Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Your Pet’s Dental Health & Preventative Care

Are you ready to commit to your pet’s health this year? If you’re on board, you’ll want to know that preventative care and dental health are vital to your pet’s long term wellbeing. When you help your pet maintain good overall health and clean teeth, you can extend her life by several years.

What is preventative care? We like to think of it as a tune-up for your pet’s health from teeth to tail and everything in between.

Celebrate New Year after New Year with your pet by providing her with the dental health and preventative care she needs.

How Do Positive Dental Health and Preventative Care Benefit Your Pet?

Does it warm your heart when your dog smiles or kitty offers kisses? Or does her breath make you want to pull away? While unpleasant breath may seem to be minor it’s often the first indication that your pet’s mouth could be healthier.

What causes bad breath? Bacteria. The more plaque and tartar your pets have, the more area bacteria has to cling. Your pet’s body tries to eliminate bacteria by sending white blood cells to her gum line. These white blood cells actually cause damage by eating away at the bone, causing loose teeth, oral pain, and trouble eating.

When you keep plaque and tartar under control, you prevent oral issues before they begin and save money by not having to pay for extractions.

Your pet’s oral health contributes to more than just a healthy mouth, though. Poor dental hygiene contributes to major health problems for pets. Periodontal disease (or gum disease) can create an avenue for bacteria to enter your pet’s bloodstream. This can affect your pet’s

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Arteries

In fact, there’s a link between dental health and heart disease in dogs and cats.

Your At-Home Check to Decide If It’s Time to Make an Appointment for a Cleaning

Discuss with our veterinarians how frequently your pet should have its teeth cleaned. Some pets need it up to twice a year.

1. Lift your pet’s lip.

2. Check both sides of her mouth and her front teeth.

3. If there is plaque at the gum line, discoloration, or evidence that one of her teeth is chipped, cracked, or broken, make an appointment.

Your Pet’s Preventative Health

Prevention is always better and more cost-effective than treatment. And you have the superpower of the ability to provide preventative care for your beloved pet. From parasites to disease and nutrition-- you can lengthen your pet’s life and fill it with joy!

What Preventative Care Can Do for Your Pet

  • Early diagnosis can help stop illness before wreaking havoc on your pet’s health.
  • Preventing diseases can save your pet’s life.
  • Your pet’s quality of life will soar if she can maintain mobility and a healthy weight.

How to Provide Your Pet with Exceptional Preventative Care This Year and Beyond

Step 1: Give us a Call to Schedule an Exam

During this exam, we will check your pet’s health from tail to teeth. We’ll analyze her bloodwork and give you a report about your pet’s overall wellbeing. We can also answer any questions you may have.

Step 2: Provide Your Pet with Preventative Medicine

Fleas, ticks, and heartworms can rob your pet of her health and life. We can work with you to ensure they don’t get the chance.

Your pet also needs immunizations to protect her from deadly diseases like rabies, parvovirus, feline leukemia, and kennel cough.

Step 3: Provide Your Pet with a Quality Diet and Superior Nutrition

From weight control to balanced nutrition, your pet’s diet helps keep her healthy. We can answer questions or advise you on your pet’s diet.

Step 4: Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Keeping your pet active with daily play helps her maintain healthy muscle tone, bones, and joints.

Partaking in play also improves your pet’s mental health. When our pets play, they exercise their minds which helps maintain connections and can slow down dementia and prevent depression and anxiety.

Step 5: Don’t Skip Regular Check-Ups

You should bring in your adult pet at least once per year for a thorough exam. Senior pets do best with exams twice per year.

Don’t wait until she gets sick to come and see us. You can save her life if we can catch any issues before they progress.

We Hope This Year Is Filled with Smiles, Wags, & Purrs for You and Your Pet

Preventative care and a healthy mouth are great ways to start off the new year for your pet. Let’s work together to extend your pet’s life to help keep her happy and healthy year after year! Make an appointment and commit to your pet’s health and peace of mind.

 

 

 

Image credit: Garfield Besa | Pexels

Get Started on the Right Paw With Your New Pet: Here’s How

The pitter-patter of paws through the house just warms the heart. It’s no wonder so many people choose to expand their pet families this time of year. If you’re one of the lucky pet parents that’s bringing home a new pet, we know you may have those ‘new-pet-jitters.’ But we have some tips to help the process go smoothly and safely.

Get ready to fill your home with the love and excitement of a new pet! And follow this how-to for some simple tips to help your new pet settle in and get started by putting his best paw forward.

1. Pick Up the Essentials: The Supplies You Need for a New Pet

Big or small, timid or outgoing, fuzzy or scaly: there are some things you will have to prepare to welcome your new pet home. You don’t have to buy the most expensive toys but the essentials will make those first few days go smoothly.

So what do you need?

Before picking up your pup, rabbit, cat, or bearded dragon, check online for the supplies recommended for the species and breed. If you’re unsure, give us a call to make an appointment for some one-on-one advice and suggestions.

For a new feline friend or canine companion, here are the basics:

A New Dog Will Need

  • A leash
  • A collar with ID tag and harness (especially for little dogs)
  • Poop bags and carrier
  • Treats
  • Food
  • Bowls for water and food
  • Toys
  • A bed
  • A kennel big enough for him to stand in and turn around
  • Grooming supplies: shampoo, brush, toothbrush & toothpaste, water additives
  • Cleaning supplies

Optional, depending on your dog

  • Potty pads
  • A compression shirt
  • Adaptil
  • A baby gate

Tip: Don’t buy a puppy the most expensive collar, leash, or bed. He will likely outgrow it in a few weeks or months and they tend to chew on them.

For Cats, You’ll Need

  • A collar with ID tag
  • Food
  • Treats
  • A bed
  • Catnip
  • A litter & litter box
  • A scratching mat
  • A scratching post
  • Toys
  • A Carrier
  • Grooming Supplies: brush & shampoo, dental supplies

Optional, depending on your cat

  • Feliway, to help your cat feel more at home
  • Feliscratch, to help your cat learn where they should scratch in your home

2. Prepare Your Home: Basic Pet Safety

You’re better safe than sorry. As for most precautions and prevention, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. This is especially true when it comes to keeping your new pet safe. We’ve put together a simple checklist to help you pet-proof your home before you pick up your new pet.

Pet-Proofing Checklist

_Tie up loose wires and strings (remember to check blind pulls)

_Make sure all cleaning supplies, anti-freeze, and other potentially harmful chemicals are locked up and out of paw’s reach

_Store anything breakable that could be bumped or easily fall

_Clean up the floor to make spotting accidents easier

3. Put a Plan In Place

If the kids know you’re picking up a new fuzzy family member, they’re probably thrilled. This makes for a great opportunity to remind them of some ways they can keep your new pet calm as they settle into the family.

Your plan should include

  • Who is going to ride along when you pick up your new pet?
  • Who is going to keep an eye on the pet in their carrier on the ride home?
  • Who will take the puppy out or rush the kitty to the litter box?
  • Who can hold the new pet? And remind the kids about gentle touches and approaching the new pet slowly and calmly from the front.
  • Where will your new pet sleep? Choose a spot that is quiet, dark, and enclosed.

4. Make Your First Vet Appointment With Us

We want to meet your new pet. No, not just because we just love each critter that comes through our doors (although that is definitely true), but establishing care with us is important for your new pet’s health and safety.

If an emergency does occur, it’s easier to get your pet in to see us for an assessment when we have a history with that pet.

You’ll also want a wellness check and to set up a schedule for your pet’s immunizations. Your first appointment is a wonderful time to ask us questions about your new pet’s needs including his diet, exercise, grooming, and general care.

Don’t forget to ask about having your pet microchipped. This will help them find their way home if they sneak out.

5. Is the Car Carrier Ready for Pick Up?

The drive home can make new pet parents very nervous. When your pet can safely ride in a carrier, it can provide you with peace of mind and keep you all safe on the journey home. And once you do arrive at your pet’s new abode, the carrier prevents him from making his great escape.

6. Let Your New Pet Explore With Supervision

Once your pet is safely inside, find a quiet spot and gently set down their carrier. Give them some space and open the carrier. Allow your pet to come out when ready. Never force your new pet out or reach in to grab them since this can make some pets feel cornered and scared.

If your pet lives in a habitat and arrived in a box, set the box in their new home and open the lid. Make sure the lid is on tight and let them explore the enclosure and settle in.

Your pet will explore little by little. Keep your new puppy or cat in one room, only opening the door once they’ve settled into that room.

Keep a watchful eye on your new pet. You don’t want them getting into trouble: tearing up your furniture, not being able to find the litter box, or falling off a countertop.

7. Your New Pet May Need Time to Get Acquainted with Everyone

Bringing a new pet into your family can create an eruption of energy and joy. Just be sure your pet meets once your pet has settled in and they are ready. Asking children to stay seated can help keep the jumps and wiggles to a minimum.

We recommend keeping your new best friend safe and sound at home for the first three days.

When introducing your new pet to your resident pet:

First impressions matter. To help both pets start off on the right paw, give them time and introduce them in a safe way.

For cats, allow them to meet with the safety of a door between them. Wait at least 24 hours until they see each other face to face.

As for dogs, if you can introduce them in an open area that isn’t part of your resident dog’s stomping ground, you’re more likely to have a successful meet-n-greet.

8. Are You Ready for Potty Training?

Potty training takes time. If you’ve adopted an adult pet, your new buddy may not need more than a reminder of where the yard or litter box is. Kittens learn early on how to use the litter box, so there’s not a whole lot of training needed other than placing them in the box.

As for puppies, ready your patience!

Puppies have accidents. It’s just how it is, between their small bladders and the fact that they’re still learning.

You may want to invest in some pee pads for your puppy’s crate or enclosure. Remember to take your puppy outside if they do start to go inside.

9. Prepare to Play and Train Your New Pet

Some puppies and kitties can play for hours at a time. Others tucker out every fifteen to twenty minutes. To help your new puppy or kitty learn and have fun,devote some time every day to play with them.

If you’re adopting a new puppy or dog, we suggest looking into some training class to help your pooch build some confidence, improve your bond, and help them learn some communication skills.

We Hope the Experience of Bringing Home Your New Pet is Paw-sitive

Those first few weeks with a new pet are a lot of work. We’re here for you, though. We want your pet to have a healthy, long, and happy life. If your new buddy needs an appointment, be sure to give us a call.

 

 

 

Image credit: Larissa Barbosa | Pexels

What Do You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Health & Exercise?

As temperatures drop and the days shorten, many pet parents find it difficult to adjust their pets’ exercise routine to provide as much active play and mental stimulation as they need. And while it can be difficult to convince yourself to bundle up to take the dog out or play with the cat when you have so many other winter chores to do, exercise is vital for pet's health.

Regular exercise is the best preventative medicine for your pet. Just how much does exercise matter and how much does your pet need? We have the answers you’re looking for.

How Does Exercise Affect Your Pet’s Health?

Exercise isn’t just about staying trim and fitting into a harness. Exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight can improve your pet’s quality of life and lengthen how many years you have to spend with your best buddy.

Of all the things you can do for your pet, exercise has the biggest impact on your pet’s health. And they don’t cost much. In fact, walks, play, and games are free!

A Healthy Heart

Regular exercise has a direct relationship to your pet’s heart health. How much does exercise benefit your pet? The National Institute of Health concluded that 20 minutes of elevated heart rate is better for dogs than any prescription. The same is true for other pets as well.

Exercise improves your pet’s heart health by

  • Reducing bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Strengthening the muscles around the heart

Joints and muscles also benefit from exercise. How?

  • Exercise lubricates your pet’s joints. Movement transports and activates synovial fluid which works like grease on metal machine parts.
  • Exercise builds and maintains muscle which can help pets keep their mobility after developing arthritis or experiencing an injury.
  • Strong muscles from exercise help support your pet’s joints, so they’re less likely to get injured.
  • Strong muscles lead to better balance which prevents slips and falls that can lead to other injuries.

A Healthy Mind

When you play with your cat or walk your dog, you’re not just helping her body stay healthy, you’re providing her with mental stimulation as well. Exercise activates your pet’s mind for a healthier brain and less boredom. A lifetime of mental stimulation can reduce mental deterioration, anxiety, stress, and memory loss.

Other Health Benefits

Running, jumping, pouncing, and playing prevents excess weight gain and helps keep pets trim. This can lower the risk of diabetes, kidney failure, and cancer. A busy pet is also less likely to get into trouble.

Signs Your Pet Needs More Exercise

When pets don’t get enough active exercise, they can gain weight, become bored and depressed, and develop bad behavioral habits. Some signs to look for to determine if your pet needs more exercise include

  • Destruction: pets often find an outlet for their energy. From your shoes to curtains to furniture, your pet may sharpen her claws, chew, or play with objects that aren’t toys.
  • Weight gain: Dogs and cats should have an hourglass shape from the top. This means that her waist should narrow between the ribs and the hips. You should also be able to feel your dog’s ribs, and your cat’s tummy should not sag.
  • Nervous habits: dogs and cats that don’t get enough mental stimulation can become neurotic and anxious. This can manifest as paw licking, excessive grooming, bald spots, pacing, separation anxiety, and general nervousness.

How Much Exercise Does Your Pet Need?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation for how much exercise your pet needs daily. There are some guidelines that can help you determine if your pet is receiving enough exercise and how much exercise pets like yours need. We can help you find the right balance for your individual pet as well.

Play with Your Puppies and Kitties

Puppies and kittens learn from play and adventure. This teaches them social skills and coordination while helping your little fuzzball develop strong and healthy muscles.

When it comes to developing puppies and kitties, provide as much exercise and fun as you can. They’ll tucker out when they’ve had enough play. Having more than one puppy or kitty can help reduce your work since they’ll play with each other.

Avoid high impact exercises like daily running with your puppy. As their bones grow, high impact exercise can have a negative effect on your puppy’s healthy growth. This is even more important when it comes to large and giant breeds.

Fit and Feisty Felines

Contrary to what they want you to believe, cats don’t have to nap all day. Provide your purr-ball with several play sessions of fifteen to twenty minutes throughout the day. For those days you’re at work, you can supplement with battery-powered toys and catnip-filled play-things. Exercise will keep your cat in shape and help them rest better at night.

Dog-Gone Fun with Your Doggo

Breed: research your specific breed to find out how active they typically should be. Most medium and large active breeds need at least an hour or more of active exercise daily. Giant breeds often need a bit less exercise and smaller breeds get their energy out a bit easier.

Dogs with short snouts struggle to breathe while running or partaking in high-energy exercise. Be very careful when exercising with them. If you’re worried about your dog’s ability to stay active, we can help you find other ways to keep these pups healthy and active.

Age: Senior dogs don’t need as much exercise as they once did, but they do need to elevate their heart rates daily to stay healthy.

From Big to Small: Obese and overweight dogs need to start slow and gradually increase exercise as they lose weight. Too much too soon can damage your dog’s joints and put her at risk for injury.

Simple Ways to Help Your Pets Remain Healthy and Active

Exercise can be a great for you and your pet. Find the right toys, treats, and activities to keep play fresh and fun. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, you can make cat toys from craft materials lying around the house. For dogs, always check sales bins for frisbees, balls, rope toys, and other dog toys.

You can also create cat ramps to encourage more movement for your cat. And take your dog on hikes and to parks.

Help Your Pet Stay Strong and Active

As the days shrink, keep your pet active indoors, or bundle up and take your dog for an after-dark walk. The important thing is to keep your best friend busy and moving. It’s easier to stay active that get back in shape.

If you have questions about a diet to support your pet’s health or an exercise routine that will work for your pet, we can help. Give us a call.

 

 

Image credit: Josh Hild | Pexels

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