Frequently Asked Questions

When does my cat or dog need their vaccinations?


Puppies and kittens require a series of 3 vaccines. They need their first one at 6-8 weeks old. They need a booster 3-4 weeks later when they are 10-12 weeks old. They need their last booster 3-4 weeks later when they are 14-16 weeks old, and they also get their rabies vaccine at that time. After they had their puppy vaccines, they get their vaccines annually. Puppies and kittens not 16 weeks old yet, should not receive their rabies vaccine.


Spaying removes a female’s reproductive system from the ovaries to the uterus. Neutering is the removal of both testicles of the male.


We recommend spaying and neutering at 6 months for both cats and dogs. If you wait to spay following a heat cycle, you increase your pet’s risk of developing cancer, pyometra or unwanted pregnancy. If you wait for neutering, you increase your cancer risk and behavioural problems.

No, we remove both testicles. Neutering a dog decreases many unwanted behaviours of a male dog. Examples of these behaviours are

  • A – Aggression,
  • B – Marking Territory with urine.        
  • C – Mating – A male dog can sniff out a female dog in heat for miles away.

This can cause your dog to want to leave your yard and run at large, which could cause him to be hit by a car or stolen. Yes, an intact male can jump a six-foot fence.


Our policy is to deworm in the spring and fall. We use different medications for deworming, so our doctors will find the best one for your pet. However, puppies and kittens get dewormed more frequently in their first year of life.  If you travel with your pet, please let us know! They may benefit from more frequent deworming or a parasite preventative.


Puppies have baby teeth and adult teeth, just like humans. Puppies start teething at about 3 1/2 months and finish teething at 6 months. Sometimes when the adult teeth come in, the baby teeth don’t fall out. This is very common in small breed dogs. We recommend removing the baby’s teeth, usually when the dog is spayed or neutered. If you don’t remove the baby teeth, there is a chance that the dog could lose both teeth to dental disease because of food material getting wedged between the two. If you aren’t sure if your puppy has retained baby teeth, we can certainly take a look for you!


Puppies should be switched over to adult food when they are a year old OR when they have been spayed or neutered. Whichever comes first!


Both cats and dogs are considered senior when they turn 7 years old. At this point in your pets’ life, their dietary needs change, and they should be fed a senior diet. Their health requirements may also vary. Remember that every year that passes for us it’s equivalent to 5-10 years for our pets. If you were 70 years old, it probably wouldn’t be wise to wait until you were 80 years old before you saw your family doctor again! Blood work, teeth cleanings and more frequent exams may be necessary, so it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about what you can do for your pet to live a long, happy life!


The average is every 6-8 weeks.


A common misconception is that dogs have worms when scooting their bum on the floor. What is happening is that the dogs’ anal glands are full, irritating the dog. Anal glands are scent glands that are on the dog’s bum. What happens is that when your dog poops, those glands express a little bit and leave a scent marker for other dogs. Most people say that the smell is a skunky/fishy smell. If your dog is doing this behaviour, just give us a call and book an appointment with one of our doctors, and they will be able to express those glands for your pet.


Many people think that dogs eat their poop if they aren’t getting enough nutrition from their food. This isn’t true. It is now believed that eating poop is a bad habit and isn’t related to diet. Numerous products on the market will make their poop taste “bad.” These products are great and work well, but only while you give them to your dog. If they decide to take another bite after you’re done treating them, it will taste “good” again and then you will have to treat them again. The easiest fix for this problem is cleaning up after your dog immediately.


Fort McMurray doesn’t have a lot of fleas, but we see more and more cases as our population increases. Other parasites can be confused for fleas, like lice. Lice are not affected by flea collars. Flea collars are not very effective against fleas, and they are very toxic to our pets. Getting flea medication from pet and grocery stores can be pretty dangerous. Some medicines for dogs are highly poisonous to cats. There are much more effective medications that you can get from your veterinarian that are designed for your pet and household. Give us a call, and we can answer all your questions.


Ideally, your pets should have their teeth brushed every 24 hours. Some dogs won’t tolerate having their teeth brushed, so there are some excellent dental diets you can feed your pet. The goal of brushing your pet’s teeth is to decrease the interval between having to clean your pet’s teeth under anesthesia.

Have additional questions before your next visit?