This book is about much more than dogs. Forever dogs, forever people. Authors Karen Shaw Becker, DVM, a functional medicine veterinarian, and Rodney Habib, an internationally-acclaimed pet health leader, are on a mission to save dogs from a life of junk food and poor health practices. Since many people take better care of their dogs than of themselves, this incredibly eye-opening and informative book will forever change the way you feed and treat your dogs, and most likely yourself.

Incredibly, the authors are able to double the life of some of their subjects. Compared to the current average age of death for our canine companions, 12-13 years, their dogs can live a happy and healthy life of about 25 years with breed being a primary factor. Yes, 25 years!

As with people, the most important part of a healthy canine lifestyle is nutrition. The authors take to task the dog food industry and expose the junk carbohydrates contained in most brands. Most dogs live a life of junk food, as do many people. Even the healthy and more expensive food brands are full of high glycemic carbohydrates and lacking important nutrients. A few companies dominate many dog food brands, and like most physicians, most trained veterinarians do not know the nutrition their patients are consuming.

The answer is not to simply give your dog table scraps as their needs differ from ours. Becker and Habib provide a detailed list of healthy dog foods along with sources of healthy readymade meals for those too busy to cook for your four-legged family members.

This bad news, good news book contains much more than nutritional information. The authors guide owners to avoid the “triple threat” of stress, isolation and lack of physical activity. You will learn the difference between a muddy dog and a dirty dog by keeping a dog-friendly environment. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and nurturing a happy dog is to provide regular “sniffaris,” a new word I will always remember.

The Forever Dog is a fun book to read or which to listen. The knowledge and insights you will take away are very impactful and important. The final section, “Pooch Parenting to Build a Forever Dog,” contains great quotations such as, “Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never owned a dog.”

Dr. Scherger is founder of Restore Health in Indian Wells, a clinic dedicated to weight loss and reversing disease. For more information, visit www.restorehealth.me or call (760) 898.9663.

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