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Read an Excerpt from the Highly Anticipated Book ‘The Forever Dog’

Rodney Habib and Dr. Karen Becker Shaw share their reasons for writing this blueprint for giving canine companions longer, happier and healthier lives.

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Editor’s Note: Documentarian and citizen scientist Rodney Habib and wellness veterinarian Dr. Karen Shaw Becker will publish their highly anticipated “The Forever Dog” on Oct. 12. A blueprint for giving canine companions longer, happier and healthier lives, it reached No. 1 in Amazon’s Dog Care and Pet Food & Nutrition categories on pre-orders alone. Among those buying “The Forever Dog” in advance are independent pet retailers and service providers who are eager to follow the authors’ advice not only with their personal pets, but also when creating nutrition and lifestyle plans for canine customers. The book includes chapters on diet, supplementation and fitness, as well as guidance on controlling for genetic and environmental impacts.

Habib and Dr. Becker share their reasons for writing in the introduction:

Dr. Karen Shaw Becker and Rodney Habib

Dr. Karen Shaw Becker and Rodney Habib

“In our lifetimes alone, by some measures we’ve witnessed a decline in canine longevity, especially among pedigree dogs. We realize this is a bold and controversial statement to make, but bear with us. Although many dogs are indeed living longer, like people, many dogs are dying prematurely of more chronic disease than ever before. Cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs, with obesity, organ degeneration, autoimmune disease and diabetes not too far behind. (Younger dogs are more likely to die of trauma, congenital disease and infectious diseases.)

“We have met countless pet parents who are desperate for ways to keep the dogs in their lives for as long as possible (maybe not “forever,” but at least as long as they can for a healthy life span, or health span; “life span” and “health span” are two important terms that are not one in the same; we’ll distinguish them).

“We should be clear from the get-go: We’re not aiming to teach you how to have a dog that literally lives forever. And we’re not going to solve every dog’s health problems in this book either — there are too many variables and potential permutations of different health conditions across all types of dogs to be able to spot-treat every possibility (but you can find a gateway to personal pet problem solving on our website at www.foreverdog.com.

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“The purpose of this book is to offer a science-backed framework for optimal dog parenting and caring that you can tailor to your unique circumstances. And the purpose of calling this book ‘The Forever Dog’ is equal parts metaphorical and aspirational. We aspire to have dogs that live vibrant lives to the very end — whenever that is. In death, they stay with us, too.

“After all, our dogs are forever in our hearts and minds, even when they are gone from this planet. Your dog has found a forever home with you, and you want to make the most of it.”

From “The Forever Dog” by Rodney Habib and Dr. Karen Shaw Becker. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.

To purchase “The Forever Dog” to sell through your pet business, get the wholesale order form at harperwave.com

FOREVER DOG: A domesticated carnivorous mammal, descended from the gray wolf lineage, that lives a long and robust life free from degenerative disease, in part due to their humans making intentional choices and wise decisions that confer health and longevity.

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Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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