The title or should I say the subtitle of this book “The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs” peaked my curiosity or dare I say triggered a Pavlovian response. Is that not what we are all looking for? Like you, I want this relationship with my dogs to last as long as possible. I want my dogs to be healthy & vibrantly alive. I want the right information, not some marketing hype. I want to be able to make the best decisions I can based on real truth. For the last 5 years or so I have been on thissame journey myself. Weeding through all the disinformation we are fed daily about our own health. But alas, that is another topic for another day.
With this in mind, I dove right in. Right away, I realized that I had recently read another book written by its author Ted Kerasote titled “Merle’s Door” which I enjoyed very much. First off, let me say that I like this book. I find the authors writing style easy. It feels true and not overly contrived. He gives his dog Pukka a voice that is playful yet not annoyingly cute.
“Pukka’s Promise” is not so much a laundry list or prescription so that your dog will live to 20 years of age, as much as it is a spotlight. This book focuses on illuminating issues that going forward can potentially change the landscape of the health of our pups. A catalyst for discussion. There were a couple of main ideas that resonated strongly with me.
First up, the author discusses the need for breeders (whether backyard, professional, whatever) to begin to look more toward genetic testing for a larger array of diseases within breeds so that males/females showing makers are not bred together. He also makes the case for using info derived from genetic testing to breed for heartiness and longevity as opposed to standard or looks. He also gives merit for changing the way dogs are judged in dog shows away from rewarding dysfunctional conformations to instead emphasize good biomechanics. He also discusses the possibility of carefully done outcrossing’s to fix the genetic problems over time. I don’t know enough to comment on that but I found it interesting.
Secondly, the books author takes a look at Food. A hot button topic I know. Raw vs. Kibble. I’m not stepping on that landmine. There is information here as to how kibble is made that was shocking, for me at least. The author prefers raw over kibble, but does not completely rule out kibble. You be the judge.
The last topic I will discuss (there are other topics in the book) is spay/neuter vs.keeping dogs intact. Kerasote makes the argument for not spaying and neutering. The case being made that dogs with intact sexual hormones actually fair better health wise, contrary to what we have been told by the establishment. He points out that if the goal is to not have unwanted pregnancies, simply do vasectomies and tubal ligations. They are quicker & easier. No unwanted pregnancies, and your dog still retains its sexual hormones. He also discusses why shelters are not doing these procedures more often and why vets are not being taught this in school. I am simplifying his argument here, but I found this very interesting.
All in all, I give it 4 out of 5 paws up! Check it out; I think you will find it an interesting read.
Oh and by the way, your dog wants me to tell you he wants you to take him for a long walk! While your at it, why not bring along The Fifth Paw. The Fifth Paw is the premiere hands-free dog-poop carrier that gives you the freedom to fall in love with walking your dogs all over again! No more juggling full bags of Poop. Yay!
Till the next #FifthPawBookRuffview
Many Happy Walks!