How to Keep Your Pet Safe Around Wildlife

Here in Colorado, we all know that we're lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world with nature at our doorsteps. However, having nature so nearby also means that wildlife and potential dangers are close, too. As a result, it's necessary for pet owners to take some precautions to keep their pets safe from wild animals in our area

How to Keep Your Pet Safe Around Wildlife

Here in Colorado, we all know that we’re lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world with nature at our doorsteps. However, having nature so nearby also means that wildlife and potential dangers are close, too. As a result, it’s necessary for pet owners to take some precautions to keep their pets safe from wild animals in our area.

8 Tips for Protecting Pets from Wildlife

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1. Vaccines

Keep your pet’s vaccines current. Vaccines protect pets from diseases that wildlife spread like rabies and leptospirosis.

2. Minimize Risk

Garbage bins, food and water bowls, and pet waste all attract wildlife to your yard. Keep stinky skunks, hungry bears, and other predators at bay by eliminating these attractants.

3. Don't Leave Pets Unattended

If you live in an area where wildlife roams free, don’t leave your pets unattended. They could become a coyote’s, mountain lion’s, or even an eagle’s prey. (Especially true for small dogs and cats.)

4. Use Your Pet's Leash

When hiking or camping with your pet, be sure to use a leash — especially if your pet has a strong scent or prey drive. Without a leash, your pet could be walking beside you on the trail one moment, and sprinting off in pursuit of a small critter the next.

5. Consider Rattlesnake Avoidance Training

This special training helps teach dogs to avoid snakes by training them not to dig or stick their noses into the kinds of places where dangerous rattlesnakes like to sleep.

6. Avoid High-Risk Times and Areas

Predatory wildlife is most active at dusk and dawn. It’s safest to keep your pets indoors or close by during these times of the day.
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7. Prevent Parasites

When you think of wildlife, you probably don’t think about fleas and ticks, but where wildlife roam, these parasites also run rampant. Avoid brushy areas and protect your pet with parasite preventatives.

8. Be Prepared

When you’re out for a walk or in nature for a hike, be prepared to defend yourself against an unexpected attack from an aggressive dog or a wild animal. Be sure to carry bear spray at all times and make plenty of noise while you walk so that you avoid surprising any bears that might be just around the corner on a trail.
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Update Vaccines and Parasite Prevention

Before you go exploring with your pet, schedule an appointment at Compassion Animal Hospital in Woodland Park. We’ll update your pet’s vaccines and recommend a thorough parasite prevention routine to keep your pet safe in the great outdoors.

It’s National Pet Dental Awareness Month: Why Does Your Pet Need Dental Care?

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It's National Pet Dental Awareness Month: Why Does Your Pet Need Dental Care?

We know that we have to care for our own teeth or face major health problems. Many of us, however, don’t realize that our pets’ teeth require the same level of care. February is National Pet Dental Month, and Compassion Animal Hospital is celebrating by spreading awareness about the importance of caring for your pet’s teeth.

Why Is Dental Care Important for Pets?

Dogs and cats are at risk of dental disease just like people. In fact, by the time dogs and cats are three years old, they’re highly likely to have already developed some form of gum disease.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a bacterial infection of the gums that occurs when plaque hardens, turns into tartar, and accumulates along the surface of the teeth. This buildup creates pockets where harmful bacteria thrive.
Periodontal disease causes persistent bad breath and painful, red, swollen, receding, and bleeding gums in addition to eventual tooth loss. Left untreated, the bacteria from a gum infection can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, causing organ damage and eventually leading to premature death.

How to Care for Your Pet's Teeth

Pets with the healthiest teeth and gums have a combination of at-home and professional dental care.
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At-Home Pet Dental Care

We strongly encourage pet owners to brush their pets’ teeth using special pet-friendly toothbrushes and toothpaste. If your pet simply won’t tolerate brushing, we recommend trying dental wipes that’ll help you remove some of the plaque from your pet’s teeth.
You can also provide your pet with daily dental treats, chew toys designed to promote dental health, and a dental-friendly diet.

Professional Pet Dental Appointments

While every wellness exam includes a quick look at your pet’s teeth and gums, regular pet dental appointments are essential to maintaining their oral health. During a pet dental appointment, our veterinarian will scale and polish your pet’s teeth, removing all plaque and tartar buildup. We’ll then perform a thorough examination and might also take a set of dental x-rays to determine whether there are any problems occurring below the gum line or inside the patient’s teeth.
Pet dental exams are similar to human dental appointments – except that they occur with a pet under general anesthesia for their safety and comfort. To learn more about the importance of dental care for pets or to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, contact Compassion Animal Hospital today.

Kennel Cough in Dogs: What Is it and How Do Dogs Get It?

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If your dog enjoys playing with other dogs or spends time at the dog park, in boarding facilities, in group training classes, or any place that other dogs frequent, then he is at risk of contracting kennel cough. Read on to learn everything you should know about kennel cough, like how it spreads and how to protect your dog.

What Is Kennel Cough and How Do Dogs Get It?

Kennel cough (also referred to as canine infectious tracheobronchitis or bordetella) is a type of respiratory infection that affects dogs. Kennel cough causes inflammation in an infected dog’s throat and lungs.
A wide range of viruses and bacteria can lead to kennel cough, but most commonly the bordetella bacterium is responsible. This highly contagious disease easily spreads through respiratory droplets in the air, direct contact between dogs, and via contaminated services like shared water and food bowls or toys.
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Signs and Symptoms of Kennel Cough

The most common sign of kennel cough is, as you might have suspected, a cough. The cough associated with this disease has particular characteristics. It sounds a little like honking. It might sound as if your dog is trying to hack up something that’s caught in his throat.
In addition, your dog might have the following signs and symptoms:

Is Kennel Cough Dangerous for Dogs?

While kennel cough can be quite serious for puppies and dogs with other health conditions, it’s fairly easy to treat in adult dogs. The coughing and early signs of kennel cough, however, can also indicate more serious diseases such as canine influenza or canine distemper. These should be treated as soon as possible. For this reason, it’s essential to schedule a veterinary appointment and get an accurate diagnosis right away if your dog has a cough.
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Kennel Cough Treatment and Prevention with Our Woodland Park Veterinarian

As prevention is always the best medicine, we strongly encourage dog owners to vaccinate their puppies and dogs against the Bordetella bacterium to prevent the most common causes of kennel cough – especially if the pet will be spending time in public places, around other dogs, or in boarding facilities. However, our Woodland Park veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital is fully equipped with in-house diagnostics and a range of treatments and therapies to help our canine patients stay strong while fighting and recovering from kennel cough.

Could Your Pet Be in Pain?

Animal Pain

Learn to Recognize the Signs During Animal Pain Awareness Month

During September, Compassion Animal Hospital recognizes Animal Pain Awareness Month by teaching pet parents how to recognize signs of pain in cats and dogs. Recognizing when a pet is in pain can be extremely difficult. In the wild, predators choose to target animals that appear sick or weak. Our pets evolved to instinctively mask signs of illness and injury, including pain. Although it’s difficult to spot, you can learn to detect subtle signs.

Learn to Recognize Pain in Your Pet

Signs of Pain in Cats & Dogs

Pain in Your Pet
Pain Unique to Cats

Signs of Pain Unique to Cats

Signs of Pain Unique to Dogs

Pain Unique to Dogs
Health Screening for Your Woodland Park Pet

Schedule a Preventative Care Appointment and Health Screening for Your Woodland Park Pet

The best way to deal with pain in pets is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. With a strong focus on wellness and preventative care, our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital recommends scheduling pets for regular checkups. This will help us detect signs of illness, age-related disease, or other health problems and begin treatment before they progress far enough to cause your pet any pain. If your pet already has an acute or chronic condition, we’ll work with you to establish a safe and effective pain management plan. To learn more, contact our Woodland Park veterinarian today.