Category: Blog 

COVID-19 and Your Pets: Everything You Need to Know

If you have any questions about your pet, or if you suspect they are showing symptoms, please do not hesitate to call us immediately at 905-771-9855.

As of April 7th, 2020, the research suggests that pets are overwhelmingly safe. However, being a new virus, we haven’t had a long time to study it and the conclusions are not 100%. These findings may change as we learn more. Here’s what we know so far:

1. Can Humans Pass the Coronavirus to Pets?

The risk is currently assessed as LOW.

There is very little evidence worldwide that pets can contract the virus let alone show symptoms. The handful of cases of animal testing positive for SARS-COV-2 spotted so far worldwide are inconclusive.  However, if pets do get it, it’s due to human hosts primarily.

The exception would have to be Ferrets and to a lesser degree cats. There is some evidence they can become infected as they share similar traits in their lungs with humans but the evidence is inconclusive.

2. Can Pets Pass the Coronavirus to Humans?

The risk is currently assessed as LOW.

This virus is thought to originate from bats but has developed into more human to human transmission.  There is no evidence currently that pets can pass it to humans either from having the virus themselves or acting as a carrier to the virus (on their fur for example) but that doesn’t mean it cannot happen. To date, this is a theoretical risk only.

3. Can Pets Pass the Coronavirus to Other Pets?

The risk is currently assessed as LOW.

There has recently been a case of a tiger who contracted the disease from a zoo employee and a few other tigers in her area who also started showing symptoms.  The likelihood is that they all caught the virus from the same human source, but researchers cannot 100% rule out transmission from the known positive case (only 1 tiger was officially tested).  So far this has been the only known potential animal to animal transmission.

4. How Should I Disinfect my Pet?

First, do not use any household chemicals or disinfectants. This can hurt them. The only way is to bathe them properly as if they were muddy – with pet approved shampoo.

5. Can I Take Them for Walks?

Of course! But please respect social distancing for them as well as yourselves. Outdoor cats should be kept indoors for the time being.

6. How Do I Keep My Pet Safe?

The primary measures to manage these potential risks are following basic public health prevention guidance for preventing zoonotic disease transmission, including:

• Respect social distancing rules for pets from other animals not in your household as well.
• Wash your hands before and after touching an at-risk animal or their food/supplies, and after cleaning up after them; do not touch your face with unwashed hands (consider wearing gloves).
• Wear protective outerwear to prevent contamination of your clothes if meeting unknown animals.
• Regularly clean and disinfect any surfaces or objects the animal touches; see Health Canada’s approved list of disinfectants.
• Minimize the animal’s contact with people and other animals
• Bathing or wiping down animals with a pet-friendly product could theoretically help to reduce any possible fur contamination, although there is no evidence to demonstrate effectiveness.

And Please Also Consider:

1. Maintain good hygiene practices, always washing hands before and after handling animals, pet food and supplies.

2. Keep all of our pets away from infected people, as you would with any other household members.

3. If you or a family member are/become infected, limit interaction with pets as much as possible. Avoid all direct contact with your pets – including petting, snuggling, kissing, being licked, or sharing food while symptomatic.

What to do if your pets exhibit flu-like symptoms:

If you are concerned or notice any sudden changes in your pet’s health, contact us immediately and keep them indoors until your scheduled appointment. Signs of illness in cats and dogs can be associated with various common viral and bacterial infections that are not transmittable to humans, so there is no need to panic. Give us a call at 905-771-9855 and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners do not need to be overly concerned.

We are here for your pets and will plan to remain open for as long as possible during the weeks ahead. However, we also want to ensure the safety of our staff and clients.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

COVID-19 and Tick Season Risks

One of the unexpected side-effects of the current healthcare situation is that pet owners are home more than usual, and going for longer walks with their pets. While dogs are likely over-the-moon about this extra time outdoors, there are some other creatures that are taking advantage of this as well. 

The mild weather we’ve been having is one of the prime temperatures for adult ticks. That, combined with the extra wildlife taking back the streets (skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and even deer), is producing one of the most active weeks that we’ve seen for ticks in recent memory.

Don’t Let Ticks Catch You by Surprise

Lyme disease in particular has been an increasing concern around the GTA, so we recommend tick and flea prevention medications for at least 9 months of the year (and potentially year-round) to protect against the diseases they carry.

There are now several product choices available. If you have not yet picked up tick prevention for your pet this year, call or email us to arrange to have some reserved for your pet as soon as possible, to ensure that they are protected.

Extra Information for Cat Owners: Cats are generally less likely to contract tick-borne diseases, however families with outdoor cats and families with both dogs and cats have an increased risk. Also, make sure to NEVER use a dog tick prevention product on a cat – they can be toxic. Ask us about tick preventives made specifically for cats.


Jemma in for a tick removal! Luckily her owners caught it quickly!


Insider Preview!

Starting this heartworm season (June 1st) there is a new all-in-one product on its way! Simparica Trio will be available later this spring, and offer protection against fleas, ticks, heartworm, roundworm and hookworm. Stay tuned, more details to follow!  Give us a call to reserve your medication!

Tick Season Is Upon Us!

REMINDER: Tick activity is temperature-driven, not seasonal.

Hello pet parents! Did you know that spring is one of the absolute worst times of the year for ticks? Whenever the temperature climbs above 0℃, ticks are starting to wake up…. starving and looking for a meal. In fact, they are bloodthirsty and have their eyes on any dogs, cats or warm-blooded mammals (including humans) wandering around. Lyme disease in particular has been an increasing concern around the GTA, so it’s important to prevent ticks and fleas and the diseases they carry.

Cats are generally less likely to contract tick-borne diseases, however families with outdoor cats and families with both dogs and cats have an increased risk. In addition, ticks can migrate from pets to people, so everyone in your family can be at risk! There are now several product choices available, and depending on their environment and risk, we can recommend the correct product for your pet’s individual needs. Determining the diseases present in your area, annual testing for these diseases, and taking extra precautions outdoors are always recommended! Simply call, email or visit us to pick up your pet’s tick preventatives to ensure that they and the rest of your family are protected.

Insider Preview:  Starting this heartworm season (June 1st) there is a new all-in-one product on its way! Simparica Trio will be available later this spring. When ordering your tick prevention products, please let us know if you would like to be put on our waiting list and you will be first in line when the new product arrives! Stay tuned, more details to follow!!  Give us a call to reserve your medication!


Meet Our Newest Client Care Specialist!

Jasmine is a single mom of 2 boys, and 2 feline fur babies. She has always had a love for animals, bringing strays home and taming feral cats when she was a kid. Jasmine knew she wanted to enter the field of animal medicine after volunteering with the Ottawa Humane Society for 2 and a half years. She moved to Toronto in 2017 and began working in a sales position, but knew her true love was working with animals. We are thrilled to have Jasmine join our front desk team and help her fulfill her dream of being around animals and their owners, and learning about the world of animal health care. 🐶🐱 Welcome to the family Jasmine!

Exciting News + Updates For 2020!

  • New Year, New Clinic!
  • Reminder: Year-Round Tick Prevention
  • Dental Health Month is back!
  • TEAM Dog Rescue’s Fundraiser Gala: “Party With a Purpose”

New years always bring hope, opportunity and a chance to start over. They give us the courage to push ourselves to new limits, and the perspective to think more positively about the world around us. In 2020, every day is another chance to live a more meaningful life for yourself, your loved ones, and your furry friends.

From everyone here at Centre Street Animal Hospital, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year ahead! May it be everything you wish for, and more!  🎉😊🐱🐶🎉 We have a lot of exciting new things coming to the clinic this year, including new diagnostic equipment, new top-of-the-line treatments, and new staff! We can’t wait to share everything with you!


Reminder: Year-Round Tick Prevention

At Centre Street Animal Hospital, we normally recommend tick-prevention medication for 9 months of the year (during the warmest months). However, tick activity is temperature-driven, not seasonal – meaning our warmer January days are now a risk for your pets.

We may have been gifted with some sporadic warmer weather this winter, but this allows ticks to become a concern again. They are active during any temperature above 0℃, meaning your pets are now susceptible to tick bites and infections almost year-round. If you are taking your dogs or cats outside to parks or areas with tall grass, please consider picking up another dose of tick prevention.


Dental Health Month is Back for 2020!

February is Pet Dental Health Month, and we are happy to celebrate again this year by offering a special promotion from January 20th – February 29th, 2020. So stay tuned for the promotional details!

Pet Dentistry is a major component of preventative medicine when it comes to caring for your pet. Neglect of your pet’s oral hygiene and dental care can result in plaque accumulation and unhealthy populations of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Centre Street Animal Hospital is one of Thornhill’s premium pet dental health locations, and we are always here to assist owners in developing oral health knowledge and proper home care practices. Give us a call today to find out more, and book your pet’s appointment.

TEAM Dog Rescue’s Fundraiser Gala: “Party With a Purpose”

We are so excited to announce our involvement with TEAM Dog Rescue’s 3rd Annual Fundraiser Gala for Pups! Tickets are on sale now!

Help us continue to make a difference in the lives of rescue dogs, and enjoy an incredible night out! If you would like to get involved by sponsoring the gala or donating to the silent auction, please reply back to this email with your contact information. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!

Winter Safety And Travelling With Your Pets!

Winter Safety for Dogs: Are you and your pooch prepared for the frost?

Winter may be a wonderland for dogs, but when blizzards strike, severe cold and snow can pose serious health and safety risks for dogs of all breeds. Here are a few essential tips to help keep your dog safe and happy this season:

Frostbite
Paws, ears, and tails, like human hands and faces, are susceptible to frostbite. To help protect dog paws, boots in a wide variety of styles are easily found online and in pet stores. In addition to helping tender paws stay dry, dog boots often come with soles, which also provide added traction in icy conditions. If your dog doesn’t enjoy wearing boots (or needs time to get used to them), remove caked ice and snow from your pup’s feet as soon as possible. As added protection, make sure to maintain good foot grooming. If you suspect your dog has frostbite, contact us and we can help.

Salt and Chemical Deicers
Dangerous salt and chemical deicers are widely used on sidewalks and streets, and have varying degrees of toxicity for pets. Chemical deicers containing the antifreeze material ethylene glycol are a deadly poison for dogs and cats – and it only takes a small amount to cause permanent and fatal damage to their kidneys. Road salt can cause painful burning to paw pads, and when licked off by your dog, can cause irritation and inflammation to the mouth and digestive tract. After any exposure to salt and chemical deicers, wipe off your pet’s feet with a damp towel. Always read the labels of products carefully and follow all recommended precautions.

Windchill 
While some breeds are built better than others to withstand cold temperatures, prolonged exposure of dogs to wind chill and cold temperatures can cause severe problems or even death from hypothermia (low body temperature). Short-haired, very young, and elderly dogs are at the greatest risk for problems related to cold exposure. When temperatures drop, keep walks and outdoor playtime to a minimum. Dog jackets can help dogs stay warmer for longer in winter weather, but even so, don’t wait until your dog starts shivering before realizing it’s time to head back indoors.


Travelling with your pets this holiday season? Here’s everything you need to know.

If you are preparing to travel with your furry family, make sure to study up pet owners’ rights and what the rules are when it comes to air travel with your pets. Because every country and airline will have their own specific rules for pet travel, make sure you know what to expect and what restrictions are in place. It’s crucial that you research all specific details before booking your flights.

Some key things to note:

  • There are a limited number of pet spots available on every flight, unless you have a service or emotional support animal
  • There is usually a fee required between $50 – $300 for all standard pets to board, with the exception of service or emotional support animals
  • Rules of placement are dependent on your pets species, size, weight and temperament
  • Certain medical clearance and vaccine records must be presented at the time of booking, and sometimes on board the plane
  • Small pet carriers and larger crates must be up to airline-specific standards in order to fit or store them on the plane – whether in the cabin or cargo areas
  • Some airports have pet relief areas for before and after flights, but airplanes do not – ensure you bring some kind of pee pad or poop bags in case your pet needs to go in their carrier mid-flight
  • Airlines have the right to have you and your pet removed from a flight, or to deny you and your pet boarding, if your dog acts aggressively towards airline staff or other travellers
  • You may want to consider a mild sedative for your pet to ease their stress and keep them calm. Contact us for more information or to arrange to pick up an appropriate sedative for your pet.
  • If you are going on a long trip, you may be required to obtain a new health certificate for the return trip

Follow these 4 steps (in order) before booking your flights and hotel stays:

  1. Contact the consulate of the country(s) you are traveling to and find out their entrance requirements and what paperwork you will need for entering their country with your pet(s). You can also reference the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website, which has information about travel requirements for some countries and also offers a generic blank ‘travel certificate’. It is extremely important to research the requirements thoroughly ahead of time, as some countries require certificates/tests to be done months before travel.
  2. Contact the airline(s) you intend to travel with to find out their travel requirements and what paperwork you will need for boarding 
  3. If you are staying in a hotel, call ahead to inquire about their pet policy and if they have any pet-friendly rooms available
  4. Contact us to obtain a copy of your pet’s medical and vaccine records, including any specific documents requested by the consulate or airline

Travel Essentials Checklist:

  • Updated ID tag
  • Food and water bowls
  • Litter supplies and dog poop bags
  • Sturdy collar, harness and leash
  • Medication and supplements
  • Pet food and treats
  • First aid kit
  • Toys to keep them busy
  • COVID-19 and Your Pets: Everything You Need to Know

    If you have any questions about your pet, or if you suspect they are showing symptoms, please do not hesitate to call us immediately at 905-771-9855. As of April 7th, 2020, the research suggests that pets are overwhelmingly safe. However, being a new virus, we haven’t had a long time to study it and the conclusions are not 100%. These ...

    Read more →
  • COVID-19 and Tick Season Risks

    One of the unexpected side-effects of the current healthcare situation is that pet owners are home more than usual, and going for longer walks with their pets. While dogs are likely over-the-moon about this extra time outdoors, there are some other creatures that are taking advantage of this as well.  The mild weather we’ve been having is one of the prime ...

    Read more →
  • Tick Season Is Upon Us!

    REMINDER: Tick activity is temperature-driven, not seasonal. Hello pet parents! Did you know that spring is one of the absolute worst times of the year for ticks? Whenever the temperature climbs above 0℃, ticks are starting to wake up…. starving and looking for a meal. In fact, they are bloodthirsty and have their eyes on any dogs, cats or warm-blooded mammals ...

    Read more →