Foot Care for a Healthy Dog

At this time of year, we hear from a lot of our clients about pets with sore feet. It’s a little-known reality that with the good weather, comes outdoor activity, dryer terrain, harder ground, beach romping, and the injuries that can go with those things. Broken toe-nails and cut pads and paws can become a real nightmare for both the pet and owner, so this month we thought we’d focus a little bit on how to care for your pet’s paws.

Nail Care
One of the first things your veterinarian will tell you when you get a new pup is “Handle Those Feet!” The more you make feet just another part of your dog’s body, the more he/she will become comfortable with having those feet cared for. It can be one of the most important things you can do for your pet! Did you know that a high number of dogs (I’d say, probably 50% or more) have real anxiety when it comes to having their feet touched? Dogs who are otherwise calm and friendly can become fearful and aggressive if they are touched on or around the paws. To help your dog avoid this kind of stress, spend some time brushing, and massaging the paws of your dog. If you start early, you may become comfortable trimming your dog’s nails also. You can purchase a pair of safe nail trimmers at your veterinarian or at a pet store. When your dog is a pup, trimming the tips of the toenails is all that is necessary, and it is great to familiarize your dog with the process.

Your dog needs a nail trim when the nails start to show curvature, and should only be trimmed to the quick, never farther back, as this can be painful and will bleed. Be careful, and if you would be more comfortable having a professional trim your dog’s nails, you can book them in for this at your veterinarian, a groomer, and at some pet stores.

Failing to trim your dog’s nails can lead to the nails growing into the pads themselves in some extreme cases and can be very painful for your dog.

Paws and Pads
Do you remember cutting your foot on a barnacle at the beach as a child? It hurts! Many of us have had a similar situation with our pets. Especially in the summer months, frequent trips to our local shores are such a welcome thing, and if you have a dog like mine, they probably live to chase sticks at the beach. Most dogs, however, don’t know when to slow down and will run long after sustaining an injury to one of their paws. If you find that your dog has cut his or her pad, here are some things to do:

  1. Identify on which foot the injury has occurred and make sure you don’t allow the dog to lick! Licking and chewing introduce bacteria and does more damage to the area. Put a cone on your pet, or a sock on that foot, or both!
  2. DON’T apply a restrictive bandage without the advice of a veterinary professional. Some bandages can cut off blood supply to the affected area, and can again, cause more damage.
  3. Soak it! Soaking an injured paw in a solution of Epsom salts and warm, clean water will help heal the area. A good practice is to soak the foot up to three times a day, for up to 10 minutes a time, and dry with a clean towel after soaking.
  4. See your vet! Every case is different; some paws need stitches, some need a bandage. If your dog has a sore paw, let the vet do the diagnostics!
  5. Be prepared! Carry some first aid material with you so that if you find yourself in a situation, you can help stop bleeding, and keep the injury clean until you can get some help.
  6. Consider boots! You can order a wide arrangement of helpful footwear for your pup if you find that sore paws are becoming an issue. Check out amazon or your local pet stores for some options!

When heading out for some fun this summer, consider your dog’s feet. Take the trail less travelled and opt for the grass or soft sand instead of gravel or rocky shores. Your pup will thank you for it!

If you have any questions, give us a call at 250.334.8400.

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