Car Safety and Your Pets

car ridingWinter is here, bringing with it slushy roads and hazardous driving conditions! While car safety for ourselves and our human family members is common sense for most people – seatbelts and car seats are standard practice and (in Ontario) the law – it is easy to overlook our pets.  At Guelph Animal Hospital, we know that we have amazing clients that go above and beyond for their furry family members, and we would like to share some information to help you better protect your pets in the car!

The Dangers

Driving with our pets presents some unique safety challenges – for us and them.  Some of these dangers are obvious. For instance, if an accident occurs with our pets in the car, they may be injured by the impact or thrown from the vehicle if they are not properly secured with a safety harness or crash-tested carrier. However, many do not consider that having an unsecured animal in their car during an accident poses a danger to the other passengers in the car, who may be struck by the animal during a collision. In addition, a pet that is free to move about a vehicle can become a visual distraction and physical impediment to the driver.  Pets should NEVER be allowed to travel in the front seat of the vehicle, both to ensure they do not present a distraction to the driver and for their own safety. Much like small children, pets in the front seat can be seriously injured by air bags during an accident.

puppy driverOutside of safety, legal complications are also a concern. If an accident occurs due to a loose pet distracting their owner, sitting on their lap or impairing their vision by blocking side mirrors, the driver can be charged with distracted or (depending on the severity of the case) careless driving.

If convicted of distracted driving, a fully licenced driver will receive:

·        A fine of $400, plus a victim surcharge and court fee, for a total of $490 if settled out of court

·        Fine of up to $1,000 if you receive a summons or fight your ticket

·        Three demerit points applied to your driver’s record

If you endanger others because of any distraction you can also be charged with careless driving. If convicted, you will automatically receive:

·        Six demerit points

·        Fines up to $2,000 and/or

·        A jail term of six months

·        Up to two-year licence suspension

You can even be charged with dangerous driving (a criminal offence), with jail terms of up to five years.

As you can see, there are many reasons to ensure your pet is safely secured in the backseat of your vehicle. Now that we have discussed the why, let us tell you the how!

The Solution

Sleepypod makes a wide range of carriers and harnesses to help keep your furry friend safe and secure while riding in your car, and we are proud to carry many of these products here at Guelph Animal Hospital. All of Sleepypod’s award winning products have been independently safety tested and have passed baby seat crash testing requirements!!!

*Interested in prices, colour or size options? Simply click on any of the product photos to be directed to our online store!!!*

Clickit Sport Harness

ClickIt Sport is Sleepypod’s next generation dog safety harness. The unique Infinity Loop design, in combination with an energy absorbing padded vest, is engineered to work together to distribute and reduce damaging forces in an accident without the need of additional hardware or attachment straps. Sleepypod Clickit harnesses are the only harnesses to have passed independent crash and safety testing. When it comes to keeping your furry family members safe, only the best will do!


Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed

Sleepypod mobile pet bed is three products in one: it’s an everyday pet bed, a stylish carrier, and a safe car seat.

While many cats and dogs associate travel with negative experiences such as a trip to the vet or kennel, Sleepypod mobile pet bed reduces stress by allowing a pet to travel safely in the comfort and familiarity of his or her own bed.

When at home, Sleepypod’s Ultra Plush padded base can be easily positioned in a favorite corner, on a table top with a view, or even in a dark closet providing your pet a comfortable space of their very own.

Crash-tested Sleepypod transforms into a cozy and safe car seat with velcro positioning points that secure a seat belt in place. Your furry friend can now remain safely in his or her own bed throughout the entire journey.


Sleepypod Atom

Sleepypod Atom is a modern pet carrier for everyday living that is consistent with the innovative design features for which Sleepypod has built its reputation. In designing Sleepypod Atom, Sleepypod took ideas from its multiple award- winning Sleepypod Air and applied them to the smaller-sized Sleepypod Atom.

The included a strap on both sides of the crash-tested Sleepypod Atom transforms the carrier into a safety car seat. These straps position the seat belt around the Sleepypod Atom to prevent the carrier from leaving the seat during an accident or sudden stop. Just like all of their carriers and harnesses, Sleepypod Atom was crash-tested to assure your pets safety when traveling by car.

Traveling by air with your petite pooch or kitty has never been easier! Sleepypod Atom’s ergonomic and sleek design fits comfortably below most airline seats.

sleepypod atom

Sleepypod Air

The Sleepypod Air offers an innovative solution to the many conflicting airline size restrictions put on pet carriers by providing size versatility through flexibility. Sleepypod Air’s design also keeps with their strict safety standards and high quality material and color selection.

Sleepypod Air’s unique design allows it to contract in size to fit in the space below most airline seats during the restricted times of takeoff and landing. Once the plane is in the air, the Sleepypod Air can be expanded to allow a pet the largest possible space below an airline seat.

Sleepypod understands that car safety is a must when out driving with your pet. Sleepypod Air includes straps on both sides to secure a car seat belt in place around Sleepypod Air. This positioning keeps the carrier in the seat in the event of an accident. Sleepypod Air was put through the same safety testing that continues to position Sleepypod among one of the safest pet product manufacturers on the market.


We hope that you have found this blog informative!!! Please come down to see us and we would be happy to help you choose which of these amazing products is best for your furry family!

 Krystal Luscombe

Aging Cat Wellness Myths

Senior Cat Wellness Myths

cat Question mark

Myth:  “I would know if there was something wrong with my cat.”

 Truth: Cats are excellent at hiding their Disease/Illness and early signs of often very subtle and easily missed by Owners. Regular physical exams and Wellness testing (including bloodwork and Urine tests) will allow the veterinarian to detect health changes and illness in the senior cat. Early changes to health often begin before the cat will exhibit symptoms

Myth  “My cat is not old he/she is only 8.”

Truth: Cats are considered to be mature between 8-13 years old (that’s 48-68 in human years), they are classified as seniors by 13yrs. There has been an increase in cats aged 15year and older from 5%-14% in recent year, this is due to advances in detection and management of age related health changes and illness.  Senior Wellness testing and physical exams are recommended annually on all cats over 7 yrs. Remember every year of a cat’s life is equivalent to approximately 4 human years and early detection is key in extending the quality and length of your cat’s life.

Myth:  “Don’t do bloodwork on older pets because if you find something wrong you can’t do anything about it.”

Truth: Early Senior Wellness screening (which includes blood and urine tests)is great at detecting changes and can be great at preventing or slowing the progression of illness. Some of the more common illness detected on wellness testing are changes in liver or kidney function, early diabetes and changes to the thyroid. These can often be managed by a change in their food, or adding a supplement/medication to their diet.

Myth: “I only need to bring my cat to the vet if there is a problem.”

Truth: Immune system function can deteriorate in older cats, which means the ability to fight infection is less effective. Your veterinarian can advise you of the most appropriate vaccination program. Veterinarians are able to assess things and catch changes that Owner often miss such as changes to the body condition, heart, eyes, ears and mouth.

Contact Guelph Animal Hospital at 519-836-2782 to book your senior cat for an annual physical exam and to discuss options for Wellness screening.

Written by:  Stacey Strauss R.V.T Guelph Animal Hospital

In the Know for Feline Nutrition

King tutFeline Nutrition

Feeding your cat a quality, well balanced feline specific diet is important to their overall wellbeing.  Since felines are of desert origin they are obligate carnivores and require meat in their diet. Also, because of this desert origin cats typically drink less water and this can become problematic. It’s important to encourage cats to take in more water by having access to fresh water at all times. Using a pet drinking water fountain is an excellent enticement to drink as well as supplementing with canned cat food. Most cats graze when they eat and will have several small meals throughout the day. This, however can be a problem for cats prone to weight problems, or who have a tendency to overindulge themselves. It is important to only have an appropriate measured amount out for them to eat within the day and be sure to monitor your cat’s weight and body condition regularly. The following points are important to consider when choosing an appropriate diet/ feeding regime for your cat.

  • Kittens, adult cats, and senior cats all have very different nutritional requirements, much like baby, adult and geriatric humans, so avoid diets claimed for all life stages.thirsty kitty
  • If home cooking for your cat is your preference it is important to follow a specific recipe that has been designed by a professional who specializes in nutrition to ensure it is properly balanced. A recent study found 90% of homemade pet food to be nutritionally unbalanced and incomplete.
  • The words ‘Holistic’ or ‘Human Grade’ have no legal definition for pet food, so they can be used on any pet food label without any relation to the ingredients.
  • By products are products produced in the making of something else (ex/flax seed oil, corn oil and soy oil are all by products). Animal by-product meal is an excellent source of nutrients and protein. Avoid foods containing generic name by-products (meat-meal, Animal By-product meal) and go for by products with the source named (Chicken by-product meal).
  • Choose diets with only 1-2 protein sources, since too many proteins sources can increase the cat’s likelihood of having a sensitivity/reaction. 80% of reported food allergies in cats are to Beef, Dairy, and Fish.

munching cat


Choosing a food for your cat from all the available options can be very overwhelming as the pet food industry relies greatly on persuasive advertising to sell their products. Veterinary health care providers are your best source for pet food questions. Here at Guelph Animal Hospital we have several different Pet food options for your Cat:

  • Life stage diets and clinically specific dry and canned  foods
  • Supplement and balanced recipe for homemade diets
  • Freeze dried complete & balanced whole foods (just add water)
  • Minimally processed, grain free diets
  • Frozen completely balanced whole food diets


I’ve Lost My Pet, Now What?


As loving and devoted pet owners we don’t expect to lose our pets.  Unfortunately it only takes a moment for a pet to go missing- a door or gate is left open, a leash is dropped on a walk, a car accident or any number of other situations can cause pets to escape.   Discovering that your pet is missing is a very stressful situation. If you do find yourself in this predicament here is a list of five search strategies to find your lost pet:

  1. Search the immediate area, let neighbours know you are missing your pet and provide picture if possible.  Be sure to leave a number where you can be reached.
  2. Call the local branch of the OSPCA and let them know your pet is missing.  Again provide a picture and a number where you can be reached.
  3. Call all the veterinary clinics in the area, including after-hours clinics, again leave your contact info.
  4. Check with on-line media sights such as kijiji, lost/found pets postings, local rescue groups.
  5. Post signs in area with a picture and your contact info.

Hopefully you will never experience the anxiety of losing your pet.  The best way to ensure that your pets find their way home is to provide them with identification.  Microchips and collars with tags provide the finder with your info so that lost pets can be returned to their homes safely and as soon as possible.

Erica VA

The Dreaded Task of Clipping Nails

How To Trim Your Pet’s Nails

When starting to trim your pet’s nails, make sure to start slow.  Start by handling the paws and feeding them treats to make it a pleasant experience.  Choose clippers that you are comfortable using.  There are two types to choose from, guillotine or scissor

nail-cutters-200x200                            scissors                          Guillotine                                                                          Scissor


  1. Have everything you need ready.  Clippers, treats, clotting powder such as Kwik Stop (this is used to stop the bleeding if you cut too short).
  2. Have your pet nice and relaxed before beginning.
  3. Hold the paw firmly and choose which nail you would like to trim.  Identify the quick (contains nerves and blood flow).

pad-200x195  nail-200x200  nails2-200x179

4. Use the clippers to cut the nail within a few millimeters of the quick.  If you have a pet with dark nails, use small cuts.  As you get closer to the quick you will notice a grayish val
nails3-200x200within the nail.  Stop cutting at this point.

5. If you cut too short, use the Kwik Stop powder to stop the bleeding.  Place the powder directly on the quick.   6. If your pet is being extremely patient, you could even try filing or dremling the nails afterwards to make them nice and smooth.

If you are finding that nail trimming is not for you, give us a call and book an appointment with a technician.

Meaghan RVT