Top positive review
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Great book for better diet and health of dogs and cats!
on February 4, 2006
You may see some of my other reviews about human health and nutrition, this is THE book that prompted me to learn more about MY diet.
Here's what I liked about the book:
Dr. Pitcairn has been a veterinarian for a long time. It was refreshing to read about his holistic approach to pet health and diet--treating the root cause, not the symptoms. I like the fact that Dr. Pitcairn chose to think outside the box, so to speak, and look for alternatives early in his career when he found that his patients did not always respond to drugs. Also, the recipes are excellent for ensuring a truly healthy diet.
I can't think of anything that I did not like about the book.
I still remember the first time anyone had EVER mentioned to me that dog food is not good for dogs. My husband and I were adding a dog to our family and was going through an interview process with the breeder. She knew that we already have an older dog and she asked about his diet. This was two years ago, and by then, our older dog (11 years old at the time) had lost most of his teeth, and we had (reluctantly) taken him off his kibble diet. When we started feeding him more "table scraps" we noticed some incredible improvements. His coat looked better than it had in his 11 years, he was also very "peppy" and seemed to be overall in great health and spirits. All during his life he had ALWAYS suffered from weird ailments like skin disorders, hot spots, clogged anal glands, dry flaky skin, nasal allergies, etc. I can not count how many times this dog had been on drugs like cortisone and prednisone and bathed in "hypo-allergenic oatmeal-based shampoos". During my interview with this dog breeder, I did not share with her what my dog had been through, I just said, "...he has lost most of his teeth, and no longer eats kibble". This is when she told me that I shouldn't feed him kibble, and I should not feed the new little one kibble either!
This got me curious and I started doing my own research about dog food and was absolutely HORRIFIED to learn the ingredients used to make dog food. How can an entire industry (veterinarians) give such harmful advise?!?! I was and still am outraged at all the people along the way who always advised me to keep my dog on kibble, and I had heard it from so many sources for so many years that I figured they must be right! The day I learned what kibble has in it, my husband and I started cooking for our dogs. There's been some ups and downs during the last two years, learning what to feed and what not to feed, but overall I believe that both dogs are much healthier and my husband and I have peace of mind knowing exactly what they are eating! Oh, and all those skin ailments and allergies that the older dog suffered from for 11 years?...not a SINGLE episode in the past two years!
I found this book to be very helpful in understanding what dogs need to be healthy. I learned that generally speaking, we were doing most things right. We did make some changes in the supplements based on Dr. Pitcairn's recommendations and we replaced the white rice we had been feeding with oatmeal--which both dogs seem to like.
The older dog is now 13 years old and was diagnosed with Inflammatory Brain Disease about 2 months ago. We are obviously very devastated and I believe whole-heartedly that this brain disease was brought on by the poor diet and also the "top-spot" flea poison he had been on all his life. I found out AFTER his diagnosis that top-spot has been linked to this disease...as this is the same way the poison kills the fleas--it attacks their nervous system!--we had treated him with Frontline just four days before he became ill and was carried to UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Whether you decide to buy this book or not, I would suggest that you to do your own research about your pet's diet and decide for yourself. Some would say that cooking/preparing meals for their pets is a hassle, but this is the least you can do for all the benefits you will get from your healthier pet--not to mention the money you'll save from not taking your dog to the vet all the time to treat symptoms of a poor diet!