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Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

by Richard H. Pitcairn, published by Rodale Books (1995-06-15)

Buy now from Amazon.com for $17.95
Amazon rating of 5.0 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 5381

Editor's Review:

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.Now completely updated and revised, this is an expanded edition of the classic natural pet-care book by veterinarian Richard H. Pitcairn and his wife Susan Pitcairn-- both renowned specialists in chemical-free nutrition, treatment and natural healing for pets. Written with the warmth and compassion that have won the Pitcairns a nationwide following, this guide will help you select the most compatible dog or cat for your own lifestyle-- and show you how to provide the very best in companionship, healing, nutrition and lifelong care. Since its publication more than a decade ago, the Pitcairns' book has become the definitive guide to a natural lifestyle for dogs and cats.

A comprehensive, thorough reference, this pet-lover's companion will tell you:

* How to choose a healthy animal
* Dozens of recipes for delicious, economical, healthful pet food-- with completely updated tables, charts and nutritional guidelines
* How to give your pet a checkup
* What's really in pet foods-- and which ones to avoid to ensure your pet's best health
* Special diets for special pets
* A guide to handling emergencies that includes techniques for external heart massage, artificial respiration and control of bleeding

An in-depth, alphabetical "Quick Reference" section that gives specific instructions for preventing, diagnosing and treating a wide variety of animal diseases and disorders-- from abscesses, allergies and behavior problems to vaccination risks, weight problems and worms. The Pitcairns' approach is drug-free and holistic-- with special attention to homeopathic and alternative remedies and treatments.

Reader Reviews:

Every aspect of caring for your companion dogs and cats health is covered here. The sheer volume of topics addressed make this book an invaluable resource that any dog or cat owner interested in their animal's health and longevity and quality of life will use again and again. From preventative health maintenance to injury treatment, to better choices in real nutrition and supplements, to natural pest control tips, proper environment and other care concerns and much, much more, it is all here in easy to follow ancedotes and instructions.

Just as with people, a healthier diet and lifestyle can add years to your pets life and also allows for a much faster recovery time from stress, injury, or illness. Watching our now 11 year+ old dog go from waddling and barely moseying around with an overabundance of geriatric canine pudge on creaking old hips four years ago to now being fit and trim and easily zooming around like a Tasmanian Devil, with a gleam in his eyes, holding his own against much younger pups energy is beyond heartwarming. He really does seem to have gotten four years younger rather than an additional four years older. Thanks very much to Dr. & Mrs. Pitcairn. Wish that every DVM practiced the same methodologies.This is one of the best books on the market that cover natural care and feeding of dogs and cats. It includes balanced recipes complete with easy to make supplements, and a wealth of information on how to care for all sorts of issues and problems the natural way. I strongly recommend having a copy of this book on the shelf for any pet owner.

I have owned two copies of Dr Pitcairn's book ... both the first release, which I simply wore out and, when it was re-released in the new edition, I bought a copy of that as well.

If you're considering purchasing this book, don't hesitate any longer. You won't regret it.You may see some of my other reviews about human health and nutrition, but this is perhaps THE book that prompted me to learn more about MY diet.

Here's what I liked about the book:

Dr. Pitcairn has a long career in the vetinarian industry. I enjoyed reading 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.

My story:

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 ask 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 (vetinarians) 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 definately 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. But overall, a lot of his recommendations were very similar to the advise we received from the breeder.

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 Vetinary Teaching Hospital.

Whether you decide to buy this book or not, I strongly advise 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!Dr. Pitcairn's book was introduced to me by my local vet who would consult it whenever my dog's severe colitis acted up. Since then I have used its wisdom to give my dog a healthy diet, tame his hyperactivity, and help with minor cuts. My dog is a lot healthier and has a lot less health issues then he had before and I attribute it to the good information found here.
I have also seen this book put on a reference shelf in my town's co-op and I have recommended it to other pet lovers to check it out in order to make natural supplements, and digestive aids for their pooches.
The book is very complete and it does offer both traditional and natural remedies for pet health. I like to make my dog's food using Pitcairn's suggestions, not only because it has tamed his colitis but because I keep hearing reports of contaminated pet products, rancid foods, and besides there are too many fillers and chemicals found in them. Plus I would like to have my pet enjoy a healthy life.
For whatever your reasons, this book is an excellent reference and intersting read for any pet owner or animal lover wanting to enrich their creature's lives.This book was my introduction into the world of all-natural pet care. I have one cat with severe allergies, and another with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). The conventional vet I was going to wanted me to put the FLUTD cat on prescription food which was very expensive, and totally tasteless (I assume, since it had no odor at all and the cat refused to eat it). And my allergic cat, he had no solution for (in fact, they told me at first that he was obsessive-compulsive and wanted me to put him on kitty-Xanax!). After all of this, I decided to look for another vet, and different solutions to these problems. I found this book, and read it almost from cover to cover. I was so thrilled, especially with the recipes for an all-natural diet for them. I have been cooking these for them now for almost 3 years, and they love it! The allergies are still a problem, but reduced -- and the FLUTD seems completely under control! Now, we do have a new, holistic vet that we go to who also helped with the FLUTD, but the diet, and accompanying homeopathic preventives, have kept him from having any major crystal formations in his urine for almost 2 years! I highly recommend this book to all pet owners. I discussed the diet with the new vet, and he made a few adjustments to the ingredients, but told me it was a great thing for them. I give this book 5 stars!
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