The Hazards of Summer for Your Pet

As the summer weather starts to make an appearance the world outside our cozy homes starts to buzz with life. Flowers are blooming, and veggies are growing, and with that comes the task of garden tending.

Gardening should be a relaxing, peaceful task, but many are unaware that it can also be quite dangerous if you are a pet owner. Many of the products that are used in gardening can be quite toxic to our pets. Here is a list of a few things to look out for a while enjoying your garden this summer.

Compost – An excellent, environmentally friendly way to create your own fertilizer and reduce waste product. However, partially rotten and fermenting foods can cause serious health concerns for our pets if ingested. Compost can cause GI upset, neurological symptoms, muscle tremors, liver damage, and toxicity from certain foods that may be present (such as raisins and onions). Large volumes can also potentially cause an obstruction, which can be detrimental and can increase the risk of toxicity as it sits in the GI tract.

Bone, Fish, Blood, or Feather Meal – This product often attracts canines with its smell, but unfortunately can have severe side effects when large amounts are ingested, such as vomiting, gastrointestinal obstruction, and pancreatitis. More severe symptoms can also occur if they are mixed with other, more dangerous fertilizers.

Fertilizers – Most fertilizers are generally quite safe and non-toxic if small amounts are accidentally ingested while eating grass etc. Although some may cause GI upset if they contain insecticides. More severe reactions may occur (such as tremors, seizures, or difficulty breathing) if directly ingested right out of the bag, especially if the fertilizer contains more dangerous products.

Cocoa Bean Mulch – This product has a similar smell to chocolate, which is often very enticing to dogs. It not only smells like chocolate, but it also has the same toxic effects as chocolate. Ingesting large amounts can cause GI upset or blockage, muscle tremors, seizures, neurologic toxicity, or heart failure.

Rodent Baits – Rodenticide toxicity can occur from direct ingestion of the poison, or from ingestion of a poisoned rodent. The effects of rodenticides greatly depend on the active ingredient, as well as the pets’ size, and amount ingested, as well as the amount of time that has passed since ingestion. The most harmful active ingredient is one that causes issues with blood clotting, causing spontaneous bleeding throughout many different areas of the body. This condition can be deadly if not caught in time.

Slug, or Snail Baits – These baits contain a toxin that attacks the nervous system. Due to the fact that these products usually have brown sugar or molasses added to attract snails and slugs, it can be very attractive to our pets as well. Ingestion can cause muscle tremors, ataxia, seizures, and can lead to multi-organ failure. Ingestion of even small quantities can be fatal.

Tomatoes – Although ripe tomatoes are generally thought of as a healthy option for humans and pets, green tomatoes, as well as the green plant parts, can be harmful if ingested for both humans and animals.

Herb Gardens – Cats are often quite attracted to different herbs, and due to their natural nature, they are generally considered safe. Unfortunately, there are a lot of different herbs that are quite toxic to both dogs and cats, especially if ingested. Research should be done, and caution should be taken when planting and handling certain herbs.

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

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: 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