Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, Third Edition 2005
by Richard H.Pitcairn, DVM, PhD and Susan Hubble Pitcairn

This is a good reference book for any dog or cat owner's library. The first of two sections discusses feeding. The commerical pet food vs homemade food debate is detailed, with consideration to convenience, cost and nutrient values of each. Dr. Pitcairn clearly recommends real or human grade food for dogs and cats. Recipes are given using various sources of protein and carbohydrates, including some vegetarian dishes. Supplement recipes are provided and are tailored for animals at various stages of life and for those with special needs or conditions.

Section two lists common diseases and ailments along with herbal remedies and recommendations for treatment. Even if one is not inclined to whip up a batch of slippery elm tea for diarrhea, the information on dog and cat physiology is useful. It's nice to know what a normal pulse rate is before you are worried your pet is ill and decide to take his pulse.

Speaking as someone with a fairly extensive collection of reference books for dogs, I can say that this book is not unique in its approach to the "natural" topic. Scary statistics of animal poisonings by pet food companies as well as everyday household stuff is offered. This book is better than most preaching natural because it gives the pet owner recipes with nutritional values to assist in pulling off this home cooked nirvana.

Rating: very good.

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