Three new books focus on our relationships with companion animals.
The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Keeping Your Pet Happy, Healthy and Active (Workman) by Betsy Brevitz is a veterinarian's encyclopedic yet user-friendly guide to keeping your pooch in the pink.
The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter: A Memoir (Harmony) by Holly Robinson is the true story of a Navy commander who parlayed a hobby into a "gerbil empire," becoming the world's largest supplier of the little desert rats.
The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble (St. Martin's) by Ingrid Newkirk, with a foreword by Bill Maher, is the PETA founder's useful compendium of everything from lists of cruelty-free products to advice on choosing foods, entertainment and political candidates.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor