Pets and Drowning

Summer and its hot weather have arrived with a vengeance. For many of us, this means heading up to the cottage, hanging out at a pool or going for lazy walks along the many shaded waterways. The cool water is a welcome relief from the heat, but we must remember that water safety is a must; especially with children and pets. Unfortunately, many children and pets drown each year in backyard pools and other bodies of water away from the home. In the US, it is thought that upwards of 5,000 family pets perish in backyard pools. Most pets can swim long enough to get to the waters edge, but will drown of exhaustion when they cannot get out of the pool. Strong currents in the running water of lakes and rivers can translocate a pet to an area where they can become disoriented and not able to find their way back to safety. If tragedy does strike, it is essential that you do not panic and instead initiate a pre-arranged emergency plan. Let’s do our best to prevent a problem and pet proof our pools and water areas by instituting the following safety tips.


  • Never leave a pet unsupervised around a pool. If possible fence off the pool from the other play areas of the yard. Electronic radio-fences are relatively inexpensive and work very well at keeping pets away from pools and other hazardous areas of the yard.

  • Install pet safe pool ladders for ease of getting out of the pool if steps are not present

  • Teach your pet where the stairs are located. Place a visual cue (flag) near the steps and guide your pet to the steps while in the water. Verbally praise him/her when he/she uses the steps. Practice exiting on the steps from different pool entry points.

  • Do not expect your dog to bark as this is very difficult when submerged in water.

  • Get your pet used to the water at a young age, so that you will know if he/she can or cannot swim. Heavily furred dogs like huskies and collies can become water logged if in the water to long. Heavy bodied dogs such as bull-dogs and mastiffs may sink due to their weight and may not be able to stay afloat.

  • Pool covers/solar blankets are very dangerous as they may appear like solid ground and when a pet walks onto the area they can become trapped under water.

  • Purchase a water alarm system such as the “safety turtle”. This product has a base station and an arm band component. The arm band portion can be attached to the dog/cat collar. If the pet falls into the water, the Turtle sensor sends a signal to Base Station which sounds a siren that continues until the system is reset. Information about Safety Turtle is available at


  1. Amelie Yates - October 15, 2018 at 2:02 am - Reply

    It’s a great piece of a detailed procedure about the pool safety tips for our pets. I am so much impressed by your smart instruction and the part I particularly enjoyed was the part about purchasing a water alarm system such as the “safety turtle”. Lastly, I certainly agree with you that we should never leave a pet unsupervised around a pool. Thanks!

  2. Megan Adler - November 4, 2019 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    These are great tips to keep your pets safe and avoid them drowning in your pool. I just moved into a house that has a pool and the good thing is that there’s a screen around it. I have 2 dogs and a cat and I’m afraid they might get in the pool area and fall into the pool. I’m going to call a pool contractor so they can come and change the screen for one that special for pets.

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COVID-19 Message to our Clients

To Our Valued Clients,

Our top priority is to provide exceptional care to our patients while safeguarding our staff and our community.  We continue to maintain our regular business hours and we are available to see you and your pets for essential veterinary health care services.

We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and want to notify you of changes we are making at for the welfare of our staff, clients and patients. We have taken great care to implement safeguards to help reduce the spread of this virus.

Amended Procedures:

  • The doors to the hospital will be closed to the public
  • Visitors to the hospital must remain outside the hospital. This includes walk-ins, appointments and food/prescription purchases.
  • We will not be performing fit-n-fury, birthday exams, nail trims, routine dentals and non-essential surgeries until further advised.
  • We will no longer accept cash or in-person payment.


  • A copy of our admittance and discharge instructions and patient history forms will be sent to you prior to the scheduled appointment.
  • Please remain in your vehicle and call us when you arrive in the parking lot.
  • We will assess your Covid-19 risk using the "patient screening pathway”.
  • When we are ready, we will motion for you to bring your pet from your vehicle to the clinic door. All dogs must be on leash and cats must be in carriers.
  • The veterinarian will call at the end of the examination or video conference you during the examination to discuss examination findings and recommendations.


  • You will be emailed a copy of the invoice including home notes.
  • Payment will be taken over the phone, via Interac e-Transfer, or online.
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  • All items can be ordered over the phone or purchased using our online shop
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Product availability:

We have been in constant contact with the suppliers and manufacturers responsible for ensuring our hospitals have sufficient supply of veterinary diets and over the counter products, and we do not anticipate any disruption to this supply. However, instances of buying large quantities of these products have strained the supply chain. We respectfully request that our clients limit their purchases of these products to immediate need plus one month’s supply to ensure all clients and patients have access to these products.

Our goal is to keep our essential services available to the communities we serve and to be there for you and your pets. Thank you for your cooperation and for doing your part in helping to keep pets and people safe. Please do not hesitate to call with questions. We anticipate our phone lines will be busier than usual and we thank you in advance for your patience!

Our new hours of operation are as follows:

  • Monday: 9a-7p
  • Tuesday: 9a-7p
  • Wednesday: 9a-7p
  • Thursday: 9a-7p
  • Friday: 9a-7p
  • Saturday: 9a-3p
  • Sunday: closed

Call us if you have questions or need to schedule an appointment.