Placebos for Pets? The Truth About Alternative Medicine in Animals

As I hinted a few months ago, I have had a book in the works for several years. Written for pet owners, but heavily researched and referenced so as to be a useful reference for veterinary professionals as well, the book is a comprehensive review of the claims and evidence for alternative therapies in veterinary patients.

The book will be officially released on November 1, 2019. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. If you have found this blog at all interesting or useful, you will find much more depth and detail in the book on many of the subjects discussed here. The goal is to provide not only a review of specific therapies but a strategy for rational, evidence-based evaluation of medical therapies offered for you pets and patients. Readers will learn how science works as a method for evaluating medical treatments as well as what the current best evidence says about popular alternative veterinary therapies.

I hope this will be useful for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and pet owners, and I look forward to hearing your impressions of the book when it comes out!

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20 Responses to Placebos for Pets? The Truth About Alternative Medicine in Animals

  1. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to put this into an accessible and convenient format to recommend to our clients, Brennan!

  2. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to put this into an accessible and convenient format to recommend to our clients, Brennan! Paperback not yet available for pre-order on

  3. skeptvet says:

    Thanks, Kevin!

    I’m told folks in Canada have been able order it from Barnes and Noble orBook Depository

  4. I’ll be recommending this far and wide to my clients. I’m in Canada and can access the Kindle edition on Amazon, but no Look Inside. I know that’s important to many readers.

  5. skeptvet says:

    Thanks, I appreciate it! I hope the Look Inside will be available when the book is officially released, but I’ll check into it.

  6. v.t. says:

    Well, thank god, I’ve been waiting for this for months! 🙂

    Pre-order done! Can’t wait to read it, skeptvet, and….CONGRATULATIONS!

  7. v.t. says:

    Just curious, how come bookdepository has the title: “Bad Medicine : A Guide to Science-Based Pet Care”, and the other three online stores have “Placebos for Pets?: The Truth About Alternative Medicine in Animals”? They *are* the same, right? I wouldn’t want to miss out on two separate books, lol.

  8. skeptvet says:

    Last minute changes in the title (I really hated the Bad Medicine one), and I guess the publisher didn’t get it corrected for the Book Depository. I’ll check into it. Thanks!

  9. L says:

    My order is in!
    I’m thinking this might also make a nice holiday gift for a pet parent I know 🙂

  10. art malernee says:

    Ordered online book on Amazon prime one click. Six bucks and change. Took less than a minute. Plan on sharing with clients .

  11. Jazzlet says:

    But yowch the £-$ exchange rate is hurting at the moment, not that it’s a lot of money for the work you’ve put in!

  12. skeptvet says:

    Thanks for your support! Sorry about the pain caused by currency markets. I’m not really sure I even understand how all that works!

  13. v.t. says:

    Thanks for the clarification, skeptvet, … honestly, both titles sound great!

  14. SEN says:

    I’m in Canada, and I have no trouble ordering books from when they haven’t been available on Amazon’s Canadian site.

    I’m really looking forward to getting this book, as I’ve been following your blog for years now.

  15. Cloudskimmer says:

    For those wanting to avoid soul-less Amazon, it can be pre-ordered from, a real, and very fine, brick and mortar bookstore. I find it odd that it’s $19.50 at Powell’s, but $21.59 at my local bookstore. Usually new books sell for the cover price, as printed by the publisher. Congratulations on getting your book published; that’s a major accomplishment.

    Regarding “Bad Medicine”: titles can’t be copyrighted but there was a book about human medicine by that title. I like your title better. I’m in suspense wondering what you say about acupuncture, since you seemed to equivocate after taking the course, and I find it abhorrent to stick pins in animals to elicit a placebo effect in humans.

  16. CG says:

    Congratulations Brennen best of luck with the new book.

  17. Jen Robinson says:

    Good to see this coming out in book form. I applaud skepticism, love this blog and agree there’s a lot of quackery that need to be exposed.
    Maybe too much to hope for, but I do hope that it is also critical of practices common among mainstream vets such as excessive routine lab testing, annual vaccinations, and sales of dubious unproven products in the vet’s waiting room.
    I suspect fewer people would look for ‘alternatives’ if they didn’t find reason to distrust the mainstream.

  18. JN says:

    Can’t wait for this book!

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