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Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats Paperback – June 15, 1995

129 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

A classic natural pet-care book from two celebrated veterinary specialists in chemical-free nutrition, treatment, and natural healing for pets, Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats offers valuable natural and holistic advice on a host of pet topics, including, but not limited to, diet, exercise, environment, coping with a pet's death, and how to care for a sick animal. In addition to their thorough discussion of the above, Richard Pitcairn, D.V.M., and his wife, Susan Hubble Pitcairn, M.S., offer a comprehensive "quick reference" section on animal illnesses, organized alphabetically and including a brief description of each illness, preventative measures that may be taken, and holistic and natural treatment options for both dogs and cats--treatments that should always be discussed with one's vet before being used. Occasional line drawings, informative graphs, and the Pitcairn's intelligent prose make this guide a must-have for pet owners interested in a natural lifestyle for their pets.


“The most comprehensive guide to natural health care for pets-- required reading for all animal lovers!” ―Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M., Editor, Veterinary Acupuncture: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Revised edition (June 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875962432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875962436
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 155 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
I love my dog and have always been concerned about the chemicals, dyes and other additives found in most commercial dog foods. I have talked to many veterinarians who are unconcerned about the rancid meat scraps, etc. that are put into kibble. Although I have found a product containing no chemical additives, I still felt guilty about feeding my dog something that I wouldn't expect a person to be able to live on. I have read many books on dog health, and was not impressed by any of them. Then I read Dr. Pitcairn's book. It was intelligent, well written and made perfect sense. The only inhibition I had about starting a natural diet for my dog was the cost. I'm a graduate student and money is tight. However, I started supplementing my dog's kibble with Pitcairn's suggested recepies. She is bouncing and playing like a puppy, her teeth are cleaner and her coat has gone from dull to shiny. I am so impressed by the changes I've seen, I have decided to eliminate the kibble entirely. Feeding my dog a natural food diet is much easier and less expensive than I thought. I have already extolled the virtues of this book to all of my dog owning friends and would highly recommend it to anyone who cares about the health of their animal. A wonderful book!
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67 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
For the dedicated pet owner who needs information about nutrition and the real facts about commercial pet food. Along with The Holistic Guide For A Healthy Dog, this is one of the best sources of information on nutrition and how it affects your pets health.I have a 6 year old Rott/Shepard mix who has hip dysplasia and is very overweight. The traditional vet I saw recommended Science Diet low calorie food to take the weight off, but when I read the ingredients(the FIRST ingredient is peanut shell hulls AND it contains BHT and ethoxyquin both known to cause serious health problems in dogs including cancer!!) I just couldn't subject my dog to the risk of new health problems just to get him to lose weight. I found a weight loss recipe in Dr. Pitcairns book which I make from scratch and the weight is coming off and my dog has never been healthier. Make sure you question methods your vet suggests, especially if it may compromise your dogs health and arm yourself with this book which will prove to be an invaluable source you will look to again and again.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dr. Pitcairn's book is a tremendous eye opener. Its full of information that you may otherwise not be aware of. I now know what is in commercial pet food and was horrified. I guarantee that I would NEVER eat it, so why would I give it to my cats? Dr. Pitcairn tells you how you can care for and feed your cat or dog, in a relatively easy manner. I have 4 cats and they have never been healthier. Prior to the dietary change, in a one month period, I had 2 cats that were diagnosed with FUS (urinary tract problems) which were due to diet. Pet food makers suggest low ash diets, but not Dr. Pitcairn. I followed his direction, and now feed my cats a natural, raw, healthy diet. I did this with the blessing of my DVM. My cats love their food, which includes veggies, oats and supplements. All 4 cats have full blown yearly exams and all have had stellar results. They are frisky, happy animals. Their only visits are their annual exams, which are informative more than anything else. I believe that we owe it all to Dr. Pitcairn and his sound, natural advice. Don't hesitate to read this book, its one that every animal loving, pet owner should have. Its fabulous!
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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Sasha on May 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is often the first book I recommend to someone interested in learning about the holistic approach to dog and cat care. Dr. Pitcairn includes info on the pet food industry and what's wrong with most commercial foods. He then provides balanced recipes and ideas for feeding a homemade, natural diet. Unfortunately the diet he recommends is too high in grains (dogs and cats are carnivores and if grains are fed at all, they should make up only a small percentage of the foods fed -- raw muscle and organ meats, bones, fish, pulped veggies, eggs, even fruit and nuts, are all more appropriate foods for the canine or feline). On a positive note, Pitcairn's perfectly balanced "fresh food kibble booster recipes" are an excellent way for those who are not ready to feed a diet that's entirely homemade to add fresh foods to their animals' kibble several times a week. Apart from nutrition, Dr. Pitcairn addresses grooming and exercise, creating a healthier living environment, natural and effective flea control, alternative therapies, caring for a sick animal, handling emergencies, plus a large A-Z section of pet ailments and their holistic treatments. Since Dr. Pitcairn is a homeopathic vet, it is not surprising that the focus is often on homeopathic remedies.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By KivaLuvr on March 15, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book. The information is invaluable and the subject is presented in easy-to-understand English (not filled with technical and medical jargon). Dr. Pitcairn covers just about every major aspect of your dog's/cat's general and nutritional health. I did not receive the impression that Pitcairn was advocating a complete switch to home-cooked foods versus manufactured kibble or you would put your dog at risk. Most of the animals he presents as case studies were elderly or chronically sick to begin with and had nothing to lose. He merely points out that nutrion is the foundation for good health and our dogs and cats are often being compromised in this due to the nutrional choices we make for them. I purchased this book mainly so I could enhance my own Cairn Terrier's super-premium kibble with tasty and nutritious additions that would further optimize her food. Let's face it, most premium foods opt for good nutrition over gourmet taste. I asked my vet but he had no recommendations. Dog and Cat owners should be careful. Very few vets today have any great understanding about the pet food industry because it is not covered during their studies. I was shocked to learn that the pet foods offered for sale in my vet's office were there because the manufacturer rents the space from him and places the products on the shelves. That is the reason this book is so important. The chapters on flea control, weight problems, and general topics like spay and neutering, and even the death of your animal were a truly pleasant surprise. Every dog or cat owner should have this book.
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