Please click on one of the questions below to view the answer.

Why does my puppy or kitten need booster vaccines instead of just one vaccine?

The initial vaccine “primes” the immune system to start making the antibodies to the components in the vaccine, but not many are made at this time. Antibodies are the proteins in the body that recognize the disease if the animal ever contacts it and help prevent actual infection. The “booster” vaccines are required for the body to make many more antibodies so there are adequate amounts of them to actually fight off infection.

Why does my pet need pre-anesthetic blood work done prior to anesthesia/surgery?

Pre-anesthetic blood work is used to identify your pet’s overall general health, and to identify if there are underlying health conditions that may affect your pet’s ability to handle the anesthetic. It is also helpful to know what your pet’s baseline values are, which can be used as a guideline in the event your pet becomes ill at a later date.

I am feeding my dog the amount recommended on the bag of food but he is still not losing weight - what can I do?

As with people, animals have different metabolic rates, meaning some can eat very little and keep the weight on, while others can eat a whole lot and not gain an ounce. The amount recommended on the bag is an average of what most pets require, some pets need a bit more or a bit less. Try decreasing what you are feeding by a small amount (approximately 10 to 15 %) and re-weigh your pet in a few weeks. If the weight is still an issue, have your pet seen by your veterinarian, as there are other medical issues such as an underactive thyroid that may be the culprit.

What is the difference between the dewormer I get from my veterinarian verses the type I can buy at the grocery store?

The prescription dewormers from the veterinarian are manufactured and tested by reputable companies with consistent results. A veterinarian will prescribe the correct product and dosage for each situation, as all pets needs are different. Grocery store deworming products tend to be less effective, and can actually be dangerous if administered incorrectly.

If my pet is feeling better, do they need to finish their medications?

Yes. If you stop giving the medication earlier than the recommended duration, the illness it was designed to treat can come back. Stopping a medication before it is done can also increase antibiotic resistance for that medication in your pet.

What is the best age to spay/neuter my pet?


Small breed dogs should have their neuter/spay by 6-7 months of age (prior to their first heat cycle for females).  

Larger breed dogs should have their neuter/spay between 7 and 12 months of age.

Note: this is a guideline only, and the recommended age may vary depending on breed, behavioural issues, health, etc. Ask your veterinarian what is right for your pet.


Cats should be neutered/spayed when they are between 6-7 months old (prior to their first heat cycle for females).

Why should I spay my cat/dog before they go into heat?

By having your pet spayed prior to their first heat cycle, you are eliminating any chance of unplanned pregnancy, uterine and ovarian cancer, and it greatly reduces their chance of developing mammary cancer.

Does my pet need flea/tick medication?

For pets who enjoy the outdoors (even in your backyard), the short answer is yes. Most tick-borne diseases do not have a vaccine available, so the best defense is to give your pet preventative medication.

During the warmer months in Canada, it’s important to make sure your pet is given the appropriate flea/and tick preventative medication. Typically, this would be from April to September. If you live in a warmer climate, you may require year-round flea/tick prevention.

Lyme disease is of most concern when it comes to tick-borne illness. Tick-borne illness can cause serious permanent complications and/or disability; therefore, prevention is key to ensuring your pet is properly protected.

If your dog shares their home with an indoor cat, you may want to consider getting your cat preventative medication as well. Please discuss with your veterinarian to determine your cat’s level of risk and to get the appropriate preventative medication.

NOTE: Never give your cat the same flea/tick medication that you give your dog as it can be toxic to cats.

Does my pet need to be protected against heartworm?

Heartworm occurs in warmer regions, where summer temperatures are high enough for the worm larvae to survive inside the carrier mosquitoes. The high-risk areas in Canada are southern Ontario, southern Quebec, Manitoba, and the Okanagan in British Columbia. Heartworm is also found in most states in the US. If you are traveling to any of these areas with your pet, it is important to have heartworm prevention medication prior to travel. Please discuss your plans with your veterinarian to ensure you are getting the proper medication and dose for your pet.

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