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Your Dog: The Owner's Manual: Hundreds of Secrets, Surprises, and Solutions for Raising a Happy, Healthy Dog Hardcover – April 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Chock full of practical advice on both behavior and health. Anyone who is getting their first dog should read this informative book."
-Temple Grandin, Author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make us Human

"What a great reference to have on hand! YOUR DOG is such a blessing to all of us dog lovers everywhere. Good advice from someone we can trust."
-Betty White, award-winning actress

"I love dogs, yet being on the road 250 days a year makes it tough to have one. But when I finally get my dog I'll have the answers right at my fingertips. Well done, Dr. Becker!"
-Ty Pennington, host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

"This book has every type of pet parent tip a dog owner needs. The only thing Marty forgot was to remind people to always be nice to your doggies because they have seen you naked."
-Joy Behar, host of The Joy Behar Show and co-host of The View

"Dr. Marty Becker packs thirty-plus years of veterinary experience and a lifelong love of dogs into an easy-to-read guide to the joys and responsibilities of being the owner your pet deserves."
-Robin Ganzert, PhD, President and CEO, American Humane Association

"Loaded with practical, useful information--including how to choose a canine companion from a shelter, rescue group, or reputable breeder while avoiding puppy mills--Dr. Marty Becker's new book is a must read."
-Dr. Steven Hansen, Chief Operating Officer, ASPCA

"I've had dogs my whole life, and didn't realize there was so much more to know about them! I learned some new tricks from Marty that I can't wait to try on my tail-waggers . . . a complete dog-care book no canine-lover should be without!"
-Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus, Columbus Zoo, and host of Into the Wild

"An easy and fun read . . . We all want a happy dog that is easy to live with. Dr. Marty Becker does a great job shedding light on the foundation necessary to enjoy life with a dog as a part of the family."
-Tamar Geller, Author of The Loved Dog, Founder of Operation Heroes & Hounds

"A must-have book for any dog-lover. It provides current facts with helpful recommendations for loving and living with our dogs through their lifespan."
-Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director, Research Center for Human Animal Interaction, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

"An insightful and positive guide to making the most of life shared with a canine friend . . . encouraging and thorough: Fewer dogs would end up in a shelter if their owners read this book!"
-Wilma Melville, Founder, National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

"At last! One commonsense book leading the new pet parent through the sometimes-daunting maze of raising the perfect dog."
-Susan Sims, Publisher, FIDO Friendly magazine

"This is a must-have, one-stop-shop for anyone who has a dog or wants a dog. Rooted in science and written with love, this book will help us all become better people to our dogs."
-W. Bruce Cameron, Author of the New York Times bestseller A Dog's Purpose

"Not only do we learn a lot about the marvelous dogs Dr. Becker has known and loved, we feel like we're sitting with him as he tells us stories of his life and family . . . His writing is filled with humor, intelligence, and, most importantly, the wisdom that comes from a life well led."
-Homer Hickam, Author of Rocket Boys and October Sky

"Dogs make us human, and with this much at stake you want your dog at your side and this book backing you up."
-Michael Capuzzo, Bestselling Author of The Murder Room and co-author of Mutts: America's Dogs

"Excellent educational value and practical guidance."
-Karen Pryor, Author, Biologist, CEO KPCT/clickertraining.com"

Dr. Becker notes that "Part of the problem is that while dogs haven't changed that much, our relationship with them has changed a great deal in a short amount of time." He takes that poignant observation and develops an incredibly readable book that is fun reading while being filled with important life-saving information for the dedicated dog owner.
-Alan M. Beck, Sc.D., Professor and Director, Center for the Human-Animal Bond Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine

"You need this book because your dog can't tell you what it needs. And if it could tell you what it needs, it would just say it needs steak. And that's not helpful. This book is."
-John Scalzi, New York Times Bestselling Author of Old Man's War and Fuzzy Nation

"Like its author, YOUR DOG is warm, friendly and packed with information."
-Terry Ryan, Dog training class instructor and member of the behavior and training advisory board of the American Humane Society in 2010

"As dean of a veterinary college, and over 35 years as a veterinarian, I can attest to the excellent educational value and practical guidance provided in Dr. Becker's recent book: YOUR DOG: THE OWNER'S MANUAL. Successfully selecting, training, exercising, and owning a dog that fits your lifestyle, should not be taken lightly, nor should they be random events. It requires a well thought-out process and this book will guide you through the myriad of possibilities."
-Neil Olson, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

"I wish every dog parent would read this book. Sure, it is chock-full of tips and advice, but with his fun and deeply personal style, Dr. Marty Becker brings us a little closer to understanding our dogs through his enlightening anecdotes and user-friendly interpretations of veterinary science. I have read a bookshelf full of dog books, but still enjoyed every page of this one. "America's Veterinarian" gets it right again!"
-Betsy Banks Saul, Founder, Petfinder.com

"Your Dog: The Owner's Manual is one of the most timely approaches to animal ownership in our generation. As a veterinary colleague, I deeply appreciate the rational, common sense approach you use in addressing difficult issues, misleading dogma, and well-meaning but dangerous practices in dog rearing."
-Phillip D. Nelson, DVM, PhD, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences

"Here's an expert who loves people as much as he loves dogs! Marty Becker is on your side from beginning to end, and will help you have the relationship that you (and your dog!) always wanted.
-Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D, CAAB, Author of The Other End of the Leash and For the Love of a Dog

About the Author

Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian" has been the popular contributor to ABC-TV's Good Morning America for 10 years, and is the resident veterinarian on The Dr. Oz Show. He writes a Universal Press Syndicated column with Gina Spadafori, Pet Connection; is a contributor to Parade Magazine, and was voted "companion animal Veterinarian of the year." He is also co-author of the fastest-selling pet book in history, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul. Dr. Becker still enjoys his work as a practicing veterinarian, at the North Idaho Animal Hospital.

Gina Spadafori is a veteran journalist who has been writing about pets and their care as a syndicated columnist and author. Her top-selling book, Dogs for Dummies, was given the President's Award for the best writing on dogs and the Maxwell medallion for the best general reference work.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style (April 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446571326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446571326
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kim C. Thornton on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With humor, personal anecdotes and advice from top veterinary experts, Dr. Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori share the best ways to make living with a dog a joyous journey. From finding a dog to buying all his gear to games dogs play and the best ways to keep them healthy, this book is a worthy addition to a dog lover's library. Buy it before you get a dog and you'll have a blueprint for how to go about the process, whether you plan to adopt from a shelter or buy from a breeder. Current dog owners will get up-to-date advice on training and nutrition, not to mention the latest, greatest pet products for keeping dogs happy and entertained. The authors' deep love for and knowledge of dogs shows on every page.
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Format: Hardcover
While I realize that Marty Becker is a respected vet, he makes what I consider egregious errors in this book. For example, when he discusses pet insurance, which he wholehardedly endorses, he mentions an article that warned against buying this type of insurance. He says that the article mentions that "you don't make money" by purchasing pet insurance. But that's not what the article said at all. The article was published in Reader's Digest,with the title "The biggest rip-offs to avoid," and high on the list was pet insurance. The article discussed how most people pay far more into pet insurance year after year than is ever paid out by pet insurance. As a result, you lose money. What was suggested was opening a special bank account to handle higher cost vet bills. By putting money into this account from the time you get your dog, you will have accrued enough money to deal with higher cost vet bills, without wasting the money on pet insurance, which can run into thousands of dollars paid over the lifetime of your pet. In addition, many pet insurers are notorious for refusing to pay larger bills. They will cover the small stuff, such as routine check-ups, dental work, but if a serious illness affects your pet, they often quote the small print on your contract with them, using excuses such as "pre-existing Illness" to refuse your payment of the required medical procedure. In addition, even Becker suggests opening up your own account to deal with this, since he notes that pet insurance will not pay all of the bill--if they pay anything at all. I agree with Reader's Digest that pet insurance is a ripoff for most people. In another section of the book, Becker suggests that medium size dogs ingest 30 calories per pound of bodyweight. I have a medium sized dog that weighs 47 pounds.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Marty Becker presents a book that even the new pet owner can embrace! It's loaded with easy, simple and timely tips that inspires all dog owners to try. Just by simply replacing my dog's food bowl with a food puzzle, I tripled her eating time, and she now prefers the fun challenge at meal time. Thank you , Dr. Becker!
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Not surprisingly, the Becker/Spadafori franchise has produced an exceptional book on the selection, care, feeding, training and understanding of the dog. Written in a highly engaging style, each page of Your Dog offers current or prospective dog owners all they need to ensure a happy and healthy relationship with their beloved animals. I learned more about dogs from this book than I have in a lifetime of living with them. The "Resources" section alone is worth the price of this book. If you have a dog, or are looking to get one, buy this book.
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I've had dogs most of my life, and I learned so much from this book. All kinds of tips and tricks, from how to decide what kind of dog is best for you to a serious discussion of when to let go. It doesn't matter if you're a first time dog owner or a lifetime dog lover. This book really covers it all, and best of all, the authors don't talk down to you, they don't talk over your head, and they treat the reader with great respect.

It's a complete, informative bible for dog owners!
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Your Dog- The Owner's Manual claimes to contain hundreds of secrets, surprises, and solutions for raising a happy, healthy dog. It delivers as promised, in a most creative, colorful, and caring way. Dr. Marty Becker has the unique ability of researching, both on his own and through his cadre of connections, products and services that prospective, new AND current dog owners should consider in regards to enhancing their enjoyment of pet ownership. From that perspective alone, it is a "must read". What I found exceptionally beneficial is the way Dr. Becker weaves his candid counsel into his suggestions and recommendations. Dog ownership is a long term relationsip that should not be entered into naively. THIS book helps the reader make decisions based on facts as well as the down-to-earth reasoning. Throughout, the author also infuses his uncanny wit and humor, often at his own expense! This makes the book much more than a "how-to manual". It resonates with practical, often poignant observations based on incredible research and insight into our "affection connection" with the canine species. It is said that "dogs are man's best freind". What is for sure, we have an obligation to be "best friends" to the dogs we have taken into our homes and into our hearts.

I encourage dog lovers, including the veterinary profession, of which I am member, to read and promote this book to others. The wealth of information is too valuable not to share. "America's Veterinarian" has provided us with yet another global gift. Don't delay. Dogs everywhere are counting on you to care!
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