Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Back to school: How Do Changes in Routines Affect Pets?


Everyone in the family loves summer vacation, but household pets especially delight in the experience. Summer for pets means more time with their favorite humans, relaxing away the summer days, enjoying extra outdoor walks, and receiving plenty of extra attention thanks to your family’s more open schedules.
For most of the family, the switch from lazy summer days to return to the normality of full school days and work schedules not interrupted by long weekend vacations is to be expected - not necessarily welcomed, but at least explicable. Your pets, however, have no way of understanding why their humans are suddenly vacating the house for eight-plus hours a day - and this can impact them in a number of ways. 
The impact of a change in routine
A change in routine is always difficult for pets, most of whom are, by their very nature, literal creatures of habit. Your household routine will change at the start of the school summer vacation period, but, in the eyes of your pets, the change is for the better. 
In the fall, however, the change may be negative for pets - and can result in a condition known as separation anxiety. Having grown accustomed to constant company over the summer, all pets can struggle to be alone during the day - even if they have coped well with this in the past. The negative, from their perspective, change of routine coupled with loneliness can lead to issues. 
What are some of the symptoms of separation anxiety?
  • Depression:
    Pets suffering from separation anxiety will often display signs of depression, such as low mood, low energy, and even a poor appetite. 
  • Destructive behavior:
    Dogs, in particular, are prone to destructive behavior as a result of separation anxiety - you may find, for example, that you return home of an evening to find your dog has semi-destroyed your couch. This isn’t bad behavior; it’s actually a sign of the fact they are anxious and struggling to cope with those feelings. 
  • Excessive vocalization:
    Pets may try to communicate their feelings of anxiety through increased barking or meowing. 
  • “Accidents”:
    A change in routine can cause excessive soiling in all pets, especially if this happens during the times when the family is out of the house.
  • Repetitive walking patterns:
    Many dogs, and sometimes cats, will pace the same route while the family is away. Keep an eye out for excessive wear in specific areas of your floor in case this is happening. 
What can you do about separation anxiety?
Unfortunately, the most obvious solution to separation anxiety - not being separated from your pet - may not be workable. So, instead, you have to focus on relieving the symptoms. 
One way to do this is to ensure your pet has plenty to occupy their time when you are out of the house. Give them access to windows to view the outside world from, for example. Additionally, many owners find that pheromone therapy is incredibly useful for separation anxiety, as it helps to calm them without requiring a heavier pharmaceutical. Additionally food and treat puzzles and mazes help engage pets mentally.
However, it is worth noting that many of the signs of separation anxiety can also be symptoms of other health issues - and the fact these have developed during “back to school” season is a coincidence. As a result, if you notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, it’s worth booking an appointment to discuss the matter with our Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo veterinary team.  With underlying causes ruled out, we can help develop a veterinary care plan that comprises of multiple strategies to help alleviate the symptoms your pet is experiencing. 
With a little intervention, we should be able to help calm separation anxiety in your pets, making for a calmer, happier household.
Image credit: Capuski / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dangers of Using Online Pharmacies for Your Pet’s Prescriptions

Dangers of Using Online Pharmacies for Your Pet’s Prescriptions:

Today almost everything is on the internet. Instead of having to leave the comfort of your home, modern technology has made it possible to find or purchase whatever you need at the tap of your finger. Although there are a lot of benefits to this new digital world, there are some things that should be avoided -- one of the most important being pet prescriptions.

Difficulty Trusting Supplier Credibility:

For most things, the internet is the go-to place to find the best deals. In the cases of your pet’s health, opting for the cheapest price is not the way to go. Making sure your pet receives proper and accurate care is one of the primary concerns for pet parents. Online pharmaceutical suppliers of pet medicine have drawn in pet owners with their appealing prices and deals on necessary pet care veterinarians offer. While it may be tempting to save a few bucks on big budget hitters like health care, it is very difficult to determine how reputable these suppliers are, much less the drugs they carry.

Dangers of Using Online Pharmacies

Understanding the seriousness of the problem and wanting to prevent further malpractice, the FDA has tackled these shady online pharmacies and reinforced their campaign to make animal parents more aware of how to properly buy veterinary medicine. The organization takes quality assurance issues with online veterinary products very seriously because of the influx of counterfeit, expired, improperly stored, or mislabeled drugs being sold. If an online pharmacy doesn’t require a veterinarian’s prescription, or doesn’t appear to have proper accreditation, chances are it’s not safe.

Insufficient Diagnoses:

Another main concern when it comes to online suppliers, is the accuracy of determining the health concern being treated. Diagnosing your pet and prescribing the best medical treatment for your animal is very difficult without an in-person consultation. Relying on online suppliers, can result in insufficient diagnoses which might even lead to you spending more money on a false health concern.

Further concerns about this issue come from the FDA. Their consumer update specifically advises pet parents make these health-relating decisions with a proper veterinarian-client-patient relationship. In addition to this being the best way to provide an exact diagnosis and being able to prescribe the right medicine, proper drug monitoring and check-ins are crucial for your pet.

Consult Your Veterinarian:

Veterinarians have your best interest at heart, and their primary concern is giving the best care for all of their clients. Putting your trust in an online source that you haven’t developed a relationship with does not give you the same benefits and care that your primary vet does.

While pet health care cost can be a concern for any pet owner, it should not drive you to take drastic measures that put your pet in jeopardy. If you are concerned about the cost of your pet's prescriptions, ask your veterinarian for more cost-efficient treatments or alternative solutions.

Let Our Team at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo Give Your Pet the Proper Care

No matter the health concern or your budget-constraints, our team at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo is here for you and your pet. Don’t forgo expert advice and resort to questionable alternatives. Schedule an appointment with us today to discuss next steps for your pet’s care and let us answer any questions or concerns you may have about online pharmaceuticals.

Photo Credit: katoosha / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Benefits of Introducing Pheromones to Your Pet Care

Just like humans, animals are susceptible to the emotional impacts of environment and lifestyle changes. In the majority of cases, being exposed to unfamiliar and potentially frightening situations can be hard on your pets and result in some degree of behavioral change. Anything from alarming sounds like thunderstorms and fireworks to unfamiliar living situations such as moving to a different home or introducing a new pet to the family, can negatively impact pets.

Some of the most common behavior issues include:

Benefits of Introducing Pheromones to Your Pet Care

  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Marking
  • Separation Issues
  • Chewing
  • Digging
  • Barking Incessantly
  • Potty Training
  • Fear of Loud Noises
  • Fear of New Environments
  • Fear of Vet and/or Groomer

If you are a pet parent with a furry loved one exhibiting any of these symptoms, pheromones offer a holistic, effective solution that provides the necessary comfort and ease to correct these unwanted behaviors.

What are Pheromones?

Pheromones are species-specific, chemical signals used by animals to communicate.

Scientists have been able to isolate the appeasing components of pheromones that mimic neonatal pheromone that mothers produce to comfort their young and alleviate  stress. When used for pets, the pheromones reduce the overwhelming stress and excitability that result in problem behaviors in both cats and dogs. When an animal is in a relaxed, emotionally balanced state, they are better able to correct or learn acceptable behavior. In addition to its effectiveness, this incredibly safe treatment does not require absorption into the bloodstream or metabolism and is safe to use with other medications.

Treatment Options:

Pheromone treatment is delegated in a variety of different ways and dependent on the type of animal you have. Due to the fact that pheromones are species-specific, using the right pheromone for the type of animal you have is crucial.

There are a few trusted-brands that offer pheromone treatments that have had incredibly successful results such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for pups. Both of these brands offer a wide range of treatment options to choose from:

  • Pheromone Collar: Fit and designed to stay, this traditional collar offers constant pheromone support no matter where your pet goes. 
  • Ointment: Applied on the nose, this fast-acting ointment is an effective short-term solution for calming pets.
  • Calming Diffuser: This plug in diffuser disperses a stream of calming pheromones to help dogs and cats feel safer and more secure. This type of treatment works best for enclosed areas that your pet frequent. 
  • Calming Spray: This spray establishes a calm and relaxing environment for almost every surface or area where your pet feels safest. Whether using on pet beds, kennels, or your animal’s favorite sofa, this stain-free spray can provide comfort when needed most. 

Not sure on what’s the best way to give pets the pheromones they need? Schedule an appointment with Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo to have one of our veterinarian’s personalize a pheromone treatment for your lovable pet’s unique needs and behavioral issues.

Photo Credit: humonia / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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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

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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)