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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
As a veterinary professional, I found this book really helpful in getting a handle on pet food. The exposition is clear and concise but does not leave out pertinent information. The authors are respectable figures in the nutrition field and bring expertise and common sense to a field that at times seems full of "snake oil" salesmen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2014
I was surprised after reading this book to come back to amazon and read some of the reviews here. People seem to be hung up on ideological principles of how they *think* dogs/cats should eat, or what *sounds* natural to them based the evolution of dogs.

I was very pleased to see that the authors of this book only pay attention to what science can tell us about how different foods are digested by our pets, and how well the nutrition of those foods is absorbed in their bodies. Their findings are based in research, not in opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2013
Nestle & Nesheim, two nutritionists, set out to evaluate the many competing claims about what diets are best for dogs and cats. To their own surprise, they discovered that there was insufficient evidence to declare one food better than another. They suggest that any food which is nutritionally complete and balanced should be adequate for your pet, unless it has special needs. In a far less extensive survey a few years ago, CONSUMER REPORTS drew the same conclusion.
You might say that the authors display the courage of their lack of conviction. They must have known they would be set upon by carnivorous critics upon publication. People nowadays advance their theories of animal and human nutrition with a fervor once reserved for religious doctrines, and raw food adherents, grain-free advocates, and premium food aficionados have set upon them with a vengeance, as can be seen in some of the reviews and comments on this site. However, as Nestle & Nesheim note, there is still a lot to learn about animal nutrition, and it is lack of real knowledge that allows the furious clash of opinions. Rigorous scientific investigation may someday establish the facts, leaving little room for opinion about what the best foods are, but that day is still to come. In reading the book, I was shocked to see how little research has been done that is rigorous, peer-reviewed, and unbiased.
I do have a few minor matters to grumble about. 1) Although the book is 376 pages long, the authors say almost nothing about taste. Humans eat for enjoyment, not just for vitamins and minerals, and so do pets. What do dogs and cats like best? The book is essentially silent on this matter. 2) Statements like "We discuss this in more detail later" occur too often throughout the book. This is a mere stylistic oddity, but I found it obtrusive after a while. It made it seem like the content was continually receding as I read. 3) There is too much appendicized material to suit me. As one who has written scholarly material, I understand the need for appendices in academic writing. However, when I finish the last chapter of a book for the general reader, I want to be done.
These quibbles notwithstanding, I recommend FEED YOUR PET RIGHT highly. While it won't convert the devotees, it can salve the consciences of the rest of us. The authors believe that pet owners should feed what feels right to them. If you want to feed homemade food, raw food, or vegetarian fare, you are free to do so. However, those of us who often grab a few cans of Friskies at the supermarket can stop feeling vaguely guilty. Most commercial diets will do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you want to know more about how the pet food industry operates, how well (or not!) it's regulated, what we know about nutrition for dogs and cats, the impact of the pet food industry on veterinarians, and other topics related to feeding our pets, you need to read this book. While it does provide some interesting details, I would take the conclusions with a grain of salt. I was disappointed that she was not more critical of the pet food industry.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
The authors make absurd claims about the ethics of veterinary medicine in regards to selling pet foods. Many veterinarians sell only prescription diets, and therefore only on an as-needed basis (a common example: diets formulated with extra potassium and low protein for cats with chronic kidney disease, CKD). My clinic does not make a profit on the prescription diets we sell. Tell me: how is this unethical?

Their assumptions about veterinarians are wildly inaccurate and shows how far removed they are from the true work of veterinarians; for example, the book states, "AVMA estimates that only 17 percent of veterinarians specialize in food animals [...] The remaining 83 percent of veterinarians are engaged in small animal practice (or are not working directly with animals)." This statement is totally inaccurate and shows how far removed the authors are from the true diversity of work done by veterinarians today.

Additionally: "The American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) administers a nutrition certification program based on training, clinical experience, publication, and examination. By 2007, a mere 61 of 75,000 veterinary members of AVMA had achieved this certification." This statement makes it sound as though becoming board-certified in a veterinary specialty is an easy task, which is false. Most veterinarians are not board-certified in nutrition because in most cases it requires 4 years of post-DVM specialty training (i.e. residency or similar). Most veterinarians try to stay informed about veterinary nutrition topics because a) we know how important it is for the health of our patients (see above regarding CKD in cats) and b) it has become a rather vogue topic among pet-owners, so we field lots of questions on the subject. Not being board-certified in veterinary nutrition does not mean that we know nothing about the topic.

Please, before you make claims about my profession, do adequate research.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2013
A clerk at my local pet store lent mehis copy, which I read then promptly came here in order to get my own copy. The book is written by by a pair of doctorates with extensive careers in nutrition, yet manages to be both well-written and even funny--no small feat.

I borrowed the book originally because I had questions about feeding my dog. (While I'm an experienced cat owner, I'm new to dogs.) The book covers the birth of modern, commercially-prepared pet foods, pet food labelling, ingredients, supplements, home-cooking, and fad diets. (As you scan the reviews posted, keep in mind that the authors question many elements of recent fad diets, and many of the negative reviews seem to be from proponents of those fads.) I cook for my animals; I am one of those "hard-core holistic" owners specifically mentioned in the book. However, my take-away from the chapter "Alternatives to Commercial Pet Feeding" was, home-cooking is fine, use variety (and a multi-vitamin), and don't believe themarketing hype. The authors even refer to a book of home-cooking recipes with information about how easy it is. I also feel a lot better about having commercial pet food in the pantry--it's good stuff.

You know, the chapter on pet food labelling itself is worth the penny and four bucks shipping thisbook costs. Knowing about "mouse units" and cat caloric needs is just gravy on the frappe.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2010
The subtitle 'The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat' makes me think how 'authoritative' can be interpreted in different ways. The most common way is to assume it means the speakers, writers or the result of their work is something worthy of being considered 'the last word' or at least a summary of what most experts in the area would accept as valid. Another meaning however, based on how 'authoritative' is used at times, is that the authors are people with credentials considered to be of some weight and/or who have based what they have written on what are felt to be generally accepted ideas in a field. This last can mean something rather different than might be supposed at first.

Some decades back I remember reading a book for the general public by, as I recall, a medical school professor, described as a top expert on breast cancer. It was described as 'authoritative' ... I remember that within a few years of its publication subsequent epidemiological studies and still later more precise work with genes seemed without question to discredit remarks rather glibly put forward in that book to the effect that there was no basis whatsoever for thinking that lifestyle had anything to do with cancer risk. The fact that the book and the author were considered 'authoritative' at least enough to justify that adjective in describing the book was no guarantee that the book was reliable.

I am afraid that the 'authoritative' in this sub title similarly reflects a kind of selective cutting and pasting of articles and observations to get a result that generally confirms to a widely supported but not necessarily correct or really scientifically based idea about pet nutrition.

I really urge anyone looking for an 'authoritative' book on pet nutrition not to purchase this book before borrowing a copy and looking it over as well as looking into other books and material in this area. To mention one book, I refer to an expert in feline diabetes, Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM's excellent 'Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life' ... I would suggest looking at a number of vets who have written (as well as concerned and quite well informed non vets) books with what I have felt were quite compelling arguments about feline nutrition that were quite at variance with what was implied in this book.

My reaction to this book was that it was a rather sloppy job masqueraded behind a lot of details, most of which more confused the issue than presented useful insights. But everyone must make their own choice... just please do not do it without checking and thinking about other sources. I think that this book is already unacceptably outmoded and reflects an approach more accepted in the past than I think can be justified now. I think soon it will have gone the way of the ideas in that book on breast cancer described as authoritative so many decades ago. I personally would say please make sure you will not regret what I suspect you will find a waste of your money if you purchase a copy.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2011
My first red flag was when the author says she hasn't even owned a dog or cat. Oooo.k. So apparently she studied human nutrition but doesn't have years of first hand experience seeing a dog or cat after eating many of the commercial pet foods out there.

I admit I just jumped around in the book but I feel I read enough to be thankful I didn't buy this book rather I have it checked out from the library. I have first hand experiences with Labs as to what diet works for them. Yes, I still feed a commercial feed, but it has ingredients in it that I know for a fact won't aggravate their tendency towards skin allergies. Had I listened to the vet and kept the dogs on the vets high dollar food, we'd also have our dogs on drugs year round.

If you think your dog is meant to eat corn, and wheat, and don't care what part of any animal they consume, then by all means follow the recommendations in this book. Same for your cat. Even our cats get a better quality feed and they are barn cats who also hunt.

If you are interested in finding a good quality pet food, just do a search on pet foods. There are a couple of good sites that will come up that rate the foods from one to five stars, and give reasons why they approve or disapprove of each feed stuff. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a good product! Many have good protein sources, no corn, and vegetables in them along with EFA's. And no bad preservatives.

I am disappointed in this book. Save your money.
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on March 19, 2015
This person sent me a book stolen from their library - not cool
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on August 1, 2014
Like the book,and, everything went well. Thank you, RFobyn
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