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Pets on the Couch: Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds, and the New Science of Animal Psychiatry (Paperback)

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The “fur-and-feathers Oliver Sacks” (New York Times), pioneering veterinarian Nicholas Dodman recounts his “riveting stories” (Judith L. Rapoport, MD, author of The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Washing) of treating animals with all-too-human problems in this “fascinating read for anyone who wants to know how the animal mind works” (Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs).

Internationally renowned veterinarian Dr. Nicholas Dodman breaks new ground with the practice of One Medicine, the profound recognition that humans’ and other animals’ 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. Traditional treatments did not cure the behaviors because they treated the symptoms as disorders of the body, rather than problems of the mind. “This book itself is powerful medicine,” writes Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus. “Compelling…Dodman injects empathy into a world where sympathy previously reigned,” praised Publishers Weekly.

“With much charm and compassion” (Susan Richards, author of Chosen by a Horse), Pets on the Couch raises our understanding of our pets’ complex interior lives and mental abilities, leading to a greater appreciation of them and the bonds we share.

About the Author


Nicholas Dodman is one of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists. He founded the Animal Behavior Clinic—one of the first of its kind—at Tufts in 1986. A leader in his field, Dr. Dodman is has published four bestselling books, two textbooks and more than 100 scientific articles and contributions to scientific books and journals, and holds patents for inventions related to the control of animal behavior. Dr. Dodman appears regularly on national radio and television, and lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts.

Praise For…


Pets on the Couch tells riveting stories about how and why our pets become troubled and trouble. His answers can be lifesaving. Should be required reading for pet owners.”
— Judith L. Rapoport, MD, author of The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing

"I strongly recommend Pets on the Couch for anyone with an interest in animal minds, long misunderstood as nothing much, even by most scientists. The findings of Dr. Dodman, a highly scientific researcher, shows us that the minds of non-humans can be fully as complex and fertile as ours, and sometimes more so. So if you read no other book, be sure to read this one."
— Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of THE HIDDEN LIFE OF DOGS and THE TRIBE OF TIGER

"Pets on the Couch may change your mind about minds. This compelling and exciting book will give many pet owners new hope, many vets and MDs new ideas, and inspire all readers with a fresh appreciation for how all animal species—including humans—are deeply and fundamentally connected. Thank you, Dr. Dodman, for your compassion for both people and animals, and for writing a book that itself is powerful medicine."
— Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus

“Dr. Dodman’s work makes it very clear that animals have the same emotions and neurochemistry as people. Essential reading for treating severe pet behavior problems.”
— Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human

"Dr. Dodman cleverly utilizes his vast clinical experience to deliver a fascinating collection of insightful and essential behavioral tales. The delineation between human emotions and those of the animals in our lives has never been finer."
— Nicholas Trout, DVM, author of Tell Me Where It Hurts

"It is my hope that one day all vets will practice One Medicine, and focus on the similarities rather than the differences between humans and other animals. With much charm and compassion, Dr. Dodman recounts fascinating stories of the various successes with his canine, feline, equine, and other patients. A book for anyone seeking to broaden their understanding and improve their care giving of the animals we love."
— Susan Richards, author of the New York Times bestseller Chosen by a Horse

"How many of us have wished that our veterinarian was our doctor? To know Dr. Nicholas Dodman is to wish he was your therapist. Dr. Dodman teaches us that when we underestimate animals we underestimate all that can be done for them and we most definitely underestimate ourselves. Dr. Dodman has never accepted the limits of what is 'known' and has again and again discovered what is possible."
— Tracey Stewart, author of Do Unto Animals and editor-in-chief of the website Moomah

“Dr. Dodman’s delightful book, his engaging and thoughtful observations, based on neuroscience and a lifetime of experience, captivate the reader and open up a new window of understanding into our beloved equine and other animal companions.”
— Elizabeth Letts #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion and The Perfect Horse

Dr. Dodman presents a captivating look at the world of animals, who are more like ourselves than we know. Nick tells priceless stories of pets and their psychological and biological causes of their problems, which are all too human. Fun, informative, and surprising.”
— John Ratey, MD, author of Spark and coauthor of Driven to Distraction

“Dodman has the best of both worlds—a brilliant mind and a kind heart. Pets on the Couch is a wonderful, heartbreaking, and inspiring journey through the animal mind. A must read for anyone who has a pet, who loves animals, or is interested in the mysterious workings of the brain. It’s no wonder that Dodman is America’s most beloved veterinarian.”
— Dr. Brian Hare, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University and author of the New York Times Bestseller The Genius of Dogs
Product Details
ISBN: 9781476749037
ISBN-10: 1476749035
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English