Dr. Marty Becker is a media star who has sold 8 million books and often appears on Good Morning America and the Dr. Oz Show.
This naturally made me dubious about the claim on the cover of his new book, Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual, that he has “hundreds of secrets, surprises and solutions for raising a happy, healthy dog” — secrets, he told Dr. Lorie Huston during an interview on Animal Cafe, “that even veteran veterinarians or people who have owned dogs forever won’t know, tips that will make your pet healthier and happier and save you time and money.”
It’s not that I’m opposed to popular TV or best sellers. I spend a great deal of time with them, but tend to turn to them for entertainment rather than enlightenment.
I’m happy to report that, after listening to the interview, I’ve seen the error of my ways. Dr. Becker, a.k.a. “America’s Vet,” is not only entertaining but extremely informative.
In little more than 20 minutes of listening to him, I learned several things I didn’t know.
Here are just three of them:
It’s a good idea to bathe your dog once or even twice a week during allergy season
The notion that bathing your dog this often can dry his skin is a myth, according to Dr. Becker, who contends that flushing allergy triggers is a good idea. “Think of your dog as a Swiffer,” he says, “picking up stuff off hardwood floors day after day.” He suggests that, if you wash the pollen off their coats, dogs can get through the height of the allergy season without skin problems.
An unscented fabric softener sheet can help prevent thunderstorm phobia
It’s the buildup of static electricity that precedes the flashes of light, thunder, and sounds of rain on the roof that upsets dogs, Dr. Becker says. “That’s why they often run to the basement or to a bathtub. They’re looking for a place that grounds them.” He contends that if you take an unscented fabric softener sheet and rub it lightly on the hair of the dog’s body, it’ll cure one out of three dogs of thunder phobia.
For the other two out of three, Dr. Becker suggests a prescription of generic Xanax. “If you know there are going to be noises, fireworks, guns, use the dose as recommended by your veterinarian and it’s just ‘kumbaya’ after that,” Dr. Becker says. “It doesn’t affect them a bit.”
Dogs need their lower canine teeth to regulate body heat
If a dog’s tongue lolls out of his mouth instead of allowing him to pant normally, he can’t adequately dispense 85 to 90% of his body heat. That’s just one of the reasons that daily oral care is critical for a healthy pet. In addition to brushing, Dr. Becker recommends CET HEXtra oral hygiene chews and OraVet dental sealant, a plaque prevention gel that serves as a barrier to bacteria that forms plaque. The latter is available only through a veterinary prescription.
This post would be longer but I have to go and give Frankie a bath, and then call my vet to see if I can get him to prescribe OraVet.
So go to Animal Cafe to listen to the interview with Dr. Becker. I bet you’ll learn something you didn’t know. Then come back on June 2, 9PM EST and live chat with him and learn even more.