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.

Veterinary Hospital Open 24 Hours a Day

In Defense of Veterinary Diets

There is a lot of information out there these days about the dangers of food additives, dyes and artificial ingredients. Current pet food trends include “grain-free” diets or have novel ingredients like quinoa, cranberry, lentils, or meats like bison and alligator, and even vegetarian and vegan options. As with all new and trendy concepts – there is usually a swing too far in the wrong direction.

Maybe the grain-free diets stemmed from human concerns of too much grain or gluten in the diet. However, our canine companions are omnivores, and grains make up a valuable component in their diet. So much so that there is current research linking some diets to a potentially lethal form of heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy – or DCM for short. The problem appears to be linked to an amino acid called taurine- through the deficiency, problems with synthesis, or abnormal metabolism. More research is being done on this topic.

This problem has not only been linked to grain-free diets – but also to “boutique” type diets with novel ingredients, such as vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as homemade diets.

These diets are often more expensive than traditional diets – and come at an increased risk to your pup’s health.

Not to say each diet doesn’t have an appropriate use – some pets are allergic to common ingredients and require special diets. Some have liver problems/dysfunction may require a vegetarian diet.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had trusted, well-balanced diets that could even treat some common illnesses in our furry friends? Here’s the best part – we do. Veterinary diets, sold in veterinary clinics, have been developed with our patients in mind. Ensuring they get the best nutrition possible, with lots of research to back them up. Not all animals require special formulations, but it’s worth talking to your veterinarian to see if your pet may benefit from a specific formulation.

Some examples of popular formulas include:

1) Urinary diets.
Cats can be prone to forming crystals in their urine, leading to painful (and expensive) troubles in the litterbox. It is such a common issue that these formulas are available in a variety of flavours and formats (dry, pate, chunks in gravy). They are also targeted for more easily stressed cats, and for those that may be overweight. You can even get formulations for cats with allergies. Small dogs can be prone to forming bladder stones. There are formulas that can help dissolve stones and prevent new stones in order to avoid invasive surgery.

2) Allergy diets/skin diets.
Dogs that suffer from itchy feet, chronic ear infections, and chronic skin infections may be good candidates for an allergy food diet. They contain well balanced limited ingredients (and are guaranteed not to contain other protein sources), or hydrolyzed proteins (not recognized as an allergen). We even have formulas for cats.

3) Gastrointestinal diets.
Some pets can be prone to stress-related diarrhea, occasional vomiting, or chronic soft stool, which may indicate some sensitive digestive systems. Veterinary diets can take the extra hassle of adding probiotics and/or fibre to your pet’s food – and include them right in the bag or can!

These are only just a few examples, and the options are quite extensive. It’s worth checking out at your next visit if you think your pet may be a candidate for a targeted diet. You get the added benefit of knowing you’re making safe and healthy choices for your pet.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 902.225.7543.

Written by: Dr. Cassie Brown, DVM

My husband and I would like to say thank you to Dr. Brittni Milligan, for the wonderful care she gave…

Karen Budden

The team took such wonderful care of our kitty. They took her in on an emergency call and did not…

Natasha Caldwell

The staff here is so caring and attentive! I just moved here from newfoundland and it broke my heart leaving…

Stephanie Chaulk

Amazing experience! Staff is very sweet, they were very informative and upfront about everything. My kitty Diego went in with…

Brittany Devarennes

Incredible place to bring your best friend. My dog Nero had the most pleasant visit!

Horizon Eye Photography


What You Should Know About Onion and Garlic Toxicities in Pets

Many people don’t realize that onions and garlic are toxic to pets.  It is so sparsely known that garlic powder is actually a dangerously common ingredient in some homemade dog treat recipes found online.  They are also very common ingredients in many different dishes that we humans love to make, so we need to be extra careful to not allow our pets to ingest anything containing these ingredients. No more licking the plate for Fido and Fluffy!

Read More
See All Articles

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 Wednesday, March 18, 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 902-225-7543. We will bring your pet into the hospital for an examination with the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a technician will return your pet to your car and take care of any needed medications and payment.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets only. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. With dramatically increased demand and dwindling supply, combined with supplier purchase limitations, we are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in obtaining many pet foods. Although we remain in stock of many of your favourite foods, and continue to order our daily maximum allocation, we regret that we are forced to temporarily suspend special orders. Please continue to call us and we will do our best to fill your needs with food we have in stock, but we can no longer guarantee supply on all brands. We are monitoring this situation daily and will advise when this situation has eased. At this time most drugs and over the counter products remain unaffected. For food and prescription pick ups, please call us to prepay and advise us by phone when you arrive at the hospital to pick up. We will meet you at the front of the building to deliver your order. We do also have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the Online Store button.

4. 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 jobs. We have taken these 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 4 Paws 24 Hour Veterinary Hospital