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Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals Hardcover – June 20, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0813804897 ISBN-10: 0813804892 Edition: 1st
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Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals + Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet's Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness
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Editorial Reviews


"The first veterinary textbook dedicated to animals' mental health helps establish the topic as an important field" -- Pet Age, November 1, 2005

From the Back Cover

The past few decades have seen a virtual explosion of scientific research in the area of cognition, emotions, suffering, and mental states in animals. Studies in the field, laboratory, and clinical medical practice have amassed an overwhelming body of evidence demonstrating that mental well-being is of paramount importance in all aspects of animal care. There is no longer any reasonable doubt among researchers that mental health is of equal importance as physical health and animal well-being.

Recent research convincingly shows that physical health is strongly influenced by mental states, thereby making it clear that effective health care requires attention to the emotional well-being as well as physical. Yet, for its vast importance, mental health in veterinary medicine has to date not been compiled and structured into an organized field or body of knowledge. This information, so critical to the formal establishment of the field of mental health and well-being in animals, remains scattered throughout a wide array of scientific journals.

This book represents the first authoritative reference text bringing together the most up-to-date information in the variety of subjects comprising the field of mental health and well-being in animals.

Bringing together a host of distinguished experts internationally noted in the fields of animal emotion research, animal behavior, cognitive science, and neuroscience, the book represents the first authoritative reference compiling the diverse information on the animal mind and combining the revolutionary advances in the cognitive sciences with the knowledge in veterinary medicine and clinical animal behavior. This book takes a descriptive and proscriptive approach to mental health, mixing the scientific research with practical information with clinical applications for veterinary health professionals to use in practice.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (June 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813804892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813804897
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,322,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Balcombe on June 24, 2006
This is the first text book dedicated to mental health and well-being in animals. Its diverse topics include: animal thinking, emotions, pleasure, suffering, boredom, stress/distress, mental illness and their treatment (with and without drugs), and environmental enrichment, and happiness. It will be of interest to workers in zoos, farms, and laboratories, and anyone with a scholarly interest in animal behavior.

What most distinguishes this book from any before it is that large sections are devoted to positive feelings in animals. One chapter presents evidence from rigorous scientific studies showing that animals' decisions are mediated by the prospect of pleasurable feelings. Another examines the concept of quality of life (QOL) for animals, and asks: Do animals experience true happiness? With all the attention given animal pain and suffering (and rightly so), it is high time science began to address positive elements in animals' experience of their worlds, and this volume is a welcome prod in that direction.

As this important volume shows, we already have the know-how to make meaningful and substantive positive changes to the living environments of animals in laboratories, farms, zoos, and homes. The question is not what we should be doing so much as how do we get it done? Thanks in part to books like this, acknowledging animals as thinking individuals with intrinsic worth may someday be rightfully recognized as a critical turning-point in human cultural evolution.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Shawn Messonnier on September 11, 2005
This book, written by a number of contributors, is one of the most interesting I have read in some time. It explores all of the facets of well-being in pets, and as far as I know is the first to acknowledge and discuss mental health in animals. Many years ago when I first learned animal behavior, we were told not to be anthropomorphic. Simply put, animals did not have the same "feelings" attributed to humans. Since that time, new research has shown us that animals do in fact experience in their own ways many of the emotions experience by people. The book is divided into 21 chapters covering a wide array of topics. These include stress, boredom, pleasure, mental illness in animals and its treatment, and the mental well-being of farm animals, laboratory animals, and birds. It's quite an interesting topic and a book that I would highly recommend!

Shawn Messonnier DVM

The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog, The Allergy Solution for Dogs
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