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.


How Do I Know If My Pet Is a Good Weight?

In veterinary medicine, we do not deem a pet healthy based on their weight, due to the various breeds that differ in body shape and size. It would be unfair to compare a Boston Terrier to a Cocker Spaniel based on weight, as they are similar in size, but their body types are completely different.

Instead, how we judge if your pet is a healthy size is by a body condition score. This is a score out of 9 with one being underweight, nine being overweight and five being ideal. The way a veterinarian determines the score to give your pet is by feeling your pet along the spine, ribs, abdomen and legs to determine fat coverage. They also assess visually by observing if any bones are visible or if they have a visible waist. Each number higher or lower from ideal represents a 10% difference. For example, a score of 8/9 means your pet is 30% overweight.

Where does your pet fit? Use the chart below to determine your pets score:

chart 2

Why is it important to know my pet’s body condition score?

Once we have determined the body condition score of your pet, we can assess how over or underweight they are and determine their ideal weight if needed. For example, a score of 8/9 means your pet is 30% overweight. By taking your pet’s weight and multiplying it by 30% and subtracting that from their current weight, we can figure out your pet’s ideal weight.

How many calories should I feed my pet?

With your pet’s ideal weight, we can use this to figure out how many calories your pet requires per day to perform essential bodily functions like digestion and respiration. This is called the resting energy requirement (RER).

The RER is then multiplied by a factor to estimate your pet’s total daily energy needs. The factor we multiply the RER by varies depending on the growth stage of your pet if your pet is overweight vs. underweight and the activity level of your pet. An adult cat will require fewer calories compared to a kitten who is growing, which will need a greater number of calories to support their growth.

Now that I have the calories, how do I figure out the amount to feed?

On pet food bags and cans, the number of calories in either a cup or per can should be listed. From here, you can figure out how much to feed your pet. Do not forget about treats, table scraps or dental chews as these all count towards your pets’ calories!

My pet food has a guideline that tells me how much to feed, can I use this?

I do not recommend using this guideline because this is not individualized to your specific pet and what they need to help them maintain a healthy weight based on their body condition and their activity level. By using this guideline for your pet, it could cause them to be under or overweight.

Basic Calorie Counter

Written by Dr. Cara Page, DVM



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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 416-752-5114. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time. We are also no longer taking grooming appointments as of Monday, March 30, until further notice.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 7-10 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.

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

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 McLean Animal Hospital