The Benefits of Animal Dentistry for Your Pet

Most pet parents don’t give much thought to their pet’s teeth.

Whether you’re a pet parent to a dog or a cat, caring for their teeth probably isn’t the first thing on your mind, but it is something you should make a priority. Throughout this month, all of our blogs have been focused on animal dentistry. First, we went over how to spot the signs that your pet needs professional dental care, and then we went over tips for how to keep your dog’s teeth clean and how to keep your cat’s teeth clean. Today, we’re continuing on this theme by going over a few of the many benefits of animal dentistry for your pet.

#1. It will help to keep your pet’s teeth healthy.

The first and most obvious reason to stay on top of your pet’s dental care needs is that it helps to keep their teeth healthy. The majority of pets in the United States — 85 percent in fact — have some form of periodontal disease by the time they reach the age of three. Although periodontal disease (which is a fancy way of saying gum disease) is incredibly common in pets, it’s also very preventable. At-home dental care, combined with regular examinations and cleanings from your veterinarian, will help to prevent your pet from developing periodontal disease, as well as many other dental problems.

#2. It will help to keep your pet healthier as a whole.

Many people are under the misconception that periodontal only affects the mouth, but in reality, if it’s left untreated, it can lead a host of other concerns affecting your pet’s health as a whole. How does periodontal disease lead to health problems? The same bacteria in the mouth that causes periodontal disease can get into your pet’s bloodstream, where it can travel throughout their body. If your pet’s immune system doesn’t kill the bacteria, it can get into their organs, even their heart. Periodontal disease can cause everything from kidney problems to heart disease, and the best way to prevent it is to keep your pet’s teeth healthy through proper oral care.

#3. It will help to keep your pet’s breath fresh.

Do you feel like you should be wearing a clothespin on your nose every time your pet opens their mouth? If so, there’s a chance your pet has periodontal disease. One of the first signs people commonly notice of periodontal disease in pets is bad breath. Keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy through regular dental care will help to prevent periodontal disease, and the smelly breath that comes with it. Whether you’re trying to keep your pet healthy or eliminate the need for expensive dental treatments for your pet down the road, regular, preventative dental care is the way to go. In our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more benefits that come with animal dentistry for your pet, so be sure to stay tuned to learn more. In the meantime, if your pet requires dental care, contact us! Our new animal hospital is located in Carroll Gardens, and we’re equipped to provide your pet with the dental care they need. Schedule your appointment today!

Is Your Pet Due for Dental Care?

Believe it or not, proper dental care is just as important for our pets as it is for us!

Just as it’s important to brush your teeth to prevent dental decay and infection in your mouth, it’s also important to do the same for your furry friend. But, unfortunately, your pet can’t exactly tell you when they have a toothache. If your pet is in need of dental care, it’s important not to put it off, but how will you know? There are many tell-tale signs that pet owners should be aware of and watch out for, including:

Sign #1. Your pet has bad breath.

When the only tools you have to groom yourself are your own paws and your tongue, your breath probably won’t smell minty fresh. That being said, it’s not normal for your pet’s breath to be overly stinky. In fact, bad breath is often the first and most common sign of periodontal disease (gum disease) in pets. If you’re unsure of whether your pet’s breath is natural or the result of a dental problem, consult with your veterinarian! Left untreated, periodontal disease is only going to get worse, so it’s in neither your best interest nor your pet’s to take a chance.

Sign #2. Your pet’s teeth are stained.

You brush your teeth every night to get rid of a build-up on your teeth, called plaque. If plaque isn’t removed by brushing or flossing, it will start to harden and form tartar, which gets attached to the teeth, usually, right below the gumline. The same thing happens in our pets, and if you’re not diligent about brushing their teeth or giving them plenty of stuff to chew on, that tartar can lead to yellow or brown stains forming on their teeth. Unfortunately, this staining often goes hand in hand with bacterial infections, but your veterinarian can typically remove it through dental cleanings.

Sign #3. Your pet’s gums are swollen or bleeding.

Have you noticed that your pet leaves behind a little bit of blood when they chew on toys or bones? Or, do your pet’s gums look red or inflamed? These kinds of gum problems are often a sign that your dog has a bacterial infection in their gums, and they can cause your pet to experience significant discomfort. Luckily, though, the pain can be treated or reversed with dental care.

Sign #4. Your pet has difficulties eating.

Has your usually ravenous pet suddenly stopped caring about eating during mealtimes? Any changes in your pet’s behavior are important to watch out for, but changes in eating patterns are particularly concerning, especially in terms of their dental health. Besides not eating, a couple of other changes in their eating patterns you should be aware of include chewing on one particular side of their mouth or eating slower or more carefully than usual. Eating difficulties like these could be a sign that your pet has inflammation or even an infection, which was likely caused by periodontal disease. If you notice any changes in your pet’s eating patterns, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Sign #5. Your pet has been pawing at their gums or drooling excessively.

If your pet has a tooth abscess, it can cause a significant amount of pain. Although your pet can’t come right out and tell you they’re in pain, excessive drooling or a frequent pawing of the mouth are often indicators of oral pain. Abscesses are quite common, and they can be caused by periodontal disease or trauma to the tooth from fighting or chewing a bone or a toy that is too hard. As we mentioned, tooth abscesses are incredibly painful for your pet, and if you suspect that your pet has one, take them to your veterinarian as soon as you can.

Sign #6. Your pet has broken or loose teeth.

If your pet’s teeth are broken or feel loose, it’s a sign that their oral health problems have escalated. If bacteria is left to run rampant in your pet’s mouth, it will start to eat away at the bindings that hold their teeth into place, which can cause the teeth to become loose. Additionally, a tooth that has been broken due to some kind of trauma is highly prone to becoming infected due to the access the break gives bacteria to the tooth’s root. And, bacterial infections aren’t confined to the mouth; they can spread throughout the rest of your pet’s body, leading to more health problems for your pet.

Sign #7. Your pet has tumors or growths on their gums.

Pets, like people, can develop mouth cancer. If you’ve noticed that your pet has growths of tumors on their gums, don’t wait to get them checked out by your veterinarian. The tumors may be benign or malignant, but you won’t know until they get tested by a professional. If mouth cancer is present, the treatment might involve removing some of your pet’s teeth, as well as part of their jawbone. These growths can only be spotted if you are familiar with your pet’s mouth, which is just another reason to make it a point to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis.

A little bit of dental care at home goes a long way.

While pets are just as prone to dental problems as people, the good news is that dental problems in pets are also just as preventative as they are in people. Caring for your pet’s teeth properly at home should be a priority, not only so that you can keep their teeth clean and prevent dental problems, but also so that you can catch dental problems when they’re early and still easy to treat.

Find the pet dental care your pet needs in Carroll Gardens with The Vet Set.

At The Vet Set, we’re proud to say that our new animal hospital is equipped with everything we need to provide next-level care for your pet, including pet dental care. If you think your pet is in need of dental care, please contact us to schedule your appointment today!

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!

New York Laws Dog Owners Need to be Aware of

There are many laws in the great state of New York that dog owners need to be aware of.

As a responsible dog owner living in New York, it's up to you to follow all of the laws surrounding dog ownership. But, unfortunately, many dog owners don't realize there are even dog ownership laws to follow in the first place! Luckily, your neighborhood animal hospital in Carroll Gardens is here to help. The professionals at The Vet Set have come up with this list of need-to-know laws in New York for dog owners:

#1. Your dog must be licensed.

Any time you are out in public with your dog, there must be a license displayed on their tag with an expiration sticker. Why is licensing important? Licensing can help to reunite lost dogs and their owners, and it helps with the containment of rabies and other diseases. A license for a dog that has been neutered or spayed is $8.50, and a license for a dog that has not been neutered or spayed is $34.

#2. Your dog must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet.

While most places have leash laws, in New York, leash laws are a bit more specific than most. Not only does your dog have to have a leash on at all times, but the leash can't be longer than six feet long. Both the Parks Department and the Department of Health and Sanitation can and do enforce the leash law, and you'll be subject to a hefty fine if you decide to ignore it. If your dog needs space to run free, there are designated areas where dogs with current rabies vaccines and licenses are permitted to be off of their leash. There are also a few different parks in the city that have off-leash hours.

#3. Your dog must get vaccinated for rabies.

Before your dog reaches four months old, they must have the rabies vaccination in order to stay in compliance with state law. It's also important to ensure that your dog gets all of the necessary boosters after they had had their initial rabies shot. In most cases, you'll need proof that your dog is up to date on their rabies vaccination for them to be professionally groomed and/or welcome in playgroups or at dog runs.

#4. Your dog cannot be tethered for more than three hours.

In New York City, it's illegal to leave your dog tethered up all day, even if they have access to food and water. The law, which was passed by the New York City Council in 2011, states that a dog cannot be tethered for more than three hours in a 12-hour period. The same law also indicates that dogs cannot be tethered using choke or pinch collars, or heavy chains. Why? According to the City Council, when a dog is tethered up inhumanely, it makes them more prone to be aggressive towards others. The tether law was designed to protect both humans and dogs.

#5. Pick up after your dog.

While canine waste laws are now commonplace throughout the United States, New York was one of the first major cities to enact one. According to the law, when you're out walking your dog, you must pick up their waste or be subject to a $250 fine.

Are there breed restrictions in New York?

In New York, the state law is about identifying, tracking and regulating dogs that have been deemed dangerous on an individual level, rather than solely on the breed of the dog. In fact, New York is one of a handful of states that prohibits breed-specific legislation. However, the New York City Housing Authority prohibits its residents from owning the following breeds:
  • Akita Inu
  • Alangu Mastiff
  • Alano Espanol
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Argentine Dogo
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bull and Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Bully Kutta
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Dogo Sardesco
  • English Mastiff
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Gull Dong
  • Gull Terr
  • Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Korean Jindo Dog
  • Lottatore Brindisino
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Perro de Presa Mallorquin
  • Shar Pei
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tosa Inu

Let us help you stay in compliance with New York dog laws.

Is your dog due to a rabies vaccine? Schedule your appointment with The Vet Set today! And, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

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