Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

No Party Fowls: How and Why You Should Respect Chickens

Chickens are nothing to bock at. Seriously - these creatures are remarkable! Chickens have more fascinating lives than you may realize. For example, they can recognize over 100 faces of humans and other animals. Chickens are also the closest living relative to the T-Rex… talk about an interesting family reunion.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating International Respect for Chickens Month by learning more about the lives of these domesticated birds.

Why Do Chickens Deserve Our Respect?

It’s easy to overlook how neat chickens can be. These feathered friends live pretty interesting lives and have a few secrets that many people find fascinating. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Did you know that chickens may have more cognitive function than many of our pets? Chickens even possess object permanence and have relatively advanced problem-solving skills.

  2. These unique feathered fowl have social hierarchies and communicate with up to twenty-four different vocalizations. Recent studies demonstrate that hens are empathetic to their chicks’ distress and many perform mourning rituals when a member of their flock passes away.

  3. There’s no denying that chickens are amazing. These neat birds even dream… with one eye open! That’s right. Chickens have a mechanism that allows half of their brain to sleep while the other half remains alert.

  4. What’s that chicken’s name? Chickens can learn to recognize and respond to their own names. They can even learn the names of their flockmates over time.

  5. Knock-knock. Who’s there? Your chick! Mother hens and their chicks can communicate through the shell of their eggs before the chicks hatch. Once the chicks are born, they already know their mother’s voice and respond to it. This helps keep them safe.

What Can You Do to Observe International Respect for Chickens Month?

If you want to join in and show chickens some much-needed respect, try:

  1. Adopting Rescued Chickens
    Caring for chickens in your backyard can give you and your family first-hand experience with how friendly and complex chickens can be. This changes how you think about domestic fowl while providing an animal in need of a better life.

    Many local rescues, including The Chicken Run Rescue, have chickens in need of caring homes. They are often rescued from neglect, abuse, found as strays, or left behind when families move away.
    Ready to have your own hens? Check out the regulations in your area for keeping a coop before you adopt your first feathered friends. You may need to submit an application, like the Lake Elmo residential chicken permit.

  2. Sharing a Chicken Fact with the Hashtag
    #InternationalRespectforChickensMonth
    Educate others about the amazing virtues chickens have and the harsh reality they experience. We often fall into the “we don’t know what we don’t know” space, which can be easily remedied with a little time, education, and awareness.

We Respect Creatures, Large and Small

We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating International Respect for Chickens Months by researching where your chicken comes from and spreading the word about the remarkable potential chickens possess. 

If your feathery, furry, or scaly friend is in need of veterinary care, we hope you’ll choose Cedar Pet Clinic. We’re here for you and your pets.

Image credit: Pixabay

“Shellebrate” World Turtle Day

Take the plunge to protect turtles and tortoises by celebrating World Turtle Day, observed May 23rd each year to increase awareness, respect, and knowledge of these amazing shelled creatures. These turtle-y awesome reptiles deserve to be celebrated and protected. Do you know all of these fascinating turtle facts?

Turtles Are Living Dinosaurs

Turtles are one of the oldest reptile species on Earth, with some fossils dating back to the Triassic Period. That’s 220 million years ago!

They haven’t changed much since then. Most Testudines fossils closely resemble the turtles and tortoises that still slowly wander our planet.

Turtles Live Very Long Lives

There’s a tortoise living on Saint Helena that’s estimated to have hatched in 1832. That’s old enough to have heard the news from the Battle of the Alamo as it happened, to learn of the invention of the telegraph, and see the outcome of the American Civil War.

Turtles are one of the longest living species on Earth. Most turtles, including those in the pet shop, can live up to 40 years. Land-dwelling tortoises live between 50 and 100 years.

Turtles proudly wear their ages on their shells. Each plate of a turtle’s shell has rings and layers, similar to a tree. These rings denote growth spurts in a turtle’s life. While not as regular as a tree’s growth, these rings can help determine how old a turtle is.

Almost Half of the 300 Species of Turtles and Tortoises Are Endangered

From Loggerhead turtles to red-eared sliders to gopher tortoises, the number of shelled-creatures that roam the Earth is shrinking. Today, 130 of the 300 species of turtles and tortoises are considered endangered.

This is because they face a wide range of threats, mostly caused by humans. Habitat destruction has left many tortoises and turtles without food, refuge, and a safe place to lay their eggs. Turtles are taken from their natural habitats and wind up living in tanks and cages in human homes or poached for their eggs and meat. 

Turtles have also been swept up in the devastating impact of human pollution. Many sea turtles mistake plastic bags, straws, and packaging as their natural prey, jellyfish. Plastic fills their stomachs and causes them to starve to death. Some accidentally get caught in fishing nets, discarded rope, or 6-pack rings and cannot get to the surface to breathe.

Additionally, climate change has made it difficult for turtles to survive long enough to reproduce. From wildfires to shoreline erosion and severe weather, many turtles don’t stand a chance.

How can you help?

World Turtle Day is an opportunity to spread the word about how amazing turtles and tortoises are. It’s also a great time to reflect on how much different our world would be if we permanently lost these living dinosaurs.

To celebrate World Turtle Day

  • Be mindful of your use of plastics
  • Watch for turtles and tortoises crossing the road. If a tortoise is crossing, pick it up after safely pulling over (use two hands, one on each side of the shell between the head and tail), and place it on the side of the road it was headed toward.
  • Report cruelty to turtles and tortoises
  • Take action and contact legislators when it comes to protecting turtle habitat
  • Share this article and use the #WorldTurtleDay hashtag in your post

Happy World Turtle Day from all of us at Cedar Pet Clinic, and if your pet turtle or tortoise needs vet care, we’re here for you!

Image credit: Pexels

Spring and Easter Safety

Peeps, Easter eggs, and chocolate bunnies: these are just a few of the best Easter treats for kids. Unfortunately, when you’re a pet, these seemingly harmless treats can lead to an emergency trip to the veterinary ER. If you’re prepping Easter baskets, planning to grill out, or gardening, you’re not alone. These are great ways to stay busy during the Stay at Home MN order. 

 

As Lake Elmo and surrounding community continue to wait out the worst of COVID19, we hope you’ll celebrate spring and Easter safely with your family while keeping your pets in-mind. So, don’t worry! Be hoppy and leap into Spring and Easter worry-free with these safety tips for pet parents.

 

Skip the Plastic Easter Grass

 

That shiny plastic grass in Easter baskets may seem harmless, but it can become a serious safety concern when it comes to pets. Dogs, cats, and other pets often feel tempted to play with and eat this fun Easter novelty. Unfortunately, many pets wide up swallowing the grass in the process. This can result in plastic tangled in your pet’s intestinal tract or knotted around the tongue. Both of these scenarios can result in an emergency visit to the ER and surgery.

 

A safer choice: The good news is, you don’t need to go to the store to buy Easter grass this year. Try using DIY paper strands made from construction paper. You can either cut it into strips or pass it through the paper shredder. Other DIY options include tissue paper or newspaper. 

Keep the Chocolates and Easter Candies Stored Out of Paw’s Reach

 

Some of the best sweets found in Easter baskets and Easter eggs can cause curious pets serious trouble. Around Easter and during spring, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  and Pet Poison Helpline receive a surge of calls regarding pets consuming chocolate, candy containing xylitol, nuts, and raisins. The best way to avoid your pet getting accidentally poisoned is to keep Easter treats out of reach of your pets. Be sure to also read the labels of sugar-free candies, too. These often contain “sugar alcohol” which is another name for xylitol, a fatal substance for dogs.

 

A safer choice: Bake or make your pets their own Easter treats. You can find some excellent recipes for cats and dogs that are safe and tasty. They’ll feel like they’re part of the celebration and enjoy healthy and safe snacks. 

 

Don’t Let Pets Play Near the Grill

 

As the weather warms, it’s a great time to spend time outdoors grilling burgers, hotdogs, and veggies. The mouthwatering smell of grilled food doesn’t just attract “oohs” and “ahhs” from your kids. Pets are often attracted to the appetizing smell of grilled foods. To keep your pets safe, don’t let them play or relax nearby your grill. Pets can try to steal scalding food or bump into and knock over the grill, causing serious burns.

 

Lilies Aren’t Safe for Felines

 

Lilies and Easter are a classic combination. Unfortunately, these gorgeous blooms that emerge around Easter are poisonous for cats. All it takes is your cat munching on one or two leaves from an Easter lily to need to be rushed in for urgent help. Lilies can be fatal for felines. It’s best to not bring lilies into your home if you have a cat. 

 

A safer choice: Read over the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets and choose plants and flowers that are safe for your four-legged family. 

 

Clean Up Garden Tools and Store Chemicals

 

If you’re using your time at home to spruce up the garden, keep your pets safe by cleaning up all sharp garden tools and storing away pesticides and herbicides immediately after use. If you grow vegetables, use pet safe fencing to keep your dog or cat from eating your crops. 

 

A safer choice: Avoid using commercial pesticides, herbicides or cocoa mulch near your pets. It’s important to remember that dogs and cats can both be poisoned by eating rodents that consume pesticides. The best choice is to skip the chemicals or find non-toxic and natural options.

 

We Hope Your Easter and Spring Will Be Hopping with Happiness!

 

We hope every-bunny has an egg-citing Easter and spring, despite the cloud of the novel coronavirus. Remember to keep yourselves safe and healthy along with your pets. If your pet needs care, we are here for you with precautions in place to keep you, our staff, and your pet safe.

 

After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species
651-487-3255

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128
651-501-3766

 

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)
651-293-1800