905.285.0002
Corgi running in grass

Dog Behavioural Counseling

We offer an extensive consultation for certain behavioural difficulties. Time with our Registered Veterinary Technicians that have a special interest in Behaviour issues can help to uncover the individual “quirks” and personality traits of your particular pet. Some pets develop unwanted or troublesome behaviours, such as house soiling, unwanted barking, digging, spraying, stress/anxiety, dominance, or aggression.

A veterinarian looking at a dog face to face

The goal of our assistance is to help make your pet as trustworthy as possible. Although these conditions may be behavioural, we may first have to rule out any potential underlying medical problems. A physical examination, diagnostic testing such as blood work, urinalysis, and discussion can help identify the cause of the problem as well as possible solutions. We may also suggest referral to a specialist when necessary.

We can help get you started on a good foundation early in your pet’s life. Our puppy and kitten first visit examinations include a 30-minute consultation to address issues.

How can behavioural counseling help my dog’s behaviour?

Counselling can help your dog’s behaviour because if your dog is anxious or scared, training can help alleviate, and in some cases, eliminate these fears and therefore allows your pet to live a happy and emotionally healthy life. Just like humans, it is just as important with dogs. Having behavioural issues dealt with can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet, creating more trust between the two of you. Counselling helps to solve any issues or concerns you might have.

What happens at the initial dog counseling meeting?

If you are having a behavioural issue with your dog, we encourage you to email us (or call) to discuss what the next step would be. Once we have all the particulars of your specific concerns, we can then book a consultation with our Behaviour Technician. She will be able to map out a training plan for what will suit you and your pet while also providing the best results. Follow up meetings will be scheduled as your training progresses so that we can address any concerns that you may have.

Will my pet insurance policy cover the cost of dog behaviour counseling?

Many insurance policies offer coverage for training costs. Please check with your insurance company to see what your plan includes.

What can I expect after the consultation?

Follow-up calls and to ensure things are going well. We will also book progress check appointments as needed to track your pet’s progress.

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Dog thinking about ticks and fleas

Year-round protection means more peace of mind!

“Tick season” used to mean spring/summer/fall, with a break over the winter – the colder weather meant that we could take a break from worrying about these pesky bugs and the diseases they can transmit. But in the last few years, we’ve seen a change creeping up on us, with the weather staying warm later into the season, and spring arriving earlier each year – and the bugs are loving it! You may have already heard us talking about how any day that the temperature is above the freezing point, ticks are potentially active. This past year, we had days above 0°C in all 12 months! Ticks aren’t killed by the cold, they simply go dormant, waiting until it’s warm enough to come back out – so last year, even January and February had days warm enough for ticks to be active! This means that we are now recommending that all dogs (and cats that go outdoors) take advantage of year-round flea and tick protection. There are several options, our first choice being an all-in-one that protects against fleas, ticks, and heartworm, as well as providing regular deworming against roundworms. One pill, once a month – what could be simpler? If your pet is already on a monthly preventative, all you need to do is pick up a refill and continue throughout the winter months. If your pet hasn’t yet started on comprehensive parasite prevention, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have and set you up with the best option for your pet. What does this mean for testing? The 4DX test that we recommend most commonly screens for heartworm disease, Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes (so every dog in Ontario is potentially at risk – at Westbridge we treat a few cases every year!), and the others are all transmitted via tick bites. We have seen an increase in Lyme-positive dogs in the last few years, one of the reasons we are recommending some of these changes. For better early detection and the safety of your pet, we are recommending annual 4DX testing for all dogs. This simple blood test can be done at any time, although the optimal time is in the spring. Catching disease early is key to successful treatment – and no matter how careful you are with preventative medications, there is always some risk of infection. As always, our veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians are available to answer any questions you may have about the best options for your pet. Email us at info@westbridgevet.com, or call us at 905-285-0002

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Last updated: December 17, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital