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, 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!

How to Protect Your Dog in the Winter Part 2

The cold weather can be hard on your furry friend.

There's a lot to love about the winter. The snow is beautiful, the holidays are a blast and it gives you a great excuse to sport the best of winterwear, including scarves, beanies and sweaters. But, the cold weather the winter brings can be rough, and not just on us; it can be hard for our canine companions as well. Not many people — even dog owners — realize it, but the winter brings a wide range of unique challenges for dogs. There is good news, however. There are lots of things you can do to protect your dog in the winter, and in our veterinarian's last blog, we went over a few of them. Here are a few more ways you can protect your dog this winter.

#4. Watch out for signs of pain.

Just like cold weather can make pain from arthritis and other joint issues in people more severe, it can do the same for dogs. If your dog has diabetes, arthritis or any other condition that affects their joints, watch out for signs of increased pain during the winter. For some dogs, it might help to cushion them against the cold by providing them with a pair of boots for added protection and comfort. It's also smart to talk to our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens about possible treatment options.

#5. Never leave your dog in a cold vehicle.

Most people are fully aware of how cruel and inhumane it is to leave a dog outside in a hot car, but not many people give a second thought to a dog left inside of a car on a cold day. However, a vehicle left outside in the cold can cool down a lot faster than you might think, so even if you leave your dog in the car while you're out running errands, they could get cold out there waiting for you. And, while leaving a dog in a cold car isn't quite as risky as leaving them in a hot car, your dog isn't immune to the cold, and they will likely be uncomfortable.

#6. Be aware of hazards inside your home.

In this blog series, we've talked a lot about cold-weather related dangers outside of the home, but there are hazards inside of the home that dog parents need to be aware of. For example, many people use space heaters to get warm, but be careful, as dogs can all too easily knock one over accidentally and start a fire. Dogs have also been known to burn themselves on spaces heaters and heating pads. If you keep antifreeze around, make sure to keep it in a safe place where your dog can't get anywhere near it. And, if you accidentally spill it, make sure to clean it up completely. Dogs like to lick it up because of its sweet taste, but it can be deadly when it's ingested

#7. Play with your dog inside or when the sun is shining.

All dogs need to be able to play and get exercise every day, regardless of what the weather is like outside. But, cold weather can severely limit playtime, at least outdoors. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to get your dog a little exercise and playtime inside:
  • Run with your dog up and down the stairs of your building.
  • Play keep away or fetch.
  • Set up obstacles courses with things you have at home, like hula hoops or seat cushions.
  • Play hide and go seek.
  • Walk your dog on a treadmill.
  • Play tug of war.
These indoor activities aren't exactly equivalent to running with your dog through the park for a half an hour or taking them on a long walk, but they'll help to expend some energy on those days when it's just too cold to play outside. It's also important to take advantage of playing outside on winter days when the sun is shining and the temperature is a little higher. We hope that these tips will help you enjoy a safe, healthy winter with your dog. And, if you have questions or concerns, or you would like to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens, give us a call today! We're happy to help!

How to Protect Your Dog in the Winter

Winter can bring unique challenges for dogs and their owners.

When most of us think of the effects of the cold weather, we think about turning up the thermostats in our homes, taking steps to prevent the pipes from freezing and bundling up in our warmest winter wear when we leave the house. But, what most of us don’t think about is how the cold weather affects our dogs. After all, dogs have warm fur coats, so they don’t need any special care or attention during the winter, right? Wrong! The cold affects our four-legged friends in so many different ways. And, when you’re out walking your dog on a cold, blustery, New York City day, there are certain precautions you’ll need to take to protect your pooch. Here is a list of tips from our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens to help you protect your dog this winter:

#1. Make sure your dog is warm and dry as much as possible.

Even though your dog is covered in fur, it doesn’t make them immune to the cold. Of course, some breeds handle the cold weather better than others, but in general, if the temperature outside is too cold for you, there’s a good chance that it’s also too cold for your dog. If you’re going to be outside for a long period of time, and your dog is a shorter-haired breed, like a Greyhound or a Chihuahua, consider investing in a jacket or sweater to keep them cozy and warm. And, when you come inside after playing in the snow, help your dog warm up quicker by toweling them off.

#2. Don’t force your dog to stay outside for too long.

When the weather is really nasty out, don’t force your dog to spend too much time outside. Even dogs that have been bred to pull sleds in the coldest parts of the world, such as Malamutes, Huskies, Chinooks and Samoyeds, aren’t meant to stay outside in the cold indefinitely. So, limit your dog’s time outside to when you need to exercise them or let them relieve themselves. And, even then, if it’s really cold outside, you might need to consider going on a shorter walk.

#3. Wipe down your dog’s paws after they go outside.

Every time you walk or play with your dog outside, make it a point to wipe down their paws when you bring them inside. Snow or ice can bet stuck in the hairs in between your dog’s pads, which can make their paws uncomfortable and make it hard for them to walk. Additionally, rock salt is commonly used to prevent ice from building up on streets and sidewalks, but it can chap your dog’s paws. Antifreeze is also commonly used to in the winter, and can be picked up on your dog’s paws. It has a sweet taste that is attractive to dogs, but, it’s also very poisonous and can be lethal if it’s ingested. Keep your dog safe and protect their sensitive paws by wiping them off every time you come inside, or better yet train them to wear dog boots.

Winter can be hard on your dog, but The Vet Set is here to help!

We hope these tips will help you enjoy a fun, safe winter with your furry friend, and to learn more winter safety tips for your dog, stay tuned for our next blog. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re located conveniently in Carroll Gardens, and our new, state-of-the-art animal hospital offers everything from vaccinations and annual examinations to pet surgery and dentistry. We’re truly your go-to source for veterinary care, and we look forward to caring for your dog!

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