By Sally J Foote DVM, CABC-IAABC
I usually don’t pay much attention to the Facebook ads that pop up on my screen, yet an ad for 101 Essential tips Dog Health and Safety by Jason Nicholas DVM caught my eye. I followed the link and saw that there were 3 books in this series, directed towards the pet owner for pet health and behavior. These books are written by a veterinarian with expertise and experience in emergency and general practice. He clearly sees the need for easy to read, with fun informative illustrations, and accurate information. I ordered each of the books and thought I would share my review with you.
There are three books in the series 101 Essential Tips – Dog Health and Safety, Dog Behavior and Training, and Cat Health and Safety. The cover illustrations are fun, drawing you into the book. The table of contents directs you to the info chapters in bold, again easy to see. The size of the book is handy – big enough for readable type, especially for us baby boomers, yet small enough to fit in a bag, and not clutter the kitchen table. I think children will find the illustrations and the explanations easy to understand as well. The number 101 has impact. 101 is the first level of learning any new topic and tells you there is a lot of content, but not an overwhelming amount.
When I see tip books, I am a little wary of the organization and content. Often it can be a jumble of lots of random 2-3 sentence tips, lacking key information. Not here! Dr Nicholas has an excellent writing style that is succinct, accurate, and gets right to the fact while blending in humor AND references to other tips in the book. A great example is tip #65 in the cat book – Felines and Flowers. Dr. Nicholas informs “while Poinsettias actually aren’t all that problematic for your kitty (really – it’s an urban legend!), some plants and flowers – like lilies (tip # 97) sago palm, and cyclamen and several others – definitely are!“ This example shows how you know where to go to read more about lilies yet can easily finish the tip you are reading. The organization, cross referencing, and engaging writing style are what I really like. There is an index in the back of all three books, using color to help you “see” the topic you are looking for. Currently, writing is no longer about words but about visuals and this book meets that need. The illustrator Chuck Gonzales, designer Robin Walker and author Jason Nicholas, DVM, have brought each of their own talents together to create a book that informs using words, images, and design. The topics of litter box problems, dog training tools, and toxin ingestion are not that easy to pull together with impact, but these books achieve that.
The primary idea of promoting the books is for veterinary clinics to purchase, and either give them away as part of a patient exam [in a puppy/kitten pack] or to resell. Preventive Vet offers a discount of up to 60% for veterinary hospitals (in the vet section of their online store shop.preventivevet.com). Clients can purchase them individually as well at the website https://www.preventivevet.com/. Either way, it is a good way to be certain your client has accurate information to prevent health problems with their pet. This will save staff time by giving credible advice that a client can use for easy reference. This will also save the client money by avoiding many of the accidental poisonings, and mishaps that can land you at the emergency clinic. There is also a $250.00 credit for veterinary care in the contest offered in the book. I can also see veterinary clinics using the tips from the book for Facebook or newsletter posts reducing staff time for clinic promotions, again saving clinic costs in staff time.
The back of the books have blank note pages – this is where you can write your own information about your pet. I suggest the low stress handling plan for veterinary and home care. Also, clinics can put their mailing label with phone number, website and emergency clinic number there.
Clients look to the veterinary staff for trusted advice – and these books fill the gap between what we have time to say in the exam room and clients searching for the right information to avoid problems. As many veterinary health care providers and animal advocates know, prevention is the key to long life and healthy pet ownership. I hope you consider using this book to help pet owners have the best life with their pet.