Dogs: Keeping Them Healthy, Happy and Well Trained

shelved under Dogs and Other Pets

Whether our family members are of the two-legged or four-legged variety, there is no shortage of books to help us on that life journey. My list contains books that are well used and often referred to in our household and comprise my choices of essential reference tools for my four-legged companions.


How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With

by David H. Neil, Clarice Rutherford

I came across this book in 1981 when it was first published. It provides great information about socialization and training on each of the stages from birth to adulthood. By understanding what stages a young puppy is experiencing, we are in a much better position to provide positive experiences that will result in a sound life-long companion. It has been my bible of early training and a frequent gift to family and friends upon acquiring their first family dog.


The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats

by Amy D. Shojai

This book provides solid information on first aid for our cats and dogs. There are many times when I have turned to it for minor ailments or accidents that wouldn’t require a call or visit to our veterinarian. It is one of those reference books that should be on every pet owner’s bookshelf.


Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life

by Nancy Kay

This is excellent and up to date, providing comprehensive information for care of our dogs when they are healthy, when they are sick and when we are faced with end-of-life decisions. When I first read it in late 2008 it is one book I wish had been available when I brought my first puppy home 30 years ago. Dr. Kay also has a great collection of advocacy aids (free downloadable forms and templates to track everything about our pets) available on her website. It is even more important in the current economy for us to be effective medical advocates for our pets and make the best and most productive use of our veterinary care expenditures. Speaking for Spot will give you the tools to do that. It is a gift I have given to many of my dog-loving friends.


The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat

by Lenny Southam, Kate Roby

This book (and an earlier version) have been on my bookshelf for years. Perhaps because I worked in the medical field for 27 years, I like to understand just exactly what I am giving my pets and this newest version of The Pill Book is an excellent resource. It also provides information on over-the-counter medications, alternative therapies and household poisons.


Parenting Your Dog

by Trish King

We have been lucky enough to have taken classes from Trish King at the Marin Humane Society. She is an amazing resource for all of us and provides tremendous insight into the complex relationship between owners and their pets. She provides the understanding and tools to forge a lifelong and enduring bond with our animal companions.


The Other End of the Leash

by Patricia McConnell

This is a relatively new book in my library.’s review says The Other End of the Leash begins with an eloquently simple premise: "All dogs are brilliant at perceiving the slightest movement that we make, and they assume each tiny movement has meaning." With a 3 year old Berner who is “brilliant” in interpreting my every move, this has proved to be an excellent companion to Trish King’s book in understanding our relationship and effecting some positive changes.


Angel Pawprints: Reflections On Loving and Losing a Canine Companion

by Laurel E. Hunt

I received a copy of this book in the fall of 1998 shortly after it was first published. It was signed by the author and a gift from a friend when I lost my 2nd Berner, Kari. It is a wonderful collection of reflections on loving and losing our canine companions. It is a book I have given to many friends over the years upon loss of their dogs, and one I have had occasion to return to with the loss of Kristie and Gretl.