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.

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5 Easy Steps to Successfully Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

We often get asked, “How do I go about getting my dog to let me brush his teeth?” This is a great question, and more often than not, the answer is to start early!

However, in most cases, it isn’t until a pet has reached their adult years (when the dental disease begins to rear its ugly face), that owners become aware of the importance of brushing their pet’s teeth. Starting early is no longer an option at this point.

Here are 5 tips that may help you to get started:

1. Start slow! Don’t even bring the toothbrush out. Begin by handling the muzzle area for a few seconds a couple of times each day. Then get your pet used to you lifting their lips and touching their gums. Make it a positive experience and preferably during a quieter time of the day. It’s helpful to end each session with positive reinforcement such as a treat or a game with their favourite toy.

Hand Touching a Dog's Gums

2. Time to introduce a little toothpaste. Make sure you only use pet appropriate toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste. Put a small amount on the tip of your finger and rub it on their gums. Next time, try rubbing it on their canine teeth (fang teeth) and then depending on their tolerance level, work around the entire mouth. Go slow. You don’t need to accomplish this all in the same day.

3. Introducing the toothbrush. You can use a pediatric toothbrush, small finger brush or a pet toothbrush recommended by your veterinarian. On the first day, start by letting your pet smell the toothbrush and even lick a little of the flavoured toothpaste off the end. The next day you can try wetting the bristles and using slow circular motions, brush just the canine teeth and then stop. Give your pet a break and don’t forget to reward them with a treat or their favourite game. If using toothpaste, it works best to press the toothpaste firmly onto the bristles with your finger before you start. If this really upsets your pet and becomes a battle, stop. Go back to steps 1 and 2 for a bit longer.

Introducing the Toothbrush

4. You are now ready to start brushing along the top teeth, from the canines to the back in small circular motions. You can slowly work on the length of time you spend brushing your pet’s teeth. You only need to concentrate on the outside of the teeth, as this is where most of the tarter build up occurs in our pets.

5. Finally, you are now ready to tackle those front teeth. This may be the area you will find the most resistance with your pet. Hold up the upper lip with your thumb while gently taking hold of the muzzle and use an up and down motion along the front teeth.

Remember, take it slow; every little bit counts. Your veterinarian is there to help and can even give you a brushing demo to help you get started!

Written by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital


Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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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 Friday, March 19, 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 250.334.8400. We will take a history of your pet from outside your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, the Doctor will either call you or come out to talk to you to discuss the treatment etc for your pet. For those who do not have a mobile phone, an easy knock at the door will work the same way!

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.

3. We are OPEN and temporarily operating as a 24-hour hospital.

4. 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.

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.

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 Van Isle Veterinary Hospital