My husband, Tom, and I took our dog Cocoa to Southtown Vet in Montrose on Friday for a sick visit. She was shaking her head a lot and had a sore ear. She's prone to ear infections, so it had to happen eventually.

While we were there, I learned a few things that the average dog owner may not know. The first was, if your dog is overweight (yes, Cocoa is), you should read the dogfood bag and adjust your dog's food amount to 10 pounds lower. And they need exercise just like humans. A 10 minute walk a day is a good start.

Another surprising thing I learned was that giving frequent baths is bad for your pup. Dogs are equipped with natural oils, so unless they roll around in smelly stuff, their body takes care of itself. Bathing once a month or more strips the good bacteria from the dog's skin and creates health problems.

The Vet didn't stop there! Did you know that ear care is essential to a dog's overall health? If their ear flap covers the canal, you need to take special care. A once a month ear wash will keep infections away. Dogs that have allergies, and many do these days, are more apt to get those pesky ear infections.

And one last, and very helpful piece of info is this: if your pup gets hungry between feedings, feed him/her a few green beans. Really! They are high in protein and make your pet feel full. I wonder if that works for humans too?

Now we both know! Happy pet parenting.