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.

Open 24 Hours a Day


The Most Common Questions About Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Bad breath is a common presenting pet odor complaint. Common causes may be related to the mouth or rarely, other health problems.

The most common cause of halitosis is periodontal disease caused by plaque (bacteria), which attaches to the tooth surface within hours of cleaning the teeth. Within days the plaque becomes mineralized producing calculus. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to brush your dog’s teeth.


Common Question: “How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?”

Ideally you should be brushing your dog’s teeth twice daily if you can manage it but once a day is a great start. Brushing removes the daily accumulation of plaque from the teeth. Even though dogs do not commonly get cavities they do suffer from periodontal disease which can lead to bad breath, pain and tooth loss.


Common Question:  “How do I properly brush my dog’s teeth?”

Start with an appropriate tooth brush. Ideally for dogs less than 30lbs, a finger tooth brush works well. For larger dogs, buy one with a long handle and an angled head to better fit the mouth and extra soft bristles. Place the toothpaste between the bristles which allows it to spend the most time next to the teeth and gums. Most dogs accept brushing if they are approached in a gentle manner. Start slowly with a damp cloth or gauze wiping the teeth and progress to a tooth brush soaked in warm water. Eventually add on toothpaste.  Many tooth pastes designed for pets are flavored, so starting by allowing your dog to lick a small amount off your finger to get used to the taste is a great way to introduce toothpaste and helps to make the tooth brushing experience a positive one.  Be sure to use lots of praise and if necessary dental friendly treats as a reward. Pay most attention to the outside of the upper teeth.  The bristles should be at a 45 degree angle to the gum line. Move the tooth brush back and forth in an oval pattern including the space between the teeth.


Common Question: “Can I use human toothpaste?”

Most human pastes contain fluoride in high enough concentrations that if swallowed daily would be toxic. Most human tooth pastes do not taste good to animals. Since human tooth pastes are not intended to be swallowed (by humans or pets) and since pets will swallow (not rinse and spit), they are not recommended for use in pets.


Tooth brushing is the number one preventative measure in the fight against periodontal disease.  In combination with an appropriate diet and dental treats, tooth brushing helps maintain oral health and can help to prevent the need for more invasive measures such as subgingival scaling and extractions.

If you need some advice on home dental care and diet recommendations, visit us at the Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we would be happy to give some friendly pointers. 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.

Read More
See All Articles

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