Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Plan Ahead: Preparing Your Pets for the 4th of July

You can’t help but conjure up images of fireworks when you think of the Independence Day holiday. The two things naturally go together. While adults and older children understand the reason for the noise and brilliant color displays, dogs and cats do not and can become highly stressed by this holiday. You naturally want to protect your pet and reduce her anxiety, but you can’t control what other people choose to do with fireworks. Many communities, including Lake Elmo, have large displays while your individual neighbors may light off fireworks as well. What’s a concerned pet owner to do?

How to Keep Your Pet Safe and Happy During Fireworks Season

Preparing Your Pets for the 4th of July

Some pets do little more than look up at the noise and go back to sleeping or whatever else they were doing before the fireworks went off. For other pets, the mere sound of a loud boom sends them running for cover right away. If you plan to attend a community fireworks event, the best place to keep your dog or cat is at home. Your pet won’t have any appreciation for the sights and sounds, which can actually be terrifying to experience. This could also cause her to attempt to run away to escape the loud noises. It could be very difficult to find her in a crowded environment.

You also need to consider what to do to help calm your pet down due to the sounds of fireworks that he hears from home. You will know that you’re dealing with a case of anxiety when your dogs trembles or whimpers or your normally docile cat hisses and won’t let anyone near him. We encourage you to try one or more of these tips until the fireworks display is over:

  • Cover the loud noise from the fireworks with soothing music
  • Don’t punish your pet for behavior that results from fear
  • Place your dog in a separate room with the door closed while stopping in periodically to check on him
  • For fearful cats, make sure they have several hiding places to choose from when the fireworks start
  • Try to distract your dog with a treat-filled toy or your cat by engaging him in a game of chasing a string or the dot from a laser pointer
  • Consider a pheromone diffuser kit, such as Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats

Schedule an Appointment with Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo for a Highly Anxious Pet

Some dogs and cats have a naturally anxious disposition and won’t respond well to any of your attempts to calm them. If you feel that might happen with your pet this Independence Day season, contact us to request an appointment. One of our veterinarians may prescribe anti-anxiety medication or come up with another solution such as wearing a "Thundershirt". We hope that you and your pet enjoy the all-too-short season of summer!

Photo Credit: hidako / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dog Parks and the Importance of Being Prepared

From a dog’s perspective, what’s not to love about a dog park? Your favorite canine gets to run around off-leash, socialize with other dogs, and check out new sights that he doesn’t get to see every day at home. While you surely know that you must closely supervise your dog at any dog park, you may have given less consideration to the fact that you must prepare to ensure that he remains safe during every visit. Before you explore dog parks in Lake Elmo, Oakdale, Stillwater, or other nearby communities, keep the tips below in mind.

Make Sure Your Dog Has a Microchip

Dog Parks and the Importance of Being Prepared

Even with your eyes on your dog every second, she could dart after a squirrel, another dog, or try to run due to fear of a sudden noise. With their four legs and smaller body size, most dogs can outrun humans any day of the week. The last thing you want is for your fun trip to the dog park to end in heartache when you lose your dog. Although your dog may have a collar and a tag with her name and your contact information, it could easily slip off or become caught on something.

A microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, gives you added peace of mind. It contains all of your contact information and is gently embedded beneath your dog's skin  near her shoulder blades. That means it can never fall off. If your dog doesn’t find her way back to you, anyone who finds her can take her to the nearest veterinary clinic or animal shelter for scanning. The person who completes the scan can then contact you to come and pick up your dog.

A Vaccinated Dog is a Healthy Dog

The rabies vaccine is just one mandatory vaccine that you must obtain for your dog under Minnesota state law. This keeps him and others safe from catching this serious and often deadly disease. At Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo, we check your dog’s vaccination status at every preventive care exam. We will ensure that he stays on schedule with all required vaccines and provide you with information about optional vaccines at this appointment. The vaccine for Lyme disease is one example of the latter.

Since you can’t control whether other dogs at the dog park have received their vaccines, the best thing you can do is make sure that your own dog gets his vaccines on schedule. Unfortunately, dogs can easily pass serious diseases to one another. This is especially true when they’re in close quarters like at a dog park.

Don’t Bring Home Another Dog’s Parasites

Fleas can easily jump from one dog to another, and ticks are out in abundance this year. Before every visit to a dog park, make sure your dog has protection against fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other parasites. Some parasites are not only a nuisance, they can be fatal as well.

Above all, relax and have a wonderful time playing with your dog at the park!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Flea and Tick Season

Flea and Tick Season

Now that it’s finally spring, fleas and ticks are out in even greater number. It’s important for all pet owners to understand these parasites as well as the symptoms they transmit. Although these parasites can be annoying and even deadly, taking a proactive approach to parasite management will ensure they don’t harm your pet.

Symptoms of Fleas in Companion Animals

Fleas are wingless creatures that can survive for up to 12 weeks. Although they are microscopic in size and usually not visible to the human eye, fleas can jump as high as two feet. They attach to your dog or cat because they can’t survive for long or reproduce without a living host. The following symptoms are common indications of a flea infestation:

  • Sneezing, watery eyes, or a runny nose
  • Licking, biting, or scratching more than usual
  • The appearance of sand grains or dark specks in your pet’s fur
  • The appearance of tiny white eggs in your pet’s feces
  • Patches of missing fur
  • Scabs or hot spots
  • Pale appearance to the gums

Fleas continually reproduce after locating a living host. They can store blood at a rate that’s 15 times the weight of their own body, which puts your pet at risk of anemia from the blood loss. If your dog or cat is already prone to allergies, he could develop allergic flea dermatitis due to flea infestation. This can cause serious health complications.

A Tick Bite Can Be a Death Sentence

Ticks typically live in bushes, trees, and grass. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for them to land on your pet’s body without you knowing it. A tick is a parasite that requires blood from its host for survival. Although ticks are larger than fleas, you probably won’t notice one on your pet until it has become engorged with her blood. This is called the incubation period. During this time, your dog or cat could develop tick paralysis, Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It’s important to check your pet for ticks daily so you can remove one before it has the chance to inflict such damage.

The most common symptoms of a tick bite include appetite loss, fever, swelling, arthritis, and general lethargy. The exact symptoms often depend on which type of disease the tick has transmitted to your pet.

Do Your Part to Prevent Fleas and Ticks

Keeping your grass, trees, and bushes well-maintained in the warm weather months is essential to cut down on the tick population. It’s also a good idea to use a special flea comb on your pet daily. If your pet spends time outdoors, be sure to wash his bedding and toys in hot water once a week.

If you don’t already have your pet on year-round flea and tick control, we recommend that you start now. Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo would be happy to recommend a parasite prevention plan based on your pet’s lifestyle and other individual factors.

Photo Credit: 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

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)