Full disclosure: the links below are Amazon affiliate links so if you click and buy, I will make a little money.
These are the books I found most helpful. I probably checked out a good 30 books from the library that first month. Granted some were books on people nutrition that I felt like would lead me to finding something else for Marmalade – below are the pet specific books that were most helpful (mostly for cats but some include information for dogs as well.)
Some books are good reference books that are nice to have in your at home collection so you can come back to them to look up specific things, others you will gain the most use from as a single read through. I’ll let you know which ones I bought after returning the library copies.
Food Pets Die For
by: Ann N. Martin
This is a good starting point whether or not your pet is sick or well. It’s amazingly horrifying what pet food companies can get away with putting in pet food and what most mainstream companies are WILLING to put in food that will be fed to animals that are part of people’s families. I think many people began to be aware of this after the melamine pet food scare but that doesn’t mean that the pet food companies changed the other ingredients even after they resolved this one particular problem.If you are still feeding your pets any old pet food (even the more expensive stuff … even the perscription diets) PLEASE read this book for the sake of your furry family members.
Protect Your Pet: More Shocking Facts
by: Ann N. Martin
This book furthers the information from the book I mentioned above. Some of it is repetitive but there’s also new information on raw pet diets (and some of the controversy over them), vaccinations, and cancer in pets.
Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
by: Richard H. Pitcairn and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
Natural Health from A-Z for cats and dogs. I did not read this book cover to cover because there is simply so much information, it’s a very large book and some of it was irrelevant to my situation. I did buy it as a reference book however. More information on pet food, grooming, environment, as well as specific conditions like Chronic Renal Failure and many many many others. The book is well organized, written well and the index is also done well so you can find what you are looking for without much trouble.
The Nature of Animal Healing : The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat
by: Martin Goldstein D.V.M.
This book has a lot of information in it that the other books don’t have, however it’s also frustratingly vague. It does serve as a good starting point for finding alternative medicine which is why I went ahead and bought it.The author has been on Oprah, and he may be a good vet but I felt like the book was written partially as a marketing tool for him instead of a fully educational tool for us. I did write to find out the cost of a phone consult (you send them the medical information from your vet, they go over it and supposedly talk to you about alternative medicine that might help your pet) but decided against it because we are doing pretty well and it is amazingly amazingly expensive for a one hour consult. Still the book is a useful resource as a starting point on things you may not come across anywhere else.
Whole Health for Happy Cats: A Guide to Keeping Your Cat Naturally Healthy, Happy, and Well-Fed
by Sandy Arora (Author), Regina Schwabe
There is a lot of information in this book on a raw pet diet but it also provided me with some very useful information on calculating percentages of protein on canned and dry pet food. It explained that so clearly and perfectly that I would recommend checking out this book for that alone. If you are trying to figure out phosphates and salt you will still probably need to call the pet food company since many do not have information on percentages on these two items on the label.Keep in mind that the label also will either have a maximum water content and a minimum protein content and that not all protein is created equally. I can’t remember if the book discusses this aspect of things or not so I do want to mention it.
This book would be very good for anyone planning a raw or even homemade diet for their pet. Did you know that you can cook egg shell, powder it in a coffee grinder and it’s a natural calcium supplement? I don’t think this book went into that particular detail but it does discuss why you don’t want to feed your cat raw egg white…
Four Paws Five Directions: A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs
by Cheryl Schwartz
I can’t say that I completely understood this book. I think I would have understood it a little better if a) I hadn’t been in such a rush and b) if I understood TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) better. I do massage Marmalade’s back legs a certain way after reading this book to stimulate kidney function. I don’t know how much it helps, but it doesn’t hurt him. You might be able to get more out of this if you take more time with it or if you already understand TCM and I do feel it’s worth mentioning.