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Nutrition

Food Pets Die For

by Ann Martin


This book should be read by every single person who is involved with pets in any way!

Since 1990, Ann Martin has been investigating the commercial pet food industry and exposing the truth about just how unregulated the whole thing is. When she titled her book "Food Pets Die For," she wasn't kidding.

Chapters include: The Case Against Commmercial Pet Food; Companion Animals in Pet Food; Mad Cow Disease and How It Relates to Our Pets; Sources of Meat, Carbohydrates, and Fiber; Hidden Hazards in Pet Food: Drugs, Heavy Metals, Pesticides, and Pathogens; Pet Food Regulations in the United States and Canada; Recipes and Other Helpful Hints for a Healthy Pet; Resources for Consumer Action.

Buy it, rent it, borrow it... just Read It!

Give Your Dog a Bone

by Dr. Ian Billinghurst


"The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs For a Long Healthy Life"

That subtitle pretty much says it all. Feeding dogs isn't rocket science, it just takes plain old logic. This is what Dr. B. emphasizes throughout his book.

The book begins by explaining the problems associated with commercial dog foods and badly prepared homemade diets. Thereafter, each food item used in the BARF diet is examined in depth. Finally, the good doctor brings it all together in his chapters on feeding puppies, adults and seniors; how much to feed; and switching over.

I do have a couple problems with this book. First of all, it's rather redundant. I believe Dr. B. deliberately repeats himself so to ingrain what he is saying in the minds of his readers. Not a bad strategy, but it can get annoying. Secondly, Billinghurst is a conventional veterinarian in every manner, besides nutrition. He advocates yearly vaccinations, and actually recommends regular dewormings "just in case" which is a very harmful practice. Even the conventional vets I know of would not give a dog toxic deworming drugs without a blood test to confirm the need! Thankfully, there are only a few short mentions of such practices in this book.

Another possible drawback could be the length of the book. With over 300 pages just on nutrition, it might be intimidating to those not inclined to read a whole lot. However, the book is well arranged, so a quick glance at the table of contents can point you to whatever topic strikes your fancy. And the one benefit of Dr. B. constantly repeating everything, is that it is possible to read the section on feeding puppies or adult dogs alone and put it to use. Of course, in order to get a full understanding of the BARF diet, you'll probably need to read the whole book.

One last thing to keep in mind is that this book is a product of Australia. There are a few topics that don't apply elsewhere in the world, and the diet itself is formulated according to the laid back laws of the outback. So don't be too shocked when you find no strict recipes for feeding dogs! Also, it should be mentioned that since writing GYDAB, Dr. B. has changed his views on feeding grains and is now suggesting totally eliminating grains from the diet.

Overall, this is a valuable book for anyone interested in canine nutrition in general, or the BARF diet in particular. I've never regretted my purchase.

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet

by Kymythy Schultze


This is an excellent book by another leader in the BARF movement. It is compact, easy to read, and covers everything you need to know to start feeding raw, without being longwinded. At just over 100 five by seven inch pages, this book is perfect for those who want to feed their pets a better diet, but don't have the time or desire to do extensive reading. Plus it's a steal at less than $9! The only drawback I see in this book is the lack of an index.

Topics covered include: species appropriate nutrition, foods to use and avoid, finding ingredients for the diet, traveling with the diet, switching over adults, weaning babies, and testimonies from pet owners who switched their pets. Some other nice features in the book are: an evolutionary timeline, which compares the domestication of dogs & cats against that of milk producing animals and modern grains; a chart listing sources of essential nutrients; a shopping list; a sample monthly menu; and a food diary to record your pet's progress in health.

Reigning Cats & Dogs

by Pat McKay


If you like the sounds of the BARF diet, but can't bring yourself to feed bones (even ground), this is the book for you. McKay's diet calls for a calcium supplement instead. Incidentally, there is only one supplement brand she recommends, and she just happens to sell it. Not that the entire book is just a big advertisement for her products, but when it comes to essential supplements, she only mentions her brand. Therefore, if you choose to follow her diet plan, your resources are limited.

On the plus side, the book in general is quite good. McKay discusses each food group, and certain foods within them, which I found very helpful. She also provides unique recipes for snacks, and a nice section on travel foods. Her writing style is straightforward and easy to understand, and there are amusing cartoons throughout the book. All in all, I think this book is a useful addition to any nutrition library.

Natural Food Recipes For Healthy Dogs

by Carol Boyle


A simple diet book for dogs, based on feeding "people food." Nutrition experts generally agree that such a diet, gone unsupplemented, can be severely unbalanced, especially in calcium. However, many dogs seem to get by just fine on such fare, and there are certainly worse ways of feeding dogs than the Boyle diet. Her recommendations are not to simply feed your dog whatever you are having for dinner, but to cook healthy foods for the whole family, including the dog.

Included in the book are diet sheets for the young and old, and guidelines for working dogs and those with health problems. The remaining pages are mostly comprised of recipes, which are intended for both humans and dogs.

If a "people food" diet is what you prefer to feed, then you should read this book. Boyle's regimen is at least more balanced than such a diet haphazardly put together.