Companion Animals. Their Biology, Care, Health, and Management

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Companion Animals. Their Biology, Care, Health, and Management By Karen L. Campbell, James E. Corbin, and John R. Campbell, Pearson Education, Inc., 2005, 612 pages, hardbound. $101.20

This textbook is an excellent resource book strictly devoted to many species of companion animals, including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, rodents, and ferrets. While many books focus on specific areas such as nutrition or health, this textbook covers all aspects of companion animal management. Each of the 25 chapters in this text has in-depth coverage of a topic related to companion animals. The first chapter provides an excellent overview of companion animals, including the actual definition of a companion animal, the domestication of cats and dogs, and the contributions of companion animals in our society. Demographic information on the world pet population and associated costs is also provided. The book contains information about the companion animal industry, including the history of the development of commercially available pet foods as well as the various types and manufacturing of pet foods. Economic information is also provided and gives the reader an excellent overview of the companion animal industry in the United States and worldwide. There is an excellent chapter on breeds of dogs and cats providing characteristics of each breed, including breed classifications, most popular breeds and breed registry information. Additionally, there is a chapter devoted to selecting a dog or cat and factors prospective owners should consider when selecting an animal.

There is an excellent chapter which covers feeding and nutrition. It describes the classes of nutrients and their importance for proper growth, development, reproduction, and maintenance of dogs and cats. Detailed information is provided about the various types of food, methods of feeding, feeding for different life stages, pet food labeling, nutrition and disease, and some common concerns such as mycotoxins and additives. As a nutritionist I find this chapter to be extremely useful in teaching companion animal nutrition to college students. The chapter on anatomy and physiology of dogs and cats is very useful and helps the reader understand the importance of proper feeding, care, and management of these animals.

While dogs and cats are the most popular companion animals, other species are considered in this text. There are detailed chapters describing breeds, nutrition, reproduction, diseases, and husbandry of birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, and tortoises, chinchillas, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, rabbits, mice, and rats. …