Camping With Your Pet

Hello, summer! It’s time to dust off the lawn chairs and head out and explore the great outdoors! Many of us look forward to camping season every year, with so many wonderful places to explore on Vancouver Island, and what camping trip would be complete without your best friend along to enjoy it too!

Camping with your pet can enhance your experience and create great summer memories, but bringing a pet along takes some consideration and preparation. At this time of year, Veterinary Hospitals see an influx of camping related problems such as:

• Chemical and Herbal Toxicity
• Physical Injury such as lacerations, swimmers tail etc.
• Tick bites
• Oral injuries to the teeth or mouth
• Hot Spots

Chemical and Herbal Toxicity can occur when your dog ingests something they shouldn’t, and this can happen anytime and anywhere. The best way to avoid this from happening is to try to ensure that your dog is exploring a safe area clear from garbage, other animal waste/decay, and any plant life that may be harmful to your pet such as mushrooms or toxic plants. If you believe your pet has ingested a toxic substance and is showing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, trouble balancing, a sensitivity to light or noise and shaking, contact your veterinarian immediately.

For more information on what kind of vegetation to avoid click this link:
The Weather Network’s “10 common outdoor plants that can be toxic to your pets”

Physical Injury can be difficult to avoid, especially considering how many of our dogs love a good romp on the beach or at a campsite, and many of our pets love to roughhouse with other dogs during these outings. The best thing you can do is be prepared to address minor scrapes and issues if they do arise by carrying a Dog First Aid Kit with you. Included in your first aid kit, you should consider having the following:

Gauze in different sizes, latex gloves, vet-wrap or an equivalent stretch bandage, medical tape, an antibacterial skin cleanser, alcohol, Epsom salts, cotton tensor bandage, Benadryl. Pet first aid kits are available for sale at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, or you could put together your own. Being prepared for a cut paw or minor injury while camping could save you a lot of stress and could save your pet’s life!

Tick Bites are a common nuisance for many of our dogs, and some areas of our beautiful Islands are more hindered by the presence of ticks than others. While camping, it recommended that you thoroughly check your pet every day to ensure that there are no ticks on the body, paying special attention to areas around the face, ears, and groin. Carrying a tick extraction tool with you is also a great idea, and will make the removal of the tick quick and easy, should you find one on your pet. As with other parasites, the best way to not worry about ticks affecting your dog is with preventative treatment such as Bravecto, Revolution or Advantix. Talk to your veterinarian about protecting your dog from Ticks and Fleas today.

Oral Injuries can be scary for both you and your pet. The mouth is a highly sensitive area that can be extremely painful if injured. Many of our pets find chewing sticks or rocks a highly enjoyable pastime while relaxing around the campsite, but being mindful of this is a good idea. Not all wood is created equal, some types of wood can cause terrible splinters that can affect the gums and even throat of your dog. Dogs can even fracture teeth or perforate the gums. Instead of allowing your pet to chew on sticks or rocks while enjoying the great outdoors, bring a favourite chew toy, or surprise your dog with an irresistible dental chew to keep him/her busy while you relax in the sun.

Hot Spots are a common occurrence in the summertime for pets. When camping, the combination of swimming and warm sun can be the perfect environment for a hot spot to start. Despite the common belief, a hotspot is not just an area of irritation that your dog won’t stop licking, it is a bacterial infection that escalates very quickly and can lead to some major problems and costs. Hot Spots HURT! The best way to avoid hotspots is to ensure that your pet is thoroughly dried after swimming or being in the water and that there is no wetness trapped at the surface of the skin. When these areas do not dry and become dirty, the warm, moist environment becomes the perfect condition for bacteria to grow. If you notice a hot spot forming, thoroughly cleanse the area with an antibacterial soap, and make sure that it is clean and dry and that your pet is not able to lick or scratch the area. Contact your veterinarian for further advice and treatment.

Being prepared for an emergency while out in the great outdoors is a necessary step to ensure the enjoyment and safety of everyone included, even your pets! Healthy Pets equal Happy Campers!

Written by Andy Lumanta, VA


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