Being a pet parent is a responsibility and a privilege that opens up your life and your worldview. As your heart grows, so does your insatiable thirst for knowledge about what your pet needs, what they're thinking, and what you can do to be an educated and caring pet owner.
While every dog lover likely owns a copy of Marley & Me, and every feline enthusiast can't help but recite The Cat in the Hat, there are other books that are must-haves for any pet parent's library.
Whether you are using them as health resources or breed guides, these books are essentials for all pet owners.
The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats by Amy D. Shojai: While your veterinarian should always be your first resource for your pet's health and care, this essential guide can be there for you and your pets when they require care at home or on the go. The book not only explains what to do in the case of a pet emergency, but informs the reader, in great detail, exactly what is happening to their cat or dog and the steps to take to give your pet the aid he or she requires.
Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile Ph.D.: With more than 150 American Kennel Club-specified breeds covered, dog owners will be able to use this as a reference for their own dogs, including their history, temperaments, and grooming needs, among other facts. It's also a pretty great educational tool for learning about all kinds of canines.
Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds by J. Anne Helgren: Much like the Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds, this must-have book for any cat parent or cat enthusiast will help you learn about 45 different feline breeds and covers everything from their coats to their claws. What makes this encyclopedia so good is that it works as a guide for people interested in becoming cat owners, and helps in narrowing down which breed will work best for a potential new cat parent's lifestyle.
Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs by Rick Woodford: Part-cookbook, part-healthy living manual, Rick "The Dog Food Dude" Woodford's book gives pet parents the opportunity to make and bake everything from cookies to "Puppy Pesto" for their canines.
Cooking for Two—Your Cat & You!: Delicious Recipes for You and Your Favorite Feline by Brandon Schultz and Lucy Schultz-Osenlund: What's better than a homecooked meal? A homecooked meal that you and your cat can feast on. This book is filled with delicious, easy recipes that will leave pet parents as satisfied as their purring (and contently full) kitties.
How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do by Stanley Coren: If you've ever pondered what is going on inside your adorable canine's brain, this insightful book will get you into the perspecitve of your pooch. By better understanding your dog's behaviors and mindset, it allows you to be a better, more intuitive, and understanding pet parent.
The Cat Behavior Answer Book: Practical Insights & Proven Solutions for Your Feline Questions by Arden Moore: As funny and relatable as it is educational, Moore's book gets into the psyche of cats and allows pet parents to gain a better understanding of their feline's oft-baffling behavior. Not only will this book make you appreciate just how unique cats are, but it will make your love as their pet parent grow, too.
The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health by by Merck Publishing and Merial (Author), Cynthia M Kahn BA MA (Editor), Scott Line DVM PhD DACVB (Editor): Pet parents aren't just moms and dads to cats and dogs, of course. For the pet parents who take care of everything from fish to horses and reptiles to rabbits, this book covers all bases for every type of animal lover.
Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet's Life by Gregory L. Tilford and Mary L. Wulff: Whether or not you provide your pet with a holistic diet or lifestyle, this book is an invaluable resource for pet parents who want to provide herbal remedies, in addition to veterinary care, for everything from anxiety and skin problems to arthritis.
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan D. Wolfelt PhD: Tragically, losing a beloved animal is something every pet owner will go through, but your time of pain and reflection is made easier with the help of this book. Not only is Dr. Wolfelt's book compassionate and caring, but it gives those going through this tremendous loss a practical guide on how to heal.
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