newtraciepic2I don’t like to be a fear monger, but the new strain of dog flu that killed and sickened many dogs in Chicago, has now spread to 12 states beyond Illinois. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about an episode of THE EXPERT VET radio show that my co-host Dr. Donna Spector and I did about the flu when it was confined to the Chicago area.

If you missed it, here is that podcast again, because it’s important that everyone understand the facts about this scary illness and make good decisions for their dogs without panicking.

However, the new news is that the flu has been identified in an increasing number of states, cases which have been reliably diagnosed with the help of a recently available test from IDEXX laboratories. This test allows veterinarians to know immediately if a dog has the H3N2 flu which has serious consequences or some less worrisome upper respiratory illness.

There is no point in ignoring this disease as it spreads, especially if you have a vulnerable dog, meaning one who is very young, very old, or immune compromised because of a disease, like cancer, and is undergoing chemotherapy. This disease can be deadly but if caught early can be managed with supportive care – but more importantly, can be avoided by taking certain precautions.

DFF-logo-ProudSponsor175x166Dr. Jose Arce from the American Veterinary Medical Association caught up with me last week on my radio show DOG TALK® and was very helpful in explaining how to recognize and steer clear of this fast-spreading illness.

Right now, your best bet is to avoid dog parks or anywhere large numbers of dogs congregate. I’d suggest that rather than trying to tire your dog out by letting them run wild with other dogs, instead you can use more of their energy and even burn more calories by doing ten minutes a day of trick or obedience practice.

Make sure you have some really tasty treats on hand – in your goody bag mix up bits of real cheese and Halo Liv-a-Little protein treats and pieces of biscuits to reward them. You’ll be amazed by how much calmer and better companions they are when you focus their mind on a task rather than simply allowing them to run and wrestle with other dogs. Think of it as a benefit of the spreading dog flu!
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 in Dr Donna Spector, Guest Blogger, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Podcasts, Talk Radio, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


SarahSarah Kukes gives Halo canned cat food 5 stars.

“Between my parents and I, we have 6 cats and they all 6 love Halo canned food! It consistently remains the food they eat, even when in a picky mood! The variety in flavors and textures is great!

We love it because it is natural with no added yucky stuff (including BPA-FREE cans); it has never been recalled; we get EXCELLENT prices buying directly from Halo’s website (coupons every month!); and wonderful customer service!”

Thank you Sarah for your review and for being part of our Halo family. We are glad to hear your cats are doing so well on Halo canned food.

Click here to read original review.

Posted in Caroline Chang, Holistic Cat Food, Natural Pet Food, Testimonials | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


rescue-cat-lgAfter two surgeries and a couple months of healing, the cat who was rescued from a Phoenix freeway in April is going to his forever home…with the man who saved him.

According to Phoenix station ABC 15, Richard Christianson spied the cat clinging with his paws to a metal fence on the freeway median in the blazing Arizona sun.

The cat was scared and bloody from apparently trying to chew through the metal fence to safety.

Quite a few motorists alerted authorities about the ginger and white cat in the dire situation. But the spot where the cat was trapped was hard to access and a dangerous place to stop a car.

Click here to read the complete story

Posted in Caroline Golon, pet adoption, Pet Shelters, Pet Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


v2.5_logoPauley Perrette put together a Chideo video about The Amanda Foundation where she’s volunteered, adopted, and encouraged others to adopt for 15 years.

The Amanda Foundation not only takes care of pets waiting to find homes, but also goes out in a spaymobile to help prevent unwanted litters of pets. Last year, The Amanda Foundation provided more than 7,000 free spay and neuter operations in low income areas of Los Angeles.

Halo, along with our friends at and, donated 50,000 meals of high quality Halo food to the pets at The Amanda Foundation on behalf of the Grammys.

Pauley Perrette put together a video showing the donation and some of the cutest puppies and kittens we’ve seen. Give it a watch and let us know what you think!

Click on image to see video:

Posted in Bethany Meissner, Giving Back, Natural Pet Food, pet adoption, Pet Shelters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Halo Pets in-house vet, Dr. Donna Spector, explains what is chicken meal and the process of making it along with other meat meal products.

Watch the video to learn why she doesn’t recommend including meal ingredients in a pet’s food and why there are healthier choices available.

Click here to read more about chicken meal.

Posted in Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Dr Donna Spector, Holistic Pet Food, Natural Pet Food, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment