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Book Review: The Holistic Dog Book by Denise Flaim


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Book Review: The Holistic Dog Book
by Denise Flaim

This 264 page book is about looking outside the square, of asking questions, not swallowing everything you are told, of taking control yourself for your companion’s (the author prefers this to “pet’s”) health & wellbeing.

It starts with a very small section on nutrition, that I must say I was quite disappointed with. Denise Flaim starts with the raw diet which includes bones, which she clearly is an advocate of. She points out the benefits & the drawbacks, and explodes a few myths along the way. She moves on to the home-cooked diet which she presents in an unbiased way, again pointing out the pros & the cons. She then moves on to kibble, which clearly she is not a fan of, but acknowledges that this is going to be the option that most people go for, so she sets about trying to arm the reader with the knowledge to make the best choice based upon what is written on the labels & how to supplement it to compensate for its shortfalls.

So the disappointment came about because though Flaim does give the principles behind the different feeding methods, she does kind of leave the reader a bit high & dry about how to put it all together. Instead she gives a list of other books by other authors and suggests you go off and educate yourself. All in all, the section on nutrition was a mere 22 pages, 12 of which was on raw, ½ a page on home cooked, and 9 ½ pages on how to pick kibble & then supplement it to a reasonable level.

The following chapters went into such subjects as herbs & essential oils, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, healing hands & vibrational therapies. Then there were some sections on relating & communicating with your companion, dealing with cancer & allergies and finding the perfect vet.

So, did I enjoy this book? In all honestly that is a bit of a mixed bag. I have quite a lot of new-age books on alternate therapies and I could have pulled pretty well all of the information out of these books and just substituted the word “you” for “your animal companion”. I enjoyed parts of the book but found other parts a bit airy fairy. I felt the author played it a bit too safe. She wouldn’t really go out on a limb herself, stating her own convictions, but rather quoted the beliefs of different bodies of thinking. In all fairness though, I suppose she is just suggesting ideas and then leaving it up to the reader to research more & make his own decisions.

Would I recommend this book? If you already have a nice little library of dog related books & you want to look beyond the obvious, then yes this one will fill in some gaps for you. However if you are looking for a first, second or maybe even third book on canine care there are other books I’d be quoting to you first.