Making a WHOLE Lot of Difference: Stray Cat Alliance

Posted by & filed under Cat Food, Cats, Shelters and Rescues.

The Stray Cat Alliance seeks to save cats—including kittens—from the unwelcome distinction of being the most killed animal in US shelters. Thanks to cat food donations that come from Halo’s partnership with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org, Stray Cat Alliance’s programs are making a difference in outcomes for cats and communities in Los Angeles and communities throughout Southern California.

Here’s what Stray Cat Alliance had to say about a recent Halo Pets donation:

“The support that your contribution of food made to our work impacted an estimated 5,000 meals for the animals we serve. The second largest cost for Stray Cat Alliance after medical care is food. We help thousands of kittens, cats and feeders throughout Southern California. Food is key to survival of our cats in a variety of settings – on the streets, in foster homes and in our care. Being able to provide food to those who foster animals and community cats has a huge relief on our budget and provides a big incentive to volunteers who save cats and kittens in collaboration with us.

This donation of dry food was used in a variety of ways:

  • Fosters: At any one time we support 400-1,000 foster cats and the people who take care of them. Our primary foster program is the Safe-at-Home kitten program. Through that program we saved a quarter or 564 of the kittens who were surrendered to the South LA Shelter in 2017. This year, we’re on track to do about 800 kittens in that program alone.
  • Community members who feed feral colonies.
  • At our headquarters for the adult cats we have in our care. Our photos show our office cat Pumpkin, a senior cat who was rescued from Orange County. He has his own Instagram Bitemepumpkin.

Pumpkin is representative of many of the animals we save – abandoned and facing death. Pumpkin has some behavioral issues and was returned to the shelter at a senior age. Adoption of senior cats is low. We also get kittens who have been orphaned and would be killed the day they come to a shelter. And, community cats who fend for themselves on the streets.”

Thank you Stray Cat Alliance for making a WHOLE lot of difference for pets in your community.

When you choose Halo pet food, made from real WHOLE meat, poultry, or fish, and NO “meat meal” of ANY kind, your pet won’t be the only one with a radiant coat, clear eyes and renewed energy. Halo feeds it forward, donating over 1.5 million bowls annually. As always, Halo will donate a bowl to a shelter every time YOU buy. Thank you for helping #HaloFeeditForward.

Why Are So Many People Adopting Senior Dogs?

Posted by & filed under Dog Food, Dogs.

The word is out! While cute little puppies are hard to resist, more and more people are leaving shelters with senior dogs in tow—lovable, loyal, life-wise companions. Here’s why:

All the love without all the ….
Senior dogs already know how to cuddle—they also already know where NOT to go to the bathroom and what NOT to chew on.

Walks over workouts…
Senior dogs don’t have nearly as much energy to burn as puppies or even adult dogs, but they will help you get your steps in each day.

Built-in experience…
Unlike puppies, many senior dogs already know basic commands and basic courtesies of living in a house with people.

Plays well with all others…
Life experience and lower energy levels make older dogs great companions for all ages. They have the patience to take on toddlers and the temperament to soothe seniors.

Unconditional love and unending gratitude…
It’s easy to spoil a puppy, but senior dogs don’t take their second chances for granted. They know they’ve been saved and are forever grateful.

If you have a senior dog in your home, remember that older dogs love dinner time as much as any hungry puppy, but they need fewer calories and less fat to match their lower metabolism and reduced activity levels. Be sure to look for a senior dog food that is formulated to meet their needs. As dogs get older they may lose some of their sense of smell, so the enticing aroma of wet dog food for senior dogs may also be a good choice to help them empty their bowl.

 

What’s the Hottest Challenge That’s Giving Dogs Even More Internet Fame?

Posted by & filed under Dogs.

Snoot Challenge

Photo credit: Pets Insider

Want to make your pooch a pro at the Snoot Challenge?

1. Use your fingers—or your hands—to make a hole big enough for your dog’s nose

2. Hold a mouthwatering, irresistible Liv-A-Littles® treat inside it

3. Watch you send his snoot straight through for his treat

4. Let them know how awesome they are!

 

Manny and Friends with Liv-a-Littles Treats

Learn more about Liv-a-Littles protein treats

Are Peas and Potatoes Problematic?

Posted by & filed under Dog Food, Dogs.

Dog eating Halo dry dog food
You may have recently heard about an FDA statement regarding alleged associations between pet foods and a heart disease called DCM – dilated cardiomyopathy. In their statement, the FDA implicated certain ingredients (particularly potatoes and legumes like peas) and types of food (such as grain-free diets) as having potential associations with this condition.

Please allow me to be perfectly clear: any relationship between DCM and certain types of diets or ingredients is not fully clear.

What does diet have to do with heart disease in dogs?
Historically, DCM has been caused by taurine deficiency in pets who were either eating diets with insufficient taurine or taurine’s precursors methionine and cysteine, or in dogs with genetic predispositions and higher taurine requirements.

Taurine is not generally recognized as an essential nutrient for all dogs, as adult non-reproductive dogs can generate their own taurine, provided the sulfur amino acids methionine and cysteine are included at appropriate levels in their diet.

What do peas and potatoes have to do with this?
The FDA’s recent warning had to do with diets which contain little or no grains, so called “grain-free” diets, which typically have high levels of legumes, sweet potato, or potato as an alternative source of carbohydrates. Legumes typically have quite a high level of protein in comparison to grains, and inclusion of legumes in pet food can affect the amino acid profile of the diet. The ideal protein would be one in which all amino acids are in perfect balance, however this ideal protein does not exist as a complete and balanced food for pets. Instead, multiple complementary protein sources are combined to meet each amino acid requirement. While legumes are a rich source of protein, they are limited in sulfur amino acids.

Furthermore, high fiber content can decrease digestibility of a diet and increase taurine excretion. Diets rich in legumes and low in grains can have higher fiber contents than diets which include grains and have lower levels of legumes.

My dog is eating a “grain-free” diet or a diet with a high content of legumes – what should I do?
First and foremost, if you have any concerns about your pet’s health you should contact your veterinarian. If you have no reason to suspect disease, but have been concerned by the media surrounding this issue, there are some practical steps you can take to evaluate whether the diet you are feeding your companion is likely to be high risk or not:

1) Check the packaging for an AAFCO (North America) or FEDIAF (Europe) statement of nutritional sufficiency. It will read something like:

This dog food has been formulated in accordance with AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance or This dog food has undergone feeding trials in accordance with AAFCO.

If the diet does not have an AAFCO/FEDIAF adequacy statement, or the adequacy statement is not for the appropriate life-stage (puppy growth, adult maintenance, or pregnancy/lactation), it may not be nutritionally complete and balanced or appropriate for your dog. 

2) Call the company producing the food and ask them some questions about their practices and about nutrients of particular concern. Some examples from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Global Nutrition Committee include:

  • Who formulates your food, and what are his/her credentials?
  • If the adequacy statement was based on formulation and not on a feeding trial, were the nutrient levels based on the recipe’s formulation or analytical testing of the finished product?
  • What are the levels of total dietary fiber, methionine, cysteine, carnitine and taurine in this diet?

In order to start to evaluate the appropriateness of the diet for your dog, you first want to know that the company uses a nutritionist with extensive experience in the industry, or else academic merit or a veterinary specialist background. More importantly, pet food companies should be testing their finished products to ensure that the nutrient content of the finished product reflects what was formulated. This ensures that your dog is indeed receiving all the nutrients in the quantities you expect them to. The company should be able to provide you with measured values for most nutrients – in relation to DCM: total dietary fiber, methionine, cysteine, carnitine and taurine are of the most interest.

3) If you do not feel satisfied with the answers you receive from the pet food company, yet you would like to avoid changing diets, there are laboratories which perform nutrient analyses on pet food products. Your veterinarian or closest veterinary college may be able to provide you with information on how and where to send samples. These services are typically costly, but provide independent measures of nutrient content in food samples.

I hope this has provided some clarification and alleviated concerns regarding the potential association between dog food and DCM. Remember, if you have any concerns about your companion’s health, call your veterinarian. Otherwise, call the producer of your pet’s food, as they should be able to provide you with all the information you require to make an informed decision about whether the diet is suitable for your dog and whether to continue feeding their product.

Take care of yourself and your furry friends,

Dr. Sarah

Dr. Sarah DoddDr. Sarah Dodd is a veterinarian with a special focus on companion animal nutrition. Her studies have taken her around the world living in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America and Canada – where she currently reside with her three happy rescue dogs Peppa, Dottie and Timmy.

She graduated from veterinary school in 2016, since then she has pursued her passion in nutrition with a clinical nutrition internship and a Master’s degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. She is currently completing her nutrition residency with the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition and enrolled in a PhD studying plant-based diets for pets.

What Guinness World Record Does Nala Cat Hold?

Posted by & filed under Cats, Nala Cat.

With more than 6 million followers, Nala Cat’s adorable face has become a pretty familiar one as well. This lovable Siamese/Tabby mix rescue may be making people smile all over the internet, but she spends a lot of her time helping pets who are less fortunate than her.

Favorite food: Halo Indoor Cat Whitefish Pate

Favorite YouTube channel: IAmNalaCat

Favorite accessory: Bowties

Favorite title: Queen

Lala Cat with Halo Whitefish Recipe

Learn more about Halo cat food