Helpful Dog Park Etiquette Tips

Keep your local Carroll Gardens dog park calm and peaceful!

  Dog parks are a refuge for Carroll Gardens’ pooches who don’t have an expansive backyard to play around in — they get exercise and they’re able to socialize with other dogs. But, not all dog parks are created equal, so it’s up to the dog owners to monitor and maintain the dog park, making it a safe and healthy place for all.    At The Vet Set, it’s vital that your dog — especially if they’re indoors most days — get out and bound around and dog parks are perfect for this! Learn some helpful tips to make your local dog park the best!

Dog Park Etiquette

  It’s important to create a space where dogs and humans alike know and follow a common set of rules, to avoid any disasters and promote a happy and healthy place to play. While each dog park will vary in their rules (some are public and others are privately owned), it’s important to know some common ground for both dogs and humans.    So, what are some common dog park etiquette tips? Let’s explore them below.   Dogs over six months must be fixed or females must not be in heat.   It’s important that dogs play and get exercise without having to worry about them making puppies!   Owners must clean up after their dog.   This is a non-negotiable — your dog is an extension of you, so if they poop or make any other kind of mess, clean it up.    All dogs must be licensed.   It’s important that dogs are licensed and are not unsupervised or left unattended at any time.    Aggressive dogs are prohibited.   As much as your dog may be an angel around you, if they have a history of aggression you’ll need to skip the dog park. If your dog does become aggressive at the park, remove them immediately.    Small children must be supervised at all times.   Dogs run and play in the dog park so it’s essential your child is supervised and by your side at all times to avoid any collisions or any other dangers.    Harnesses and other accessories must be removed once the dogs are in the park.   Keep your dog in the appropriate area.   Some dog parks have separate areas according to size, so ensure your large breed is with the big dogs.    No eating or smoking within the dog park.  

Proper Dog Etiquette

  Your dog should always be on their best behavior when they’re at the dog park, and always remember, as a dog owner, it is your responsibility to control your dog at the dog park and make any behavior modification work on your own time — not at the dog park.   
  • Dogs should be happy and friendly and avoid aggressive and obnoxious behaviors. 
  • Dogs should have some confidence and sociability to interact safely with the other dogs.
  • Dogs should have good manners and avoid jumping and peeing on other dogs and humans.
  • Dogs should be healthy and left at home with any illnesses that can be transferred and infect other dogs.

Proper Human Etiquette

  • Be a good dog owner and be responsible for your dog!
  • If you’re new, observe the dog park culture and practices and ask questions if you’re unclear of things. 
  • Go at non-peak hours to better orient yourself and your dog. 
  • If someone makes a complaint about your dog, be reasonable and listen to what they have to say. 
  • Apologize to the owner if your dog was inappropriate. 
  • Avoid disciplining another dog. 
  Each dog park is its own unique place and it’s vital that both you and your dog adhere to the rules — from the major ones such as cleaning up to smaller ones such as not bringing food into the enclosed area — if everyone does their part, it fosters a fun place where dogs can let loose and interact with other dogs.   

Need help with behavior issues? Talk to a vet at our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today! 


How To Safely Run With Your Dog

Crush your fitness goals with your furry best friend at your side!

  It’s the new year and perhaps it’s that time of year when you decide to commit to a running program, and there’s no better way to get in some miles than with your dog! But, it’s not always as smooth sailing as people make it look, so learn all the best techniques for running with your dog.     At The Vet Set, running the Carroll Gardens neighborhood is beautiful — take in all the gorgeous and unique brownstones and window shop as you peruse local vendors, and do it all with your dog! You can get both a little fresh air and good company, which never hurts! To learn more about how to get started running with your dog, stick around for this post! 

Running Safely With Your Dog

  Running with your dog provides a great bonding opportunity in addition to getting exercise, but there are some things to consider before the two of you hit the pavement!   First things first, it’s vital to always check with your Carroll Gardens’ vet that it’s safe for your dog to run longer distances. Sometimes their age, breed, and health status can impact their ability for intense exercise, so it’s important to have them examined before doing so.    What else do you need to know about running safely with your dog? Let’s dive in below!  

Wait until your dog is old enough.

  When it comes to running with your dog, it’s important that you wait until they’re mature enough, so while a puppy has a ton of energy, running may not be fun for you because they can easily get distracted and they’re still being trained. Give it a little time and then begin to ease them into running.   

Build up their running.

  Just like any new runner, dogs need to be able to build up slowly so their muscles, cardiovascular system, and paws can get used to the extra strain. Start by bringing your dog out towards the end of your run for five or 10 minutes. And, at the end of the day, always look for their cues such as heavy panting or slowing down to stop or walk.   

Maintain a (somewhat) tight leash.

  Dogs can get distracted no matter how well-trained they are, so it’s important to keep them on a tight leash. As you run, sometimes you can zone out so if they see a pesky squirrel or they’re roaming a little too far into the street, it could become an issue. Keep them close for safety for both them and yourself.   

Bring Hydration

  If you’re going on a long run where you’ll require water, it’s important that you also pack some for your pooch. There are portable bowls that make things easy or even just pouring some out a water bottle will work.   

Watch for paws!

  It may be a little awkward getting out and running at first, but in time, you’ll be able to get more comfortable with each other. Always look out for their paws and the small nuances in their gait. Stepping on paws is never fun and if it’s frequent they could begin to negatively associate running with pain or trauma.   

Take breaks.

  While some breeds love to run and perhaps don’t want to stop, periodically help them recharge with a break. Allow them to use the bathroom, get a drink, and recoup before the last part of your run.  

Run in good weather.

  While you can not always predict the weather you may encounter on your run, a good practice is to run with your dog when the weather is good — anything too hot or too cold can damage their paws and cause other issues.     If you are running in hot weather, let your dog run on grass if you’re running on pavement and avoid streets and blacktop as much as you can.    In cold weather, you can always try dog booties (if they tolerate them) or make sure to thoroughly wipe their paws because snow, ice, and ice melt can get in between their paws and cause pain and irritation.   

Use Reflective Gear

  If you’re taking your dog out at night, it’s critical that you use reflective gear so cars and other people can see them. Reflective gear is available in a variety of forms from vests and bracelets to lights you can hook around their collars.    Running with your furry friend can be a delight and a great way to get outside and into the great outdoors. Before you get started double check with your vet that it’s safe for your dog to run. Once you get the green light, make sure your dog is old enough and then begin to build their mileage. When you’re hitting the road, ensure you keep a semi-tight leash, pack hydration, watch out for your dog’s paws, take breaks, run in good weather, and always use reflective gear.    

For more tips, stay tuned to The Vet Set blog and schedule an appointment at our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today!  


3 Types of Allergic Reactions in Dogs

Know the signs and types of allergic reactions in your furry friend!

In dogs, it’s hard to know when they’re not feeling their best because they tend to always look happy and ready to play, but an allergic reaction can be life-threatening if you don’t know what to look for. From rashes and swelling to anaphylactic reactions, learn more about these health issues in today’s post.  At The Vet Set in Carroll Gardens, we’ve seen the gamut of allergic reactions and want to help support each dog owner in preventing and keeping their pooch as healthy as possible. Get what you need to know about allergic reactions in dogs today!

3 Types Of Allergic Reactions In Dogs

Just like humans, dogs have a built set of physiologic responses unique to them that signal in a variety of ways what the dog is allergic to. You’ll often see reactions to something they were bitten by (bees or mosquitoes) or even vaccinations.

Why do dogs have allergic reactions?

Allergic reactions occur when the dog’s system reacts to typically a harmless substance called an allergen. Antibodies are released to react to the allergen causing symptoms that affect the nose, lungs, throat, etc. in your dog.  Let’s examine these allergic reactions a little more in-depth.

Skin Allergies In Dogs

One of the most common allergic reactions in dogs is called allergic dermatitis and the leading causes are fleas, food allergies, and environmental allergies.  Fleas - This a very normal allergic reaction in dogs from pests that love to attach themselves to your dog, but if fleas gross you out and are wreaking havoc on your pooch, do not worry, they’re very easy to treat!  Fleas will look like black pepper that’s been sprinkled throughout your dog’s coat, and like most reactions, the more you scratch it, the worse it becomes.  A preventative flea treatment is the best course of action, but talk to your vet about treating an active flea outbreak. Food allergies - Dogs can have food allergies and react to certain ingredients in the food such as chicken or corn. Why do dogs get food allergies? While in some dogs a food allergy is genetic, some develop one to an overexposure of the same ingredient. So, if you feed your dog a chicken and rice dog food for most of their life, exposure over time can cause an inflammation flare-up in their intestines and spawn what is known as leaky gut. Leaky gut is where an antigen is absorbed and able to permeate the gut lining — the reaction itself is through the skin and causes your dog to itch, so rotating and introducing new foods in a dog's diet is a great way to combat food allergies.  Environmental allergies - An environmental or atopic allergy is when a dog reacts to an allergen such as dust, pollen, mold, or fungus, and these are typically seasonal. You might notice your dog has these certain allergies around certain times (spring and summer) and affected dogs will scratch their ears and excessively lick their paws.   

Snout/Facial Swelling And Hives

Dogs will often get facial swelling in the throat, face, lips, ears, and eyelids that signal an allergic reaction. Vets tend to favor these symptoms because the reaction is classified as angioneurotic edema, and if you’re seeing this, the time for a fatal reaction to occur, has passed.  The swelling presents itself 30 minutes to an hour after exposure, and though the dog is generally not in any danger, if left untreated, the swelling can last up to a day or two before it goes down. Hives, on the other hand, are a little different than just swelling. Hives will begin to crop up six to 24 hours after exposure and cause extremely itchy skin and welts or small bumps on the skin.  You can easily see hives on dogs with short coats, but those dogs with longer coats you’ll likely be able to feel them first. 

Anaphylactic Allergies

Anaphylactic allergies in dogs are very rare but they do occur. This happens when your dog has a reaction to a food or another substance such as medication that their body tries to fight and floods it with antibodies to attack the seamlessly harmless substance. Blood pressure can drop and in an anaphylactic reaction, many parts of the body are involved, making it extremely dangerous.  The tough part about this allergic reaction, is you never know how something innocuous as shrimp or a bee sting could jeopardize your dog’s life. So, if you notice your dog having issues after eating something or taking something, contact your vet immediately.   Your response time is key to anaphylactic reactions and if your dog survives, they’ll likely be prescribed an EpiPen should this happen again. 

Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

As we’ve covered, dogs can have a myriad of allergic reactions — some are quite common while others are rare and life-threatening — but they all show up in different ways.

For more information about allergy prevention and treatment options in dogs, connect with our Carroll Gardens vet office 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! 


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!           

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