Dog Book Review: Top Dog by Kate Bendix
“Top Dog” by Kate Bendix
There are a lot of dog books out there; books on training, dog recipes, funny photo dog books, how to raise a puppy and many more! You could be reading dog books forever. I’m a reader, I like to learn more about the things I am interested in. Before we got Barney, I read books about puppies; what to expect, training and the first few months with a puppy. As we got over the puppy years, I was looking for a book to understand dogs more, that’s when I found “Top Dog” by Kate Bendix.
I have had ME/CFS for the past four years and I opted to try to treat this condition naturally, with no pharmaceutical medication. It hasn’t always been easy, but I believe that changing what I eat, to a less processed diet and taking supplements (amongst other things) has helped my recovery tremendously. It also sparked a desire to understand more about dogs, what we feed them and how we can treat our dogs when they are unwell in a more natural way (where possible).
For the first two years, Barney had an extremely sensitive tummy and was (not now!) a fussy eater. I tried him on lots of different foods, threw away most of them because he would refuse to eat them after the first few days (it was expensive and very wasteful) and Barney was a skinny little thing (not now! 🙂 ).
I found “Top Dog” by Kate Bendix on Amazon, whilst I was looking for another dog book. I’ll be honest, I was immediately attracted to the pretty, feminine cover, at first. That old saying “never judge a book by its cover” doesn’t mean anything to me, as I often pick a book up just because I like the look of the cover.
Anyway, the cover tagline “Everything you need to know to make your mutt marvellous” intrigued me, so I bought this pretty dog book and I wasn’t disappointed.
A Dog Book Every Owner Should Read
This is a dog book, which every dog owner should read (I believe). Let’s be honest, owning a dog is not cheap, but I would say the majority of us, want the best for our dogs.
When things go wrong, we have to make a decision with the information we have, which is usually information from the vet. Many of us are so upset that usually forget to ask questions and take our vet’s advice, after all, they have studied years to become a vet. We make a decision on what we believe is best option for our beloved pets at that time.
But we can be more informed and this is why Kate Bendix wrote “Top Dog”.
“I have written this book so that you can take back control of your pet’s well-being. What I’m advocating is a manifesto for a new understanding of our canine friends – another way of having a dog, if you like – because, in my experience, there is another way. A better, less stressful way of rearing a dog who will stay happy and healthy for longer, and who will cost you less in the long run.”
Just to be clear, Kate isn’t anti-vet, what she does believe in, is that with knowledge, and understanding, you can explore a more natural approach. The chapters in this book can help you do that. I am definitely interested in keeping our dogs in good health…as naturally as possible. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. I would never put our dogs health at risk.
“Top Dog” is a bright, colourful and cheerful book, with different coloured pages, lots of photos of dogs and some fab cartoons by one of my favourite dog cartoonists Richard Fawcett. Kate’s style is a straight-talking, funny one, she says it has she sees it, making this book a very easy read.
There are five chapters; including how to choose the right puppy/dog for you, the joy of owning a dog and what to expect. The two longest and most interesting chapters, for me, are “Now what’s for dinner?” and “How to keep your dog in good health”.
“Now what’s for dinner” covers everything you need to know about feeding a dog. Kate goes into great depths describing all the different types of dog food, dog digestion, how commercial dog food is made up, understanding ingredients and helping you make the right decision on what to feed your dog, the way that works best for you and your dog. There are also 10 healthy dog food recipes and 10 healthy dog treat recipes.
“How to keep your dog in good health” covers the alternative way to treating your dog, because prevention is better than cure. She starts with the Top 10 reasons your dog will visit the vet and how to treat each problem naturally, including; ear problems, dental problems and Kate’s favourite top, skin problems.
She continues on with other common conditions and different life stages of a dog. This section also includes case studies, in which Kate’s approach has helped changed many dogs’ lives.
Kate ends with a chapter on training and behavioural advice, “Let your dog be a dog”. She includes tips on a dog’s mental well-being, understanding why dogs do what they do, socialising, training a dog with manners and when to call in a behaviourist.
Kate’s Last Words…
I am going to quote Kate last couple of paragraphs, because 1) it made me cry when I read it and 2) I think she sums up owning a dog to perfection in these few sentences, so here goes…
“Your dog will live a long and happy life. Then, when it’s time, it may well be up to you to make the decision to let him go. And do it you will, with fortitude, dignity and lots of tears. But you will be able to do it – you will recover.
And you will have achieved a great thing, as a human being. You will have raised, taught, cajoled, trained, chased, cleaned up after, cared for, wiped fox poo off, shared a beautiful world with and loved a dog. And that is something to be might proud of and grateful for.
My Itchy Dog
Kate explains why she wrote the book, in her last few words, “So that’s that” and what she hopes every reader will learn from it. She believes you can shift some of the balance of power back to the dog owner.
She started her business My Itchy Dog, because she had an itchy dog, but she wrote the book for every dog owner out there, to encourage them to learn more and understand more. To help their much-loved dog live a longer, healthier, happier life with us, because after all, isn’t that what we all want for them?
Kate has a website where you can purchase many of the natural products she recommends in this book, but the book isn’t about selling. It’s about caring for your dog as best you can. You will dip in and out of it, try the recipes and help your dog live as naturally and as long as possible. It will serve you and your dog, for many years to come.
I cannot recommend “Top Dog” enough, if you don’t have it, then buy it! I promise you won’t regret it!
Click here to buy “Top Dog” by Kate Bendix
Do you have any favourite dog books? Let us know which ones you loved.
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