Hiking the Trails Safely with Your Dog

A dog and his human hiking in the mountains of Colorado.

Colorado is full of majestic mountains and scenic trails that are hard to resist, especially, when sharing them with your canine hiking companion.

At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we believe that enjoying fun hikes with your dog involves proper training and preparation for a variety of conditions, including, varying elevations and weather conditions, such as heat, cold, rain and snow. Here are some tips to help your dog have a great time while out on the trails with you.  

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Green In The Face: Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

A dog eats grass.

Dogs have a host of quirky behaviors, especially when it comes to eating odd things, and grass is definitely one of them. If your dog has a tendency to nibble on your lawn when outdoors, you probably want to know ‘why’ and if this habit is harmful. The team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center is happy to help you better understand why some dogs like to consume the green stuff.

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Pet-Safe Pest Control: Is It Possible?

A black cat rests in a grassy yard. Pet-safe-pest-control is very important for outdoor cats.

No one wants to share the yard, garden or house with uninvited guests. While insects and rodents may be fine from afar, the minute they cross our threshold or create problems in our yard, we humans usually decide to take charge. 

For some, the easiest approach to pest control involves the use of chemical treatments. Pet owners, on the other hand, have the added responsibility of using pet-safe pest control methods, both inside and outside of the home.

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Don’t Get Burned: The Facts On Pets and Sunscreen

It’s easy for most pet owners to assume that the haircoat worn by our pets is sufficient in keeping them safe from the sun’s damaging rays. To a certain extent, our pets’ haircoat does protect them from many of the elements, but there are good reasons for additional sun protection, including, pet-safe sunscreen.

At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we’re happy to explain the ins and outs of pets and sun protection, and give you some pointers on keeping your pet protected and comfortable while enjoying summer days in the sun.

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Can Pets Get Altitude Sickness?

At our altitude of 5,280 feet above sea level, most Denver residents and visitors don’t experience the debilitating effects of altitude sickness – that is, until they head to the mountains. The nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath that accompany altitude sickness affect approximately 20% of individuals above 8,000 feet, and can really put a damper on a day of skiing, hiking, or sightseeing.

Pets are also susceptible to an increase in altitude, which can include many of the same symptoms experienced by humans. If allowed to advance, altitude sickness in pets can lead to a potentially deadly buildup of fluid in the lungs and brain, especially, if the pet is engaging in any physical activity. 

Enjoying the wonderful outdoor opportunities that our Colorado mountains have to offer with your pets is one of the beauties of living in this area, but safety must be the first priority. For low altitude pet owners, knowing the signs of altitude sickness in pets, and when to seek help, is an important part of keeping them safe while in the mountains.

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Splish Splash: Where Should Your Dog Swim?

For dogs that love the water, going for a swim on a hot day is a real treat and one of the best parts of summer! However, finding a safe place for your pooch to splash around in is another issue entirely. Should your dog swim in a chlorinated pool? What about a local lake or river? Is it safer to just fill up a kiddie pool in the backyard?   

At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we want pets to get plenty of exercise and bonding time with their owners. With careful observation, appropriate safety measures, and a little common sense, you might find swimming to be an enjoyable activity for you and your furry pal!

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Dog Parks: Are They Right For Your Dog?

It sounds like a great idea – take your dog to a large, fenced-in area where it can run free with other canine friends. You get to skip the daily walk, check your email, maybe chat with other dog owners, then leave with an exhausted-but-happy dog. What could be better?

Dog parks can be big on the convenience factor for us humans, but being in close proximity to lots of other dogs can also present some problems for your dog. Before taking your pup to the park, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons, so we at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center have some important points for you to consider.

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Ride, Ride, Ride, Hitchin’ a Ride: The Case for Flea and Tick Prevention

Spring is a notoriously fickle time in Colorado. One day, we’re enjoying temperatures in the 60s, and the next day we’re hit with a snow storm! This variation between cold and warm weather can make it easy to ignore your pet’s parasite prevention. Unfortunately, a little spring snow isn’t enough to keep fleas and ticks at bay for long. Although they may seem inactive during a cold spell, it only takes a few 50 to 60 degree days for parasites to become active again.

While fleas and ticks can be found anywhere outdoors, they are most likely picked up by a pet after they’ve dropped off of another animal onto the ground, grass or a shrub. Even if a pet doesn’t go outdoors, it can still be exposed to these parasites when they’ve hitched a ride indoors on someone’s clothing. Unfortunately, they’re usually not noticed until they’ve bitten your pet and started to cause itching, skin rash and hair loss problems. Or, as with a tick, you’ve discovered a little round bump on your pet that wasn’t there a few days before.        

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Heartworm Disease: A Growing Threat in Colorado

If you’re a longtime Denver area resident, you’ve surely noticed how much the metro area has grown over the past 10 years. And, our population growth continues to extend outward beyond the city and surrounding suburban areas.

While Colorado’s popularity as a great place to live is mostly a good thing, it also affects us in ways that we may not think of, such as how it affects our pets. With more and more people and pets moving here, the number of heartworm disease cases seen by local veterinarians has increased every year.

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March Madness: Safeguarding Against Outdoor Pet Toxins

Although it may not be obvious just yet, Colorado’s flora and fauna will soon begin waking up after a long winter’s sleep. Homeowners everywhere are also preparing for the warmer days when there will be grass to mow, compost to turn, and landscaping to prune.

As we settle in for another season of tinkering around in our garage and backyard, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind. Many of the chemicals we commonly use for outdoor maintenance can injure or even kill a pet. Although you may not expect your pet to get into trouble in your garage or yard, pets can be known to eat just about anything, so protecting them from outdoor pet toxins is essential.

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