We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.


Does My Dog Need a Winter Coat?

With winter fast approaching, many owners are concerned that their four-legged friends will get cold while out walking. But with so many different breeds, it is hard to decide whether or not our dogs need a coat for the outdoors. Most owners think that if they are cold while outside, then their dogs must be too. This might seem like a good thought, but some owners may not realize that their dogs’ coats may actually be designed to handle such harsh weather. Let’s take a look at the different coat types of our dog breeds:

Single/Short Coats
Dogs with this coat type only have a top coat of fur, often consisting of short and almost ‘spikey’ hair. Breeds with this coat type include; Chihuahuas, Boxers, Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Boston Terriers, Great Danes, Greyhounds, Sighthounds, Beagles, Pugs, Labrador Retrievers, etc. Breeds of this coat type may need a winter coat depending on this individual pet. For example, greyhounds and other sighthounds have a much lower body fat percentage compared to other breeds and will need a winter coat to be able to keep warm.

Double Coats
Double coated dogs have a ‘top coat’ and an ‘undercoat’. The top coat consists of stiff hairs that act as a water-repellant guard, while the undercoat insulates the dog’s body from harsh climates. Dogs of this breed often ‘blow their coats’ twice a year. Breeds with double coats include Chow Chows, Huskies, Akitas, Malamutes, American Eskimos, Finnish Spitz, Pomeranians, Shiba Inu, Australian Shepherds, Collies, German Shepherd, St. Bernard, etc. Breeds of this coat type are designed to handle harsh weather and should not need a winter coat.

Long Coats
These are the breeds that you can visualize in hair commercials with their long flowy coats. They often require daily grooming to maintain tangle and matt free coats. Breeds of this coat type include Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Afghan Hound, Havanese, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, etc. Dogs of this breed may need a winter coat depending on the individual pet.

Wire Coats
The outer fur of breeds with this coat type has a ‘wiry’ or coarse texture. Dogs of this breed do not shed their coats and require grooming to manually strip the hair. Breeds with this coat type include Brussels Griffon, Border Terrier, West Highland Terrier, Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, etc. Dogs of this breed are relatively weathered ‘hardy,’ meaning they can withstand short walks in harsh climates, however, some individuals may benefit from a coat.

Curly Coats
Curly coated breeds can have tight or loose curls that often require full grooming to clip away the hair. Breeds with this coat type include Poodles, Bichons, Portuguese Water Dogs, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, etc. Breeds of this coat type should be able to withstand short walks in winter climates without a coat. However, smaller breeds of this coat type may require a jacket depending on the individual.

Places you can purchase a coat for your dog in Canada are:

  1. Petsmart
  2. Greenhawk
  3. Ren’s Pets Depot
  4. Rompin’ Houndwear (specializes in Greyhound and sighthound apparel)
  5. Chilly Dogs
  6. Canada Pooch

Written by: Brittney, ACA



Why does my dog’s breath smell?

Bad breath (halitosis) in a dog or cat is usually because of poor dental health.  Occasionally a dog or cat may have good teeth and still have bad breath in which case the diet is usually the cause. This is relatively rare, however, compared to the likelihood of a dental issue.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted.

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 416-282-6621 (appointments ONLY at this number). We will take a history of your pet from outside of your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a technician will return your pet using social distancing methods. We will be taking payments over the phone, we are no longer taking cash at this time.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets.

This means we can now see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of:
· Vaccines
· Wellness exams
· Blood work
· Heartworm testing
· Spays and neuters
· Dental services
· and more!

Over the next few weeks, a member of our team will contact you to reschedule any services that were postponed. We kindly ask that you be patient and allow us time to catch up. .

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive at 416-282-8516 to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will take payment over the phone by VISA or Mastercard only. So we can ensure social distancing, we will then bring your order out to our green bin in the parking lot. We do have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the online store button.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. VISA and Mastercard payments are still available.

Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

Your dedicated team at West Hill Animal Clinic