VCA Animal Hospitals

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight this winter

Published: Oct 31, 2012

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Winter is just around the corner, and the weather is already starting to get colder in some parts of the country. If you're a dog owner, it might feel like an inconvenience to put on your boots, hats, gloves and parka just to take your dog around the block, but helping her stay fit and healthy is important year round. Here are some suggestions on how to make those brutally cold morning-walks more manageable.

Consider walking your dog for exercise
In the summer, it can be fun to talk long, slow strolls in the shade with your canine companion. But in the winter, you probably want to get your walks over as fast as possible. Walking quickly with your dog isn't necessarily a bad thing - in fact, it's one of the best forms of treatment of dog obesity. A brisk, healthy walk can help your pet lose any extra weight, while also getting your own blood flowing (and keeping you warmer in the process).

Indoor play is always an option
Who says the only way to exercise with your dog is to walk around outside? Indoor play can be beneficial for your pet and serve as a bonding exercise. If you have enough space in your home, you can play games like fetch or tug-of-war with some of your dog's favorite toys. Just be sure to clear enough room so she won't careen into furniture when chasing her ball.

Talk to a veterinary expert
A visit to one of your nearby vet clinics can also help you make sure you are doing everything necessary to keep your canine fit and healthy during the colder months. Your vet may suggest that you make alterations to her diet, or have more advice about ways you can encourage exercise while staying warm and cozy.

Winter travel plays a part
If you're going on vacation this winter, remember that you'll have to make sure your pet is taken care of while your away, unless you plan on traveling with your dog. When investigating kennels, ask about exercise programs to make sure your dog will be able to stretch her legs frequently every day you are away. Be sure to inform the caretakers at the facility of your dog's usual walking schedule and habits so that they can maintain her routine as much as possible.


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.