Gardening and Your Pet

There is nothing more rewarding then spending quality summer days in the very garden you worked so hard tending throughout the spring. This is the time of year we trade in the ski poles for the garden hoes and get to work!

Our pets also love nothing more than relaxing in the garden and Spring can be a very exciting time of year for our four legged friends.

Some of the most common dangers to our pets are right in our own backyards! Please familiarize yourself with some of these dangers and perhaps decide how to make your garden more pet friendly. The autumn crocus, azalea, cyclamen, kalanchoe, lilies, oleander, daffodils, lily of the valley, sago palm, tulips, hyacinth and even tomatoes are just some of the hazardous plants that we see here in the Comox Valley.

Other hazards in the garden which can easily be found lying around this time of year include fertilizers, minerals and pesticides. Just like children, your pet sees you working away in the yard with different containers and boxes which they see as potential treats.  Curiosity inevitably takes over while you walk away to take a phone call or stop for a much needed break. Keep all fertilizers and garden supplies tucked up off the ground or in a large sealed tupperware bin where your curious furry friends can’t get them.

Another common garden hazard is compost. The warm smells of rotting compost can be irresistible for your pet and other critters that wonder through our backyards. Compost can produce tremorgenic mycotoxins which are toxic to pets and wildlife. Signs of compost poisoning can start with agitation, panting, drooling, hyperthermia and can progress to vomiting, hyper-responsiveness and even seizures. Symptoms can begin within 30 minutes to several hours of ingestion. Sadly there is no antidote to compost poisoning so please seek prompt treatment from your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has sampled some compost. The best thing for compost poisoning is prevention so good quality fencing around the compost pile is a must.

Our beautiful rainforest is also home to many pests that we try to control. Before  using any soil additives, fertilizers, pesticides our slug and snail baits please do some research and chose pet friendly products. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any of these, it is essential that you bring the packaging along to your veterinarian so they can quickly and efficiently identify what they have ingested and can choose the appropriate form of treatment.

Many seasoned gardeners also come equipped with a tool box full of home remedies. Keep in mind that some of these home remedies, even natural ones can be extremely dangerous to your pet. Always call the Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested something that could be harmful. As always, prevention is best. Knowing which products could be harmful and knowing what to watch for could save your pet’s life. Stay safe and happening gardening!


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