Tips for Travelling with Your Pet!

More and more, pets are becoming a fundamental member of the family and where you go….they go!  Whether you’re moving overseas or going on an extended vacation south of the border, there can be several requirements your pet needs in order for entry to be granted. Arizona and Mexico are both very popular destinations if you are seeking out the warmer weather. There are countless places to go and countless ways to spend your vacation, but before you make plans to take your pet, there are some guidelines you need to know for a stress fee, easy border crossing.

Each year at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we receive several phone calls from panicked owners looking for information on travelling with their pets.  It is important to research the policies of the Country you plan to visit and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete all the necessary steps. Most Countries require an updated rabies vaccine at least 1 month prior to travel and this is usually a minimal requirement. Your rabies certificate must include the serial number and expiry date of the vaccine used as well as your veterinarian’s signature and license number. Although it may not mandatory, it is also recommended to update your pet’s regular vaccines such as Distemper and Parvovirus.

Along with a certificate of rabies vaccination, a health certificate is also required for entry to both the United States and Mexico and must be signed within 10 days of travel. The health certificate must include your veterinarian’s name, address, contact number, license number and signature. All documentation from your veterinarian must be filled out using blue ink and should be in block letters. If Mexico is your final destination, don’t forget your pet is required to have an external and internal parasite treatment performed by your veterinarian. This should be included on your pet’s health certificate.

Some of these sunnier destinations are also prone to diseases such as heartworm, Lyme disease, giardia, leptospirosis and other tick-borne diseases. It is definitely recommended to visit with your veterinarian to discuss preventive treatments prior to and during travel for region-specific diseases.

Another important factor to consider when planning your trip is your pet’s diet. There are restrictions on taking pet foods across the border. If you happen to have a pet with special dietary needs you may want to do your research ahead of time to make sure your pet’s regular diet is easily accessible. If you need to take your pet’s food along with you, your best bet is to choose a brand that is made in the USA and make sure the bag is unopened at the time of border crossing.

ID is key! Make sure your pet has a way of finding his or her way back to you if you get separated during your travels. A tattoo is a reliable form of identification if you are travelling within your own province, but it can be especially tricky to trace once you are out of the country. Microchips are read worldwide and are the most efficient form of identification when travelling abroad. When you register your microchip, make sure to include an emergency contact person who knows where you will be travelling and knows how to contact you. Most microchips come with a special tag you can attach to your dog’s collar to alert people your dog has a microchip and includes information on how to contact the microchip company in the event they do not have a scanner.

To review a list of requirements for the country of your destination, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Written by Van Isle Veterinary Hopsital 



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