“Pets on the Couch” by Dr. Nicholas H Dodman, BVMS DACVB: Book Review

Have you ever wondered what is at the root of your cat or dog’s odd, puzzling or disturbing behavior? Are you bewildered by your dog or cat who constantly chases its tail? Are you concerned when your pet over grooms to the point of self-mutilation? Are you curious about what may be causing your cat or dog to stare aimlessly into space? And do you get anxious when your gentle, sweet, laid-back well- behaved canine companion suddenly, with no apparent reason, becomes extremely aggressive? But are these truly “bad” behaviors, or is your pet trying to tell you that something is amiss?

Pets on the Couch

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But even though your pets don’t behave bizarrely, your will learn more about what may be causing these inexplicable habits when you read “Pets on the Couch”. But don’t let the title “Pets on the Couch” fool you. One might be easily mistaken that this book concerns lazy companion animals. “Pets on the Couch” is far from that.

“Pets on the Couch” is the new, fascinating and thought-provoking book by Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS DACVB. Dodman is the Animal Behavior Clinic Director at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. In this book, Dodman takes on the role of a detective who is carefully investigating what causes animals’ behavior to go awry.

The results from the work that Dr. Dodman is doing will open an entirely new and intriguing way about how we think about puzzling animal behaviors. In his captivating book, Dodman demonstrates that the neurochemistry in humans and animals is identical and how similarly our minds and emotions work.

Dr. Dodman calls his approach to his work, “One Medicine”. He describes this concept as “Emphasizing similarities rather than differences between humans and other animals.” In “One Medicine”, he asks the questions, “What works in treating people with persistent anxiety? What serves to lessen obsessive-compulsive tendencies in humans? Could the same treatments work on pets?” And you will learn how and why they work.

This riveting book is filled with many fascinating case-histories demonstrating that “One Medicine” can work wonders for suffering pets; which is also a great relief for their guardians. Dodman writes beautifully about these cases with compassion and empathy. He shares these stories using his personal experience treating a variety of different species of animal patients as he unravels some of the most complicated mysteries about their strange and perplexing behaviors.

This is a book that will both inspire and deeply move those who love all animals. The concept of “One Medicine” may now offer tremendous hope to guardians who are living with companion animals whose troublesome and bizarre behavior might otherwise lead them to be euthanized.

What shines through above all in this enchanting book is the love and dedication Dodman has for the animals with whom he works. “Pets on the Couch” is a book that is definitely a “must read” for all pet guardian who are interested in delving into some of the possible causes for these and other confounding aberrant behaviors. It is also a “must read” for all veterinarians who are willing to open their hearts and minds to the practice of “One Medicine” in order to offer their patients an opportunity for a much greater quality of life.

“Pets on the Couch” captured my heart. The book reads seamlessly and is easy to understand. It often moved me to tears but it also gave me a great deal of joy to read about how the lives of these animals were so brilliantly transformed. I highly recommend “Pets on the Couch”. It is scheduled for release on August 23, 2016, and can be purchased on Amazon.com. at a pre-publication price.

8 thoughts on ““Pets on the Couch” by Dr. Nicholas H Dodman, BVMS DACVB: Book Review”

  1. We have a cat suffering PTSD from our house fire. She is slowly learning to cope with her home and new scents and sounds. It had to be hard for her to be brought up in a home for her whole life and then ripped from that home, live 6 days at the vet office and then placed in a totally alien Apartment with no smalls of home. This book sounds interesting. Thanks for the information.

    • I am sorry to read your story. I feel sorry for your cat. It must have been very traumatic. Your comment has motivated me to think about doing an article about feline PTSD. Thank you for commenting.

  2. Because I can no longer afford books, either online or in paper form, I have not read Dr. Dodman’s work, but his thoughts echo mine completely. In my background, we have always loved cats as family members, and regarded members of other species as being of equal esteem and value to humans. Of course cats are trying to tell their human loved ones something — it’s up to their caregivers to be thoughtful and sensitive enough to be aware of it and help! In my opinion, it’s often the humans, and NEVER the animals, who are ignorant, uncaring, and just plain stupid.

    • Eva D Ritchie Force this book is extraordinary. It is indeed wonderful to know that so many of these behaviors are cause by neurological issues and so many animals can be helped with appropriate treatment.


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