Many studies show that pets improve the health and happiness of their owners. But do pet owners keep their animals healthy and happy too? Based on her professional experience. veterinarian Jill Turner thinks that very often they don’t. Her new book, Animal Friends, aims to change this situation by helping people understand their pets needs.
One chapter, for example, offers advice about every aspect of a pet’s health, including how to recognize signs of illness. This is especially important of you own an exotic pet, like an iguana or an African parrot. While dogs and cats tend to let their owners know when there is a problem, many exotic pets do not. As Dr. Turner explains, these creatures normally live in the wild, where sick animals are often killed by predators. Therefore, their survival depends on not showing sings of disease. They continue this behavior even when they are taken out of their natural environment and kept as pets. Of course, this makes it very difficult to see when they are in need of medical care.
Another section of the book is devoted to discipline, and here too you will find lots of useful advice. According to Dr. Turner, punishment is usually not the best way to get an animal to behave properly. For instance, a dog that barks continuously might be suffering from stress; punishing it will only increase the stress, making the problem worse. In any case, she writes, rewarding an animal for good behavior produces better results than punishing it when it behaves badly.
In addition to all the helpful information, Dr. Turner presents many surprising facts. Did you know that dog food can be dangerous for cats, or that fish have a much better memory than most people think? An informative book that is written in a clear and entertaining style, Animal Friends is worth reading even if you don’t have a pet. And if you do, it will undoubtedly help you improve your animal’s quality of life.