We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.


The Benefits of Canned Food

Many cat owners have the perception that canned food is ‘junk food’ for their cat. It is a myth I have been working to dispel with cat owners. Most cats do best on a portion-controlled balance of high-quality canned food and kibble. There are many different types of canned food of various qualities, and just like with dry kibble some are more nutritious than others. I’m not going to go into specific brands of food, although I will say that generally, I prefer pate style canned foods over morsels and gravy – many cats just eat the higher carbohydrate gravy and leave the more nutritious morsels behind.

Feeding canned food has the following benefits – 

Weight control – canned food tends to be less energy dense than dry kibble because of its high moisture content. Your cat can eat a larger volume and feel fuller without taking in so many calories. Feeding a canned diet will not necessarily have this benefit, however, if the cat can still graze on dry kibble whenever he/she likes. The majority of our indoor cats are overweight, largely due to free choice feeding of dry kibble along with little physical activity.

Moisture content – cats evolved in arid environments where they obtained most of their water from their prey. Most cats, therefore, have quite a low thirst drive and if on a solely dry diet are eating a food with a moisture content of less than 5%. This can lead to an array of health issues, including lower urinary tract disease and a tendency towards dehydration. As cats age, their thirst drive becomes even lower, while their kidney function tends to decline. Kidney disease causes cats to urinate more but they cannot maintain their hydration just by drinking more, resulting in a cat that feels chronically ‘hung over’ from dehydration.

Specific health conditions – as mentioned above, canned food is an important component of treatment for conditions such as chronic kidney disease. Other health problems that may benefit from canned food include diabetes, lower urinary tract disease (including urinary crystals/stones and idiopathic cystitis), and constipation/chronic intestinal disease.
We all know that cats can be very finicky eaters. Cats learn to prefer certain textures when they are young. If they are never exposed to canned food as kittens, they may refuse it later on. Therefore, I always recommend feeding some canned food as part of your cat’s daily diet right from the day you bring them home. Kittens tend to drink water quite well, but this declines as they reach adulthood and even more so in their senior years.

For cats that are picky with canned food, you may try the following tricks – 

  • Try different flavours and textures
  • Feed the canned food first- they don’t get any dry kibble until they have eaten their canned food, and when they do it is in a limited, measured amount
  • Mix a small amount of canned food in with the kibble
  • Dip each kibble in a little bit of canned food

Written by: Dr. Megan Edwards, DVM



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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

Last updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 613-544-7387. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We can now see all cases by appointment only.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Barriefield Animal Hospital