Your Guide to Apartment Living With a Pet

Living in an apartment with a pet can be tricky, but there are many things that you can do to make it easier.

For people with the luxury of fenced-in backyards, taking care of a pet is easier than it is for people who live in the close quarters of an apartment, with neighbors close by and landlords to contend with. However, just because you live in an apartment, it doesn’t mean that you can’t experience the many joys of adopting a cat or dog into your family. In fact, there are many different things you can do to make apartment living with a pet easy and painless, and your go-to veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens — The Vet Set — has come up with this step-by-step guide to help:

Step 1: Talk to your landlord.

You should never just assume that your landlord is okay with you adopting a pet. The last thing that you want is to violate your lease agreement somehow and end up getting evicted for the sole reason that you did not discuss adopting a pet with your landlord. You should also avoid sneaking a pet into an apartment that isn’t pet friendly. Eventually, your secret will be found out no matter how sneaky you are, and then you’ll be faced with an eviction or the reality that you’ll have to give up your pet. But, there are additional things to consider, even if your landlord allows pets. Some landlords will have certain requirements about the size or breed of the pet in question, and others might require an additional deposit or monthly pet rent.

Step 2. Do your research on the type of pet to get.

While most animals can do well in an apartment if you are willing to put in the time and energy necessary, there are some breeds that just aren’t the best fit for apartment living — and that can be true of both dogs and cats. Here are some things to consider when determining if a certain breed will do well in an apartment:
  • How much do they bark or yowl?
  • How much exercise do they require?
  • Will they tear up your home if they miss a walk?
  • Are they friendly/social enough to be around the other people and animals in your building?
Check out our previous blog series to learn about the best dog breeds for apartment living.

Step 3. Pet-proof your home.

Pet-proofing your home is important no matter where you live, but when getting your deposit back at the end of your lease is riding on how well you take care of the home, it’s especially important. Here are some helpful tips for pet-proofing your apartment:
  • Be choosy about furniture fabric - When you’re looking at furniture, it’s important to note that some furniture fabrics are better equipped to stand up to shedding and sharp nails and teeth than others. A few fabrics that hold up well to the abuses of pets include leather or pleather, denim, microfiber and canvas.
  • Keep cords and wires out of reach - Curious kittens and puppies test out the world around them in a few different ways, but most often, they do so by putting things in their mouths. It’s all too common for puppies and especially kittens to get electrocuted by chewing on power cords, so keep them well away.
  • Install safety locks on cabinets - As we’ve mentioned, pets are curious about their surrounding, and, naturally, they’ll do some exploring. There are many things that cats and dogs shouldn’t be exposed to, including many types of cleaning products, medications and foods. To ensure that your pet can’t get access to these things in your cabinets, consider installing safety locks.
  • Invest in pet gates - There are some areas of your home where you just don’t want your pets to go, like the bathroom, your closet (with your shoe collection!) or maybe the kitchen. One great way to keep your pet out of these area is to use a pet gate.
  • Buy a trash can that can’t be knocked over - Both cats and dogs have been known to knock over trash cans when they smell something interesting inside. So, invest in a trash can that they can’t knock over, or place the trash can under the sink or in the pantry if possible.
  • Be careful with household plants - There are some plants that are best avoided in homes with pets because they are toxic to them. For example, aloe vera, jade and rosemary are all toxic to dogs, and carnations, lilies, roses and daisies are toxic to cats.
These are just three of the many steps you’ll need to take for giving your pet a happy, healthy life in your apartment, and in our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more, so make sure you stay tuned. If you have questions or concerns about living in an apartment with a pet, or your pet is in need of veterinary care, please contact us! We are always happy to help!

Common Myths About Spaying and Neutering Part 2

When it comes to spaying and neutering, it’s important not to let the common myths and misconceptions get in the way of making the right decision for your pet.

Spaying or neutering is the most effective means available today for preventing unwanted cats and dogs from being born, which is important, especially when you consider the fact that 2.7 million pets are euthanized the United States every year for the sole reason that they are homeless. However the benefits of spaying and neutering your pet go beyond the benefits for the community. It’s also important for reducing or even eliminating your pet’s risk of developing a number of health conditions. If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 of this series to learn the truth about the myths we’ve already uncovered. Keep reading to learn more.

Myth #6. Neutering or spaying your pet will make them fat and lazy.

A cat or a dog that has been spayed or neutered is less likely to roam and seek a mate, which means that they’ll likely get less exercise than they used to. However, spaying or neutering in itself won’t make your pet become lazy or gain weight, and there are many things you can do as a pet owner to keep your pet healthy. For instance, instead of letting your pet eat out of a full bowl all day long whenever they feel like it, limit their portions to a healthy amount, and only feed them at certain times of the day. Exercise is also important for both dogs and cats, and that is true all year round, not just when it’s nice outside in the spring and summer.

Myth #7. Your pet’s offspring will be miniature versions of them.

We all love our pets, and it’s no wonder why so many people want their pets to have babies, believing that they will be exact replicas of their mom or dad. However, even breeders who understand the way that bloodlines work, and know how to breed responsibly, have trouble breeding animals for certain personality traits. It’s like with children. Yes, your child may share a few personality traits with you, but they are still their own person with their own unique personality. If you want another dog or cat like the one you already have, you’d be better off going to the shelter and adopting a pet with a similar personality than you would be trying to breed miniature versions of your pet.

Myth #8. Your pet should be bred because they are purebred.

Many people who have purebred dogs and cats feel that it is their duty to breed their pet, especially because purebred pets are in demand. According to DoSomething.org, approximately one out of every 10 dog who is born in the United States will end up in a permanent home. And, while, yes, purebred dogs and cats are generally more adoptable and are less likely to end up in shelters than mixed breeds, the risk is just too high that they will end up without a home. Breeding your dog simply because they are purebred is simply not a good enough reason.

Myth #9. Your pet is too young to be spayed or neutered.

In general, most veterinarians will recommend that you get your pet spayed or neutered before they reach sexual maturity, which for female cats and dogs, is around four months old, and for males cats and dogs, is around six months old. Typically, it’s recommended that you get your pet spayed or neutered when they are between six and nine months old. However, many shelters will spay or neuter animals when they are far younger. This is because shelters don’t have the resources to thoroughly vet every single person who adopts a dog or a cat to ensure they will be responsible pet owners who do not allow their pets to breed or roam. Getting your dog or cat fixed at a younger age will help to give you peace of mind in knowing that your pet won’t be able to reproduce. Plus, though adult dogs can be neutered or spayed, there is a slightly higher risk that they will experience post-op complications.

Myth #10. You’ll be able to find good homes for your pet’s kittens or puppies.

Many people aren’t worried about spaying or neutering their pets because they believe that there will always be a good home for any kittens of puppies they may have. However, as we’ve learned time and time again in this blog series, you’d be lucky if you were able to find good homes for every puppy or kitten your pet has. More often than not, they will end up in shelters and eventually euthanized when no one adopts them. Additionally, preventing your pet from having unwanted puppies or kittens may be the biggest reason to spay or neuter your pet, but it isn’t the only reason. It’s also preventing your pet from developing a number of health conditions — primarily different types of cancer.

When it comes to spaying and neutering pets, the myths and misconceptions are endless.

You shouldn’t let misinformation keep you from doing what’s right for both your pet and your community. If you have questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, please contact our animal clinic in Carroll Gardens. We are happy to sit down with you and provide you with the information you need to make a decision you can feel good about. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Common Myths About Spaying and Neutering

Getting your pet spayed or neutered is one of the most important things you can do to give them a healthy life.

According to DoSomething.org, which is a social platform that connects people to causes around the United States, there are 2.7 million adoptable cats and dogs euthanized in the U.S. every year for the sole reason that they do not have a home. The reason for this? People don’t get their pets spayed or neutered, resulting in unexpected and unwanted litters of puppies and kittens that they aren’t prepared to take care of. And, why don’t people get their pets spayed or neutered? It’s because there are many myths and misconceptions out there about spaying and neutering that lead pet owners down the wrong path. However, our animal hospital in Carroll Gardens is here to set the record straight. So, without further ado, here is our list of the most common myths about spaying and neutering debunked:

Myth #1. Your pet deserves the opportunity to be a parent.

For people, being a parent is one of the most rewarding aspects of life, if not the most, and they don’t want their dog or cat to miss out on that same opportunity. However, there’s absolutely no scientific evidence to suggest that our pets experience parenthood anything like the way we do. But, there is scientific evidence that suggests that not getting your pet spayed or neutered can increase their risk for developing a number of health conditions, including certain types of cancer, so it’s not worth the risk.

Myth #2. It’s too expensive to get your pet spayed or neutered.

Before making the decision to adopt a pet, it’s imperative that you consider all of the costs associated with it. Giving a pet a healthy, happy life is not exactly cheap. In fact, when you consider the vaccinations, heartworm medication, veterinary evaluations and potential emergency veterinary care, it can be downright pricey. Spaying and neutering is something that should be considered a non-negotiable expense, but when you compare it to the expense of raising puppies or kittens, or treating one of the many conditions that are common in pets that are still intact, it’s minimal.

Myth #3. Your pet is always with you in your home, so there’s no reason to get them fixed.

If you keep your pet inside all of the time, there’s a good chance that they aren’t getting the kind of exercise or socialization they need in order to be health and happy. Additionally, preventing unwanted puppies and kittens isn’t the only reason to get your pet spayed or neutered. As we mentioned in our first point, if you skip spaying or neutering your pet, it puts them at a higher risk for developing a number of health conditions, including different types of cancer. Plus, spaying or neutering your pet will help to reduce unwanted and destructive behaviors, like marking.

Myth #4. Spaying or neutering your pet will cause their personality to change.

There are some behaviors that are unique — or much more severe — in pets that have not been spayed or neutered. Cats who have not been spayed or neutered, for instance, will often roam outdoors more often, which puts them at a higher risk for getting run over, and for getting into fights with other cats more often, which puts them at risk for disease or injury. Male cats who are still intact also tend to mark inside in the house because they are more territorial. When male dogs are still intact, it can lead to increased aggression, dominance and marking in the house, and if an intact male is in the vicinity of a female in heat, they will do everything in their power to escape to get to the female. Spaying or neutering your pet can help to curb these unwanted behaviors, but it won’t change your pet’s personality. And, it’s important to note that behavior and personality, while often used interchangeably, are not the same thing.

Myth #5. Neutering a male dog or cat will emasculate them.

Many people feel like neutering or even spaying an animal means that you’re forcing them to give up their sexual identity, but it’s an important to realize that cats and dogs don’t have sexual identities the same way that people do. It’s counterproductive to assign human emotions to our pets, as much as we might want to. And, yes, your neutered male pet may not feel the need to fight or roam as much as they once did, but it does not mean that they are emasculated in any way. Neutering a male cat or dog doesn’t make them less male; it just makes them less likely to produce kittens or puppies, or to develop testicular cancer. As you can see, when it comes to spaying and neutering pets, there are many different myths out there, and in our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more. Make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog if you would like to learn the truth about more common myths.

Is your dog or cat due to be spayed or neutered?

Don’t put off this incredibly important procedure. Instead, turn to the professionals at The Vet Set. We’re proud to be your go-to animal hospital in Carroll Gardens, and we’ll take care of your pet as if they were our own. We also have a brand new, state-of-the-art animal hospital in Carroll Gardens! Contact, visit us online or use our app to schedule your appointment today! And, as always, if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Toxins All Cat Owners Need to Know About Part 2

As a cat owner, it's important to know about the many things that are toxic to your cat.

Every cat owner wants their feline friend to live a happy, healthy, long life full of joy and love, but unfortunately, there are many things in the average home that are toxic to cats. And, if your cat accidentally gets into something they shouldn't, it can put their health and maybe even their life at risk. Protecting your cat from these toxins means removing them from your home — or at the very least, putting them somewhere your cat can't get to them — but you can't do that if you don't know what they are. That's why, in our latest blog, our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens went over a few of the most common toxins for cats. Here are a couple more:

#4. Household Chemicals

We use so many chemicals in our day-to-day lives for everything from cleaning up stains to keeping pests out of our homes. And, while most people (or rather adults) know not to ingest any of these chemicals, cats know no such thing. What's even worse is that some of these chemicals — antifreeze for example — taste and smell good to cats. It's essential to keep the following household chemicals well away from your cat:
  • Antifreeze
  • Herbicides
  • Flea and tick shampoos and sprays for dogs
  • De-icing salt
  • Bleach
  • Detergents
  • Insecticides
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
When you do need to clean something with bleach or use a detergent, just make sure to keep your cat away, and don't allow them to go near it until it is been completely dried or removed.

#5. Glow sticks and luminous jewelry.

Believe it or not, glow sticks and luminous jewelry are some of the more common reasons why people call poison control for their cats. Glow sticks and luminous jewelry both contain a toxic liquid, called dibutyl phthalate. Although it won't cause overly significant problems, it can cause stomach pain, vomiting and/or foaming at the mouth if it's ingested. If you attend an event that has glow sticks or luminous jewelry, don't take them home with you!

What should you do if you think your cat has been poisoned?

Now that you know what some of the most common toxins for cats are, what should you do if you think your cat ingested one? The first and best piece of advice we can give is to act quickly. Every minute is important if your cat has ingested something toxic. Then, follow these steps:
  • Contact your veterinarian and/or poison control - Keeping your veterinarian's number handy is important, and you'll be glad you did if your cat ingests something they shouldn't. If your normal veterinary clinic isn't open, call an emergency animal hospital or poison control. They should be able to inform you about further steps you should take.
  • Collect any applicable samples - When you take your cat to visit the veterinarian, bringing along some samples could be helpful. These samples could include the substance your cat ingested, as well as stool and vomit samples.
  • What out for symptoms - Keep a close eye on your cat for symptoms, which could include breathing difficulties, coughing, weakness, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, upset stomach, excess saliva, depression, shivering, tremors, seizures and skin irritation. In most cases, symptoms will appear right away, but sometimes, they show up little by little.

Don't take a chance when it comes to your cat's health and safety. Learn the ins and outs of what is poisonous for your cat, so that you can keep it safely out of reach. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact us!

Toxins All Cat Owners Need to Know About

Cats are curious creatures who like to explore.

Since cats are — as a whole at least — much less mischievous than most dogs, many cat owners give their furry friends the full lay of the land without restriction. But, before you do, it's important to cat-proof your home by removing anything that could be toxic or dangerous for your cat to ingest. However, what's toxic to your cat may not always be obvious to every cat owner, and to keep your cat safe, it's important to know what is toxic to them. That's why our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens has come up with this list of toxins that all cat owners need to know about.

#1. Medication

Cats don't metabolize medication the same way that people or even dogs do, and even small amounts of certain medications can be incredibly dangerous for cats. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), for example, is one of the most common medications found in any given medicine cabinet, but just one tablet could be deadly for a cat. Here are a few other medications to watch out for:
  • Antidepressants
  • Cold medicine
  • Diet pills
  • Cancer medications
  • NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Supplements and vitamins
Some medications made for humans may also be safe for cats, but you should NEVER give your cat any medication without first talking to your veterinarian.

#2. Plants

Plants can be a godsend for anyone living in the city, and there are so many benefits to having household plants around. Studies have shown that having plants around helps to ease stress, improve indoor air quality, improve moods and so much more. However, some plants can also be dangerous for our feline friends, so before you go out and buy a bunch of plants to decorate your home, know which ones can be harmful to your cat:
  • Lily
  • Tulip
  • Aloe
  • Mistletoe
  • Azalea
  • Poinsettia
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Rhododendron
Cats are excellent climbers, and they have been known to chew on leaves, so unless you are 100-percent sure that your cat won't be able to get to the plant, don't take a chance with any of the above plants in your home.

#3. Foods

Does your pet look up at you with adorable, begging eyes every time you sit down to eat? If so, don't give in to their begging, no matter how cute or pathetic they might appear while they're doing it. The fact of the matter is that there are many different human foods that are toxic to cats, and unless you know for a fact that something isn't toxic for your cat, you shouldn't take the chance. Here are a few of the most common people foods that are toxic to cats:
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Raisins
  • Yeast dough
  • Chives
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (commonly found in sugar-free toothpaste, candy and gum)
Not only should you avoid giving your cat human food because much of it is poisonous for them, but people food can also make your cat gain an unhealthy amount of weight, putting them at risk for diabetes and other health problems.
There are so many things that can be toxic to your cat, and in order to keep them safe, you need to know what they are! In our next blog, we'll be going over the last few toxins to cats, as well as what you should do if you think your cat has ingested something toxic, so make sure that you stay tuned to learn more. If you have questions or concerns, or your cat needs veterinary assistance, please contact us! Our new animal hospital is conveniently located in Carroll Gardens, and it's equipped with everything we need to provide your cat with next-level care. We look forward to hearing from you!

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