Do Dogs Need Meat?

Posted by & filed under Bloggers, Pet Facts, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Vegan for Dogs.

Halo Vegan Dog Food with Manny the Frnechie

Why a vegan diet is a great choice for dogs with ingredient sensitivity

Isn’t it natural for dogs to eat meat?
Between the growing popularity of the vegan lifestyle and concerns about dogs with protein sensitivities, more people have started feeding their dogs a vegan diet. This has surfaced a few questions, including, whether a vegan diet goes against dogs’ nature. Several studies, including some referenced by Linda P. Case in her article, A Taste for Meat?, and by veterinary nutritionist Dr. Cailin R. Heinze in her article, Vegan Dogs—A healthy lifestyle or going against nature? have demonstrated that eating meat is not innate or required.

Is a vegan diet healthy for dogs?
You’ve probably heard that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning there are nutrients cats need (vitamin A, arachidonic acid, and taurine) that they cannot get from a vegetarian diet. Dogs, however, don’t have that same limitation. They can get the nutrients they need from plants, which is great news for dogs who are sensitive to animal proteins. Plus, dogs’ anatomy—from their gastrointestinal tracts to their molars to their slightly longer small intestine—shows us that they are omnivorous, according to Case, in her article, Dogs are Carnivores, Right?

Will my dog get enough protein with vegan dog food?
A complete and balanced vegan dog food can be a very healthy choice for dogs. You don’t need to worry if vegan dog food has enough protein because Halo® Holistic Garden of Vegan® dog food is made with protein-rich, plant-based ingredients, like peas, chickpeas, pearled barley, and oats. It also uses non-GMO vegetables, and no rice or fillers. Plus, it’s a great choice for dogs who are sensitive to animal proteins.

Can a vegan diet help dogs with allergies?
If your dog has skin or coat issues or other signs that he or she could have an allergy, you may want to try eliminating the top four allergens—meat, dairy, corn, or wheat—from his or her diet. Halo® Holistic Garden of Vegan® has no meat, dairy, corn, or wheat in it, so it’s a great alternative for dogs with these ingredient sensitivities.

The many benefits of being an omnivore
Besides the advantage of not containing major allergens, dogs’ omnivorous diet is important for families who follow a vegan lifestyle, or who prefer not to feed dogs meat for ethical or ecological reasons.

 

Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Certification

Posted by & filed under Bloggers, Tracie Hotchner.

Global Animal Partnership

The CEO of Halo®, Myron Lyskanycz, is on a mission to improve the way farm animals are raised, for their sake as well as the betterment of the pets whose diets depend on high quality protein.

What is GAP?

The Global Animal Partnership is a global leader in farm animal welfare that has established a comprehensive step-by-step program for raising animals, with the goal of improving the welfare of animals in agriculture. It touches on issues like cage-free chickens, raising pigs gestation-crate-free and eliminating severe confinement for veal, all of which are examples of ways in which it is possible to consider the life of animals being raised for food.

Why Does Gap Certification Matter?

GAP certification of food is something most of us know little or nothing about, yet it matters in profound ways.  The GAP certification label verifies that the animals have been raised following comprehensive standards focused on their care and welfare. GAP makes it easier for us as consumers to find meat products that have been created with respect for all the animals in the food chain.

Halo embraces the Global Animal Partnership (GAP)

Assuming an impressive leadership role in the pet food industry, Halo has made a commitment to using meat and poultry proteins that are GAP certified. What is remarkable about this corporate decision is that doing so creates a challenge for Halo, to sustain a constant stream in the supply chain of pet food ingredients (to ensure that all the meat products come from certified providers, and that there is a reliable quantity of the ingredients. Sourcing this way also costs substantially more, thereby reducing the profit on the foods – but fundamentally it’s about taking a stand for a better world for all animals).

Compassion and consideration for all animals is a lesson to all of us that with a bit of extra effort and expense, it’s possible to provide nutrition that reflects our core values and shows respect for the farm animals, as well as our own pets.

Can You Find GAP certified foods for your human family?

I’m grateful I can feed my dogs Halo and know I am doing something to speak up for the farm animals whose lives contribute to their food.

Beyond the dogs’ food, the challenge is how to get assurances about all the ingredients that go into my own diet. It’s only when you set out to do that – to make sure everything you buy to eat is GAP certified – that you discover what how large Halo’s accomplishment really is!

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.

This Rescue Dog Rescued Her Owner!

Posted by & filed under Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Bloggers, Pet Stories.

Cynder the Dog

Photo Credit: The Plymouth Herald

Sometimes the shyest dogs are the bravest. Cynder, a normally docile German Shepherd, saved her mom this spring when a man mugged her near their home!

Michelle Fowler was walking near her home in the city of Pymouth in Devon, England this March. Suddenly, a man approached from behind her. He insisted she give him her bag, then punched and kicked her. Michelle fell to the ground but managed to call for Cynder, her eight-year-old dog. Michelle later described Cynder to reporters as usually afraid of her own shadow, but that evening Cynder realized that Michelle needed her. The dog came running up, barking, and scaring off the attacker.

Although he managed to escape with Michelle’s bag, Michelle was saved from further injury because of Cynder’s quick response. In light of the incident, Michelle’s fiancé is staying in her home and they have changed the locks on the house as a precaution. The real hero is Cynder – the dog who Michelle once rescued turned the tables and rescued Michelle in return.

At Halo we believe that every animal carries a halo that shines brightest when nurtured in a genuine, heartfelt, two-way, human-animal bond. It’s obvious that Cynder’s halo is shining bright after her heroic rescue of Michelle. Every year Halo, Greater Good, and Freekibble feed more than 1.5 million bowls of cat and dog food to rescue pets like Cynder every year. We’ve been told by shelter professionals that Halo food increases adoption rates. This means that more pups like Cynder will have a chance to unleash their inner hero for their adoptive families. Our pets do so much for us, Halo believes in doing everything we can for them, starting with high quality food. We’re sure that Cynder is receiving a hero’s reward of delicious food and treats from Michelle and her grateful family.

5 Things Everyone Needs to Know About NY Dog Flu Epidemic

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

NY Dog Flu Epidemic

Over 500 cases of a new strain of dog flu have been reported across the United States, with the New York area hard hit. 91 cases of dog flu have been reported in Brooklyn as of June 5th, along with cases on Long Island and in Manhattan – and this doesn’t include an increase in illnesses in the past 10 days or suspected cases that have not yet been confirmed through testing.

Experts consider it  likely that dog flu will continue to spread rapidly  from Brooklyn to bordering neighborhoods. In addition, over 500 cases have been reported throughout the U.S. in 2018 – so this is a fast-spreading disease you need to be aware of.

As with any medical care and vaccine, your own dog’s lifestyle and a consultation with your vet will dictate what protection will be of value, but you should get right in touch with your veterinarian to decide whether your dog needs the vaccination which protects against this flu. And you don’t have to frequent a dog park to come into contact with an affected dog. To give an example, if you live in an urban area and sit with your dog at an outdoor cafe where another dog has previously been sitting who had the flu (and the owner didn’t even know it yet), your dog will be exposed and has a high chance of becoming infected, too.

Please listen to my recent interview on DOG TALK (and Kitties, Too!) with Dr. Kathryn Primm from Applebrook Animal Hospital near Chattanooga, Tennessee,  who is an expert in dog flu. In the meantime, here are some key pieces of information that can be of value in protecting your own dogs.

  1. Dog flu is highly contagious among social dogs, and nearly all unvaccinated dogs exposed to it will become sick. It is a year-round illness and can be spread very easily within a community.

  2. Common symptoms include high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, cough, runny nose and, in some cases, pneumonia – which can be life-threatening.

  3. The old and young are most at risk, just as with any upper respiratory illness. Young puppies and old-timer senior dogs are considered most vulnerable to contract this flu – and for it to become a serious illness for them.

  4. Consider giving immune supplements to the very old or young dogs in your life, including omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, but only from a reliable, high quality source) and a product like Halo’s immune supplement.

  5. There is a vaccine to prevent transmission of the illness. Luckily, this dog flu is preventable with  vaccine made by Merck Animal Health  (Nobivac Canine Flu Bivalent) that is injectable and protects specifically against both known strains of dog flu – H3N8 and H3N2. Unlike the human flu vaccination which “guesses” at upcoming strains of flu in people each year, this vaccine is targeted specifically at the flu that dog are now getting.

  6. Even after vaccination, it takes weeks for your dog to become immune to the flu. You don’t want to delay getting the vaccine because it doesn’t start working right away. Your veterinarian gives the first vaccine and then boosts it in 2-4 weeks. Following the booster shot, immunity would be expected about 10-14 days later. And then your dog should be revaccinated on an annual basis for continued protection.

For in depth information and recent developments on the spread of the disease, you can go to DogFlu.com.

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.

Ohio Cat Caught Carbon Monoxide Leak and Saved His Family

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

Mr. Boo the cat

Photo Credits: Kecskes Family

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and potentially lethal gas. Although many families now have carbon monoxide detectors by their smoke detectors, not everyone has the life-saving alarms. Luckily for one family that didn’t have an alarm, their cat, Mr. Boo, alerted them to a gas leak and saved the lives of all four family members.

According to daughter Ariana, her cat Mr. Boo “never meows. He usually just squeaks or doesn’t meow at all. It’s actually kind of a joke in our family” she said. Thankfully he meowed as much as he could when his family was in danger.

David Kesckes, his wife, daughter Ariana, and son were all asleep in their home in Green Township, Ohio. “I woke up to my cat meowing,” said Ariana. Mr. Boo then did more than meow. “He was sort of stumbling down the hallway and he just kept meowing. He seemed to kind of want us to get out of the house. He passed out so many times trying to wake us all up and that just amazing because he’s never really meowed before,” Ariana said.

Fox19 played part of the 911 call. You can hear David tell the dispatcher, “my daughter fainted in the hallway, my son fainted on the back porch, and our cat fainted in the living room.” David got his son up to carry Ariana outside. Ariana’s mom got Mr. Boo out. Even Mr. Boo’s feline friend, the family’s other cat, did his part. “Our other cat actually walked in and kind of revived him because he was knocked out…[he] sniffed him like ‘Hey, get up,’” explained Ariana. The reporter later tweeted a photo of Mr. Boo resting with Ariana.

Photo Credits: @Fox19_Mike

“That cat’s a hero for sure,” said David. According to Local12.com, Ariana said that Mr. Boo is a rescue cat who has been part of the family for seven years. Not every rescue pet will be a hero, but we know that they all have the potential to be amazing. That’s part of why Halo, GreaterGood.org, and Freekibble donate over 1.5 million bowls of Halo food to shelter pets every year. Shelter professionals have told us that more pets get adopted from their shelters because the animals thrive on high-quality Halo food. The more pets who get adopted, the more families like the Kesckes, can have their own heroes.

“Had this situation gone on much longer, the outcome could have been different,” said Green Township Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Hummeldorf. Firefighters detected lethal levels of carbon monoxide in the house. “We’re celebrating the fact that we’re all alive,” David told reporters. Boo went missing after the ordeal but was thankfully found that afternoon, hiding in the family basement. The whole family, Mr. Boo included, were okay in the end.

Our pets do so much for us, Halo believes in doing everything we can for them, starting with great food. We hope Mr. Boo is getting a hero’s reward with lots of love and healthy treats. Reflecting on his heroic meows that fateful May morning, Arian said, “It’s like he’s been waiting his whole life to do this one heroic thing.”