Review: Natural Dog Care

Natural Dog Care.

I found this book in mint condition at a used book sale for $1. The books I’m prone to buy are ones that I think I may later use as a resource, and this one looked like it might possibly fit that bill. Natural Dog Care is written by Celeste Yarnall and was published in 1998. The book aims to provide a comprehensive guide to holistic and homeopathic care for your dog, including an extensive chapter on nutrition and even a chapter on using zodiac signs to heal your pet. OK. As I started to read about Yarnall, however, I began to think that I may have wasted a dollar.

Celeste Yarnall’s qualifications? She’s a champion cat breeder. That’s it. She’s not a veterinarian. She’s never actually studied animal medicine at a university. The dust jacket says she’s researched a lot on nutrition. Well, that’s nice, but I don’t know if that exactly qualifies you to give medical advice to dog owners. Throughout the book, she uses cat examples to prove that her methods work. It’s great that it works for your champion Tonkinese, but cats are quite different from dogs.

Yarnall spends an entire chapter telling you not to vaccinate your dogs, ever. I have heard varying opinions on this and some of what she says is intriguing, but I find it very hard to believe her when she uses shoddy and poorly cited research to back up her arguments. She also universally applies research from different disciplines to make her point.

The long chapter on “astromedicine” is really what pushed me over the edge. I know some people believe this, and if you do, that’s fine, but I think it’s especially silly in a book on canine health care. The fact that my dog is a pisces shouldn’t dictate what crushed herbs and crystals I slip into his food–if I’m going to use crushed herbs and crystals in the first place. (Also, what if I adopt a dog and don’t know his or her exact birth date? No astromedicine for you, pup. And it’s probably just as well.)

So, save your time on this one. I’m sure there are far better and more credible sources of information for those interested in holistic and homeopathic medicine for dogs.