Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog (Howell reference books)

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Product Description

A complete revision of a ground-breaking reference.

Designed to provide updated information found in the original book, as well as lots of new topics, and a new organization°™this second edition is more user-friendly than ever!

Readers will get the latest on:

  • Healthful diets for dogs of every age and activity level
  • How to modify your dog's diet to best meet seasonal needs
  • Natural ways to keep your dog healthy throughout all stages of life
  • How to care for a dog in poor health
  • The vaccine controversy°™the pros, the cons and how to sort them out * Homeopathic remedies
  • Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy, chiropractics and use of medicinal herbs

Finding nutritional data for dogs can be a difficult business--and while much of the information in Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog is presented by anecdote, there's still plenty of worthwhile reading here. Aimed at dog owners that are already fairly committed to nonallopathic forms of health care for their pets, much of the book is based around author Wendy Volhard's Natural Diet. The Natural Diet is fairly labor intensive, as Volhard is the first to admit, but she provides page after page of testimonials that credit the diet with improved temperaments, better activity levels, and exemplary physical health. Each ingredient in this diet is discussed in depth, so owners not ready to take the step of providing a complete diet from scratch can still learn about potentially valuable supplements, as well as what ingredients to look for in a commercial diet.

Beyond the dietary information provided, there are several chapters that give solid explanations of different types of health care available, including homeopathy, kinesiology, and the five-element theory. For those who still prefer allopathic care for their dogs, the chapters that cover standard lab tests are extremely useful, finally giving a layman's guide for urinalysis, blood serum, liver function, and thyroid testing. A glossary defines various terms such as acidosis and hepatic, and each description is easily understandable, even by those with no medical background whatsoever. For puppy owners, the chapter discussing vaccinations is informative--Volhard questions the necessity of many we take for granted, and suggests several methods for lowering the required number for your pup.

Ultimately, the majority of this book is geared toward folks who are already committed to providing their pooches with alternative health care and homemade food. No matter how interesting the dietary concepts presented here, if you aren't already a true believer it's not likely that Volhard's anecdotes will provide you with enough statistical proof to completely overhaul your dog's way of life. --Jill Lightner

Customer Reviews:

  • Holistic Guide for A Healthy Dog
    This diet has been backed by years of documented laboratory research. I had read books and listened to others regarding raising my dogs the way nature intended but only Wendy's book really made sense to me. Since switching my dogs from "cardboard" dog food to raw I wonder why it took me so long! My dogs are thriving on the Volhard Natural Diet. Not only does the book advise on diet but also vaccinations, kinesiology, homeopathy, complementary therapies and the five element theory. Thanks, Wendy, for a life style change for my dogs . . . and me!...more info
  • Super Reference Book
    I found the Holistic Guide for Healthy Dog just super and full of useful information and other references. It's also very easy to read and divided quite nicely....more info
  • Close, but no cigar
    This book is worth its price purely for the information on interpreting blood and urine testing. She also offers some great ideas on supplements for specific health concerns. Thirdly, her recommendations for vaccinations or lack thereof are excellent. That's the good part.

    However, by far and large, I couldn't disagree more with Wendy Volhard's dietary recommendations. If she can show me a canine running around the forest looking for oatmeal or any of the other grains she recommends, I might give her recommendations a second look.

    Until then, from my experience, BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods a la Ian Billinghurst's recommendations) is the only way to feed dogs. Three dogs, 9 years, no vet bills, says it all. My Keeshond, who died at the age of 16, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatitis at the age of 7 and given 6 months to live. The vet wanted to put her on PID canned food, largely barley based. At that time, we brought our Giant Schnauzer home from Skansen Kennels. The breeder strongly recommended the BARF diet, so I immediately switched the old Keeshond and our 6 month old Rottie to a raw meaty bones/fresh raw veggies and fruits diet, along with the Giant Schnauzer baby. The vet said I'd kill my dog. I told him that she's dead meat in 6 months anyway, so I might as well kill her my way.

    Within 3 months, she was a puppy again, and lived to 16. All if this without the silly grain meal Wendy Volhard recommends! The big dogs are closing in on 10. The rottie has already outlived his predicted life span of 7 to 9 years. I love it! Their coats are gorgeous, and their teeth are perfect. No bad breath either. I wouldn't feed any other way.

    Please don't get me wrong. I would still buy this book for its reference value, but don't buy into her dietary recommendations!

    ...more info
  • Disorganized
    I found this book very disorganized and difficult to look things up in. Maybe if someone just wanted to read it from front to back for fun, it would be okay, but if you're looking for specific information on how to treat a certain disorder, it's pretty useless and frustrating. Not a good reference book....more info
  • Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog
    This book is the best source for a Raw Diet available. It is very comprehensive. There are lots of sources available with this diet to help you along the way, such as the website (www.volhard.com) and the Volhard Yahoo Group discussions, which provide all the answers to your questions. If you want to provide the best life for your dog, this is definately the way to do it. The research carried out on this diet is extremely comprehensive and a proven success for over 30 years....more info
  • Good reference material for non-holistics too
    This book is NOT just for people who believe holistic is the only way to go! So although many reviewers write from that perspective, I strongly suggest that people who love traditional medicine consider it because it provides clear explanations of how a dog's system works, the functions of the organs, and what the various nutrients do in and for the dog. It also provdes an excellent explanation of each section of a blood test or urine test and what the results *mean.* And, it has simple but very complete charts in the back which cover various things from *both* the traditional and the holistic points of view in causes and treatments.

    What made me respect this book was that they offer traditional medicine causes and effects, tests and medications, treatments and solutions ... as well as holistic ones. So, both "sides" can get plenty out of it, and perhaps learn something from the beliefs of the "other side" too to get a much more balanced picture of what is going on with their dog.

    It is not as simple as most of the consumer oriented books, but it is also not as complex as reading the veterinary medicine web sites. It definitely provides more detail than you may be accustomed to in a "pet health" book.

    It provides a good base to research from so you can go look at traditional and alternative medicine web sites and know what the heck you're looking for.

    If you don't care for the diet they recommend, or any other "holistic" parts, you can easily ignore them. It's a good reference book, and if you are the type who wants to be really involved in your dog's care and want to know more than what the vet told you, then get this book. You can find out what you need to know in order to ask the vet good questions and be able to insist on good answers (not just a quick answer, but one that means something to you).

    I highly recommend this book whether you prefer traditional, holistic, or a blend of veterinary medicine styles.

    Whatever you do, though, if you think your dog has a problem, find a darned good vet and go there now. If you feel uncomfortable or confused, or hope there are more options out there, get a second opinion from another primary vet, or ask for a referral to a specialist. Any good vet will gladly refer you to a specialist regardless of whether he thinks you really need one. You are your pet's only "human" voice. Be in charge and be responsible and don't give up until you have the information you need....more info

  • Single best Guide for pet owners
    If you can only have one book and you own a dog this is the one to have. Wendy Volhard brings decades of research and experience together in easy to follow examples, recipes and some of th emost comprehensive tables you'll find on canine nutrition. Food is the basis of all good health and happiness and this book tells you how to keep your dog healthy naturally, how to recognize if they are out of balance and empowers you with tools to help you dog while working with your vet....more info


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