One Nation Under Dog explores the ways that we pamper, care for, and lavish money upon our pets. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic, and each chapter could be read as a standalone essay. Some chapters such "Trading Up," which takes the reader inside the world of high-end pet products, are light-hearted. Schaffer takes a more serious tone when he explores the places a person can get a dog from, including puppy mills in Lancaster County, or the places unwanted pets end up. The section on the technologically advanced (and expensive) veterinary treatments available to today's pet owner is particularly interesting.
I liked that Schaffer does not shy away from questions that his book raises, such as should we be spending so much money on our pets, who have a better standard of living than some people in this country? As a dog person, it is simple to guess which side of the fence the author is on, but his arguments are nicely objective.
One Nation Under Dog will appeal to any fur baby parent. It is an entertaining and occasionally insightful read.
This is an interesting journey into the world of pet ownership here in the United States. Author Michael Schaffer immerses himself into the world of canine cuisine, Gucci for dogs, dog grooming contests and even responsible activities for pit-bull owners. Although Schaffer says that he is investigating pet ownership in general, it is really about the dogs. Cats are briefly mentioned on the sidelines, and other pets such as birds, reptiles, and rodents are excluded. Publisher's Weekly called this book "the 'Fast Food Nation' for dog lovers" and I think that about sums it up nicely.