Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

What Pet Parents Need to Know to Prepare for Extreme Weather

Weather extremes can turn your life upside down, and our area certainly isn’t a stranger to severe weather. In fact, the Lake Elmo area is 75% more likely to see tornadoes than other cities in the U.S.!  As a pet parent, preparation takes a bit more effort, but protecting our precious pets is worth the time, energy, and small investment in emergency supplies.
 
Lake Elmo doesn’t just get tornadoes. Other weather events we should all brace for include blizzards, hail, thunderstorms, and winter storms. And once the storm passes, it's important to remember the side effects of these violent events have a lasting impact.  Are you ready for flooding and power outages? How about relocation if necessary?
 
Before you find yourself in a risky situation, make sure you’re prepared to care for your pet when the weather strikes.
 

What Pet Parents Can Do to Prepare for Extreme Weather

 
There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it: preparation saves lives. This means examining your particular circumstances like your home’s shutters, power backup, and pets’ needs to determine what’s best for your household. We’ve put together a thorough list to help you decide what you need to do to prepare your pets before storms strike.
 

Make a Pet-Friendly Plan

 
Make a plan for the entire family, including your furry family members. Write this plan down, and practice it with the kids and the pets to make sure everyone is prepared for if a disaster happens. Your goal should be that the actions you and your family take are second-nature and the automatic response if the power goes out or you get snowed in.
 
If you plan on leaving, you will need a plan for your pet. Leaving your pet behind should be a last and very temporary option. This means you need to research shelters and pet-friendly hotels, now. Many AirBnB and other short-term rentals allow pets. If you can stay with friends and family, this is usually the best option.
 
Know where to call or look if your pet goes missing. This means both her safe places and the local animal rescues and shelters.  Make sure your pet's microchip is up to date (see info below). Also, make sure your pet has a collar and tags, and get a light colored collar and write your name and cell phone number in permanent pen on both the inside and outside of the collar.  Tags can come loose, but collars usually stay on and this secondary means of identification can help reunite you with your pet.  The ink on the outside may fade, but the ink on the inside will last longer - all of which can help you get your pet back as soon as possible.
 
Work through different scenarios, following a what-if mindset. 
 
Check trees around your home, now, before the winds start up. Tree trimming can save your home, vehicle, and your life.
 

 Tornado Tips for Pet Parents

 
Keep your pets inside. Birds, cats, rabbits, and all other pets are safest within the protection of four walls and a roof.
Practice bringing your pets with you into your tornado safety area within your home.  Make one person in the house responsible for bringing the pet, another for food and water dishes, someone for the pet’s bed, etc.  Make sure you have everything you and your pet need so you don’t have to venture out until it is safe.  
 

Power Outages and Pets

 
If you own a reptile or fish, make accommodations to keep her warm and oxygenated if the power goes out.  Battery backups - and extra batteries - are very important to keep on hand in this case.  
 

 Keep Your Pets’ Microchip and ID Tags Up-to-Date

 
 When emergencies strike, pets tend to go missing. The shock of lightning, trees and limbs crashing down, and high winds can engage a pet’s natural ‘flee-to-safety’ instinct. This is why so many shelters fill with lost and scared animals after natural disasters.
 
Make sure your pets’ microchips have your most recent phone number and address just in case your cat sneaks out of the house or your dog squeezes under the fence, and they have tags and a collar as suggested above.
 

 Prepare Emergency Supplies for You and Your Pet

 

 A First-Aid Kit is Always a Good Idea

 
 Adapting your first-aid kit to be pet-ready is simple. And if you don’t have a first-aid kit of your own, use this time to make one.
 
You can order a pre-made one online or make your own. Just be sure you have
 
  • Ice packs
  • Gauze
  • Tape
  • Cotton balls
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gloves
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Bandaids
  • Bandage wrap
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • A syringe (this comes in handy for washing wounds and administering medicine)
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder
  • Muzzle
  • Blanket or towel to wrap your pet in if you need to tend to injuries
  • Treats to distract a stressed or injured pet
 

 Keep In a Safe Place

 
  • Your pets’ veterinary records
  • Prescriptions and medications
  • Our contact information (on a business card or written down)
  • Printed pictures of your pets
  • A crate or carrier
  • A trusted neighbor’s contact information
  • Poison control phone number 
  • A water treatment kit
 

 Stock Up On

 
  • Non-perishable food and treats
  • Leashes and a muzzle
  • Toys
  • Bedding
  • Silver emergency blankets
  • Water
  • Litter
  • Paper towels
  • Towels
  • Trash bags
  • Bleach
  • Candles
  • Sterno
  • Soap and dish soap
  • Plastic poop bags
  • Puppy pee pads to give your pet a place to go to the bathroom
 
You can keep all of these supplies in an inexpensive tool box or 5 gallon bucket from a home improvement store.  This way you can just grab it and take it to the safe zone in your home, or into your vehicle if you are evacuating.  Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.  
 
Make sure you have enough of your pet’s prescription well before a storm hits, just in case the roads are impassable or communication lines are down.  
 

Stay Safe, Lake Elmo

 
When it comes to weather, you never know exactly what to expect, but by preparing, you will know how to react. These simple steps can possibly help save your pet’s life. If you need to stock up on your pet’s prescription food or need to refill her prescription, please give us a call. 
 
 
Image credit: Houskey Hou | Pexels

Coping After You’ve Lost a Pet

Our pets fill our hearts with love. They wait for us to return when we’re away and snuggle extra close when we’re feeling down. And losing a pet can leave a huge hole in our hearts, homes, and families. And while the people around us offer their condolences, the pain can feel immeasurable. So, how can you begin to cope after the loss of your pet and start to work toward closure? 

While every pet parent grieves differently and each pet and situation is unique, we hope our tips can help you cope while celebrating the life and memories of your pet.

Understanding the Hurt and Pain of Losing a Best Friend

 We bond with our pets and share a connection that only a pet parent can understand. Losing a dog, cat, hamster, rabbit, snake, or any other is like losing a family member. There’s that unbearable silence when you wake and the sobering absence when you get home. Our pets give us purpose, direction, and structure our lives. Losing a pet completely changes your life. It’s normal to feel the pain, anger, and sadness that accompanies this difficult time. You may also feel very alone, in shock, or in denial.

One thing is for sure: grieving a pet is normal but never easy. And there is no “normal reaction,” but there are some things that many people find helpful in the coping process.

Dealing with the Loss of Your Beloved Pet

Create a memorial and invite loved ones.

If you had a special spot in your yard, dedicate it to the memory of your pet. From a birdbath to a sapling, choose something beautiful where you can celebrate your pet’s life and meditate on the joy she brought into your life.

Invite friends, family, and loved ones that knew your pet to a memorial service. Allow others to share their stories of how amazing your pet was. Express your feelings and honor your pet’s life in a way that feels right to you.

If you don’t have the right outdoor spot, create a memory box with your pet’s collar, tag, photos, paw prints, or written memories.

Talk About How You Feel

Share your feelings with people that care about you. If you feel like you’d be able to express yourself better with a professional, consider making that appointment.

Don’t lose touch with your friends. If you went to the dog park, reach out to some of your friends to take a walk there or invite them over for tea or coffee to share in memories of your pet.

Don't Rush or Ignore the Grieving Process

Grieving takes time. How much? Everyone’s timeline is a little different. Let the process to unfold naturally. If you rush the process, you may struggle more by cycling back into profound surprise, anger, and denial. And ignoring the grieving process can lengthen the time it takes to heal and create an unhealthy disposition.

Take Care of Yourself

The range of emotions that come along with the loss of a pet can take a lot out of you. Check in with yourself and a trusted friend to be sure you’re eating properly, sleeping enough, and keeping up with your responsibilities.

Do your best to stick to your schedule and take care of your mental and physical well-being  with meditation, yoga, exercise, or hikes.

Talk Gently but Honestly with Your Children

Some parents are afraid to tell their kids what happened to their pet. You’ve probably heard the stories of the farm or people telling their kids the cat ‘ran away.’ While their hearts are in the right place, this can confuse kids and lead to distrust.

If you need assistance talking to your children, there are some excellent books that can help. Take a look into these:

The Rainbow Bridge: A Visit to Pet Paradise by Adrian Raeside

Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

My Pet Memory Book by S. Wallace

I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

Our Hearts Are with You as Your Work Through the Process

We understand the loss and are here to provide additional resources, such as those found on our website:

Pet Loss and Grief

www.pet-loss.net

Find support groups and good information.

https://vet.tufts.edu/petloss/

Help on explaining pet loss to children.

www.aplb.org

We understand this is a difficult journey, and as avid pet lovers, empathize with the impact this loss has on your life. You are part of our family at Cedar Pet Clinic, and we want you to know we care about you and your pet. Losing your best friend, your beloved pet, and that unique companion that made your life whole disrupts reality and never feels fair, but we’re here with understanding and compassion.

 

Image credit: EKH-Pictures | iStock | Getty Images Plus

 

Start Your Fall Off on the Right “Paw” with Our Top Safety Tips

We love this time of year in Lake Elmo. As the leaves redden then fall, the air cools, and we finally get a break from the heat, we fall in love with this beautiful city we call “home.” And we’re not the only ones--It seems like everyone, including our pets, just breathes a little easier in autumn.

And while we want you to make the most of this season before the snow arrives, we also want to help keep you, your beloved pet, and our community safe from the dangers that emerge this time of year.

So, unpack those sweaters, leash up your pup, and enjoy the cool weather. Breathe easy by avoiding these fall dangers:

1. Fungi Aren’t Fun for Pets

The mushrooms seem to pop up out of nowhere in fall. While they can make the landscape picturesque, they have the potential to make your dog or cat extremely sick as well. It’s true that most mushrooms are harmless, but the wrong ones can be deadly. It’s best to avoid them on your walks and always supervise your pet when they’re in an area where mushrooms may grow.

 2. Don’t Let Your Dog Feast on Fallen Fruit

If your dog or cat likes to forage for fruit, you want to try to break this habit. While a nibble of an apple or a carrot every now and then can make an excellent treat, gorging on fruit from the ground can make your dog or cat sick.

3. Watch Out for the Back to School Blues

Does your cat or dog seem glued to the window, waiting for their little humans to return home from school? This time of year pets are still adjusting to the change in schedule. Be sure you keep your pet mentally stimulated to break up the boredom.

Dogs and cats often become more sedentary in autumn as well. Between dusk creeping earlier and the kids having homework, keep your dog or cat active with scheduled playtime. Set some time aside each evening to keep your cat rolling, tumbling, and purring. Enjoy the wonderful weather by taking your dog on an evening stroll.

And of course, don’t let your dog eat the kids’ homework… or any other school supplies. 

Some supplies that can be dangerous for dogs:

  • Glue
  • Glue sticks
  • Pencils 
  • Pens
  • Yarn
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Snack bags (which can cause suffocation) 

4. Beware of Antifreeze and De-icer

As you winterize your car, properly dispose of antifreeze and de-icer containers or store them sealed and out of reach of your pet. The ethylene glycol in antifreeze attracts curious kitties and hungry hounds. It smells and tastes sweet but can easily cause kidney failure.

Clean up any antifreeze spills or drips. It just takes one teaspoon to get a cat or dog very sick.

5. Halloween Candy is a No-No

From chocolate to xylitol, Halloween candy can be poisonous if it gets into the wrong paws. Make sure you don’t leave that candy bowl within paw’s reach and remind your kids how dangerous it can be to share with the pets.

6. Don’t Let Pests Play a Trick on Your Pet

Remember to check your dog for ticks after walks. Ticks like to hide in between toes, in the armpits, and under the ears.

Jumping into piles of raked leaves may be a blast, but these piles can harbor pests like fleas and ticks. They can also make a cozy spot for mice and rats to stay warm. They could also carry fleas, ticks, or even the bacteria causing leptospirosis.

Have a Safe Fall from Us Here at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo!

After you’re done sipping the latest pumpkin spice creation, enjoy some fresh air as you rake, bag, and dispose of the leaves. Bring that extra Halloween candy into work to share, watch for wild mushrooms, and keep that antifreeze locked up tight. Prevention is always easier, safer, and less stressful than reacting to an emergency.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, active fall. We at Cedar Pet Clinic are here if you have any questions or if you need to record your dog’s pre-Thanksgiving weight!

Image credit: Elena Rogulina / Pixabay

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