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Book Review: The New Holistic Way for Dogs & Cats – The Stress-Health Connection by Paul McCutcheon, DVM, and Susan Weinstein

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Is stress causing your pet to be sick? Dr. McCutcheon believes that emotional and environmental disorder can present serious but unspecific symptoms that can be problematic for both the pet and its owner. There is a direct correlation between the mental and physical well being in humans. So, too for pets. The New Holistic Way for Dogs and Cats is a comprehensive and helpful guide for keeping your pet healthier by reducing its stress level.

Have you noticed that when you are sick your pet tries to comfort you? The authors explain that the empathy our pet feels for us when we are down is the very same thing that can make it sick. Our stress triggers an emotional reaction in our pets, the underlying cause for many of their physical ailments.

Although working with a trusted veterinarian is essential to your pet’s care, the buck does not stop there. “Because you are the person closest to your dog or cat, you are in the best position to influence her well-being.” These forward-thinking authors include detailed information for doing just that.

Many people readily embrace holistic medicine for themselves. The New Holistic Way for Dogs and Cats praises acupuncture, herbal remedies, chiropractic and bioenergy as effective tools for keeping what the authors call “the living terrain” (the body) healthy. However, they emphasize that marrying healing medically sound modalities with managing stress is the key to a new, more effective state of wellness for your pet. Mainstream medicine uses terms like “fighting disease.” The new holistic approach talks of “encouraging healing.”

The book is chock full of case studies and practical suggestions. Exercise your pet but take into account its breed and age. Go green with your household products to prevent exposure to harsh chemicals. Don’t expose your dog or cat to second hand smoke. Feed your animal fresh, unprocessed foods. Most of all make sure your pet lives in an environment of joy.

Paul McCutcheon, DVM, is the founder of Toronto’s East York Animal Clinic, serving 5,000 patients, and a former director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. He hosted the popular Canadian television series “Perfect Pet People” and has written extensively about his approach to healing. Co-author, Susan Weinstein, combines her writing skill with a deep understanding of the contexts in which humans and their pets live together.

Topics covered include:

• An Integrated approach to Pet Care
• Stress: the Key to Animal Wellness

• Tuning into Your Pet’s Needs
• Preventing Stress in Daily Life
• Learn the Early Signs – Then Trust Your Instincts
• Working with Your Vet
• Choosing Therapies to Restore Wellness
• Understanding Your Pet’s Last Transition

Impressive endnotes indicate the extensive research and veterinary experience poured into this book. The Appendix contains a stress-buster diet for dogs and cats, bibliography and a listing of veterinary holistic health care associations in the United States.

The book is a comprehensive look at health care for pets, full of helpful advice for finding the right vet for you. Your dog or cat will be happy you read it.

(Read more about Dr. McCutcheon’s work and book.)

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