The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Vet

Because finding a vet is more than just vet recommendations!

  When it comes to our animals they’re just like, if not 100%, our family. We want the best for them and just as we would search high and low for the best health care practitioner for our children, we would do the same in finding a vet for our pets!   At The Vet Set in Carroll Gardens, we are the leading vet clinic in your Brooklyn neighborhood. If you’re in search of a vet for your beloved animal, catch today’s post!

Finding A Vet That You Trust

  You can search high and low and even schedule a couple of vet appoints, only to find that you and your animal don’t vibe with them. It’s nothing personal — it’s the same as if you were to go into the doctor and just not like their bedside manner. When it comes to our pets, we need to be picky! It’s often more than just taking a vet recommendation — a vet clinic is a place you want your pet to embrace and not fear, so it really does make a difference in who you choose!   So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of finding a vet you trust!  

Get To Know The Vets In Your Area

  Okay, we’re going to go ahead and say it now — it’s perfectly okay to ask around for vet recommendations! It’s always nice to get an idea of the vets in your area — you can gather the recommendations you get and make your own informed decision!     But, where do you start?    If you have a dog, people and other dog owners likely flock to you to chit-chat about your pooch. If you notice other dog people around, ask them. Or, talking to people at the dog park, local pet store, or pet shelters is never a bad idea. It’s a diverse set of people who may have a myriad of recommendations for you.    You can also ask neighbors who have pets and even your co-workers are a great resource. Many times you’ll hear one name over and over, albeit positive or negative, and these are leads you can either follow up on or do a further investigation.    

Start The Vetting Process!

  Once you have done a little research in your area on local vets and asked for recommendations you now have a solid list to work from. Now it’s time to look into each vet clinic to better narrow down where you want to go. Below are a few things to take into consideration.    Know what kind of vet services you’re looking for - There are a variety of vets that specialize in a myriad of services —  some vets specialize in large animals such as horses and other farm animals, while others specialize in birds. It’s important to know if they specialize in any specific animal or if they’re a comprehensive vet.    Understand how the vet clinic works - Vet clinics not only offer a variety of services but they all operate a little differently. If you’re looking for specific care such as overnight care or emergency services, it’s important to call and connect with someone who can give you a rundown of how their vet clinic operates. When you do give the vet clinic a call, this is always a good time to see if you work well with their staff and if they’re friendly — it provides you the initial information in their approach to treating pets and what the environment might be like.    Schedule an appointment with the vet - There is no harm in scheduling a meet and greet with the vet in question. A wellness checkup will give you an idea of the demeanor of the vet and it gives you a chance to ask questions about training or what other services they might recommend such as nutrition consultations or holistic or alternative pet therapies.    Here are a couple of things to make a mental note of when you check out your local vet clinic:  
  • Is the vet clinic clean and sanitary? Notice everything from the waiting area to the exam rooms
  • Is there a separate waiting area for dogs and cats?  
  • Is the staff accommodating, empathetic, and make the pets feel comfortable?
  It’s also important to ask the right questions. Consider the following:  
  • What services do they have available on-site including services such as bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasounds, etc?
  • How are the overnight pets monitored?
  • Does the vet clinic accept animal insurance? Or, what kind of payments do options do they offer?
  There are many things you can do to find a vet and a vet clinic you love! Everything from gathering recommendations from your community to visiting the clinic can give you a good idea of what the vet clinic may be like.    At the end of the day, it’s all about the connection you make with the vet and whether or not they can accommodate the services you’re looking for.  

For more information about our Carroll Gardens vet clinic, reach out to us today!   


Giving Medication To Dogs 101 (Part Two)

Learn the best ways to administer liquid medication to your dog!

  In part one, we covered all the details of giving your dog pills — from hiding it in food to having to give a pill directly to your dog. In today’s post, we’ll examine how to best give your dog liquid medication to help them recover more quickly and live a happy and healthy life!   At The Vet Set, we know many dog owners struggle in giving their pets medication. Not only is it frustrating to watch them spit it out, but it can also be costly. If you and your dog could use some help, this post is for you! Giving Your Dog Liquid Medication   Similarly to giving your dog pills hidden in their food, you can also do this with liquid medication. Liquid medication mixes easily into wet dog food or in a peanut butter sandwich.    If however, your dog has dietary restrictions and the liquid medication can’t be hidden in food, you’ll have to go the good old fashioned route and administer it directly yourself.    Let’s dive right into giving your dog liquid medication by hand!   It’s important to note that liquid medication can be a little trickier to understand because it’s not premeasured like you’ll find in a pill, so make sure you clarify with the vet or in the directions exactly when and how much medication your dog will need.    The liquid medication should come with a syringe and before drawing up the liquid, gently shake and mix the medication. To make the experience more pleasant for your dog, if the medication is cold from being refrigerated, you can try warming it up in your hands or place it in a warm water bath. Do not, however, microwave the medication.    Next, you’ll want to help make your dog comfortable — give them lots of love and pets and allow them to either sit or lay down, whatever is most comfortable for your dog.    Keeping their muzzle closed, pull down on their lower lips and place the syringe the very back, next to their canine teeth. There is a small gap there that you can place the syringe in and squeeze the liquid medication into their mouth.    Do this slow enough so your dog has time to breathe and swallow the medication. Your dog may likely spit out some of the medication, and it’s important to not readminister the medication unless you know for sure they did not get any of it. Typically the vet will account for this loss and calculate the dose accordingly.    That sums up giving your dog liquid medication! Keep in mind to give your dog a lot of praise throughout the situation and treats afterward to make a positive connection.    Giving your dog liquid medication doesn’t have to be a hassle. And whether you’re giving them the medication through food or through a syringe, it’s important to understand and measure the dosage correctly.    Keep your dog well with a wellness exam! Schedule an appointment at our Carroll Gardens animal clinic today!           

Giving Medication To Dogs 101 (Part One)

Don’t find a pill in the corner or behind the couch again!

  Let’s face it — there will be some point in your dog’s life you’ll have to give them medication either in pill or liquid form. It’s not always fun, but it’s important that they actually take the medication and not spit it out!    At The Vet Set, we have a good deal of experience with giving dogs medication, to say the least, and we want to provide our pooch patients with the best care! Join us in today’s post as we explore the best ways to give your dog medication and help keep it down! 

Giving Your Dog Medication

  Taking medication can be tricky for dogs if they’ve never experienced it before as their first reaction is to spit it out. Let’s dive into how to optimally give your dog pill and liquid medications below.   

Giving Your Dog Pills

  The most tried and true way of getting your dog to take pills is hiding it in food. A special treat such as bread with peanut butter or canned dog food is a great way to sneak a pill in and get your dog to not only take it, but to swallow and ingest it! Other common ways people give their pets pills is through soft foods such as cheese or specially made treats where you can put the pill into a little pocket of the treat.     Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world — your dog may have dietary restrictions to hide pills in food or they may find ways to both eat the treat while simultaneously spitting out the pill! In these situations, you’ll have to directly give administer and monitor giving your dog their pills.    If you have to give your dog pills, follow the steps below to make things easier on both of you!   If the pill is large you can always cut it in half to make swallowing it easier — this may or may not make things easier for you. If your dog will take two pills, then great, but if they still spit them out, stick with just the one!   Make the pill easier to digest by lubricating the pill with butter or coconut oil so it doesn’t stick inside your dog’s mouth.     Begin by opening your dog’s mouth and placing your thumb behind their canine teeth on the top portion of their muzzle.    Once you have a firm but gentle grip, position your dog’s head upwards and place the pill.    Place the pill as far back as you can — placing the pill on the hump of their tongue is the best place to ensure they swallow it. If you place it too far back, you’ll stimulate their gag reflex, and as you can imagine, is not pleasant for either with of you.     Close your dog’s mouth and gently hold it closed to get them to swallow.    Once they’ve successfully swallowed the pill (it may take a couple of tries so don’t get discouraged) give them lots of praise and a tasty treat!    Giving your dog pills can be difficult, especially if they’re fearful or become anxious before you give them the medication. If your dog is frightened, you may want to look up or talk with your vet about counterconditioning methods or desensitization tactics.     We’ve provided you with the best way to give your dog pills, but there is still another form to cover — liquid medication! Stay tuned, we’ll cover this next time in part two!   

For more information about our vet services in Carroll Gardens, connect with us today! 


Cat Health Tips: Applying Eye Drops

Learn the best tips to apply eye drops to your cat like a champ!

  It’s never fun when our cats get sick, especially when it’s an eye infection. Not only is it in a delicate, sensitive area, but a place that your cat does not want you near! The struggle is real when it comes to giving your cat eye drops, but with some patience and tried and true tips from vets, it can be done!   If your cat is being treated for an eye infection, the Vet Set has solutions for administering eye drops for you! Follow along in today’s post for all the best tips!

The Eye Drop Dilemma

  If your cat has an eye infection, giving them the proper amount of an eye drop medication is imperative, but what happens when they get fussy and don’t allow you to put the drops in? You want to help your cat quickly recover, but the task is daunting.    Fear not, we can help! Let’s explore best practices and tips for applying cat eye medication.   

Eye Drop Best Practices And Considerations

  • Always wash your hands before applying the drops.
  • If your cat is skittish, help them relax by giving them cat CBD or hanging out with them a little beforehand.
  • Gently clean your cat's eye beforehand, a warm compress is perfect.
  • Keep the applicator clean and avoid touching it directly to the eye.
  • If the applicator tip does touch the infected eye, ensure you disinfect it immediately after. 
  • If your cat’s infection is painful and they don’t want you touching it, call in for back up and have someone help restrain your cat. 

Tried And True Tips For Applying Eye Drops To Cats

  Now that we have the best practices down, let’s move into tips that will help you help your cat!  

Help your cat get comfortable.

  We mentioned giving your cat CBD or cuddling a little extra with them beforehand to help make them more comfortable. Even the warm compress and cleaning their eyes can be relaxing. So, whatever it is that helps them calm down and get comfortable, do that.   If you have to administer the eye medication solo, you may want to place your cat in your lap and wrap them in a towel or blanket keeping their head exposed. This way they are contained and can’t move around and potentially injure themselves or you.  Once you have them in a secure position you can begin administering the drops.   

Applying The Drops

  • The best way we’ve found to apply eye drops is by holding the bottle in between your thumb and index finger in your dominant hand with the tip pointed downwards and in the direction of your cat’s eye. 
  • Some people find that holding your hand on top of your cat's head helps stabilize both your arm and your cat. 
  • You can then use the free fingers in that hand to pull open your cat’s eyelid and hold their jaw to keep them from moving. 
  • The lower eyelid creates a pouch to hold the eye drops, so it is the perfect place to place the medication. 
  • Hold the bottle close to your cat’s eye, but again, do not touch the applicator to the eye.
  • Place the drops into the center of the eye and then release your cat’s head. Your cat should be able to blink, spreading the eye medication. 
  • Your cat will likely try to rub and paw the medication and this is normal. Continue with the other eye, with the same process if prescribed. 
  An eye infection is never fun — for you or the cat — but in order for them to recover, the proper administration of eye drops is necessary. And while they may be uncooperative or you may not want to hurt them, they need the drops! By taking the proper steps and following our tips, you’ll be an eye drop pro by the end! Remember to keep calm yourself and help your cat relax beforehand, and then work through our steps for the best eye drop application.   

Got questions concerning giving your cat eye drops? Call our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today! 


What To Expect At Your Dog’s Wellness Exam (Part Two)

Prevent disease and illness while improving your dog’s health with physical checkups!

  In part one, we looked into what a wellness exam is, how often a dog exam is needed, and what happens during the exam. In today’s post, we’ll continue the conversation and get more into the details of the wellness exam and how you should prepare as a pet parent.    At The Vet Set, your dog’s wellness is important to us, which is why we recommend a wellness exam at least once a year! Get more information surrounding this topic below! 

A Dog’s Wellness Exam   

  Get into the nitty-gritty of a dog exam below!   What is assessed during the physical examination?   In the physical examination, your vet will check your dog’s body by looking at the physical appearance, listening to their organs with a stethoscope, and palpating certain areas of the body.    The vet may also check the following:  
  • How your dog stands or walks
  • Your dog’s demeanor - alert, sluggish, etc 
  • Coat condition - dry, oily, excessive shedding, hair loss, etc
  • Eyes - Excessive tearing, redness, discharge, cloudiness, bumps, etc
  • Ears - Hair loss, discharge, thickening, etc
  • Face and nose - How they breathe, discharges, etc 
  • Teeth - Looking for periodontal disease, plaque buildup, broken teeth, trauma, staining of the lips, excessive salivation, ulcers, etc
  When your vet listens to your dog with a stethoscope they listen to the heart for skipped or extra beats or heart murmurs and to the lungs for abnormal breathing sounds.    When your dog is palpated the vet will check their pulse, lymph nodes for swelling, the legs, and major organ systems including the kidneys, liver, bladder, intestines, spleen, and stomach.    What else may happen during the exam?   Many vets will take a stool sample and evaluated for parasites, and in puppies, this is typically done a monthly basis because they are more prone to intestinal parasites. Heartworm testing may also occur and the frequency will depend on your geographical location.     Apart from the physical exam, your vet may also want to run wellness screening tests. These tests check four major categories including:  
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Blood
  • Biochemistry profile
  • Urinalysis
  The panels will all vary depending on the age and current health status of your dog. Beyond the screenings, in older dogs, your vet may want to check their chest or abdominal via x-ray to get a better picture of their internal organs. The x-ray can also help identify any skeletal issues or changes in your dog’s bones and joints.   

Why is a wellness dog examination needed?

  Because pets cannot verbally communicate with us they can't tell us how they’re feeling, so a health issue or disease may be present before you even know. And because of their survival instincts, most dogs will hide signs of disease that are only causing minimal symptoms, which means when you detect something, it could be in a highly advanced stage.    This is why dog exams are crucial — your vet can detect issues in the physical exam or investigate with further testing for any other underlying issues. If an issue can be detected before your dog shows signs of illness, steps can be taken to treat and manage the condition before irreparable damage is done.    This not only improves a successful outcome for your dog, but it’s typically less expensive when caught in an early stage.   

Is there any one factor that elicits a dog exam?

  While a wellness exam is recommended for every dog at least once a year, dog exams are especially important for geriatric dogs since they’re rapidly aging and have a greater chance for disease and health issues.   

How To Prepare For Your Wellness Exam Appointment

  Before your dog’s exam, ask your vet how to prepare. This may mean fasting your dog or bringing in fresh urine and fecal samples.    It’s also important to know what kind of food your dog eats and any supplements you’ve been giving them.    From the physical examination of palpations and listening to your dog’s organs, checking the coat, eyes, ears, face, and mouth to running a series of panels, a dog exam is crucial to the optimal health of your pooch!    It not only prevents disease and illness but improves a successful health outcome should your dog be diagnosed.   

For more information on our dog exams, reach out to our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today! 

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