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.

Camping with dogs in Nova Scotia

Many people in Halifax/Dartmouth pack up the car and head out of the city for some rest and relaxation during the summer months.  Camping is becoming increasingly popular, and taking the dog with you can make the experience a full family vacation.

Check ahead:  All Nova Scotia provincial parks allow pets, but it is always a good plan to check before booking and let them know you will be bringing a pet- surprises are not always welcome. Most will have rules about leashing and noise, so if your dog loves to express himself vocally, you may not want to camp close to others.

Identification: Your dog’s collar should have an ID tag as well as an HRM or county tag. If you will be camping in the same area for a long period of time, consider having a tag made with your camping-specific info so that your pet can be returned to you more easily if he/she were to become separated from you.

Prevention: Check in with your vet to make sure your dog is prepped for going out and about. This includes vaccinations that are appropriate for what your pet may be exposed to, flea/tick preventives, and a first aid kit (Check out our blog about First aid kits!  https://fullcirclevet.ca/2013/06/04/over-the-hill-and-through-the-woods/ ). Also find out what vet clinics are in the area you are camping, and bring the contact info with you- better to have it and not need it then the other way around.

Wildlife encounters:  Many people new to camping think that their dog will help keep  wildlife away, but sometimes the opposite is actually the case- the smell of an unusual animal will attract wildlife to your site. Keep your dog on leash and under control to prevent them from chasing wildlife and secure dog food so that it is not drawing animals to your site. The most common encounters that occur on site is skunking and porcupine quills.

If your animal gets sprayed by a skunk, bath him/her well with a de-skunking shampoo and flush the eyes with a gentle eye wash.

If your animal comes in contact with a porcupine- seek veterinary attention. DO NOT CUT THE QUILLS. This is a common “googled” solution that is not, in fact, recommended. Cutting the quills does not make them easier to remove by letting the air out; it makes them harder to find as they are shorter. Quills are barbed on the end so can be tricky to fully remove and will also be very painful for your pet- sedation or full anesthetic is generally required.

Camping gear: While you may not need gear for camping, there are a few products we suggest checking out before heading out. Some of these may help you and your pet have the best time possible.

Boots– Ruff Wear makes a sturdy, grippy dog boot. Most camping also includes hiking, and these boots will help prevent scrapes, sores and other foot/pad injuries which could cut your fun short. Buy them a few weeks before you go and let the dog get used to them; most dogs will adapt quickly.

Lifejacket– Swimming to cool off, for exercise, or just the joy of it is common for dogs. We always recommend they wear a lifejacket (Outward Hound makes a great one) to protect them from unexpected currents or fatigue.

Backpacks Ever wish your dog could just carry his own supplies? He can with his own backpack. Another Outward Hound product that makes camping more fun, is a backpack! Fido can carry his own wastebags, food, water, and other small items you want to bring with you when away from site.

Collapsible bowls- Normal bowls work great, but collapsible bowls are lightweight and super easy to pack.


Camping in Nova Scotia is a wonderful way to enjoy our beautiful summers. Consider this year taking the dog with you!

By: Melissa, RVT


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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.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

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 902.461.0951. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team.

2. We are still OPEN but are now working in two shifts with reduced hours, reduced staff numbers and a need to close for extensive cleaning between shifts. Tuesday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

3. 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 to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.

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 Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives Inc.