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Your Dog: The Owner's Manual    by Marty Becker & Gina Spadafori order for
Your Dog
by Marty Becker
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2011 (2011)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Dr. Marty Becker, known as Americas Veterinarian to viewers of Good Morning America for the past decade and the resident vet on The Dr. Oz Show, shares his expertise on what it takes to raise a healthy, well-behaved dog in this helpful guide.

Joining Becker in creating this book is Gina Spadafori, the author of Dogs for Dummies and an award winning syndicated columnist who writes about pets.

From selecting the right dog for your family's lifestyle to health and safety tips, training techniques and dealing with canine sickness, this comprehensive guide touches all the bases when it comes to dog care.

Besides the central ideas set forth in each chapter on grooming, dental care, puppy bonding and behavior and preventive care, you'll discover numerous highlighted boxes dubbed Dr. Becker's Best, which contain special tips and additional details on pet care.

For example, you'll learn why the author prefers using food puzzles to a traditional food dish to feed a pooch. 'Food puzzles are a great way to make dogs work for their dinner. One toy that has stood the test of time is the Kong. Dog trainers advise stuffing Kongs with kibble, pieces of biscuit, and filler, either ready-made or peanut butter ... Your dog will stay busy and happy for a long time.'

One of the often overlooked aspects of caring for a dog is watching the pet's weight. If you maintain your dog's weight at a healthy level, you can extend the animal's life by twenty percent, which means, on average, the dog will live two years longer.

'Your pet's weight is yours to manage, since your dog won't be snacking or overeating if you don't let him,' explains Becker. 'Food is not love. Good health is.'

An extremely useful section of this guide on dog care concerns what people meds you have in the family medicine chest will actually be useful in treating some of the ailments your dog may experience.

Naturally, care is important when resorting to these medicines and a visit to your vet is always important if the dog is experiencing medical issues. But the occasional use of Benadryl for an insect bite or sting can provide relief as can a little Pepto-Bismol for an upset tummy or diarrhea. Even a buffered 325 mg aspirin can be used to alleviate pain.

In discussing the selection of a new dog, the author stresses that using logic rather than emotion will lead to a much better choice. Of course, he explains the process and why, if you pick carefully considering all the variables and then train the puppy carefully, you should end up with the perfect, well behaved companion that will be a joy to have as part of the household.

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