VCA Decatur Animal Hospital
Published: Dec 20, 2012

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With the New Year only a few days away, many people are gearing up to fulfill a resolution - either by joining a gym, cooking up some healthy foods or simply spending more time with family and friends. Dog owners may want to take some time to think of a few resolutions that will help out their animal companions. Here are some ideas to ensure your dog's pet health and wellness will be top notch throughout 2013.

1. Vow to help your pet shed extra pounds
Obesity in dogs is sadly a common occurrence, and if you think your canine may be overweight, you should make it your priority to help her get down to a healthy size before the end of 2013. First, you'll need to determine if your pet is at a healthy weight. When you feel for her ribs, you should be able to find them without digging your fingers in too deeply, but also shouldn't see any individual ribs when looking at her side. If your pet does seem to be a bit heavier than normal, consider talking to your vet about creating a new dietary plan. You can also schedule several "exercise walks" into your weekly routine - these are brisk strolls usually done using a short leash, and they can help your dog get her heart rate up.

2. Schedule vet visits now
It's essential to take your dog to the veterinarian at least twice a year. A great way to make sure your pet's health is on par in the coming year is by scheduling your visits to the vet well in advance and setting reminders for yourself so you don't forget to show up. Place a call to one of your local vet hospitals shortly after the new year and ask for a recommendation on when you should bring your animal in for a visit.

3. Teach your canine a new trick or two
Dog or puppy training is a great way to bond with your pet, and it can also make your dog more intelligent. If your canine only knows a few tricks, consider adding some additional commands to her repertoire. Sit, stay, come and heel are all common tricks, but if you want to get a bit fancier, you may want to teach her how to give you a "high five" or roll over. Be sure to purchase plenty of treats to provide positive reinforcement as she develops her new talents.

4. A clean coat for 2013
Want to help your pet get a clean start for the new year? Then make a vow to take care of her coat throughout the year. Dog grooming is something many pet owners can do on their own with a bit of pet-friendly shampoo and a brush. If your dog grows hair instead of fur, then schedule a few visits with a professional groomer to help keep her coat under control.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, please contact one of the following nearby emergency clinics:

- Las Vegas Animal Emergency Hospital (702) 822-1045 5231 W. Charleston Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89146

- Veterinary Emergency + Critical Care (702) 262-7070 8650 W. Tropicana  Ave. Ste. B 104 :Las Vegas, NV 89147