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Halo Veg Pledge has Dogs Going Vegan on Meatless Monday

Posted by & filed under Dog Food, Dogs, Dry Dog Food, Vegan for Dogs.

Halo Veg Pledge

Whether they want to reduce their carbon pawprint, like the increased energy, hydrated skin, and healthy-looking coat that come with a vegan diet, or just go garbanzo for Halo Garden of Vegan®, dogs are joining the global movement to go meatless one day a week.

Your dog can take the Halo Veg Pledge and participate in Meatless Monday by committing to eat only vegan nibbles this one day a week.

In addition to enjoying Halo’s delicious, complete, and balanced vegan dog food and mouthwatering vegan dog treats, as well as the environmental and health benefits of a vegan diet, dogs who take the Halo Veg Pledge have the chance to win great prizes.

Take the #HaloVegPledge

Dog Saves Family Farm

Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories.

Ted the Springer Spaniel Who Saves Family Farm

Fire is terrifying for any family, but especially for a farming family who must worry about all of their farm animals. The family at Challans Partners’ Longcroft Farm is grateful that a fire only wrecked machinery and a barn recently, instead of people, calves, or a pregnant cow. The reason the fire didn’t harm any people or animals on the farm in Derbyshire, England? A Springer Spaniel named Ted.

According to the Burton Mail, Ted jumped into action and alerted his family about the fire by loudly barking when the flames flared up from an electrical fault. It was around one in the morning when Ken Colwell, the farm secretary, heard Ted barking. Ken’s wife, Ruth, then spotted the flames and immediately called emergency services.

Ken praised the fire responders, saying “The firefighters were extremely professional….They were absolutely first class.” Because Ted made Ken and Ruth aware of the fire so quickly, the firefighters were able to protect two barns full of cows for the night, including calves and a pregnant cow. The wind that night was blowing the fire toward the barn where the calves had been resting. The fire was fully contained and out by shortly after four in the morning – barely three hours after Ted started barking the alarm.

Ken was grateful for his neighbors and told reporters, “I would also like to praise some of our neighbors who were actively on site offering assistance and support. We cannot thank them enough for their support.”

Ken’s partner at the farm is his brother in law, John Challans. Ken noted, “John and his wife Fiona, as well as Ruth, were mainly concerned about the animals….That is a huge testament to the good heart they have got and that is not to be underrated.”

We love that the Challans and Colwells were more concerned with their animals than with buildings or machinery. Halo’s mission is to not only make great cat food and dog food that pets love, but to change the way farm animals are raised for the better. We’re conscious about how we source our ingredients. We work for changes in pursuit of a notion of animal husbandry that challenges the old, one-way view of animal management where animals are solely for our benefit.

We believe that we all need to take care of each other – people, animals, and planet. Every animal in our lives, not just cats and dogs, carries a halo above it. That halo shines brightest when nurtured in a genuine, heartfelt, two-way, human-animal bond. It’s obvious from the priorities of the Challans and Colwells that their halos are shining brightly, just like that of their hero dog Ted. We hope Ted is getting lots of praise and healthy treats to reward his quick thinking and alert barking.

Celebrate International Cat Day with Halo®

Posted by & filed under Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Bloggers, Holistic Cat Food, Natural Cat Food.

International Cat Day

Halo is giving pet parents one free can of our holistic natural cat food. Simply go to halopets.com/CatDay, print your coupon, and redeem it at your local Halo retailer.

We will match every can of wet cat food we give away with a bowl of cat food donated to a shelter, in partnership with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org. Plus, all pet parents who redeem a free can of Halo cat food or post a picture of their cat with #HaloPets and tag their favorite shelter will also be eligible to win 10,000 nutritious bowls of Halo to donate to a shelter of their choice.

The coupon can only be used on International Cat Day itself, August 8, 2018, and while supplies last.

Family, with Global Help, Saved This Former Stray

Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories.

A cat named Meatball with his family

Some people say that you have to seek out destiny. It seems that for Daniel Kershaw, in the village of Bankfoot in Scotland, destiny came to him. One day a small, stray cat crawled into Daniel’s house and changed his life.

Daniel told the Daily Record that he first met the cat who would change his life when the stray cat wandered into his home. The family wrote that the stray “was such a handsome boy” despite being in “a bedraggled state, with ticks on his face and matted fur.” They shared that at first the cat, who they named Meatball, “would snarl at us and run away whenever we approached him.” However, “after months of showing kindness to Meatball, including feeding him by lying down on the ground with a handful of wet cat food in my hand, we eventually gained his trust,” they shared. Success! “Gradually we groomed him, wormed him, de-flead him, and cared for him until his eyes burned bright once more,” they wrote of their early loving care for the former stray.

Daniel and his family decided to keep the cat and call him Meatball. He became a beloved member of the family who got on well with Daniel’s kids, Jack and Sophie Kershaw.

In the U.K. it’s normal for cats to be indoor/outdoor cats and Meatball was no exception, making full use of the cat flap in the door. That all went wrong on February 9. “Sadly one day he dragged himself through our cat flap using only his front paws after being hit by a car,” Daniel said. “His back legs were in a bad way and he was crying out in pain,” he further explained.

Daniel rushed the cat to a veterinarian. Daniel explained that they were informed that Meatball had a fractured pelvis and would also need one of his legs immediately amputated. There was only a 50% chance that Meatball would survive the expensive operation.

“We agreed to personally fund the £900 for the operation, as the only alternative was to put him to sleep, and no way were we going to let that happen” explained Daniel. The operation was successful and Meatball seemed okay with being a three-legged cat. Unfortunately, there was a problem. Meatball couldn’t pass urine. It was likely due to pain and might pass on its own, but if not, Meatball would still need to be put down.

The Kershaw family was determined to give Meatball his best opportunity to heal. They took to social media and started a GoFundMe to ask for help funding a prolonged hospital stay. Soon, donations were coming in from all over the world. They wrote a heartfelt plea for help and shared a video of Meatball from the hospital, as well as photos of him in happier times.

Meatball the Cat

“Within no time at all we had raised enough to fund Meatball for three weeks of hospitalization, catheterization, and medication.” The fundraiser brought in more than £1780 (more than $2,300) from people who wanted to help Meatball.

Over those three weeks, the family hoped and prayed for good news. “We never gave up hope on Meatball,” Daniel told us. Unfortunately, Meatball still wasn’t peeing. Finally, the family gave into what seemed to be inevitable and scheduled a date for Meatball to be gently put to sleep. They were determined to show Meatball how loved he was. They only considered euthanasia because they didn’t want Meatball to suffer.

“On the eve of the deadline,” said Daniel, “after exhausting all other options, we decided to bring him home and give him a special night with the family.” He added, “and one last try to wee.”

The family made sure Meatball had his favorite foods and a nice new comfy bed. Daniel spent the night lying beside Meatball on the living room floor. “I was hopeful until what we thought was his final few hours and he never let us down,” Daniel said.

Shortly before Meatball’s final vet appointment, Daniel went to fetch the key to their outdoor shed so that he could work on digging a grave.

Daniel described what happened. “Just as I opened the drawer, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he had climbed onto his cat litter,” he said. “Then,” Daniel continued, “to my absolute astonishment and delight, he proceeded to do the biggest wee I have ever known a cat to do. We couldn’t believe it. Our family had experienced a rollercoaster of emotions over the previous month and he kept us in suspense to the very end.”

A few months later, Daniel tells us that “Meatball is doing very well.” He added that Meatball “adapted extremely quickly [to] life on three legs and can move about pretty fast. Having a missing rear leg he does find it easier to go down stairs as opposed to up and jump down from things rather than up, but he’s doing great.”

A cat named Meatball

In fact, Meatball is still an integral part of the family. “He has a great bond with my children,” said Daniel, “and they are very good with him.” Meatball’s favorite family activity might be surprising, “he loves to be involved in everything we are doing, especially board games and the such,” revealed Daniel to us.

We’re certain that Meatball is grateful for the global help that allowed his family to care for him in the hospital for so long, and especially for his family who never stopped hoping he would heal. We believe that every animal in our life carries a halo, and that those halos shine brightest when nurtured in a two-way bond. It’s obvious that the halos above Meatball and the Kershaw family are shining extra bright because of their tremendous bond of love. That kind of bond is only further nurtured through healthy diets of healthy, nutritious food like Halo’s cat foods.

At Halo, we’re used to hearing about impressive poop, but we bet that a family was never more relieved to hear their cat pee than the Kershaw family was that fateful morning.

A Cat named Meatball

Myth About Your Dog #1: Do Dogs Share Happily?

Posted by & filed under Bloggers, Pet Health, Tracie Hotchner.

Filip and Liam with Liv-a-Little natural dog treats

I’m starting a little summer series of  “myth busters” about the way we misunderstand our dogs and cats, unwittingly applying human-type emotions and desires to animals, who are actually cut from a different piece of cloth than we are.  I hope these will serve as little reminder “taps on the shoulder” to us that we should respect other species for who they are, both as different mammals from us, and also as individuals.

Myth #1 – Dogs enjoy sharing the way people do.
Some of us like to think that our dogs are happy to share with other dogs. Share our love and attention. Share their toys. Share their sleeping places. Share their hunting spots. Share the back of the car. Share the prime spot on the sofa. Even share their treats and dinner!  Really!? We encourage sharing. We like to think that “share and share alike” is a positive quality that we can imbue in our dogs, even if they don’t come to us ready to embrace the concept. We expect dogs to share, we’re delighted when they seem to, and we even get annoyed if they don’t. (We’re a little unrealistic in believing that sharing is natural for people, too – but more on that below!)

It isn’t logical for dogs to share
Without specific scientific evidence close at hand, I’d have to say that it is rarely true that a dog willingly shares her valuable assets with another dog. Why would she? Where will that get her? “Survival of the fittest” is still at the root of it all, isn’t it? On a primal level, how would a dog survive as an individual – beginning with her littermates – if she always gave up her turn at the “milk bar” or the toy bin to those who wanted it more?  That’s technically called the runt of the litter! What creature has an innate desire to wind up at the bottom of life’s totem pole…which in the cold, cruel world of the animal kingdom is sort of where “sharing” gets you!

Hang on! But I’ve seen dogs who share and take turns
Yes, I’ve seen those dogs, too. My own dogs! But it doesn’t happen naturally or without constant and firm intervention. I actually raise all my dogs to share – and most of them join the family at random times in their lives from Weimaraner rescues, so who knows what their backgrounds were? Sharing happens because I play refere: “You wait: it’s Wanda’s turn to lick that pot, you’re next,” or “Let Maisie get on the bed.”

An exception to the not-so-quick-to-share can be when dogs have grown up together and developed “an understanding.” Most likely this is is simply a hierarchy in which one dog has evolved as the “top dog” so both dogs proceed on the assumption that “what’s his is his, and what’s mine is his, too!” That can look like sharing.

Wait! Do people actually share freely with others?
If you think that dogs should share the way people do, you clearly haven’t seen the vocalizations or physical expressions of indignation that can be expressed by toddlers (or older) whose snack or toy is under siege from someone else. Not to mention grown adults trying to get online at a wedding buffet or get a seat on the subway!

When dogs have high value treats or food they really love it can create an even greater reason not to share (my girls adore their Halo food – the kibble, but also the canned Spot’s Stew – so I’m extra careful to feed them at a distance from each other since Wanda eats a whole lot faster than Maisie).

Real Life Vs. Wishful Thinking
Sharing is a concept that might look good on paper, but in a dog’s real life (or ours) it doesn’t come naturally. Teaching a dog to share requires negotiation, patience, persistence and even the offering of bribes or recompense by referees  (like Halo’s Luv-a-Lots). For true harmony between dogs, you’re probably best off supporting the idea that each one gets his own stuff and his space is universally respected as his own.

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.