Review: Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

Dr. Pitcairn's Guide to Complete Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

I got a used copy of the older edition of this reference book, Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. The more I learn about dog food and even what humans eat in general, the more I want to just eat happy, pesticide-free plants.

Despite the lack of any medical degree, my mother has always espoused a general mistrust of traditional Western medicine, and I suppose I have a little bit of that in me. That said, I found Dr. Pitcairn’s book quite interesting.

Some of his recommendations sounded pretty kooky–the discussion of the unquantifiable and unknowable “life force” that permeates all things, which we must channel for our own benefit–but overall, I think this book provided a helpful overview of the alternative medicine techniques and therapies for dogs and cats.

The emphasis of the book is grounded strongly in preventative medicine. Pitcairn advises that the first thing we must do is create a healthy, non-toxic environment for our animals to live in (ourselves included!). This means keeping all chemicals at bay, when at all possible; shying away from plastics; any synthetic products that do not come directly from the earth, and so forth.

The second big emphasis on the book is understandably on diet. The more we learn about health, the more we understand the indelible link between what we eat and how our bodies perform. This is just as true for dogs as it is for us. Feeding your dog a bag of generic kibble may be cheap and convenient, but you’d just be filling your pet with animal byproducts, unnatural chemicals, and known toxins. This leads to the breakdown of a dog’s entire system, Pitcairn asserts. He pushes for a raw food diet, which is a serious commitment, but also gives advice for those who can’t or won’t make that kind of time.

I don’t know if there are any veterinarians in my area who practice alternative or homeopathic medicine, but I’m definitely interested in looking further into this topic.

Do you practice any alternative medicine or home remedies with your dog? Does your vet? What have you learned?

Pup links!

Boston terrier and her flower child. Source: Femke Leemans

Dog-related links from around the Web this week…

Woof vs. Meow: What Our Furry Pals Reveal about Us. A fun and well-designed infographic about the differences between cat and dog owners. According to this survey, dog people are more likely to be extroverts, physically active, use an iPhone, enjoy Jonathan Franzen’s novel Freedom, and be conservative. Pretty fascinating. (Laughing Squid)

Wag.com. A new beta pet supplies site, the successor to Pets.com, launched this past week. Check it out: Fast and free shipping available. (Wag.com)

Treating Skin Disease at Home. A helpful overview of home remedies for your dog’s various skin problems. (Dog Lover’s Digest)

Mugs and Plates and Scrummy Little Things. A collection of simplistic and cute domestic goods from BBB Potters. (Under the Blanket)

Berner Puppy. There is almost nothing as purely adorable as a Bernese mountain dog puppy. (Shirley Bittner)

New Arctic Fox Pups Arrive at Aquarium of the Pacific. Just because. Everyone needs an extra dose of adorable in their day. (Zoo Borns)

The Dogs of Ratafia. Fun, modern, and colorful paintings of dogs by Carol Ratafia. (Under the Blanket)