Biking and Running With Your Canine Companion

Did you know that dog owners exercise on average 300 minutes per week compared to non-dog owners who exercise only 186 minutes per week? Thankfully, living on beautiful Vancouver Island, we can get outside and exercise pretty much 12 months of the year!

Don’t let the threat of winter slow you down! Now is as good a time as any to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, savor the colors of fall and soak up the cool crisp air. There are many benefits to exercising with your pet including reducing destructive or unwanted behaviors, helping with timid or fearful dogs and improving overall health. While exercising is beneficial to all, it is important to ensure your dog is in good health prior to pursuing particular activities. As with people, it is important to avoid sporadic intense workouts and make sure you keep your animal well conditioned for activities such as biking or jogging. We have many great biking trails and off leash parks to choose from, however, be aware that not all breeds are built for these activities. Brachycephalic breeds (flat faced dogs), such as pugs, bulldogs, and shihtzus are not good candidates as they tend to overheat quickly and have difficulty breathing during this type of exercise. These breeds would prefer a leisurely stroll more than running behind a bike. Dogs should be full grown before attempting intense exercise to reduce the risk of orthopedic injuries, cruciate ligament injuries and hip dysplasia. This can be up to two years for some of our larger breeds. Once a dog reaches its senior years, (around eight years of life), osteoarthritis can cause pain and lameness and can become worse after an intense workout.

Other things to consider are the substrate you will be exercising on (gravel vs. pavement), weather conditions and water access during the activity. Avoid long walks on pavement this time of year, never bike with your dog on hot and humid days and ensure access to drinkable water when working out (ie. carry water or incorporate lakes or streams on your route). Dogs are prone to heatstroke just like humans and they won’t always tell you when it’s time to slow down or take a break.

Be aware of your dogs’ abilities and limitations. Not all dogs can be safely trained to run alongside their owner while biking or jogging. In the wrong environment and with an unsuited dog accidents may happen, potentially causing injury to both dog and human. If your dog is lagging behind, then slow down or rest. All dogs, including working dogs, are built for short intense bursts of speed with frequent stops for sniffing, eliminating and drinking. If he seems stiff or sore after particular activities then it is best to have him assessed by your veterinarian and you may have to modify your exercise routine.

Running and biking with your dog can be a fantastic way to spend time together but be sure to observe him when you are on the trails. Let your dog set the pace and enjoy the scenery.

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: July 5, 2021

Dear Clients,

At this time, we will be maintaining our current health and safety policies as the province entered the next stage of on July 1, 2021.

Note: We will not be making changes to our health and safety policy until our staff have had the opportunity to receive their second vaccine.


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 than we were pre-COVID.


As of July 7, 2021, we are excited to invite our clients back into the exam rooms! We have put some important safety measures in place to help keep our clients and our team safe.


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. 

As such, effective October 6, 2020, we will no longer be available for after-hours, on call services between midnight and 7:00 am. After-hours emergency care will be referred to Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital between the hours of midnight - 7:00 am. They can be reached at 250-933-0913.

We will continue to be available until midnight for your call-in, after hours needs.

Our regular hours of operation remain the same:

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

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

We are all looking forward to this next stage in our Province’s reopening and the future is looking bright! Thank you for helping us make this transition as safe as possible, so our team can be at its best and continue to look after your pet!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital