The Joys of Summer: Rolling in Deer Poop

Posted by & filed under Bloggers, Natural Pet Products, Natural Pet Shampoo, Tracie Hotchner.

Grooming Supplies for Cats and Dogs

Halo Cloud Nine Herbal shampoo to the rescue!

Every season brings its own rewards. And those pleasures vary greatly for different species. We might like to read a book in a shady hammock with a glass of iced tea.

For my dogs, the most marvelous part of summer is in the fields of the local public land trust where we take daily hikes. There are wide open fields that are cut for hay, which is a heavenly place for a dog to run, flat out, ears flapping in the wind.

It is right after the hay is baled that the fields have a special allure for the dogs because everything in the fields is exposed. There seems to be a contest between Wanda and Maisie to see which of them can find more deer droppings, hurl themselves down into it, then roll back and forth in a state of total delight.

I can stand the aroma in the car, but only because i know the minute I get back home they are going to be smelling and looking a whole lot better. There’s a driveway shower with their Halo Herbal shampoo awaiting them.

Wanda actually enjoys it!

Halo Cloud Nine® Herbal Shampoo

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Climate Change and Your Canine – What Can You Do?

Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Environment, Holistic Dog Food, Natural Dog Food, OrigiNative.

Climate change is already causing the weather patterns we thought we knew to change. What can you do as a responsible dog owner? Thankfully, quite a bit!

Most of us know that carbon is a major contributor to climate change. Jerry Melillo, an ecologist and a member of NOAA’s Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, told Energy News Network, “It’s pretty clear that climate change is not going to stop and it will be accelerating if we don’t move to a reduced carbon economy.”

Photo Credit: Sheryl Davis

Many people enjoy reducing their carbon use through Meatless Mondays. Dogs can safely join in a family-wide Meatless Monday with Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Dog Food kibbles or cans! Halo, GreaterGood.org, and Freekibble.com are even working with shelters to reduce their carbon paw print through Meatless Mondays for the shelter dogs! They’re supplying both Halo Vegan and Halo Whole Meat food for the dogs in the care of Second Chance Animal Shelter in Massachusetts, Humane Society of Tampa Bay in Florida, and Dutchess County SPCA in New York. It’s not good for animals to have one day with a completely different diet, so the dogs are achieving their Meatless Mondays by having 1/7thof their food each day be Halo Garden of Vegan.

All three shelters have reported that the process is simple and making the dogs very happy. Sheryl Blancato, executive director for Second Chance Animal Shelter said, “We are excited about being part of Meatless Monday and the Halo food donation has helped save the lives of many animals. Since foregoing meat even one day per week has an impact on the environment, imagine the difference we can make with all of the dogs at an animal shelter going meatless on Monday!”

Dr. Jason Nicholas, the Chief Medical Officer at Preventive Vet, took the time to talk with us about how climate change might affect our pets. Dr. J, as he’s generally known, is passionate about pet health and helping pet parents better understand their furry friends. He had some great advice for dog owners.

With warmer winters “the parasite seasons many people are used to or think exist are likely to change,” Dr. J explained. “So, ‘flea season’ is likely to start earlier and end later, and there may also be ‘unseasonal flares’ due to changing weather patterns. The same is likely for ‘tick season’ and even ‘intestinal worm season.’”

Climate change could also lead to more infectious diseases and mosquito-borne parasites. Mosquitos can easily spread diseases to dogs. “From a mosquito standpoint, changing weather patterns isn’t just likely to mean longer and more erratic mosquito seasons, but it’ll also mean that places that haven’t historically had problems with disease-spreading mosquito populations are more likely to start having them,” Dr J. told us, adding, “So everybody really should get and keep their guard up, as none of these infestations/infections are fun.”

Thankfully, there are safe and effective steps you can take. You can help fight exposure by taking care of your yard. Dr. J. suggested preventing and removing standing water sources on your property, as well as looking into “using cedar chips or beneficial nematodes” in your yard to keep flea populations in check.

However, Dr. J. says talking with your veterinarian is the “biggest step” any pet parent should take in the face of these changing weather and parasite patterns. He suggests you ask about “the safest, most effective, and most comprehensive parasite prevention and treatment plan for all of the pets in [your] home.” He advises that you regularly check your dogs for any signs of parasites – or even the parasites themselves. Look for fleas and flea dirt on your dog’s skin and coat and definitely check for ticks. Dr. J. stressed that checking for this is especially important “after coming in from hikes or walks in the woods, camping trips,” and other similar outdoor activities. You definitely want to keep your vet looped in, too, by having your veterinarian regularly check your dog’s stool samples for worms.

Hotter weather can make heat stroke more likely. Dr. J recommends that you “know your dog and their risk factors for heat stroke.” He explained that puppies, seniors, overweight dogs, brachycephalic dogs like pugs, and dogs who already have an existing respiratory condition are at increased risk of heat stroke. He suggested being cautious and avoiding “any walks or outdoor exercise in the heat of the day,” suggesting that you “try for early morning and later evening when it’s likely to be cooler.” Not only will it be safer for your dogs, but likely more pleasant for you, too! In addition to the dangers of heat stroke from being outside, Dr. J. stressed to never leave your dog in a parked car “even if you leave them with water, leave the windows cracked, or will only be gone for five minutes.” When in doubt, let your dog enjoy air conditioning in the safety of your home!

With an increased risk of severe or more frequent storms, pets and their pet parents also face more risks for floods, fires, or other natural disasters. Dr. J. told us, “people should definitely prepare an emergency/disaster kit for their pets.” Dr. J explains on his site how to put together an emergency kit. You can also download Preventive Vet’s Emergency and Disaster Prep eBook for free.  If you need additional ideas, Halo had a blog post about 7 Ways to Protect Your Pets in an Emergency only a few months ago.

We’re a mission-driven brand, so we strive to do what’s best for pets, people, and the planet. We’re no stranger to praise for our eco-consciousness. In 2016 our Spot’s Stew won in the Best Pet Products, Food category of the Natural Child World Eco Excellence Awards. We were also finalists in the supplements and treats categories

We don’t do it for praise or awards though, we do it because it’s right. Dave Carter, our Director of Sourcing, says in a Facebook video, “Nature’s kind of messy. Nature creates things that…are unique and individual and the more we learn to work within that system, those animals are helping to restore the soil. They’re helping to build a grassland that captures carbon and makes for a healthy ecosystem.” He added, “We just think that when you go back to that natural, that OrigiNative source, you’re getting a whole protein that’s healthier for us and healthier for our companion animals.”

Building a grassland that captures the carbon we’ve already released into the atmosphere is important for slowing climate change. So when you buy Halo pet food you’re not only giving healthy food to your pet, you’re also helping shelter animals as well as the earth. That’s pretty awesome for buying a bag of dog food!

Alabama Dog Saves Veteran Nearly Every Night and Day

Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories.

Service dog Daisy with Sergeant Jeremy Milwood

Photo Credit: Service Dogs Alabama’s Facebook page

Retired Sergeant Jeremy Milwood, in Birmingham, Alabama is one of those soldiers who made it home but is still dealing with the aftereffects of his time in Iraq. Thankfully, his former-shelter-now-service dog, Daisy, helps Jeremy shoulder his burdens during the day and saves his life every night.

According to WBRC.com, Jeremy has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his time as an Army combat medic. His PTSD lead to terrible nightmares that would keep him awake for hours, as well as fear and anxiety that made it near impossible for him to be around large crowds, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

Then a veterinarian told him about Service Dogs Alabama (SDA). SDA first pulls dogs from the Humane Society of Elmore County. Afterward, inmates at the Gadsden Correctional Institution in Florida train the dogs and receive rehabilitation themselves at the same time. Once trained, the dogs are given to veterans suffering from PTSD, as well as others who need service dogs. Thanks to you, Halo, GreaterGood.org, and Freekibble annually donate over 1.5 million bowls of Halo food to help shelter pets similar to the ones SDA chooses to help inmates and veterans.

Jeremy revealed to AL.com that he initially had some doubts, but Daisy completely demolished those. He shared that “when I got Daisy from SDA, it was like she just got me. In no time, I trusted her to watch my back. She always knew just what to do.” He added, driving home his point, “Daisy saved my life.” More than 20 veterans every day die from suicide and Jeremy believes that without Daisy, he would have been one of those 20. He told reporters, “When I came back, I had no one I felt I could trust. I was isolated. Before I got Daisy, I dreaded life.”

Daisy with army veteran Jeremy

Photo Credit: WBRC

What gave him hope was his very first night with Daisy. That night, “she woke me up from a bad nightmare,” Jeremy said, “and I slept better that first night with her than I had the entire time I was back from Iraq.” Because of her training, Daisy will lick Jeremy’s hand or face if she sees him twitching in bed. This wakes Jeremy up before his nightmare can take him to a deep place of trauma. Being peacefully woken up by Daisy allows Jeremy to go back to sleep in peace. Daisy is Jeremy’s constant companion.

Now Jeremy is even able to go to fairs and stores that his PTSD had made off limits before. “When you get back, you don’t have that unconditional camaraderie but a dog, it’s always there; unconditional[ly] she’s always there for me,” Jeremy clarified/ “Daisy and I now go everywhere. Nothing is off limits,” he said.

Talking about his time before Daisy, Jeremy told reporters, “I just didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know what else to try. I tried all the medicines they’d throw at me,” adding that Daisy “saved my life…She saves my life every single night.

Our pets may not save our lives on a regular basis like Daisy does for Jeremy, but they still do so much for us. Halo believes in doing everything we can for them, starting with food. Hopefully Daisy eats delicious nutritious bowls of high quality dog food with the occasional healthy treat to thank her for the many ways she saves Jeremy’s life.

Rescue Pup’s Skin Allergies and Digestive Troubles Clear Up After Switching to Halo

Posted by & filed under Customer Review, Healthy Dog Food, Holistic Dog Food, Holistic Pet Food, Testimonials.

Georgina-Lily on Halo dog food

We were so touched to read sweet Georgina Lily’s story about becoming a #halodog! As her mom tells it, when they brought her home from the shelter they gradually transitioned her to a high-end organic, grain free dog food, but poor Georgi broke out in hives and had other bad reactions. They tried many other top-ranked brands with no luck—until they tried Halo! Now, nine months later, Georgina is healthy and happy.

Georgina’s story warmed our hearts, partly because that’s why Halo came to be in the first place. It started with Spot, whose digestive, skin, shedding, and odor problems prompted his mom to look at the ingredients in his food, which she noticed were so different from the food in her own kitchen. Working with a nutritionist she used real, whole foods to create the very first bowl of Halo. Spot recovered beautifully, just like Georgina.

More than 30 years later we are still using the best ingredients to create holistic natural cat food and dog food of uncompromising quality.

  • Halo uses real WHOLE meat, poultry, or fish, and no “meat meal” of ANY kind. When animal protein is rendered into a “meal,” it loses as much as 30% of its digestibility. The more digestible the protein, the more bioavailable it is, which means the more nutrients your pet can utilize.
  • OrigiNative® sourcing means we reject the factory farm model of close confinement, growth hormones, animals raised with antibiotics, and artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • We are committed to non-GMO ingredients. All the fruits and vegetables in halo products are sourced from farmland that prohibits the use of genetically modified seeds.

We are thrilled to know that #georginalilyrescuesuperdog is now a happy #halodog and we love all the work she does to help other shelter pets find forever homes.

Humanely Raised Farm Animals & Respect for our Planet

Posted by & filed under Bloggers, Environment, OrigiNative, Tracie Hotchner.

Humanely Raised Animals - OrigiNative

What my own dogs eat has raised my consciousness and influenced my decisions about how to choose ingredients for my own diet. Thanks, Maisie and Wanda Weimaraner!

My realization came about ever since Halo coined the phrase OrigiNative® and changed the entire way they source their ingredients to focus on humanely-raised animals and non-GMO plants in their kibble (which Maisie and Wanda Hotchner eat every day as part of their diets).  I realized I could be making those same choices for myself with just a bit of effort. It’s funny how that happens – the pets leading the way!

For years when I was live every week on the air with CAT CHAT on Sirius satellite radio, when people called in with deep concerns about what they were feeding their dogs and cats, I recognized their own “lightbulb moment” when they realized that they could make healthier food choices for themselves and their human family members, too.

Concern for our (extended!)-family’s health is important, but don’t we need to consider the entire food chain and how those ingredients make their way to us?  What struck me recently is that even though I’ve personally been avoiding processed foods and concentrating on fresh ingredients for decades, I wasn’t aware of how the soil was being treated. Because of the work of the American Humane Association and the Humane Society of the United States on behalf of food-chain animals, I was theoretically “woke” about the horrible conditions in which chickens (for eggs and meat), pigs, beef cattle and dairy cows lived and died. I’ve been choosing cage-free, vegetarian-fed eggs for years (my girls get scrambled eggs at least twice a week, too) but what I hadn’t put together was that I could make choices about all my ingredients that followed these three simple rules:

  • No to close confinement on feedlots (which means cage-free egg hens and gestation-crate-free pigs).
  • No to antibiotics used during growth.
  • No to GMO plants for ourselves or animal feed.

In pockets of “moral high ground” across the country, people have been talking about the importance of feeding ourselves and our children (two-legged and four-legged) with healthier choices. Our focus on what ingredients are good for us has enabled food stores like Whole Foods to flourish, and more wholesome areas in traditional supermarkets to grow as well. However, I now see we have to take it a step further and use our pocketbooks to make a statement: choose providers that do not keep farm animals in close confinement, farmers who refuse to abuse antibiotics for faster growth, and those who do not use genetically-modified animal feed, which helps promote environmental balance and a healthy ecosystem .

In a world where things often seem to be going to “hell in a handbasket,” each of us making the best possible choices for our human and pet family members’ meals is a way to feel you’re treading a little more lightly on the planet and setting a good example.  

Halo achieves these goals by embracing an agricultural and ranching system that is more original and native—what they call OrigiNative®. Read more on Halo’s embrace of the humane raising of farm animals.

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.