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Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats Paperback – June 15, 1995
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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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I have a beautiful dog family whom I love very much and have always tried to give them the very best care available. I took the Vet's advice as gospel and never let them have any table scraps, always sticking strictly to the Kirkland brand kibble (as the Dr. ordered) and only treats specifically produced for dogs. I was constantly assured (by numerous vets, as inevitably whenever any injury or illness occurred it was outside of regular business hours and so we were forced to take them to emergency clinics) that this was the way to ensure optimal health and the longest lifespan for my sweet babies.
The first time I considered straying from this path was about a year ago when a fellow student gave a presentation on the RAW food diet for dogs. I was very intrigued and looked into it a bit, but was reassured by our primary Vet that it was unnecessary and being an insanely busy student at the time, I accepted his advice and set the idea on the back burner. It wasn't until we decided to breed our oldest daughter (yes, I refer, quite seriously, to my dogs as my children) that I became fully aware of the immense benefits of cooking & preparing meals for your furry loved ones. I wanted to ensure a healthy, smooth, pregnancy & labor and after considerable research, I decided on three books to help me make the switch. "The Holistic Dog Book" by Denise Flaim, "The Whole Pet Diet" by Andi Brown, and this one. From everything I read, Dr. Pitcairn was the way to go but I always think it's good to have a few different perspectives on something so that you can create a plan that is best for you. I have been overwhelmed by these books and I highly recommend purchasing them together as they make great companions for each other.
"Natural Health for Dogs & Cats" is a large volume, full of pretty much everything you need to know to raise healthy, happy four-legged family members. The book is split into two parts, "Natural Health for Pets" and a "Quick Reference" section. Part One takes you through every aspect of pet health from pregnancy, to birth, to infancy and every stage beyond. This section also contains recipes specifically for each of these life stages as well as a "Healthy Powder" to ensure that your pets are receiving all the proper nutrients in order to live long, healthy lives. Part Two is a reference guide to every scenario you might want to investigate further without reading through the entire text when you are pressed for time. It's basically an A-Z list of different health issues one might encounter with their pets and how to treat them. This was very helpful in determining the best diet to feed our pregnant girl to ensure she had a healthy, successful pregnancy. There are also chapters on how to make the switch, creating a healthy environment, and holistic & alternative remedies for your pets. We have four dogs and we began to make the switch from kibble to food, immediately upon receiving these books in the mail. I have never been happier and they have never been healthier! (They're pretty stoked about the good food too) We began implementing dietary changes only a little over two weeks ago and I have already seen incredible improvements! Their coats have never been so lush, shiny, and soft! And our handsome boy, who has had skin conditions since we rescued him (and we've tried several Vet-recommended treatments, including shots of steroids, to no avail) has started to put on needed weight that we could never attain no matter what we did, and his skin has almost completely cleared up! And I know this is only the beginning of our amazing new journey to a healthy, happy family! I am so grateful to have these excellent resources in my home!
If you are looking to make the switch, this is the perfect starting point! And if not, you should reconsider :) When it's all said & done, we are actually spending less money on food and it is so easy to prepare right alongside our own meals, and the reward of truly healthy pups, is beyond anything I could have imagined!
While it seems like a lot of work initially, I promise you will get used to it and find shortcuts such as cooking grains and/or beans in advance. If you purchase meat on sale and put it in the freezer, it will be that much easier. Well worth considering - think about what dogs actually eat....