Summer BBQs and your Pets

The evenings are longer, the sun is shining, it is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor meals in the back yard or at one of our amazing Vancouver Island beaches. Who doesn’t love a summer BBQ? Our canine companions love to be part of the action.

The time spent outside with family is so much fun for everyone.  Unfortunately, dogs are not known for their selective eating habits and can often find themselves in trouble from either being fed table scraps or scavenging on the leftovers when no one is looking! As veterinarians, at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital we often see a spike in dietary indiscretion cases this time of year.  Sometimes the owner has actually witnessed their dog eating something it shouldn’t, but it is more often the case that their dog shows signs of stomach upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea or anorexia with no known reason.   The cause can be as simple as an unusual meal that leads to some minor stomach issues to a more serious case of something lodged in the digestive tract or pancreatic inflammation.  Left untreated, a gastrointestinal foreign body or even pancreatitis can become potentially life threatening.

There are many very tempting common summer treats that can cause serious health issues with our pooches:

  • Corn Cobs – (one of the most common foreign body removal surgeries we do this time of year)
  • Bones – (of any variety – steak, rib, chicken)
  • Fatty meats (steak, pork, hamburgers)
  • Rich “picnic style” foods which cause pancreatitis (potato chips/potato salads etc.)

Dogs especially love the taste of bones, and owners love to give them but they don’t digest and are a common cause of esophageal or intestinal blockage.  These blockages often lead to abdominal surgery to remove.  Some bones can be harder than a dog’s teeth and actually cause the teeth to fracture, potentially necessitating a root canal or extraction.

To avoid unnecessary health issues and vet visits, it is important to pay extra attention during summer cook-outs.  Keep food safely out of reach of pets and keep garbage covered and away!  The healthiest thing for your four-legged buddy is his own dog food and treats but if you really want to allow him to indulge in the summer eating, small quantities of lean meat such as cooked chicken breast or green veggies are the safest things to offer.

By Dr. Yvette Maclean – 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: March 30, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


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 then we were pre-COVID.


We are very excited to welcome you back into our lobby! 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

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital