Winter Weather Blues

With shorter days, colder weather, and lots of rain in the Comox Valley, it is easy to fall into a winter slump when it comes to staying physically active, and mentally sharp.

Although some dogs may not mind the blustery weather, it can make exercising less than enjoyable and may leave our pets, and even ourselves, feeling less content. Here are some tips to help keep the bond between you and your dog strong, and keep them feeling satisfied, and sharp despite the weather. Shorter leash walks that focus on training vs. distance is a great way to get outdoors without staying out so long that everyone is soaked and cold. Training can include some stop-go games, direction changes, sitting at crosswalks, and even obstacles if you can find some easy and fun objects that you are allowed to let your dog walk and/or sit on.

If you are walking on sidewalks in the colder winter months be aware of potentially irritating substances on your dog’s feet, such as de-icers, and think about potentially putting booties on your dog to protect their feet. If your dog is particularly susceptible to the cold a sweater or jacket may be beneficial as well.

Working on training skills indoors is also a great way to keep your dog’s mind sharp and focused, and drain some mental energy when you are not able to get them outside to exercise. Obedience skills, such as sit, down, stay, and recall are an easy go-to option. Tricks, such as shake a paw, roll over, sit pretty, etc. are also fun and easy to teach. Focus tasks such as leave it, place, watch, and longer duration sit/down/stand stays are excellent for helping your dog to relax and focus.

Winter is also a great time of year to work on desensitizing your dog to different objects, handling, and grooming. Taking the time to get your dog relaxed and happy about having their body handled, feet touched, nails trimmed, and coat brushed will be very beneficial for your dog, especially if they ever have to take a trip to the groomer or the vet. Desensitizing your dog to having booties and a jacket put on prior to use is also a great training task to work on while you are relaxing indoors.

Making mealtime and treat time fun for your dog is also a great way to stimulate their brain. Using treat toys, or putting their meals into toys rather than their regular bowl is always fun and rewarding. It can be really fun to watch your pet troubleshoot and learn!

Keep training sessions short, so you don’t lose your dog’s focus and use lots of little treats as a reward. Have fun with it and enjoy spending some extra time strengthening that bond with your furry best friend.

Submitted by Jessica McKay, RVT



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: December 2, 2021

Dear Clients,

Welcome back! We are happy to be able to invite our pet parents back into the hospital with their pets!! However, we are still following many of our previous health and safety protocols which have know been implemented as part of our communicable disease prevention protocol. We appreciate your patience, understanding and cooperation as we navigate through these times together. By helping to keep each other safe, we can continue to keep your pets safe.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

We continue to see a significant demand for these types of services. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Sometimes this means wait times of several weeks to be seen for non-urgent appointments. This allows our team to properly assess and triage those more critical patients that require our immediate attention. 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 put our team’s safety and that of the public first.


Our DVM team is excited to invite you back into our exam rooms with your pets as long as we have the capacity to do so. To maintain a safe distance, we ask that only one pet parent accompany their pet into the exam room with the doctor. You will be asked to sanitize your hands upon entry and please do not enter our hospital if you are feeling unwell, have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have been told to isolate by Island health.


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


We continue to offer our clients emergency on call services 7 days a week between the hours of 8:00 am and midnight, including stat holidays.

After-hours emergency care will be referred to Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital between the hours of midnight - 8:00 am. They can be reached at 250-933-0913. 

Our regular hours of operation remain the same:

Monday: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Thank you for helping us make this transition in our health and safety protocols as safe as possible, so our team can be at its best and continue to look after you and your pet!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital