Everything You Need To Know About Emotional Support Animals

Because navigating emotional wellness with a four-legged furry friend is always better!

  You may have noticed dogs roaming in unconventional places — airports, restaurants, and even shopping malls — and while service animals are quite recognizable, what is an emotional support animal (ESA)?   Our furry best friends complete our families — not only do they keep us company on runs and provide us with a lifetime of laughs, they’re always by our side offering their undivided emotional support. The VetSet is here to make sure your furry friend lives out their days healthy and happy. We provide traditional and alternative care at our brick and mortar vet clinic and also our mobile vet services. Join us in today’s post as we explore all that pertains to emotional support animals.

The Power of Animals

  While emotional support animals have received a lot of media attention from both critics and those in favor, most people can identify and have experience with the power of animals. Whether it’s a special bond you have as a pet parent or the joys of fostering, you can relate to the ease and calm that pets can bring. They can sense when your in turmoil both physically and emotionally, and are the first ones at your side to help soothe.   Emotional support animals are no different and they offer those who are managing health issues more rights than your typical household pet.  

What’s The Difference? Emotional Support Pets Vs. Service and Therapy Animals

  A service animal is typically a dog trained for a specific task. We have service dogs for the blind, for those in wheelchairs, and even those who have epilepsy. Emotional support dogs differ from service animals in that they’re not trained for a specific job so they don’t have the same public allowances that service animals do.   A therapy animal — again, typically a dog — is a pet trained to offer psychological and emotional support. Common places to spot therapy animals are in nursing homes, schools, and therapists offices.   The largest difference between an emotional support animal and service and therapy animals, is that they’re not trained for a specific task or job. They are simply there in their presence to offer an emotional connection void of less legal accommodations.     Emotional support animals do not have the same rights as service animals under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) because they are not needed to provide their owner’s in assistance in everyday tasks and do not receive ongoing, consistent, and professional training. The very beautiful thing about ESA is that the law recognizes their significance, and some laws extend to them — you are allowed some rights in public spaces. ESA’s are recognized in the Fair Housing Amendment Act (FHAA) and those with emotional support animals are allowed to keep them, in addition to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) that allows owners to bring their animals on a flight even beyond whether they fit in a carrier under the seat or not.   The laws are only so permitting — in units with a no pet policy, ESA animals are still not allowed, and within the ACAA, you can only fly with a dog or cat.  

What Makes An Emotional Support Animal Legal?

  To certify an ESA, you must get prescribed a script requesting an ESA by your mental health practitioner. These scripts are typically written for those who suffer from the following mental health concerns:  
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Cognitive issues
  The letter must include all information such as:  
  • A script written by your current mental health practitioner
  • The disability stated for an ESA
  • How your life is impacted by the health concerns you have
  • How the ESA would improve your quality of life
  • Be dated a year or less out from the time you require it for housing or travel

More on Emotional Support Animals

  ESAs are widely beneficial for the quality of life they can help guide you towards. An ESA needs no specific training or certifications and can be a pet you already have or one you’re planning on adopting.   It is highly recommended that they do have basic obedience training and manners so they can behave well in a public space.   ESAs play a vital role alongside side both service and therapy animals. They can help those struggling with a psychological issue gain a better quality of life and soothe them in stressful situations such as long flights or being home alone.     It’s also important to go through all of the right avenues to gain certification, so as not to abuse the system and make it more difficult for those in the future to obtain a ESA.   If you are managing a health issue and feel you need the support of an animal, look into an emotional support animal to help you through your toughest days.  

If you have an emotional support animal and are in need of vet services in the Carroll Garden area, reach out to us today!


The Only Guide You’ll Need To Planning Your Dog’s Birthday Party!

Dog birthday ideas for planning the perfect pawty!

  Your furry best friend is an extension of your family — after all, they go practically everywhere with you, and when you refer to them as your child, everyone knows who you’re talking about!   It’s only natural that they get a birthday party in their honor every year!   At Vet Set, we celebrate your dog by keeping them happy and healthy so they can celebrate each passing year with you! From alternative vet methods to x-rays and vaccinations, we can meet you where you’re at via our mobile vet clinic! For now, relax and find great ideas for planning your next puppy birthday party!

Plan a Dog Birthday For the Books With These Ideas!

  Spoiling your dog is something dog owners love to do — whether it’s making them go gaga over their favorite toy or indulging them in a new treat — we live to give our dogs the best quality of life.   So, if you’re ready to see the pure bliss on your dog’s face, now is the time to plan for their upcoming pawty!  

Find the perfect doggy birthday venue!

  Not every venue is dog-friendly, so unless you have a venue dedicated to dogs (a dog park or doggy daycare), having the party in your home may be the best practice.   One of the highlights of celebrating your dog is they don’t know when their birthday is, which can make things easier for you. If they have a cold, December birthday, celebrate them in warmer weather when they can tromp around in your yard or the park with their buddies.   Create fun exciting invitations and decorations even the humans will love!   Invitations are part of the fun, so craft unique and cheeky doggy birthday invitations that dazzle. The practice of posting invites to fridges still happens, and people love slapping a cute dog invitation up for everyone to see!   As far as decorations go, go wild! You can never have too many dog decorations at the party! Get creative and go beyond the typical paws and bones decor. We can’t get enough of the UPS and mailman theme (if your dog loves to bark and tease them) or a tennis ball theme — whatever your dog is in to, create a theme around that.  

Pamper them with a pupcake!

When it comes to the cake, it has to entice and dazzle. It can be a delicious concoction of everything they love — dog bones, peanut butter, pumpkin, or bananas — or it can be a treat they love to destroy. We’ve seen cute cakes that let dogs go crazy with toilet paper, boxes, and bubble wrap — don’t be afraid to do something different!   Invite all their friends!   What’s better than a solo birthday? A birthday with all your favorite dog buddies! Invite as many of their dog friends that your house or park can contain and let them celebrate and play all day!   If your dog has a social media following, it’s also fun to create a little post about their upcoming party — create a hashtag that the other dogs can use when they post pictures from the day!   If you’re outdoors, a water station (or a couple) is a great idea. Keep a couple of bowls around, or have fun and create a doggy fountain that flows with fresh water.    

Strike a paws with a photo booth!

  Photo booths are not only for the humans, dogs love to use them too! It can be as basic or ornate as you want, but be sure to include birthday themed props and ones that are tolerated by most dogs — sunglasses, hats, frisbees, etc.   Not only does a photobooth create an area to document the day, the humans can post them on social media under the hashtag you created!   Include games!   Games can be a great way to control the chaos of a host of dogs. You could create a talent show where the dogs show off their tricks and talents for treats or a scavenger hunt where you hide treats and the dogs go around sniffing them out.    

Don’t let the guests leave without a doggy bag!

  Fill a bag full of treats that the doggy guests can take with them — this can be anything from balls and jerky to dog bones and a cute bandana.   Don’t leave the human guests out!   The dog party shenanigans can be a bit tiring for the humans, so try and create a space where everyone can relax and kick back at the party — food and adult beverages are always a great option! You can even play to the theme and customize a cocktail in honor of your dog!   Celebrating your dog is something that you and other dog parents love to do! No matter what you end up doing, have fun and make it a stress-free endeavor!  

For more information on how we can keep your dog happy and healthy with our mobile vet services, connect with us 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 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.    


  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!


Is Your Dog Drinking More Water Than Usual?

Dogs drinking water is a normal part of their daily life, but when does it become an issue and raise red flags to their health?

  Dogs drink water because they’re thirsty and when their bodies become low on water, it will cue thirst. Dogs lose water through panting — since dogs only sweat through their foot pads and noses — and it can only be replenished by drinking water.   How much your dog is drinking isn’t something you really think about but if they’re drinking more than usual, it will become more noticeable. The Vet Set in Carroll Gardens is a vet clinic that you can both bring your pet to or utilize our mobile vet services that come to you! Join us in today's post as we examine what it might mean if your dog is drinking more water than usual.  

What it Means if Your Dog is Drinking A lot of Water

  A healthy water intake will look different for each dog — every dog has different variables that will affect how much water they consume on a daily basis. For example, if your dog primarily eats wet dog food they will generally require less water than those who eat dry kibble. The recommended amount of water for ideal pet health is 20 to 70 ml/kg each day. It’s important as a dog owner to get a good idea of how much they do drink, so you can recognize when it’s too much or too little.   An unbalanced water intake can result in health issues concerning your dog — too little causes dehydration, while too much may be a sign of organ disease. When your dog is drinking too much water you’ll be able to recognize it because they will also be peeing more.   The medical term for a dog consuming large amounts of water is polydipsia, and this may be caused by your dog losing excess water through health concerns such as Cushing’s Disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.   Another reason why your dog may drinking more water could be related to behavior — dogs will drink water when they’re bored and water-loving breeds tend to drink more water. Sorting out whether it’s behavioral or physical can be tough for a vet.      If your dog is on a medication, this is yet another factor that can impact the amount of water they are consuming. Cortical steroids are notorious for ramping up your dog’s thirst and increased water consumption as a result.  

How to Manage Excess Water Drinking in Your Dog

  If your dog is drinking more water, again, they will typically be urinating more frequently and this is one of the first signs dog owners notice. The most vital thing you can do for your dog and its increased water intake is to get answers. Take your dog to an animal health clinic - Address the changes in your dog's water intake by getting diagnostics at your local animal health clinic. The vet will be able to run tests and diagnose possible conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract infection, and high blood calcium levels.   The vet will address your dog’s issues with a series of urine and blood tests. Further tests may be performed for clarity and to better manage the condition.   Never restrict your dog’s water intake - Though this may be difficult on you because you’re constantly having to let your dog out to urinate, it’s important to never restrict how much water they do drink. Restricting their water could make matters worse and lead to dehydration and fluid imbalances.   Don’t ignore the problem - Because dogs aren’t to communicate their needs, their bodies will. It’s important to never disregard or overlook a behavior — the issue may only become worse and even fatal if it goes unaddressed.   Truly, the only way to manage excessive water drinking is to address its root cause. If your dog does end up having a health issue, most can be managed and control with a good dog vet and they will have a good quality of life.  

To learn more about our animal health clinic in Carroll Gardens and the services we offer, connect with us today!


The Six Signs Your Dog is Trying to Tell You Something (Part One)

Pet parents take on caring for their animals just as much as people care for their human children, but unlike kids, animals can’t verbally communicate to tell alert someone if something is wrong. Until a pet translator is invented, pet parent’s will have to rely on body language their pet provides to understand what’s going on.   Though every vet may not be like Dr. Doolittle, most have the skills and techniques to help us determine what’s going on in our pet’s health. At VetSet, our animal care clinic in Carroll Gardens provides a myriad of diagnostics, vaccinations, acupuncture, and dental services for your pet to ensure optimal health and wellness. Join us in today’s post about the signs that your dog may give when trying to tell you something. Listen and Look For Signs From Your Pet   Body language is the form of communication that we’re able to somewhat use to understand our pets and no one knows your dog better than you, so pay attention to the little things they may be telling you.   Below are some signs you may recognize that your pet is trying to tell you something.   Changes in Behavior If your pet is normally spunky in the morning and loves walks or waking up to fetch the newspaper with you and then suddenly is lethargic and unwilling to get up, this behavioral change could indicate something is wrong. Other indicators may be irritability or aggressiveness towards other pets and family members.   Digestive Issues   If your pet begins to have symptoms of diarrhea, loss of appetite, constipation, or vomiting, these are clear signs that something is up. Also, keep an eye on what their poop is saying such as bloody stool or abnormal colors — this could indicate issues in their abdomen. Dog bloat which is potentially life-threatening and can come with signs such as excessive drooling, dry heaves, restlessness, and a bloated belly.   Respiratory Concerns   If your dog is coughing, sneezing, or has abnormal discharge from their nose, this could indicate a respiratory issue or infection. If their breathing is labored or they’re wheezing, this sign should be taken very seriously. Also pay close attention if you have dogs with short snouts like pugs or bulldogs, as they’re more susceptible.   Pain   All dogs experience pain and discomfort at some point, but chronic pain and symptoms associated with it can indicate more serious problems. Signs to look for are stiffness when walking, a reluctance to jump or even walk, swelling in the bones and joints, becoming aggressive when a specific area is touched.   Changes in Elimination Habits   Trained dogs should have no problem going outside to go to the bathroom, but it’s when they begin urinating and defecating indoors where it could be a sign that there is an illness. When they’re constantly having to go outside this could be related to their kidneys, and if they have trouble passing stool this is could also be cause for concern.   Coat and Skin Appearance   If your dog’s coat is normally full and vibrant and it has recently retreated to being dull and patchy, this is one of the first signs something could be going on. And, if your dog also has red, irritated skin, or lumps check in with the vet so they can examine your dog and monitor them for any changes.   There are many signs that express something may be wrong whether they’re telling you through their behavior or in bodily changes. We have yet to explore the signs beyond digestive issues and pain, so stay tuned for part two!  

If you think your dog is trying to tell you something or you see physical changes in them, schedule an examination with us today!


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