How to Care for Your Pet in the Summer Heat

How to Care for Your Pet in the Summer Heat

The heat of summer is here. While it’s a fantastic time to get outdoors with your pets for some fun in the sun, it’s also a time to be aware of your pet’s hydration and the dangers of heat exhaustion while taking steps to protect your pet from both of these health hazards.

5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Summer Heat


1. Stay Hydrated

The best way to avoid heatstroke is to keep your pets hydrated. Make sure they have access to plenty of cool, fresh water at all times. If your pet is reluctant to drink enough water, help to encourage their hydration by soaking their kibble in water before feeding time, putting ice cubes in their water, keeping their water dish clean, and/or investing in a water fountain bowl.

2. Take Shelter in the Shade

It’s hottest in the direct sunlight, so providing your pet plenty of shade in the backyard or at the dog park will help them stay cooler.

3. Never Leave Your Pet in the Car

Even on relatively cool summer days, it is too hot inside the car for your pet. On a sunny day, the temperature in the car will reach dangerous heights after just a minute or two.

4. Know the Symptoms of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is incredibly dangerous for pets. Overheating can lead to permanent organ damage and even death. Signs and symptoms include:
If you notice signs of heatstroke in your pet, seek emergency veterinary care immediately.

5. Know Your Pet's Heat Tolerance Level

While all pets are susceptible to heatstroke, certain breeds have a higher or lower heat tolerance than others. For example, cold weather breeds like huskies and malamutes will become overheated in much more quickly and in cooler weather than breeds with lighter coats.

More Summer Pet Safety With Our Woodland Park Veterinarian

In addition to protecting your pet from dehydration and heat exhaustion this summer, remember it’s essential to prevent parasites during this time of year, as well. Our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital can help you ensure your pets are adequately protected from fleas, ticks, and heartworms this summer season.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office today.

5 Tips for Better Walks With Your Dog

5 Tips for Better Walks With Your Dog

April is Canine Fitness Month, and we’re using the opportunity to emphasize the importance of exercise for dogs while also providing our clients with some advice to make it easier to help their dogs get enough exercise on a daily basis.

Why Exercise Is Important for Dogs

Dogs need regular exercise to keep their bodies and their minds healthy. Without enough exercise, they risk becoming overweight which can cause a variety of serious health problems. They also risk developing joint problems. Additionally, dogs needs exercise to stay mentally fit. Regular movement and play keep your dog’s mind busy, enriching their daily lives and slowing the aging process. Without enough exercise, dogs often become depressed and anxious, and they burn energy by acting out aggressively or destructively.

5 Tips for Better Walks With Your Dog


1. Don't Pull Back on the Leash

Dogs have an opposition reflex which results in them naturally pulling back on the leash if a human pulls on it to slow them down. Instead of pulling when they pull, try changing directions and rewarding your dog with a treat when they follow. Eventually, your dog will learn to walk with a loose leash and get used to your slower pace.

2. Bring Plastic Bags

Come prepared to clean up after your dog with a pocket of plastic bags.

3. Get a Dog-Walking Harness

If your dog still pulls a lot, do not attach a leash to their collar. Instead, fit them with a harness that has leash attachments on the back and/or chest area. This will be much safer for your dog and prevent them from injuring their neck (and the delicate parts inside it) while pulling on the leash.

4. Let Them Sniff and Explore

Dogs’ noses are incredibly sensitive, and smell is one of the most important ways they explore the world. To ensure they feel enriched on their walk, let them stop to sniff new smells and even follow a scent trail.

5. Visit Dog-Friendly Locations

If you plan to go further than once around the block with your dog, then be sure to research hiking trails and footpaths first to ensure dogs are allowed.

Lifestyle and Nutrition Counseling With Our Woodland Park Veterinarian

To learn more about the importance of exercise for your dog and how to create a healthy daily routine for your pet, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital in Woodland Park.

Your Essential Guide to Bringing Home a Pet


Your Essential Guide to Bringing Home a Pet

Getting a pet is an exciting experience, but many people don’t fully appreciate the gravity of the situation. Even if you’re bringing home a relatively stationary pet (i.e., a fish or turtle), it takes a lot more time, effort, and money than you might realize. So, it’s imperative to prepare yourself and your home as much as possible before bringing your new friend to live with you. Here are our top tips for what to do before bringing home a pet.

Step One: Buy Pet Products

First and foremost, you need to have all the essentials ready to go for your pet once it arrives. For dogs and cats, these items can include collars, leashes, food and water bowls, and beds. While you might be tempted to go overboard with “fun” products like toys, it’s best to wait and see how your pet reacts. Many pet owners have bought supplies and toys that wound up going to waste. Overall, start with the basics and work your way up from there.
In addition to these products, don’t forget about pet food. Aim to have at least a month’s supply on hand so that you’re not at risk of running out too soon.

Step Two: Pet-Proof the House

If you’re bringing home a dog, cat, or some other animal that will roam free, you need to make sure it won’t cause damage or harm itself in the process. For example, dogs love to chew on things, particularly when they’re bored or stressed out (i.e., when left home alone for extended periods). Likewise, cats like to scratch surfaces to keep their claws from getting too long.
Ideally, you should do your homework to discover what specific pet-proofing needs to be done. Also, consider elements like baby gates, child-proof locks on chemicals, and a crate in which to put your pet when you’re gone.

Step Three: Consider Your New Pet's Needs

Dogs are often the most high-maintenance pets because they require constant care and attention. However, cats can also need lots of effort, including playtime and scratch prevention.
Another point to consider is your living arrangements. For example, if you live in an apartment building, how easy is it to take your dog outside to do its business? Can you utilize pee pads or fake grass to your advantage? Do some research and see how your situation can impact your new pet’s needs.

Care for Your Pet With Compassion Animal Hospital

Another essential component of bringing home a new pet is knowing where to take it for checkups and emergency services. Compassion Animal Hospital is there for you, no matter your pet or its needs. Contact us today to find out more.

5 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe During Winter

While we love getting outside and playing in a winter wonderland on milder days, as we all know, winter presents safety hazards for everyone, including our pets. To make sure we all get to enjoy the colder season and all the fun snowy days can bring, be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind for your pets.

5 Winter Safety Tips for Pets


1. If It's Too Cold for You, It's Too Cold for Them

Many people assume that since their pets are covered in fur, they can tolerate cold weather better than people. This, however, isn’t usually the case, as temperature tolerance is largely dependent on your pet’s breed, weight, and also the temperature range that they’re used to.
If it’s too cold outside for you, then it’s too cold for your pets, and they should be brought inside. If your pet has a warm shelter outdoors, make sure that their bedding and shelter stay dry.

2. Remember That Water Freezes

Be sure your pet always has access to fresh, unfrozen water when they’re outdoors with a heated water dish.

3. Wash and Dry Paws After Playing Outside

Winter means ice, and ice means lots of isomalt and salt on the sidewalks. These chemicals are toxic and dangerous for our pets who can end up licking them off of their paws after playing outdoors. Be sure to wash and dry your pet’s paws when you come inside from the frozen outdoors.

4. Remember to Dry Off

When your pet romps around in the snow, they can wind up getting wet. This not only puts them at risk of getting too cold but it can also dry out their skin, leading to itchiness and coat problems. Keep a towel handle for drying off after walks.

5. Try Booties and/or Paw Balm

The cold, dry weather of winter can irritate your pet’s paws and even leave them calloused, cracked, and bleeding. We recommend training your dog to wear dog socks or booties. However, if they won’t tolerate walking in these, then try adding a bit of soothing moisture by applying a pet-safe paw balm to their paw pads every day.

Schedule a Winter Checkup for Your Pets in Woodland Park

For more winter safety tips and health and wellness for life, remember to schedule your pet’s annual or biannual checkup with Dr. Cooper at Compassion Animal Hospital. Regular wellness and preventative care appointments are essential to your pet’s health and happiness.

How to Tell if Your Pet is Overheating

How to Tell if Your Pet is Overheating

In the summer, pets can become overheated quickly which puts them at risk of suffering heat exhaustion (heatstroke). If not addressed promptly, heatstroke can cause permanent organ damage and even be fatal.
It’s important to learn the following signs of an overheated pet, take action to gently cool your pet down, and seek veterinary care right away.

Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke in Pets

How to Cool Down an Overheated Pet

If you notice any of the above-listed signs or symptoms, take immediate action to cool down your pet gradually:
If you notice signs of heatstroke, contact our veterinarian right away.

Don't Let Your Pet Overheat – How to Prevent Heatstroke

The best cure for an overheated pet is to prevent it altogether. Pets can’t sweat to cool down as humans do, so it’s extremely important to take steps to prevent them from becoming too hot.
Keep your pet cool and hydrated by avoiding going outside during the hottest times.
Make sure outdoor pets have access to plenty of shade and cool, fresh drinking water.

Ask Our Woodland Park Veterinarian About an Emergency Plan for Your Pet

No one wants their pet to experience a medical emergency, but an emergency can happen when you least expect it. So, it’s always good to be prepared with an emergency care plan for your pet. To learn more about emergency care and make a plan for your dog or cat, we welcome you to talk with our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital today.