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Resources

Helpful Links & Frequently Asked Questions to Help Keep Your Pet Happy & Healthy

Helpful Links

Pet Bylaw

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Animal Services - The City of Calgary Animal Services provides support and information regarding responsible pet ownership.

Licensing Information on how to license your pet, how to transfer ownership, costs, and fines associated with pet licensing in the city of Calgary.

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Pet Health

 

Dental Care

Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) - Not all dental products marketed to pets are made equally; learn which products are proven to make a difference in dental health.








Pain Management

Nutrition

Hill's Pet Nutrition, Royal Canin, Purina Veterinary Diets - Veterinary pet nutrition companies dedicated to providing nutritious options for your pet.

Pet Food Recalls - A list of current pet food recalls in effect that is maintained by the FDA.

Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) - Providing information on pet food recalls, what is in pet food, how to understand pet food labels, and much more.

Assisi Loop Pain Management - The Assisi Loop speeds the healing of soft and hard tissues - including skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, and organs. 







Poison Prevention

Parasites

Fox Tapeworm - Echinococcus multilocularis is a real threat to people and pets in Alberta; learn how to minimize the risks.

Pets & Parasites - Information for pet owners regarding particular parasites, including parasite prevalence maps, risks to their pet and family. 

Pet Poison Helpline - The Pet Poison Helpline is dedicated to identifying and treating the ingestion of substances that are poisonous to pets. 

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Pet Financing

 

Animal Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society of Alberta - ACTSS is a not-for-profit society that focuses on cancer education, treatment, and accessibility of care for pet owners.

PayBright or Petcard - These financing companies deal exclusively with costs associated with veterinary care.

Pet Insurance

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Lost Pets

 

Helpful tips to find a lost catdog, or ferret

Impounded Cats & Dogs - A list of cats & dogs that have been found in the city of Calgary that have been brought to The City of Calgary Animal Services.

Lost & Found Animal Database - A list of cats, dogs, and exotics found in and around the city of Calgary that have been brought to the Calgary Humane Society.

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Canine 

 

Sit Happens - Force-free dog training to encourage and reinforce desirable behaviors while fostering the human-animal bond.

Responsible Dog Ownership - City of Calgary information including bylaws, training, veterinary care, adopting/purchasing animals, identification, and manners.

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Feline

 

Responsible Cat Ownership - City of Calgary information including bylaws, training, veterinary care, adopting/purchasing animals, identification, and manners.

Cat-Friendly Caregiver - How to keep your cat happy, healthy, safe, and calm in and out of your home. 

Cat Behavior Associates - Information about cat behavior, including articles, books, tips, and healthcare.

Cat Healthy - Canadian initiative promoting proper cat health and behavior.

Learn more about Common Cat Diseases.

Cornell Feline Health Center - Feline health topics ranging from hairballs to heart problems.

Ohio State Indoor Pet Initiative  - Discover the unique needs of indoor cats.

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Pet Adoption

 

Adopt from a Rescue

Petfinder - A database of adoptable animals and directory of nearly 11,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

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Pet Breeders

 
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Pet Travel

 

Boomerang Pet Carrier - A pet transportation service that specializes in moving pets across domestic and international borders.

Parasite Prevalence Maps - Before you travel, make sure that you have protected your pet against parasites in the area. 

Travel to the USA - Information for traveling with pets into and around the United States of America.

Pet-Friendly Hotels Directory - A directory of pet-friendly hotels in North America.

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Wildlife Resources

 

Alberta Institution for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) - A wildlife hospital for the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife serving southern Alberta.

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (CWRS) - A local wildlife hospital that focuses on providing a second chance for injured wildlife. They offer information on finding and living with wildlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

01

Q. What should I expect on my first visit?

A. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment start time in order to complete a registration form (or click here to fill out your form before your appointment) and bring any medical history you have for your pet. 

 

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our receptionist who will collect relevant information about you and your pet. Next, we will weigh your pet and take a cute profile picture for their file. Our team will ensure that any previous medical history is added to your file for the doctor to review. 

 

You and your pet will be ushered into an examination room to meet the doctor. Our doctor will do a thorough examination of your pet from snout to tail and discuss any recommended diagnostics or treatments. Our team will do their best to answer any and all questions you may have and send you home with helpful resources, tools and materials.

A. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment start time to complete a registration form (or click here to fill out your form before your appointment) and bring any medical history you have for your pet. 

 

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our receptionist who will collect relevant information about you and your pet. Next, we will weigh your pet and take a cute profile picture for their file. Our team will ensure that any previous medical history is added to your file for the doctor to review. 

 

You and your pet will be ushered into an examination room to meet the doctor. Our doctor will do a thorough examination of your pet from snout to tail and discuss any recommended diagnostics or treatments. Our team will do their best to answer any and all questions you may have and send you home with helpful resources, tools and materials.

02

Q. What forms of payment do you accept?

A. We accept cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard, and e-transfers. We offer financing support through PayBright and Petcard. We only offer direct billing with Trupanion insurance, however,  we will assist you in making claims with any insurance provider. Payment is required in full at the time of service.

A. We accept cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard, and e-transfers. We offer financing support through PayBright and Petcard. We only offer direct billing with Trupanion insurance, however, we will assist you in making claims with any insurance provider. Payment is required in full at the time of service.

03

Q. How should I prepare for my pet's surgery?

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

Ferret's 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 re-schedule 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.  

A. 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 re-schedule 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.  

04

Q. Do you have animal nurses working in your hospital?

A. Yes, we have registered veterinary technologists (RVTs) working in our hospital who are highly educated and trained.  Their duties include; pre/post-surgical patient care, administering & monitoring of anesthesia during surgeries & procedures, taking x-rays & performing teeth cleanings, collecting lab samples, and running diagnostics, just to name a few!!

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

A. Yes, we have registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) working in our hospital who are highly educated and trained. Their duties include pre/post-surgical patient care, administering & monitoring of anesthesia during surgeries & procedures, taking x-rays & performing teeth cleanings, collecting lab samples, and running diagnostics, just to name a few!!

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

05

Q. What are your prices?

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

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

06

Q. Do I need an appointment?

A. Appointments are preferred and we welcome walk-ins. Emergency care is also provided during our regular hours. 

A. Appointments are preferred and we welcome walk-ins. Emergency care is also provided during our regular hours. 

07

Q. How long will my appointment take?

A. Most appointments take approximately 30 minutes (ex. preventive care examinations).  

 

Sick pet examinations may take longer if diagnostics and/or in-hospital treatments are required. Extended exams may be booked for multiple issues or skin conditions and can take up to 60 minutes. 

 

Medical progress exams, nail trims, or anal gland expression may only take 15-20 minutes. 

A. Most appointments take approximately 30 minutes (ex. preventive care examinations).  

 

Sick pet examinations may take longer if diagnostics and/or in-hospital treatments are required. Extended exams may be booked for multiple issues or skin conditions and can take up to 60 minutes. 

 

Medical progress exams, nail trims, or anal gland expression may only take 15-20 minutes. 

08

Q. My dog or cat is fearful and might be aggressive. Is your staff comfortable with this?

A. 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.

A. 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.

 

09

Q. My dog or cat doesn’t like males very much. Do you have a female vet?

A. 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. 

A. 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. 

 

10

Q. What vaccines does my puppy or kitten require?

A. 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.

A. 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.

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. 

 

Euthanasia

 

How do I know when it’s time?

We know that making the decision to euthanize a pet is an incredibly difficult and personal one. We also know you have taken the very 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? 

 

How do I prepare?

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 good bye 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. 

 

How do I say goodbye?

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). 

 

Is euthanasia painful for my pet?

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 very best to ensure the process is as peaceful and easy as it can be for your whole family. 

 

What should I expect?

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 handling 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 aren’t prepared. 

 

Do desperate times call for desperate measures?

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. 

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Bereavement and Grief

When is it the “right” time to get another pet? Am I dishonoring my deceased pet’s memory by getting another one?

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. Don’t be afraid to embrace the joy and happiness you feel when you do make the decision to get another pet!

 

Whether you need 2 hours or 2 years, make sure you allow yourself to grieve the deceased pet and embrace the new one. The next pet will also require your time, energy, and emotion. Remember that no animal could ever hope to replace the hole left by the old one. Every animal is unique and brings its own challenges and blessings. When the time is “right” and you are ready, that new pet will find you. 

 

What are the signs of animal grief?

Have you recently lost a pet? Are your remaining animals acting strange? Animal grief looks very 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. 

 

Do you have any resources for my children or me to help us through this time?

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

Learn More About Our Pet Memorial Collection 

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