Dog Parks | healthy option for your pet?


I happen to live in a city that has a dog park.  For the past ten years, I have driven past the park but never stopped.  The reason is the voice in my head saying “ dog parks are dangerous to bring your pet to”, so I never stopped Recently, the topic has come up and so I decided to visit the park and find out for myself if it is a bad idea or a healthy option.

As I talked to several pet owners ages ranging from twenty-five years of age and all the way up to couples

Healthy Teeth Cleaning | Its all in the brush

Raising a dog is like raising a human, there is no manual on exactly how to do it.  As we find with both, there is plenty of how to’s on the internet.  We also rely on our veterinarian to guide us with their health and wellness knowledge so our pets or sometimes referred to as “our children” have a great start to their new life.  

However, there are times when this does not happen and important things are not addressed until too late.  Brushing your pet’s teeth is as important as healthy vaccinations and good nutrition.  This needs to happen when they start getting their teeth and not ten years after they are born.  You are probably thinking, “come on, this is not important, my pets teeth are a little yellow but I don’ think its that bad” or, “dogs always have bad breath, so it doesn’t mean that they have dental problems?”.  

The Story

Thinking back to the life of my little girl I was a lot like you, I didn’t brush her teeth.  It didn’t seem necessary and there was never a discussion with her former veterinarian and in my opinion, having a deep cleaning is quite expensive because it is a very risky procedure, there is detailed preparation and observations that go into cleaning their teeth.  A good doctor will order blood work a few days ahead of the appointment to make sure that they are stable enough to be sedated.  For instance, my little Max was on the calendar to have his teeth cleaned, we did the necessary testing to make sure he was strong enough to have the procedure done.  A few days later my vet called and said that “she was not comfortable doing the procedure based on some abnormal things showing up in his bloodwork”.  When we talked about the abnormalities it was decided between us that we would postpone the procedure until the numbers got better,  by the way, that’s a trait of a very good vet. 

The danger of not brushing your pet’s teeth

  Things to know:

  • At the early the age of 2, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of periodontal disease
  • The untreated periodontal disease is painful to your pet, puts stress on his immune system and increases the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes
  • In addition to a species-appropriate diet and plaque-removing bones, regular brushing can help to keep your pet’s teeth clean and minimize dental issues
  • If your pet is new to brushing, start gradually by touching your pet’s muzzle, then moving onto the lips, gums and teeth; use your finger first, then gauze, then a finger brush and finally a pet toothbrush


Many pets really enjoy having their gums lightly massaged when they’re relaxing. The key is not to force it, move at a pace that keeps your pet feeling comfortable and relaxed

As soon as you bring your new family member home, begin to desensitize your dog mouth.  When you begin this practice, your pet will think it is part of his or her routine and will be receptive to the practice.  When you start young, it will be second nature and a part of both the owner and pet’s daily routine.  Please keep in mind that in the early stages of a puppy’s life, and just like a human toddler,  their mouth will be sensitive and sore due to losing their baby teeth, so keep this in mind as you work with them. Gently massaging their mouth and gums, will not only have them get used to it, it helps soothe their uncertainty.  

It’s important to incorporate face massage (and mouth desensitization) into regular massage/petting time. This will put your pet into a relaxed state of mind, rather than your pet being suspicious you’re up to something by suddenly trying to manipulate their mouth. Doing this throughout the crucial months of their life will help in many aspects of their life

After your pet is comfortable having her head, ears and chin touched, move on to touch his muzzle, then his lips. Many pets really enjoy having their gums lightly massaged when they’re relaxing. The key is not to force it, move at a pace that keeps your pet feeling comfortable and relaxed.  If you can, dip your finger into bone broth.   After your pet is cool with having her head, ears and chin touched, move on to touch their muzzle, then their lips. Many pets really enjoy having their gums lightly massaged when they’re relaxing. The key is not to force it, move at a pace that keeps your pet feeling comfortable and relaxed

Heart Disease 

One of the health issues directly related to not brushing your pet’s teeth is heart disease.  Just like humans, when we neglect our own dental hygiene, the risk is very high for us as well.  Studies have shown that bacteria that accumulates in their mouth as it does in ours.   As stated by Dr. René Carlson, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):


“Untreated periodontal infections often lead to more serious health problems because of chronic pain and infection, and subsequent stress on the immune system … These untreated conditions can then lead to heart valve disease, kidney disease and even diabetes and cancer, not to mention the significant    discomfort associated with dental infections.”

What we can do as responsible pet owners 


As I said earlier, I never brushed Coco Beans teeth or MaxMillions teeth.  Coco’s got so bad that the roots were showing and had to be surgically removed. The two teeth removed were right next to the nasal passage, a very dangerous and risky procedure.    Max’s teeth were also in bad shape and a few had to be removed as well.  When I started brushing their teeth, I did it every day and then when I began to see the dramatic changes, I moved to every other day.  I brush Max’s in the evening after his last meal and give him a treat promptly after.  After 6 months, he actually looks forward to it and besides rewarding him with a treat, I always verbally reward him.  

  • Begin a good dental routine when you bring them home.  The earlier you begin, the more receptive they will be and probably will look forward to brushing.  I always reward them by giv
    ing a treat.
  • Recommendations for keeping your pet’s mouth healthy include daily home care, feeding a species-appropriate raw diet, offering raw bones to gnaw on, performing regular home inspections of the oral cavity, and arranging for routine exams performed by your veterinarian.
  • Every year, make sure you have their vitals checked by doing bloodwork.  This will ensure that you understand everything about your pet’s health, wellness, and their safety.  It also will show anything that is abnormal and then you and your vet can design a protocol to bring them back to the normal range.   Just like humans, doing this at a very early age creates a baseline to compare as they grow and develop.  

I recommend using an enzymatic tooth solution designed for pets. Enzymatic gels help to break down the plaque and tartar that accumulates on the surface of teeth. Put a dab on your finger 

and very briefly massage it into your pet’s back molars.

Next, try a dab on a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. Once your pet is comfortable with you rubbing gauze on his teeth and gums, you can move on to using a finger brush and finally onto a pet toothbrush.

Introducing this into your daily routine, not only will benefit them, but it will help create a sense of trust between you and your pet.  Having that human and animal connection is something that we all strive to achieve.  Protecting our pets and making sure they are happy and healthy is something we all plan to do in our lives.  When I bring my new family member home in a few weeks, I will be adopting this into my daily routine, something I didn’t do with my first two.  Isn’t it always the same in the human world,  with our first child we didn’t know anything, but by our second and third child, we know more, we are smarter and we do things differently.  It is the same in the animal world.  We better ourselves by the second or third pet.  We promise ourselves that we will do everything in our power to get it right.

By the way, when Max and I began our dental routine, his teeth were stained and he was having trouble chewing his food.  After about six months to a year, his teeth are as white as can be and can chew without difficulty.   My vet couldn’t believe the change in his health and eating habits.  Having a good product is also vital to their health.  A word of caution, do not use human grade toothpaste.  Fluoride is toxic to animals.  The product I use is Virbec Enzymatic Toothpaste, Vanilla and Mint.  A good Integrative vet will carry  this product and it is not expensive.  


To your happy and healthy pet




References: Things to know, perilous to your pet’s wellbeing-yet widely ignored. November 25, 2016. Healthy Pet’s by Mercola.  

                                                                                              Dr. Rene Carlson, president of the AVMA, discussing chronic pain connected to bad hygiene in pets. 



Why Water is so Important to our Pets Health



Remember that old saying “The Dog Days of Summer”. Well, we are in the beginning stages of summer and need to be mindful of our pets and their health. A little heat goes a long way and there are a few tips to keep them in optimal health.

The Story

Drink plenty of water. Did you know, our pet’s body is made up of 80% water comparing that to the 60% that makes up ours. When it gets hot, your pet is at greater risk of dehydration and heat stroke just like us. This is why it is VITAL to

Hot walks and how they affect our pets

The Story

I had a conversation with a friend of mine who works with animals and shared with me something she saw yesterday. For the sake of protecting her identity, I will call her Susan. I want to share this story and then some advice.
Summers can be extremely warm, bordering on hot. Today was no exception and the temperatures have risen to around 90 degrees. Susan noticed a woman walking her dog on the blacktopped road. Seeing this, Susan stopped her vehicle and politely asked the woman to walk her dog away from the blacktop and onto the grassy area.

She then asked the woman to place her palm down on the blacktop replying, “however many seconds you put it down and have to pick it up, is how long a dog can withstand the heat”. Susan asked the woman “How long did you leave your hand on the pavement? “The woman replied not more than three seconds”
I have an analogy for you. Walking a dog on very HOT pavement is

Hello world!

I am a proud owner of an amazingly bright and smart cockapoo Max Million.

Being passionate about animals as well as education is as important for pet owners as it is for anything else we care deeply about. Along with Hernlans and Company which is a fabulous marketplace for both pets and owners, I have created this site to write about what dog care is all about.
Through the power of this blog, I have created this journey in honor of our babies as well as in celebration of Ms. Coco Bean, or “Bean” for short. She was a very rare and unique dog with abilities that went over and beyond what a dog could sense and do.

Offering general information, tips, wellness options as well as pet-friendly places such as hotels, parks and most importantly Integrative and Holistic Veterinarians with their advice to keep your pets happy, healthy and full of life is my main objective.  My approach is a little different.  Max and Coco’s show the connection between the human world and the animal world.  Read all about our journey as the story and the site is continually evolving so be patient

It is my hope that you visit us often and follow our story and also take away tips, options and also fun stories as well.
Welcome to Max and Coco’s place.
Max and Coco