Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years, we have built trusting relationships with our clients in the community and have become familiar with their key concerns. Below are some of the most common inquiries that we come across. We hope that by browsing through this compilation, some of the concerns that have been lingering in your mind regarding your pet’s well-being will be answered. As always, we are happy to answer your questions via phone or face-to-face consultations.

What types of animals do you provide veterinary care for?

Bow River Veterinary Centre provides veterinary care for dogs and cats, but on occasion, we will also see rabbits, hamsters, and birds for simple appointments. For routine and emergency exotic pet veterinary care, we recommend the Calgary Avian and Exotic Pet Clinic. They can be contacted at 403.240.3577.

I have a new puppy/kitten. What do they need?

We recommend that new puppies and kittens begin their vaccine series and deworming starting at 8 weeks. It is important to make sure that your family addition is healthy! Along with routine veterinary care, we also recommend that puppies and kittens be socialized from a young age to become well-rounded adults. At your next consultation, feel free to ask us about our Puppy Classes, private training, and kitten tips!

For more information, visit: New Pet Owner Information

My pet had their vaccines as a baby. Do they need any more?

Yes. With vaccines, we are able to protect our pets from various diseases like rabies, which is transmissible to people. Once your pet has had the initial puppy or kitten series, our veterinarians at BRVC will put your pet on a multi-year rotational vaccine schedule. This means that some vaccines are valid for 3 years and do not need to be boosted as frequently as others.

I have found a stray animal, who should I call?

If you have found an animal within the Town of Canmore or Town of Banff, you should contact the local Bylaw office immediately.
Any stray animals found near highways 1 or 1A, EAST of Canmore, are within the Cochrane Humane Society’s jurisdiction.

Town of Canmore Bylaw: 403.678.4244
Town of Banff Bylaw Office: 403.762.1218
Cochrane Humane Society: 403.932.2072

How long should I expect to be at the BRVC for my pet’s appointment?

Our standard appointments like annual exams and vaccines are 30 minutes long and are scheduled on the hour and half hour. For more in-depth appointments, we typically schedule an hour-long appointment.

We understand that your time is valuable and will make every attempt to stay on schedule. On occasion, unforeseen circumstances and emergencies can cause a delay. We care about each of our patients and strive to give them the quality veterinary care they deserve.

I am a new client at the veterinary centre, is there anything that I need to know for my first appointment?

Please arrive 5 to 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment so that we can get you and your pet registered and go over any necessary paperwork. This extra time also allows your pet to get settled in and have some treats before their appointment. We want to create positive associations for your pet with the veterinary clinic!

What is your cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, we ask that you call us at your earliest convenience so that we can offer that spot to others that may need it. We currently do not charge fees for cancellations.

What forms of payment do you accept? Do you offer a payment plan?

We accept Cash, Debit, Visa and Mastercard.

At this time, we do not offer payment plans. However, there are financing companies that we work with to help out with those unexpected veterinary expenses. For more info about these, please ask one of our friendly staff members, who will be happy to help you with your inquiry!

Or APPLY NOW with Health Smart Financial.

What age should my pet be spayed or neutered?

At BRVC, we recommend that dogs and cats be spayed between 5-6 months of age before sexual maturity. Spaying and neutering can prevent some forms of cancer, behaviour issues and control the animal population.

Did you know that ONE intact cat and her offspring can produce approximately 420,000 cats in just 7 years!

For more information, visit: Spaying and Neutering for Pets

We are visiting Canmore. Where is a good place to walk my dog?

Canmore has many beautiful walking trails throughout town and along the river. We also have 3 off-leash dog parks.

Quarry Lake Dog Park is located on the Smith Dorrien Spray Trail (Hwy 742) near the Nordic Center
Elk Run Dog Park is located just off Glacier Drive and Sandstone Trail near the baseball diamonds.
Heliport Dog Park is located just off Highway 1A near the east exit for Calgary.

There are many poop-bag dispensers provided throughout the townsite and dog parks for your convenience. Let’s keep our Bow Valley beautiful by picking up after our dogs when we are out exploring!


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Last updated: March 1, 2022

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we have made some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

Note: Priority will be given to urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations.



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


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday, Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday, Thursday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Bow River Veterinary Centre