Dr. Jen
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Dr. Jenifer Henderson, DVM
Dr. Jen is a graduate of Colorado State University and College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Originally from Michigan, Dr. Jen is practices at the Near North Animal Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Jen has a special interest in pet hospice care and is passionate about the human-animal bond.


The information provided here is not meant to replace regular visits to your veterinarian. It is important that you and your pet(s) establish a relationship with your local veterinarian in order to receive the best care possible. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health.

 

Beat the Summer Heat

Summer is here! People are hitting the pavement running, to enjoy the wonderful weather. And, attached by a leash, to many of these fine people, are their beloved dogs. Summertime means enjoying a number of outdoor activities, including camping, cookouts, street festivals, beaches, and hiking trails to name a few. Our canine counterparts love these activities as much as we do, and are thrilled they get to join in on the fun. When you’re packing up your gear, don’t forget to pack for your loyal companion. Our canine friends are subject to the summer sun, just as we are.

Here are a few interesting facts about dogs and heat, along with some helpful tips to ensure that our furry (or not so furry) friends have a safe and fun season as well.


  • Panting is a natural way for dogs to help regulate their body temperatures.

  • Certain dog breeds are more prone to overheating. Brachycephalic dog breeds (such as Pugs, English and French bulldogs, Boston terriers, Pekingese, boxers, Shih tzus, etc) have short wide heads, and squished noses, which complicates the natural cooling process.

  • Dogs have poorly developed sweat glands, which are of little help in regulating their body temperature.

  • Have plenty of fresh, cold water available at all times.

  • Make sure there are shaded areas available for your dog to get out of the direct sun.

  • When the temperatures are going to be really high, plan on early morning and late evening walks/runs so your pet doesn’t overheat.

  • Never leave your dog unattended in a car on a hot summer day.  Temperatures inside your vehicle can increase quickly, endangering your pet.

  • If your pet exhibits any signs of heat stroke (collapse, vomiting, uncoordinated movements, excessive drooling, diarrhea, seizures) take them to your veterinarian immediately.



 

Tips on Pet Obesity

Obesity in pets is a growing concern, just as it is in humans. While 1-2 pounds excess in a dog or cat may not seem like much, consider this: for a 10-pound animal, one or two pounds excess on these little guys is 10-20% of their body weight. That's like a 150-pound person gaining 15-30 pounds!

The extra weight adds an unnecessary stress to their joints. As animals age, they are more likely to experience degenerative joint problems (arthritis). Their joints have enough to worry about without adding extra pounds. Obese animals are also more prone to developing diabetes and skin infections. Additional weight on a dog with a collapsing trachea can make symptoms of their disease worse.

Increased caloric intake along with decreased exercise is not the only reason your pooch or kitty may be tipping the scales. Other health issues can cause weight gain, including thyroid and adrenal gland problems, just to name a few. Certain medications can cause weight gain also. If you have any concerns about your pet's weight, make sure to talk to your veterinarian about it.

We love, love, love our pets so much, and we often show them our devotion by giving them (too many) tasty treats. Food snacks are great for training and for rewarding for good behavior...but it's important to do so in moderation. Try some healthier snacks like carrots, bananas, green beans, or apples. And remember, spending quality time with our adored pets is a nice treat too…and a little easier on the joints.