How To Keep Your Dog Cool in The Summer Heat (Part Two) 

The city is known for its hot and muggy summers that can leave your dog subject to overheating when outdoors, but there are plenty of summer heat safety tips to try!

  Summer in the city for dogs is heaven — they get to roam the streets more, splash in sprinklers, and romp around at doggy daycare with their puppy pals. But, the thing is, they’ll go and go in the summer heat until they can’t go anymore, and this is downright dangerous. Heat exhaustion happens, so it’s important as a pooch parent to help keep them cool and comfortable in the summer heat.    The Vet Set understands the heat! Our vet clinic is located right in the heart of Brooklyn in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood, so sticky, muggy summers are what we know! Join us in today’s post as we look at practical tips you can take to keep your dog comfortable in the outdoor weather this summer.

Summer Necessities For Your Dog

  While most of us who live in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood don’t have a lot of green space to let our dogs roam, it’s important we know what they do need when they are outside to keep them from heat exhaustion.  

It’s all in the hydration.

  Keeping your dog hydrated is essential when they’re out in the summer sun, so ensure they have fresh, cool water to access when they’re out romping around with the pack!    Place a full bowl of water in a shaded area — under a tree or a covered patio. If your dog is out for over an hour, keep refreshing the dog bowl as needed.    Pro tip: If you’re not home and can’t change out and refill the dog bowl, place two bowls outside — one that is fresh and one that is frozen. As the day heats up the frozen bowl will thaw into cool and refreshing water for your dog later in the day.    If you leave your house and venture to a park or on a hike, make sure you take enough water for both you and your dog.

Keep your pup sheltered.

  It may be difficult to create a permanent shaded area outside for your dog, but there are many ways you can temporarily create it.    Consider getting an outdoor sun shade sail — they’re protective material that is able to be hung from posts, attaching with S hooks, and coming in a variety of shapes and colors. They’re fairly inexpensive and can be easily put up and taken down with the season.    You could also put up a small tent or canopy, or even a well-vented dog house — the more a dog can seek refuge in the shade, the better protected and safe they are from overheating.     The next best thing to outdoor shade is installing a doggy door so your dog can come and go to the outdoors as they please.    

Whip up frozen treats!

  How much do you love a nice frozen margarita or popsicle on a hot summer day? So does your dog! Keep fun frozen snacks on hand for them to enjoy in between harassing the city squirrels and howling to the sirens.    Fill their favorite Kong toy with layers of peanut butter and cottage cheese, pop a couple into the freezer, and bring it out on especially hot days. This way they can cool down and enjoy a delicious frozen treat.   

Make a puppy pool.

  Get a small kiddie pool and transform it into a puppy paradise outdoors — fill it with water and your dog can splash or simply just lay in it when they need to cool off.     In addition to a puppy pool, you could make things really fun and install a water play area for them to run through! You know the ones that are available for kids and attach to a hose? Use those ones! Dogs love to run through the water and splash about, just like kids!   The summer heat can be a real threat to your dog if they’re out too long and playing too hard, so keep an eye on them and help keep them cool with proper hydration, shelter from the sun, frozen doggy treats, and a nice pool for them to take a dip in!   

To schedule an appointment at our Carroll Gardens vet clinic or to learn more about our pet services, connect with us today!

How To Keep Your Dog Cool in The Summer Heat (Part One)

Carroll Gardens summers can get hot and sticky, and summer heat safety is a priority for your pooch!

  Summers are the best for humans and our furry best friends alike — everything comes alive and being outside is a priority. It’s important that your dog stays cool and comfortable and there are many things that you can do to make the hottest days of summer more bearable!   The Vet Set is your Carroll Gardens’ local neighborhood vet — we’re here to help you with any questions you may have about summer safety or help your pup stay up-to-date on their vaccinations. Take a moment before it gets too hot and learn about summer heat safety for your dog!

Adapting To Hot Weather

  When it comes to extreme temperatures, as humans, we can typically adapt — we can throw on a coat in cold and crank up the AC and down lots of water in the heat. But our pets, they rely on us to keep them comfortable, and because dogs don’t sweat, the only way they can cool themselves is through panting.   Hot weather is tough on dogs and it’s important to keep in mind that although you may be comfortable, your dog may be overheating but staying by to please you. On the hottest days of the summer, it’s best to keep your dog indoors in the comfort of a cool, air-conditioned environment!   

Indoor Summer Safety 

  When it’s hot outside, though we’re shaded indoors, the house can get exceptionally hot. And, living in the City, most of us have smaller spaces with AC units which only cool us down so much.  

Keep the air flowing. 

  Does your dog have a special spot they love to be in? Make it a point to place a fan in that room for a cool breeze and flowing air, and if you have ceiling fans, keep those on to keep things cool and ambient.    It can be expensive to keep your AC running while you’re at work, but if you know it’s going to be a hot day, if you can, set it at a certain temperature to keep your dog comfortable. If you don’t have AC, open windows that are north or south facing, to avoid direct sunlight and allow for better airflow.   

Invest in blackout curtains.

  If you have a fair amount of windows or windows that flood light, keep the heat away by using blackout or insulated curtains to help keep your space cool — it’s amazing how curtains help.  

Leave plenty of water. 

  Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from heat stroke, so it’s vital that they have fresh water accessible at all times throughout the day. You can leave a fresh bowl out when you leave for work and a frozen one that will slowly melt, and provide cool water to your pup if needed. Be sure that the water is left in a cool shaded spot away from direct sunlight.  

Give them a fresh summer haircut!

  If you have a dog breed that has a lot of hair, keeping them well-groomed is essential. This may just be brushing them daily as they shed their coat, or taking them to the groomer to get a haircut that wards off the heat!  

Get a gel floor mat.

  If you have tile or wood floors, you’ve probably noticed that when your dog gets hot, they’ll lay on these floors to help cool down. You can take this one step further and get a gel floor mat for dogs that you can freeze and layout on the floors.    

Try a raised bed.

  Dog beds are plush and comfy, but ultimately they create a lot of heat when dogs lay in them for any extended amount of time. This is why a raised bed is perfect for the summer heat. It’s elevated and isn’t so bulky and allows airflow from underneath to better cool your dog.     Summer is a great season to enjoy with your dog and with a few minor adjustments to your indoor home environment, you can help keep them cool and relaxed in the summer heat.   If you loved tips for helping your dog stay cool indoors, stay tuned for part two for more summer heat busting tips in the outdoors!   

For more information on our vet services such as vaccinations or dog acupuncture, call our Caroll Gardens office today!

          

Maximize Your Disc and Ball Throwing Skills

Your dog loves playing outdoors and catching discs or balls, but the fun starts with a good throw!

  There is an absolute art to throwing a frisbee or ball to your dog, and they know it! It begins with the human — as a dog owner, you need to perfect your throw if only to make your dog look like a star at your local dog park!   At The Vet Set, play and exercise is key to a healthy, vibrant life for your dog. Get the most out of throwing a disc and make the experience fun and exciting for your pet. Follow along in today’s post for the best tips for throwing frisbees, balls, and all kinds of catching toys.

It’s The Throw That Starts The Fun!

  Have you ever thrown a less-than-perfect frisbee to your dog and watch as the excitement leaves and they stand in disappointment as the disc fall short — way too short? Enough that even your dog is embarrassed? Well, my friend, it’s time to learn how to properly throw your toy of choice to maximize the fun you and your dog can have!   Let’s get started!  

Find a toy your dog loves!

  First things first, you need a toy you can throw that your dog will enjoy catching. It’s important to find a disc or ball that aren’t too hard, so as not to damage your dog’s teeth and gums in the beginning.   There are many soft frisbees and balls that are great for beginners, and while they won’t fly super high or go extremely far, they’re less likely to hurt your dog.  

Start with a slow introduction!

  If your dog is new to catching, start out slowly such as a backyard. This way both of you can work out the kinks (your throw, their catch) in the privacy of your own yard! Get to know the toy and throw it around a bit before taking it public!   It’s also important to give your dog a lot of praise when they get it right and to be patient when they stand and stare — perhaps it’s your bad throw, we’ll never know!  

The Perfect Throw

  The perfect throw is one that doesn’t injure your dog! If you’re using a disc, place your four fingers under the lip of the frisbee with your thumb on top. Follow through the throw with a flick of the wrist, then your hand, arm, shoulder, and finally with your entire body.   Throwing a ball is a little more intuitive — you can throw overhand or underhand, and there are perks to both. Overhand you can get a nice clean, long throw, while underhand helps you pop it up high in the air.  

Controlled Throws

  It’s important that you are able to direct where the ball and frisbees will be going because your dog will be following it. If you don’t want your dog running every which way — even into dangerous situations like traffic — it’s important your throws are controlled and consistent.   Before even taking your dog out, you may want to spend time practicing your throws with a partner to better understand the mechanics of the toy.   One major pro tip, never throw the toy at your dog, allow them to see the toy and where to go to chase it instead of fumbling trying to avoid it from hitting them.   A good throw not only makes your dog look cool in front of all their puppy pals, but it also keeps them safe. Before embarking on this fun play get the right toys that your dog loves and spend time practicing your throw with and without your dog to get it just right!   And, when in doubt, invest in a ball thrower that does the job for you!  

Running and playing keep your dog happy and healthy, to learn more about preventative vet services, call us today!

 

Vital Tips To Follow If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

There’s a reason there were no dogs in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory!

  Chocolate is extremely toxic and harmful to dogs and depending on the type of chocolate and how much they consumed based on their size and weight, it could become a medical emergency.   As a dog owner, these things happen — dogs chew up and swallow shoes and they get into boxes of the chocolate that your child was selling for a school fundraiser. The call to dog owners is to become educated on what to do if and when these things occur.   At The Vet Set, the more you’re armed with vital information that could save your dog’s life, the better. Today’s post is all about the seriousness of chocolate and what to do if your dog gets ahold of some. Get your need-to-know information below.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chocolate

  Chocolate is harmful to your dog, we’ll repeat that, dogs should not eat chocolate.   Got it?! Okay, great, let’s move on!   Chocolate contains two compounds that are harmful to your dog including caffeine and theobromine. These compounds both affect a dog’s nervous system and accelerate your dog’s heart rate, making them ill.   It’s the amount and type of chocolate that determines the medical severity. Let’s explore the most toxic types to dogs, they include:  
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cacao nibs
  • Bakers chocolate (unsweetened)
  • Semisweet chocolate
  • Dark chocolate
  • Milk chocolate
  When you know how much and what kind of chocolate your dog ate it can help your vet understand the degree of the emergency. What this looks like in simple terms is an average chocolate bar is 1.5 ounces and a harmful dose to dogs is one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of bodyweight.   So, eating a bite of chocolate cake or a little piece of a chocolate bar may not be a medical emergency, but if you’re small Chihuahua eats a whole bar of chocolate, this is a major medical issue.   Chocolate, while delicious to humans, should never be fed as a treat to dogs.   While most wouldn’t go about feeding their dog a chocolate bar, sometimes we forget when we’re eating brownies or a chocolate cupcake until after the fact.  

The Ill Effects of Chocolate On Dogs

  Chocolate poisoning is a real health concern in dogs and if your dog eats chocolate, signs can appear within six to 12 hours after ingestion, and can last for up to 72-hours. Signs of chocolate poisoning may present as the following:  
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • High heart rate
  • Increased urine output
  • Collapse
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death
  It’s important to point out that if you have an older dog or a dog with any health issues, they may be more sensitive to the effects of chocolate.  

What should you do if your dog ate chocolate?

  If your dog ate chocolate, it’s important to contact your vet right away. The more information you have, the better, so try and gather what type of chocolate your dog ate, how much was consumed, and the breed and weight of your dog.   Based on this information, your vet may ask you to bring your dog in or monitor it at home and check back in if their condition worsens.   There is also a Pet Poison Helpline that you can call in an emergency ((855)764-7661). Another option is calling an emergency vet in the Carroll Gardens area, however, The Vet Set can be reached in an emergency.   Chocolate is an off-limit treat that is poisonous to dogs, so not only is it important to avoid them from getting it, it’s also imperative you know the signs in case of an accidental poisoning.  

For more information on how we can help you (and your dog) in an emergency medical situation, contact us today!

   

Doggy Dental Tips!

Keep your dog’s breath fresh and their teeth sparkling with these tips!

  When it comes to your dog’s health, there are many things to include in their wellness routine such as exercise, a healthy diet, and routine vet care. Apart from this basic care, their dental care often goes overlooked, but is just as important.   There are many things your dog’s teeth and gums can tell us, so it’s not only important to address it at home, but also check in with your local vet from time-to-time! At The Vet Set, we encourage strong oral hygiene at home, so take a moment with us today and explore our doggy dental tips!

The Importance of Doggy Dental Care

  We stress oral hygiene so much in humans, but it’s just as important in our furry friends. If your dog has a toothache or sore gums, they’re dealing with discomfort you may not even know about, and even worse, if it’s left untreated, it could land bacteria in their major organ systems such as their liver, kidneys, or heart.   Older dogs (over fours years old) are also more susceptible to dental issues and veterinarians have reported that roughly 85% of these older dogs have some sort of dental issue.   What’s wonderful about dental health for your dog, is there are many preventative things you can do at home to avoid periodontal disease, tooth loss, or infection in your dog’s pearly whites.   Speaking of periodontal disease, yes, dog’s get it too! If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can affect your dog’s overall health with risks of heart disease and jaw damage, so dental health in dogs should be a part of their basic care.     Find out below the leading doggy dental tips!  

Dental Care For Your Dog

  While brushing and flossing your dog’s teeth are likely not going to happen (can you even floss your own teeth every day), there are tips and tricks to keep your dog’s teeth healthy.  

Healthy Chews

  While you won’t know what your dog will be into, hard chews and toys are excellent at keeping their teeth healthy. They efficiently scrape away plaque buildup and other debris, and most dogs love a good chew! Great natural choices are knucklebone and rawhide and for an alternative, rubber or nylon toys with a textured surface work well.   Hard food such as carrots and apples are also a great way to give them a fun snack and improve their oral hygiene.    

Brushing

Now we know that brushing isn’t on the top of your list for things you love about your dog, but if they have exceptionally bad breath, brushing their teeth may help to get in there and assess their teeth.   Not only does brushing their teeth combat plaque buildup, but it can also lead to fresher breath. Brushing your dog’s teeth doesn’t have to happen every day — it’s like trimming their nails, you only have to do it as their nails get longer.   Most dogs don’t take to brushing their teeth, but in time it can become a normal thing. Before brushing your dog’s teeth, it’s important to get a toothpaste specific to dogs, which is delicious and contains ingredients that are safe for dogs.   You can apply the toothpaste with your finger, a canine toothbrush, or a scrubby pad that fits over your finger. If you have any questions about this, your local vet can give you recommendations.  

Tooth Wipes

  Dog wipes are a happy medium between brushing their teeth and chews. A tooth wipe is used to wipe away plaque and debris and while they won’t get the tiny nooks and crannies that a toothbrush will, they’re much easier to use than a toothbrush.    

Dental Treats

  Apart from hard, dental chews, are dental treats made specifically for your dog. Each treat has a specific shape to help remove plaque and debris that contain ingredients that clean and freshen their breath. Dogs tend to like the dental treats over getting their teeth brushed, so they’re a great supplemental or alternative option.    

Professional Cleanings From The Vet

  If you tackling your dog’s oral health is something you’d rather leave to the professionals, your local vet can do a professional cleaning! Not only can the vet do an excellent job, they can also assess to see if anything else is going on and look for infections in their teeth.   The vet is a great resource to prevent, locate, and treat dental health issues. If there is one option for promoting better oral health in your dog, taking them for a professional cleaning at your vet is a great option.   Your dog’s health is important, and their oral hygiene is just as important as trimming their nails or getting their vaccines. When you make your dog’s dental health a priority, you prevent other health issues and improve their overall health.  

To schedule a dental checkup, call our Carroll Gardens veterinary office today!

      

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