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The Daily Vet by petMD

The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets.

The Dog Days of Summer: Hot Pet Reads

I love few things more during the summer than lying down at the beach or pool with a book in hand. Well, maybe lying down with my head on my dog when it’s too hot to go outside. Either way, long summer days are perfect for reading, and fortunately for us animal lovers there is no shortage of choices for pet related books. So with that, I’d like to present my own must-read summer book list for pet lovers.


1. Lessons from Tara: Life Advice from the World’s Most Brilliant Dog


David Rosenfelt’s sweet and funny book about his beloved dog Tara hits all my favorite notes: Golden Retriever? Check. Laughs? Check. Giving credit to all the little life lessons a dog imparts to us just by being who they are? Check again.


2. A Street Cat Named Bob


Street cat meets street musician;it’s tough to know who was the scrappier of the two. You wouldn’t think a former addict turned street musician would be a natural fit for cat owner of the year, but somehow James Bowen and Bob forged a beautiful friendship that transcended their rough start. A courageous tale of love and redemption in the unlikeliest of places.


3. Cabo and Coral Dog Days of Summer


Dr. Udo Wahn’s Cabo and Coral series of books are a lovely children’s collection that covers multiple topics all kids should learn about: responsible pet ownership, environmental conservation, pet adoption, and revering all beings just as they are. Coupled with the lovely illustrations of dogs surfing and a big scoop of aloha, Dog Days of Summer is one of my childrens’ favorite reads. Dr Wahn offers custom signatures to books ordered through his site.


4. Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved My Life


Dr. Sarah Boston is an expert in veterinary oncology, providing cutting edge treatment for dogs and cats with cancer. And thank goodness she was: when Dr. Boston was herself diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she needed to draw on everything she knew to successfully navigate the labyrinthine Canadian healthcare system. Wry and funny, this is not a typical cancer memoir.


5. Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!)


Fans of Jackson Galaxy’s hit show know he has a knack for bringing around even the most peculiar of felines. He’s paired up with cat style guru Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther to bring their best home upgrade tips to you. Forget the old stereotypes of the “crazy cat lady” living in a mess. Catification proves that cat ladies (and guys) can lead the pack when it comes to sophisticated style.


6. Decoding Your Dog


“Why is my dog doing this?” may be one the most common questions dog owners have, and depending on who you ask, the answers can be all over the place. The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, a board certified specialty for veterinarians with advanced behavior training, represents the ultimate authority in the field. This comprehensive collaborative book covers all the bases: not only the “whys” of common behaviors, but the “how” of addressing common problem behaviors using the most up-to-date research and humane training methods. I learned a bunch from this one.


7. True Tails From the Dog Park


I picked two children’s books for the list because, like many parents, I’m finding myself constantly coming up with ways to keep my kids reading and off the computer. Dog books are one of the best tricks. Co-authors Kari Sherman and Carey Laubenburg met at a San Diego dog park and hatched the idea for a book covering the stories of the many friends they made at the park. Additionally the book addresses issues of dog park etiquette as told through the eyes of their dogs, Max and Luther.


8. Heart Dog: Surviving the Loss of Your Canine Soulmate


So Roxanne Hawn’s book about overcoming the loss of a “heart dog” may not be the most light read on the list, but for someone who really needs it, it may be the most important. Blending her personal story of loss with advice from grief experts, this quick read covers all the bases to help grieving pet owners know that not only are they not alone, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


9. Texts from Mittens


Speaking of light reads, Angie Bailey’s book of a sassy text messaging cat may be just what the doctor ordered if you’re looking for a fun gift for cat lovers. Mittens is a sharp-tongued, narcissistic complainer who suffers greatly from living with Phil the dog, and isn’t afraid to let Mom know through his unlimited data plan. If cats had opposable thumbs, I imagine this is exactly what mine would be sending.


10All Dogs Go to Kevin


I admit to a bit of bias on this last one, but I’m really excited and proud to have my memoir on the shelves this summer. There may be some tears in it here and there, but I made sure to balance it out with laughs as well. Although the focus is on three dogs in my life, there’s plenty of stories from the clinic too. If you’ve ever loved a dog who turned your prized Jimmy Choos into Jimmy Poos, this is the book for you. If you’d like a bookplate to turn yours into a signed version, drop me an e-mail and I’ll get it done!


(You can read an excerpt of All Dogs Go to Kevin here)



Dr. Jessica Vogelsang



Image: Javier Brosch / Shutterstock


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