Is it Natural for Dogs to Eat Meat: Are Dogs Carnivores or Omnivores?

Posted by & filed under Dogs, Vegan for Dogs.

Though the dog’s taxonomic family Canidae falls under the order Carnivora, dogs are not carnivores. Order Carnivora includes obligate carnivores, such as the Felidae family, it also includes the omnivorous Canidae and even the herbivorous Ailuropodidae – panda bears! This taxonomic classification has been so problematic as it has led many to infer that dogs are carnivores and require meat in their diet, which is not generally recognized as true.

My dog likes meat, doesn’t that mean he needs it?
When given a selection of foods, most animals will choose the foods which are the most energy- and nutrient-dense as a throwback to evolutionary survival tactics. At any given time, a wild canid, like a wolf, never knows when their next meal will arrive, and so they will preferentially choose to eat foods which provide them with the highest concentration of calories to keep them going. Animal flesh and organs just so happen to be very energy dense, containing a large amount of fat and calories, which appeal to animals worried about how long their next starvation period will be. However, I’m hoping if you’re reading this blog that you feed your dog regular meals and they don’t need to gorge themselves to survive! In that case, we can be much more flexible in how we feed our canine companions. In fact, feeding them very high calorie, rich foods can lead to all sorts of health problems. I love donuts, they provide me with a ton of calories, but if I ate donuts every day just because I like them I would pretty quickly wind up storing all those extra calories I don’t need – and we all know how extra calories get stored! I like donuts, but I don’t need them, and while dogs may like meat, they don’t need it.

If dogs are omnivores, doesn’t that mean it’s natural for them to eat at least some meat?
Let’s put this into context. Yes, dogs evolved eating other animals, and it is arguably natural for them to do so. Dogs also evolved living outdoors in social groups and with little interaction with humans for the majority of their existence. Now, dogs live indoors for the most part, often as a sole pet or sharing their house with one other dog or other animal. They are our fur-babies, their lives are intimately associated with ours, and they rely on us for their walks, their food, their engagement with the world around them. They don’t lead very “natural” lives. They also don’t typically eat the other animals (cats, small mammals, fish, birds, reptiles) they share their house with. It may be “natural” for dogs to eat meat, but it is also natural for them to be injured, feel pain and contract disease. By domesticating dogs, we have removed them from their natural environment and they have adapted to share their lives with us. We provide them with such unnatural lifestyles as climate-controlled homes, daily meals, pain relief, veterinary care and medication. Plant-based dog food is no less natural than any other way we currently manage our beloved companions.

What if my dog is a hunting or working type, do they have special requirements for meat?
While the scientific literature supports differences in nutrient metabolism and requirements for some different types of dogs, there is no evidence that any dogs require animal products in their diet.

If dogs don’t need meat, can they get all the nutrients they need from a vegetarian or vegan diet?
Yes. None of the essential nutrients required by dogs are found exclusively in animal tissues. In animal nutrition, we really prefer to talk about nutrient requirements, as opposed to ingredient requirements. As far as we know, dogs have no requirement for meat per se, instead, they have a requirement for nutrients


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.

Where was the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet born?

Posted by & filed under Lil BUB.

Lil BUB eating Halo wet cat food

While Lil BUB touches lives across the United States, she was discovered as the runt of a healthy litter in a tool shed in rural Indiana. In addition to her book, TV show, and movie, BUB has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for animals in need. As a special needs cat, BUB has had to overcome many challenges herself, so now she raises money through Lil BUB’s Big Fund at the ASPCA, which then gets distributed through grants to organizations across the country helping homeless pets with special needs.

More about BUB:

Favorite food: Halo wet cat food to keep her hydrated

Favorite app: Weather BUB

Favorite movie: Lil BUB & Friends

Favorite quote: “GOOD JOB BUB”

Follow Lil BUB on Instagram


Vote for Halo® Garden of Vegan® for Dogs for the Veggie Award!

Posted by & filed under Dogs, Vegan for Dogs.

Vegan Dog Food - Manny the Frenchie

We are proud to announce that Halo’s Garden of Vegan is up for a Veggie Award! We’re nominated for the 2018 Annual VegNews Veggie Awards, the largest survey of vegan products in the world. Pet Parents can vote for Halo at Veggie Awards until polling closes on August 31.

Garden of Vegan dry vegan dog food and canned vegan dog food are made with chickpeas, non-GMO vegetables and fruits, and nourishing oils, providing a nutritionally balanced diet made with the finest quality ingredients and NO rice. Our completely plant-based protein comes from whole grains, green peas, and chickpeas.

Halo’s Garden of Vegan is ideal for dog parents living a vegan lifestyle or dogs with protein sensitivities as well as those looking to combat climate change by reducing their carbon paw prints.

We’d appreciate your vote for a chance to win this award! Thank you in advance. Vote now.

Veggie Awards

Picky Senior Dog Devours Halo Wet Food

Posted by & filed under Dogs, Dry Dog Food, Wet Dog Food.

Annie ate her Halo dog food

Last week Facebook fan, Gini Moncur, shared with us a story of Annie, her senior dog and their Halo experience. She wrote:

“I wanted to share a good thing that happened. Our dog Annie is about 16, deaf and toothless. She has become very picky and has lost some weight and she only weighs 4 lbs. Yesterday I bought a can of Halo senior chicken food and she devoured it. She is a messy eater with her tongue hanging out. We have all of our dogs on Halo Small Breed Salmon & Whitefish and they love it.”

Gini, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We are so happy to hear that Annie loves her Halo senior food.


Rescued Kittens at Cat House on the Kings Find Forever Home

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

3 Rescued Kittens Adopted Together - Cat House on the Kings

Brie (Siamese), Cheddar (Orange), Parmesan (Calico) Photo Credit: Harvie Schreiber

The Cat House on the Kings is California’s largest no-cage, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. Their mission is to place rescued cats and kittens into loving, permanent homes; to provide a safe, happy and healthy home for unwanted cats and kittens in a unique, no-cage facility; to prevent pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering; and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

Foster parent, Harvie Schreiber, told us about three kittens named Brie, Cheddar and Parmesan. She wrote:

“The Cat House on the Kings rescued three tiny kittens who were covered in fleas, battling an upper respiratory infection, and underweight. After getting treated and lots of tender loving care in a foster home (which, of course, includes high quality food like Halo), they blossomed, grew up, and were adopted TOGETHER.”

Amazing news! We’re so happy that this trio was able to find a forever home together. Thank you Harvie and Cat House on the Kings for making a difference for pets in your community.

Three Rescued Kittens from Cat House on the Kings

Photo credit: Harvie Schreiber