Staying active in the winter months

Here at VCVC we are fully understanding of how hard it is to get outside in the winter, as well as how it feels to get cabin fever in the colder Colorado months. It is still important to find a way to exercise your pets during this season and even more important to keep their minds entertained. Even though it is adorable to see our beloved pets gain a couple chunky pounds in the winter, the best health is kept by steady exercise and mental stimulation. In a couple seconds, you will read all about our suggestions for this winter and the winters to come.

Now, as you are out and about, or snuggled up in the house, please take a moment to text us with any needs or concerns. Yes, you read that right, TEXT us. We have launched a texting program with our hospital, which you can now tell us your preferred method of communication (call, text, email… etc). The application is through ZipWhip, in which there is no extra charge to use this program. We are excited about this change and hope it brings better communication for all our clients. Now, enjoy these tips for the winter months, compiled by the team here at VCVC.

  1. Buy an indoor puzzle game that the pup must work for the food. The holidays (or just the busy colder months) normally mean people do not have time to fit in that extra activity time with their animal. Good news - local pet stores are always carrying treat dispensers that require your pet to work for the treat. This can keep your pet entertained for hours! For a little added inspiration, try smearing some peanut butter in the center of the toys or for our feline friends – some cat nip! If you cannot find these toys or want a more frugal indoor activity, try playing hide and seek with some yummy treats. Our little four-legged loves will enjoy the challenge of sniffing out treats all over the house and they will be exercising their cognitive thinking skills at the same time. Not only that, but this is a great bonding experience and a fun game to play with your animals, even cats will enjoy a little hide and seek!
  2. Plan a hike. Colorado is infamous for giving us random heat waves in the winter. Try planning ahead and watching the weather for an opportunity to get outside. Many local pages will have the information about how well the trails are and the hot spots to go in the winter. Keep in mind that the higher you go in elevation – the more likely there is to still be a good amount of snow on the ground… and always – pack smart! Have your kiddo wear a hiking back pack filled with treats and snacks for the both of you.
  3. Take a class/join a club. Many people do not realize this, but there are clubs around Colorado that you can join that are centered around doing things with your pup. The MeetUp App, Facebook groups, and/or a simple google search can lead you to the direction of finding local dog groups to join. Many of these clubs even focus on a certain breed and their needs (agility, hiking, lower vs. higher elevation.. etc). There are also training classes and agility courses that run all year long. Enrolling your pet into these may be an efficient way to get some exercise in while staying warm and is a perfect time to bond with your pet over new activities.

Now, please enjoy some of these moments we have taken with our staff pets on some snowy days…

To Breed or Not to Breed

So you just got your new puppy from the pet store. She is an adorable ball of fluff, but the price tag after all the food and collars and such came to $800. To soften the sticker shock the clerk at the store did emphasize that she is a purebred dog and therefore some of her expense may be recovered by breeding her. You may not have seriously considered it before but now the idea is in your head. Should you breed your dog?

Read more: To Breed or Not to Breed

To Shave or Not to Shave

The days are getting longer. The drifts of pet hair are getting deeper as the drifts of snow recede and our furry friends say good-bye to their winter coats and prepare for the summer season.   As the temperatures are stretching toward the seventies we may look to our pets and ask ourselves the annual question: To shave or not to shave.

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Umbillical Hernias


The Morgans had just brought their new Dalmation puppy in for her first checkup. They had researched breeders carefully and had chosen this puppy after looking at three other litters. Everything seemed to be going well so far, but they did have one question about a bump in the middle of her belly that seemed to come and go. It was an umbilical hernia.

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Undescended Testicles


Mr. Davis was in for a health check on his brand new bulldog puppy “Brando”. Brando had cost a small fortune at the pet store, but the employee at the store had helped sell Mr. Davis on the idea of buying him when he suggested that since Brando was a purebred with papers Mr. Davis could recoup the cost of his purchase by breeding him. He was looking forward to the easy money that was about to come rolling in when he could start using Brando as a stud.

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Vestibular Attacks

Mrs. Stenner woke up in the morning to the sound of something crashing around in the dining room. When she got up to investigate she saw her 12 year old lab mix, Jordie, stumbling around under the table, seemingly unable to get himself untangled from the chairs. After she helped him out into the living room she could see that he was still having trouble. He kept tipping to one side and falling over and his eyes looked like they were rolling around in his head. Just yesterday evening everything had been completely normal with Jordie. He had dinner, went for his usual walk, and even played a little fetch with a stick they had found on the way. Now it looked like he was having a stroke, and Mrs. Stenner was worried sick about her pet.

Read more: Vestibular Attacks