Boxes, Bags, & BUB!

Posted by & filed under Lil BUB.

Ever brought home a new (read: expensive) toy for your cat only to see the new plaything rejected in favor of the box or bag it came in? And if you weren’t so darn amused by watching your cat chase the receipt in the bottom of the bag you’d be really mad, right?

Yep, boxes and bags are a big hit. Experts cite numerous innate reasons for the attraction.

  • Concealment. Cats are predators, so these hiding spaces make it easier for them to surprise their prey—like your dog or maybe even you!
  • Stress relief. If I fits, I sits, right? Hardly claustrophobic, studies show that cats find comfort in any space they can squeeze themselves into. Maybe there’s someone new in your home or a conflict with another family member, your cat can find security in a box or bag.
  • Warmth. Quite literally, it’s warmer inside. Cardboard is a great insulator and bags can get warm quickly—just be sure your cat can get out!
  • Me-time. Your cat doesn’t have to be a total introvert to enjoy playing alone. Alone in a confined space, your cat gets to make up his or her own rules of play.

Recreation. While simple to us, cats can see all the possibilities for fun in a box or a bag—peeping, pouncing, teasing, crinkling, chewing, and even sleeping. See how Lil BUB traps giant Spooky in a bag!

Manny & Friends Foundation Supports French Bulldog Rescue

Posted by & filed under Manny The Frenchie, Shelters and Rescues.

French Bulldog Rescue

Photo courtesy of Manny the Frenchie

During the sweltering dog days of summer, a Texas Department of Safety officer found 28 French Bulldog puppies packed tightly in plastic crates in a moving van in Texarkana, Texas. With no access to food or water in a van where it was 121 degrees, the puppies suffered from heat-related illnesses.

Fortunately, the Humane Society of the United States was brought in, providing financial support and reaching out to Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, which stepped in to take the 23 surviving puppies (#texarkana23) to help them get healthy and eventually find forever homes.

Chicago philanthro-PUP Manny the Frenchie helped spread the word and, with the help of his many friends and followers, delivered a larger-than-Manny-sized check for $10,000 to the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue to support their efforts with the #texarkana23. Learn more about Manny & Friends Foundation and help him support pets in need.

You Can Help Fight the Puppy Mill Problem

Posted by & filed under Cats, Dogs, Shelters and Rescues.

American Humane - puppy mill rescue

As American Humane reports on another dramatic puppy mill rescue—89 dogs living in a 10 x 60 foot trailer and 166 dogs living in a small house in Washington state, many of whom were severely ill—we are reminded that puppy mills are still a major problem in the U.S.

Since retail pet stores mainly source their animals from these mills, they are fueling this cruel industry. Fortunately, many states are passing legislation banning sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits unless they are from a shelter.

You can help fight puppy mills, too:

  • Adopt, don’t shop. Visit your local shelter or connect with a rescue group to find your new best friend.
  • Support rescue-friendly pet stores. Help the stores that are part of the solution be more successful.
  • Speak up about problem stores. Write letters to your local paper and post your thoughts in social media.

Working with local authorities, American Humane determined that about 100 of the 255 dogs—which were mostly chihuahuas—were healthy enough to transported. These dogs went to five animal rescues in Western Washington.

Hava Heart Loves Halo WHOLE Ingredient Supplements for Dogs

Posted by & filed under Dogs, Supplements.

Halo Senior Dog Defense Supplement available at PetSmart

Thank you Hava Heart for helping to get the word about Halo supplements for dogs. We’re happy to see this pack of Havanese rescues announce its love of our 100% WHOLE ingredient supplements to its Instagram fans.

“We have seen so much more energy and playfulness out of Henley since starting him on @halopets Senior Dog Defense! #halopets #halo”

“We’ve been soooo impressed by @halopets new line of supplements, that we decided we’d try two more! Julian is king of sensitive stomachs, and we could all use an immune boost, especially when we have foster dogs! #halopets #halo”

Thank you, Hava Heart!

Learn more about Halo supplements and see which one is best for your dog. Our supplements are also available in PetSmart.


Is Vegan Dog Food Healthy?

Posted by & filed under Dog Food, Dogs, Vegan for Dogs.

Vegan dog food

This is probably the most common question concerned pet parents ask when discussing plant-based dog food. This is for good reason, of course, because no matter the motivations behind feeding a plant-based food, we all want to be certain that it will be healthy for our companions!

Let’s break it down piece by piece and explore why this question is asked as well as what the answer will be.

Don’t dogs need meat?
Domesticated dogs evolved from wolves, and both species are taxonomically classified under the Order Carnivora. While this makes them sound like meat-eating carnivores, the Order Carnivora not only includes true carnivores like the Felidae family, but also omnivores like the Canidae family, and even the Ailuropodiae family – which includes herbivorous pandas! Furthermore, domesticated dogs evolved from naturally omnivorous wolves whose co-evolution with humans resulted in an adaptation of their digestive system to a more starch-rich diet. That’s right, Fido and Spot have been eating our scraps for tens of thousands of years, and they are very well suited for it.

In animal nutrition, we really prefer to talk about nutrient requirements, as opposed to ingredient requirements. Research on the nutrient requirements of dogs extends back to the first National Research Council publication on the topic in 1953. Since that time, independent researchers, industry researchers and veterinarians have all been continuing to fine-tune our knowledge and understanding of just exactly what dogs need to be healthy and thrive. As far as we know, dogs have no requirement for meat per se, instead, they have a requirement for nutrients which may be obtained from meat, or from other sources.

So dogs need nutrients, not ingredients, but can they get all the nutrients they need from a vegan diet?
Yes. None of the essential nutrients required by dogs are found exclusively in animal tissues. Admittedly, some are found in high concentrations in animal tissues and may be more difficult to find elsewhere, but there is not a single essential nutrient for dogs which we cannot obtain from non-animal sources. The Association of American Feed Control Officials, known as AAFCO, has determined that the sufficiency of a diet to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs can be defined in two ways: the diet can be formulated to meet the industry recommendations or the diet can be tested by dogs themselves in a feeding trial. In terms of meeting nutritional requirements, any diet, regardless of ingredients, meeting either of these stipulations is recognized to be just as sufficient as any other diet meeting AAFCO’s ‘complete and balanced’ criteria. What this means, is that a plant-based diet bearing an AAFCO statement of adequacy contains all of the essential nutrients required by the species and life-stage denoted on the statement.

Furthermore, not only are plant-based diets, like Halo’s Holistic Garden of Vegan, suitable for healthy dogs, but plant-based diets have even been used extensively in veterinary practice to diagnose and/or manage common diseases, as Dr. Heinze, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, mentions in her rebuttal to a popular criticism of vegan dogs back in 2016. Animal-derived proteins are some of the most common allergens in dogs, making plant-based diets a fantastic option for diagnosing and managing dietary hypersensitivity. A handful of meat-free vegetarian diets also exist, though these contain eggs, dairy, or other animal products not directly associated with slaughter. These diets may not be as useful from a veterinary perspective, and are not typically as popular as strictly plant-based diets are, since many people choose to feed a meat-free diet to avoid the inherent cruelty to animals stemming from animal-derived products.

Alright, dogs can survive on vegan diets, but can they thrive?
When people ask if plant-based diets are healthy, this is really what they are asking most of the time. Sure, dogs can live on plant-based diets, I think just about everyone can agree on that point. BUT, will they be as healthy, as full of energy, as shiny and bouncy, as a dog fed a diet containing animals products?

The answer to this really depends on two things: what diet was the dog eating before, and what plant-based diet are you looking to switch them to? When you’re looking to switch your dog’s diet, there are a handful of considerations to keep in mind. Are you changing the diet because of a health or wellness problem, such as a dry coat or fat intolerance? Or are you happy with how your dog is faring on their current diet, but would like to switch to a suitable plant-based diet? In both cases, check the nutritional information provided by both diets and make sure that the nutrients of most interest to you will be the either the same or improved in the new diet you are selecting. For healthy dogs, the customer help line, provided by the company whose diet you are looking to try, can be a valuable resource, as you can discuss your dog’s individual needs and determine which diet is best for them. For dogs with a health condition, always discuss dietary changes with your veterinarian.

I hope this has served to illustrate that complete and balanced plant-based dog food is indeed healthy. For a more in-depth discussion, I encourage interested parties to read this review of plant-based vs. animal-based diets published by a veterinarian in an open-access peer-reviewed journal:

Dr. Sarah DoddDr. Sarah Dodd is a veterinarian with a special focus on companion animal nutrition. Her studies have taken her around the world living in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America and Canada – where she currently reside with her three happy rescue dogs Peppa, Dottie and Timmy.

She graduated from veterinary school in 2016, since then she has pursued her passion in nutrition with a clinical nutrition internship and a Master’s degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. She is currently completing her nutrition residency with the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition and enrolled in a PhD studying plant-based diets for pets.