Nutritional Counselling

Just like in humans, nutrition is an important cornerstone for the health of your pet. And just like in humans, nutritional requirements change over time, depending on age, lifestyle and medical conditions. For example, cats and dogs with kidney disease require specialized diets, and small breed dogs are often prone to urinary and dental disease that can be prevented or managed by an appropriate diet.

Our veterinarians have ongoing formal training based on the latest research on pet nutrition and are the most qualified to give your pet individual nutritional advice. A dietary recommendation should be considered a prescription, being just as important as a medication, to give the right food and appropriate amounts. For example, over feeding can lead to obesity, a common exam finding. Our veterinarians work with you and your family to create weight loss plans that are tailored to your individual pet(s). Other medical conditions, including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and food allergies also require strict feeding to ensure your pet remains as healthy as possible.

At Avonlea and Hollybank Animal Hospitals we primarily carry Royal Canin diets, with Royal Canin being a company that we all trust, providing studies and proof of the efficacy of their diets. Most of us even feed it to our own pets!

Most pet foods sold in grocery and pet stores will carry an “AAFCO claim”, meaning it has been formulated to technically meet the requirements for nutrition. However, most of these foods have never had a single feeding trial with real pets. You would never feed a food to your child that has not been tested, so why feed this to your pet? Royal Canin does extensive studies and have fed their food to real pets for years, providing not only palatability studies, but long term effects and benefits are considered as well.

IN ADDITION to the AAFCO requirements, Royal Canin completes:

  • Palatability feeding trials
  • Toxicology studies and stability data
  • Digestibility feeding trials
  • Blood parameters
  • Amino acid analysis
  • Relative Super-saturation trials
  • Stool conformation
  • Clinical trials for efficacy in conjunction with vets and pet owners
  • Peer reviewed research

In terms of safety and quality control, Royal Canin exceeds expectations! Royal Canin employs the use of Near InfraRed Spectroscopy (NIRS). This is a system that compares the molecular “fingerprint” of an ingredient to a database of standards. If the results for the incoming ingredient do not match the standard, then the ingredient is removed from the processing immediately. With this technology you can be assured that Royal Canin Veterinary Exclusive products are free of any contamination and are 100% safe for your pet.

Pet Food and Supplies for Sale

Hollybank Animal Hospital Pet Food and Supplies

If your adult dog or cat is healthy, you may have chosen a pet food based simply on whether or not your pet will eat it. Cost may also play a factor in your decision. However, not all pet foods are equal. And feeding the right amount is not as simple as following the directions on the package (they’re just guidelines). Choosing an appropriate diet can set your pet on a path of lifelong good nutrition and help prevent many problems, including allergies, nutritional deficiencies, skin and coat disorders, and obesity. Nutritional requirements for dogs and cats vary depending on a variety of factors, including age, breed, and health. For instance, senior pets have significantly different requirements than puppies or kittens, and animals with diabetes, kidney disease, and other health conditions can benefit from special diets. Our veterinarians can help you make informed decisions about your pet’s diet. We can counsel you on which foods are the best choices based on your pet’s needs and your financial considerations, how much to feed, and even how to decode pet food labels. We can create a nutrition plan specifically for your pet, and we’re also happy to work with owners to help their overweight pets get down to a healthy weight. Call us to set up a personalized nutrition consultation for you and your pet.

Please visit the Royal Canin web site for product specific information:

Giant Breeds
Giant breeds such as Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, and giant schnauzers have unique dietary requirements. Very few commercial puppy foods offer the ideal mix of calcium, energy, and protein levels that these breeds need. We can provide you with feeding recommendations that will encourage your dog’s maximum growth potential without causing developmental problems. For added convenience, we also stock veterinary-approved diets for giant breeds.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s nutrition or if you would simply like to discuss this topic with us.

It’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed by all the pet foods on the market. We can help you weed through the choices and find a puppy or kitten food that will meet your growing pet’s specific nutritional needs. We even carry many nutritionally balanced, veterinary-approved brands in our clinic.

Feel free to ask us for a food recommendation or to contact us with any nutrition questions or concerns you might have. We’re happy to help!

Allergies and Special Diets
Many pets have unique dietary requirements. Very few commercial pet foods offer the ideal formulations to address special calorie, medical and allergenic needs. We can provide you with feeding recommendations that will address dietary requirements. For added convenience, we also stock veterinary-approved diets.

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.
  • Any medication or items to be picked up will be given in a plastic bag at the time of discharge.
  • We will call you when we are ready for discharge at which time you will collect your pet outside of the clinic.

Food, inventory and medication pickup:

  • All items can be ordered over the phone or purchased using our online shop
  • For pickup, we will bring the items to you outside the clinic.

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.