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.

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Obesity in Cats and Dogs

Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in cats and dogs. Obesity is the accumulation of excessive amounts of adipose tissue in the body. There have been many studies done that show obesity can have damaging effects on the health and longevity of cats and dogs.

There a few reasons why our companions are overweight; it is up to us to be able to identify when it becomes a problem. Food is probably the most obvious reason. We like to give our pets treats for coming inside, before bed, while they are in their crate, etc. However, we tend to forget our ‘treats’ are extra calories and empty calories with no nutritional value in them. Many treats also have more calories in them then what your pet needs in total for one day. In which case, with these additional calories is where the accumulation starts. Treats are an important part of training, but treats need to be limited and carefully picked for each pet. For my pets whose breeds are prone to becoming obese, I carefully choose their food and treats by choosing lower calorie treats and also treats that beneficial to them. By beneficial I mean helping combat problems such as dental and joint problems. I also know a lot of people feel the need to give their dog’s human food; this is ‘okay’ in moderation. If you would like to give your dog human food, stick to acceptable fruits and vegetables which are much lower in calories.

Another reason is when your pet is spayed or neutered, their metabolism changes due to the lack of estrogen and testosterone. We always recommend you switch their food to a weight management diet after surgery. Very few spayed/neutered pets can tolerate high-calorie foods. After switching foods, we recommend you monitor their weight in case you need to increase or decrease the amounts or switch to a lower calorie food.

Lack of exercise could also contribute to weight gain, and I do hear this quite a bit. I usually hear this a lot right around this time when people blame it on ‘winter.’ I do agree winter can sometimes interfere with our outdoor activities especially when it is icy or minus 40 outside. It is a pretty good excuse. However, there are plenty of indoor games you can play with your dog. For cats, there are plenty of games we can do with them too, to get them moving.

 

Unfortunately, there are consequences when we overfeed our pets. The added weight on their joints is hard on them. They can suffer from arthritis earlier than normal; in a sense, they are ageing faster. Also, some cancers are more prevalent in obese pets. Some things we may not consider are our pets being clinically depressed because they are overweight and are unable to do some of their natural behaviours such as cats grooming themselves or dogs exercising and running around. These activities take a lot more effort when they are carrying extra weight. A couple of diseases we also want to try and avoid are diabetes and hypothyroidism. If you are concerned about your pets’ weight, we are always here to help guide you and educate you. A good thing to remember is, if you can see your pets’ ribs or spine, they are too lean and if you can’t palpate their ribs or spine with a slight fat cover, then they are overweight.

Written by: Amanda Gorrell, VA

Category:

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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