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Nutrition/diet books
  • I'm doing a lot of research on what to feed Milla and wanted to order some books from Amazon. I don't have a clear idea of what to get since every time I read one or two star reviews on each book there is a very compelling argument from someone not to buy it (for example, one of the authors recommends feeding foods that are considered toxic).

    Anyway, I did a search in the forum for books but it seems like most suggestions are regarding training/care books. Any suggestions con canine nutrition/diet books? I'm also interested in holistic health books.

    It's funny but I've noticed I actually pay way more attention to what Milla eats than to what I eat. Not sure if this is off topic since it's not strictly shibas but if anyone has a suggestion for a good book I can use myself I would really appreciate it ;) I don't mean weight loss, but well rounded nutrition from good sources. I've come to realize I'm probably eating the human equivalent of crappy kibble brands LOL.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-05-28 13:43:38
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    http://www.amazon.com/Beckers-Real-Food-Healthy-Dogs/dp/098253311X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328632127&sr=8-1

    This book is more for raw and homecooking some too. I don't have the book yet so can't say if worth buying.

    I dunno on any books on nutrition.. I got a book on herbs for pets 300pages long. lol
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    It really depends on the category of what you want to feed, since a general nutrition book might tell you feeding raw is eeevil, while a raw book might tell you any grains are eeevil.

    This one has some food recipes in it:
    http://www.amazon.com/Pitcairns-Complete-Guide-Natural-Health/dp/157954973X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328656558&sr=1-1

    These are for raw: http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Natural-Nutrition-Dogs-Definitive/dp/1556439032/ref=pd_sim_b_3
    http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Dog-Food-Make-Easy/dp/1929242093/ref=pd_sim_b_9

    This is a general holistic book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Veterinarians-Guide-Natural-Remedies-Dogs/dp/0609803727/ref=pd_sim_b_8

    I have not read any of these, but I have heard about all of them. I don't know if they are good or not. You can also look through the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section, the scroll thing, for other books like them.

    What I'd do is not necessarily go based on the reviews only, but on who the person actually is. If they are some sort of doctor, figure out WHAT kind. I've seen some books for (human) nutrition written by a psychiatrist which is where he got off with using "doctor" on his book. Doesn't mean that it's not a good book, it just meant that he wasn't what people might have thought he was.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    Also consider meeting with a holistic vet about diet and nutrition. They can give you a lot of pointers and book referrals, and help you form a good diet plan based on a holistic approach.

    These are some of the books in my library:

    I recommend Pitcairns book. Also look at Natural Nutrition for Cats and Dogs by Kymythy Schulze, and Food Pets Die For. Pet Food Nation is also ok, although I believe the author comes down pretty hard on raw food.

    I really enjoyed a small book called Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet. It's a favorite and one that I found the most useful as the author is in favor of a realistic approach to healthy feeding, and suggest that even if you feed kibble, which is fine, at least give your dog one raw or homecooked day each week and they will still reap similar benefits, and the author goes on to make suggestions for the "healthy day" and what are realistic, good and healthy foods to offer. That's where I first learned about giving canned sardines, and about which supplemental fats go best with which proteins. That book was by far the most useful for me.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Canine Ancestral Diet sounds like nice book I might have to pick that up I already plan to get pitcairns book and already read food pet die for.

    This book here is the book on herbs for pets it's pretty nice 300pages or so talks some about nutrition like raw and homecook maybe I forgot I know it talked about raw.

    It lists a lot of plants and herbs and what they're used for and has list ones that are not good to use and how much is too much.

    I'm still reading each of the plants uses and stuff so it'll be while before I'm done with it to give my full thoughts..
    http://www.amazon.com/Herbs-Pets-Natural-Enhance-Your/dp/1933958782/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328806221&sr=8-1

    I agree a holistic vet can help you find good books to read I dunno any good ones..

    They'd also be more accepting of raw or home cooking and not blame everything on raw and be like switch back to kibble only problem solved..

    I like Canine Ancestral diet book from sounds of it I agree if your going to feed kibble it's nice to give some cooked meat, veggies, caned fish, egg, tiny amount cooked liver, etc. or raw meal once a week. or every so often..

    Bella my parent's boxer gets cooked meat either ground beef, turkey, or boneless pork, or boneless beef, tiny bit of liver, heart and caned dog food, caned sardines or salmon.
    I rotate on what she gets each week so never same. she also gets raw meal once to four times a week instead of kibble for dinner depends on what I got.

    Like today she is getting a bit of rabbit that I got at the butcher, bit of chicken liver, lamb kidney, and chicken gizzards and then tomorrow she gets rest of the rabbit, beef heart, and little bit boneless pork.. being a 55lb dog she gets bit more then what Saya gets.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • I also have the Tilford & Wolf, Herbs for Pets: The Natural way to enhance your pet's life (mine is 2nd edition, Irvine: Bowtie Press, 2009) listed by Saya. I find it very useful, particularly for how it's laid out -- an alphabetical "dictionary" of herbs, detailing appearance, habitat and range, cycle and bloom season, parts used, primary attributes, how to prepare it, common uses, availability, related hers, cautions and comments. Lots of full-color pictures and glossy pages, too. As always, I like to check the references and bibliography on these types of books... a lot of the sources are old, but they did consult an interesting range of publications.

    Another vote here for Pitcairn, R.H. & S.H., Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (I got a 3rd edition for very cheap, but I think they're up to at least a 4th now). There are a few things he writes that I would quibble with... and I really haven't done much with the recipes. But it's filled with interesting tables and useful information that I still consult regularly. Examples: table of recommended grains and legumes, w/ info about cooking time, cooking yield, calories and protein content (no, it's not a "grain-free" bible), list of the average fat content in different kinds of meat, etc.

    One that I did NOT like was Juliette de Bairacli Levy's Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat (London: Faber and Faber, 1955). It's a bit preachy in some parts, more style than substance for my taste -- perhaps owing to the era in which it was written. And there were several passages that seemed just plain WRONG to me, but I don't really have the time to flip through right now and show-and-tell... maybe I'll write up a review some other day.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • Thanks for the suggestions! I went to my local library and found an old edition of Pitcairn's book. I think I'll start there. I also got "Natural Dog" and "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook". I'm especially interested in reading the first one.

    Unfortunately they didn't have copies of the herbs book, raw diet book, "Canine Ancestral Diet" and "Veterinarians Guide to Natural Remedies". I also went to B&N but didn't find anything... I'll keep an eye for those.

    As for human books I got "Fast Food Nation" and "Omnivore's Dilemma". I'm more excited about the second one... we'll see.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    Go to Amazon or Dogwise. They are the best suppliers of obscure titles in dog literature
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Wanted to add:

    Segal, Monica. K9 Kitchen -- Your Dogs' Diet: The Truth Behind the Hype. Toronto: Doggie Dinner, 2009.

    Also: http://www.monicasegal.com/

    Very straightforward, clearly written. Goes over the advantages of both raw and home-cooked meals, and a list of common problems and what the better dietary solutions would be for some specific scenarios. Includes an entire section on recipes that lay out a weekly diet plan for dogs of a range of sizes and activity levels, which can be quite useful to anyone just starting out and wanting to prepare a home-cooked or raw meal that is adequately balanced.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-09-22 02:12:34
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Another one that I would recommend:

    Olson, Lew. Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2010.

    Has an interesting but brief history of commercial dog food in the US, talks a little about a dog's biological needs and digestive system, lots of details in separate chapters on protein / fat / carbs / minerals / vitamin supplements.

    About half of the book (about 100 of 200+ pages) is dedicated to more specific scenarios, so it's a good book to have on hand if you have many dogs with different nutritional needs, or if you're interested in more situation-specific diets. Lots of sample recipes and discussions for diets for puppies, senior dogs, pregnant dogs, picky eaters, and then a whole section on dogs with heart issues, cancer, kidney issues, liver needs, pancreatitis, low-glycemic needs, skin problems, joint problems, bladder problems, gastric problems, overall immune system problems... you get the picture. This makes it easy skimming in some points, but maybe a good book to have on reference.

    One thing that makes me raise an eyebrow is the number of web-only references in her notes. There's also a little bit of shilling for her diet supplement company (for example, instead of breaking down a recipe into specific supplements, she'll just add "Berte's Immune Blend" to the list instead). But overall, there's still a lot of good information -- I just wouldn't recommend it as your only reference.
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-09-22 02:12:17
  • Going back to the "basics" -- here's a big fat tome if you want to read what the vets read:

    Hand, Michael, Craig Thatcher, Rebecca Remillard, Philip Roudebush, ed. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. 5th edition. Topeka: Mark Morris Institute, 2010.

    I've been flipping through it (because what else would I do on a Friday night? LOL) and finding it quite useful to get a grounding. Lots of the clinical trials and reference works are sponsored by Hill's of course, but the material presented is pretty straightforward.

    Interesting chapters: basic nutrients (they do treat carbs as "conditionally essential during growth, gestation, and lactation" and consider it "important in pet food processing"), commercial pet foods, pet food labels, making pet foods at home, nutritional management for normal pets, various disorders like skin and hair disorders, obesity, dental disease, orthopedic, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, etc. There's also a huge directory of case studies which often give more of a "sell" for prescription veterinary diets, but I find that it still makes for interesting reading and gives some insight into how a vet would proceed.

    It is not raw-friendly at all, but as a practical guide aimed at vets, it acknowledges that many pet owners do want to feed a home-prepared diet.

    Very informative pictures (black and white), graphs, charts, etc. It's a textbook, after all!

    "Small animals" includes dogs and cats and also a small section on other small mammals, reptiles and birds as well.

    Best of all, you can find older editions for relatively cheap on Amazon -- if you're into collecting massive doorstopper-books, anyway. Even the latest edition isn't that expensive. It costs about as much as some of the other canine nutrition books on popular presses.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.

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