Emotional support animals are becoming more popular and accepted as the stigmas surrounding mental health go away, and people prioritize self-care. Millions of people have mental conditions that go untreated for various reasons, whether they can’t afford regular therapy or do not have health insurance. Having a pet is an easy way to improve mental health for anyone, but it’s extra important for those with certain psychological disorders. Emotional support animals are pets that help someone with specific mental conditions, and there are many misconceptions about ESAs.
Emotional Support Animals are Service Animals
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to ESAs is confusing them for service animals. There are many differences between an emotional support animal and a service animal regarding their purpose and where they are allowed. An emotional support animal is a special type of companion animal for those with qualifying psychological conditions. They are different from service animals and therapy pets.
Emotional support animals help reduce stress and anxiety in their owners, through their calming presence. They do not need any formal training besides basic obedience to behave in public. Service animals, on the other hand, go through extensive training to perform specific tasks and functions for their disabled owners, who are typically physically disabled rather than mentally. It’s much harder to get a service animal, as they must pass many certifications to qualify as a service animal.
Another common misconception about emotional support animals is that they’re allowed to accompany their owners into non-pet friendly places like restaurants and grocery stores. Emotional support animals can live in housing that does not permit pets and can fly with their owners in the cabin of an aircraft without a pet fee. They have no additional rights in public areas. Service animals are allowed to accompany their disabled owners in any space open to the general public, including restaurants, movie theatres, schools, and museums.
Any Type of ESA can Fly with their Owner
While service animals can only be dogs and miniature horses, any animal can technically be an emotional support animal. Many therapists only recognize the therapeutic benefit of dogs and cats, however. For the safety and convenience of other passengers, many airlines are updating their policies to only allow cats and dogs as emotional support animals. Cats and dogs are more easily trainable. In the past, airlines permitted any type of ESA, but this is changing.
Emotional support animals are an important mental health tool for those with common psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They help their owners cope with the symptoms of their disability, reducing stress and anxiety. Many people confuse emotional support animals with service animals, and there are many misconceptions about what an ESA is and where they are allowed to go with their owners. The two main rights emotional support animals have is housing and travel, where service animals are allowed to go nearly anywhere with their disabled owners and are highly trained to perform tasks.
Make sure you’re up-to-date on all the rules and regulations around travel with your pet! Just this year, Delta revoked a rule that animals could not accompany passengers on flights 8 hours or longer, with the exception of Pitbulls.
“Flying and traveling stirs immense anxiety in some people, and leaving home without their Emotional Support Animal or pet can be traumatizing. It’s great that Delta and other airlines continue to recognize the importance of allowing travel on their aircrafts.” – Prairie Conlon, LMHP and Clinical Director at CertaPet
While the debate wages on over whether Emotional Support Animal’s are considered legitimate, CertaPet emphasizes that their clients must complete a clinical evaluation, as well as a therapy session, before a licensed mental health professional determines whether they need an ESA letter. CertaPet therapists only write ESA letters for dogs, cats, and rabbits. And in fact, CertaPet sees a ~25% increase in the need for an Emotional Support Animal during the holidays. Most airlines charge a fee ($100+) for small, regular pets (non-ESA’s) to fly with you as a carry-on. ESA’s are protected by law and require no additional fee to travel as a carry-on.
The Australians have given us so much…Nicole Kidman, Koalas, UGG Boots and NOW…they have given us the 2020 Training Mate Calendar. Training Mate has paired with The Labelle Foundation to show off their “cheeky” humor *and cheeks* to benefit the dog rescue.
The Labelle Foundation is a Los Angeles foster based animal rescue devoted to rescuing, rehabilitating, advocating for dogs. Their goal is to help the animals they assist find perfect forever families. The organization also specializes in neonatal orphans and sick or special need medical puppies.
Training Mate is owned and operated by “Revenge Body” trainer Luke Milton who makes an appearance in the calendar. Luke’s fitness career began as a professional Rugby player in Australia where he was lucky enough to play for his country. After retiring from Rugby, Luke founded Training Mate in Sydney, Australia and quickly established himself as a leader in the fitness community. He is now a celebrity trainer here in Los Angeles and lives by the belief that a healthy lifestyle is a combination of physical, social and mental health.
100% of the profits from the Training Mate calendar will benefit The Labelle Foundation.
Many people who live in the midst of a city crave the company of a dog. Living in built-up urban areas can sometimes be a lonely existence, and sometimes a dog is a soothing and comforting housemate that will keep you sane during rough times. However, when you live in such a busy area, it is important to do this responsibly. You want to make sure your pet is happy and contented in their surroundings before you shell out on such a big responsibility.
Check with your landlord
Before you head down to the pet store, double-check that your landlord actually allows pets in your property. You could cause real problems for your lease if you suddenly show up with an unexpected animal. If your landlord is reluctant, then have a clear and open chat about what type of dog you will be keeping and how you will look after it. If the landlord explicitly states that an animal is a no-go, then you may have to move.
Choose a breed that’s right for the area
Want to own a racing hound when you live on the 16th floor of an apartment block? That might be a bad idea. However, if you’re lucky enough to live in a house with a garden, and live near plenty of parks, you should be fine for more energetic breeds, such as labradors. Visiting a dog expert like Snowy Pines White Labradors will help you know if a lab is right for your family. If you decide a labrador is right for your family, then make sure you have plenty of room, and wide open spaces nearby to take them for runs. You need to give your dog what it needs and in this case, it is bigger space.
Be aware of the summer months
The warmer months can be incredibly tough on dogs. The sun not only makes it uncomfortable for them to exercise and move around, but it also dehydrates them. One extra consideration to make is how hot the pavement will get in direct heat. This could really hurt your dog’s paws, and so you may need to consider getting little covers for your dog’s feet. If in doubt, stick to shaded areas, and always bring water with you to keep your pet hydrated while the weather is intense.
Unless you happen to have inherited tonnes of wealth, your reasons for living in the city are likely to be a regular job. This means you will be away from your apartment and indeed your dog. If your employer doesn’t let you bring your dog to work, then you will need to research some daycare options. It’s not fair on your dog to leave them in a confined apartment or house while you go to work, especially in smaller city abodes.
There is an extra level of responsibility to consider when adopting a pet in the city. You have to be mindful of how you will exercise it and whether it will be truly happy in your living conditions. However, if you have the means to take it on regular walks, provide daycare and treat it with undying love, then you might just be ready for the adoption forms.
Many new dog owners are unsure about how often they should bring their dog to the vet. You should take your dog to the vet when required, if you are unsure, you can speak to the veterinarian and ask them for advice on the subject. Every dog needs access to a safe home, toys, healthy food, exercise and a lot of love and attention. In addition, they require trips to the local vet for health checks, vaccinations and other services.
Physical Health & Dental Checks
Bringing your dog to the vet for general health checks and dental checks is important. An animal cannot tell you when they are sick, so you must have them checked to ensure they are in good health. Dogs are good at hiding their ailments, so if you think something is off, you should have them assessed by a professional.
The vet will perform a general check to see if your dog is physically fit and healthy, tell examine all of the following:
Your dog’s dental health is something you must be proactive with; some breeds are more prone to problems than others. If your vet notices any issues, your dog may need to be brought in for treatment. If you’ve no pet insurance, medical treatment for your family pet can be expensive. To avoid getting hit with a huge bill you hadn’t accounted for, take out a policy to cover your dog in the event of an injury or serious illness.
If you’ve a puppy, they’ll need to get several vaccinations to ensure they are healthy and able to fight certain diseases. The best way to find out about vaccinations is to visit your local vet and ask them for a breakdown of what needs to be done. A vet will be able to give your puppy its first set of vaccinations, they’ll then provide you with a timeline you can follow as your dog gets older.
Injuries & Illnesses
Should your dog suffer an accident that requires medical attention, you should immediately bring them to a medical facility. Remember to keep your local vets contact details close by, so if anything happens, you’ll have the clinics number and the vets after hours emergency number in your phone. If your pet seems lethargic or their behaviour has suddenly changed, it is better to have them checked to rule out any serious illnesses.
As mentioned previously, medical care for your pet is costly. To ensure you get financial compensation for certain types of treatment, purchase pet insurance from a legitimate provider. If something doesn’t seem right, err on the side of caution and have them checked.
If you are unsure about anything when it comes to your family pet, always consult with a professional. They’ll be able to give you the right advice on medical care for your pet. Medical care for your pet can get expensive if they need certain types of treatment, to ensure you are prepared, take out an insurance policy and give your pet the best care available.
Is your dog’s scratching more than “just an itch?” Actress and life-long dog lover Kate Walsh knows first-hand that dogs can be “off their game” because of allergic itching, leading to more serious problems if not treated by a veterinarian. Kate joins us today to share important info on how you can get your dog’s A-Game back.
As a lifelong dog lover, how did you know that Rosie was off her game?
Kate Walsh: She started scratching her face in sort of a cute way at first with both paws at the same time. And then it turned into a regular thing where it wouldn’t stop, and I realized pretty quickly it was probably allergies. So I took her into my veterinarian, and she prescribed Apoquel for Rosie.
How should we know when and if it’s more than an itch, and when it’s time for our pets to visit their veterinarian?
Kate Walsh: If the itching and scratching starts interrupting their regular daily activities — if they’re on a walk and they have to stop several times to scratch and itch or chew, or if they wake up in the middle of the night to chew, those are signs that there’s a problem. A lot of dog owners think oh, that’s just my dog itching but it’s likely allergies. If you see these signs, it’s a good idea to visit your veterinarian and see if Apoquel might work for you. It certainly worked for Rosie.
How should people with pets avoid allergies for some of their animals?
Kate Walsh: It’s hard to avoid allergens because so many allergies are environmental and are out of our control – just like humans with pollens or grasses, or during certain times of the year. For some dogs it’s seasonal allergies, some are perpetual and year-round. There’s really no way to prevent them so it’s about going to the veterinarian and seeing what they have to say. It’s also important to understand that dog allergies manifest differently than human allergies do. In dogs, allergies show as skin itching, chewing and hotspots – not coughing and sneezing like humans.
And how did you help Rosie get her A game back?
Kate Walsh: Well, I got her on Apoquel right away. Within a couple of days she was back on her A-game, happy, smiling, walking, tail wagging, able to relax and not scratching her face constantly. One of my favorite parts about this partnership is how we’re encouraging everyone out there to go to MyDogsAGame.com or use the hashtag #MyDogsAGame on social media to share a picture of your dog. For every photo uploaded, Zoetis will donate $10 to the K-9 Courage Program, which is an awesome program that provides medical services to retired service dogs, military service dogs, police service dogs. So that’s a really exciting aspect of this partnership as well. We’re not just raising awareness about what dog allergies look like, but really contributing and making sure all dogs are well cared for.
And what inspired you to represent an organization to help Canine Courage?
Kate Walsh: I love dogs. I’ve always loved them. I’ve grown up with them–they’re just so special and intuitive. I’m also a big fan of our service men and women and everything that they do for our country – so the partnership was a perfect fit. Most people don’t think about how retired service dogs are cared for, and the fact that the K9 Courage program helps support the medical care for retired service dogs is really cool.
So you’ve always been an advocate for pets?
Kate Walsh: Oh yeah. I have always been a big pet adoption advocate and an animal lover. I mean if I could, I’d be on a farm somewhere with lots of cats and dogs.
And where can our listeners go for more information?
Kate Walsh: You can go to MyDogsAGame.com If you have any questions, there’s actually a short quiz on there as well to help you determine if your dogs may have allergies, as well as more information about finding the right treatment like Apoquel.
About Kate Walsh
Actress, dog lover and animal rights activist Kate Walsh can be seen on recent and upcoming projects, including Netflix series, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, and films, SELL BY and 3022.
Walsh has starred in award-winning series, including the ABC dramas GREY’S ANATOMY and PRIVATE PRACTICE, as well as the Netflix features 13 REASONS WHY. She was seen in Universal’s hit comedy, GIRL’S TRIP, alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall, the Netflix feature, #REALITYHIGH and Sony’s MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE. She also recently starred in the off-Broadway play IF I FORGET, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and Drama League award.
Today, Walsh has teamed up with leading animal health company, Zoetis, to educate dog owners about a cause close to her heart – allergic dog itch. Walsh has credited her two rescue dogs for helping her through the most difficult times, but when her dog Rosie was diagnosed with allergic itch, it was time for Walsh to help Rosie get her A-Game back. Like Rosie, some dogs are “off their game” because their allergic itch gets in the way of doing things they love. Kate is encouraging dog owners to recognize when their dog’s scratching can be more than just an itch – and if it’s caused by an underlying condition, like allergies. As part of the program and in honor of Itchy Pet Awareness Month, pet owners can share a photo of their own pet’s “A-Game” on social media using the #MyDogsAGame hashtag, which will trigger a $10 donation (capped at $25K) by Zoetis Petcare to its K-9 Courage Program, which provides healthcare assistance to retired military and police dogs as well as active service dogs that assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Posts using the hashtag may also be featured on an interactive gallery on the “MyDogsAGame.com” website.
With the new V.I.Pooch initiative, each of Ovolo Hotels’ two properties in Hong Kong and six properties in Australia will offer pet-friendly rooms decked out with a plush dog bed, a no-mess eating and drinking mat and separate food and water bowls. And while human guests of Ovolo can enjoy the hotels’ signature Loot Bags full of snacks, V.I.Pooch’s get their own designer ‘Doggy Bags’ containing woof-worthy dog toys, healthy dog snacks, and handy poop bags to bring along on walks, hikes, and adventures around town.
Up to two furry friends are permitted per room, giving dog owners the opportunity to travel to top destinations in Hong Kong and Australia and stay in the coziest of spaces with their best friends. The new V.I.Pooch package comes at an additional cost of HK$800 plus 10% (approx. US$102 plus 10%) at Ovolo’s Hong Kong hotels or AU$80 (approx. US$55) at the Australian hotels per night, on top of regular room rates.
“Dog-friendly rooms across Ovolo? Why not?! Most decline to welcome prized pooches to their properties, particularly in Hong Kong, but we’re not most hotels. We’re thrilled to offer this unique perk to extend our ethos of effortless living. Trips are more fun with your best friend, so why put your V.I.Pooch in a kennel? Your furry friend can snuggle into their own bed and dig into a special doggie bag curated just for them. It doesn’t get more pawesome than that,” says Girish Jhunjhnuwala, Founder & CEO of Ovolo Hotels Group.
For more information and to book, visit: www.ovolohotels.com
Founded by Girish Jhunjhnuwala in 2002, Ovolo Hotels has become one of Hong Kong’s largest independent owner, operator hospitality firms, by providing business and leisure guests with the best in an effortless living. The company keeps in touch with the modern traveler through award-winning interior designs, detail-driven comforts, focused all-inclusive service and cutting-edge ensuite technology, all done in Ovolo’s signature style. A proud Hong Kong brand, Ovolo remains a family owned and privately-operated business with a charitable core. The company now runs four hotels and a service apartment in Hong Kong, and three hotels across Sydney and Melbourne. Ovolo has also recently launched a new brand Mojo Nomad, in Aberdeen Harbour Hong Kong which opened its doors on 22nd December 2017. Mojo Nomad is a co-habitation concept for global nomads that combines travel, lifestyle, and community at its core and will be entering the Australian market in the near future.
Everyone wants a dog they can communicate with. A dog that you give a simple instruction, and watch it obey. It’s not just for fun but also to make your dog behave accordingly. Some dogs like the security ones are trained and aren’t the same as balanced dogs. It’s your responsibility to train your dog while overseeing its growth from a puppy to an adult dog. You should start with dog obedience training which consists of a few basic commands. Here are five quick and easy dog training tips.
1. Create a Puppy-proof in Your House
Every time a puppy is alone or is not under supervision, he should be in a safe place far from trouble. Imagine coming back home and finding your TV screen on the floor broken, your leather seats torn, and your kitchen looking like you have just been burglarized. Prevent that from happening.
Create a room for your pup and provide any safe toys he/she can play with and chew. Just like you wouldn’t give a toddler total freedom, puppies require the same restriction. You will be preventing accidents and destructive behavior. It ensures your pup doesn’t develop an awkward behavior.
2. Don’t Sleep with Him in Your Bed
It can be tough for you, and we understand. They are part of the family, and there should be no such limits, but allowing your dog to share a bed with you will give him mixed thoughts, and he will be wondering what role he plays.
Allowing him to share the same bed with you will make your dog see himself as your equal, and no reason to respect you. If you insist on allowing him on to your bed, make it an invitation only. Show him that he is not allowed into your bed unless he is invited.
3. Create Short Sessions Throughout The Day
Training is not a one-time thing. If it were, you wouldn’t spend all those years in college. The only way your dog will learn is through undergoing extensive training for a long time with short sessions in between the day. If you find it hard to dedicate some hours each day, enroll in dog training programs with Wag Hotels, and they will educate and train your dog professionally while you are away.
However, if you have the time, train your dog in short snippets. You will be able to notice when the dog is more alert and take advantage rather than wasting your time and annoying your dog by forcing him to learn. Besides, short sessions are easier to manage especially if you have a busy schedule.
4. Be Generous with Your Affection
Most people will mention when they are unhappy with their dogs, but sometimes they ignore the good stuff. As much as you are disappointed with its bad behavior, appreciate its good side as well. Just like we humans, dogs can have best or worst moments.
Ensure that you give your dog the attention it deserves when he’s doing the right stuff. Appreciate and let him know that he has behaved well. Be generous with your words and praise him. Give him some little pats and treats to show that you appreciate.
5. Give Your Dog a Daily Exercise
Just like humans, dogs need plenty of exercise and stimulation on a daily basis to cheer them up and keep them active. One or two walks per day are not enough for your pet especially if it’s a herder or retriever.
Lack of exercise and stimulation can make your dog, bored, unhappy, or unhealthy. In fact, many destructive and aggressive behaviors from dogs are due to lack of exercise and stimulation. A bored dog would find something interesting to do, like messing up your stuff.
When it comes to training your on-four best friend, you have to work hard and exercise patience. It also requires lots of dedication. Training your dog creates a stronger bond, and you can all have fun as long as you treat him/her right and show love.
Calming, pain relieving and inflammation reducer. These are only a few of the wonders CBD oil can have over your pet friend. It’s an ailment helper––without the psychoactive reactions associated with cannabis.
Cookie, an eight-year-old Schnautzer suffered from a stroke during the 2018 Holidays. The result was a poor equilibrium and a problematic internal sleeping clock. She would wake up at 2 AM, would bark for attention and wouldn’t want to go back to sleep. Times got harder in between every night, and the days seemed to get longer. Eventually, CBD was incorporated. It helped Cookie relax to the point where her sleeping schedule slowly turned to normal.
Cookie was everything her owners wanted in a dog. “She was playful and very smart. She would never sit still, and would always jump around the house. But that changed after the stroke. We couldn’t believe it.” Things quickly changed after the CBD intake, and the owners are coming back for more. “Think of it as a super-food for your dog!”
A Veterinarian’s Point of View
We went out on a search for vets and their opinions on CBD. We had the opportunity of speaking with Dr. Gary Ritcher, who is a leading Veterinary Health Expert with Rover.
“My education about CBD and medical cannabis, in general, comes from personal research and speaking with experts in the field.
I have performed a great deal of topic-related research. There is an entire chapter in my book – The Ultimate Pet Health Guide – on cannabis and I have written multiple continuing education courses for veterinarians on the topic.”
Scientific experts give us a supportive back-up feeling on CBD, and it only reassures the healing properties behind it. Before considering buying any kind of CBD treatment it’s recommendable to follow on these tips:
● Always consult your vet before trying CBD products on your dog. They can help you choose specifics and the right dosage for your pup.
● Make sure it’s hemp-derived CBD and it’s Certificate of Analysis, which basically shows the amount of CBD the product contains along with lab results.
● Always follow your dogs’ behavior after consumption, and gradually start on his dosage. That way you can really tell how well is working and monitor their reaction.
Science Behind CBD for Dogs
First thing is first, all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, but especially with the CB1 receptors, which are found primarily in the central nervous system and in the brain. The “high” or psychoactive experience associated with recreational or medical marijuana is caused by activating CB1 receptors.
It is important to never confuse CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Although derived from the same plant CBD has no psychoactive. The infamous THC will get you high and create the euphoric feeling most people recognize when they think about cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, will not cause any of these loopy feelings, instead, it takes over the body with multiple healing and preventive properties.
Dogs are benefiting from CBD in so many ways. With no known side effects, preventive measures and healing properties it makes it the perfect supplement to have at home when things start looking fishy. Here is a list of how the ways CBD can help your furry baby:
Epilepsy and seizures
It is a great nervous system booster. Helps relief recurrent seizure and stabilize dogs post-seizures.
Reliefs pain and reduces inflammation that could eventually develop into diseases.
Bowel disease helper
Can normalize motility in pups with bowel diseases.
Cancer preventer and killer
Cannabinoids have shown to have antitumor cell activity in animal cancer models. This is a great way of reducing cancer cell spread and can be taken as a preventive cancerous measure.
Aids with separation anxiety, and soothes stress especially when dogs are let alone for a prolonged time, new people visit homes or for long travels (in cars or flights).
Endocannabinoid plays a role in regulating the body’s feeding behavior.
Arthritis, joint and mobility issues
Can help increase activity and comfort in dogs
Where Can I Find It?
The past misconceptions over cannabis are slowly fading and new thoughts on their curative properties are arising. New market opportunities are opening doors to CBD distributors which reflects the future of the cannabis industry. Sooner than later you will be able to find different products on CBD, especially because it is now legal in the US as long as it follows regulations.
There are many online stores that offer CBD for dogs, including varied products like tinctures, treats and even infused with coconut oil.
CBD oil is the perfect option for all those dog lovers out there, who are looking for a different angle on dog treatments with the ultimate goal of bettering their lives. It is an alternative to conventional drugs, without the side effects and, for us humans the best part is that’s under budget. We all love our pups and we are willing to do so much for them. From creating safe spaces, playing with them and offering the best accessible options to optimize their health. There is no wonder why we call them humanity’s best friend.
Written by Hermes Maldonado