newtraciepic2I wanted to dance a little jig today when I learned that an old friend of mine (he’s literally old, too – a very vibrant 80 years old!), was inspired by listening to THE EXPERT VET to put his own 12-year-old Lab Maverick on Halo’s Healthy Weight food.

Bob heard me on the show, discussing with Dr. Donna how the Halo Healthy Weight Challenge was helping Levi the Pug in South Dakota to take off some unhealthy pounds before his vet would agree to do a sight-saving eye surgery on him.

(And BTW, Kimberly has been doing such a terrific job with Levi that he has slowly, steadily and forever lost ounces every week, so that he has a lovely waistline now. And she appreciated getting three months of of the kibble for free from Halo, along with cans of Halo Spot’s Stew). (Please let us know if you’d like to be our next participant by writing me to

I had invited Bob to propose Maverick for the Halo Challenge, because Maverick had gotten up to 92 lbs (yes, this is possible for even a well-meaning large dog owner – I know because several years ago I unwittingly plumped up my own Weimaraner Scooby-Doo to 101 lbs before I came to my senses, put him on Healthy Weight Management food, and got him down to 82 lbs).
Bob was concerned about Maverick’s weight and how it would compromise his quality of life as an older dog. He even had to buy a ramp for his car because Maverick could no longer get himself up onto the seat. But Bob knew himself and said he wasn’t going to be good about making a list for Dr. Donna of everything he was feeding Maverick, or do a weekly weigh-in.

Instead, he went out and bought the Halo Weight Management food and substituted it for the dry food he had been feeding. He continued doing everything else the same, even giving snacks and treats he knew might work against him.

Lo and behold Maverick had to be weighed today, when he went into the vet to have surgery to remove a nasty growth from his elbow, and he as down to 74 lbs! Bob knew that the food had slimmed Maverick down and made a huge improvement in the old Lab’s daily life, because Maverick had begun to jump right over that ramp and into the car on his own!

The moral of the story is that old dogs – human and canine – can learn new tricks! Most of our dogs are overweight- much more than we’d care to realize or admit! – and we really don’t have to do anything more complicated than substitute our current kibble for the Healthy Weight management to be able to win our own little personal battle of the bulge!
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 Guest Blogger, Healthy Dog Food, Natural Dog Food, Natural Pet Food, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet obesity, Podcasts, Talk Radio, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



For blog readers, newsletter subscribers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans only, we’re happy to offer this month’s store coupons for Halo products!

Remember, these coupons are only valid at stores where Halo is sold.

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

Featured Coupons
$7 off any bag of Vigor
$2 off any can of Vigor
$4 any bag of Halo Grain-Free food
$5 off any 28 lb. bag of Halo Dog Food
$3 off any Halo Grooming product
$3 off any Halo Supplement
$2.50 off any Halo chew or treat

Posted in Caroline Chang, Natural Cat Treats, Natural Dog Food, Natural Dog Treats, Natural Pet Food, Natural Pet Shampoo | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


Josh_and_Mason_lgThe life of a boy with a hearing disability and other medical issues has gotten easier, thanks to a service dog named Mason and two inmates in a West Virginia State Women’s Prison.

According to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Josh Gregor of Fairmont, West Virginia now has a service dog named Mason who helps him and alerts his parents if his equipment, like his feeding tube, needs their attention.

Mason also provides good old-fashioned comfort to the boy when he needs it. During a recent hospital stay, Mason was right by Josh’s side the entire time. “Whenever I’m on a hospital bed, he’ll jump up and lay by my legs. Like, help me get settled,” Josh told WVPB.

Click here to read the complete story.

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


101118_4177_dodman154.jpgOne of the most common behavior problems I see is called fear aggression. In a nutshell, it is aggression directed at unfamiliar people or most other dogs.

It stems from lack of socialization and/or adverse experiences and — to the dog — it makes perfect sense. If a dog feels threatened by a person or other dog, it makes sense to either: a) run away or b) do everything possible to cause them (and the whole situation) to go away.

The fearful personality may be partly inherited but the greatest cause of fearfulness in dogs is impaired nurture during a formative period of a pups’ life or some particularly heinous experience.

The sensitive period of learning in pups, including the socialization period, is generally cited as the first 3 months of a life, though a secondary period of fairly rapid learning seems to occur from 3 to 6 months of age — i.e. up until the end of the juvenile period. After that, a dog is what he is personality-wise – confident or anxious/fearful.

1. Exercise
2. Diet
3. Clear Communication
4. Head Halter for Control
5. Respect the dog’s needs
6. Counter-conditioning
7. Medication

Putting 1 through 7 into practice simultaneously (or even 1 – 6) can produce huge improvements in fear aggressive behavior and save unfortunate accidents and dogs lives. It is a useful truism to remember that insecure dogs need strong leaders.

Not mean ones, rather ones who say what they mean, mean what they say, and ensure that their instructions always result in their dog conforming to their wishes. To make that happen, I reiterate that a head halter, preferably a Gentle Leader head halter, is an excellent tool for controlling and retraining such fearful dogs.

Click here to read the complete.

Dr. Dodman is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Director of the school’s Animal Behavior Clinic. He is also Chief Scientific Officer for the CENTER FOR CANINE BEHAVIOR STUDIES. He has written over 100 scientific articles and several popular press books, including The Dog Who Loved Too Much and The Cat Who Cried for Help.

Posted in Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


HALO mitx

We’re thrilled that our #HALOFEEDITFORWARD campaign, created by SapientNitro, is a finalist for the Best Social Responsibility Campaign 2015 in the MITX Awards from the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange.

The MITX Awards are known as “the largest and most prestigious annual awards competition in the country for digital marketing and technology innovation.” There are six other worthy nominees in our category, including JetBlue, MassMutual, Straight Talk Wireless, Google, Raytheon, and Citizens Bank. We’re genuinely honored to be nominated in such company.

Sometimes called the “Oscars for all things digital” the MIXT Awards celebrate innovative tech, creative, and digital marketing work. We love that the campaign has touched so many hearts and helped feed so many pets.

We’re grateful to the whole team at SapientNitro, especially their Creative Director, Jennifer Putnam, for creating the campaign for us. Although we can’t wait to see who takes home the award on May 14, in many ways we feel like we’ve already won.

Because of the Halo family, and our partners at and, we’re able to donate more than 1.5 million meals a year to pets in need. Whether celebrities or friends down the road, together we’re able to make a difference. That’s a huge win for pets.

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