How To Create A Thriving Indoor Environment For Your Cat

Cats can live abundant and rich lives in smaller spaces!

  If you’re living in a neighborhood such as Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, our guess is space is limited! Many people wonder if small spaces such as apartments and brownstones are a place where cats can thrive. The answer is yes — and, there are many things you can do as a cat owner to make your environment all the more stimulating for your feline friend!   Our city cats straight from the neighborhood of Brooklyn’s own Carroll Gardens, love The Vet Set because we provide comprehensive vet services for all the kitties that roam! Learn all about how to make a small space the perfect place for your cat!

Creating A Thriving Indoor Environment For Cats 

  If your cat is strictly an indoor cat, being cooped up all day can lead to one thing — boredom! And, when your cat becomes bored they are more likely to act out and develop behavior issues.    While playtime with your cat is advantageous, creating a space where they are constantly stimulated is even better. The great news is, you don’t have to live in a large space to make it conducive to your cat, small spaces too, can cultivate all the stimulation they need!   So, where do you begin to transform your apartment or brownstone into a kitty haven? Let’s explore some tangible things below.   

Take your cat to new heights!

  Cats love to be in high places, after all, it’s one of their most innate survival instincts. To help your kitty feel safe, secure, and stimulated implement different things at contrasting heights.    If you’re handy at building cat stands, try that! Covering them in carpet also doubles as a scratching post. Or, if you’d rather have someone do the work for you, you can find cat stands at most pet stores.    If you’re on a budget and are looking for a quick fix, hanging shelves around your home is an easy hack to help your kitty reach new heights.   

Create a kitty entertainment space.

  Cats love nothing more than to be perched ontop a windowsill — it’s their version of TV! Cats can spend hours entertaining themselves by watching birds, squirrels, and other animals and humans alike. So, make their favorite windowsill more cat-friendly.    Put a coffee table or chair up against the windowsill so they have easy access to their outside entertainment! Or, if you have a cat stand, this creates a great space where they not only watch what’s going on outside, but gives them a place to scratch and play.    You can even make it a cozy nap place by putting a cat bed or cozy blanket on top of the windowsill.  

Make sure their toys are stocked.

  Cats love play toys — from strings and feather to small toys brimming with catnip. These toys keep them active, occupied, and in good spirits which always combats boredom.    There are also cat toys that they can chase and roll about that dispenses treats.   

Give your cat their own nook.

  The thing with cats is, they love their own private area, and in an apartment that can be difficult. If you’re living in a studio or one-bedroom apartment you don’t necessarily have the space to devote one room to your cat, but, you can create a little kitty oasis. Implement things like large plants (sometimes fake one are the best because many plants are toxic to cats) to create a jungle-inspired area or create a more private space with an enclosed cat bed or even a kid’s tipi.   There are many ways to prevent boredom in your cat and space has nothing to do with it, so starting creating a space your indoor kitty can thrive in today!  

For more information about how to care for your indoor cat, reach out to us today!  


8 Things To Know About Cats Before You Adopt

Becoming a cat confidant?! Dive into the facts about cats before you make the final adoption step.

  If you’re on a journey to meet your new feline friend through a cat adoption, a local shelter or even a local vet act as a great resource. Cat adoption is so rewarding as there are many kittens and adult cats who need a forever home, but it’s important, before becoming a pet parent, to think through your decision and ensure you can care for your cat through its whole life.    Cats of Carroll Gardens have it made with a vet clinic such as The Vet Set! Learn more about cats and what it takes to care for them in today’s post!

But first, are you ready to adopt a cat?

  We know — cats are so cute and cuddly, all while being independent and having a personality like no other! And while it’s easy to be in a pet store or around your friend’s cat and want to decide right then and there that you’re getting a cat, it’s important to take pause because really this is a life-changing decision.    We’ve explored in other posts what it really takes to become a pet parent but let’s consider a few things before you take the leap!  

What are your cat adoption intentions?

  If you’re wanting to get a cat just so you can plaster their picture all over Instagram and cross your fingers that they’ll make you insta-famous, maybe you should rethink pet ownership.   

Where are you at in life?

  While we never want to say that a pet isn’t a good idea, caring for one and liking the idea of one are two totally different things — especially in the stage of life you’re in.   Rescue kitties and all adopted pets need stability, so if you’re in a band or live a lifestyle where you aren’t home a lot, it may not be an ideal time. Cats are more independent and like doing things on their own schedule, but they still crave connections with their human!    

Where are you living?

  It’s important to consider where you’re living and what kind of living situation you’re in because this can greatly affect the quality of life for your cat.    Are you living alone in a city like Brooklyn? Great! Cats are the perfect brownstone pet! It is important that you’re diligent about keeping them as indoor cats because the city isn’t a great place for cats to get loose!  

Do you have roommates? 

  This is one factor that a lot of people look past when it comes to adopting a cat. While sharing space with working professionals or another person you know and trust is one thing, but if you’re in a college house with six other people, this puts your cat at risk — not everyone will love and care for your cat like you. Plus, there are the horror stories of people feeding cats beer or drugs or playing party music late into the night. This is just not safe for cats.     If you’re in a partnership, you also have to consider if you would be able to manage a cat should you break up — it’s maybe something you think would never happen but it happens and you need to have a plan for all your pets.    At the end of the day, it’s not talking anyone out of cat adoption, it’s creating an awareness and a reality that rescue cats, and all cats in general, need a safe, nurturing place to live and its a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Now that we’ve gotten the wheels turning a bit, let’s look more closely at some things to know about cats before adopting!  

Rescues and animal shelters are overflowing with cats.

  We all are impartial to our favorite breeds of cat’s — hello Maine Coons — but it’s important to know that shelters are overflowing with cats who need loving, forever homes. So, finding a cat that you vibe with won’t be hard. Go down to your local pet shelter today and play with some kitties!  

Cats are known for their nine lives!

  The average life expectancy of a cat is 13 to 17 but cats have been known to live well into their 20s, so it’s important to understand this before adopting a cat. Will you be able to care for your cat and everything that comes with it — vet visits, potential illness, food, etc — throughout their whole life?    If this seems like forever, perhaps rescue a senior kitty or wait until you’re more ready.  

Cat overpopulation is a reality. 

  Because there are feral cats and cats who don’t have a home and are living on the streets for a variety of reasons, the cat population gets out of hand because a majority of them aren’t spayed or neutered. And, since cats can breed up to three times a year, it is vital to get them fixed. So, do the responsible thing and get your feline spayed or neutered.   

All indoor cats need a litter box. 

  Yes, this seems like common sense and it’s not only important to provide your cat with a litter box, but that you keep it in an accessible area in a place where your cat can always find it.   With that in mind, remember: Cats will not use a dirty litter box so as a part of being a cat parent you’ll need to tend to the litter box daily to keep it tidy and disinfect it weekly.   

Cats like to keep a consistent schedule.

  If you’ve ever had cats before, you know that if you sleep one minute past their morning feeding time, they’ll be pacing, pawing, and crying out for you until you decide to get up and feed them — cats know!    Try and keep things as consistent as possible to provide structure to their day and stability to their lives.     

Be wary of the plants you keep. 

  Many times, plant people are also cat people so it’s important to know that there are a lot of plants that are harmful and toxic to your cat. Some common plants include:  
  • Aloe  
  • Holly
  • Asparagus fern
  • Calla lily
  • Corn plant
  • Jade
  • Devil’s ivy
  • Areca palm
  • Money plant
  • Spider plant
  Before adopting a cat, check your plants and remove any that are toxic.   

Cats love to evoke their prey instincts!

  Cats love, more than anything, to stalk and pounce — whether it’s with another cat or even an inatimate object! It’s important that this kind of play is encouraged and fostered with toys and cat stands that let them play! Cats cost money.   Again, this is so elementary but all the little things add up! The ASPCA estimates that the average yearly costs for caring for a cat are $600 — this doesn’t include any emergency vet services. So, the best course of action — invest in pet insurance or save money in case your cat requires emergency vet care.  Adopting a cat is great for the cat and for you, however, it’s important to be ready to care for a cat for the rest of its life. Sometimes we can get a little ahead of ourselves and not see the full scope of adopting a pet.    Once you’ve taken a little time and have learned more about cats, our Carroll Gardens vet clinic is here for you every step of the way!  

To learn more about our cat vet services, connect with us today!


The 10 Most Common Dog Breeds That Live The Longest

Because we want our furry best friends to be around forever!

  One of the hardest things as a dog owner is when we have to say goodbye to our pooch — dogs just don’t live long enough. And while it’s our sincerest hope that your dog lives well into their senior years, sometimes it’s tragically cut short.    At The Vet Set, we’re here to help with the health and wellness of your dog so they can live a long vibrant life chasing squirrels, catching frisbees, and doing whatever it is they love the most. Join us in today’s post as we take a look at what dog breeds typically live the longest. 

Dog Breeds That Live The Longest

  There are many dogs that can live quite a long life but before we explore all the amazing breeds, let’s briefly talk about factors that can affect the longevity of your dog’s life.   Find a reputable breeder - If you do choose to go the way of a breeder when finding a dog, it’s very important that they’re reputable. Ensure that not only are they well known for their breeding services, but that they’re humane and they give all their dogs and puppies the proper health care. It’s important that breeders stay on top of the dogs they breed to keep an eye out for certain genetic conditions or health issues that keep cropping up in their puppies — this way they can retire a dog who is passing on their disadvantageous traits.    Consider nutrition - Just like humans, it’s important we are feeding our dogs high-quality pet food. It’s important they’re getting all the nutrients they need, while reducing their susceptibility to obesity that often shortens a dog’s life. In addition, feed them healthy treats like carrots or bones and reduce or completely cut out the amount of table food they are given.     Fix or neuter your dog - It’s important to not only fix or neuter your pet to prevent an overpopulation of dogs, but it’s also been shown that dogs that are fixed live longer than those who are not.    Small breeds live longer - The truth of the matter is, if you want to get the most out of your time with your dog, smaller breeds live longer than large breeds.   While there a multitude of things you can do as a dog owner to help your dog live a long life, sometimes it’s certain breeds that just fare better than others. Let’s look at the breeds that live the longest below!  


  Chihuahuas are a small, and delicate dog that people love because of their fierce loyalty. Not only that, they make great travel companions for jet-setting around the world! Chihuahuas have one of the longest lifespans, with some living over 15 years! There was even a chihuahua in 2014 named Megabyte who lived well into its 20th year!    Chihuahuas are known for their gumption so it’s important for them to get adequate exercise and stimulation to avoid behavior problems from developing.   


  Dachshunds are another small breed that can live well into their 20s, as was the case with Chanel who is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest dog living at 21 years old!    While dachshunds can live for a very long time, they’re not without their health issues such as bad backs and obesity, so it’s important they get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet.    

Jack Russell Terrier

  A Jack Russell Terrier is considered a toy breed that can live well into 16 years of age. While the JRT Willie didn’t beat Chanel for the longest living dog, he was right behind her and lived to be 20 years old.    If you’re looking for a small dog that will relax and be a lap dog, this is far from the demeanor of a JRT. These dogs were bred as a working dog and need constant stimulation and exercise to manage their energy.   

Shih Tzu

  Shih Tzu’s are adaptable dogs who love your companionship and this breed is known for living to be over 15 years old. One thing you should know is Shih Tzu’s need proper maintenance because their coats can become a mess if not groomed regularly. The longest living Shih Tzu is known to have lived to be 28 named Smokey.     

Yorkshire Terrier

  Yorkies can live anywhere between 16 to 18 years and like terriers, they need constant exercise and stimulation — they’re not a lap dog or purse dog no matter what the media tries to tell you!   


  A Pomeranian is known for its loyal, yet guarding behaviors and can be very friendly, while some describe them as bossy — what can we say, they love the limelight! Poms can live long lives and it’s not uncommon for them to live into their 20s.   


  These small and dainty breeds are not only known for their affection and flowing coats but their health. Many Maltese exceed 15 years of age but can suffer from stress and anxiety if not properly acquainted with alone time — they’re very prone to separation anxiety.     

Shiba Inu

  Shiba Inus are considered to be more of a medium-sized breed that can live well beyond 15 years! People love this breed because they are a quiet, adaptable, and friendly breed. If you’re looking for a constant companion, however, Shiba Inus are known for being very independent and aloof — they like doing things at their own pace!  

Australian Cattle Dog

  Known also as a Blue Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog is a medium-sized dog who lives as long as some of the smaller breeds! There was even one that was reported in 1939 that lived to be 29 years old! Typically Australian Cattle Dogs will live to be at least 15 years old.    If you’re ready for an extremely intelligent and immensely active dog breed, the Blue Heeler is for you!  


  In 2009, there was a Beagle named Butch who lived to be 27 years old, but their life expectancy ranges anywhere from 10 to 15 years. A Beagle is a great hunting companion who is friendly and easy-going, and great in families.    If you’re looking for a dog breed that maximizes your time together, there are many small and medium breeds that will live a long time! And while there are factors that help a dog reach a peak age such as a reputable breeder, their nutrition, being fixed/neutered, and proper vet care, smaller dog breeds typically live longer.   

To get the best vet care in the Carroll Gardens area, schedule an appointment with us today!   

Halloween Safety For Your Dog

Keep your dog safe and healthy this Halloween!

  Halloween is one holiday where local vet clinics are packed as a result of dogs and cats who give their owners quite a freight on this spooky day! It’s important to practice safety with the food and costumes that come with this holiday to avoid a hazardous Halloween!    Halloween can be a delight and at The Vet Set, we love seeing the cute pics of all of our furry friends dressed up and participating in the festivities. Learn more about Halloween safety for your dog in today’s post!

Halloween Safety For Your Dog

  Between all the sweet treats and cute dog costumes, there is some room for your dog to get into a little trouble, so below we’ll address some of the common health hazards we see on all Hallows Eve and how to better prevent them.   

Halloween Treat Safety

  While dogs can eat most foods, there are some ingredients they should stay away from.    Chocolate - Chocolate is the number one thing dogs should absolutely not eat, though the temptation to get into it is high around Halloween! Ensure that your dog does not get into the Halloween candy by placing it high enough so they can’t get to it or in a closet or pantry. It smells so good and inviting, but dogs don’t know the difference and will gladly eat a whole bowl if left to it!     Candies and Gummies - The largest concern with candy other than chocolate, is candy with the artificial sweetener xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is toxic to pets and showing up in a variety of candy. What’s difficult is a product that contains xylitol doesn’t have to be labeled as sugar-free and more and more it’s showing up in treats. When you purchase your Halloween candy, peruse the ingredients and see if it contains xylitol — if it does, take the same precautions as you would with chocolate.   Raisins - Some folks like to hand out the little boxes of raisins as an alternative to all the sweets, but just be aware that grapes and raisins cause health problems for dogs and can even provoke renal failure in dogs.    Hard Candy - Hard candy doesn’t seem like it would be an issue if there is no chocolate or xylitol, right?! Well, we’re sorry to say that even hard candy is a risk for dogs. If they consume it in large quantities — which happens when left to their own devices — it can clump in the intestines or stomach and create an obstruction.    If you want to treat your dog this Halloween, the best course of action is to make your own Halloween treats or find some goodies at your local pet store. And, as always keep the Halloween candy and sweets out of reach of your dog!  

Halloween Costume Safety

  Dressing dogs in costumes has become quite the event over the past couple of years, and while most costumes are safe for dogs, there are some safety precautions to take.    Costume size - It’s important that you find a costume that fits your dog just right because a costume that is too small can cause breathing restrictions and one that is too big can cause them to trip and fall. Either way, an ill-fitting costume can be uncomfortable, not to mention, hazardous to your dog.     Costume accessories - It’s important to keep your dog’s costume relatively simple, meaning no extra accessories. Things like necklaces can be a choking hazard for your dog, and even masks can block their ability to see clearly. So, use accessories for fun pictures, but ditch them if your dog has to do any kind of walking or moving around.   

Make this Halloween safe for your dog!

  With a little extra precautions when it comes to treats and costumes on Halloween, you can enjoy a boo-tiful holiday with your pooch.     

If you have questions about Halloween treats or just want to send us a cute Halloween pet pic, connect with us today! 


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!   


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