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.



6 thoughts on ““America’s Veterinarian” Shares Pet Care Tips”

  1. My vet does recommend OraVet, particularly for my personal former puppy mill Dachshund who has a dental a year :(. Glad/not glad to hear about the bathing – I have 17 dogs! Oh, the water, the fur; I do have plenty of shampoo thanks to Rescue Alliance with Rainbow Ranch in Morse Mill, MO. That’s all – I need to go listen to the interview, then put together a bathing schedule…..

    1. Thanks for your feedback re: OraVet. I had asked my vet, after he extracted several of Frankie’s teeth, if there was anything that worked besides brushing and he said “not really.” But I think it’s worth a try. 17 dogs — yikes! maybe alternate weeks…

  2. I found the first suggestion fascinating. Archie has started itching even though he no longer goes to the beach and runs through salty water, and does not even visit any venue where he’s likely to encounter fleas. Now I realize it must be my impossibly pollen-laden olive tree, under which I park my car–the one that Archie rides in all day long. To the bath! What a relief to know this.

  3. Cool. I actually had no idea of the last two suggestions/facts; I’ll have to keep them in mind, especially if I run into a thunderphobic dog. =] (Although, I love thundershirts…that particular bit of advice costs much less, I’m sure. Well, so long as you’re willing to sacrifice a sheet, I suppose.)

    Nice article. =] Especially love the short, sweet, and to-the-point quality.

    1. Thanks, JJ. And congrats on your new blog! I’m going to dig up the piece I wrote on no kill and put it in your (already very lively) comments section!

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