Myth: Dogs are related to wolves, therefore a raw diet is more natural.
Truth: Domesticated dogs are not directly related to current Wolf species. Dogs and wolves are “canids”, they share a common ancestor. Also remember, wolves only live for up to 5 years in the wild, out dogs will hopefully live for 10-15 years.
Myth: Dogs should eat an only meat based diet as they are carnivores.
Truth: Through evolution domesticated dogs are significantly genetically different to wolves – including 3 gene changes that facilitate the digestion and utilization of starches. The ability of domesticated dogs to digest and utilize grains (including starch) has been demonstrated in several studies. Grain / gluten allergies in dogs is actually extremely uncommon, your dog is more likely to be allergic to chicken than to grains.
Myth: The “nutritionist” at the pet store informed me that raw diets are nutritionally complete.
Truth: Nutrition is a very complex topic A high quality pet food requires a precise blend of ingredients to meet a specific nutrient profile based on a pet's life stage, lifestyle of disease condition. Unfortunately, there are several people who claim to be pet nutritionists despite having minimal training. Veterinary nutritionists are veterinarians who have undergone a medical specialization in all things related to your pet's dietary needs. Surprisingly, veterinary nutritionists are few and far between. Research the company making your dog’s food, and find out who has formulated the recipes. Make sure that a veterinary nutritionist is the one formulating all recipes, so you know your dog will be receiving an optimal diet. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition provides a directory of all board certified veterinary nutritionists. They ensure that these nutrients are delivered to your pet in the right ratios for their stage of life. Analysis of raw food diets has shown significant nutritional deficiency (eg Calcium), imbalance (eg Calcium to Phosphorus ratio) and in some cases toxicity (eg Vitamin A). Raw diets have been linked to Dilated Cardiomyopathy in both dogs and cats.
Myth: There is no increased risk in feeding raw, commercial kibble has been recalled for pathogens as well.
Truth: When food-bourne infections are contracted from commercially cooked foods it is due to accidental contamination, whereas raw meats are known to carry pathogenic organisms. Feeding raw increases exposure to potentially poses potentially life threatening risks to pets and people.
Myth: By freezing the raw diet it makes it safe to eat.
Truth: Freezing raw food does not kill pathogens. Freezing does NOT kill Escherichia Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridia, Norovirus, Bird Flu Virus. The FDA has issued public health warnings for handling raw diets. “To prevent infection with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, it is best if you do not feed your pet a raw diet.”
Myth: I practice the same hygiene for when I prepare raw food for myself, why is it different for my dog?
Truth: Your pet lives a very different lifestyle from you. They groom themselves using their tongue which then contaminates their coat with the pathogens in raw diets. They also toilet on your lawn or sandbox where your children play. Your pet handles toys with their mouths, they drool, they lick your face all of these things can spread potentially life threatening pathogens around the environment. Confirmed transmission between humans and pets in families has been reported.
A big part of choosing the right diet for your pet is being able to accurately interpret the label on the back of the bag. You can't assume a pet food is right for your pet by simply reading the ingredient list, because the nutrients are just as important as the ingredients! Click here to read our article on how to interpret the dog food label and to learn the answer to some commonly asked questions about kibble.
We understand there is a lot of information available and all our clients want is the best for your pets. Pet nutrition is a very complex topic but it forms the foundation of your pet’s medical wellbeing. We are here to help you be an active and informed part of your pet’s medical health care. If you have questions about finding the correct diet for your pet, talk to us at 905 844 6786.
Evidence-based Clinical Nutrition – Feeding RAW to Pets by Mike Davies BVetMed Cert VR Cert SAO FRCVS. RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Clinical Nutrition (Small Animal) www.webinarvet.com
The humans have been in quarantine but our resident wildlife certainly has not!
There have been an increase in wildlife sightings in urban areas as the normally busy city is much quieter. While it is very cute to see Bambi and Wile E Coyote on the street it does represent an increased risk to our pets.
Wildlife can carry a variety of infectious diseases such as Distemper, Rabies, Leptospirosis and parasites such as ticks and tapeworms.
Please make sure your dog is:
1) Is up to date on with their Rabies vaccination
2) Is up to date with their Distemper vaccination
3) ** Has had their Leptospriosis vaccination and is up to date. **
Leptospirosis used to be a vaccine reserved for outdoor/ farm dogs so not all dogs have this vaccine. At Mac Animal Clinic we strongly consider Leptospirosis a CORE vaccination. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease shed in the urine of wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, beavers and rodents, which can cause fatal kidney and liver failure. It is also a disease that can be spread from dogs to humans.
4) Has tick prevention
For more information, contact the clinic at 905 844 6786 or visit our website https://www.macvets.com/canine-vaccinations.html. Stay safe our two and four legged friends!
Do you have a pet that hates having their nails trimmed? Or maybe your pet is fine at the vet EXCEPT when it comes to taking their temperature. One way to deal with these fears is to utilize the concept of "desensitization" and "classical conditioning".
Desensitization is the process of teaching the learner that a specific stimulus is non-threatening over time, through repeated controlled gentle exposures.
Classical conditioning links emotional responses with a stimulus over time through predictions.
The goal is to link stimuli such as having your pet's tail lifted or having their nails trimmed, with a yummy treat to create a positive emotional response.
Make sure your pet likes the treat you are offering and knows how to use the treat delivery method. For example, not all pets are used to eating off a spoon or tongue depressor.
Go slow - Listen to your pet and only increase the intensity when your pet is comfortable
These videos fast forward the training process for learning purposes.
Some pets are not used to be restrained. It is not common that we hear that pets "like to do things on their own terms". However, restraint for procedures is an essential part of training. For example, all dogs need an annual heartworm test which requires restraint for a blood draw.
Remember, your pet will be more open to learning when they are not in a stressful environment, such as at home with their owner. Getting your pet used to being restrained at home in a familiar environment will help them be much more comfortable when they are being restrained at the veterinary clinic.
Please give Loki and Lette a round of applaws!
These small training sessions can go a long way at making your pet much more comfortable at the vet.
Remember to keep training sessions short and fun!
If you would like to start working with your pet at home or have any questions about how to apply these concepts please contact us at 905 844 6786 or email@example.com. We would be more than happy to help you utilize these training methods.
**Veterinary services are essential but urgent care only**
The province has made revisions to the list of essential workplaces. Veterinary medicine remains an essential service, permitted to deliver URGENT CARE only, as indicated in the list of essential workplaces provided by the Province of Ontario on April 3, 2020.
The list also provides permission for services including the sale of medication and pet supplies only through an alternative method of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery, except in exceptional circumstances.
Therefore, we will only be accepting payment over the phone by visa card or e-transfer. Please call the clinic ahead of time to place your order at 905 844 6786. When you arrive, please call us again and we will bring your delivery to your car.
We will continue to provide urgent veterinary medical care for illnesses and injuries requiring prompt medication attention. Whenever possible we will continue to use telemedicine to keep our pets and clients safe. If your pet does need to be seen at the clinic, a member of our team will collect your pet from your car and communicate with you over the phone.
Please note under the government directive we have been instructed to not perform elective procedures, this includes spays and neuters. Preventative medicine may be necessary in specific cases and will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Please understand that ancillary services, such as grooming and nail trims are not essential services.
As pet owners we all want the same thing: to feed our pet a healthy, complete diet to promote a long and happy life.
A big part of choosing the right diet for your pet is being able to accurately interpret the label on the back of the bag. You can't assume a pet food is right for your pet by simply reading the ingredient list, because the nutrients are just as important as the ingredients!
Key tip: Consider nutrients as well as ingredients!
Now, lets compare the following two labels.
At a glance, the pet store diet definitely looks much more appealing, whole foods, vegetables ... it looks better than some of us eat! But remember, the pet food industry is not as regulated as it appears. Few pet food companies actually have a licensed veterinary nutritionist on their team, which is likely the reason why we are now seeing the emergence of nutritional based illnesses such as Dilated Cardiomyopathy which is linked to grain free, raw and exotic protein diets (visit this blog post on DCM).
A high quality pet food requires a precise blend of ingredients to meet a specific nutrient profile based on a pet's life stage, lifestyle of disease condition. This is the advantage to choosing a diet that has been formulated by a licensed veterinary nutritionist. They ensure that these nutrients are delivered to your pet in the right ratios for their stage of life.
That being said we still need to understand the ingredients list.
Here are the most common questions we hear pet owners ask:
Diet B contains pumpkin, herbs and berries, doesn't that make it a better diet?
Marketing based companies are good at coming up with "feel good" names. Remember that ingredients are listed in the order of highest weight to lowest weight, in most cases those "berries" amount to one berry per bag.
What exactly is "by-product meal"?
The term "by-product" has been created because they are the parts of the animal our society does not typically consume, such as the animal's organs. These parts of the animal are still nutritious. Various parts of the animal such as their meat, liver and internal organs are ground into meal, much of the fat is extracted, and the bone residue (ash) is reduced. This results in a high quality, concentrated source of protein which is also very tasty to both dogs and cats.
Chicken by-product meal consists of ground, rendered, wholesome parts of the chicken. It includes white meat, dark meat, liver and internal organs.
Meat by-product consists of the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat from slaughtered mammals that do not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. These diets specifically use beef or pork lungs, spleens, or livers in their diets for consistency and optimal nutrient profile.
Poultry by-product meal includes white meat, dark meat, liver and organs from turkey, duck and chicken.
Do they put inferior parts of the animals in by product meal?
Do not worry! By-product meal does not use chicken feet, beaks, hair, hooves, teeth, nails etc as these are very low in nutritional quality. An indicator of this can be the mineral content of any commercial food (it should be lower vs higher which would indicate bone content of the diet). The ingredients that are used are organ meat such as lungs, heart, liver etc. These are high quality by products that are bone free and lower in mineral content.
The pet store assured me this is a very high quality diet. It is also very expensive. Don't they have a veterinary nutritionist formulating the diet?
Veterinary nutritionists are veterinarians who have undergone a medical specialization in all things related to your pet's dietary needs. Surprisingly, veterinary nutritionists are few and far between. Research the company making your dog’s food, and find out who has formulated the recipes. Make sure that a veterinary nutritionist is the one formulating all recipes, so you know your dog will be receiving an optimal diet. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition provides a directory of all board certified veterinary nutritionists.
Veterinary nutritionists focus on the nutrients derived from the ingredients used and how these benefit your pet. For example carrots and blueberries are healthy, but if we only ate these two things all the time, we would not be able to get the proper nutrients to fuel our bodies or help disease states. This is why we need to think about nutrients as well as ingredients when selecting a dog food.
Nutrients and high quality ingredients are both important in a pet food. But nutrients are what your pet's body absorbs, not ingredients. The optimum food is made of quality ingredients selected for nutrients, quality and taste precisely formulated to deliver the correct amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals to meet the pet's nutritional needs. A pet food is a sum of it's parts.
As your pet's primary health care provider, we are here to help you choose the right diet for your pet. If you have any questions about your pet's diet. Please contact us at 905 844 6786 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the image below for a larger version of the image.
We are pleased to confirm that Mac Animal Clinic will continue to provide essential care for our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospital will offer shortened hours Monday - Friday 10am-4pm. We will continue to exercise additional safety precautions to keep our staff, clients and community safe.
The kids aren't the only ones who need to be entertained during this time of social distancing. This week we have dedicated our time to providing you with some tools to ensuring your pet is happy and entertained at home.
Aim for a happy and fulfilled pet not just a tired pet!
It is not necessary or advisable to exercise pets until exhaustion. The old saying that a tired pet is a good pet is not necessarily in the best interest of the pet. Over exercising may physically exhaust but not mentally engage a pet. Mental stimulation through exploratory and social activities provides for enrichment and meets more of the pet’s needs. A well- exercised pet is likely to develop more and more endurance. In essence we are creating a marathon runner rather than meeting a pet’s social and exploratory needs. Moderate exercise is good; strenuous exercise is not necessary.
In young animals, the stress of excessive exercise on developing joints can be detrimental and in older pets it can cause pain or discomfort if arthritis is present.
What does this mean? Pay attention to the mental aspect of your pet's walks. New sights, sounds, and smells are intriguing for most pets, especially if introduced to walks and novelty when young. Be engaged with and observant of their pet during walks. This is an activity to do together! Taking small food treats on walks allows you, the pet owner to reinforce desired behaviour and helps reinforce the bond between you and your pet.
Here are a few tips to help keep you and your canine buddy entertained and happy. Some of these tips can also be used for your feline buddy as well!
Mental stimulation is essential and it can be surprisingly tiring. Think about how you feel after a long day at work. Here are a few things to try at home.
#1 – Make them work for their food! Treat dispensing toys or puzzle feeders Food-Storing Toys - Fill the toy with anything from wet food, treats, kibble and even a bit of peanut butter. **Be mindful of your dog's dietary sensitivities. During the pandemic, now is not the time to also be dealing with an upset stomach**
#2 Play time Now is the time to teach your dog to play fetch! Otherwise, find a toy that your dog enjoys and have some fun! Tug of war is a great way to expend energy. ** Always supervise play time with your dog**
#3 Training Have you always wanted to have a dog that could roll over, shake a paw or maybe even bring you a beer? Now is the time to teach them! Several short training sessions a day provide cognitive enrichment.
Develop a play relationship with your pet!
Social play with other pets is something we normally focus on but social play with people is more important for fostering a social relationship between the pet and pet owner. Studies have shown that dogs prefer human company to that of other dogs. So if you're unable to go to the dog park right now, its a GREAT time to focus on and strengthen the human-animal bond!
Cats and dogs need to learn how to interact and play with their owners. Developing a play relationship based on trust and understanding will facilitate a strong bond between you and your pet. Some of the best types of play are with long tug toys or wand-type toys. This allows both you and your pet to engage in play. Appropriate play with a tug toy will not make a dog aggressive.
**Play needs to be modified appropriately to prevent over arousal and possible accidental injury** Read these guidelines on how to implement "tug" into your pet's routine.
Try these "Find It" games at home!
Teaching cats and dogs how to search for their food or even for a favourite toy can make for great fun. Cats naturally eat numerous small meals in a day and spend a majority of their day hunting. We can provide an outlet for this activity through the find-it game outlined in the downloadable handouts here. The exercise is slightly different for cats and dogs. Many animals when given a choice to solve a puzzle to get food versus eating it from a bowl will choose the puzzle. There is a term for this called contra-freeloading. Exploratory activities should appeal to our pets’ senses, such as sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Providing appropriate exploratory activities for our feline and canine friends is enriching both mentally and physically.
Click on the pictures below to download the file.
Cats are natural predators! Cats learn predatory behaviour at an early age. Predatory behaviour is the reason cats play with wand - type toys. Here is a great game to play with your cat.
You are your pet's best friend!
Have fun and enjoy this opportunity to spend more time with them. Send us your stories or pictures of you playing with your furry friend to our Facebook or Instagram accounts or email@example.com
References : Fear Free Pets www.fearfreepets.com
Update for clinic hours March 19th until April 6th.
Dear M.A.C families,
Please note the changes to our clinic hours during the current pandemic. These changes will be effective from today March, 19th.
Monday - Friday: 10 am - 4 pm
Please note the following hospital changes to help us keep our staff, clients and community safe.
We will be keeping our front door locked. If you are at the clinic to collect food or medication. Please call us at 905 844 6786 to process your invoice and a member of our team will bring your food or medication to you. If you are unable to pay over the phone, please advise a member of our team and we will bring the debit machine to you. During this time we request you to use payment methods other than cash.
We will be limiting any appointments (resuming March 30th) to medical and urgent appointments. Please call the clinic when you arrive for your appointment as we will examine patients in their cars when possible. We will be utilizing telemedicine during this time and our phone lines and email are regularly checked, please do not hesitate to contact us if your pet is unwell.
Remember that the M.A.C MyVetStore offers home delivery and we are waiving the $10 delivery fee for all orders of $100.
Our phone lines are open as usual and we are regularly checking our email. Our team is working to ensure you and your pet are supported during this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-844-6786 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Keep safe M.A.C Family
Sincerely, Mac Animal Clinic
During these uncertain and constantly changing times we have continuously been reviewing our hospital policies. Updates are coming to hospital staff hourly, from Ontario Public Health, the College of Veterinarians Ontario and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association.
We are trying our best to care for our patients while also supporting our staff due to the current pandemic we will be shortening the clinic hours.
This week we have made the very difficult decision to make the following changes to our clinic hours.
As of Wednesday March 18 2020 - Friday March 20 2020 10 am - 4pm
Saturday March 21 2020 10 am - 12 pm. **Please note the clinic is now closed on Saturdays until further notice**
Our staff are coming into work to ensure our patients and clients are cared for, but please take the necessary precautions to maintain their safety.
As Dr. Mac is in self quarantine, we are not currently offering appointments. However, Dr. Mac is available via telemedicine and will continue to support her patients remotely via email or the phone. If you have concerns about your pet please call or email the clinic as you normally would. Dr. Mac is anticipated to be able to see only emergency appointments as of March 30th, this is dependent upon the ongoing pandemic recommendations.
All routine appointments and elective procedures have been postponed.
Please only bring the minimum number of family members to the clinic.
If you are unwell or have recently been out of the country, please do not enter the clinic.
Take advantage of home delivery, online ordering and prepayment. Please also consider calling the clinic before hand to pay over the phone to promote social distancing.
When you arrive at the clinic, please call us to let us know you are here so we can minimize the people in the clinic or deliver the items to your car.
Based on recommendations from the Ontario Government and other governing bodies we will post our shortened hours for next week within the next 72 hours. We will continue to remain in close communication with our M.A.C family based on the new recommendations.
Mac Animal Clinic
M.A.C's MyVetStore can help your family by offering online purchases and home delivery.
During this uncertain time, our team is looking for ways to continue to support our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore we are offering the following services via our online MyVetStore at www.myvetstore.ca/macanimalclinic
In the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are waiving the $10 home delivery fee for all orders over $100.
Some of your pet's medications can be pre-purchased online and picked up at the clinic. If your pet is needing a refill prescription please email the clinic at email@example.com ahead of time, so our staff can set it up on your vetstore portal. Pre-purchased prescriptions can then be delivered by our staff to your car to help promote social distancing.
**Please note: delivery times will be longer than usual due to the increased strain on our suppliers. If you are urgently out of food or medication, contact the clinic at 905-844-6786 to check if we have any food in stock**
Order your pet's food online and have it delivered to your home. Stay safe everyone.