Is Your Cat Stressed?

Find out what may be the cause of stress in your cat!

Much like us, cats can suffer from stress, too. And while all cats have unique personalities that come off as aloof or anti-social, sometimes it may just be  a result of stress and anxiety.  So, how do you know when your cat is stressed out? As a cat owner, it’s vital to address the health and wellness of your cat, including any stress! The Vet Set in Carroll Gardens provides cat wellness exams to help pinpoint any stressors your cat may have. Take a moment with us today and learn more about what may be stressing your cat out. 

Stress in Cats

We know that cats can experience stress, and it often has the same crippling health effects as it does in humans that can lead to both physical and behavioral concerns in your cat. 

What stresses your cat out?

Sure, they don’t feel the weight of the world on their shoulders from unanswered emails and trying to juggle all their roles, but things in their environment have a bigger impact than you might think. Environmental stressors that cause stress and anxiety in your cat include:  Moving  Moving, whether it be local or out of state can be stressful for your cat. It disrupts what they know, right down to their daily routine. It’s important to keep this in mind if your cat is acting out of sorts or seems stressed. Help calm them by keeping them separated in a room with things they’re familiar with (toys, litter box, favorite snuggle blanket, etc) while you’re moving out. When you’re in the new space do a similar thing and keep a safe room just for them while everything is getting settled.    Someone New A new family member or roommate, whether they’re human or animal, can be stressful for your cat. It disrupts their familiarity so it’s vital to introduce anyone new slowly and give them space they may need — snuggles and extra treats help! Vet Visits Let’s face it, no one really enjoys going to the doctor, and a vet appointment may frighten and induce stress and anxiety. Try creating positive vet appointments by scheduling wellness visits where they get all the attention and skritches, but in a good way that’s not scary.  Another way to help keep your cat calm is to place a blanket over their crate to mask the transport.  New Schedules Perhaps there is a change in your daily schedule — your job is at a different time or you’re gone for longer periods than usual. If you know about the schedule change, help prepare your cat. Consider leaving the house for extended periods before your new job starts, and then greeting your cat with lots of love and attention upon your return.  Loud Events Whether it’s the Fourth of July or you’re hosting a party, loud parties, holidays, and events can stress your cat out. Consider putting them in a safe room away from loud music, the constant ringing of the doorbell, and fireworks — somewhere they feel safe and protected. Events Through the Window Another external stressor is what may be on the other side of the window — a taunting squirrel, raccoon, dog, or bird. This can not only stress your cat out because they want to be on the other side and defend their yard, but it can also cause what’s known as redirected aggression. This type of aggression is in response to the stress of feeling helpless and they can swiftly attack the next closest thing — another cat or human.  

5 Signs of Stress

Now that we have more of an understanding of what causes stress in cats, what does stress look like? 
Stress in cats can result from many external factors including moving, vet appointments, new schedules, loud events, and being unable to defend their territory.  The stress may manifest as litter box issues, destructive scratching, hiding, being extra clingy, overgrooming, and a decreased appetite.  If you notice that your cat is a little off or acting out, they may be stressed To learn more about stress in cats or to schedule a cat wellness exam, reach out to our Carroll Gardens vet clinic.  

Can Dogs Drink Alcohol?

Is alcohol ever okay for your dog?

You’ve seen the posed photo of a dog at a craft brewery or next to a glass of wine after a “hard day’s work,” but as we know from chocolate, not everything we consume is good for dogs.  It’s the holiday season, which means the sugar and starches run aplenty and the alcohol overfloweth and just around the corner or right behind you is your pooch, waiting for anything to fall onto the floor and into their belly! At The Vet Set in Carroll Gardens, the holidays bring celebrations which can mean an accidental poisoning as your dog is exposed to a variety of human cakes, candies, and beverages that make an appearance this time of year. Take a moment with us today and explore the topic of alcohol and how it impacts your dog. 

If boozy beverages are left out during your holiday gatherings, dogs may have the urge to peruse the floor and lap up any unattended drinks, but how does alcohol impact dogs and how do you know if your dog gets alcohol poisoning?   First things first, let’s explore the different kinds of alcohol your pup may be exposed to. 

Can dogs drink wine?

While a frosty beer or heavy pour of your favorite red may be just the trick to ease your mind, long before they’re fermented into such desired adult beverages, they can be toxic or cause a sensitivity in your dog.  Grapes are toxic to dogs, so anything derived from nature’s candy — wine, raisins, etc — are too. Needless to say, if the alcohol doesn’t affect your dog, the fermented grapes sure will. It’s important to keep your dog away from wine because it is toxic to their health.  To better keep the wine in your guests’ glasses and away from your dog, consider using high cocktail tables for your party — they’re high and the food and beverages are well out of sight and reach for your dog. Or, keep them separated from the main party in a room or in doggy daycare for a couple of hours. 

Can dogs drink beer?

While grapes, thus wine are harmful to dogs, some dogs are sensitive to wheat or may even have an allergy. And there are the delicious extra hoppy beers which are a mainstay in many of today’s craft beers, but it’s the hops that dogs are also toxic to dogs, so if your dog consumes hops, they may have an extreme and unpleasant physical reaction to them. Hops can cause immediate vomiting, labored breathing, and fluctuations in body temperature. Like wine, even if alcohol is not the issue, the hops in beer will be.  If you’re a homebrewer, be sure to store hops in a secure location out of reach of your dog, and don’t let your dog near your brewsky — even for a cute pic.

Can dogs drink alcohol?

We’ve explored two of the most common boozy beverages, and as it turns out, they’re both poisonous to dogs because of the fermented ingredients in them. But, what about other types of alcohol? While you should never give your dog alcohol for any reason, other beverages may still pose a risk, but the ingredients in them may not be toxic to your dog.  

Alcohol Poisoning And Your Dog

When it comes to dogs ingesting any type of alcohol, you have to take into account their physiology, including their size and weight. What may only slightly impact a large breed such as a Great Dane could cause serious ramifications in a small pug. It’s also important to remember, that it takes far less alcohol to affect a dog than it does a human.  Alcohol doesn’t even have to be lapped up from the floor or in a glass; foods with alcohol in them, such as some sweet treats like rum cake or bananas foster, can affect your dog.   

Alcohol’s Intoxicating Effect

The same signs of intoxication that affect humans will also be displayed in your dog, but this may happen at much faster rates and have much more dangerous results. The higher the percentage of alcohol they drink combined with how much will determine how serious its effects are.  Signs of alcohol toxicity in dogs include:
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Weakened motor functions
Signs of alcohol poisoning in dogs include:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Concerns urinating
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart failure
  • Coma
  At the end of the day, no, dogs cannot drink alcohol for the risk of alcohol intoxication and alcohol poisoning that may lead to serious health consequences. With as much as you want to snap a funny pic or experiment what alcohol will do to your dog, just don’t!  Enjoying adult beverages means also being a responsible dog parent and keeping them away from what’s harmful.   Stay curious and committed to your dog’s health and connect with us if you have additional questions about alcohol and your dog.   

Call our Carroll Gardens office today!

  

Can Dogs Get Frostbite?

Chilly winter temperatures in Carroll Gardens can make dogs vulnerable to the weather outside. 

Carroll Gardens can be an absolute winter wonderland looking out from a window, but being outside in the snow and frigid temperatures is a different story! After all, taking a stroll from brownstone to brownstone may be doable for you when you’re all bundled up, but keep in mind, dogs don’t always have the winter protection. The Vet Set is well-accustomed to the winter weather in Carroll Gardens, so it’s important to do a post relating to how it may impact your pooch! Learn more about frostbite in today’s post.

When the temperatures dip and your dog is exposed to freezing temperatures, they’re susceptible to frostbite. So, if you’ve just moved from a moderate climate to winter in Carroll Gardens, it’s important to know how the winter weather can affect the health of your dog.   It’s important to address that dogs can get frostbite just like humans. When freezing temperatures occur and your dog is exposed, there can be a rapid drop in their body temperature.  In addition, all the blood begins to be redirected to protect their vital organs, leaving their outermost extremities exposed and more vulnerable to the cold. This is why the areas furthest away from the heart — ears, tail, nose, and paws — are the regions where frostbite most commonly occurs.    While there are some dog breeds that favor well and were bred for colder climates — Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute, etc — it’s imperative that no dog is left out in the cold for an extended period.  A good measure to follow is that if you don’t want to be outside, your dog probably doesn’t want to be there either! To better protect your dogs for walks and outings outdoors, consider dog jackets, sweaters, and booties if they’ll tolerate them.  It’s also important to consider the size and type of breed that you have — larger and thicker-coated dogs will fare much better than smaller short-hair breeds (think saint bernard compared to a whippet).   

6 Signs Your Dog is Getting Cold

Before your dog succumbs to frostbite they will show a variety of signs including:
  • Shivering or shaking
  • Hunched with a tucked tail
  • Barking or whining
  • Increased anxiousness 
  • Looking uncomfortable
  • Lifts paws off the ground

 

Treating Frostbite in Dogs

If your dog shows any signs of frostbite, it’s crucial to seek care from your local vet. The following frostbite first aid includes:
  • Take your dog indoors to a safe, warm environment
  • Assess for hypothermia, and if they present symptoms, begin to wrap them in warm, dry blankets, while avoiding rubbing the affected areas.
  • If you are outdoors and cannot get indoors immediately and if you’re unable to keep the area warm, it can further damage the tissue by freezing and unfreezing. 
  • Do not use dry heat such as a heating pad, portable heater, or hairdryer.
  • During transit to the vet, keep your dog warm and dry by bundling them in blankets and keeping them covered.  
Once your dog is admitted to the vet, the vet will begin to treat hypothermia and the thawing of the tissue. This can be extremely painful for your dog, so a sedative and/or pain medication will be administered. Antibiotics may also be given to prevent any infections if tissue death occurs.   In mild cases of frostbite, there is little long-term damage, while severe cases can lead to disfiguration and even amputation.  Frostbite is a serious concern for dogs in cold climates, especially if they’re outdoors for an extended amount of time. It’s important to not only know the signs of frostbite but how to properly perform first-aid before you see the vet. 

For more information on how we treat frostbite in dogs, call or email our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today! 

     

Helpful Dog Park Etiquette Tips

Keep your local Carroll Gardens dog park calm and peaceful!

  Dog parks are a refuge for Carroll Gardens’ pooches who don’t have an expansive backyard to play around in — they get exercise and they’re able to socialize with other dogs. But, not all dog parks are created equal, so it’s up to the dog owners to monitor and maintain the dog park, making it a safe and healthy place for all.    At The Vet Set, it’s vital that your dog — especially if they’re indoors most days — get out and bound around and dog parks are perfect for this! Learn some helpful tips to make your local dog park the best!

Dog Park Etiquette

  It’s important to create a space where dogs and humans alike know and follow a common set of rules, to avoid any disasters and promote a happy and healthy place to play. While each dog park will vary in their rules (some are public and others are privately owned), it’s important to know some common ground for both dogs and humans.    So, what are some common dog park etiquette tips? Let’s explore them below.   Dogs over six months must be fixed or females must not be in heat.   It’s important that dogs play and get exercise without having to worry about them making puppies!   Owners must clean up after their dog.   This is a non-negotiable — your dog is an extension of you, so if they poop or make any other kind of mess, clean it up.    All dogs must be licensed.   It’s important that dogs are licensed and are not unsupervised or left unattended at any time.    Aggressive dogs are prohibited.   As much as your dog may be an angel around you, if they have a history of aggression you’ll need to skip the dog park. If your dog does become aggressive at the park, remove them immediately.    Small children must be supervised at all times.   Dogs run and play in the dog park so it’s essential your child is supervised and by your side at all times to avoid any collisions or any other dangers.    Harnesses and other accessories must be removed once the dogs are in the park.   Keep your dog in the appropriate area.   Some dog parks have separate areas according to size, so ensure your large breed is with the big dogs.    No eating or smoking within the dog park.  

Proper Dog Etiquette

  Your dog should always be on their best behavior when they’re at the dog park, and always remember, as a dog owner, it is your responsibility to control your dog at the dog park and make any behavior modification work on your own time — not at the dog park.   
  • Dogs should be happy and friendly and avoid aggressive and obnoxious behaviors. 
  • Dogs should have some confidence and sociability to interact safely with the other dogs.
  • Dogs should have good manners and avoid jumping and peeing on other dogs and humans.
  • Dogs should be healthy and left at home with any illnesses that can be transferred and infect other dogs.
 

Proper Human Etiquette

 
  • Be a good dog owner and be responsible for your dog!
  • If you’re new, observe the dog park culture and practices and ask questions if you’re unclear of things. 
  • Go at non-peak hours to better orient yourself and your dog. 
  • If someone makes a complaint about your dog, be reasonable and listen to what they have to say. 
  • Apologize to the owner if your dog was inappropriate. 
  • Avoid disciplining another dog. 
  Each dog park is its own unique place and it’s vital that both you and your dog adhere to the rules — from the major ones such as cleaning up to smaller ones such as not bringing food into the enclosed area — if everyone does their part, it fosters a fun place where dogs can let loose and interact with other dogs.   

Need help with behavior issues? Talk to a vet at our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today! 

     

How To Safely Run With Your Dog

Crush your fitness goals with your furry best friend at your side!

  It’s the new year and perhaps it’s that time of year when you decide to commit to a running program, and there’s no better way to get in some miles than with your dog! But, it’s not always as smooth sailing as people make it look, so learn all the best techniques for running with your dog.     At The Vet Set, running the Carroll Gardens neighborhood is beautiful — take in all the gorgeous and unique brownstones and window shop as you peruse local vendors, and do it all with your dog! You can get both a little fresh air and good company, which never hurts! To learn more about how to get started running with your dog, stick around for this post! 

Running Safely With Your Dog

  Running with your dog provides a great bonding opportunity in addition to getting exercise, but there are some things to consider before the two of you hit the pavement!   First things first, it’s vital to always check with your Carroll Gardens’ vet that it’s safe for your dog to run longer distances. Sometimes their age, breed, and health status can impact their ability for intense exercise, so it’s important to have them examined before doing so.    What else do you need to know about running safely with your dog? Let’s dive in below!  

Wait until your dog is old enough.

  When it comes to running with your dog, it’s important that you wait until they’re mature enough, so while a puppy has a ton of energy, running may not be fun for you because they can easily get distracted and they’re still being trained. Give it a little time and then begin to ease them into running.   

Build up their running.

  Just like any new runner, dogs need to be able to build up slowly so their muscles, cardiovascular system, and paws can get used to the extra strain. Start by bringing your dog out towards the end of your run for five or 10 minutes. And, at the end of the day, always look for their cues such as heavy panting or slowing down to stop or walk.   

Maintain a (somewhat) tight leash.

  Dogs can get distracted no matter how well-trained they are, so it’s important to keep them on a tight leash. As you run, sometimes you can zone out so if they see a pesky squirrel or they’re roaming a little too far into the street, it could become an issue. Keep them close for safety for both them and yourself.   

Bring Hydration

  If you’re going on a long run where you’ll require water, it’s important that you also pack some for your pooch. There are portable bowls that make things easy or even just pouring some out a water bottle will work.   

Watch for paws!

  It may be a little awkward getting out and running at first, but in time, you’ll be able to get more comfortable with each other. Always look out for their paws and the small nuances in their gait. Stepping on paws is never fun and if it’s frequent they could begin to negatively associate running with pain or trauma.   

Take breaks.

  While some breeds love to run and perhaps don’t want to stop, periodically help them recharge with a break. Allow them to use the bathroom, get a drink, and recoup before the last part of your run.  

Run in good weather.

  While you can not always predict the weather you may encounter on your run, a good practice is to run with your dog when the weather is good — anything too hot or too cold can damage their paws and cause other issues.     If you are running in hot weather, let your dog run on grass if you’re running on pavement and avoid streets and blacktop as much as you can.    In cold weather, you can always try dog booties (if they tolerate them) or make sure to thoroughly wipe their paws because snow, ice, and ice melt can get in between their paws and cause pain and irritation.   

Use Reflective Gear

  If you’re taking your dog out at night, it’s critical that you use reflective gear so cars and other people can see them. Reflective gear is available in a variety of forms from vests and bracelets to lights you can hook around their collars.    Running with your furry friend can be a delight and a great way to get outside and into the great outdoors. Before you get started double check with your vet that it’s safe for your dog to run. Once you get the green light, make sure your dog is old enough and then begin to build their mileage. When you’re hitting the road, ensure you keep a semi-tight leash, pack hydration, watch out for your dog’s paws, take breaks, run in good weather, and always use reflective gear.    

For more tips, stay tuned to The Vet Set blog and schedule an appointment at our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today!  

        

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