VCA Animal Hospitals

Best ways to stay fit with your dog

Published: Jul 13, 2012

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All pet owners know how important it is for their dog to get ample exercise. Not only does physical activity keep your canine fit and prevent obesity in dogs, it stimulates the dog mentally and helps you form a deep bond. The exercise you get is an added bonus, and studies have shown that people with dogs exercise more often than those without. There are some particularly great ways to work out with your dog.

While running and walking are always appreciated by canines, taking your dog for a hike is one of the most stimulating forms of exercise, since it usually takes place in a natural environment with plenty to smell, according to

"Dogs live in a world of scent, and the great outdoors has so much for them to explore," Trish McMillan Loehr, professional dog trainer, told the news outlet.

Always bring plenty of water to keep yourself and your dog hydrated, and make sure to check for ticks on dogs when you get home. Your dog should be on flea and tick preventative medication before heading out into the woods.

Swimming is another activity that can be particularly satisfying for dogs, especially in the summer. Because they are unable to sweat the way humans do, a dip in cold water is one of the best ways to cool off. If you are swimming with your dog, the news outlet recommends starting shallow and staying away from the dog's nails - canines tend to try to climb human swimmers like a raft. 


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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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.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.