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Privacy Policy

Personal Information Protection Policy

At Companion Animal Hospital, we are committed to providing our clients with exceptional service. As providing this service involves the collection, use and disclosure of some personal information about our clients, protecting their personal information is one of our highest priorities.

While we have always respected our clients’ privacy and safeguarded their personal information, we have strengthened our commitment to protecting personal information as a result of Nova Scotia’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). PIPA sets out the ground rules for how Nova Scotia businesses and not-for-profit organizations may collect, use and disclose personal information.

We will inform our clients of why and how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

This Personal Information Protection Policy, in compliance with PIPA, outlines the principles and practices we will follow in protecting clients’ personal information. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of our clients’ personal information and allowing our clients to request access to, and correction of, their personal information.

 

Definitions

Personal Information – means information about an identifiable individual (examples: name, address, phone number). Personal information does not include contact information (described below).

Contact information – means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at a place of business and includes name, position name or title, business telephone number, business address, business email or business fax number. Contact information is not covered by this policy or PIPA.

Privacy Officer – means the individual designated responsibility for ensuring that Companion Animal Hospital complies with this policy and PIPA.

 

Policy 1 – Collecting Personal Information

1.1 Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the client voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, we will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.

1.2 We will only collect client information that is necessary to fulfill the following purposes:

  • To verify identity
  • To identify client preferences
  • To manage client accounts
  • To provide veterinary products
  • To provide veterinary services
  • To send out reminders of services
  • To meet our veterinary medical association’s regulatory requirements
  • To ensure a high standard of service to our clients

 

Policy 2 – Consent

2.1 We will obtain client consent to collect, use or disclose personal information (except where, as noted below, we are authorized to do so without consent).

2.2 Consent can be provided (orally, in writing, electronically or through an authorized representative) or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the client voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.

2.3 Consent may also be implied where a client is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to opt-out of his or her personal information being used for mail-outs and the client does not opt-out.

2.4 Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide the service or product, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation) clients can withhold or withdraw their consent for Companion Animal Hospital to use their personal information in certain ways. A client’s decision to withhold or withdraw their consent to certain uses of personal information may restrict our ability to provide a particular service or product. If so, we will explain the situation to assist the client in making the decision.

2.5 We may collect, use or disclose personal information without the client’s knowledge or consent in the following limited circumstances:

  • When the use of personal information is permitted or required by law
  • When the personal information is available from a public source (e.g. at telephone directory)
  • When we require legal advice from a lawyer or regulatory association
  • For the purpose of collecting a debt
  • To protect ourselves from fraud

 

Policy 3 – Using and Disclosing Personal Information

3.1 We will only use or disclose client personal information where necessary to fulfill the purposes identified at the time of collection or for the purpose reasonably related to purposes such as:

  • To conduct client surveys in order to enhance the provision of our services
  • To contact our clients about products or services that may benefit their pets
  • To contact our clients in the event of a medical alert concerning their pet

3.2 We will not use or disclose client personal information for any additional purpose unless we obtain consent to do so.

3.3 We will not sell client lists or personal information to other parties.

 

Policy 4 – Retaining Personal Information

4.1 If we use client personal information to make a decision that directly affects the client, we will retain that personal information for at least one year so that the client has a reasonable opportunity to request access to it.

4.2 Subject to policy 4.1, we will retain client personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill the identified purposes or a legal or business purpose.

 

Policy 5 – Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information

5.1 We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that client personal information is accurate and complete where it may be used to make a decision about the client or disclosed to another organization.

5.2 Clients may request correction to their personal information in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness. A request to correct personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information and the correction being sought.

5.3 If the personal information is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete, we will correct the information as required and send the corrected information to any organization to which we disclosed the personal information in the previous year. If the correction is not made, we will note the clients’ correction request in the file.

 

Policy 6 – Securing Personal Information

6.1 We are committed to ensuring the security of client personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.

6.2 The following security measures will be followed to ensure that client personal information is appropriately protected:

  • Client/patient files are kept in a secure location
  • Client files on computers are kept safe with passwords and firewalls are monitored daily

6.3 We will use appropriate security measures when destroying client’s personal information such as shredding documents and deleting electronically stored information.

6.4 We will continually review and update our security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.

 

Policy 7 – Providing Clients Access to Personal Information

7.1 Clients have a right to access their personal information, subject to limited exceptions (examples include: solicitor-client privilege or health and safety concerns).

7.2 A request to access personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought.

7.3 Upon request, we will also tell clients how we use their personal information and to whom it has been disclosed if applicable.

7.4 We will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.

7.5 A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information. Where a fee may apply, we will inform the client of the cost and request further direction from the client on whether or not we should proceed with the request.

7.6 If a request is refused in full or in part, we will notify the client in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the client.

 

Policy 8 – Questions and Complaints: The Role of the Privacy Officer or Designated Individual

8.1 The Privacy Officer or Practice Manager is responsible for ensuring Companion Animal Hospital’s compliance with this policy and the Personal Information Protection Act.

8.2 Clients should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding Companion Animal Hospital’s compliance in writing to the Privacy Officer. If the Privacy Officer is unable to resolve the concern, the client may also write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Nova Scotia.

Contact information for Companion Animal Hospital Privacy or Officer Practice Manager:

920 Cole Harbour Road
Dartmouth, NS
B2V 2J5

Blog

How is Your Pet Aging?

Is your furry friend over the age of 7 years? Well, it might be time to switch some things to continue making sure they stay as healthy as can be. Below you will find some steps to help you do just that! You may want to start seeing your veterinarian twice a year instead of annually. It might be time to switch diets to a senior formulated diet. Yearly blood work is something you would also want to look into. Make sure exercise is appropriate for your pet's age for many different reasons. You may have to make some environmental changes to help with mobility or mental stimulation. Now you may be wondering why we have to change so many things for our beloved mature and senior pets. Well, let’s talk about that for just a little bit. Why would we want to see the vet twice a year instead of the regular once a year that we have done for so long? The reason for this change is so that we can pick up on things much quicker so that we have less time to possibly get worse to a point of not being able to do anything. Ok so we understand why increasing checkups might be helpful but why would we need to change the food we have been using for so long? Simple, each stage of life has a different nutritional requirement. As our pets age, they require different things in their diets to help them. This is something you would want to talk with your veterinarian about during an annual/biannual exam because there are so many different diets and each pet may require something different based on breed, size, medical conditions ( i.e.: diabetes, kidney disease, etc..) or even just a switch to a senior food as they are now older. That makes sense now. So, is this the same idea for annual blood work? Yes, it is. When your furry friend is younger they do not always need blood work as they are generally healthy. However, as they get older we like to have annual blood work so we can keep track of anything beginning to increase or decline such as kidneys, liver, and thyroid. This kind of goes hand in hand with our annuals as the more often we check the quicker we can find any problems that could be occurring. Fluffy is getting older, isn’t it normal for them to be slowing down? Why would I need to change their exercise or environment? That's just old age. Yes, that is true, however, because they may be getting older it may become more difficult to use things like stairs so you would want to make sure that their things are more accessible to them. Maybe even have everything on the same floor they use the most so they are not having to climb for their needs. They also may begin to sleep more but you still want to make sure that they can get the proper exercise needed so they do not become overweight as their energy requirements lessen. This can lead to many more problems caused such as arthritis or stiffness. What things should I look for when bringing my friend in for senior checkups? There are a few things you would want to keep an eye on when going for your annuals/bi-annuals. Below you will find a list of the things to watch for any changes in:  Change in water consumption  Change in appetite  Lethargic or depressed (listless behaviour)  Change in urine production (amount and/or colour)  Constipation  Change in attitude (irritability)  Change in sleeping patterns  Noticeable decrease in vision  Vomiting/diarrhea  Weight gain/loss  Bad breath or drooling  Lumps and bumps on the skin  Excessive panting  Breathing heavily or rapidly at rest  Increased stiffness, trouble jumping, or walking In short, make sure to take knowledge of any new things happening with your pet, change things to help them around, and try to been seen more regularly because as we may not be able to stop the ageing process we can at least help slow it down and help our pets get the best and longest life we can. References: AVMA – https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/senior-pet-care-faq Heartland Veterinary Clinic – https://www.laservet.ca/senior-pets.html VCA Animal Hospital – https://vcacanada.com/know-your-pet/helping-our-senior-dogs-age-gracefully By: Ashley Goss, Veterinary Technician

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Last updated: June 14, 2021.

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we can continue providing our full range of services, under certain restrictions.

We are continuing to see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of: vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, parasite prevention, and more.

SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

OPERATING HOURS

Beginning on Monday, September 21, we are available to serve you and your pets during the following hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

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

- Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital