Summer Dangers All Pet Owners Need to Know About

Summer is here, and it brings many dangers for your pet.

There’s a reason why summer is most people’s favorite time of the year. It’s sunny, warm and the world becomes your playground, not to mention the fresh fruit, ice cream and long, lazy days by the pool. But, no matter how much you love summer, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that it can pose for your pet. Here are the biggest dangers your pet faces during the hottest months of the year:

#1. Overheating

We all get hot from time to time, but if your dog gets overheated, it can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation unless you are able to get them the treatment they need right away. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias. When it’s hot outside, make sure your dog has a cool place to rest, and that they have plenty of water to drink. Pay close attention to your dog to watch for signs of overheating — noisy, fast breathing, panting and disorientation. Other signs to watch out for include blue or bright red gums, convulsions, collapsing, diarrhea and vomiting. If you think your dog might be overheating, immediately wet them with cool water and then take them to your local veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens right away. Never keep your dog in a hot car!

#2. Activities Off the Leash

With summer comes the temptation to allow your dog to be off of their leash. Whether you’re running, cycling or even swimming, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of allowing your dog to be off leash. Even if your dog is fully trained and always follows your directions, other dogs and wild animals could pose a threat to your dog. And, if your dog is like most dogs, they don’t always listen perfectly to your every command, and all it takes is your dog running off to chase one pesky squirrel to put them at risk of getting lost or run over by a car.

#3. Bee Stings

There’s no doubt about it, bee stings hurt. But, if you’re allergic to bees, bee stings are much more serious than the short-term pain and discomfort they cause. What many people don’t realize is that, just as people can be deathly allergic to bee stings, so can dogs. If you notice that your dog has suddenly yelped, and they start to rub or lick a specific area excessively, they may have a bee sting. If you’re unsure about whether your dog is allergic to bee stings, watch for signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling of the face, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble breathing, pale gums, collapse and a wobbly gait. If you suspect that your dog has been stung and is having an allergic reaction, take them to your veterinarian immediately.

#4. Toxic Plants

Summer is the perfect time of the year to bring the outdoors into your home, and to fill your garden with beautiful flowers and plant life. But, if you have pets at home, it’s important to make sure that you do your homework about which plants are toxic for pets. Even some of the most beautiful plants can be poisonous for our pets. For example, lily of the valley and white oleander can cause heart arrhythmias that can be fatal in pets. Check out the ASPCA’s list of poisonous plants before deciding to bring new plants into your home or on your property. While it’s best to steer clear of these plants altogether, if you do have toxic plants in your home or garden, make sure they are out of reach of your pet.

#5. Ticks

With warmer weather comes lots of insect activity, and as the summer is the peak of breeding season for ticks, they are all too common this time of year. Ticks are nasty, and no one wants to find a tick stuck to themselves or their dog, but what’s even worse are the diseases that ticks carry and can transmit to dogs and humans. These disease include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, as well as anemia, joint inflammation and problems with blood clotting. Always check yourself and your dog thoroughly every time you return from a trip outside. And, make sure you talk to your veterinarian about preventative precautions to protect your dog from ticks. There are many things that can put your pet at risk this summer, and it’s important to be aware of them so that you can take the proper steps to keep your pet safe. Make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog to learn about the other dangers your pet faces over the summer months. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about your pet’s health this summer, or your pet is due for a check-up, contact us at The Vet Set to schedule your appointment.

Tips for Welcoming Home a Shelter Dog

Adopting a dog from a shelter is the best way to bring a new family member into your home.

From buying a dog at a pet store to buying a dog from a breeder, there are lots of ways to bring a new member into your family. However, adopting a dog from a shelter is one of the most noble things you can do, because it means saving that dog’s life. However, the transition from shetler life into your home may not be as smooth as it would be if you were to buy a dog from a breeder, especially if the dog comes from an abusive background. Here are a few tips to help you welcome a shelter dog into your home:

#1. Make sure you’re ready to meet the dog’s special needs.

Most shelters are extremely good about informing adoptive puppy parents of any special needs, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. It’s important to ensure that you are ready and able to meet the dog’s needs, whatever they may be. For instance, if the dog was recently in a home where they were abandoned for days at a time, you may want to reconsider adopting them if you work 12-hour days.

#2. Take some time off of work.

Don’t adopt a shelter dog and then immediately head to work for the full day. Your new dog will need some time to get to know you, but in order for them to do that, you need to be there! Plan to take a few days of work off after you bring your new dog home.

#3. Ease your dog into their new life.

Your dog may not warm up to their new family or lifestyle right away, and you shouldn’t force them to jump into anything. Be patient and give your dog plenty of time to ease into their new life. And, don’t lose hope if, after warming up to you and starting to feel more comfortable, your dog reverts back into their old ways when they’re scared or unsure. It takes lots of time and love to help a dog recover from a troubled background.

#4. Get your new dog into a routine.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and one of the best ways to ease your dog into their new life is to get them on a routine. Exercise, play with and feed your dog at the same time every day. Make sure that you take your dog outside on a regular basis, and that they go to bed and get up at around the same times every day. When your dog knows what to expect each day, it will help to ease some of their anxiety, and help them to feel more comfortable.

#5. Enroll your new dog in dog classes.

Dogs need to be trained, and that’s true no matter how old they are or what sort of background they come from. Dog training classes can address everything from basics, like potty training, to behavior issues, like aggression. There are age-specific training classes, as well as one-on-one training. The best part about dog training is that it also helps to teach you how to be consistent and train your new dog effectively.

Find the right veterinarian in Carroll Gardens for your new dog with The Vet Set.

In addition to helping your new dog grow accustomed to their new lifestyle and family, it’s also important to find the right veterinarian to care for your new dog. Not only is important to bring him or her for a visit as soon as possible after adopting, you’ll also need to bring him or her in for regular examinations. And, if an emergency arises, you need to know where to take your new dog. Luckily, with The Vet Set on your side, the decision is easy. Visit us online today to learn more.

Your Guide to Finding a Dog

Are you ready to adopt a new dog into your family?

There’s nothing more exciting than bringing a furry new friend home, but before that happens, you actually have to adopt one! There are lots of ways to adopt a dog, and finding the best one for you is the first step toward bringing your new friend home. Here are the most common ways to adopt a dog:

Friends or Family

When people can no longer care for a dog for whatever reason, they will often look first to their friends and family to find their dog a new home. While this is a less official way to adopt, it has its benefits because you’ll be in the know about the dog’s personality and any quirks or behavior problems they may have ahead of time. You also might be able to adopt the dog on a trial basis to see if it is a good fit. Other times, dogs, much like kids, are adopted into families as a part of new marriages or relationships.

Pet Adoption Sites

There are many different pet adoption sites out there that can connect people looking for dogs with breeders, shelters, etc. While these sites can be a good place to start, you’ll want to make sure that you do your own independent research before choosing to go through someone recommended by a pet adoption site.

Pet Stores

If you’re looking to buy a puppy, and you want a certain breed, pet stores might be your first thought. However, when it comes to pet stores, you’ll want to be careful. Not every pet store gets their puppies from reputable breeders, and if you purchase a puppy that was born into a puppy mill, your money will be contributing to breeders who misuse and mistreat their dogs.

Breeders

If you’ve got your eye on a specific breed of dog, you can better ensure that you’re adopting a dog from a reputable breeder, rather than a backyard breeder or by someone running a puppy mill, if you choose to adopt straight from the breeder. Do your research on any breeder you’re thinking of working with. Instead of searching Google for a breeder, ask your veterinarian for recommendations, or look for a breeder through a reliable, national-kennel-club-recommended site, like AKC Breeder Contacts.

Shelters

Adopting a shelter dog is one of the best methods for adopting a dog because it means saving a life. Shelters can only take care of dogs for so long, and there are an estimated 1.5 million shelter animals euthanized every year. While many shelter dogs are mixed breed, you can also find purebred dogs in shelters. Please keep in mind that some shelter dogs come from abusive or otherwise troubled backgrounds and may have physical or emotional problems as a result. Before adopting a dog with special needs, make sure that you understand and are ready to provide for those needs.

Rescue Organizations

Rescue organizations work to help homeless dogs find the right homes, and some even adopt dogs from shelters that are about to be euthanized. There are some rescue organizations that breed-specific, so if you’re looking for a certain breed, a rescue organization is a good place to start your search. In many cases, rescue organizations foster their dogs in different homes until they find permanent families for them. The benefit of this is that the foster parent can give you all of the information you need about your new dog. Another thing that you should know about rescue organizations is that, because they care so much, they are often very picky when it comes to who they allow to adopt their dogs.

For the best veterinary care for your new dog, choose The Vet Set.

Regardless of whether you choose to save a dog from a shelter or adopt a dog from a friend who can no longer take care of it, you’ll need to find the right veterinarian for your dog. Here in Carroll Gardens, there’s no better animal hospital to turn to than The Vet Set. We pride ourselves in providing the best possible care for our patients, and we offer a wide range of services to ensure that we can meet all of your dog’s needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Are You Ready for Cat Adoption? Part 3

You should never rush into adopting a cat.

Caring for a cat is more intensive than a lot of people think, and you should never adopt a cat on a whim. In order to ensure that you’re ready to provide the level of attention and care that a cat needs, there are many things you’ll want to think about before you take the leap to adopt a cat. In part two of this series, we touched on a few of those things, so if you haven’t already, check it out. Keep reading to learn what else to consider before deciding to adopt a cat:

#6. Are you prepared to spay or neuter your cat?

Cat overpopulation is a much bigger problem than a lot of people realize, and it’s important to ensure that you are ready to make the decision to neuter or spay your cat so that your cat won’t be contributing to the problem. Some people choose not to spay or neuter because they believe that they can sell or give the kittens away to good families. But, in more cases than not, the reality is that it’s not possible to find a good family for a litter of kittens, and many cats end up on the street or in shelters. Another reason why spaying and neutering is important is that it eliminates the risks of developing a number of health conditions, like testicular and ovarian cancer.

#7. Should you adopt a cat or a kitten?

Adopting a kitten is a whole other ballgame than adopting an adult cat. Although physically, a kitten grows quickly and reaches maturity by the time it reaches six months, it will retain its kitten behaviors and high energy levels for far longer. Kittens are curious, playful and mischievous; whereas, adult cats are much calmer and less likely to get into trouble. If you’ve got a busy schedule and don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to training and entertaining a kitten, then an adult cat might be better suited to your lifestyle. However, if you are ready and able to adopt a kitten, who can say no to those fuzzy little faces?

#8. Is everyone in your home ready for a cat?

Unless you live by yourself, you should consider more than just if you’re ready to adopt a cat; you need to think about every individual in your home. This should include your spouse or partner, your kids and any other pets you may have. Your kids should understand that they shouldn’t tug on or manhandle the new cat. Determining if your existing pets are ready for a new friend is a much more difficult matter, especially if you’ve got a dog a home. Consider your dog’s personality and any previous interactions he or she has had with cats or other small animals in the past. If your dog has acted aggressively towards cats in the past, tends to play too rough or likes to chase squirrels and other smaller animals that a frightened cat may resemble, it might not be the right option to adopt a cat. On the other hand, if you’ve got a calm, easy-going dog who loves to cuddle and has the patience of a saint, adopting a cat might be the perfect way to complete your family.

#9. Are you ready for the less-than-fun parts of cat ownership?

Caring for a cat is not all pulling a string around and cuddling. There are a lot of not-so-fun parts that any potential cat owner needs to be aware of. Grooming, for instance, is more work than you probably think; many people don’t even realize that grooming is necessary in the first place, believing that cats have it covered on their own. However, you’re going to need to bathe your cat every once in a while, keep their nails trimmed, keep their ears clean and more. Cats, too, need exercise, one-on-one attention and veterinary care. Your cat may scratch or bite you, scratch up your furniture or meow incessantly, but at the end of the day, we think that the love they provide is more than worth the trouble.

#10. Do you have everything you’ll need?

On your way home from the shelter or the breeder, with your new cat in tow, is not the time to run to the pet store to get all of the supplies you need. You’ll need to get everything before you bring your cat home, as well as to make the environment appropriate for your new cat. You won’t want to give your new cat free reign of your entire home at first. Start out by designating a small area for them, and give your cat more freedom as they get more comfortable. As far as equipment goes, you’ll need a litter box, water and food bowls, cat food, scratching posts, toys, a cat bed, a collar, tags, a carrying case and more.

Find the right veterinarian for your new cat with The Vet Set.

One other thing that you should do before you bring your new cat home is to research local veterinary clinics. Your new cat will need to go the veterinarian right away, so you’ll want to make sure that you’ve found one ahead of time. At The Vet Set, we’re proud to be your neighborhood veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens, and we offer a wide variety of veterinary services and are prepared to take care of all of your cat’s needs. Contact us today to earn more or to schedule your appointment.

Are You Ready for Cat Adoption? Part 2

Are you thinking about adopting a cat?

Before you take the leap and adopt a cat, there are many things you’ll need to consider. In our last blog, we talked about the importance of thinking about your motivation for adopting a cat in the first place, and looked at common reasons why people adopt cats, both good and bad. Today, we’ll be going over the many things you want to consider before adopting a cat.

#1. Do you have time to care for a cat?

In our last blog, we talked about the common misconception that cats don’t need a lot of attention or time, and every potential cat owner should know that that is patently not true. When determining if adopting a cat is right for you, you’ll need to think about how much time you have to dedicate to your cat and its care. What’s your lifestyle like? Do you spend a lot of time at home, or do you prefer to be out and about as much as possible? Do you travel frequently, or are you more into staycationing? Do you tend to work long hours, or could you make it home at some point during the day to hang out with your cat? Your schedule won’t magically clear up just because you’ve adopted a cat, so you need to make sure that a cat can realistically fit into your lifestyle.

#2. Are you allowed to have a cat?

Not every building in New York City allows cats to live there, and before you go check out the cats at the shelter or start contacting breeders, it’s important to make sure that it is acceptable for you to have a cat in your home. And before you tell yourself that you’ll be able to get away with sneaking a cat into your place without anyone knowing, think again. In order to provide a stable home for your new cat, you need to be 100-percent sure that you are able to provide that home legally.

#3. Are you financially prepared for caring for a cat?

One common misconception that we touched on in our last blog is that cats don’t require veterinary care, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Cats, just like any other pet, need preventative care to protect them against illness and parasites, and cats can develop illnesses and injuries that require treatment. All of this costs money, and you’ll need to make sure that you’re financially prepared to take on the responsibility. Furthermore, even simply feeding your cat and keeping them entertained with toys adds up, and the costs should be accounted for in your budget before adopting a cat.

#4. Do you know what taking care of a cat entails?

Doing your research is a critical step to take before making any big decision, and the decision to adopt a cat is no exception. As we learned in our last blog, people commonly think all kinds of things about caring for cats that just aren’t true, and before you take the leap, it’s important that you take the time to learn the truth about cat care. There’s a lot of good information in books and on the internet, but we also advise talking to someone you know who is already a cat parent to learn the realities of cat care. If possible, you could even volunteer to cat sit for a friend as a kind of test run for having your own cat at home.

#5. Are you ready for a long-term commitment?

Adopting a cat is not like adopting a hamster or a goldfish. You’re not adopting an animal that will pass on in a couple of weeks, months or even years; you’re adopting an animal who will rely on you for the next 10 to 18 years, or even longer. This means that you not only need to make sure that your lifestyle fits being a cat parent now, you also need to ensure that your future has plenty of room for your purring pal as well. If you’re not sure where you will be living and what the future will relatively hold in a few years from now, you might want to wait until there is a little more stability in your life to adopt. These are just a few things you’ll need to consider before making the big decision of adopting a cat. Would you like to learn more? If so, make sure you stay tuned for our next blog, when we’ll be touching on what else to consider before adopting a cat. In the meantime, if you’ve decided to adopt a new cat, ensure that they get only the best care by turning to The Vet Set. We’re proud to say that our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens provides next-level care for every pet, and we’re dedicated to ensuring that your new cat is safe and healthy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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