Did you know that a cat’s health problems may be caused by an allergic reaction to its cat litter? Did you know that Fido and Fluffy’s skin diseases and some behavioural problems may be eliminated by a healthier diet? Did you know that two authors who are not even loosely associated with animal medicine, nutrition or veterinary practices of any kind have written a great little book? Dr. Howard Peiper
(with a degree in optometry) and Nina Anderson (a prolific nonfiction author), and yet these two people
have managed to put together a concise, well written book, Super Nutrition for
Dogs n' Cats, that is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in raising healthy dogs n’ cats.
A skeptic when it comes to any “alternative” medicine, I was especially cautious when reading a book on animal health written by people who are not immersed in veterinary medicine (holistic or otherwise). As a pet owner (Spike & Kitty) I would never try any new product or plan without consulting my veterinarian, and Peiper and Howard wisely caution the reader to do likewise. So what’s this book all about? It’s four short chapters on healthy living for cats and dogs. Not only does the book cover herbal and natural remedies,
it is chock full of testimonials from pet owners who have been frustrated by traditional veterinary medical practices. I enjoyed these first-person success stories and the best part is the detailed footnotes that name the lifesaving products used. This softcover book is small enough to carry with you when shopping for your pet’s healthy new diet.
The premise of the book is this: eat healthy to be healthy. Simple, but how many of us do that for ourselves let alone our pets? This book is laid out so that a novice can pick it up and start their pet on the road to a healthy lifestyle. There is a table of contents, an appendix, an index and a bibliography for further reading. There are easy to read charts and problems are discussed and solutions offered. The chapter on
"Healthy Indoor Pets" is Basic Pet Care 101 (animals need fresh water and fresh air? Who knew?!). However, the section on unsuspecting hazards is a must-read for every pet owner (toxic houseplants, allergic reactions, etc). Detailed descriptions of supplements, enzymes, and other dietary additives take the mystery out of naturopathy. It is quite obvious that the authors are not in favor of commercially processed pet food
(read the section on the commercial pet food industry and you'll understand that
the phrase 'dog eat dog' is sadly accurate), and I agree (I once heated up a can of dog food – a hot meal treat for my pooch –
never again! It smelled worse than oven cleaner. I now prepare Spike’s food from scratch.). Which brings me to what
is missing from this book: recipes! Aside from that minor oversight, I rate this book a 4 out of 5. Think of the nicest, non-threatening, health care book you’ve ever read and you have an idea of what Super-Nutrition is like.
© 2002 by Laura Merrill Miller for Curled Up With a Good Book