Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

How to Help Your Pet with the Stress of Halloween


Halloween can be a stressful holiday for pets. They have no way of understanding why kids dress in costumes or why the doorbell doesn’t seem to stop ringing. The weeks leading up to the holiday can make them feel anxious with the new-to-them decorations, goodies, and other objects which may heighten curiosity. Fortunately, you can take several steps to make the season more enjoyable for your dog or cat.

Never Share Halloween Treats with Pets

It can be hard to resist sharing a piece of candy with your pet when he looks up at you with sad eyes. You might think it’s harmless, but even a small amount of a treat meant for people can be toxic for your pet. He could suffer immediate gastrointestinal distress, which could include symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. An increased heart rate, rapid rate of breathing, and even seizures can also happen.

Dogs and cats don’t always know what’s good for them and often watch carefully for someone to drop a treat on the floor. Your pet may feel so tempted that she breaks into a candy bag and ingests wrappers or sticks along with the treats. It can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation if something becomes stuck in your pet’s throat and blocks her airways. To avoid these problems, don’t give in when your pet begs and keep all seasonal treats out of her reach.

Costumes: Yea! or Nay?

Few things are as adorable as a pet in a Halloween costume. There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun as long as you’re careful. Be certain that the costume doesn’t cover your pet’s eyes or prevent breathing in any way. Also, supervise him closely to ensure that he doesn’t chew off parts of the costume and potentially choke on it. Pay attention to your pet's comfort level, and if you notice extra stress, remove the costume.

Keep Your Pet Away from Lit Pumpkins

A carved, lit jack-o-lantern is a beautiful, festive sight on Halloween night! If you choose to place a burning candle inside a pumpkin, make sure that your pet doesn’t go anywhere near it. A dog could knock it to the ground with an enthusiastic tail wag and a curious cat could burn herself sniffing a new object. An artificial candle that you can turn on and off (but still kept far out of reach) might be a better idea.

Keep Your Pets Indoors

The commotion at the front door could cause even the most docile pet to act aggressively or escape out the door to get away from it. Before Halloween arrives, select an area of the house well away from the door for your pet to hang out until after the trick-or-treating ends, perhaps enriched with calming music and a favorite toy or treat. The same is true if you decide to host a party. Another good reason to keep your pets inside is that someone could steal them or play a cruel prank. Black cats are especially in danger this time of year.

Seek Immediate Help for a Sick or Injured Pet

Some dogs and cats are very determined and their curiosity can get them into medical trouble despite your best efforts. If your pet becomes sick or injured on Halloween, be sure to contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo during regular business hours at 651-770-3250 or one of the following after-hours emergency veterinary clinics:

  • After Hours Veterinary Care, St. Paul, 651-487-1941
  • Animal Emergency & Referral Center, Oakdale, 651-501-3766
  • Animal Emergency & Referral Center, St. Paul, 651-293-1800

We wish your entire family (both two-legged and four!) a safe and happy Halloween!

Image credit: Adogslifephoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Veterinary Technician Week


Veterinary technicians work hard every day to support the veterinarians they work with and to provide sick and injured animals with the best possible care. Recognizing this, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians started an appreciation week in 1993. 

Now in its 25th year, National Veterinary Technician’s Week is an opportunity for clinic staff and pet owners to show their appreciation for the excellent service that vet techs provide every day. At Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo, we would not be able to provide the level of care you have come to expect for your pet without the support of our nine vet techs.

No Two Days are the Same in the Life of a Vet Tech

As anyone who works in the veterinary field can tell you, the days move fast and unexpected changes are par for the course. That means veterinary technicians must be experts at prioritizing care and managing stress. They also assist in facilitating routine pet health care, including the following:

  • Administer medication, give vaccines, take X-rays, and collect laboratory specimens
  • Provide first aid 
  • Speak to pet owners to learn more about the animal’s health history
  • Help to prepare pets for surgery
  • Assist with keeping pets calm and restraining them for their safety

Veterinary technicians are often the first point of contact that our clients have with our staff beyond our client care team. Our Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo veterinary technicians have a special gift of helping both you and your pet feel comfortable in our care.

What Makes a Good Veterinary Technician?

People typically go into this line of work because they love animals and want to help them. When hiring a new vet tech, one of the first things we look for is a sense of compassion for pets and their families. Other important skills include the ability to communicate important information to clients, problem-solving abilities, and detail orientation. At Cedar Pet Clinic, all of our veterinary technicians are certified, meaning they attended either a two-year or a four-year education program and participate in continuing education every year.

Meet Our Team

We are proud of our team of dedicated veterinary technicians at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo. Please allow us to introduce them to you:

  • Jayde, 11 years of service
  • Kathleen, 6 years of service
  • Kelly, 6 years of service
  • Kristen, 7 years of service
  • Maggie, 5 years of service
  • Michelle, 10 years of service
  • Roxy, 1 year of service
  • Sarah, 6 years of service
  • Sue, 32 years of service
  • Nancy, our newest team member, since July 2018

Each of our vet techs loves pets so much that she shares her home with at least one furry friend!

Feel Free to Express Your Thanks

Veterinary Technician Week 2018 runs from Sunday, October 14 to Saturday, October 21. Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo plans to celebrate throughout the week. We also encourage you to thank a vet tech if you get the chance, and we thank you for entrusting our clinicwith the care of your beloved pets.

National Service Dog Month


Now in its 10th year, National Service Dog Month highlights the dedication and sacrifice of the amazing animals that help people with varying degrees of disability achieve as much independence as possible. Dick Van Patten, an animal advocate, actor, and founder of a pet food line, originally established the awareness campaign in September 2008 with the name National Guide Dog Month. In addition to highlighting these amazing dogs, Van Patten started the campaign to benefits schools across the country that train service dogs.

What Do Service Dogs Do?

Most people are familiar with service dogs for the blind and visually impaired. These dogs lead people with limited or no vision as they go about their daily activities. Other common activities of service dogs include alerting the deaf or hard of hearing to important sounds in their environment and retrieving dropped items for those with unsteady hands due to a disability. However, these are far from the only people who could benefit from having a service dog. They also act in the following capacities:

  • Wheelchair assistance
  •  Allergy alert
  •  Seizure alert, assistance, and response
  • Autism assistance
  •  Mobility and brace support
  • Support for post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric issues
  • Diabetic alert
  • Medical alert, assistance, and response
  • Emergency medical response
  • General guide dogs

While German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers are the most popular breeds of service dog, any dog with the right temperament, physical stamina, body structure, and health can undergo training to work as a service dog.

What Types of Training Do Service Dogs Receive?

According to Assistance Dogs International, a dog entering training to work with a disabled individual must complete four basic areas of training. These include obedience, manners, public access skills, and training for specific tasks. The total training time usually spans from 18 to 24 months, and dogs must complete a minimum of 120 hours of training in each area before receiving certification. Training is most effective when the service dog starts it as a puppy.

Once a dog receives a human partner, he or she must continue to exhibit excellent manners and behavior in public. While a disabled individual has the legal right to have a service dog in places of business open to the public, business owners also have the right not to have their day-to-day operations disrupted by an unruly dog. If the dog doesn’t appear up to the task of providing service for the handler, he or she may require additional training or dismissal as a service dog. Handlers can also apply for a new service dog upon the death or disability of their current dog.

We’re Here to Serve All Pets

The staff at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo has great respect for service dogs as well as their trainers and handlers. Whether you share your life with a service dog or a companion animal, we’re here to help keep your pet happy and healthy. Please schedule an appointment for specific concerns and be sure to visit us at least once a year for a preventive care exam.

Image credit: David Osberg / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128


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