Jana Rade is the blogger behind the dog health blog My Dog’s Symptoms. The blog features what she’s learned about dogs and their health issues and often features her Rottweilers.

Jana is the author of the award-winning book “Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: How to Tell if Your Dog Is Sick and What to Do Next.”

“Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog” is an owner-to-owner dog health advocacy guide. I got to read it when it was in the final editing process, and I recommend it for dog and cat owners, pet sitters and people who foster animals. It helped remind me that I am the best advocate for my pets’ health. Vets are there to help.

Jana maintains the popular Facebook group Dog Health Issues that has more than 15,000 members.

Follow Jana on Twitter: @DawgBlogger

That Mutt: What is your favorite dog-related book and why?

Jasmine the Rottweiler
Jana’s dog Jasmine

Jana Rade: Ah, the notorious question about a favorite book. The problem with that is naming just one. It’s never only one. So I am going to answer this differently—what is a book I feel every dog parent should read (besides mine lol)—and that would be Speaking for Spot by Dr. Nancy Kay.

When I first read it, the thought on my mind was, where was this book a few years ago when I needed it?

There was so much we had to learn the hard way with Jasmine; this book has it all right in there. How to find a good vet, how to work with them, how to pursue a diagnosis … Sounds simple? Only until your dog gets really sick.

TM: What dog training tool or other dog product has benefited you or your dog’s life the most recently?

Jana: Solvit dog ramp. For Jasmine (Rottweiler), we built our own. They served their purpose well. But when Cookie (also a Rottweiler) hurt herself, we needed something quick, and we needed something light that wouldn’t take up much space.

After a lot of research, we decided to try the Solvit telescopic ramp. The main criteria for a ramp are sturdiness, sufficient width and adequate length. The whole idea is to improve safety, not to make things worse.

This ramp ended up meeting all our criteria. It looks like it might be flimsy but it is very solid and sturdy while being light and easy to fold or expand.

TM: How has a past failure with one of your dogs helped you make better choices later in life?

Jana Rade

Jana: My biggest failure was not taking charge of Jasmine’s veterinary care and leaving it all up to the veterinarians. Today, I am in charge; they are helping.

TM: In the last 5 years what belief or habit has most improved your life with dogs?

Jana: Realizing that dogs “see” the world differently and that doesn’t make it wrong. Just because I don’t like the idea of my dog rolling in deer poop doesn’t mean they don’t have a good reason for doing it.

TM: What advice would you give to a friend about to get her first dog?

Jana: Actually, I believe dog ownership should be licensed just like driving is. Not that it’s going to happen and not that it would solve all the problems; look how many terrible drivers are out there.

TM: What’s the worst advice you hear when it comes to dogs?

Jana: There is so much bad advice out there, and then there is misinterpreted good advice. The worst advice is home-treatment recommendations when a dog clearly needs to see a vet asap.

Jana’s Rottweiler, Jasmine

TM: What’s a popular trend in the “dog world” that you disagree with?

Jana: There are popular trends I love – positive training and fear-free approach. I disagree with everything opposite of that.

TM: What’s something you do or believe in that other people think is odd? (doesn’t have to be dog related)

Jana: I believe in dogs being dogs. I believe that my dog doing something which I might not like does not make it wrong. I believe that gross is in the eye of the beholder, even though often that is my eye as well. I’m learning to accept the dogs’ way of looking at things. Safety is the only rule in my house.

TM: Do your dogs sleep in your bed?

Jana: The simple answer is yes. The more accurate answer is that Cookie has the option to do so but also loves her cooling bed, so she usually plays musical chairs with all her sleeping choices. Jasmine almost exclusively chose her cooling bed except when we were watching TV.

Thank you, Jana!

Her book “Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog” is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Please leave a comment and welcome Jana to That Mutt. If you have any health-related questions, you can leave them below or request to join her Facebook group.

Related posts:

Interview with author Laura Koerber

Dog vaccinations – what not to do

5 questions with a German shepherd owner

My “5 question” Friday posts are a new feature on That Mutt where I interview authors, trainers, veterinarians, bloggers and others who work with dogs. It’s a way to share different opinions and experiences. If you would like to be featured, please email Lindsay@ThatMutt.com.

I adapted some of these interview questions from “Tribe of Mentors” by Tim Ferriss. You should read it.

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