Frequently Asked Questions

There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to our most common questions.

We Proudly Serve the Pets of Newmarket, ON and beyond

At North Yonge Veterinary Hospital, we get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some common FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call us at 905-830-0437 for any other concerns you might have about your pet.

Spaying & Neutering

At what age can my pet be spayed/neutered?

We recommend it at approximately 6 months of age, but the surgery can be done at any age.

So, how much does a spaying or neutering cost?

Please contact us for a free estimate. Like humans, every four-legged friend has different needs and requirements. Never worry, we have your friend looked after.

Does it hurt?

There is no secret: surgeries are painful. But we offer comprehensive pain management, so there is very little pain your pet will experience. Your pet will be back to normal very quickly.

How long does my buddy have to stay in the hospital?

Most pets will go home the same day, admitted in the morning and discharged late afternoon – early evening. In rare cases, they may have to stay overnight for monitoring, and our staff is here to get the job done.

Does spaying or neutering change my pet’s personality or make them lazy or overweight?

No, this is a false misconception. There is no change in a pet’s metabolism or personality due to spaying or neutering, and pets will resume their normal active lives.

Can spaying or neutering help with unwanted behaviors, such as urine marking or aggression?

Yes, many unwanted behavior traits are prevented by having a pet spayed or neutered.

Are spayed and neutered pets healthier?

Yes! By preventing many serious diseases, such as mammary and reproductive cancers and prostate infections, and by stopping the pet’s urge to roam/mate, our procedure helps prevent injuries, accidents, and deaths.


Are vaccinations safe?

Yes, vaccines used today are extremely safe, and they prevent serious illnesses and death and protect people from rabies.

What vaccines does my pet need?

Both dogs and cats are vaccinated against rabies. The other vaccines for dogs are DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus), Leptospirosis, and Bordetella, known as “Kennel Cough.” The other vaccines for cats are FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia) and Feline Leukemia. Our vaccination fee includes a full physical examination and any number of vaccines necessary. We don’t charge additional fees if your pet needs any extra vaccines during its appointment.

How often do pets need vaccines?

Puppies and kittens will need a booster shot once a year after their initial vaccination. From age two and up some vaccines to thwart rabies and distemper can be administered every three years, but an annual exam is required for every pet. Other vaccines have to be given every year for dogs that need the “Lepto” and “Bordetella” vaccines. We understand that vaccinations and the process involved can be confusing and overwhelming, so leave the hard work to us. We are here to explain everything you need to know about vaccinations.

Will my pet feel sick after being vaccinated?

Some pets might experience a very mild fever after being vaccinated, just like humans do after getting a flu shot. Sometimes a pet may experience an allergic reaction to a vaccine, and if this is the case it should be reported immediately to us. Never worry though; allergic reactions are very rare and usually easily treated.

Why do I need to have my pet examined in order to be vaccinated?

This is a standard procedure. Before we vaccinate your furry four-legged friend we want to ensure we do our due diligence in knowing more about the health of your pet. And it is a requirement in the veterinary profession for us to conduct a pre-exam. But never worry, this doesn’t take long and the information we have on your pet’s health status ensures we make all the right decisions so your pet will have the quality of life it deserves.

Why does my indoor cat need vaccines?

Just because your cat is an indoor cat it may still have to go out at some point, like to a grooming facility a pet boarding/kennel facility, or a veterinary hospital. And on some occasions, they can leap outside which means they are exposed to infectious diseases that can be life-threatening. Your cat needs to be vaccinated before any boarding or hospital services at any veterinary hospital.

Heartworm Prevention

What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is caused by the parasite Dirofilaria immitis, which is spread to dogs by mosquitoes. The parasite migrates from the mosquito bite into the bloodstream and resides in the pulmonary arteries, leading to serious cardiac disease and death. Heartworm is difficult to treat, but very easy to prevent.

How common is heartworm?

Heartworm is still at a fairly low incidence in Ontario but is quite high in incidence in other geographic areas (such as many U.S. states). Remember, “heartworm” preventives also prevent fleas and intestinal parasites (which are very common), and frequently afflict dogs not receiving preventive medication.

Isn’t heartworm tested in the stool sample I brought in to be tested for parasites?

Good question – stool samples, although very important and recommended to be done at least annually, test for intestinal parasites only, not heartworms. Heartworm and Lyme disease can only be detected by the blood test.

Is the monthly preventive medication safe?

It is extremely safe for dogs and puppies of all ages. There are no long-term adverse effects. The safest route is to prevent your pets from getting parasites and at the same time, prevent your family/community, etc. from also being exposed to parasites.

Why do we have to do a “heartworm” blood test every year?

One way of looking at this is if your pet has heartworm disease – when do we want to find out – now or in a year or two? Also, regular testing now includes testing for tick-borne parasites as well (such as Lyme disease). Lyme disease is rapidly increasing in incidence in Ontario and becoming a major pet health issue and for the same reasons; best to be tested regularly (annually). There are many ways pets can contract these diseases, even while on preventive medications.

What is a “wellness” test?

This is a routine blood test that tests for all organ function and blood cells as well as heartworm and Lyme disease (for dogs/there are different wellness tests for cats). Ask your veterinarian about when your pet should receive a wellness test. Wellness tests are the most economical way to have bloodwork done for our pets since they bundle all important tests together and the result is a lower cost.

What is the best preventive?

Currently, we recommend a palatable, beef-flavored tablet for most dogs, while some pet owners prefer to use a topical instead. For cats, a topical is generally recommended, but we will outline the best product to use for your pet.

Flea & Parasite Prevention

Do fleas and ticks on my pet pose a health risk to my family?

Yes. Fleas and ticks can carry several potential illnesses to humans and other pets. Anyone can be affected by parasites and children, seniors and people with chronic illness are at an even greater risk.

Are heartworms a parasite and should I be concerned for my pet?

Yes. Heartworms can be a very serious problem for both dogs and cats. Heartworms can be fatal or seriously debilitating because they live in the bloodstream, lungs, and heart of infected pets. Our team of veterinarians and even staff can conduct blood tests to find out if your pet has heartworm disease and then can start on a monthly preventative. Leave it to us to discover what’s going on and we will help find a solution via our advanced technology.

If my dog has intestinal worms, how can this parasite infect humans?

Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites of pets and the most likely to be transmitted to humans. As a pet owner, you never really ever see them because they live inside of your pet and they shed a large number of invisible eggs, this is why regular stool testing is important for every pet. Humans can accidentally ingest infective worm eggs that have been passed through the pet’s feces and left in the environment. The eggs hatch in the human’s intestinal tract, and immature worms can travel to various tissues in the body, including the eyes and brain, potentially causing serious infections. The North Yonge Veterinary Hospital offers you guidance, education, and support on roundworms and how they can be prevented or cured.

Pet Nutrition

Is the pet food you sell more costly than pet store diets?

The premium diets that we carry and recommend are competitively priced Sure, you may find a lower-cost bag of food, but if it’s less digestible and you go through more of it, then you aren’t saving any money that way.

I have been told that grain-free pet foods are better

There is no nutritional research to support a grain-free diet and foods that have grains are just as digestible as grain-free foods. The term grain-free is misleading, as all grain-free foods containing carbohydrates from other sources, such as sweet potato, have more carbohydrates than corn.

Is it true that corn in pet foods is just a filler?

Corn is not a filler. It is a superb source of nutrients such as essential fatty acids, beta-carotene, Vit E., carbohydrates, proteins, and antioxidants. As well, corn is highly digestible and rarely causes any allergies for cats and dogs.

Aren’t “meat-first” foods better for dogs and cats?

No. Pets need a complete balance of protein from both meat and non-meat sources. Other ingredients, like corn can provide protein as well. Sure meats are good, but we suggest you mix it up with healthier choices.

Isn’t more protein better for dogs and cats?

The right level of protein is essential, but not in excessive amounts. Animals cannot store protein properly. Excess protein forces the kidneys to work harder, converting it into waste, which is excreted in the urine.

What about artificial preservatives?

The diets we carry are naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, which is a form of Vitamin E and completely safe for all pets. We promote new and healthy choices to ensure your pet has the quality of life it deserves.


I’ve been told that my pet needs a dental cleaning, but things seem fine to me and there doesn’t appear to be any pain?

Dental disease is known as a “silent killer”. The majority of pets with serious dental diseases live with the disease without their owners being aware of it. By the time some owners notice a problem (bad breath, loose teeth, or pain), the disease can be quite advanced, resulting in extensive tooth loss, pain, and organ damage. Early treatment is essential.

Will my pet’s breath smell better after the dental cleaning?

Yes! Bad breath is caused by bacteria that live in dental tartar, so dentistry typically results in a complete elimination of bad breath. Following the dental cleaning/procedure, we will advise you on how to prevent your pet from accumulating dental tartar in the days and months after the procedure.

My pet eats a good dry kibble food and chews on treats, like with milk bones. Doesn’t this help prevent tartar?

Just like people, a better diet can be helpful in preventing dental tartar, but it’s only one factor. If you are not able to brush your pet’s teeth daily, then keep in mind approximately 85% of pets over the age of three will have some form of dental disease. Other factors that can help to prevent dental tartar include dental chew treats, water additives that help to prevent tartar buildup, and specific dental preventive diets.

Why is anesthesia required to clean my pet’s teeth?

Let’s face it – it is dangerous and impossible to properly clean dogs’ and cats’ teeth while they are awake! The anesthetics we use for dentistry are extremely safe, so you have nothing to worry about, and your buddy is more than looked after.

I have heard of “anesthesia–free” dental cleaning recently. Should I use it?

We have heard of this as well. So consider this: would you want your hairstylists to conduct dental procedures on you? Of course not! Your pet’s dental cleaning should never be performed outside of a veterinary hospital. It’s as simple as that. Talk to us and get the real facts. We are here for you.

What do you recommend I do since I am too worried about putting my pet under anesthesia?

Anesthesia today is extremely safe, even for pets of all ages. Sure there is a tiny risk but the event of anything wrong happening is next to slim. Keep in mind, that when you don’t look after your pet’s dental needs, you are shortening their life spans as dental disease creates an abundance of problems.

I’d like to have my pet’s dentistry done, but I can’t afford to do it now

The best and most economical plan is to never delay your pet’s dental needs. Delaying this important service can result in additional expenses. Talk to us today so we can provide you with the right costs.

After my pets dental cleaning, can I prevent the problem from coming back?

Yes! A combination of brushing your pet’s teeth, dental diets, dental chews, and water additives can significantly reduce dental tartar buildup and dental disease. Also, included with your pet’s dental service at North Yonge Veterinary Hospital is a recheck at ten days and six months free of charge. Annual examinations are also encouraged. Remember your pet’s dental health is important for their quality of life.