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The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy Paperback – February 19, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; First Edition edition (February 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786886919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786886913
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

". . . did you know that a pet may have significant health benefits? . . . Dr. Marty Becker explains why. Highly recommended!" -- Dean Ornish, M.D., founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute

". . . reveals the completeness of animals and their ability to heal our lives. . . required reading for all people." -- Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine, and Miracles

"Explains . . . why a prescription to the kennel and the pound are as important as one to the pharmacy." -- Isadore Rosenfeld, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.C., health editor of Parade and author of Symptoms and Live Now, Age Later

About the Author

Dr. Marty Becker is the veterinary contributor to ABC-TV's Good Morning America. His highly regarded weekly newspaper column, "The Bond," is distributed internationally by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. Dr. Becker is also a contributing editor for Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy magazines, and is the chief veterinary correspondent for Amazon.com. He is co-author of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Cat and Dog Lover's Soul. He lives in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Danelle Morton is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has worked for publications ranging from The New York Times to People, and has served as a foreign correspondent, state capital bureau chief, columnist, and associate bureau chief of People's Los Angeles bureau. She is also the co-author of three books.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
This book is well written, easy to read and absent of technical jargon.
B. L. Maddux
In the Healing Power of Pets, Dr. Marty Becker and Danelle Morton remind us that good health, like living a good life, is not simply an issue of absence of disease.
Janice Willard
I expect that this book will become a required reading for anyone who is genuinely interested in studying the animal/human bond.
Aubrey H Fine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on November 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The fact that this book was written by a co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul" (a book that I loved) is one of the things that made me pick it up. However, "Healing Power of Pets" is more than a collection of animal anecdotes. There's a lot of good, solid scientific information woven in, too. Dr. Marty Becker, a veterinarian who has worked with Animal-Assisted Therapy programs, cites numerous studies which show that people who are bonded with their pet(s) lead longer, heathier lives.
On page 74, for example, he refers to a 1995 study conducted by Erka Friedmann, a professor at the Department of Health and Nutritional Studies at Brooklyn College. She recruited 392 patients who had suffered heart attacks and were part of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial. Of these, 87 owned dogs and 282 did not. A year later, only one of the dog owners had died, while 19 of the non-dog-owners had passed away. In other words, people who own a dog are far more likely to be alive a year after having a heart attack.
Why is this? Many reasons are given in the book: dog owners get more exercise, they take better care of themselves because they feel responsible for the dog, they relax while petting the dog, they are less lonely because of the dog, etc. Other studies have shown that the act of stroking an animal's fur lowers the human's blood pressure like a form of meditation.
As a Jewish educator reading this book, I could not help but reflect on the fact that, compared to the general population, far fewer Jews have pets. In the Orthodox and Hasidic communities, especially, it is rare to see a dog in the house.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Edward T.Creagan on February 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
We are slowly killing ourselves. We drive too fast, eat too much, are sleep-deprived and are fried, frazzled and hassled. E multi-task til we drop. More of us commit suicide with a fork than with a gun. Laptops, desk tops, PDA's entomb us in an icy digital dungeon.
So what does this have to do with pets? Dr. Becker and Danelle Morton have crafted a brilliant story. We need the CAT scan and pills. But we also need the puppy and the kitten to heal our bodies, mend our minds and soothe our troubled souls. And make us smile again.
With rock-solid data from psychologists, immunologists and epidemiologists the authors take us by the hand and show the healing power of animals. The style is soft, comfortable and enticing. You cannot put this book away. The Bond between people, patiends and pets is real, assessble and can no longer be ignored.
But have a hankie handy. A guarantee: no one finishes the book with a dry eye. But we feel good about the tears. Like the kind we shed with a good laugh.
So, if we want to go the distance, live long enough to cash in the 403-b, read this book. It will change your life and you can bet on it.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Though outside my normal lane of fiction, this reviewer read this book because of my love for dogs and cats. My spouse has remarked that my significant other was my beloved dog Max who has to be in heaven still emitting beams of healing to me. Along with Danelle Morton, Dr. Marty Becker of TV fame and author of some of the Chicken Soup books provides an insightful look at healing miracles involving pets. Medical research has begun to correlate the healthy relationship between a dog or a cat and a human especially a person in need of healing.

THE HEALING POWER OF PETS describes how animals cure or prevent illnesses and encourage couch potatoes to get off their butt and join them in activities. The authors also provide true-life stories of pets enhancing the lives of their owners often in miraculous ways that science does not understand in spite of gathering high statistical relationships between health and owners. This well-written book is clearly for pet lovers who know inside their hearts the meaning of "harnessing the amazing ability of pets to make and keep people healthy ".

Harriet Klausner
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Janice Willard on February 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the Healing Power of Pets, Dr. Marty Becker and Danelle Morton remind us that good health, like living a good life, is not simply an issue of absence of disease. Good health is achieved by a balance between factors influencing body, mind and spirit. In this book, the authors explore how animals aid humans in all of these categories. Animals help the body by encouraging exercise and stimulating nerves. They help the mind by providing structure in the daily activities, giving a person someone outside themselves to think and care for, facilitating social contacts and breaking through barriers of isolation. They benefit the spirit by assisting people to achieve a meditation- like relaxation and experience living in the moment.
While this book will be a delight to most pet owners, I believe that its utility goes beyond that. Health care providers, mental health councilors and educational specialists will all find food for thought in this well researched book. One of the first things that I do when reading a non-fiction book is to flip to the back and see what information is referenced. This book has an extensive bibliography and considerable scientific material is cited. However, it is a credit to Dr. Becker's writing style that the narrative flows seamlessly from personal stories to scientific research that illustrate the same point. As a result, the information is conveyed in a way that is engaging as well as being educational.
While we derive many benefits from our association with animals, we must remember that the Human Animal Bond needs to always be a two way street of mutual benefits. Too often we fall short of our responsibilities to them, as the high numbers of animals abandoned at shelters attests.
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