Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Hospital

What are your hours of operation?

Monday 8:00 – 6:00
Tuesday 8:00 – 8:00
Wednesday 8:00 – 6:00
Thursday 8:00 – 8:00
Friday 8:00 – 6:00
Saturday** 9:00 – 4:00
Sunday  Closed

** Until further notice, our office is CLOSED every other Saturday during COVID-19. Please call for availability.

We are closed on Statutory holidays.

Where is the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic located?

We are located at 239 Gerrard St. East in the historic Cabbagetown neighbourhood of Toronto.

How do I book an appointment?

There are two ways you can book an appointment with us. The quickest and easiest method is the call the clinic at 416-928-6761. Alternatively, we offer an online appointment form on our website to request a specific time and date. Once we receive the request, we will contact you to confirm the date and time, as this method is not an automated process. If not confirmed within 24 hours, please contact us by phone. Upon confirmation, an email or text reminder will be sent 2 days prior to the appointment.

Do you offer Preventative Care / Wellness Plans?

There’s an old saying that says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This certainly holds true when it comes to the long-term health and happiness of your pet. The cost of prevention is often a fraction of the cost of treating a disease or condition – it’s generally understood that treatment is often far more expensive.

We offer comprehensive CabbagetownCare preventative healthcare plans for cats and dogs at any life stage.

Can I order my prescription food online?

Yes, our WEBSTORE offers easy and convenient 24/7 access to your pet’s prescription food and treats. It even allows you to automatically re-order, if you happen to forget.

Products can be shipped directly to your home, cottage and office or be picked up at our clinic. Current Covid-19 protocols prevent us from allowing our clients into the clinic but we are happy to provide curbside, non-contact delivery. Call us once you’ve arrived and we will place your order outside at the appropriate drop off point.

What is the CabbagetownCare Program?

CabbagetownCare is a preventative health care program dedicated to pet wellness. It provides an ongoing, comprehensive veterinary assessment of your pet’s health over its lifetime while offering a predictable cash flow.

Starting at $29.50/month for cats and $36.50/month for dogs.

What should I expect during my pet’s wellness exam?

During your pet’s wellness exam, our veterinarian will take your pets history and perform a thorough physical examination. He or she will also give your pet appropriate vaccinations and perform a diagnostic workup, which may include blood, fecal, and urine tests to check for parasites and underlying diseases. The specific services provided during the exam will vary depending on your pet’s age.

What do I do in the case of an emergency and your clinic is closed?

The Cabbagetown Pet Clinic is well equipped to address any pet emergency during our regular hours. If urgent care is required after hours, there are many Toronto-area, 24-hour clinics that pet parents can contact.

Animal Health Partners

VEC: Veterinary Emergency Clinic

TVEH: Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital

CTVEC: Central Toronto Veterinary Emergency Clinic

What is the Farley Foundation?

The Farley Foundation assists those who are struggling financially to pay for veterinary care for their pets.

The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) established the Farley Foundation – a registered charity – in 2002 because they (and we) believe there should be financial help for those who need it. The goal is to help pet owners who aren’t able to afford necessary or emergency veterinary care for their beloved pets.

The Cabbagetown Pet Clinic has been actively involved with this growing initiative since 2012 and has raised thousands of dollars through bottle drives, garage and bake sales and raffles.

Who qualifies for Farley Foundation funding?

Pet owners who cannot afford medical care for their sick or injured pet are encouraged to talk with our team about the availability of Farley Foundation funding. Applicants need to fall into one of the categories below:

  • Seniors receiving the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
  • Disabled individuals receiving the Ontario Disability Support Payment (ODSP) or the Canada Pension Plan Disability Payment (CPP Disability).
  • Individuals receiving assistance through the Ontario Works Program.
  • Persons with an annual income of less than $25,000.
  • Supportive housing for seniors, retirement homes or long-term care facilities with live-in pets.
  • Women at risk of abuse who are entering a registered Ontario women’s shelter and who are participating in OVMA’s SafePet Program.

Why is AAHA accreditation important for a veterinary hospital?

AAHA Accreditation serves the following purposes:                                                          

  • It recognizes and quantitatively certifies excellent veterinary practices in Canada and the United States.
  • It helps good veterinary hospitals become great ones by bringing out the maximum potential of the practice. AAHA provides the framework and support of running a highly professional practice.
  • Practices want the best for their patients and pet owners, and AAHA provides resources for our team to deliver the best medicine.
  • It serves as an excellent recruitment tool for us – it acts as a beacon to attract the best-of-the-best candidates who are dedicated to operating at the highest standards.

Are you an AAHA-Accredited veterinary clinic?

The Cabbagetown Pet Clinic is AAHA-Accredited. We believe becoming an AAHA-Accredited veterinary practice isn’t about prestige or status – it’s about operating at the highest level. It’s a way to force ourselves to be the best we can be – our dedicated staff is constantly looking to make things better.

What is Fear Free? Is your Clinic Fear Free Certified?

In a vet clinic environment, the Fear Free movement aims to eliminate elements in a practice that may cause anxiety in pets during the appointment – things like white lab coats/scrubs, harsh lights and slippery, cold exam tables while adding things they like.

Pro tip: Cats LOVE Easy Cheese!

We have fully embraced the Fear Free approach. Our entire staff has gone through the certification process and is Fear Free Certified.

Do you offer a veterinary payment plan?

As of September 2020, the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic has teamed up with our new partner – Scratchpay – to give you two simple, wallet-friendly payment plan options.

Veterinary Health

Why does my pet need dental care?

Dental health is just as important for dogs and cats as it is for people. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and expensive oral surgery.

Unless your pet just ate something fishy, stinky breath isn’t normal. Having a veterinarian evaluate your pets teeth regularly – and clean them as needed – will help prevent dental disease and any associated problems.

Which pet food should I feed my pet?

The answer is different for each pet, although many commercially available foods are fine to feed healthy dogs and cats. However, your pets nutritional needs change depending on their life stage and health. Our veterinarians generally recommend a specifically formulated prescription pet food, as well as give you advice on deciphering ingredient lists and determining how much to feed your pet.

What is a Registered Veterinary Technician?

A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) is a highly trained professional who acts as the right-hand of a veterinarian. As an integral part of the veterinary medical team, they have a highly diverse job description. Their role in a veterinary clinic is comparable to a Registered Nurse in a human hospital. As specialized aides, vet technicians have much to offer in the care and management of your pet.

What vaccinations does my pet actually need?

Your veterinarian will determine which vaccinations are appropriate for your dog or cat, based on individual factors such as lifestyle and health status. Veterinarians commonly recommend that dogs be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, and parvovirus and that cats be vaccinated against rabies and panleukopenia (feline distemper). Additional vaccines, such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and Bordetella, are recommended based on your cat or dog’s risk.

Many of these diseases can be fatal to your pet. Preventing them is far easier and less expensive than treatment.

See vaccination schedules here.

Why is my veterinarian referring my pet to a specialist?

Our veterinarians make every effort to stay current and skilled in many aspects of animal health. However, there are board-certified specialists that have extensive experience and training in particular areas of veterinary medicine.

When we refer a patient to a specialist for treatment, we continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation. We want our patients to have the best possible outcome.

Why can’t my pet see the same veterinarian each time we visit?

We make every effort to accommodate our Clients’ requests. However, there may be circumstances that prevent access to a certain veterinary team member. Scheduling conflicts, emergency situations and vacations all play a role in their availability.

Please feel free to ask for a specific veterinarian or veterinary technician when you schedule your appointment and we will do what we can facilitate your request.

Why do you check my dog’s weight every time he/she comes in for a visit?

We keep track of your pets weight just like your doctor’s office keeps track of your height and weight each time you visit. Having an accurate and current measurement of your pets weight will help us ensure that we prescribe the right dose of preventives, medications and any needed anesthetics. It can also help us notice any early clues to health concerns.

Is my dog at risk of Canine Lyme disease?

The short answer is a resounding ‘yes’. If you walk your dog in one of Toronto’s many wonderful series of wooded trail systems, you and your dog are susceptible. Canine Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in the Toronto area, initiated by the bite of an infected, Ixode scapularis, also known as Deer or Blacklegged ticks. While not all variations of ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of Blacklegged, Deer and American Dog ticks continue to expand in the GTA and other parts of Ontario.

Will a microchip implant hurt my pet?

Not any more than a regular vaccine injection. The chip is inserted at the back of the pet’s neck, where the skin is loose. It takes seconds. No surgery or anesthesia is required – a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. Microchipping is a safe and effective way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost.

I think my dog ate something that made her sick. She’s having seizures and is having trouble breathing. What should I do?

During normal business hours, call us to help us prepare for the situation and bring your pet to the clinic immediately.

If your pet gets sick outside our regular hours, take your pet immediately to an emergency veterinary clinic. You can find the options here:


After Hours Emergencies

What are the health benefits of CBD for my pet?

CBD is also purported to deliver anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation and anti-anxiety impacts, although there’s no conclusive data on these claims.

The jury – medical community – is still out on CBD’s effectiveness. While there’s no conclusive scientific data in using CBD to treat our furry friends, there’s growing anecdotal evidence suggesting it can treat pain, reduce anxiety, as well as helping to control seizures.

Are essential oils safe for my pets?

The use of essential oils has become increasingly widespread over the last few years. While wildly popular, scientific support about the positive health effects is limited and contradictory. This is particularly true when discussing health effects on your pet.

Many essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine and wintergreen are straight up toxic to pets. These are toxic whether they are applied to the skin, used in diffusers or licked up in the case of a spill.

It is important to note that cats and dogs are much more sensitive to scents than their human counterparts. What you may believe to be an insignificant, fragrant scent may be overwhelming and harmful to an animal.

Why should I buy flea/tick/heartworm medication from a veterinary hospital when there are other, cheaper places to get it?

The flea and tick treatment marketplace features numerous generic drugs that are available over-the-counter. As generic options, these drugs offer generic solutions and are more affordable than prescription medicines.

If you purchase preventives from sources other than a veterinary hospital or a website affiliated with a veterinary hospital, you don’t have any guarantee that the product is authentic or that it has been stored and shipped as recommended by the manufacturer.  

When you order from our veterinarian, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to rely on her expertise and knowledge of your pet’s medical history.


During COVID-19, How long will the appointment be?

With current Covid-19 protocols in place, our veterinarians allow 20-30 minutes for an examination depending on the reason for the visit. Once complete, the veterinarian will call you to discuss any issues and recommended treatments, if necessary. Depending on the individual situation, our veterinarian will require an additional 10-15 minutes – on average – to ensure your pet is ready to go home.

You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire prior to your arrival. Please ensure that you are available by telephone throughout the appointment period.

Can an infected pet transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus to humans?

Despite the worldwide pandemic, there have no documented cases of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from a household pet to a person.

The possibility of transmission by an infected companion animal to a person is currently considered low, although it may be higher for veterinarians or veterinary technicians who could have close contact with pets from COVID-19 positive households.

The possibility exists that the SARS-CoV-2 virus deposited on a pet’s fur by an infected owner could survive – at minimum – for a few hours. Whether or not these animals could shed a sufficient amount of virus to result in transmission to humans remains doubtful.

To stay safe, the best way to avoid this possible transmission vector is to not cuddle, kiss, sneeze around, or even stroke someone else’s pet.

*IMPORTANT* A pet owner is much more likely to transmit the virus TO their pet than to get it FROM their pet.

Can my pet contract COVID-19?

The short answer is ‘yes’, but the probability that pets in the household of a COVID-19 case will be exposed and become infected, is believed to be low.

Although there’s been limited testing, there has only been a handful of confirmed reports worldwide of pets contracting SARS-CoV-2 from households that have experienced a human Covid-19 case.

It’s important to remember that COVID-19 is spread almost exclusively person-to-person, so if you’re not infected it’s unlikely the virus will be transmitted to your pet.

Can I get my pet vaccinated?

Yes, but please note that our veterinary clinic is currently booking vaccine appointments 1-2 weeks out due to changes in scheduling and new pet clinic procedures and protocols related to COVID-19.

Do you have a new kitten or puppy? Check out the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic vaccine schedule here.

Are pets from a shelter safe to adopt?

The risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is low, based on the limited information available to date. There is currently no supporting data to conclude that any animals -including shelter pets -play a significant role in spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus to humans.

Have you resumed full-service capabilities? Can I get my dog’s teeth cleaned?

Yes, as the initial curve has been flattened, we are now able to move forward with spays, neuters and ALL elective surgeries, including preventative dental procedures. We are also providing full laboratory testing, imaging, preventative/wellness care and sick animal appointments.

When will I be allowed back in the vet clinic with my pet?

The short answer is that we don’t know. As with most veterinary hospitals in Ontario, it’s very difficult for us to adhere to 2-meter social distancing requirements in our cozy clinic. We request that you wear face coverings whenever you have less than 2-meter distant contact with any of our staff, such as the transfer of your pet to or from one of our staff members or when picking up pet food, medication or supplies from our front door.

What COVID-19 protocols have you implemented in your clinic?

  1. Increasing our already high standards of routine environmental cleaning. All common surfaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently. Between appointments, we have allocated time to clean and disinfect doors, chairs, dog scales and floors where required.
  2. Mandatory use of masks or face-coverings. All staff are required to wear a mask or face-covering upon entering and remaining within the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic facility.
  3. Clients are currently NOT permitted in the hospital except under exceptional situations. We have a procedure in place to perform exams without requiring the client to enter the hospital and we ensure that you have the ability to discuss your pets care and receive timely answers to all of your questions with the attending veterinarian prior to discharge of your pet.
  4. Debit terminal payments – we wipe down the terminal between EVERY transaction.

We prefer telephone transactions, as this reduces the use of the terminal (and cash) to help with our social-distancing efforts.

As a Pet Parent, what precautions should I take, if any?

At this stage, there are no specific precautions pet owners can take. Only in the unfortunate event that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have a pet, it is recommended (until more is known) that:

  • Avoid close contact with your pet – do not cuddle or kiss them, do not let them lick your face, sit on your lap or sleep in your bed.
  • Sounds obvious, but avoid coughing and sneezing on your pet. Not a good practice in the best of times…
  • Wash your hands before touching or feeding your pet or other animals. Limit your pet’s contact with other people and animals.

Meet the Team

Professional, attentive and dedicated to your pet.

Veterinary Services

Helping your pet live a longer, happier and healthier life.

Location and Hours

Modern and efficient in a cozy, friendly environment.