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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 26 reviews
on August 27, 2017
I was hoping for some specific advice, but never found it. I'm a big fan of Nestle and had hoped for insight on how to take better care of my cat's nutrition.
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on June 11, 2014
I was surprised after reading this book to come back to amazon and read some of the reviews here. People seem to be hung up on ideological principles of how they *think* dogs/cats should eat, or what *sounds* natural to them based the evolution of dogs.

I was very pleased to see that the authors of this book only pay attention to what science can tell us about how different foods are digested by our pets, and how well the nutrition of those foods is absorbed in their bodies. Their findings are based in research, not in opinion.
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on July 12, 2013
Nestle & Nesheim, two nutritionists, set out to evaluate the many competing claims about what diets are best for dogs and cats. To their own surprise, they discovered that there was insufficient evidence to declare one food better than another. They suggest that any food which is nutritionally complete and balanced should be adequate for your pet, unless it has special needs. In a far less extensive survey a few years ago, CONSUMER REPORTS drew the same conclusion.
You might say that the authors display the courage of their lack of conviction. They must have known they would be set upon by carnivorous critics upon publication. People nowadays advance their theories of animal and human nutrition with a fervor once reserved for religious doctrines, and raw food adherents, grain-free advocates, and premium food aficionados have set upon them with a vengeance, as can be seen in some of the reviews and comments on this site. However, as Nestle & Nesheim note, there is still a lot to learn about animal nutrition, and it is lack of real knowledge that allows the furious clash of opinions. Rigorous scientific investigation may someday establish the facts, leaving little room for opinion about what the best foods are, but that day is still to come. In reading the book, I was shocked to see how little research has been done that is rigorous, peer-reviewed, and unbiased.
I do have a few minor matters to grumble about. 1) Although the book is 376 pages long, the authors say almost nothing about taste. Humans eat for enjoyment, not just for vitamins and minerals, and so do pets. What do dogs and cats like best? The book is essentially silent on this matter. 2) Statements like "We discuss this in more detail later" occur too often throughout the book. This is a mere stylistic oddity, but I found it obtrusive after a while. It made it seem like the content was continually receding as I read. 3) There is too much appendicized material to suit me. As one who has written scholarly material, I understand the need for appendices in academic writing. However, when I finish the last chapter of a book for the general reader, I want to be done.
These quibbles notwithstanding, I recommend FEED YOUR PET RIGHT highly. While it won't convert the devotees, it can salve the consciences of the rest of us. The authors believe that pet owners should feed what feels right to them. If you want to feed homemade food, raw food, or vegetarian fare, you are free to do so. However, those of us who often grab a few cans of Friskies at the supermarket can stop feeling vaguely guilty. Most commercial diets will do.
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on November 7, 2016
I expected more of the book. It explain the difference between animal diets, but didnt convince me. For me, just OK.
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on December 23, 2010
Dr. Nestle is one of my favorite nutritionists. She has a no non-sense agenda when it comes to human nutrition - not all of which I agree with, but for the most part, she makes good sense with easy advice for good nutrition. I expected the same for this book. In fact, I pre-ordered the book (something I never do) because I was so sure it was going to overhaul the pet food arena. I was very, very wrong. It seems like the pet food industry has more influence than the human food industry! Recently my vet told me that homemade dog food would provide no nutrition for my dogs, and that I needed to feed them "nutritionally balanced commercial pet food." And I didn't even have ammunition in this book to contradict him, though I've seen with my own two eyes over the past 4 years the huge difference in health after feeding my dogs homemade dog food instead of commercial pet food. Let's look at this logically, if CAFO's produce meat that is unhealthy for humans - and that's the food "fit for human consumption" - just exactly how are the waste products and the 4-D meat from this industry supposed to be healthy for dogs? Dogs have been evolving with humans for thousands of years, their nutritional profile is extremely similar to ours. If highly processed foods are bad for us, then highly processed foods that aren't even fit for human consumption are bad for dogs. I've even been told by a holistic vet that I should add a calcium/phosphorous supplement since they aren't eating bones. Hello, they eat boiled eggs (no shell) from my own backyard chickens - there's more than fat, protein & cholesterol in eggs - absolutely everything necessary to build a baby chick is in an egg - that would include calcium, phosphorous and a whole lot more nutrients (the assumption here is that the eggs are from healthy, happy, local, chickens...) My dogs have had no intestinal problems since feeding them homemade (cooked meat and veggies) dog food, whereas commercial dog food has necessitated emergency visits to the vet because of bad dog food at least once a year. In this book, Nestle does say that homemade food is fine - and she gives recipes, but she still insists that vitamin/mineral supplements are necessary. I suppose they can't hurt, but if you do the right combo of foods, they are unnecessary.
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on August 1, 2014
Like the book,and, everything went well. Thank you, RFobyn
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on June 28, 2011
In this well researched book, the authors share what we do know about pet nutrition and the pet food industry. Obviously (since there are so many healthy animals out there) commercial pet food does provide nutrition to ensure a healthy life. They discuss alternative diets but (since this is a book based on research) can't make strong recommendations one way or another -- there simply isn't enough data. This seems to be the problem most people have with the book. They expected them to end with a recommendation of exactly what food you should buy. Each pet is slightly different -- just as each person is slightly different. This book gives you the skills and knowledge to make more educated choices to help your pet thrive and to purchase foods that align with your values. It's sometimes dry, but I learned a lot about reading labels and calculating calories -- the basics for my own diet but much harder to do for pets with the limited info often on labels!
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on November 28, 2011
As a veterinary professional, I found this book really helpful in getting a handle on pet food. The exposition is clear and concise but does not leave out pertinent information. The authors are respectable figures in the nutrition field and bring expertise and common sense to a field that at times seems full of "snake oil" salesmen.
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on June 3, 2010
This is an excellent book, but not at all what I expected. What I wanted was a practical guide about how to read labels and how to decide which dog food to buy for my dog (as well as a discussion of diet-related health issues). What I got instead was an academic study about the pet food industry (with the history of tainted food, etc), common industry practices and a discussion about the regulatory framework for pet food and labeling. These are all worthy subjects, but not particularly relevant to the questions I face: am I feeding the right dog food to my dog? The good news is that Chapter 26 does summarize the most important points of the book: that most commercial pet foods are adequate and appropriate, and they are pretty much alike (nutritionally speaking). Nestle's final conclusion is that the diet you provide for your pet should depend more on your own values than on nutritional needs (because most commercial pet food is adequate). i got more out of that chapter than the rest of the book. That said, I appreciate Nestle's description of ingredients and food labeling requirements. But I was surprised that Ms. Nestle does not talk about climate change in this discussion. (There is a spurious meme going that pet ownership leaves a carbon footprint equivalent to owning an SUV; I've seen it debunked several times -- most recently by Clark Williams-Derry on the Grist website). If the authors were going to talk about pet food production, wouldn't it have a good idea to address the climate change issue more directly?

As a reference guide, this book is very useful -- especially Appendix 1 which gives facts and figures about the pet food industry. Chapter 3 gives a discussion of which nutrients are needed by animals (Omega 3s, vitamins, etc?). I am satisfied with Nestle's conclusion that a vegetarian diet is not harmful for your pet. I would have liked more practical advice about pet behavior-- i.e., is it stressful for a pet to switch pet foods? Under what circumstances should you switch the pet food for pets? Nestle went out of her way to state that her credentials are in nutrition and industrial science rather than being a pet expert. That's unfortunate, because I suspect that an animal expert might have shed more insight into the behavioral problems associated with diet.

By the way, I read this as an ebook on my ipad. The formatting for all the tables was completely messed up! (annoying, but not terrible).

IN SUMMARY, an in-depth academic treatment of the pet food industry. This may give more detail than most pet owners will want to read. But as a reference guide, it's excellent, and Chapter 26 is a must-read chapter.
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on April 16, 2013
Dogs and cats are not grain eaters...they didn't evolve eating mass produced, low nutritional, carbohydrate rich, agricultural products. How silly to think that feeding the same crap that is forced on humans to be good for our more carnivorous companions.

Yes it's true, dogs need less protein than cats. Hmmmm that's about all that is valid in the "recommended" diet for these animals--But I knew that already.

They do correctly point out, for most of the book, that the pet food industry evolved feeding "by-products" of the human food industry in order to maximize profits--not health--for cats and dogs. Survive not necessarily thrive is the key to a successful pet food ingredient formulation. If you want history, it's here. I suppose that's where the "authoritative" in the subtitle of the book is derived.

We have been making some of our own dog food recently, since we do not eat grains...our dog doesn't either. The dry food that she gets is also "grain-free"...yes they are out there.

I would suggest looking at some of the other reviews that have a 1 or 2 rating. These comments provide other resources for "knowledgeable" pet food science. And I certainly don't mean an authority whose degree was supported by the grain industry related to improving their excess by-products and creating new food options for pets.

Even if you eat grains, maybe you need to feed your pet something else. We are the experiment.
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