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!

Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living Part 2

When it comes to apartment living, some dog breeds do better than others.

Unlike people living in most of the country, the vast majority of people living in Carroll Gardens and the surrounding neighborhoods don't have yards or a lot of space for a dog to run around in. However, apartment living does not have to mean dog-free living. Believe it or not, there are many different dog breeds that actually thrive in apartments, and in our last blog, our veterinary clinic went over some of the most apartment-friendly dog breeds. Check it out if you haven't already, and keep reading to learn more:

#6. Greyhound

With their aerodynamic bodies and shock-absorbing paw pads, Greyhounds were bred for racing and other high-speed pursuits. But, don't let their reputation for racing intimidate you. As long as you give them a little time to sprint on a regular basis, the rest of the time, your Greyhound will be content to relax at home. Greyhounds are also intelligent and easy to train, but they have an independent nature, so they tend do best without a lot of other pets around.

#7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you're looking for a sweet, smart dog who will get along with anyone and everyone, look no further than a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs are cherished for their good behavior and affectionate nature; they live for a good belly rub or a chance to cuddle. And, as long as you make it a point to keep up on brushing them every week, they won't shed too much.  But, you'll need to be prepared to regularly exercise your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and you'll want to make sure that you have plenty of patience throughout the house training process.

#8. French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs were originally bred to be miniature versions of English Bulldogs, and they share much of the same qualities that make English Bulldogs a great dog breed for apartment living. French Bulldogs have low activity needs, but they also love human contact. They are tiny, which means they'll be able to fit comfortably in even the smallest spaces.  Best of all, French Bulldogs rarely bark unless there is a good reason for it. So, while your French Bulldog may not be able to intimidate anyone with its tiny stature, they can make a good guard dog because they will alert you when necessary.

#9. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are an incredible breed for apartment living in almost every way. They have mild, affectionate temperaments, and they are generally quite calm. Shih Tzus can be shy, but they are very agreeable and can get along well with other people, pets and even kids. They also don't require a lot of activity. The one downside of Shih Tzus is that they require a strenuous grooming schedule, but their sweet nature will make all of that extra work well worth it.

#10. Great Dane

Are you operating under the impression that you can only adopt a small dog when you live in an apartment? Think again! Great Danes are huge, and they look intimidating, but they truly are gentle giants. They have a calm, caring demeanor that makes them an ideal companion for people living in even the smallest spaces. Great Danes also don't require a whole lot of strenuous activity, like most bigger breeds do; a daily walk is all that a Great Dane needs to be happy and healthy. Plus, Great Danes look intimidating, which would make anyone think twice before trying to attack you when you're with one. Just keep in mind that a single swipe of a Great Dane's tail could topple anything and everything within reach, so you might want to keep the coffee table clear.

Find the right veterinary clinic for your new furry friend.

Once you find the right breed for your lifestyle, you then need to find the right veterinary clinic to help you care for your new companion. Luckily, here in Carroll Gardens, you have The Vet Set on your side, and we'll take care of your dog as if they were our own. Feel free to peruse our website today to learn more about our services, or stop by our neighborhood veterinary clinic!

Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Not every dog is suited for apartment living.

Throughout most of the United States, dogs run freely in backyards, merrily barking along the fence at everyone passing by. But, all of the perks of living in New York City can often mean giving up the idea of a house with a yard for your furry friend. The good news for dog lovers, however, is that living in an apartment doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have to give up the idea of having a dog as well. While not every dog is suited for apartment living, there are some breeds that do just fine in apartments, thank you very much. Here are some of the best dog breeds for apartment living:

#1. English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are famous for their adorable, squishy faces, and they also happen to be almost tailor-made for apartment living. English Bulldogs don't need a lot of exercise, so they're not going to miss having a yard. And, while most English Bulldogs are calm and are pretty much content just to lie around, they also have a fierce, stocky look that would make anyone think twice before trying anything.

#2. Italian Greyhound

If you're currently trying to decide whether to get a cat or a dog, it's time to consider adopting a Italian Greyhound. IG’s for short have quite comical personalities,and just want love and a fluffy bed. Because IG’s are sensitive to cold ,they almost always prefer to be inside, but they’re always game for a nice walk about.

#3. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are — like Italian Greyhounds — very similar to cats. Like cats, Shiba Inus have a very curious nature, but be careful, as they are also very smart and known for escaping. Shiba Inus also like to groom themselves quite frequently. Another great reason why Shiba Inus are great for apartments is their compact size. At just 25 pounds and only 18 inches tall, Shiba Inus don't need a lot of room. But, Shiba Inus require vigorous exercise, or they can grow bored and mischievous, so make sure to walk your Shiba Inu on a regular basis.

#4. Poodle

If you suffer from allergies caused by dog hair, but you can't imagine living without a cuddly companion, a Poodle may be the perfect dog to share a small space with. Poodles have non-shedding coats, which dramatically reduces the amount of pet dander they produce. Poodles are also incredibly intelligent, which makes them easy to train. But, you'll want to make sure to adopt a Toy or Miniature Poodle, as Standard Poodles require daily, vigorous exercise, while Toy and Miniature Poodles only require walks.

#5. Pomeranian

Cute, fluffy and fiercely independent, Pomeranians are great dogs for people who lead busy lives. Pomeranians are tiny, weighing in at just under eight pounds, and their compact size is ideal for compact living because they can get comfortable just about anywhere. However, Pomeranians are also energetic, and they tend to bark a lot, so you'll need to be committed to consistent walking and training from the beginning. These are just a few of the many dog breeds that are perfect for apartment living in Carroll Gardens and the surrounding neighborhoods. To learn about more dog breeds that are ideal for apartment living, make sure to stay tuned for our next blog! And, don't forget to turn to The Vet Set. We're your go-to veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens, and we offer everything from pet dental care to diagnostics and surgery. Let us help you keep your new companion healthy from day one. Schedule your appointment today!

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