Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
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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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Last updated: September 22, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


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

As you can imagine, we have a significant backlog of surgeries and wellness/vaccine exams to catch up on and we will be working hard over the next several weeks to do just that. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and social distance our large team as much as possible. This means although we can offer these elective services, we are doing much fewer during the day then we were pre-COVID.



The use of our online store for easy ordering, payment and delivery of our pet's food, flea and tick medications. Orders over $100 can be delivered to your home for free! CLICK HERE


During the first 8 weeks of COVID, we were operating as a 24-hour facility to better serve our community and to maintain social distancing within our team. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, so do we!

Our team of doctors felt it was important to get back to performing your pet's much needed regular services. In order to do so safely, we had to once again change the way we do business.

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital