Pets on the Couch

Pets on the Couch

Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds, and the New Science of Animal Psychiatry

Book - 2016
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The pioneering veterinarian and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Dog Who Loved Too Much, and the national bestseller, The Cat Who Cried for Help, recounts his uniquely entertaining--and poignant--stories of treating animals for all-too-human problems as he reveals his amazing breakthroughs with the new science of One Medicine.

The Oliver Sacks of animal brains, Dr. Nicholas Dodman is an internationally renowned veterinarian and research scientist who wrote one of the first popular books to recognize the complex emotional lives of dogs and to reveal innovative ways to help them, including with Puppy Prozac. Now, Dr. Dodman once again breaks new ground with the practice of One Medicine, the profound recognition that humans and other animals share the same neurochemistry, and that our minds and emotions work in similar ways.

Racehorses with Tourette's Syndrome, spinning dogs with epilepsy, cats with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, feather-plucking parrots with anxiety, and a diffident Bull Terrier with autism--these astonishing cases were all helped by One Medicine, which emphasizes the similarities rather than differences between animals and humans.

Inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking, and utterly fascinating, Pets on the Couch demonstrates how what we share with our animals can only lead us to a greater appreciation for them--and our mutual bonds.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, c2016
ISBN: 9781476749020
Branch Call Number: 636 Dodm
Characteristics: 287 pages ; 23 cm


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Oct 04, 2019

I was excited to read this book. I am an animal advocate and am fascinated by the fields of animal behavior and psychology. I have cared for a lot of animals in my life and recognize that they have complex emotions and social relationships. I know they can suffer from mental illnesses similar to humans' and they suffer the impacts of abuse as well.

Therefore, I was so disappointed in this book. It seemed to be more of an argument about how so many animal mental issues can be treated with medication similar to that of humans. Also, humans can be treated with meds used for animals. I think it's called the One Medicine view.

I get it, I totally believe that has grounding, but I felt that the book was more of a huge thesis supporting this idea rather than a book for readers who wanted to learn about the New Science of Animal Psychiatry as mentioned in the title. Even worse, I often felt like the author was presenting business ideas that he never got funding for and, oh, if only he were a better businessman.


I give this two stars because I did learn a bit about different ailments from which animals suffer, like PTSD, OCD, etc. But, again, I just kept feeling like I was reading a proposal that should have been presented in an hour-long version of Shark Tank. Not what I had wanted.

Jan 16, 2019

This is a fascinating book for anyone who's lived with an animal with a behavioral problem. It's heavy on medical details (which I like), but is generally enlightening on many topics, including dog aggression and rescue animal problems. The focus is emerging medical treatment rather than behavioral tips, but includes those to some extent.


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