The best books about the healing power of animals and the human-animal bond

Who am I?

It all began at a very young age when I aspired to be Jane Goodall and save the lives of animals. Since then, her wisdom, courage, and activism have guided me throughout my life. Through my childhood, I nursed fledglings with eyedroppers, adopted turtles left on the curbside, and became an advocate for “Save our Seals”. In college, I immersed myself in the study of animal behavior. I explored the behavior of Red Kangaroos, "Megalia Rufas" in captivity, exploring ways in which zoos could improve their facilities to respect the needs of the animals. These experiences set the landscape for my work as a holistic psychotherapist with the healing power of dogs.


I wrote...

Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives

By Jane Miller,

Book cover of Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives

What is my book about?

The role that service dogs can play in the lives of people with invisible disabilities has started to receive national media attention in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and on Oprah. Service dogs have been assisting the blind, the hearing impaired, those in wheelchairs, and with other disabilities for decades. More recently, they’ve helped many veterans returning from combat to overcome the effects of PTSD and return to more fulfilling lives.

We are proud to say that Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives is the first book to profile the power that these extraordinary dogs have to transform lives. This groundbreaking book provides a window into the new world of Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs), and how they can offer a second chance at life to some of society’s most vulnerable people.

The books I picked & why

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The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall

By Dale Peterson (editor), Marc Bekoff (editor),

Book cover of The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall

Why this book?

Jane Goodall inspired me on the journey of my life’s work and passion. This book is a beautiful tribute to her groundbreaking work and life. I was honored to have been asked to be a contributor to this book, join me in celebrating her life and power to heal so many lives. 


Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live

By Allen M. Schoen,

Book cover of Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live

Why this book?

This book had a huge impact on my life into exploring so many different healing modalities filled with love and compassion for animals we share our lives with. He eloquently explores the healing power of the human-animal bond with deeply personal stories. He changed my life and will impact your connection to the animals that you share your days with. 


On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals

By Turid Rugaas,

Book cover of On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals

Why this book?

This book had a huge impact on me many years ago when I started training Psychiatric Service Dogs. Turid opened my eyes to a complex understanding of how dogs communicate with us through subtle and not-so-subtle body language. I recommend this book highly to all of my friends that have dogs and my clients. You will learn to identify when your dog is stressed, how to recognize it, and then take appropriate action to help decrease and alleviate the dog’s stress. 


Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

By Suzanne Clothier,

Book cover of Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

Why this book?

I read this book many years ago and it still lives within me. A beautifully written book that will touch your heart deeply. She takes you on a journey that deepens your relationships with animals. She helps us understand the minds of our dogs with humor, intelligence, and more.


Training Levels: Steps to Success, Vol. 2

By Sue Ailsby,

Book cover of Training Levels: Steps to Success, Vol. 2

Why this book?

She is remarkable at breaking down easy ways to train your dogs with such ease and compassion. If you follow these steps you will have a very healthy, happy, well-trained dog. Volumes 1 and 2 are two of the best books to learn how to communicate and teach your dog everything they will ever need to know.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, German Shepherds, and Anthrozoology?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, German Shepherds, and Anthrozoology.

Dogs Explore 235 books about dogs
German Shepherds Explore 9 books about German Shepherds
Anthrozoology Explore 94 books about Anthrozoology

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training, and My Dog Tulip if you like this list.