or would it be better suited for a small dog?
  • Do you have another pet to consider when deciding on what type of dog to get?
  • Can a large pet travel with you comfortably?

4. Lifestyle and relationship: Another big consideration is how your lifestyles will blend and the relationship you want to to have with your new canine companion. 

  • Are you active and want to bring your dog on hikes and camping trips?
  • Will your work and social life affect your ability to spend time and care for your pet?
  • Do you want a pet that will travel with you?
  • Do you have children that need a reliable and safe dog?
  • Is your new dog going to be your best friend or more of an independent roommate?

 

Shopping Checklist:

  • Age appropriate food
  • Water and food bowls
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • ID tags (make sure your phone number is on it)
  • Dog carrier or crate
  • Doggy shampoo and brush
  • Super absorbent paper towels
  • Various types of toys
  • Blanket
  • Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Plastic baggies for waste

 

Getting a new dog awesome. Once you have considered all the important factors and gotten their supplies, the only thing left to do is have fun with your new family member!

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

Pros and Cons of Adopting a Pet

 

At some point in all pet parent’s lives, we thought to ourselves, “I think it’s time to get a pet.” After all, that’s how we became pet parents in the first place. However, if you’re new to pet ownership, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of adopting a pet. Here are the most common benefits and drawbacks when you decide to adopt a pet.

PROS

You’re giving a pet a new lease on life. This is by far one of the best benefits of adopting a pet instead of buying from a pet store. Even if the shelters in your area are No Kill, they are still living life in a cage without a proper home. When you adopt a pet, you give them a whole new life complete with a home and family to love them.

It’s less expensive to adopt. Prue breeds and pets from the store are often come with a hefty price tag. What’s more is that a lot times you can get a bundle discount fee for neutering, microchipping and shots included with the adoption fee. All of these can be pretty pricey at the vet, but you get a better rate at the shelter. Just keep in mind that all pets come with monthly and yearly expenses for checkups, food, supplies, flea and tick prevention just to name a few.

You’ll get more exercise. This one may be true for both shelter and pet store animals, but it’s still an awesome pro. Taking your dog for walks or playing fetch gets you up off the couch and out of the house. Even with cats, you can spend time playing with wands and ribbons or catnip mice. When you adopt a pet, you adopt a new routine and that often is a more active one.

adopting

CONS

You don’t know much about their history. A lot of pets in a shelter have no real background information. They may have been left behind by a loving owner who passed away or they may have been abused and ran away. It’s hard to tell exactly what their past life was like. That can make it difficult to know if they will have behavioral or health problems down the road.

 

Their breed is often a mystery. If you’re looking for a specific type of breed, it can be hard to come by in a shelter. Most shelter pets are mixed breeds. But you could be searching for a while if you’re looking for a certain breed. What’s great is thanks to recent technology you can actually get your shelter pet DNA tested so you won’t have to guess what type of mutt they are, pretty awesome right?

 

In short, there are far more pros than cons when you’re adopting a new pet. They may make your life a little more hectic and you a little more tired, but it is well worth it. You’re not only saving a life, you’re enhancing your own. Do you have a shelter pet that you love? We’d love to hear your story and see your pictures! Comment below or visit our Facebook page and let us know all about them.

Is Easter Egg Dye Bad For My Dog?

 

Easter will be here in just a few short weeks. The stores are full of pastel candy, bunnies and Easter eggs. And if you’re dyeing eggs this year, you may be wondering if the dye is bad for your dog.  The simple answer is no, common Easter Egg dye is not bad for your dog. In fact, most dyes used for Easter eggs are non toxic.

That means, if your dog gets a hold of a rogue Easter egg one day, he should be just fine, as long as it has been cooked.  Raw eggs may contain salmonella and even though there aren’t many documented health scares connected to raw eggs, it’s always a good idea to play it safe.

 

Safe Dyes To Look For:

Dyeing kits such as PAAS are commonly found at the store and are non toxic.  However, if you are still feeling uneasy about using a store bought kit, you can use regular food coloring instead. It is safe to ingest and will color the eggs. However, some feel that food coloring or all-natural dyes don’t have the same “pop” of color that the traditional kits have. But pastels are in for Easter, so if you’re not comfortable with the kit, definitely go for the food coloring. 

 

Easter Egg Dye Watch Out For:

Ukrainian Egg Dyes or Pysanky Kits are for elaborately decorated and non-edible eggs.  These eggs are dyed raw and painted with wax and powdered dyes. So, if you do decide to decorate your eggs in this style, make sure to keep them away from your pets.

 

Easter is a time to celebrate with the family. It’s not a time to worry if your dog gets into the Easter egg basket  (as long as there’s no chocolate in there).  Eating an egg with dye on it should be no problem. As long as there are no special dietary factors that come into play that is. Now, it may change the color of their poop or even give them some gas.  But overall they will be just fine.

5 Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Pet

 

Is your pet the lucky Valentine in your life this year?  After all, they are our special friends and constant companions. So, celebrate the day with these delicious Valentine’s Day pet treats!  It’s a great way to show your precious little fur baby some extra love.

Remember to always keep your dogs away from candy, but making them there own special dog-friendly treats is a great way to include them.  Check out these easy to make recipes for your dog this year!

 


Heart Shaped Pup-cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots or chopped broccoli
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • Cream cheese as frosting
  • Strawberry (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit  and grease your cupcake pan with butter or vegetable oil
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Add the oil, peanut butter, and honey to the flour mixture
  4. Then add the buttermilk in a small amount at a time and mix
  5. Add in the carrots or broccoli
  6. Place the mixture into the cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cupcake
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 20 minutes and remove them from the pan
  8. After the cupcakes are cooled mix up your frosting

For frosting:

  1. Apply softened cream cheese to ice the cupcake
  2. Optional: cut up strawberries and mix them into the cream cheese
  3. Spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cupcakes


No- Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (make sure there are no dog toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (dog safe)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter to make a paste
  2. Add oats 1/4 a cup at a time and fully mix all the oats with the wet ingredients
  3. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and roll it into balls
  4. Place the balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour

These treats can be stored for 7-9 days if kept in the refrigerator.

 


Baked Tuna Valentine’s Day Cat Treats

These treats add a little oomph to plain canned tuna.

Ingredients:

  • Canned tuna
  • Cat-friendly garnish (like catnip or wheat grass)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  2. Mix one can of tuna and one tablespoon of garnish in a medium bowl
  3. Use a teaspoon to scoop the tuna mix onto the baking sheet
  4. Form tuna mix piles into a heart shape on the baking sheet
  5. Bake these treats for about 5 minutes or until they are warm

Feed this Valentine’s day cat treat in moderation, too many treats can give your cat a stomach ache.


Spinach and Chicken Valentine’s Day Cat Treats

Many cats crave some roughage (like spinach) in their diets, it’s the reason many cats try to eat house plants. These treats are a great way to add some variety to your cat’s diet, all in the form of a tasty treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of steamed boneless, skinless chicken thigh
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of quick cooking oats
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  2. Place the cooled chicken, spinach, oats and egg in a food processor or blender and blend until the mixture is smooth with some chunks
  3. Pour the chicken mixture into a bowl and add the flour, mixing with your hands
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut with a small heart cookie cutter OR make thumbnail sized balls and flatten them
  5. Place the shaped dough on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be cleanly removed

Be sure to completely cook the chicken before adding it to the treat mixture. Feed these treats in moderation and break larger treats into cat-sized pieces.


Cooked Salmon

Cooked salmon is great as a special Valentine’s day cat treat. Many cats love this tasty fish. Be sure to cook all salmon thoroughly (by steaming or grilling) to make it safe for your cat. For this special treat, dice a small amount of cooked salmon and feed it to your kitty in a dish.

 

Valentine’s Day can be filled with dangerous food for your pet. However, these Valentine’s day treats are sure to safely woo that special four-legged friend in your life.

 

Reduce, Reuse and Ruff-cycle

 

Today we welcome guest writer Sidehill Pet Sitter Jessica! 

As the owner of two Australian Shepherds- who are way smarter than any toy I can buy them– I have had to come up with some creative, low-cost ways to keep them entertained. I decided to ruff-cycle. All of the toy ideas in this article are things that you likely have in your home or in your recycling bin!

As with any toy, make sure to supervise your dog the whole time he has it to make sure that he does not swallow anything he should not!

If your dog is on a diet or is sensitive to treats you can use his dry kibble as treats!

  1. Towel treat hide-it

This toy involves taking a towel, laying it on the ground and placing treats under it. It helps to let your dog watch you the first few times so that he can figure it out, or use smelly treats so he can find them quickly. After your dog catches on, you can put the treats under the towel with your dog out of the room! Most dogs will start by digging or licking the top of the towel, but will soon figure out to push their nose under the towel. * Please watch your dog to make sure that he does not swallow any part of the towel.

  1. Egg carton toy

This toy involves an empty egg carton. Take the egg carton and place treats in a few of the cups, then close your egg carton all the way, or leave the carton unlatched ( slightly open). Be prepared for your dog to rip the carton apart or flip the top open with his nose. In this picture, I am using apples to make this toy for my rabbit ( who thinks he is a dog)!

  1. Paper-tube toy

This toy involves taking a paper towel or toilet paper roll and applying peanut butter or another sticky yummy food onto the inside of the roll with a knife. Your dog will try and lick the peanut butter out of the roll!

  1. Orange Juice Container puzzle-toy

This toy involves taking a cardboard drink container ( like the kind orange juice comes in) and turning it into a puzzle toy. First be sure to rinse and clean the container very well! After the container is clean, remove the plastic spout with a knife or scissors. Then cut small (1 to 2 inches) holes into the sides and bottom of the container. Stuff small and medium-sized treats (such as your dog’s kibble, cheese or hard treats) into the container. Then, cover the holes with peanut butter. The treats should be able to fit through the holes with a little bit of shaking and knocking around. You can adjust the size of your holes to make it harder or easier for your dog. Your dog will shake and lick your toy, and eventually get the treats!

Hopefully, these reused toys will bring enrichment to your dog and a lessening on your carbon footprint!

Black Friday Shopping for Your Pets

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here. Once our bellies are full, it is time to start thinking about the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. After all, it is the perfect time to find the most affordable presents for our loved ones. And we can’t forget about our furry family members this holiday season. There are a lot of great Black Friday deals just for them. We’ve compiled a great list of both online and in-store deals to help you navigate the sales.


Pet Smart

Store Hours – Offine: 7AM Friday & Online: 12AM Friday

black friday

Photo from PetSmart.com


Petco

Store Hours: TBD

Black Friday

Photo from Petco.com


Wal-Mart

Store Hours – Time varies by location

Black Friday

Photo from Walmart.com

 


Costco

Store Hours – Costco is closed on Thanksgiving Day and will open at 9 a.m. on Black Friday.

Black Friday

Photo from BestBlackFriday.com


After you know where to shop you need to find out what you want to get your best four-legged friend.

 

Here are the top 5 products that your pet is sure to love:

 

  1. The PetCube:  An interactive Wi-Fi camera that lets you watch, talk to, and play with your pets throughout the day via your smartphone.
  2. Buck Bone Organics Antler ChewsFEEL GOOD ABOUT GIVING YOUR DOG A HEALTHY ALL NATURAL TREAT – Our top Grade A Elk Antler are full of calcium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc ~ no odor, no mess, gluten-free, and great for indoors or outdoors.
  3. Puzzle Food Toys: Give your pet a meal or a treat while also giving them the added benefit of physical and mental stimulation. They are sure to love solving the “puzzle” and getting yummy treats for it.
  4. Water Fountain Bowl: Keep your pet’s water fresh with flowing right from there own bowl. The filtration and constantly running water helps guard against bacteria growth. That means your pet always gets a fresh drink of water.
  5. 2-in-1 Pet Glove: Grooming Tool + Furniture Pet Hair Remover Mitt: Fight shedding with the glove that easily removes loose pet hair and tangles so no fur goes flying. Plus the glove’s velour side effectively cleans fur from furniture & carpets.

 

With all these deals and ideas, you are sure to find the perfect present for your pet this holiday season!

 

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

 

The spookiest night of the year is almost here. It’s the time for ghouls, ghosts and candy. And while mostly it’s all in good fun, it can be a dangerous time for our pets.

Keep your pet indoors

Halloween can be an especially dangerous time for cats. Black cat, in particular, can be targeted by neighborhood kids. They can be chased, shot at with BB guns, or otherwise messed with by kids looking to get into mischief. In our home, we make sure to lock our cats indoors from late afternoon until the next morning. They don’t like it much since they are indoor/outdoor and dusk is their favorite time of day, but it’s better than taking a chance of them being hurt.

Plus, the constant ringing of the doorbell can be pretty stressful for both cats and dogs. Most of our pets are highly attuned to and affected by the sound of our doorbell ringing. They can often go bonkers at just one ring, let alone a series of rings in a short amount of time. Set your pet up in a quiet back room with a radio or TV playing softly to drown out the noise. This will help keep them safe and calm during the peak hours of trick or treating.

Hide the candy

Of course, most of us know that chocolate is toxic for dogs. But candy, in general, can cause a lot of gastrointestinal distress to our pets. Even though they don’t exactly seek out candy, dogs, in particular, will eat pretty much anything that catches their noses. That’s why it’s best to keep your Halloween candy stash out of your pet’s reach. Don’t forget to check out our post on Halloween Candy Safety for more details.

Practice decoration and costume safety

Decorations can pose threats with wires, ribbons and open flames in pumpkins. Make sure to keep an eye on your pets around any tricky decorations that could harm them. Also, if you’re going to dress up your pet it’s good to be aware of costume dangers.


Halloween is tons of fun for both children and adults, but it can be pretty confusing and a little scary for our pets. They don’t really understand what it is all about. Just think about what goes through the heads during Halloween. Why do their family members suddenly look so funny? What are all these crazy loud decorations that go “BOO!” and make creepy music when people walk by them? And why do all these strange people keep ringing the doorbell??? It’s no wonder that they need a little help staying safe during this spooky holiday.

September: Emergency Preparedness Month – Preparing with Pets

 

After seeing two extremely powerful hurricanes hit the U.S. and the raging wild fires in Oregon, it makes us all consider what we would do in a natural disaster. And it’s actually a perfect time to think about your plans since September is National Emergency Preparedness Month.

We should always be ready for whatever life throws at us, like hurricanes, droughts, fire, flood, landslides, tornadoes, terrorism, and more. There are a few things we can do that will make any disaster a little easier, especially when there are pets involved. 

Emergency Preparedness for Pets

  • Update and secure collars
  • Update microchips or have microchips implanted
  • Create a list of pet-friendly accommodations if you need to evacuate
  • Keep a recent picture of each pet
  • Make a list of emergency 24hr vets in your area
  • Have emergency food and supplies on hand
  • Have a carrier and leash for each pet
  • Coordinate with neighbors, family, friends and pet sitters in case you get stranded and your pet is home alone aloneEmergency Preparedness

Make an Emergency  Kit

It’s always important to have an emergency preparedness kit at home. Here are a few items you need to make sure to have on hand. If you’re going to be evacuated, you’ll need a 3 day supply of materials.  If you’re staying at home it’s best to plan for 2 weeks.

  • Water: One gallon, per person per day
  • Food: Stock up on at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food. Include plenty of pet food and a manual can opener. 
  • Flashlights and electric tea candles
  • First aid kit that includes pet supplies
  • Batteries, including backup batteries or chargers for phones
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Camping stove/battery powered hot plate to warm up food

There are so many things to worry about during an emergency. If you have some of your basic necessities covered, you’ll have that much more peace of mind. Plan for every member of your family, including your pets. Disasters happen fast and can hit hard. Having even the smallest plan in place will help you know how to navigate if it happens to you.

In case an emergency was to happen while a Wet Noses Pet Sitter was at your home we will do everything to keep your pet safe. We will coordinate with you and keep your pets safe until they can be reunited with you.

Celebrate Grandparents Day – With Your Pets!

 

September 10th is National Grandparents Day. And even if you don’t have human kids you can still celebrate the day with your parents. You can celebrate the day by giving them presents from their grand-pets. As family dynamics change, it’s not that unusual to have families where pets are the children. They are every bit a part of the family as anyone else, so why not include them and your parents in this special day?  Here are some great gift ideas for those special pet grandparents in your life.

 

Dog-Grandparent Mug

grandparent


Worlds Greated Dog Grandma/Grandpa

grandparent


I Love My Granddogs Throw Pillow 

 


grandparent


Paw Print Magnet

grandparents


Grandkids Have Paws Plaque

grandparents

All pet grandparents are sure to love these cute little tokens of appreciation from their grandkids with paws!  Do you plan on celebrating Grandparents Day with your parents and pets? If so, let us know what you’re planning to do or have done in the past in the comments below.