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Reading Log: It's a Dog's Life...but It's Your Carpet by Justine A. Lee, DVM


I just made an impulse buy at the bookstore. It's a book of questions and answers about dogs by one of the UM Vet Med faculty members. I've only browsed through it in piecemeal chunks (I am at work, after all), but even with what I've seen, I've already sent emails to dog-owning friends recommending it.

What I think is particularly great about this book is that the questions are very practical (should I be paying for the high $ foods? what are the top 10 toxins for canines? are houseplants poisonous?) and the answers are straightforward and understandable. She includes some personal little facts, some medical examples, some case studies, some research, all of which are readable (she owns a pit bull and uses him in her answer for the question about leaving a dog outside unattended). In some ways, she might not take quite a strong enough stance (in the example of leaving a dog outside, I probably would have flat out said a dog shouldn't be left outside unattended), but I do think for the average dog family, she does a great job. (Now I just need to look to see if/what she says about backyard breeding.... ;-) ).

Update: I did get to the point about breeding, and thought her answers were very good. The next area I need to explore her answers for are "where do I get my dog." I don't know if she tackles that one.

Update 2: Better and better. She extols the virtues of "hybrid vigor" while suggesting that designer dogs might not necessarily result in that vigor; she recommends shelters, rescues, and finally breeders. The only ting I wish she had discussed more is not buying from pet stores, but who knows...she may have had a whole book in that topic and her editor told her to take it out. I guess I would say that's the biggest flaw I've seen so far, and as far as it goes, she handles the subject well enough for me to still respect everything else she says.