Posts made in February 2016

Did you brush your pet’s teeth today? Why not?!

Pet tooth care tools

Some at home dental care tools: 2 types of gauze you can use instead of a toothbrush, one type of small toothbrush, a finger toothbrush, oral dental gel which can be used instead of pet toothpaste (also pictured), use which ever flavor your pet prefers. Remember never use human toothpaste for animals! Animals might swallow the fluoride which is not good for them to ingest.

February is National Pet Dental Health month, and begs the question, have you brushed your pet’s teeth lately? This morning I hugged my dog and basked in her warm sweet smell, including her slightly strong ‘doggy’ breath.  You might be like me, and that odor  may not bother you too much. After all,  it seems like a ‘normal’ part of having a pet. However,  it’s really not normal. The concern is not the odor so much as what it could indicate,  possible dental disease. Time brush her teeth and examine her closely for any signs of infection!

Now you may not be able to see the subtle signs of dental disease, that’s your veterinarian’s job, but if you look in their mouth regularly you are going to notice changes. It is your responsibility to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. If you have tried without success, then resign yourself to having to have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned by someone like me, on a somewhat regular basis. You brush your teeth daily and even get your  teeth cleaned once or twice a year. It is no different for our dogs and cats. Imagine what is going on in your animal’s mouth when we only brush occasionally or not at all. We have all heard about and know the dangers of dental disease, from pain and lost teeth, to heart disease. Yikes!

Now I will admit teaching some animals to enjoy having their teeth brushed can be time consuming and frustrating. That is why it is always best to start when they are young, although any animal can learn to, if not enjoy, at least tolerate, getting their teeth brushed. The key is using lots of positive reinforcement, go painstakingly slow,  break the entire process down into little tiny baby steps, pairing the experience with yummy treats that never appear except at tooth brushing time, and being consistent (did I mention going slow).  This is the best way to go. In the long run it saves time, money, dental pain, and the stress of having to undergo dental procedures from the vet. Yes I am telling you how to avoid me and vet dental bills!

Brushing your dog's teeth

However, if this is just not possible for whatever reason, then at some point to keep your animal healthy they will need a dental procedure to address the odor and underlying potential  disease process. In my experience there are 3 options for companion animal dental care.



  1. Complete dentistry, including x-rays, taken under full general anesthesia
  2. Complete dentistry, done under sedation and with pain medication
  3. Anesthesia ‘free’ dental procedures done by non-professionals

Which one you choose is up to you and your veterinarian to decide. Most folks are always a little concerned about general anesthesia, and for good reason.  Which is why I prefer to evaluate each case on an individual basis, and decide which is the best option. If possible, my preference is to opt for #2. This allows the animal to be calm enough to allow a complete and thorough procedure, and address all areas of the mouth, including a good exam of the back of the throat, under the tongue, and the back sides of the teeth, to look for tumors, growths, broken teeth, or any other abnormalities.

I often see people spend a lot of money on option #3. I have some serious concerns with this approach. Although you are avoiding general anesthesia, no matter how gentle the handler, you are still risking the animal struggling  some during the procedure and getting stabbed in the gum with a sharp instrument. Not to mention there is NO WAY you can get the same clear view, fully, inside the entire mouth, with an animal completely awake. Besides, if the animal does struggle and has bleeding gums, wouldn’t you want them to have adequate pain medication on board? I have found very few instances where I have have much confidence or comfort level with someone other than a veterinarian claiming to be able to perform a thorough and adequate dental procedure.

The other extreme is of course general anesthesia, which we all want to avoid.  Which is why I really encourage all my clients to take the time it takes, to teach their animal to tolerate teeth brushing. It is really one of, if not THE most important thing you can do for your animal’s long term overall health and longevity.

However, sometimes it is just not possible to avoid the need for a dental procedure under general anesthesia. Such as if there is a badly fractured tooth that definitely need x-rays and extraction. In this case, the best scenario is to do the blood-work before hand to help minimize the risks, and then resign resign yourself to teaching the tooth brushing, so you never have to put your animal through it again.

My personal approach is more middle of the road, and most of my clients seem to really love it! If at all possible, I prefer to do the dental procedure, right at home, so the pet never has to spend time in a scary hospital. I use an excellent sedative with pain medications, and perform the entire procedure right in the comfort of your own home! I scale, polish, and apply fluoride to the teeth, just as in a regular hospital setting. This allows me to alleviate some of the client concerns about general anesthesia, yet still provide an excellent job fully evaluating the entire mouth and all the teeth, while providing appropriate pain medication.

What it looks like to have a kitty dental procedure done in the comfort of your own home.

What it looks like to have a kitty dental procedure done in the comfort of your own home.

A kitty with moderate to severe dental disease. Notice the red gums indicating significant gingivitis. This is often painful for animals!

A kitty with moderate to severe dental disease. Notice the red gums indicating significant gingivitis. This is often painful for animals!

After the dental procedure. Much improved! An excellent investment in this cat's long term health!

After the dental procedure. Much improved! An excellent investment in this cat’s long term health!

Of course I would still rather spend time encouraging you and teaching you how to train your animal to let YOU brush their teeth, so we don’t have to make any of those choices at all!

Doggy or kitty breath is really not something to be taken lightly. Below are some link’s to video’s showing  the importance of dental disease and how it affect’s health, how to brush your dog’s teeth, and how to brush your cat’s teeth. So the next time you hug your dog or cat and smell their strong breath, remember it’s time to get better about brushing their teeth, and/or have their mouth examined by your veterinary professional. If you know it’s time to schedule that appointment, we now have on-line booking available on this website. For help or advice on teaching tooth brushing, leave comments below, find me on Facebook, or watch some of the helpful videos below.

On that note, I am DrQ, here to help YOU, and your animal, live the longest, healthiest, happiest life possible! Thanks for reading and please share if you like it!

A great video about why brushing teeth is important, tools for at home dental care, and a demonstration of brushing your dog’s teeth. 

Why dental care is so important a good explanation of dental disease in pets.

Clicker training a dog to love toothbrushing if you are inclined to clicker training.

A good example of how to brush cat’s teeth without much fuss.


An Animal Life Coach? Who is DrQ, & Why Listen to You?

Teaching at Purdue University.

Teaching at Purdue University.

Do you love your animals like a member of the family,  and want the best, healthiest, longest relationship you can possibly have with them? Guess what, it all starts with YOU! In order to provide the best for your animals, YOU have to be at your best! If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for them!  And if you need a little help, then Jena Questen DVM, CertAqV (that’s Questen like Strengthen),  holistic veterinarian and the one and only Life Coach for People with Pets, is here for YOU!  She has been in the field of veterinary medicine for over 20 years, and with a keen interest in nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices for even longer,  DrQ is here to help you and your animals live longer, happier, and healthier!   She has experience with everything from horse racing, to dog training, emergency medicine, fish and even yaks, while in the human realm she is involved with health and wellness projects (even yoga and cooking classes), for children and adults.Dr Questen With a bunch of animals

“What drives me each day, is that  I am passionate about strengthening the bond between people and animals, in a happy, healthy, positive, way!”.

Not only a certified veterinary acupuncturist with training in natural medicine, a member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association,  the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior,  was the only Technical Veterinarian for the entire United States division of  Novartis Aqua Health, and the 21st person in the world to achieve the CertAqV designation for work in aquatic animal medicine, a sought after speaker on multiple topics including health, business, children and animals, and work-life balance,  DrQ is well qualified to offer insight into improving health and behavior, for humans and animals.

Your animals are counting on you, to be the best YOU you can be, so you can be fully there, every day of their life.

The best way, to make that happen, is for her to see the animals and their families in their own homes,  on their own ‘turf’ so to speak. If that’s not possible, then she can still help though video conferencing,  presentations, and seminars, and through her new on-line university

 “I am passionate about building an intimately caring relationship with you and your animals, so that you feel comfortable getting all your questions and issues addressed, as well as those you have not even realized yet!   I am here to help you not just “take care” of an animal, but to enjoy boundless daily wonderment and happiness,  each and every day are are so blessed to share together, while saving money,  frustration, and time.  The most amazing part about it, through the science of animal behavior, is the special bonus which is learning how to improve ALL the relationships in your life, from family, to work, as well as the animals. Take it from me,  I know what it’s all about,  because I am animal lover too!”.

Involved with animal rescue and dog training throughout her life, it was a dolphins trainers manual she acquired in 2003 that changed everything.  This single book impacted of all her interactions with her own animals, and her clients and their pets, from then on. Learning about the science supporting the use of positive reinforcement opened her eyes to the importance of how only through great behavior can animals have great health.  Since then she has not stopped learning and studying the fascinating field of animal behavior, is one of the few veterinarians outside of board certified specialist who understand behavior and training as well as she does (especially with horses), and is a well-respected sought after mentor in the dog training world. Learning the science involved in animal training through the world of dolphins,  and marveling at how much a person can love a pet fish, have fueled her passion and understanding of the human-animal bond to a deeper level.

There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing those science based principles, and helping you achieve a bond deeper than they ever thought possible, while learning little every day life hacks for both of you to get healthier,  stay healthier, and happier, together, for longer! “.

So just what is an Animal Life Coach?

A well respected, highly trained professional, who loves your animal as you do, is deeply committed to your success, and provides health and wellness support and advice to animal lovers of all ages and abilities. By taking into consideration health, behavior, environment, and stress, the Animal Life Coach improves lives by identifying areas of improvement, cutting costs, outlining paths to success, improving productivity and quality of life, achieving goals, and all while promoting a deeper bond between animals and the people who love them, so they both can live happier, and healthier, longer!

Feel better! Be more productive! Get healthier! And do it all while cherishing and prioritizing the animals you call family!

Thank you for taking good care of me!

Thank you for taking good care of me!

More than veterinarian, a trainer, or a coach,  I am the first and only  Life Coach for People with Pets, here to help you build the deepest, most meaningful, productive, and rewarding relationship with the people and animals in your life, in a healthy, happy, and respectful way.

DrQ, the one and only Life Coach for People with Pets, here to help you, and your animals, live happier, and healthier, longer!

Call  (855)377-2638 = (855)DrQ and U, and get started today.  I am Dr Q, and the rest…is up to you!