Canadian Dog Alerts Owner to Fire

Canadian Dog Alerts Owners of Fire

Not everyone would be grateful if their pet woke them up when they were trying to nap. However, Neshan Wagstaffe is incredibly grateful that his dog Clouseau woke him from a midafternoon nap. Because of Clouseau, Neshan was able to safely exit his home when it burned down for the second time in less than two years.

It was mid-August 2017 when Neshan laid down for a nap in his Alberta home. According to the CBC, a friend who was visiting was tending to a smoker on the back deck. Neshan and his wife, Denise Molnar, had recently rebuilt their home after the devastation of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. Unfortunately, the rebuilt home wasn’t going to last long.

Neshan woke up from his nap to Clouseau’s wet nose. He noticed that his dog “was running around the house going a little crazy.” Neshan then saw that his home was on fire, and already burning completely up one side. Neshan told reporters, “I knew right there the house wasn’t going to be saved.”

Because of Clouseau, Neshan was able to save what was truly important. Neshan grabbed his dog and alerted the visiting friend, so that they were all safe outside when Neshan called 911. The firefighters arrived quickly but soon saw that they weren’t going to be able to save Neshan’s home, so they concentrated on protecting the homes of his neighbors who had also rebuilt after the wildfire.

Neshan and his wife, with Clouseau, are staying with a friend. They’ve bought Clouseau a new dog bed and been giving him extra treats to say thank you. Denise told the CBC that she wasn’t surprised by Clouseau’s actions. “He’s smart. He’s attached to us,” she said. Clouseau’s actions certainly prove that.

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Halo’s New Catch Phrase: “The Proof is in the Poop™”

The Proof is in the Poop

When a company that takes itself seriously about having the highest quality nutrition comes up with a cartoon “character” named Poopsie and has banners proclaiming “The Proof is in the Poop,” you need to sit up and pay attention!

Although the educational campaign may sound playful, the truth is its important to know whether pets’ digestive systems can take full advantage of the nutrients in their food.

What Does Bio-Available Mean?
In a nutshell, you’d like a food ingredient to be as bio-available to the digestive system as possible – meaning it can be fully digested and the nutrients can be absorbed by the digestive tract rather than passing through and just coming out the other end without any measurable absorption. We want food for ourselves and our pets to confer health benefits on the “digestive journey.” Pet food companies don’t usually address the subject of bio-availability and digestibility because it sounds so technical, but this issue is actually crucial and should be a factor in your choice of products to buy. It’s usually a topic of interest only to pet food geeks like myself, but it’s something I’ve actually written about in “The Dog Bible” and “The Cat Bible” because I wanted everyone to be aware of it, so I’m really glad Halo has raised the bar on educating pet owners on digestibility

[Dr. Sean Delaney and I discussed whole food ingredients years ago in this episode of my show “Pet Food Advisors].

Whole Meat Vs. Meat Meal
The topic of bio-availability also explains why I’ve chosen Halo as the kibble I feed my dogs for the past decade. I like that they use whole meat, not rendered meat meals, so the dogs digest it more easily and fully – and now, in addition, Halo products are non-GMO and they tread lightly and humanely on the planet in sourcing and manufacturing all their foods.

Protein content is the big focus when we buy pet food, but what really matters is the source of the protein because that affects whether the body can fully digest it. Halo’s long-standing decision to use only whole meat – never any kind of “meal” – is now clinically proven to be more digestible and bio-available than pet foods that use meat meals. Halo knows that when meat is rendered into “chicken meal” or “fish meal” it loses a degree of its digestibility – as much as 30% – during the high-heat processing. When scientific studies are done on dogs’ feces (which is actually how digestibility is measured) they have indeed found that “the proof is in the poop:” they can determine how much protein is absorbed into the pet’s system, and how much is just passing through unabsorbed, for you to pick up with a poop bag! The more digestible the protein, the more bio-available it is to your pet. When you select a highly digestible food, your pet retains and utilizes more of the nutrition that you’re paying for.

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.

Posted in Bloggers, Digestibility, Holistic Cat Food, Holistic Dog Food, The Proof is in the Poop, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brave HSUS Rescuers Risk Lives to Save Stranded Pets

HSUS Rescue Team - Hurricane HarveyOn September 1, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was coordinating with other agencies and animal welfare organizations to rescue as many animals as possible who had been affected by Hurricane Harvey. They received a request to help a Chihuahua and a cat who were stranded in a flooded home. Christopher Schindler and Tara Loller of HSUS’s Animal Rescue Team headed out with Matthew Fortenberry, the director of Beaumont Animal Services.

According to HSUS, the intrepid trio first used a rescue boat to get near the house. Then, once railroad tracks and debris from the flooding blocked the boat’s path, they continued on foot. Once they were able to view the house, it was obvious that the home had been hit hard. The windows were all broken and a fast current of deep water flooded the home.

At that time, a group came by on a narrow boat and helped Tara. As she rode toward the house in that slim boat, Tara later relayed that she was able to hear the “desperate cries” of the dog wanting someone to help. Once in the house, Tara began moving through the waist deep water, searching for the two animals. Chuck later commented on Facebook about Tara’s courage, writing “Tara braved [a] really strong current that was flowing right through the house where we rescued these two!”

Suddenly Tara saw the dog whose cries she had heard from the boat. The white and brown Chihuahua was carefully clinging to the top of a floating sofa. After sniffing Tara, the terrified dog leaped into Tara’s arms. Clinging to Tara’s shoulder it was obvious that the dog “knew she was safe and was not letting go.” During this time, Chris and Matthew had swam through the current and forced the front door open.

After safely placing the dog in a carrier, the trio still needed to find the cat reported to be in the home. They could hear the meows of a cat but couldn’t see where she might be. Eventually they found the kitten hiding in an air pocket in a small area above a closet. Unfortunately, the air pocket that had saved the kitten’s life was too high for Tara and Chris to reach.

The rescuers were undaunted. Tara stood on Chris’s shoulders. Then she stepped onto one of his hands so that he could literally toss her into the small area above the closet. Tara was covered in insects and flat on her belly in the small space. However, uncomfortable as it was, Tara was able to reach the frightened kitten and hand her down to be placed in a carrier! Now that the two pets were in carriers on a boat, it was time to bring them to a safe, dry place where they could rest until their family could be found.

It’s not known how long the animals were hiding in the flooded home, but after their rescue, the small dog and kitten were brought to safety at the Beaumont Animal Shelter, where Tara posed with the two pets she’d saved so dramatically. When that photo was shared on Facebook, Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of HSUS, praised the team, calling Tara and Chris “Life savers,” and noting that he is “so proud of [them] for this extraordinary effort.” Other commenters echoed the praise, referring to the team as “fearless heroes” and thanking them “for caring and saving” the pets.

Hurricane Harvey was horrible and the rescues are still on going. However, it’s because of compassionate animal lovers that pets like that kitten and Chihuahua are able to be saved. We bet that there’s nowhere else Tara and Chris would rather be, and nothing else they’d rather be doing than saving sweet pets and helping families separated by the fast floodwater.

Posted in Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories, The Humane Society of the United States | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should You Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bed?

Sleeping with dogs?

My two dogs sleep in my bedroom- Wanda likes her soft-sided “hut” and Maisie stretches out on the chaise longue which is designed as “hers,” but neither of them sleeps on my bed (partly because, as a widow of two years, I have a crazy idea I might one day have a man in my life again and certainly don’t want him to have to wrestle my dogs for a space next to me!)

My sister, on the other hand, has her two little Brussels Griffons sleep on and in her bed (each of them is approximately the size of the head of my big Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda!) One of the little ones sleeps on my sister’s shoulder (sort of like a prone pirate’s parrot) while the other often burrows down under the covers by my brother-in-law’s feet.

I have friends who have many variations on our bedroom sleeping habits with their dogs – and I’ve always wondered whether that canine scratching in the night, licking paws, changing position, can interfere with sleep. We’re all conscious of how important those hours of beauty rest and REM sleep are to our wellness – so does having a dog in the bed improve or undermine good sleep?

A Mayo Clinic Study Shows Where Dogs Should Sleep
Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, is the author of a recent study which asked the question: “Does having a dog in the bedroom, or in the bed, disturb sleep?” The researchers studied 40 dog owners who did not have a sleep disorder.

Drum roll for the answer: The results indicated that “sleeping with dogs helps some people sleep better ? no matter if they’re snoozing with a small schnauzer or dozing with a Great Dane,” the Mayo Clinic News Network reported.

However, there was a caveat: do not let your canines crawl under the covers with you. According to the study, the sleep benefit extended only to having dogs in the bedroom, not in the bed itself. Owners who cozied up to their pups in their bed sacrificed quality sleep.

Human Life Quality Validate the Canine-Human Bond in Bed!
“The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom,” the Mayo Clinic study concluded. “Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”

And for myself (since being a sister means there is always a bit of a competition) – I relish knowing that my dogs and I are doing our shared sleep the “right way!”

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.

Posted in Bloggers, Pet Studies, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Halo Says “NO” to Factory Farming

Halo Pet Food Says NO to Factory Farming

At Halo®, our goal is to deliver the healthiest, most bioavailable and holistic whole food nutrition possible to our companion animals, while fostering farming practices that treat our life-giving animals in a manner that is sustainable, natural, non-degrading to our environment, and respectful of every animal’s normal life-cycle. We call this OrigiNative sourcing. For example, when we restore native animal species like Bison to the Grasslands, they revitalize habitats, form water-retention wallows, and create food and sanctuary for other animals around them, like birds.

We reject the factory farm model of close confinement, growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified feeds. Instead, we foster naturally raised animals, regenerative soils, and environmental balance.

By sourcing cage free poultry, pasture raised beef, and wild caught fish from certified sustainable fisheries, Halo® strives to deliver natural protein sources that not only harken back to an era where ALL of our animals were respected but also serves to provide our companion animals with the high-quality proteins and nutrients they need for good health, shiny coats, and long lives at our sides.

Learn more about our OrigiNative sourcing.

Posted in Healthy Dog Food, Holistic Cat Food, Natural Cat Food, Natural Dog Food, Pet Facts, Pet Health, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment