Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Giving Back, pet adoption, Pet Shelters.

101118_4177_dodman154.jpgWe couldn’t wait to read Dog Fancy’s feature “45 People Who Changed the Dog World.” Not only was the list inspiring, we were thrilled to see two of our partners included in the list: renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman and innovative animal welfare advocate Betsy Banks Saul.

Dr. Dodman is a consulting veterinarian for Halo who helps us ensure that we’re helping pets be as healthy as possible. He also shares his advice on the Halo blog to help you better understand your pets’ behavior.

Dog Fancy notes that Dodman was one of the first to create a clinic dedicated to animal behavior. He founded his Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986: almost thirty years ago!

Dr. Dodman is also the Chief Scientific Officer for the Center for Canine Behavior Studies, of which the Halo Pet Foundation is a corporate sponsor. The Center for Canine Behavior Studies is currently putting together its inaugural study examining how owner personality and psychological status affect the behavior of pet dogs. We’re sure that the results will continue to improve the world for dogs and those who love them.

I’m so happy (but not at all surprised) that Halo is partnering to help ensure local projects posted on get the attention they deserve.

Betsy Banks Saul is on the board of the animal welfare-focused crowdfunding site – of which Halo is the founding sponsor.

Betsy shared with us her hopes for the future and how she sees as a natural outgrowth of her work as the co-founder of

“One thing we saw over and over at Petfinder was that, when it comes to animals in trouble, people genuinely want to help on a deeply personal level. gives you a chance to have real personal power over your impact. You really feel that you are a part of the project you choose which is incredibly satisfying. Halo has always been about making a real difference in the lives of animals. I’m so happy (but not at all surprised) that Halo is partnering to help ensure local projects posted on get the attention they deserve.”

We’re incredibly proud to work with both of these amazing individuals. We’re also grateful that we can do our part because of you. Your purchases allow Halo to donate more than 1.5 million meals yearly to pets in need. Thank you – and here’s to continuing to change the pet world for the better!


Posted by & filed under Ask a Vet, Dr Donna Spector, Natural Dog Food, Natural Dog Treats, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition.

DonnaNewPicCroppedQuestion: What kind of treats does Halo have for diabetic dogs with IBD?

Answer: Thanks for your inquiry. Halo’s Liv-a-Littles 100% meat protein treats are high protein and low carbohydrate treats which are well suited for many diabetic dogs.

However, since your dog also has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), these meat protein treats may or may not be a good idea.

You really must ask your veterinarian if you are trying to avoid a certain meat protein in order to keep your dog’s IBD well controlled. Halo’s Liv-a-Littles are available in chicken, beef or salmon—so hopefully one of those would be ok!

Good luck.
Dr. Donna Spector

Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency.

Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via


Posted by & filed under Caroline Golon, Pet Stories.

macgriff2-lgFirst graders at Cambridge Elementary School in Jefferson, Vt. have a special incentive to practice their reading skills – it’s furry and snuggly and often falls asleep during the story.

MacGriff, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever, helps encourage the kids to read, offering calming, non-judgmental company.

According to local news station WCAX-TV, MacGriff and his owner Barbara “Scotty” Grigat, have been coming to the school every Wednesday the past four years to offer their assistance to kids of all reading levels. They spend about six hours with the kids.

Click here to read the complete story.


Posted by & filed under Dr Donna Spector, Guest Blogger, Healthy Dog Food, Natural Dog Food, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet obesity, Talk Radio, Tracie Hotchner.

Levi1Dr Donna and I are especially happy to welcome Levi the Pug in South Dakota to our Halo Healthy Weight Challenge, because Levi needs a corrective eye surgery to retain his sight, but for safety’s sake, his veterinarian will not perform the surgery until Levi drops some weight. Therefore being chosen as our Halo candidate and following Dr. Donna’s guidance means that Levi will not lose his sight, along with the overall health benefits of slimming down.

Dr. Donna and are I also proud to have his Mom Kimberly join us in this challenge on our show The Expert Vet because Levi and his little “brother” Ollie are both rescues who are four years old. Kimberly got Levi when he was only six months old from a girl who was about to take him to the shelter because she could not keep him at her apartment. Then she got his little sidekick Ollie only nine months ago, from a family that themselves had gotten him from a shelter after he and another dog had been abandoned in a house by their original owners.

I am always so touched by the goodness of people like Kimberly, who open their homes and hearts to dogs who have become homeless through no fault of their own. Even the people who took in Ollie were doing a good deed, although Kimberly told me, “Ollie has lots of issues because of his background, and I think the people from who we got him simply didn’t have time to deal with the issues properly. Both our boys are both very active and we have a huge yard that they love to run in. During the summer, my husband takes them on hikes with him, so they get a lot of exercise and I want to make sure we can keep it that way by getting them to slim down.”

What especially delights me is that our Veterinary Advisor on the Dog Film Festival is Dr. Amy Attas, the much loved New York City house call vet who is an ambassador for Pets in the City, and who has been re-homing and adopting pugs her entire life. Right now her kids are two darling pugs you can see right HERE, so Levi and Ollie are in good company in our world!

FilmHurray for pug adopters! This is also a good reminder that about one-third of all dogs in shelters are actually purebred, so if you are looking for a particular breed of dog, turn to and you’ll probably be able to find the dog of your dreams at a shelter somewhere near you. (And if the shelter is one of the lucky ones, the dogs there may be eating Halo through their millions-of-meals donations through

Once a candidate is chosen to take our Halo Healthy Weight Challenge, Dr. Donna does a precise calculation of the amount of calories an overweight dog has been eating – then she re-calculates how much they will need to reduce their caloric intake in order to lose weight.

After that, the good folks at Halo will send out three months worth of their Healthy Weight kibble and Spot’s Stew in cans to Levi and he will get to work dropping those pounds! His Mama Kimberly will be keeping a journal that Dr. Donna has created for our contestants, and Levi will get a weekly weigh-in (which he is lucky he can do at home on a digital scale since the weather this year makes a weekly trip to the vet as much of a challenge as losing the weight!). Kimberly also noted that little Ollie put on weight since adjusting to his new life with her, but since he is a smaller pug than Levi (head size, paw size, bone structure) and is about 22 pounds, she worries about his weight long-term, too. It looks to me as though Ollie is going to become a Halo Weight Management food eater, too – and while his big brother trims down on the food, Ollie can keep from getting any bigger himself.

Let’s hear it for the Pugs of Custer South Dakota!


Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.

She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.


Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Giving Back, pet adoption, Pet Shelters.

CrixusPets for Patriots is a fantastic 501©(3) organization connecting at-risk shelter pets with United States military veterans. They’ve just launched their first crowdfunding campaign. Pets for Patriots is asking for help to buy a wheelchair for a pup who was shot with a BB gun.

A six-week old puppy was found on the streets of Detroit, MI with a BB lodged near his spine. As a result of his trauma, his right hind leg was amputated and his other leg was left almost non-functional. In addition, the puppy was found to be almost blind.

However, his story improves. This little dog was honorably adopted by former U.S. Army Captain Shawn. Shawn was upset when she learned about Crixus through the news. She knew that she wanted to adopt this dog and give him a good life. While arranging the adoption through the Michigan Humane Society, Shawn learned about Pets for Patriots and how they help veterans and pets. Shawn contacted Pets for Patriots and soon was proudly bringing the puppy home and renaming him Crixus after a Gallic gladiator who fought for freedom in a slave rebellion.

Pets for Patriots wants to help Crixus have the best life possible with Shawn, so they’ve turned to Their campaign is raising funds to purchase an adjustable canine wheelchair for Crixus. Any additional money will defray the cost of his future medical or equipment needs.

This is Pets for Patriots’ first campaign. People donated more than half of the project’s goal amount in the first 12 hours of the campaign. Pets for Patriots is hopeful that it will be fully funded before the campaign closes on March 7.

Halo, along with, has long been a sponsor of Pets for Patriots. Beth Zimmerman, the founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots, noted “Halo has been a friend of ours since our earliest days.” Halo is also proud to be the founding sponsor of

We’re thrilled to see our friends at Pets for Patriots working with our friends at to raise funds to help save animals. We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. You can learn more about our past work with Pets for Patriots in our blog archives.