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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Back to School Blues: How It Affects Your Canine Companion

The changes that occur in the family home as summer fades into fall can be the most dramatic of all the season changes.  The lazy days of summer have been replaced with busy, routine-filled work weeks and school days. This transition can affect every member in your family, including your pet.

During the summer months when the kids are home from school, your family dog has had lots of attention and companionship.  Come September that all changes. Since dogs are pack animals, it’s not surprising that a dog experiences anxiety at being left home alone.  At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we get lots of calls from concerned or frustrated owners who have come home to a destroyed house and a stressed dog.  The good news is most dogs can learn to remain home alone calmly for reasonable lengths of time. Conditioning your dog to be able to do this is a real kindness to your pet.

Separation anxiety in dogs is the fear of isolation which results in undesirable behaviors such as inappropriate defecation/urination in the home, excessive barking, destructive chewing and even depression. Puppies having housetraining accidents or going through the normal stages of chewing while developing their teeth are not experiencing separation anxiety. It is important to know the differences during the training process.

Getting your dog used to being left alone without anxiety ideally starts at puppyhood. Training your dog the skill of resting calmly in a crate will never again be as easy to learn as in puppyhood. Some people are hesitant to use the crate routinely, but it is a good idea during the early stages while conditioning your pup. You never know what might be ahead in your dog’s life that will make a crate an absolute necessity. Dogs that require routine grooming, travel by plane, veterinary care, emergency evacuation during disasters, kenneling or staying as a guest in a home that has other animals are all situations where you could suddenly need a crate. All of these scenarios can be considered stressful for your dog and these are not the ideal times to start crate training.  Crate training should be fun and should be taken slowly, never forced upon. The crate should not be used as a punishment tool but rather seen by your dog as a “safe place”. Most dogs who have been successfully trained look to their crate to relax in or to get away from stressful situations and disturbances in the home.  While the crate can be an ideal tool for combating destructive anxiety behaviors such as chewing and house soiling, other ways your dog may express separation anxiety is vocally. This includes loud barking, whining and even all out screaming.  Running to your pup every time it screams after being left alone will only encourage this instinct. To avoid this problem, always wait until the pup is quiet before you go to it.

A great method for treating/preventing separation anxiety involves planned departures which gradually adjusts your dog to being left alone. This is good to do leading up to the kids going back to school. Start with small intervals. Stress responses can occur within the first 30 minutes of leaving your dog alone. By leaving your dog for just a couple minutes at a time you have ensured your return before the onset of anxiety. Once you are satisfied your dog was not stressed during your short time away, you can start to increase the intervals. Try creating a positive environment during your absence. Providing a treat or special toy only when leaving, gives your dog something to look forward to. Don’t forget to remove that special toy when you return home.

If you are experiencing a dog with separation anxiety or getting a new puppy and want to learn how to avoid issues with separation anxiety a good place to start is by asking your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for advice.

Submitted be 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