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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

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.

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

 

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!

Anesthesia Free Dental Cleaning – Advice from Wet Noses Pet Sitting

 

You may have heard about a new service being offered to pets- anesthesia free dental cleanings. It is being advertised as a cheaper and safer option to anesthetize cleanings offered from a veterinarian. But is it really safer and worth the money?

Traditional dental cleaning for you dog is similar to what people get done a few times per year. Teeth are scaled and polished, including under the gums, and infected or injured teeth are removed. This is done while the dog is sedated to allow for a more thorough cleaning. It is also less stress for the animal and safety for the vet. These cleanings are done under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian who knows what to do if something goes wrong.

The difference in anesthesia free dental cleaning:

Anesthesia free dental cleanings try to offer a similar service, but with key major differences.

  • Instead of the animal being sedated, the animal is simply restrained. In some cases given a light natural sedative. This is similar to taking your toddler to the dentist and holding him down so that the dentist can clean his teeth. This is really scary and stressful to your pet because they have no idea what is going on. Many pet owners choose anesthesia free dental cleaning because they feel that their animal is too sick or old to get put under, however simply restraining the pet is more stressful and potentially more harmful.
  • Another major issue is that the cleaning is not as thorough. Because the pet is awake, the cleaner cannot reach all the portions of the mouth to do a thorough exam or clean in the back of the mouth or below the gum line. These are the important parts of the teeth to clean since we as pet owners cannot brush them.
  • The third red flag is that the people who preform it are frequently not licensed veterinarians or even vet technicians. This means that if anything goes wrong medically during the procedure, the person preforming it may have no idea what to do or how to save your pet.

dental cleaning

Overall, this procedure is a step in the right direction. It’s important be more aware about pet dental health. However, I feel that the risks of the procedure and the stress it would put on my animals is too great. If you are interested in pursuing the anesthesia free dental cleaning option I encourage you to talk to your vet. Ask them about details to see if your pet is healthy enough or needs the procedure.

Top 3 Benefits of Walking with Your Dog

 

It’s no secret that we love dog walking, but it’s also great for you to hit the pavement with your pup as well. Both you and your dog will benefit from frequent walks. Here are the top 3 benefits you can reap by walking with your four-legged friend.

1.) Helps with weight control

Physical activity plays a role in keeping excess weight off. Routinely walking with you pet will not only keep them from getting wider, you’ll notice that you are also keep off unwanted weight. Plus, it improves your mood which make you less likely to stress eat and you’ll have more energy to fix healthy food.

 

2.) Deepens your bond

Our days are busy and they fly by at a record pace. It’s easy to get caught up in daily schedules and forget to spend quality time with your pet. But, when you do take the time out to spend with your dog, you will grow closer. This time is extremely important to your dog’s behavioral development and will provide the foundation for a trusting relationship.

3.) Stronger physical and mental health

Both humans and dogs alike have several health issues that benefit from regular exercise. Plus, the extra activity is great for overcoming  boredom. You’ll start to see improved behaviors around the house because they won’t be as bored or have as much pent up energy.

 

Of course, we love being able to walk your dog while you’re not around, but it’s never too late for you to start walking too. Start out slow and work your way up to longer and longer walks. And make sure to check out these tips for finding the best collar and leash for you and your dog. Soon you’ll feel and see all of the benefits of the new routine.

 

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?

 

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!

How to Teach Your Dog to Cross the Street

 

It’s summer time and most of us are out and about, enjoying the nice weather. Even if you’re not big on the outdoors, it’s easy to still find yourself walking your dog through the neighborhood more now than ever. But making sure your dog is safe while walking around busy streets is imperative. So, just how do you ensure your dog’s safety and enjoy a nice sunny day where you have to cross the street a time or two?

  • The best method is to teach them to sit before crossing a road

The most effective way is to start training before they are 16 weeks of age. Although, you can train them at any time, but earlier is always better. Take them for walks and cross the street while implementing sit commands and giving treats. This will give them positive reinforcement for stopping and sitting before they cross the road.

  • The next best is to teach them to go “down” when you command if you see a car coming

If the sit command isn’t going so well, you can try and teach them to stop and lay down whenever you see a car coming. Telling them to go down will help avoid them running out into traffic after a squirrel or whatever it is that has his attention.

With both of these techniques it’s good to practice at home and out on the road when it is safe. Using treats and praise will go along way in likelihood of them following the commands when needed most.

 

Also, make sure to check out this video from eHow.com on how to cross the street safely.

As pet parents we all want to protect our dogs as much as possible and when you have a spirited pup on your hands, that can be kind of difficult. However, you can teach them a few commands that can help keep them safe when you have to cross the street.

All of our dog walkers are trained in how to safely cross the street with pets, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to help show you a few tips.