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.


Understanding Pet Food Labels

The agency that sets guidelines for pet foods is known as AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). The labels on your pet’s food provide basic information as to ingredients and nutrient levels found in the food. AAFCO verifies the testing method for these nutrient guidelines.

A product may meet these requirements by the formulation method or via feeding trials. The formulation method is less expensive/time-consuming for the manufacturer as the level of each nutrient needed in the food is calculated. The preferred method is food that has been manufactured using feeding trials, where that food is the single source of sustenance. Those pets are then monitored closely for ill effects or changes in performance.

Your pet’s nutritional requirements can change over time for many reasons such as age, activity level, health and reproductive status, environment. For example, puppies do not have the same nutritional requirements as senior dogs. The same can be true for diabetic animals having different nutritional requirements than animals with hyperthyroidism.

Making sure your pet’s diet is complete and balanced is very important. Although nutritional deficiencies can be harmful, nutritional excesses can be just as detrimental and are far more common. Low levels of the amino acid Taurine can cause severe health concerns such as blindness and heart problems. High levels of protein can cause kidney and liver problems in certain pets. Inappropriate ratios of calcium and phosphorus can lead to severe skeletal problems in large breed puppies.

Ingredients are listed on the package in descending order by weight. The high water content in proteins such as chicken, lamb and beef cause them to weigh more and are therefore often listed above dry ingredients such as grains.

For the average consumer comparing different food products can be very difficult. The section on the label where it says guaranteed analysis only indicates a maximum or minimum level of nutrients such as fibre, protein and moisture. Moisture levels vary greatly between products and make it nearly impossible to compare such analyses.

If you are concerned about the food you are feeding your pet, we encourage you to call the Manufacturer’s Toll-free Number. Feel free to call the clinic and make an appointment to assess your pet’s health and nutritional requirements.

Written by: Maureen Maher, RVT



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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.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 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 are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

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.

6. 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.

7. 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