2024, 2060 Symons Valley Pkwy, NW Calgary, AB T3P 0M9
Mon - Fri: 7:30 Am - 8 Pm Sat: 9 Am - 5 Pm

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that being a pet owner can be both rewarding and challenging, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to provide your pet friend with the best possible care.

Our FAQs section is designed to be a helpful resource for pet owners of all experience levels. If you do not see the answer to your question, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are always here to help and provide personalized guidance based on your pet’s specific needs.

We hope our FAQs section helps make pet parenting a little easier and more enjoyable for you and your pet. 

A dog and two puppies on a visit to a veterinarian hospital

General questions

Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete a registration form (or you can click here to fill it out prior to your appointment). Please bring any available medical history for your pet.

Upon arrival, our receptionist will greet you and collect necessary information about you and your pet. We’ll weigh your pet, take a charming profile picture for their file, and ensure that any previous medical history is integrated into your pet’s record for the doctor’s review.

Next, you and your pet will be guided into an examination room to meet with our doctor. Our doctor will conduct a comprehensive examination of your pet from snout to tail, discussing any recommended diagnostics or treatments. Rest assured, our team is ready and willing to answer any questions you may have. We aim to provide you with useful resources, tools, and materials to ensure the continued health and well-being of your pet.

We accept payments through cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard, and e-transfers. Financing support is available through Affirm* and Petcard. While we offer direct billing only with Trupanion insurance, we are more than willing to assist you with claim submissions to any insurance provider. Please note that payment is required in full at the time of service.

*Payment options through Affirm Canada Holdings Ltd. (“Affirm”). Your rate will be 0–31.99% APR (where available and subject to provincial regulatory limitations). APR offered is based on creditworthiness and subject to an eligibility check. Not all customers will be eligible for 0% APR. Payment options depend on your purchase amount, may vary by merchant, and may not be available in all provinces/territories. Actual payment option terms will be shown at checkout. A down payment (or a payment due today) may be required. Affirm accepts debit cards and PAD as forms of repayment on payment options. Select payment options may be eligible for repayment in the form of credit cards. Please review the terms and conditions of your credit card when using it as a form of repayment. Sample payment options may be: a $800 purchase could be split into 12 monthly payments of $72.21 at 15% APR, or 4 interest-free payments of $200 every 2 weeks. For more information, please see https://www.affirm.com/en-ca/how-it-works

The following information is FOR DOGS AND CATS >16 weeks.

Ferrets and young pets (<16 weeks) may need different pre-surgical care. In those cases, you will receive specific instructions.

As a reminder, please:

1. Withhold all of your pet’s food and treats after 11 pm the night before surgery. They can still have access to water right up until the time you drop them off.

2. Arrive for your scheduled surgical admission time and allow for 10-15 minutes to check in for surgery.

3. If you are currently administering any medications, vitamins, and/or injections to your pet, please contact our hospital to confirm if these should be administered prior to surgery.

If your pet is showing any signs of illness (ex. coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or diarrhea), please call our hospital as it may be in their best interest to reschedule the surgery.

There are optional items you might want to consider when your pet is here for surgery such as a microchip, soft-paws application, and/or a pawprint keepsake.

Our team also includes veterinary medical receptionists (VMRs), veterinary technologist assistants (TAs), veterinarians, and administrative staff.

Indeed, we have Registered Veterinary Technologists (RVTs) as part of our team at our hospital. These highly educated and trained professionals undertake a range of duties including pre/post-surgical patient care, administering and monitoring anesthesia during surgeries and procedures, performing teeth cleanings, taking X-rays, collecting lab samples, and running diagnostics, among other tasks.

Our diverse team also comprises Veterinary Medical Receptionists (VMRs), Veterinary Technologist Assistants (TAs), Veterinarians, and Administrative Staff. Each role is critical to ensuring the smooth operation of our hospital and the well-being of your pets.

We follow the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association’s recommended fee guideline. Please call our hospital at (403) 475-7297 (PAWS) for current pricing.

While appointments are preferred to ensure timely service, we also welcome walk-in visits. Additionally, we provide emergency care during our regular operating hours.

The duration of appointments can vary based on the nature of the visit. Most standard appointments, such as preventive care examinations, typically last approximately 30 minutes. However, if your pet is unwell and requires diagnostics or in-hospital treatments, the appointment may take longer. For multiple issues or skin conditions, extended exams can be booked which may last up to 60 minutes. Shorter services like medical progress exams, nail trims, or anal gland expressions typically take between 15 to 20 minutes.

Our team is very experienced with nervous and scared animals. We aim to make every pet visit as stress-free and fear-free as possible. Please let us know when you book your appointment as we can offer suggestions prior to your visit.

Yes, Dr. Jan Hen-Boisen is our amazing full-time veterinarian! Please mention this to us when you book your appointment so that we can make sure to schedule your pet in to see her.

If your puppy or kitten received vaccines prior to coming to our hospital, please bring any past medical records to your appointment so that we can make the appropriate recommendations. You should be able to get this information from the breeder, rescue organization, or pet store.

Puppy vaccines are recommended as follows:

8 weeks – DA2PP (distemper, adenovirus type II, parvovirus, parainfluenza)

12 weeks – DA2PP + Bordetella (kennel cough vaccine if required)

16 weeks – DA2PP + Rabies

1 year later – DA2PP + Rabies + Bordetella

Bordetella is then given yearly if your dog’s lifestyle requires it. DA2PP & Rabies are then given every 3 years.

Kitten vaccines are recommended as follows:

8 weeks – FRCP (rhinotracheitis, calici-panleukopenia) + **FeLV (leukemia if necessary)

12 weeks – FRCP + FeLV

16 weeks – FRCP + Rabies

1 year later – FRCP + Rabies + FeLV

FeLV is then given yearly if your cat’s lifestyle requires it. FRCP & Rabies are then given every 3 years.

**Kittens require a FeLV (leukemia) test before the vaccine can be given.

Older pets who need vaccines may be recommended a different vaccine schedule depending on age, history, and exposure. During the initial consolation, the veterinarian will make these recommendations.

Puppy vaccines are recommended as follows:

  • 8 weeks – DA2PP (distemper, adenovirus type II, parvovirus, parainfluenza)

  • 12 weeks – DA2PP + Bordetella (kennel cough vaccine if required)

  • 16 weeks – DA2PP + Rabies

  • 1 year later – DA2PP + Rabies + Bordetella

Bordetella is then given yearly if your dog’s lifestyle requires it. DA2PP & Rabies are then given every 3 years.

Kitten vaccines are recommended as follows:

  • 8 weeks – FRCP (rhinotracheitis, calici-panleukopenia) + **FeLV (leukemia if necessary)

  • 12 weeks – FRCP + FeLV

  • 16 weeks – FRCP + Rabies

  • 1 year later – FRCP + Rabies + FeLV

FeLV is then given yearly if your cat’s lifestyle requires it. FRCP & Rabies are then given every 3 years.

**Kittens require a FeLV (leukemia) test before the vaccine can be given

Older pets who need vaccines may be recommended a different vaccine schedule depending on age, history, and exposure. During the initial consolation, the veterinarian will make these recommendations.

Pet Loss Support

The loss of a pet can be hard for not only the owner but for other pets and children as well. To help children with the grieving process, we offer in-clinic, complimentary pet loss books for kids. Here are a few other resources that we recommend for grieving pets, children, and owners. 

Need help now? Call one of the support helplines below.

Pet Loss Support Hotline 1-607-253-3932

Crisis Services Canada Call 1-833-456-4566 or Text 45645

Here are some frequently asked questions about euthanasia and pet loss support.

We know that making the decision to euthanize a pet is an incredibly difficult and personal one. We also know you have taken the absolute best care of your pet up to this point and will not fail them now. You know your pet best – on some level you will know when it is time. The main thing we ask pet owners to consider is their pet’s quality of life – Are they suffering? Can they still do the same things they always loved to do? Do they show the same excitement when you walk through the door? Are they still eating and drinking? Does your pet have more bad days than good days?

First, decide what sort of experience you want for yourself and your family, including your pet. We offer both in-hospital and at-home euthanasia appointments. If you chose to come into the hospital, you are welcome to bring your pet’s favorite people, bedding, toys and treats. If you chose to have us come to you, set your pet up wherever they will be most comfortable in your home. 

Consider who wants to be present for the procedure, when you will let other pets and family members say goodbye and how best you’d like to remember them. We welcome family members, including children and pets, to be present for the procedure. We also offer a wide variety of memorial options for your pets including communal & private cremation, diamonds and hand-blown glass art that incorporates your pet’s cremains, jewelry, paw prints (clay and/or ink), and cloning.

Saying goodbye to your beloved companion is never easy. Find what fits right for you and will make your pet feel most loved. Maybe that’s spending the day together, getting to eat some yummy snacks, going for a walk or a drive, visiting a favorite place or some favorite friends (furry or otherwise). 

In short – no. While the decision to euthanize can be a long, painful process, the procedure itself is quick and painless. Your pet will be sedated (asleep) prior to administering the medication which will stop their heart; they will not feel anything. We will always do our absolute best to ensure the process is as peaceful and easy as it can be for your whole family. 

If you chose to come to the hospital, we will immediately get you and your pet comfortable in one of our patient rooms. If we come to you, we will join you wherever you are set up in the home.

One of our compassionate, well-trained team members will guide you through the process from start to finish. They will discuss memorial options with you, answer any questions you may have and keep you updated on what is happening from one moment to the next. After managing the paperwork, we will likely need to place an IV catheter so that the doctor is able to administer the medications. You can choose to be present or absent for this step.

Once the catheter is placed, you are welcome to spend as much time with your pet as you would like. When you are ready for the doctor, they will come in and administer the sedation medication which gently sends your pet off into dream land. And, when you are ready, they will administer the medication which will quickly stop your pet’s heart.

Please be aware that pet’s eyes often remain open after death. They may also urinate, defecate, let out a ragged breath or have a muscle twitch – these are all normal physiological responses that can be upsetting to pet owners if they are not prepared.

If you are considering euthanasia for reasons other than health issues, please feel free to contact us. We know there may be circumstances beyond your control, and it may seem like euthanasia is the only option. We will do our absolute best to help you find a solution that will work for you and your family. 

Bereavement and Grief

Much like the decision to euthanize a pet, the decision of when to get another pet is also a very personal one. There is no “right” time as it will depend on your personality, your relationship with the pet, and the circumstances surrounding the loss. The important thing to know is that you should never feel guilty for choosing to add another pet to your home, regardless of the time frame. Do not be afraid to embrace the joy and happiness you feel when you do make the decision to get another pet! 

Have you recently lost a pet? Are your remaining animals acting strange? Animal grief looks similar to human grief. Here are a few behaviours to look for if you suspect your pets are grieving: 

– Depression: disinterest in activities that would usually excite them or excessive sighing

– Anxiety: pacing, restlessness, or becoming overly attached to you

– Destructive behavior around the house

– A regression in training such as messing in the house

– Vocalizing

– Appears to be searching the house and/or yard for the deceased pet

Allow your pet time to grieve with you – spend more time with them, play their favorite games, and maybe give them some special treats. Similar to humans, getting another animal won’t always help and may be too soon. See how your pet reacts to other people’s animals to help assess if they are ready for another friend. 

If your pet’s grief becomes harmful to them – unwilling to eat, lethargic, crying incessantly, self-mutilation, or any other signs of extreme discomfort – bring them in to see a veterinarian. There may be something else going on or your pet may need medical intervention to help them move through the emotional pain. 

We have brochures that help people prepare for and cope with the loss of a pet. We also supply journals/scrapbooks for children called, “I Remember: A Book about My Special Pet” which can help a child process the loss and remember the good times. 

Discussing your emotions (whether that is anger, guilt, denial, or depression) with friends and family is always a great place to start. Community centers (such as hospitals, places of worship, schools) often have support resources or someone you can talk to. If you are concerned about the depth of your grief, you can always reach out to Health Link (811) or your doctor to help treat physical symptoms. You can also find lots of great resources and support groups online. 

We have collected a shortlist of recommended reading for children:

– Remembering Pets by Gina Dalpra-Berman

– I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

– The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judy Viorst

– Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas

And a shortlist of recommended reading for adults:

– Goodbye My Friend: Grieving the Loss of a Pet by Mary and Herb Montgomery

– When Your Pet Dies by Jamie Quackenbush

– Going Home by Jon Katz

– Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski

– Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die by Jon Katz

– Grieving the Death of a Pet by Betty Carmack

– The Last Walk by Jessica Pierce

– When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan Wolfelt