More Time at Home Leads to Increase in Foreign Body Surgeries

With all of us spending more time at home with our pets, our Animal Health team is seeing an increase in animals surrendered with suspected foreign bodies. A foreign body is anything that is not meant to be eaten that has been consumed by the animal and become lodged in the animal’s gastrointestinal tract.

The most common things Animal Health encounters are bones, bits of toys (it’s very important to ensure that all toys are appropriate for your pet and the way they play!), string, tinsel, rope, foam bullets from NERF or similar toys, rocks, bits of rubber, tampons, and pieces of clothing. We’ve seen cats eat a whole sock and even a sewing needle, and a dog eat a bottle too.

An X-ray of a cat that swallowed a sewing needle.


Prevention is the easiest form of treatment for a foreign body.

Items like toys, fabric, string, hair ties, and other small items can be very tempting to a pet. Ensure these items are safely stored out of reach, either up high or in a closed cabinet or drawer when they are not in use. Be sure to account for all toys, especially foam bullets, when children are finished playing and put them away if an animal is around.

If you’ve seen your animal consume something that it shouldn’t have eaten or you’ve found the remains of an item, contact your vet immediately. With the current COVID-19 closures we recommend calling them first. Calgary Humane Society does not recommend trying to induce vomiting as there can be dangerous side effects for your pet if this is not done properly.

The faster you seek veterinary care, the more options you and your pet will have for removing the object.

If you suspect that your pet has consumed an item, watch for signs like lethargy, lack of appetite, not defecating or difficulty defecating, and vomiting. These can be signs that could indicate a foreign body but could also be indicative of a number of other health issues. Diagnostic tools like X-rays, ultrasounds, or bloodwork may be needed to determine exactly what your animal has consumed or if these symptoms are related to something else.

A NERF bullet removed from a cat.

Animals will eat just about anything. If they are curious or seeking enrichment, eating something they shouldn’t might seem like a fun thing to do for a bored pet! Unfortunately, it is not fun for pet owners, and can lead to large veterinary bills, especially if it is not caught immediately. Acting quickly by contacting your vet is imperative as the longer a foreign body stays in the gastrointestinal tract, the worse it can be for your pet. Left untreated, a foreign body can be life-threatening if they cannot pass it on their own. Even if you think your pet is unlikely to consume something that is left out, it is better to put it away. Nothing is off limits to a curious pet, and it is up to us to ensure that their environment is safe and appropriate for them at all times.

Pet Gear Store Now Offering Online Ordering & Curbside Pick Up

Calgary Humane Society’s Pet Gear Store is now offering curbside pick up for orders placed via email! Purchase the food, litter, toys, and other items your pet(s) need and support the animals at Calgary Humane Society.

All proceeds from our Pet Gear Store support the animals in our care!

To submit your order:

  1. Browse through the items in our PDF catalogue. Take note of what you might need or want from the store for your pet.
  2. Email to place your order. If you have questions about a product you can request a call back from a member of our team. Please include your phone number!
  3. We will give you the total for your order and arrange a time for curbside pick up. You can pay for your order over the phone with a credit card (preferred) or via e-transfer. All orders must be paid in full prior to pickup.

Have questions about products in the Pet Gear Store or our online ordering process? Send us an email at with your phone number and we will email or call you back!

Colouring Pages

Click on any of the images below to open a full-size, printable colouring page! We’ve left lots of space for your imagination to run wild on patterns, textures, and other designs for your dog, cat, or rabbit.

When you’re finished, we’d love to see your masterpiece! You can share it with us on social media by tagging @calgaryhumane or using the hashtag #CalgaryHumane.



Bunny Behaviour – What does it mean?



Binky? Chinning? Stomping? Are you nodding your head in understanding or shaking your head in confusion? Don’t feel bad if you’re confused, rabbits have a unique set of behaviours they use to let us know what they’re thinking.  The good, the bad and the hilarious, bunny behaviour is unique, so let’s get down to bun-ness (That’s ‘business’ in bunny talk)   (more…)

My Pet is a Jerk: Reactive Dog Edition!

My pet is a jerk! Reactive Dog edition

Owning a reactive dog can be challenging, especially when it comes to managing your reactive dog in public. While it can be tempting to refer to reactive behaviours as your dog being a ‘jerk’, reactivity is more complex.

Think for a moment about all of the people in your life. Some of them may be social butterflies, able to get along with just about anyone while others may be more selective in their friendships. Just like humans, dogs have individual preferences when it comes to interacting with other canines. These preferences are shaped by the dog’s breed, early life experiences, socialization and living conditions. Some dogs might thrive at the dog park, eager to meet any fellow canine while other dogs may prefer the company of humans and wish to avoid other dogs altogether. Unfortunately, we often forget these individual differences in canine personalities and expect that all dogs should get along at all times.

Reactivity is a complex behaviour and requires more information than we can provide in a blog post, but below we are including some tips on reactivity in dogs. If you are concerned about your dog’s reactivity, please call our FREE behaviour helpline to talk about what training options are available for your dog. (more…)

Upcoming Behaviour Clinics

Behaviour clinics are one-hour training classes dedicated to specific skills. Many dogs see a positive change in behaviour in just 60 minutes when provided with this kind of focused training. We’ll give you the tips and tools you need to continue your training at home, at the dog park, or in other areas with lots of distractions.


Learn to teach your dogs to walk nicely on a loose leash while improving the quality and enjoyment of your time together. Over the hour, you will learn how to handle the leash and build focus in your dog in a low distracted environment focusing on the foundations of loose leash walking.

Requirements: Dogs must be spayed or neutered, over 5 months of age and must have up-to-date vaccinations. Your dog must be calm and sociable around other dogs; not reactive (include barking, growling,lunging)

Price: $40 non-members, $34 for CHS members, seniors, dogs rescued from shelters/rescue organizations (including CHS, Animal Services, ARF, etc.)



Toto Recall is designed to develop a stronger recall relationship with your dog. In this one hour clinic you will learn the foundations of recall while adding in distractions and enjoying fun games.

Requirements: Dogs must be spayed or neutered, over 5 months of age and must have up-to-date vaccinations. Your dog must be calm and sociable around other dogs; not reactive.

Price: $40 non-members, $34 for CHS members, seniors, dogs rescued from shelters/rescue organizations (including CHS, Animal Services, ARF, etc.)



Is your dog a little too excited about life or are thinking of taking your dog to pet friendly places? Sign up for Chill Dog and work on attention on you, polite greetings, relaxing with other dogs nearby, leave it, stay and more.

Requirements: Dogs must be spayed or neutered, over 5 months of age and must have up-to-date vaccinations. Your dog must be calm and sociable around other dogs; not reactive. Recommended to have completed Smarty Pups or Polite Pooches

Price: $40 non-members, $34 for CHS members, seniors, dogs rescued from shelters/rescue organizations (including CHS, Animal Services, ARF, etc.)


Home for the Holidays Adoption Event

Visit Calgary Humane Society to meet your new furry, scaly, or feathery family member as part of our Home for the Holidays adoption event! From December 7-31, all adoption fees are 50% off (some exclusions apply).





Pet Photos With Santa!


Dust off your favorite holiday sweater and join us on December 5th, 6th or 7th for holiday pet photos with Santa, brought to you by Royal Canin.  You can choose to have your pet photographed alone, with Santa or join them for a festive family portrait!


Thank you to everyone who purchased a photo session for our 2019 season. Tickets are SOLD OUT!

* Please note: Pet holiday photos will be by appointment only to avoid long line-ups and frustrated fidos.


Each session is $30.00 and includes a single instant-print portrait. Additional print images will be made available by donation or web images for free download within 1 week after your session. Multiple pets (and people) can appear in the same photo and your session will include approximately 5 images, so feel free to be creative! 

Proceeds from the photo sessions go to support the over 4,000 animals Calgary Humane Society cares for every year.


Our Smarty Pups behaviour class provides you with a strong foundation of skills based on positive humane training while building a strong, life-long relationship with your pup. You will learn how to work with your puppy on skills such as gaining attention, recall, handling, walking politely and as well as address challenging behaviours such as mouthing, jumping, and appropriate dog – dog skills with other pups. Your pups going to be the smartest on the block!