Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

Why does my dog? Common behaviours explained!

Why does my dog circle before lying down?

IzzieCircling before lying down is a deeply ingrained ancient behavior that hasn’t quite been bred out yet. Wild dogs did it to tamp down the tall grass and create a comfortable sleeping spot. It also serves as a safety precaution to scare away any snakes or large insects that might be hiding there.  Even though dogs now have comfy cushions to sleep on their instinct lives on!

Why does my dog roll in disgusting things?

You’re out for a nice walk in the woods with Buddy, he’s running around happily, he disappears for a second and when he comes back you see the all too familiar brown smear and its accompanying smell. Why on earth does he do that? Well, rolling in dead animals or animal droppings is actually an instinctual behavior. This behavior is a left over from when dogs were wild and had to hunt for their food. If a deer or antelope caught a whiff of dog if would likely bolt for safety, and the dog would be out of a meal. By covering their scent, wild dogs are able to get closer to their prey and avoid detection. Domestic dogs are still holding onto this behavior pattern and still haven’t quite caught on to the fact that it always results in them getting a dreaded bath!

Why does my dog jump on people?

Jumping up is a canine social behavior. If you have ever watched a litter of puppies, they will frequently jump up into their mother’s face and lick her chin. It’s your dogs way of shaking hands! This behavior, especially as your puppy grows, can become annoying and even dangerous if your household contains young children.  What we need to do is teach the dog that in the human world a polite greeting involves keeping 4 paws on the floor. To do this you need to turn away and ignore your puppy every time he jumps, don’t say anything, make eye contact or push him off. When he stops jumping, turn around, calmly praise him and reward with a treat. If jumping stops working to get attention and your puppy receives lots of attention and treats for not jumping, he will improve rapidly!

Why does my dog eat grass?

Dogs are opportunistic scavengers and may eat grass just because it’s available and in their mind entirely edible.  Wild dogs will also snack on berries, fruits and other vegetable matter. Dogs can also munch on grass when they have a bit of an upset digestive system, the grass in turn irritates the lining of the stomach and they often throw up after. If your dog does this occasionally I wouldn’t panic, though it would be a good thing to mention when you next see your vet. If however you are seeing a sharp increase in how often your dog eats grass you should consult your vet right away.


By: Miranda Wimbush, RVT


halloween puppy

Fun Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Treats for everyone! Many human treats on Halloween are toxic to pets.

Read More
See All Articles

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.

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 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.