Resources for Pet Owners

Where do I start?  

The internet is full of information for pet owners: everything from what breed is right for you, to how to "house train" your pet, to what to feed your pet. It can be overwhelming. What is the "right way" and which sources should you trust?

The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians would like to help you by becoming a one-stop-shop for Pet Owners. Our Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) are experts when it comes to your pet's health and well-being, and there are many organizations we work closely with that also have your pet's best interest in mind.

Below you will find some commonly asked questions, and with each question we have provided a reliable resource for information. 


I'm thinking about getting a cat or dog. Where should I begin?

Whether you are getting a pet for the first time, or you are an experienced pet owner, preparing BEFORE you bring a cat or dog home is very important. Before You Get a Pet is run by a group of researchers from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario, and is a great online resource. Not only is the information they provide research-based, but it is information prepared by Canadians...which is beneficial considering that most information available on the internet is American-focused.  

Browse the Before You Get a Pet website for helpful information and advice.



Why does my pet need to get their teeth cleaned?

Your veterinary healthcare team (veterinarian, RVT, etc) care about the health of your pet's mouth and teeth. This article will help you understand what happens when you bring your pet in for a teeth cleaning- and why it is so important!

Click here to view to pdf article




I want reliable advice on things like brushing my cat's teeth, puppy training and nutrition. Where can I go for help?

While it is always best to visit your clinic and speak to your veterinary healthcare team (veterinarian, RVT, etc.), if you're just looking for some basic information then we recommend visiting The website has some great videos produced in Canada by actual veterinarians, so you can trust the information.




I think I see a sick animal.  Who should I contact?  

With the recent positive rabies cases in Ontario, this question is coming up a lot. If you are concerned about wildlife that may be displaying signs of rabies (aggressive or overly friendly behaviour, difficulty walking, excess salivation, difficulty breathing, paralysis, seizures etc.) there are options for who to contact. How do you know WHO to contact and WHEN? This infographic from the OAVT Rabies Response Program (RRP) will help.

Download a PDF of the infographic.




Monthly Pet Owner Articles

The OAVT is proud to join the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) with the release of informative monthly articles catered toward pet owners. All articles are written and reviewed by a team of professionals from the veterinary health care industry.

Dec. 2015 - Holidays can be Ruff on Pets

Read this article on how to keep your pets safe and healthy during the holiday season (i.e. watch what they are eating!). Link here.

Jan. 2016 - Traveling With Your Pet

This article takes a look at traveling with your pets, and ways to keep your pet safe and healthy when bringing them on vacation with you. Link here.

Feb. 2016 - Healthier Smiles for a Healthier Pet

February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Do you know why your pets should receive a proper dental cleaning from your veterinary health care team? Read about what is involved with a professional cleaning. Link here.

March 2016 - Intestinal Parasites

What are intestinal parasites and why should you care? This article takes a look at parasites like roundworms and tapeworms, and discusses what every pet owner should know. Link here.

April 2016 - Are you fighting fleas?

Fleas are no walk in the park. Proper treatment can take several months to reach the desired effect: total elimination. Link here

May 2016 - What is your Tick and Lyme disease IQ?

How much do you know about ticks and Lyme disease?  How can you best protect your pets? Learn more. Link here.  

June 2016 - Dog Bite Prevention: What Every Family Needs to Know

Any dog has the potential to bite, but there are signs you can look for to stop a bite before it happens. Learn to read a dog's body language with these basic tips. Link here.

July 2016 - Why Your Cat Needs to Be Cat Healthy

Practice preventive healthcare: bring your cat to see the vet on a routine basis, to keep your cat healthy rather than waiting to treat illness. Link here.  

August 2016 - Vaccines and Healthy Pets

One of the most important things you can do to make sure your pet lives a long and healthy life is to ensure that he or she is vaccinated against common diseases. Link here.

September 2016 - Rabies Can't Affect My Pet...Can It?

With over 150 confirmed cases of rabies in Ontario since December 2015, public concern over rabies has justifiably risen. How can you ensure your family and pets are protected?? Learn more. Link here.  

October 2016 - Protect Your Pets From a Spooky Halloween

Like most holidays, Halloween comes with its own set of concerns for our cats and dogs. This article breaks those concerns down into three main categories: candy, costumes and trick-or-treaters at the door. Link here

November 2016 - Caring for Your Senior Pet

Some signs of aging are obvious and can be seen easily, such as a greying coat. However, most signs of aging are more difficult to see, so that's why it's important to work with your veterinarian. Link here.  

December 2016 - Why Pets Make Terrible Christmas Presents!

Giving and receiving of all sorts of gifts is part of the Christmas tradition, however pets make terrible presents. Much thought, research and preparation need to be considered before making the decision to give a pet, large or small. Link here.

January 2017 - Osteoarthritis in pets: what should I look for?

With age, our pets slow down, sleep more and become less active. Although this decreased intensity is often normal, sometimes it is related to pain caused by osteoarthritis.
What are the signs to look for? Link here.

February 2017 - Have you brushed your pet's teeth today?

Plaque, not tartar, is the biggest contributor to periodontal disease. Since plaque is invisible, we need to act long before our pets' teeth appear to be visibly dirty. Periodontal disease is painful - but also preventable, and even reversible. How can we protect our pets? Link here.

March 2017 - Overweight to Great: The Basics of Pet Obesity

It is estimated that over 50% of dogs and cats in North America are overweight or obese. The good news is that, once recognized, this disease can be treated in partnership with a veterinarian to ensure safe and effective weight loss. What can you do to help your overweight pet? Link here.

April 2017 - Is your pet slowing down? Could it be chronic pain?

There are two types of pain – acute and chronic. Pain is one of the terrible life experiences we want to avoid at all costs in our beloved pets, but as pet owners, how would we know if our dog or cat is suffering? Link here.

May 2017 - Bringing Your Dog to a Pet Expo? Think Twice

Many pet expos feature a "Pets Welcome" message, encouraging owners to bring their dogs with them to the event. However it is important to remember that pet expos are geared toward pet owners more than dogs, and so it can become a very high stress environment. Should you bring your dog? Link here.

June 2017 - Leaving Your Pet In A Hot Car? There Is No Excuse

Dogs have a very limited ability to sweat; even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening. A dog’s normal body temperature is about 39°C and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur. Link here.

August 2017 - Pet First Aid: Be Prepared

RVT Scarlett Wong walks owners through some of the basic steps of pet first aid. Would you be prepared to perform CPR on your pet? Scarlett says it's all about the "ABCs". Learn more. Link here.

September 2017 - Is your pet at risk for parasites?

The term “worms” is often used to describe gastrointestinal parasites (parasites that affect the digestive system) in our dogs and cats.How do you know if your dog or cat is at risk for gastrointestinal parasites? Link here.


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