Help homeless pets and pets in need who are supported by Animal Friends Alliance with a donation of cat or dog food.
Hug A Love Pet Sitting, LLC will be collecting donations Monday, February 1 – Friday, February 19, 2021
Animal Friends Alliance, 2321 E Mulberry St, 80524
Animal Friends Alliance, 2200 N Taft Hill Rd, 80524
Bank of Colorado, 107 N. College Ave, Fort Collins 80524
Hank’s Pet Food, 2287 W. Eisenhower Blvd, Loveland 80537
Harmony Insurance Advisors, 343 W. Drake Rd, Fort Collins, 80526
Kriser’s Natural Pet, 3531 S College Ave, Fort Collins 80525
Paws 'N Claws Veterinary Clinic2; 25 N Lemay Ave #2, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Pet Wellness Clinic: 4708 S College, Fort Collins, CO 80525
Points West Community Bank, 3227 S. Timberline Rd, Fort Collins 80525
Poudre Pet & Feed Supply
North: 622 North College Avenue, Fort Collins 80524
South: 6204 South College Avenue, Fort Collins 80525
East: 2601 South Lemay, Unit 18, Fort Collins 80525
West: 2100 W Drake Rd, Unit 5-7, Fort Collins 80526
Loveland: 2400 N. Lincoln Avenue, Loveland 80538
Windsor: 516 Main Street, Windsor 80550
SharpSmith Inc.,1213 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland 80538
For more information, contact:
Nancy: 970-218-2356, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hungry Bowl TM Pet Food Drive is an international initiative of
Pet Sitters International, www.petsit.com.
©Pet Sitters International, Inc.
Last year we collect 920 pounds of food for the pets in need. Help us exceed that this year for the animals!
Hug A Love Pet Sitting is again hosting a food drive for the Animal Friends Alliance. Support the pets of Animal Friends Alliance with a donation of cat or dog food.
The Animal Friends Alliance's greatest need is for wet and dry cat food and wet dog food. Food drive starts Saturday, February 1 and ends Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
We have 12 donation sites this year. The following is the list of donations sites:
Kriser’s Natural Pet: 3531 S College Ave, Fort Collins 80525
Paws 'N Claws Veterinary Clinic:225 N Lemay Ave #2, Fort Collins 80524
Pet Wellness Clinic: 4708 S College, Fort Collins 80525
Points West Community Bank: 3227 S. Timberline Rd, Fort Collins 80525
Poudre Pet & Feed Supply
North: 622 North College Avenue, Fort Collins 80524
South: 6204 South College Avenue, Fort Collins 80525
East: 2601 South Lemay, Unit 18, Fort Collins 80525
West: 2100 West Drake, Unit 5-7, Fort Collins
Loveland: 2400 N. Lincoln Avenue, Loveland 80538
Windsor: 516 Main Street, Windsor, 80550
SharpSmith, Inc.:1213 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland 80537
VCA Fort Collins Animal Hospital: 4900 S College Ave #120, Fort Collins 80525
by Gayle Rodcay
If you’re like many cat owners, grooming is not high on your list of favorite activities you like to do with your cat. Probably your cat feels the same way unless you’ve taken the time to gradually accustom him or her to the attention from a very early age. But you need to be the grownup and insist on running a comb or brush through their fur on a regular schedule to ensure a healthy, vibrant coat and prevent mats from forming. If you’ve neglected your feline friend and the tell-tale lumps behind the ears begin to appear, it’s time to get to work because mats are unsightly, uncomfortable for your cat and can even be a health hazard.
How mats form
Cats are typically meticulous groomers. They clean their fur regularly, and the rough tongue does its part to separate hairs and reduce tangling. Short-haired cats have few problems with matting. Sometimes tangles and small mats will form behind the ears, the scruff of the neck or under their armpits where there is movement or where your cat’s tongue doesn’t reach. They are usually small and easy to work out with your fingers or brush.
Long-haired cats are a different matter (pun intended). Their longer fur is not only more difficult for them to take care of, it takes a substantial time commitment from you as well. Cat hair is so fine, it’s almost impossible to keep from tangling without frequent grooming or combing.
Without a little assistance from their pet parent, long-haired cats can develop mats, especially cats who are not feeling well. Older cats and those who are ill are often not able to groom themselves. Cats with dental problems or arthritis may find grooming too painful. Cats who are obese may not be able to reach certain areas or may not be able to groom themselves at all. And cats who spend a lot of time outside are more likely to have matted fur because of debris and dirt that get lodged in their fur and facilitate the formation of mats
Removing mats from your cat
The first rule for getting rid of mats in your cat’s fur is “Do not cut them out.” The reason behind that missive is that mats form near the skin and that skin is very thin and sensitive. Even when securely held, a cat can struggle, flinch or jump unexpectedly, and your sharp scissors can easily nick or penetrate the skin, possibly resulting in an emergency vet visit.
Instead, if the mat is not too large, you may be able to carefully work it out. Grab the hair between the mat and your cat’s skin so you don’t pull on the sensitive skin. Gently pull the mat up and away from the skin. Work the mat between your thumb and forefinger, trying to separate the strands of hair. Sprinkling a little cornstarch or talcum powder on the mat can help with detangling, or you can also use a commercial detangling spray.
If that doesn’t get the mat out, you can use a wide-toothed comb. Holding the mat away from the skin to prevent pulling, start gently combing the edge of the mat furthest from the skin using little strokes. Slowly work your way up to the skin.
As a last resort for DIY cat de-matting, you CAN use a good pair of blunt scissors. Enlist the help of a partner who can help you hold your kitty. Place the scissors’ lower edge against the skin next to the mat and perpendicular to the skin. Slide the scissors along the skin to the mat and make a short cut into the felt of the mat. Move a half-inch further along the skin and make another cut up into the mat. Keep making cuts until you can use a comb to gently work out or remove the mat.
If your cat is heavily matted, you will likely have to resort to a professional groomer or your veterinarian. They have the tools and techniques to remove the mats safely. If necessary, they may have to give your cat the infamous lion cut, (i.e., shaved except for head and tail). Yes, your kitty will be shamed, but he or she will recover.
Preventing mats from forming
The easiest method for keeping your cat free from mats is to prevent them from forming in the first place. If possible, start when they are young and get them used to being brushed regularly, but older cats can be conditioned to accept daily brushing or combing as well. When approached gently but firmly, your cat may even grow to love it.
Ask a professional groomer or even your veterinarian for the best grooming and mat removal tools as well as detangling creams or sprays. Your vet may even prescribe a tranquilizer to help reduce the trauma for your cat – and you! However, you need to do it, just do it. Putting it off will only make the problem worse, and your cat could end up with uncomfortable clumps of felt that limit movement and can cause serious skin infections or worse.
Written by Gayle Rodcay
You’re rubbing behind your dog’s ears when your fingers come across a tiny little knot of tangled hair. You make a mental note to grab a brush later and get rid of the pesky little seed of trouble. But you get busy, forget, and before you know it, that little knot has grown into a clump – and spread to the other ear as well! If you don’t stay on top of your furry friend’s grooming requirements, those pesky little seeds of trouble can snowball out of control into patches of matted fur that defy most all attempts to untangle. If ignored too long, the mats can become unsightly, uncomfortable for your dog and a health hazard. Here are a few tips to help you get rid of mats in your pup’s fur as well some measures you can take to keep them from forming.
It starts with a tangle
A dog’s hair contains barbs on the shaft. These barbed hair shafts tend to grab each other and knot up Some types of dog hair have more barbs and therefore more prone to matting. Curly-coated or frizzy-haired breeds such as poodles, labradoodles and Bichon Frise, as well as long, silky-haired coats such as on collies, spaniels and Afghan hounds are more apt to become matted. They are typically found in areas of high friction, such as arm pits, base of the tail, inner thighs, and where you pet them most – the back of their neck and behind the ears. The knots begin close to the skin so if you don’t work close to the skin, your dog’s coat will look smooth while hiding the mats that are slowly forming underneath
Matted hair can cause itching, irritation, and create a moist environment for bacteria to grow. If you’ve let the mats get so bad you think you’ll have to resort to scissors, STOP! It’s too easy to hurt your dog. Call a professional groomer and let them handle it and give you tips on how better to prevent such mats in the future.
Find them early
The earlier you address the beginnings of a knot, the easier it is to prevent it from becoming a mat. If the mat is beyond the stage where you can pull the mat apart with your fingers, you may have to use a detangling tool, in other words, a brush or comb. You can try rubbing corn starch into the mat to help loosen the dog hair, then brush out. You can also try a bit of commercial detangling lotion or spray. If the knot is a bit larger, use one hand to hold the between the knot and skin to avoid pulling the skin. Then begin to carefully work on the knot with fingers and slicker brush or grooming comb. Use short but gentle strokes to tease out the mat without hurting your pup. If the mat is too large or thick for picking apart, use an electric clipper, not scissors, to try to cut it out.
Once gone, keep them gone
Once you’ve rid your four-legged friend’s fur of all mats, it’s time to start some best-practices to help prevent them from making a return appearance. By far, the best way to prevent mats from forming is regular brushing. Brushing removes dead hair and separates hairs before they tangle. Brushing distributes natural oils, removes dead hair and dirt, and stimulates circulation. Brushing is especially important during times of the year when your dog is shedding. Use a de-shedding tool designed to get down to the inner coat layers and remove the dead hair.
One of the best things you can do to help maintain your pup’s beautiful coat is to get your dog used to a brush very early. It’s best to start them as puppies, but it’s never too late to introduce new things. It keeps their brains active. Be slow and nonchalant about brushing. Talk soothingly and use treats if you like to help your pup associate good things with brushing. Also, get your dog used to standing still while you check for mats, as well as other lumps, bumps or sore spots. Getting your dog used to daily handling like this will pay off greatly for vet and groomer visits, and makes your dog look forward to the extra attention from their human.
Using a detangling rinse after a bath will help keep your pup’s hair from tangling for a while. However, refrain from using a bath as a way to remove mats. It will actually make them shrink up tighter and make them more difficult to remove.
If you’ve let your dog’s grooming needs go a little too long and the mats are beyond your capabilities, fear not. A good, professional grooming will help both you, and your dog, feel much better. It’s a good idea to take your friend to a professional groomer every now and then anyway, to keep him or her used to it and to ensure a good, thorough grooming – like spring cleaning your dog.
Photo by Photo by Abbie Love on Unsplash
Holidays and Celebrations
Let’s start with the obvious. Halloween. A blast for your kids, but for your pets -- not so much. Your child’s treat bag contains all sorts of dangers, from chocolate, which of course is poisonous to dogs, to candy in general, which is bad for your pets’ teeth and presents a choking hazard. Be aware that some sugar-free candies contain xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. Candles are also a fire hazard around your curious cat or clumsy pooch. Trick-or-treaters are also stressful for your furry friends, and they may dart outside and get lost or worse. Keep your dog or cat locked up away from the excitement.
Thanksgiving poses similar dangers. Keep your animals away from the dinner table, as the rich, fatty foods are irresistible, but can cause pancreatitis and other gastrointestinal upset. And make sure they can’t escape when guests come and go. Keep their ID tags current and on their collar, and have them microchipped, if they aren’t already.
Chemicals, Cleaners and Dangerous Plants
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – keep fertilizers, pesticides and cleaning
products out of reach. When you spread fertilizer, spray pesticides and leave out rodenticides,
make sure your animals cannot come in contact. Use pet-friendly de-icers for your driveway and
sidewalks, and of course, keep ethylene glycol-based antifreeze products out of reach, as they are
good tasting but highly toxic. When you pull out your winter wardrobe, don’t let your cat or dog
get hold of a mothball. They are highly toxic.
When the temperatures begin to fall, mushrooms make a comeback in your yard. Although most
mushrooms and toadstools aren’t poisonous, a few types are actually life-threatening if ingested,
so it’s best to keep your animals (and small children!) away from all of them. Chrysanthemumsare a common autumn-blooming flower but can cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea if eaten.
Likewise, holiday plants such as poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhea,
and general malaise. One of the most dangerous plants for your dog or cat is the castor bean
plant. Eating just a small amount of castor leaves or pods can cause severe abdominal pain,
bloody diarrhea, drop in blood pressure and sudden collapse. It can be fatal if not treated
When planting your tulip and daffodil bulbs in the fall, keep them away from your animals as
ingesting them causes vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, and even cardiac
arrhythmias. Many types of lilies are toxic to cats, and azaleas, larkspur, iris, and philodendron
can cause varying degrees of stomach upset.
If your pet shows signs such as drooling, nausea, shallow breathing, or disorientation, or you
think he has come in contact with a questionable plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA
Animal Poison Control Center.
Miscellaneous Threats and Hazards
Fall is a great time for hiking the foothills with your dog but be sure to watch your step.
Rattlesnakes are getting ready to hibernate, are more prevalent on trails, and are grumpy! Ticks,
which can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and tick
paralysis pose a serious threat to both you and your dog. Always check for the little bloodsuckers
after every outing.
When you’re thinking about autumn threats to your pets, grass does not typically come to mind;
however, certain tall grasses, including foxtail and wild rye, can cause everything from mild skin
irritation to serious abscesses. These grasses have a fuzzy tip, which consists of tiny, barbed
seeds that can burrow into your dog’s skin and ears and cause havoc. They can migrate under the
skin and cause inflammation, skin infections, and intense itching. If not found, they can even
burrow through the chest wall and cause abscesses in the chest cavity – an extremely serious
condition. Grass awns that work their way into your pup’s ear often have to be surgically
The leaf piles you raked up last weekend may look like a playground for your dog, but if they’ve
been sitting awhile, they can harbor mold, bacteria and other decaying substances, which can
cause allergic reactions, skin infections and abdominal upset. Keep the leaf playing to newly
After reading this, you may be tempted to keep your dog or cat inside until the seasonal dangers
subside, but there are hazards throughout every season. Educating yourself so you can provide a
safe, yet stimulating and fun environment all year round is an important part of being a good pet
parent and will help ensure a long, healthy and happy life for you and your friends.
Pet Sitters International has produced their spring/summer issue of Pet Owner's World. In this issue, you can read about tips to stop a dog who likes to chew on everything, shaping your cat's scratching behavior, essential oils and your pet, and much more. Take a look and enjoy!
April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month so lets brush up on our pet first aid.
Your cat ate the Easter lily, your dog injured a leg jumping from a boulder into the lake, your rat caught his foot in a gap and cut it. Do you know what to do in a pet emergency? Knowing first aid and having a well stocked first aid kit allows you to help your pet as quickly as possible without the panic of not knowing what to do. First aid administered quickly and correctly may save your pet’s life. Once you have given your pet first aid, take your pet to your veterinarian or a veterinarian emergency hospital.
In times of an emergency it is a good idea to already know what your pet’s normal heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse, temperature, and capillary fill rate are and how to check them. Pro Trainings offers an online first aid course to teach you how to know those with easy to follow videos.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers a suggested list of items that should be in a first aid kit. In addition, the ASPCA offers other resources about common pet toxins.
If you suspect your animal has ingested a toxic substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. Pet Poison Helpline is another 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center, (855) 764-7661.A heads-up, a fee may be charged for the call to both centers. If you suspect your animal has ingested a pesticide you can call the National Pesticide Information Center at 1(800) 858-7378.
Hug A Love Pet Sitting, LLC is hosting a pet food drive for the Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic February 1— February 12, 2019.
What: As part of an international effort spearheaded by Pet Sitters International (PSI), the largest educational association for professional pet sitters, the Hungry Bowl™ Pet Food Drive was created to collect pet food for local shelters and pet-rescue groups across the globe. Proceeds from Hug A Love Pet Sitting’s drive will go to Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic.
Who: The Hungry Bowl™ Pet Food Drive in Fort Collins is being hosted by Hug A Love Pet Sitting, LLC
Why: Animal shelters and pet-rescue organizations across the country are in dire need. Locally, Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic is in need of pet food donations especially during the winter months.
When: Donations accepted Friday, February 1 through Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
Where: Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
• Paws 'N Claws Veterinary Clinic (225 N Lemay Ave #2, Fort Collins, CO 80524 )
• Pet Wellness Clinic (4708 S College, Fort Collins, CO 80525)
• Poudre Pet & Feed Supply
North: 622 North College Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524
South: 6204 South College Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525
East: 2601 South Lemay, Unit 18, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525
Loveland: 2400 N. Lincoln Avenue, Loveland, Colorado 80538
Windsor: 516 Main Street, Windsor, Colorado 80550)
• VCA Fort Collins Animal Hospital (4900 S College Ave #120, Fort Collins, CO 80525)
• VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado (201 W 67th Ct, Loveland, CO 80538)
For more information, contact Nancy of Hug A Love Pet Sitting, LLC at 970-218-2356 or email@example.com.
Winter weather poses risks for any pets who spend time outside. Although some dogs like to play in the snow, winter conditions can become dangerous quickly.
Pets need to keep warm and have an unfrozen supply of water. In case you cannot get out due to poor road conditions, always make sure you have enough food, medicine, litter, treats, and fresh water to last a few days until conditions improve.
Coats help your pet stay warm and boots protect their feet from frost bite, ice build up, and deicing chemicals. Short-haired breeds, elderly, young, or animals with health conditions are more susceptible to the harsh winter conditions and benefit from a coat and boots. Dogs may not like to wear boots at first, but can get used to the feel of having them on. If your dog, or you, do not want to get used to using boots, make sure to clip the fur between the foot pads. Clipping the pad fur reduces the amount of snow and ice that can accumulate. Accumulated ice makes walking painful and can cut the toe pads. The pads of the feet may also dry out and crack in the dry air due to indoor heating. To help keep the pads hydrated use petroleum jelly or a balm made for dog foot pads. Using a humidifier helps keep the air and foot pads hydrated. During very frigid times, dogs should be taken out only to relieve themselves. Exercise and enrichment then need to be done inside.
After a walk or play in the snow, make sure to wipe your dog’s feet, legs, and belly to remove ice, salt, or other ice-melt chemicals. Any ice clinging to the feet should be gently removed with warm fingers or dipping each paw in a container of warm, not hot, water. Then wipe the feet dry.
If you suspect your dog has frostbite, immediately take her inside and gently warm the area. To do this, warm a towel in a dryer. Make sure it is not too hot. Apply the warm towel to the affected area. Do not squeeze or rub the area. Seek veterinary attention to ensure there is no permanent damage and to get pain medication, if needed. Petmed.com has information on frostbite and hypothermia. Common areas to get frost bitten are the nose, ears, and feet.
Snow and ice melt chemicals and antifreeze are common toxins dogs may be exposed to in the winter. At home, use an animal-friendly ice melt. Be careful on the ice melt you buy. Some ice melt products that are labeled as dog safe contain unsafe ingredients. Dogs Naturally Magazine offers a downloadable pdf on safe ice melt products. While out on a walk with your dog, do not let him drink from puddles that may contain chemicals.
If you must keep your dog outside in the winter, bring him indoors when temperatures dip below freezing. Dogs must have a dog house or shelter big enough for the dog to stand up in, to turn around, and to stretch. However, the shelter should not be too large that it cannot retain heat. A wind flap should cover the door to prevent wind from entering the shelter. Bedding such as straw should be thick enough to keep the cold from the ground reaching your dog.
Remember that your dog or cat is a domesticated animal and needs protection from the elements in the winter. If you have any questions about frostbite, hypothermia, or how to protect your pet in the winter, seek advice from your veterinarian.
Pet Med.com offers information on ice melt products an dhow to keep your pet safe in the winter
Photo by Yuki Dog on Unsplash