What’s the Hottest Challenge That’s Giving Dogs Even More Internet Fame?

Posted by & filed under Dog Treats, Dogs.

Snoot Challenge

Photo credit: Pets Insider

Want to make your pooch a pro at the Snoot Challenge?

1. Use your fingers—or your hands—to make a hole big enough for your dog’s nose

2. Hold a mouthwatering, irresistible Liv-A-Littles® treat inside it

3. Watch you send his snoot straight through for his treat

4. Let them know how awesome they are!


Manny and Friends with Liv-a-Littles Treats

Learn more about Liv-a-Littles protein treats

Are Peas and Potatoes Problematic?

Posted by & filed under Dog Food, Dogs.

Dog eating Halo dry dog food
You may have recently heard about an FDA statement regarding alleged associations between pet foods and a heart disease called DCM – dilated cardiomyopathy. In their statement, the FDA implicated certain ingredients (particularly potatoes and legumes like peas) and types of food (such as grain-free diets) as having potential associations with this condition.

Please allow me to be perfectly clear: any relationship between DCM and certain types of diets or ingredients is not fully clear.

What does diet have to do with heart disease in dogs?
Historically, DCM has been caused by taurine deficiency in pets who were either eating diets with insufficient taurine or taurine’s precursors methionine and cysteine, or in dogs with genetic predispositions and higher taurine requirements.

Taurine is not generally recognized as an essential nutrient for all dogs, as adult non-reproductive dogs can generate their own taurine, provided the sulfur amino acids methionine and cysteine are included at appropriate levels in their diet.

What do peas and potatoes have to do with this?
The FDA’s recent warning had to do with diets which contain little or no grains, so called “grain-free” diets, which typically have high levels of legumes, sweet potato, or potato as an alternative source of carbohydrates. Legumes typically have quite a high level of protein in comparison to grains, and inclusion of legumes in pet food can affect the amino acid profile of the diet. The ideal protein would be one in which all amino acids are in perfect balance, however this ideal protein does not exist as a complete and balanced food for pets. Instead, multiple complementary protein sources are combined to meet each amino acid requirement. While legumes are a rich source of protein, they are limited in sulfur amino acids.

Furthermore, high fiber content can decrease digestibility of a diet and increase taurine excretion. Diets rich in legumes and low in grains can have higher fiber contents than diets which include grains and have lower levels of legumes.

My dog is eating a “grain-free” diet or a diet with a high content of legumes – what should I do?
First and foremost, if you have any concerns about your pet’s health you should contact your veterinarian. If you have no reason to suspect disease, but have been concerned by the media surrounding this issue, there are some practical steps you can take to evaluate whether the diet you are feeding your companion is likely to be high risk or not:

1) Check the packaging for an AAFCO (North America) or FEDIAF (Europe) statement of nutritional sufficiency. It will read something like:

This dog food has been formulated in accordance with AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance or This dog food has undergone feeding trials in accordance with AAFCO.

If the diet does not have an AAFCO/FEDIAF adequacy statement, or the adequacy statement is not for the appropriate life-stage (puppy growth, adult maintenance, or pregnancy/lactation), it may not be nutritionally complete and balanced or appropriate for your dog. 

2) Call the company producing the food and ask them some questions about their practices and about nutrients of particular concern. Some examples from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Global Nutrition Committee include:

  • Who formulates your food, and what are his/her credentials?
  • If the adequacy statement was based on formulation and not on a feeding trial, were the nutrient levels based on the recipe’s formulation or analytical testing of the finished product?
  • What are the levels of total dietary fiber, methionine, cysteine, carnitine and taurine in this diet?

In order to start to evaluate the appropriateness of the diet for your dog, you first want to know that the company uses a nutritionist with extensive experience in the industry, or else academic merit or a veterinary specialist background. More importantly, pet food companies should be testing their finished products to ensure that the nutrient content of the finished product reflects what was formulated. This ensures that your dog is indeed receiving all the nutrients in the quantities you expect them to. The company should be able to provide you with measured values for most nutrients – in relation to DCM: total dietary fiber, methionine, cysteine, carnitine and taurine are of the most interest.

3) If you do not feel satisfied with the answers you receive from the pet food company, yet you would like to avoid changing diets, there are laboratories which perform nutrient analyses on pet food products. Your veterinarian or closest veterinary college may be able to provide you with information on how and where to send samples. These services are typically costly, but provide independent measures of nutrient content in food samples.

I hope this has provided some clarification and alleviated concerns regarding the potential association between dog food and DCM. Remember, if you have any concerns about your companion’s health, call your veterinarian. Otherwise, call the producer of your pet’s food, as they should be able to provide you with all the information you require to make an informed decision about whether the diet is suitable for your dog and whether to continue feeding their product.

Take care of yourself and your furry friends,

Dr. Sarah

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.

What Guinness World Record Does Nala Cat Hold?

Posted by & filed under Cats, Nala Cat.

With more than 6 million followers, Nala Cat’s adorable face has become a pretty familiar one as well. This lovable Siamese/Tabby mix rescue may be making people smile all over the internet, but she spends a lot of her time helping pets who are less fortunate than her.

Favorite food: Halo Indoor Cat Whitefish Pate

Favorite YouTube channel: IAmNalaCat

Favorite accessory: Bowties

Favorite title: Queen

Lala Cat with Halo Whitefish Recipe

Learn more about Halo cat food

Get Special Coupons for Halo® Dog Food and Cat Food

Posted by & filed under Cat Food, Cats, Dog Food, Dogs.


For blog readers, newsletter subscribers and Halo social media fans only, we’re happy to offer these printable store coupons for Halo products.

Why Buy Halo?
As you know, Halo uses real WHOLE meat, poultry, or fish, and NO “meat meal” of ANY kind, like “chicken meal” or “fish meal”. “Meat meal” is a high-heat processed, dehydrated combination of remnants from slaughterhouse and fish processing factories that are unfit for human consumption.

Plus, Halo works to bring farming and ranching practices back to a more original and native state, with room for animals to roam and without the routine use of antibiotics or genetically modified feeds. We call this OrigiNative® sourcing, and it means we treat our life-giving animals in a manner that is sustainable, natural, non-degrading to our environment, and respectful of every animal’s normal lifecycle. That also means non-GMO fruits and vegetables, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Where can you use these coupons?
Remember, these coupons are only valid at stores where Halo is sold.

For Halo store locations, enter your zip/postal code here. Please call ahead to make sure your nearest retailer has what you need (if not, they can usually order it for you quickly).

Halo’s Biggest Fans Are Nominated for This Year’s People’s Choice Awards

Posted by & filed under Lil BUB, Manny The Frenchie, Nala Cat.

Manny the Frenchie, Nala Cat, Lil BUB

We are proud to announce that all three of Halo’s social media top “furfluencers” are nominated for the People’s Choice Awards in the Animal Star of 2018 category.

Halo spokescat Lil BUB is the founder of Lil Bub’s Big Fund for ASPCA. For the first time ever, this famous feline with more than 5 million social followers endorsed a pet food because of Halo’s mission and our real WHOLE meat diet, which makes a positive impact to her health as well as millions of shelter pets less fortunate than her.

Manny the Frenchie is the most followed bulldog who uses his fan base to help others through his non-profit, the Manny and Friends Foundation, and often touts Halo’s real WHOLE meat diets, as well as Halo’s vegan dog food on #meatlessmonday on social.

Halo newcomer, Nala Cat is a lovable Siamese/tabby mix rescue who recently launched her give back campaign, Nala Got You! With more than 6 million social followers, she joins Manny and Lil BUB to help millions of pet parents understand how Halo is changing the way companion animals are fed and farm animals are raised for the better.

Together, the trio of “furfluencers” with their combined 15 million+ pet loving followers support Halo’s mission to make a difference for ALL animals and we are so proud to have our Halo family nominated for the Animal Star of 2018 award.

Vote for your favorite now.