Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

“Shellebrate” World Turtle Day

Take the plunge to protect turtles and tortoises by celebrating World Turtle Day, observed May 23rd each year to increase awareness, respect, and knowledge of these amazing shelled creatures. These turtle-y awesome reptiles deserve to be celebrated and protected. Do you know all of these fascinating turtle facts?

Turtles Are Living Dinosaurs

Turtles are one of the oldest reptile species on Earth, with some fossils dating back to the Triassic Period. That’s 220 million years ago!

They haven’t changed much since then. Most Testudines fossils closely resemble the turtles and tortoises that still slowly wander our planet.

Turtles Live Very Long Lives

There’s a tortoise living on Saint Helena that’s estimated to have hatched in 1832. That’s old enough to have heard the news from the Battle of the Alamo as it happened, to learn of the invention of the telegraph, and see the outcome of the American Civil War.

Turtles are one of the longest living species on Earth. Most turtles, including those in the pet shop, can live up to 40 years. Land-dwelling tortoises live between 50 and 100 years.

Turtles proudly wear their ages on their shells. Each plate of a turtle’s shell has rings and layers, similar to a tree. These rings denote growth spurts in a turtle’s life. While not as regular as a tree’s growth, these rings can help determine how old a turtle is.

Almost Half of the 300 Species of Turtles and Tortoises Are Endangered

From Loggerhead turtles to red-eared sliders to gopher tortoises, the number of shelled-creatures that roam the Earth is shrinking. Today, 130 of the 300 species of turtles and tortoises are considered endangered.

This is because they face a wide range of threats, mostly caused by humans. Habitat destruction has left many tortoises and turtles without food, refuge, and a safe place to lay their eggs. Turtles are taken from their natural habitats and wind up living in tanks and cages in human homes or poached for their eggs and meat. 

Turtles have also been swept up in the devastating impact of human pollution. Many sea turtles mistake plastic bags, straws, and packaging as their natural prey, jellyfish. Plastic fills their stomachs and causes them to starve to death. Some accidentally get caught in fishing nets, discarded rope, or 6-pack rings and cannot get to the surface to breathe.

Additionally, climate change has made it difficult for turtles to survive long enough to reproduce. From wildfires to shoreline erosion and severe weather, many turtles don’t stand a chance.

How can you help?

World Turtle Day is an opportunity to spread the word about how amazing turtles and tortoises are. It’s also a great time to reflect on how much different our world would be if we permanently lost these living dinosaurs.

To celebrate World Turtle Day

  • Be mindful of your use of plastics
  • Watch for turtles and tortoises crossing the road. If a tortoise is crossing, pick it up after safely pulling over (use two hands, one on each side of the shell between the head and tail), and place it on the side of the road it was headed toward.
  • Report cruelty to turtles and tortoises
  • Take action and contact legislators when it comes to protecting turtle habitat
  • Share this article and use the #WorldTurtleDay hashtag in your post

Happy World Turtle Day from all of us at Cedar Pet Clinic, and if your pet turtle or tortoise needs vet care, we’re here for you!

Image credit: Pexels

Spring and Easter Safety

Peeps, Easter eggs, and chocolate bunnies: these are just a few of the best Easter treats for kids. Unfortunately, when you’re a pet, these seemingly harmless treats can lead to an emergency trip to the veterinary ER. If you’re prepping Easter baskets, planning to grill out, or gardening, you’re not alone. These are great ways to stay busy during the Stay at Home MN order. 


As Lake Elmo and surrounding community continue to wait out the worst of COVID19, we hope you’ll celebrate spring and Easter safely with your family while keeping your pets in-mind. So, don’t worry! Be hoppy and leap into Spring and Easter worry-free with these safety tips for pet parents.


Skip the Plastic Easter Grass


That shiny plastic grass in Easter baskets may seem harmless, but it can become a serious safety concern when it comes to pets. Dogs, cats, and other pets often feel tempted to play with and eat this fun Easter novelty. Unfortunately, many pets wide up swallowing the grass in the process. This can result in plastic tangled in your pet’s intestinal tract or knotted around the tongue. Both of these scenarios can result in an emergency visit to the ER and surgery.


A safer choice: The good news is, you don’t need to go to the store to buy Easter grass this year. Try using DIY paper strands made from construction paper. You can either cut it into strips or pass it through the paper shredder. Other DIY options include tissue paper or newspaper. 

Keep the Chocolates and Easter Candies Stored Out of Paw’s Reach


Some of the best sweets found in Easter baskets and Easter eggs can cause curious pets serious trouble. Around Easter and during spring, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  and Pet Poison Helpline receive a surge of calls regarding pets consuming chocolate, candy containing xylitol, nuts, and raisins. The best way to avoid your pet getting accidentally poisoned is to keep Easter treats out of reach of your pets. Be sure to also read the labels of sugar-free candies, too. These often contain “sugar alcohol” which is another name for xylitol, a fatal substance for dogs.


A safer choice: Bake or make your pets their own Easter treats. You can find some excellent recipes for cats and dogs that are safe and tasty. They’ll feel like they’re part of the celebration and enjoy healthy and safe snacks. 


Don’t Let Pets Play Near the Grill


As the weather warms, it’s a great time to spend time outdoors grilling burgers, hotdogs, and veggies. The mouthwatering smell of grilled food doesn’t just attract “oohs” and “ahhs” from your kids. Pets are often attracted to the appetizing smell of grilled foods. To keep your pets safe, don’t let them play or relax nearby your grill. Pets can try to steal scalding food or bump into and knock over the grill, causing serious burns.


Lilies Aren’t Safe for Felines


Lilies and Easter are a classic combination. Unfortunately, these gorgeous blooms that emerge around Easter are poisonous for cats. All it takes is your cat munching on one or two leaves from an Easter lily to need to be rushed in for urgent help. Lilies can be fatal for felines. It’s best to not bring lilies into your home if you have a cat. 


A safer choice: Read over the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets and choose plants and flowers that are safe for your four-legged family. 


Clean Up Garden Tools and Store Chemicals


If you’re using your time at home to spruce up the garden, keep your pets safe by cleaning up all sharp garden tools and storing away pesticides and herbicides immediately after use. If you grow vegetables, use pet safe fencing to keep your dog or cat from eating your crops. 


A safer choice: Avoid using commercial pesticides, herbicides or cocoa mulch near your pets. It’s important to remember that dogs and cats can both be poisoned by eating rodents that consume pesticides. The best choice is to skip the chemicals or find non-toxic and natural options.


We Hope Your Easter and Spring Will Be Hopping with Happiness!


We hope every-bunny has an egg-citing Easter and spring, despite the cloud of the novel coronavirus. Remember to keep yourselves safe and healthy along with your pets. If your pet needs care, we are here for you with precautions in place to keep you, our staff, and your pet safe.


COVID-19 Update


We are continuing to monitor the current public health situation closely. 
The health of our staff, clients, and patients is of the utmost importance, as always. 

As of Monday, March 16, we are instituting two new policies designed to limit exposure in our facility, in addition to the expanded infectious disease control protocols we instituted last week. 


  • Our lobby is currently closed and we are operating on a curbside basis for all appointments and product pickup. 
    For all appointments, we will have a staff member meet you at your vehicle to bring your pet inside. The doctor will connect with you by phone to discuss examination and treatment of your pet and take a card number over the phone. A staff member will then bring your pet and a receipt to your vehicle.
    For any medication or food pickups, please give us a call to let us know you are here. We can take a card number over the phone and have a staff member bring the product and receipt out to you.

  • Under recommendation from the American Veterinary Medical Association, CDC and other leaders, we are deferring wellness appointments and elective procedures to preserve medical supplies and encourage social distancing. 

  • At this time, these appointments will be deferred through April 1. For previously scheduled appointments, we will reach out as soon as possible to reschedule. |


Thank you for your understanding as we work to safeguard the health of our staff and community. We will continue to assess our policies as the situation develops. 

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)