Archive | January, 2014

Pet First Aid Basics


Pet first aid is a helpful skillset that suddenly becomes invaluable once you need it. But… that’s the trick, you never know when you’ll need it most. Accidents happen and sometimes pets can get away from us, ending up in a bit of trouble that puts them at physical risk.

So if your pet had an accident in your home or on the hiking trail, would you know what to do? Do you have any idea what signs to look for or steps to take in situations like snake bites, choking or a managing a broken limb? Are you clear on what constitutes a pet emergency?

In such a pet-friendly, outdoorsy city like Fort Collins, I thought it would be helpful to connect with a few experts on pet first aid for dogs and cats. While I can’t cover super specific “how-to” directions of comprehensive pet first aid in one post (or even several), I can share some basics for pet owners.

Create a Pet First Aid Kit

It can help to have a pet first aid kit on hand just in case. Aspen Grove Veterinary Care has some great suggestions for what to include:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Roll gauze
  • Ice Pack
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Clean T-shirt
  • Duct tape
  • Betadine
  • Gauze squares
  • Towel or blanket Plastic wrap
  • Strip fabric
  • Bed sheet
  • Muzzle
  • Telfa pads
  • Blunt scissors
  • Neosporin topical ointment
  • Cotton socks
  • Saline eye wash
  • Ace Bandage Material

Educate Yourself with Pet First Aid Classes

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) 1-out-of-4 more pets would survive, if just one pet first aid technique was applied prior to getting emergency veterinary care. It’s one of the many reasons Liana Sanders, owner of Sidehill Sitters, went the extra mile to educate herself about pet first aid.

Not only did she get certified to teach Pet Tech Training, which includes CPR and first aid for cats and dogs, Sanders trained each and every one of her Sidehill Sitter employees so they are prepared for emergency situations.

In Sanders class, students practice on a stuffed dog, but she brings her own dog in to demonstrate some tactics.

In Sanders class, students practice on a stuffed dog, but she brings her own dog in to demonstrate some tactics.

She’s been teaching the class for about a year and a half. It’s geared towards students at all levels of experience, from vet techs who want a refresher, to people who’ve just adopted their first pet. In her class, Sanders covers core pet care basics, as well as restraining and muzzling, canine and feline CPR, wound care, choking management, bleeding and shock management. Students practice on life-sized stuffed dogs or cats. For more details on all the full class agenda and upcoming class dates, you can check out the Sidehill Sitters website.

Pet First Aid Insights and Tips

“One of the most common issues with dogs is choking. Dogs inhale food, rawhides and swallow sticks, which can all cause serious trouble with breathing or lead to choking. If your pet seems to have trouble breathing, it’s a good idea to get them to the vet immediately”, says Sanders.

“The goal in any emergency situation is to keep the blood and oxygen flowing in order to get the animal further treatment in a vet office,” she adds.

Sanders also pointed out a few winter-specific dangers for pets:

  • Hypothermia – Don’t overexert elderly pets or super young ones because it’s a bit harder for them to regulate their body temperature
  • Anti-freeze leaks — The chemical tastes sweet, which makes it even more dangerous because it attracts animals
  • Raw paws from ice crystals and salt from the streets right after a walk can really hurt their paws, so be sure to clean them or put boots on them for super cold days

Sanders adds that if a pet has fallen unconscious in the water, warm them up and use CPR. Be careful not to overheat them or force a don’t a massive change in body temperature. Also check for frostbite on the nose, fingers and toes.

“There is a current debate on how useful CPR is for pets, and it’s still not tracked thoroughly by all vet clinics. More clinics have recently started to take that debate much more seriously, recording more detailed information including; type of emergency situation, was CPR was used, what style, and what overall care was provided,” says Sanders.

In the summer months, snakes are a one of the bigger dangers. “There are a lot of folks who hike in the hills. So if you are doing regular hiking, it’s important to get a good sense of all the types of snakes and what they look like because that one little piece of information is the best guide for effective treatment. Whether it’s a venomous and non-venomous bite, just try to keep the animal calm, get them to safe space as soon as possible, then to a vet, “ adds Sanders.

Household Dangers

Dr. Bobby of Aspen Grove Veterinary Care also notes some regular household items that are extremely toxic for dogs, so homeowners should be mindful about keeping these items off counters or out of easy to reach places for curious pets. They include:

  • Chocolates
  • Rodenticides
  • Antifreeze
  • Over the counter drugs, including acetaminophen in cats and ibuprofen in dogs, or prescription medication such as anti-depressants, siezure or blood pressure medications
  • Skin creams
  • Plants; poinsettia and lily
  • Raisins and grapes for dogs
  • Foreign bodies; anything small enough to eat that isn’t considered food

Is there a particular first aid procedure you want to know about in more detail? Let me know and I can cover it in a future post.

Critter Events for January 10th – 17th


This week’s featured pet is a fun, unique looking dog for sure! She is an 11 month old Catahoula Mix named Darby. She is a smart, loving dog dedicated to her “human” and needs a good amount of exercise. Darby would do best in a home with no small children or pets. You can check out more on Darby here, currently at The Animal House Rescue and Grooming.

Saturday January 11th 

Animal House Rescue and Grooming Adoption and Informational Event

When: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Where: Petsmart in Loveland, 1715 Rocky Mountain Ave, Loveland, CO 80538

There will be dogs available for adoption and a binder available to check out all adoptable dogs at the shelter. Volunteers will be on-site to talk about volunteering and fostering.

Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic Low-cost vaccine clinic

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: 2321 E. Mulberry Street, Fort Collins, CO

All vaccines, including rabies, distemper combo, bordetella, and feline leukemia are only $15. No appointment needed!

Wednesday, January 15th

Larimer Humane Society will open 12 p.m. instead of the regular hours  due to a staff event.

Colorado State University’s 15th Annual Stallion Auction

When: January 15th – 18th

Proceeds from the auction will go to fund equine research in the CSU Equine Orthopedic Research Center and the CSU Equine Reproduction Laboratory. For more information, check out the CSU site.

Save the Date: 

Strap on your bowling shoes and join FCCRSNC for Alley Cats Bowling 2014!

Deadline for registration: January 25th

Event Date: Sunday January 26th, starting at 5 p.m.

Where:  Chippers Lanes North, 830 N. College Ave

Enjoy a fun evening of bowling to benefit Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic. Evening includes 3 games of bowling, shoes, food, prizes, drawings and FUN!

The cost is $23 per person, or $125 for a team of 6. There will be NO sales at the door, so be sure to register early to reserve a lane. There is space for 24 teams of 6, or 144 people. Groups smaller than 6 will be partnered with other small groups or individuals to fill a lane. Check-in at the door will begin at 5 p.m. sharp. Please note that registration is non-refundable.

As always, if I’ve missed anything, email me at and let me know. Better yet, add me to your events list if you want to be included. Thanks and have fun, windy weekend!

Bones Du Jour: Local Organic Whole Food Dog Treats

Bones Du Jour

When I walked into Bones Du Jour in Fort Collins to interview Owner, Chef and Biscuitologist, Sue Carroll, the smell of organic pumpkin yogurt “doggie birthday cakes” baking smelled down-right mouth watering. I stepped through the doors as she was taking a few bone-shaped cakes out of the oven in her new location on Mulberry in Fort Collins, just west of City Park Lake. Part of me wanted to pick up fork and dig right in, then I remembered I was talking with Carroll about dog treats.

The great part is that a tasty little sample would have been more than OK, because everything made at Bones Du Jour is from organic whole food ingredients that could just as easily be on your own dinner table.

I wanted to chat with Carroll and learn more about how eating fresh, whole local foods is possible for your pet EVEN when you are treating them to something special. I was also excited that she makes an effort to use local ingredients as much as possible in all her treats, something that is not only important to me but a lot of Fort Collins folks.

Window of Bones Du Jour

It was a bit of a challenge getting a photo of the namesake on the window, but I wanted to include it anyway.

How Bones Du Jour Came to Be

Carroll is a very passionate animal person who loves making wholesome, healthy food to share with everyone’s pets. Her transition into being a “busicuitologist” started when she was working with search and rescue dogs, and a friend/coworker passed along a dog treat recipe to make at home. She whipped up the treats, tried them out and her rescue dog, Gypsy, and the dog couldn’t get enough of them.

“I took a look at the ingredients; oils, bacon, fats cheese. What dog wouldn’t love them? So to make the treats more healthy for Gypsy, I started switching out ingredients for healthier choices, experimenting and seeing what she liked.”

Then, as she adopted more dogs, otherwise known as “tasters”  she tried out more modifications and new creations. Her dog Buddy is credited with pushing Carroll to finally take the leap from at-home baking to a commercial kitchen simply by stealing treats every chance he could get. That how she knew was onto something big.


Here is Sue in prep mode, labels, fresh ingredients and all.

All About the Treats

Carroll is very stringent about the quality of the ingredients she uses in her treats and cakes. She sources ingredients from Colorado or close surrounding states to ensure they are fresh and to remain mindful of her carbon footprint. Everything at Bones Du Jour is made in small batches and includes:

  • Organic whole grains
  • Free range chicken stock
  • Organic, freshly-ground peanut butter
  • Free range grass-fed buffalo
  • Organic flour
  • Quality farm-fresh ingredients
  • Free Range eggs

Reindeer poop treats in progress

What’s most important is what Carroll leaves out; oils including canola or vegetable, trans fats, salt, preservatives, sugar, molasses, honey or sweeteners.

“The best oils for dogs are salmon, flax and fish, but these oils don’t keep well in treats, which is why I use chicken or buffalo stock instead. It has great flavor, it’s nutritious and when it cooks down, it still keeps,” says Carroll. She also adds special flavors to some of her creations, including buffalo liver, peanut butter, barbecue, cheese, garlic and chive.

What’s great about Carroll as a person and a baker is that she is very aware and well-versed in the dietary challenges of dogs and other pets. In fact, she created a grain-free line of treats for dogs so that they could still enjoy something tasty, even if they have a restricted diet. Some dogs are also sensitive to proteins, so she’s developed a variety of treats with different flavors that allows them to pick what works best for their dietary needs.


Cake, fresh out of the oven before icing

To make sure quality is on the up-and-up, all treats go through a two step testing process. First, it’s off to an independent lab to get the necessary analysis that’s included on each individual bag, complete with a “baked-on-date”. The second step of “official” taste- testing is her dog Joey, with his discerning palette and a willingness to taste test every single batch.

I think the most amazing part about these healthy treats is the presentation — they look like bakery fresh goods you might pick up for dessert to take to a friend’s home! Seriously!

“I truly have the best job on the planet. Bones Du Jour is as much about the people as it is about the dogs, and it’s feels great to make something healthy that’s also seen as a special treat,” says Carroll.  ”I love seeing everyone’s dog enjoying my treats. It makes me feel like they’re all my dogs!


Pile of treats ready for purchase




She even has a little bakery case for her delicious doggie creations!

Gettin’ your Dog Treats On

If you want to snag some treats for your pups, stop by the new location at 1720 W. Mulberry, #B8, visit Fort Collins surrounding farmer’s markets, Whole Foods or the Bones Du Jour site. Carroll also works with local vets to provide training treats for doggie rehab with discounts for dog trainers. Follow them on Facebook for information on the upcoming Bakery Warming and Biscuit Tasting in July and other events.

Critter Events for January 3rd – 10th

rescue, Larimer Humane Society

This week’s featured pet is Chewy. She is a 10-year domestic mediumhair with brown tiger coloring who is ready to go to a loving home AND her adoption feeds are already paid! She is a gentle, loving lady and loves to spend time with people. Contact the Larimer Humane Society if you are ready to welcome her into your home.

Let’s get to it!

January is National Walk your Dog Month!

Not only do regular walking adventures help train your dog in many ways, but regular walking also gives them the social interaction and mental and physical stimulation they need to stay sharp. Plan some fun walking trips when you can, or connect with Fresh Air Fort Collins for some good trail suggestions.

January Neuter Special for Cats and Dogs

Hosted by The Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic 

For the WHOLE MONTH of January, get your male dog or cat neutered for only $20.

Call 970-484-1861 and say “Happy Neuter Year” to get your pet on the schedule! These services are made possible with a grant from PetSmart Charities.

January 4th 

New volunteer training for the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program

When: January 4th at 10 a.m.

Where: 720 B East Vine Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524

Contact: Lisa Winta, to sign up.

Do you Love raptors? Want to help educate thousands about how cool they are and help injured raptors reach the skies once again? If you have a passion for helping the world and can volunteer 5 hours-a-week for at least a year you might be just who they are looking to add to the team.  Here’s some additional information on the volunteer program so you know what type of work you will need to do.

In case you didn’t already know, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program is also the featured charity of the month at the Fort Collins Food Co-Operative, and they are collecting donations at that location to help the raptor program.

Local Resources

Need a 2014 calendar with awesome local cats on it? Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic has calendars available for $20 at all Poudre Pet & Feed Supply locations for $20 that are FULL of coupons and natural foods and Poudre Feed products.


Pets Forever and the Power of Local Community

Pets Forever

It’s not often you connect with someone so passionate about the impact of relationships between people and pets that they are inspired to start a program that serves both, heart and soul. That’s why it was such a treat to connect with Lori Kogan, the inspiration and driving force behind Pets Forever. She is a PHD and Associate Professor at Colorado State University (CSU) in the Clinical Sciences Department in the College of Vet Medicine and Biomedical Sciences who created and manages the Pets Forever program through CSU.

“I believe strongly in the human animal bond and as a psychologist, I thought it would be really interesting to study that through this program,” says Kogan. Lori’s research covers human/animal interaction and her specific focus is on Gerontology, the study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging.

Kogan also shared how she kept hearing stories about people who had to relinquish their pets, especially elderly folks, because they were unable to care for them. So to solve this challenge, she combined a clear community need with her curiosity about the benefits that come from the bond between elderly pets and people, and Pets Forever was born. She feels her current research can really shift how we look at pets and their relationship with at-risk community members, and in turn, make a real difference in people’s lives.

What is Pets Forever?

According to the website, “Pets Forever is a Colorado State University sponsored non-profit program designed to help low-income elderly or disabled Larimer County residents maintain ownership of their pets for as long as possible by providing needed help and resources.”

“The organization is a collaborative effort of several local companies, organizations, and Colorado State University departments and entities including the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The program is designed to create opportunities for students from diverse educational backgrounds to provide community service and gain valuable real-life experience while simultaneously earning college credit.” However, members of the Fort Collins community are welcome to volunteer if they are interested.

How Pets Forever Helps

Volunteers help clients care for small animals like rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, birds, ferrets, cats and dogs. Home care tasks can include:

  • In-home animal care (e.g., dog walking, brushing, feces removal, litter box cleaning, etc.)
  • Companion dog walking (walking with pet and owner)
  • Transportation of animals to/from vet or groomer
  • Home delivery of pet food and supplies

Each volunteer is assigned specific clients that they work with for the whole semester, allowing them to create a bond with the animal and the owner. It also opens a way to connect with a fellow Fort Collins community member beyond a surface level.

Kogan felt the community could do a better job of helping those in need by offering a way to create assistance for pet care, and Pets Forever was her unique solution. She also wanted to help support the bond between pets and people, something that is so powerful in multiple ways. I talked a bit about this impact in a recent blog post titled, Why Pets are Such Powerful Healers.

Pets Forever

Based on information from the Pets Forever site, “numerous studies show that pet ownership is associated with better overall physical and psychological health. People with pets have better cardiovascular health, are sick less often, and visit their doctor less frequently than non-owners. Psychologically, pets help their owners with loneliness, depression, and anxiety. They also provide companionship, a sense of purpose, and help their owners handle stress more effectively.”

The most important part about the Pets Forever program is that it focuses on a demographic that needs help most — people who are 60 or older, disabled or ill in some capacity and have a super tight budget. Some Pets Forever clients include: multiple sclerosis patients, people with brain injuries, stroke survivors or blind community members. About 40 % of clients are not elderly, but have serious health challenges. Pets Forever also helps these community members keep this very important pet relationship in their lives for as long as possible, fostering companionship and unconditional love at a time when it’s most needed.

The Unintended Positive Side Effects of the Pets Forever Program

Now that the program has been running for five years, Kogan says she continues to learn things she never expected from her students and volunteers.

“Pets Forever is a very holistic program. It’s about helping care for the pets, but it’s also about spending time with people,” Kogan says. That’s the piece that’s super rewarding. The clients almost become pseudo grandparents to the students. It’s like we’re also helping to create a stronger grandparent bond that benefits the student who is far from home or perhaps no longer has grandparents, and the elderly person who may not be close to their own family.”

At the end of each semester students write a reflection paper and one of the things they often mention is how they never realized how awesome people are, or they “Had no idea they could be friends with someone who ____.” Sometimes volunteers are dealing with the animals aspects of the client relationship, and during other visits they are helping clients navigate more of the human challenges facing low-income community members.

“Pets Forever is growing all the time, and it’s making such an impact in students lives. It helps them to understand or connect with people in poverty, and enables students to recognize that their clients are not different from them or their family. It also really connects students to their own sense of compassion and empathy, and opens them up to thinking about all the powerful ways they can help in the world,” adds Kogan.

Pets Forever

Getting Involved with Pets Forever

If you are interested in signing up as a volunteer for Pets Forever or know someone who can benefit from their services, please visit the main website or contact Lori Kogan directly. The site offers more details on specific requirements for volunteering and features a beautiful, short YouTube video that demonstrates the real impact of this amazing program in the lives of individuals. Find out more about local organizations and businesses that contribute to Pets Forever here.

Contact Information:

Colorado State University
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
300 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523

Phone: (970) 491-7984, email: