Cat Behavior: Weird or Normal? (Part One)

Cats are surely a breed of their own — they’re independent as they are fussy, and sometimes their behavior can seem a bit odd.

  Cats are fun-loving pets that give you the right amount of cuddles at a time that is convenient to them! Which is to say, that they may be a bit odd and sometimes you may not fully understand their intentions.   When you partner with Vet Set and our premier veterinary services, you not only get a compassionate vet, you also get a team that is dedicated to providing the best care to your cat! Follow along in today’s post as we venture into cat behavior and explain what weird behaviors they elicit and how they may be more normal than you may think!

The Strange (and Often Misunderstood) Behavior of Cats

  Cats are often a mystery to most of us, but there are some behaviors that really just leave us clueless. Below are those behaviors — demystified!  

Cats showing us their butts.

  This is strange, but everyone who has been around a cat knows this strange behavior. When a cat presents their butt, this is a good sign. They are telling you that they feel at ease with you and are giving you an opportunity to get to know them a little better!   This is essentially like greeting a friend with a hug. When a cat does this, you can just give them a nice scratch in their favorite spot.  

Cat Head Butting

  Have you ever had a cat snuggle up to you, only to give you a head butt? It’s a little odd, but not out of their wheelhouse. Vets refer to this behavior as bunting or allorubbing and this is a sign of endearment — cats do this to mark their territory with a scent and claim you as their own!  

Cat Shade

  Perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse of your cat staring straight at you, throwing shade. This sneering or flehmen has nothing to do with you, human! They may be staring straight into your eyes, but really what’s happening is they’re getting pheromones from other cats that have marked that area which often produces a lip curl and dead-stare.  

Eating Grass

  Cats, just like dogs, commonly eat grass, but most of us don’t understand this behavior. Unlike humans who get vital nutrients from their greens, cats can enjoy some trace health benefits, but grass offers them added fiber to their diets to aid in passing hairballs.  

Covering Up Poop

  Have you ever noticed that cats cover their poop in their litter boxes — what is the point in this? How cats use their litter box is generally passed down from their older counterparts (if you have them), and the litter box is cat language in and of itself.       Typically, cats cover their poop as a way to mark their territory, a litter box graffiti of sorts, but mostly it’s something that has been domesticated into them.   Are there more strange behaviors to cover? Of course there are! We love covering cats, so stay tuned for part two!  

Keeping Your Furry Friend Protected and Cozy in the Winter (Part Two)

Have fun in the winter and keep your dog safe and protected.

  In part one, we examined why the cold can be an issue for dogs and what puts them at risk. In today’s post, we’re getting to the meat of the conversation and exploring the tangible ways you can keep them safe and snug.   Carroll Gardens is quite chilly this time of year, so why brave the elements? Stay right where you are and let our mobile services come to you! And while you’re waiting, enjoy the best tips for protecting your dog in the winter. And now…  

Winter Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Protected This Winter!

 

Pay attention to the paws.

  The paws are extra vulnerable in this season because they’re subject to not only the cold and snow but also to the treatments that are put on the roads and sidewalks.   Protect their paws by doing a few small things including:   Keeping their feet groomed - Trim the hair around and in between the paws. When their hair is short and out the way, not only are they easier to clean it makes them it easier to monitor.    Using a protective balm - A protective balm can do wonders to their paws! Apply a balm before they go outdoors for an additional layer and use it indoors to keep them supple and to support healing to any cracked or dry paws.    Invest in dog boots - There is a myriad of reputable companies that make dog boots for dogs, and while your dog may not take to them right away, over time they’ll find comfort in the extra protection the boots provide.  

Be considerate of the time of day you go out.

  Try and get all your major activity in during the daytime and when the sun is out. Going for walks in the dark is cold — for both of the dog and the owner! Not only are the temperatures a little warmer in the daytime, but the sun also helps to melt and clear snow and ice.  

Create a cozy place for your dog to relax.

  Ensure your dog has a nice, comfortable spot to rest. Sleeping on the floors can be cold (especially if they’re wood) in the winter months, so ensure their comfort with a nice bed with blankets if need be.    

Be conscious of where you pile your snow.

  If you live in an area with a small porch or even a yard, if you shovel your snow into the same area storm after storm, it can build up and create the perfect escape route for your dog. Instead, find different places to shovel snow and cross your fingers the temperature heats up to melt some of it!  

Ensure they’re staying hydrated.

  Summer or winter, dog’s can still become dehydrated. And, even if they’re eating snow when they’re out, this doesn’t always make up for what fresh water they are drinking. Always make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water whether they’re indoors or not.       Wintertime in Brooklyn is picturesque and even enjoyable when you and your furry friend are prepared. Relish in the cold weather, while keeping them protected and cozy.  

To learn more about our mobile vet services, reach out today!   

 

Keeping Your Furry Friend Protected and Cozy in the Winter (Part One)

Because cracked dog paws aren’t the only burden the cold weather can bring.

  Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn often experiences the best winter weather mother nature has to offer — whites outs that line the streets and freezing temperatures that call for layer after layer (after layer) — this can be bliss when you’re well-prepared, but what about for your four-legged friend?   Snowed in or would you like to stay put in your warm brownstone this winter? No worries! The VetSet is a mobile veterinarian that can come to you! Stick with us and learn about the best pet care for your animals as you brave the cold, Brooklyn climate!

Where to Begin With Winter Pet Care?

  Depending on the breed of your dog, they may love the winter or would rather stay tucked away indoors. Either way, they have to get out at some point for a nice stroll and multiple times daily to use the restroom. This means they must brave the cold!   Many of us still hold the assumption that dogs are dogs and animals full of fur and fluff that protects them and acts as their winter coat, thus they’re able to weather the cold with ease. But because our pets are domesticated and use to a life of luxury indoors — heat, bedding, and blankets galore — the winter weather can be as alarming to them as it is for us.   Let’s give our dog’s a little extra TLC in the winter!   So, what are the key winter care tips a dog owner needs to know? Keep reading to be in-the-know about cold-climate pet care tips!   But first, what are the winter health risks that dogs encounter?  

Icy roads and sidewalks.

  Just as humans have to be careful when on snow and ice so do dogs, but in a bit of a different way. While humans have to avoid slipping and falling, dogs have to steer clear of the ice melt and sand. Chemical deicers that line the streets and sidewalks are irritating to dog’s paws, and if ingested, are extremely toxic. Sand is better for dogs but combined with the cold, ice, and snow, it makes sore and cracked paws.    

Frostbite

Frostbite affects dogs in the cold weather because the biological process is for the body to take warmth from the outer extremities and pull it inwards to the core. As the center of the body is warmed, it leaves paws, tails, and ears vulnerable to frostbite. Key signs of frostbite are skin discoloration (changing to a grey color) in addition to the areas being cold and hard. If left unaddressed, frostbite can reach the point of no return and turn black — if this happens your pet loses that extremity permanently.    

Hypothermia

  This is a severe case of your dog being too cold. If a dog spends too much time out in the elements without the ability to warm up, hypothermia sets in. This can begin mildly where signs such as cold feet and ears or shivering occur. Signs that you shouldn’t ignore and that can be fatal are if your dog becomes weak and apathetic. The end stage of hypothermia is a dog whose muscles tighten up and breathing slows.   It’s vital to know your dog and understand and identify the signs of frostbite and hypothermia because they can be disastrous for your dog’s well-being.   Knowing how and what your dog is at risk in the wintertime is only the first part of the conversation! Stay tuned and get the best tips to prepare your dog for the cold in our next post!  

Beat the cold and schedule a mobile vet service with us today!

   

The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds

Will your favorite type of cat make the list?

  There are dog people and then there are cat people, because, can you really be both?! Cats are often known for their bold and strong nature, the quintessential cat will likely have one of the following personalities:  
  • Neurotic - Anxious, insecure, fearful
  • Impulsive - Reckless and erratic
  • Dominant - Bully, aggressive, jealous
  • Extroverted - Playful and curious
  • Agreeableness - Gentle, friendly, affectionate
  Do these traits sound like your cat? Cats are strange and unique animals which is why we love them! At The VetSet in Caroll Gardens, we get to interact with all types of cat breeds and personalities. To learn more about the most popular cat breeds, join us in today’s post!

Well-Loved Cat Breeds

  Cats are classified in two different ways, domestic and purebred. Domestic cats can be likened to what we refer to as mutts in the dog world, where their pedigree and lineage is unknown, while purebred cats have both a lineage and pedigree. There are different organizations that recognize specific breeds of cats, and those lists vary from anywhere between 43 and 58 different types. Below are the most popular types of cats — in no particular order!  

Maine Coon

  Maine Coons are widely known for their large size, and when you spot one, you’ll know it. Apart from their size, they have thick fur coats and extra toes (polydactylism) which makes their paws even bigger. These extra toes also aid in harsh and cold Maine winters when they have to brave the ice and snow.  

Siamese

  The Siamese cat is essentially a mother breed because they’re lineage has helped create other cat breeds including the Oriental Shorthair, Sphynx, and Himalayan. You’ll immediately recognize a Siamese by its color markings or points. A typical Siamese will have a light body with its points (face, ears, paws, and tail) being a darker color and blue eyes.  

Sphynx

  The Sphynx cat is notoriously known for its lack of hair! Affectionately referred to as a “naked cat,” the Sphynx does have some hair, but it’s more like whispy peach fuzz! This cat will not shed but don’t be fooled — if you have a cat allergy you can still be allergic to this breed of cat!

Bengal

The Bengal is another cat you’ll recognize because, as their name states, they are the wildest looking cat. With markings that look like they belong in the jungle rather than your urban jungle, this is a domesticated cat that needs a lot of activity.  

Persian

  The Persian cat is well-known for its smushed, but adorable, looking face! These flat-faced felines have beautiful, long coats and they come in a variety of colors and markings.  

Ragdoll

  Ragdoll cats are very easygoing, as their name eludes, and often go limp in your arms as you scoop them up to cuddle. This breed of cat look is similar to a Siamese, but instead with long hair.   There are so many lovable kinds of cats, whether they’re domestic or a purebred breed.  

If you’re in need of a new vet or animal clinic in the Carroll Gardens area, connect with us today!   

Does Your Dog Have a Dry, Itchy Winter Coat? Try These Remedies! (Part Two)

More natural dog dry skin remedies to try at home!

  In part one, we explored a couple of dry skin remedies for dogs including coat sprays and oatmeal treatments. Read about it here. If you’re looking for more remedies to try or just want to arm yourself with the best winter skin arsenal for your dog, join us in today’s post.   Dry, irritated skin isn’t always a result of the winter weather, sometimes it can be a reflection of food allergies, environmental chemicals and toxins, or a reaction to pests. To get a complete diagnosis, partner with the Vet Set for our thorough pet examinations.      If it turns out it’s just the weather (Carroll Gardens can be brutal in the winter), read below for the best remedies!

Dry, Winter Skin? Find Itch Relief For Dogs Here!

 

Epsom Salt

  Similar to an oatmeal bath or a herbal tea soak, you can use Epsom salt to alleviate irritated skin. This soak speeds healing and is comforting to inflammation.    

Aloe Vera

  If you have access to the healing succulent, aloe vera straight from the source is ideal! Break a little piece off and use the gel on extra red and sore spots. Not only is it cooling and healing, but it also doesn’t contain alcohol so it isn’t drying. No aloe vera plant? No worries! Go to your natural health foods store and look for a bottle in the sun care section, but ensure there is no alcohol. You can also find an aloe vera gel in the supplement area in the stomach section — they are made for drinking, but the gel can still be applied to your dog’s coat!  

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  Omega-3 fatty acids are a great way to heal and prevent an itchy coat from the inside out. Not only do these fatty acids improve skin health, but they’re also great for combating inflammation and digestion concerns. Even better, dogs love the taste and will gobble it down — no hiding it in treats or peanut butter. Take a look in your local pet store for pet-specific supplements or ask your vet for the proper dosage and shop your health food store for a high-quality fish oil.     

Coconut Oil

  Coconut oil seems to be the cure-all these days for just about everything, but coconut oil for skin and coat health is a benefit you can rely on. Massage a high-quality coconut oil onto your dog’s coat (look for organic,non-GMO, and unrefined), paying close attention to any red and itchy patches. If this is too messy or you want to really go after their dry coat, add a scoop to their food.  

Vitamin E Oil

  Similar to coconut oil, massage vitamin E oil into your dog’s coat, particularly the dry, itchy patches. This is very healing to the skin and moisturizing to cracked and dry paws.  

CBD Oil

  CBD oil is amazing for a variety of health concerns in dogs — it better calms anxiety in addition to tackling inflammation. The Vet Set recommends Canna-Pet.   Now you have a comprehensive and vast list of itchy skin remedies! Try them out today and let us know what helps!  

For more information on our vet services, connect today!

        

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