Sammie Gets Breakfast (Finally!)

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

My friends Marianne and Julien are the sweetest, kindest people you’d ever like to know — and they are devoted to their darling rescued mutt, Sammie. They are both brilliant retired college professors, so I was astonished to discover that their ideas about canine nutrition and wellness were stuck in the Dark Ages! They had been giving Sammie only one meal a day, and feeding him pretty much nothing but the same kibble for years!

Those of you who have heard my radio shows over the years — or read my blogs — know how passionate I am about canine and feline nutrition and “myth busting” and high quality ingredients and thinking independently for our individual circumstances. So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to keep a smiling expression and calm tone of voice when I said, “WHAT?! One measly meal at 5:00 PM?”

I really didn’t mean to make them feel bad about what they thought was “the right way” to feed a dog, but it amazed me that they hadn’t come across more enlightened ideas about how all dogs do best with two meals a day. They digest better… it lowers the risk of (life-threatening) bloat… for smaller dogs it prevents the low blood sugar issues that happen when a dog has to fast for 24 hours… and for most dogs it makes them less frantic about food, generally. Beyond the actual dangers of leaving a dog’s stomach completely empty for 24 hours, imagine how incredibly hungry a dog would be having to go from morning throughout an entire day with only that one meal at teatime.

I also had to explain to Marianne that feeding only dry food — which is the most processed version of dog food — doesn’t give a dog the more complete and fulfilling nutrition that comes by substituting about half the kibble with cooked or canned meat, chicken, fish, scrambled eggs and/or cottage cheese. There are also many fine dehydrated foods containing protein, vegetable, fruits and fiber to make up some of the calories, too. An essential point is to change up the protein in all the forms of the foods so that, over time, the dog gets a wider range of nutrition sources by switching up kibble made of fowl, fish or meat with each bag and rotating the proteins that you cook yourself or get from a can.

I recommended Halo foods to my friends because of the company’s philosophies of humane practices that are good for the planet as well as our pets — which is why I’ve been giving their different kibble to my girls, Maisie and Wanda, for their whole lives. Their pal Sammie is now gratefully getting both breakfast and dinner. He’s started his first bag of kibble with Halo Holistic Wild Salmon and Whitefish Recipe and — because Marianne is a vegetarian — some Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Recipe canned food along with a scoop of cottage cheese.

Life is good for Sammie — his people are so happy to be giving him the very best — and I hope anyone else only feeding one meal a day to their dog will read this and quickly change their ways.

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.

Slim the Orange Tabby Cat “Started Becoming More Active” Thanks To Halo Natural Cat Food

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

Slim the Cat

We recently received this message from Tracie Anderson in Minnesota about a cat named Slim:

“Slim is a feral orange tabby cat. He is 9 months old now. He was hurt in August 2017 and I saw it all happen. He got banged in the head right in the left tear duct. He howled so badly. I ran and quickly picked him put and help him to my chest and started praying. I could tell it was a significant brain injury. Three days I held him, only putting him down to go take care of the rest of the animals here at Triangle Acres.

Slim’s chances were slim. But that is not why he is named Slim. He is a slim physique as well. The vet just told me to be patient, if he didn’t improve in 4 to 5 days then he advised me to bring him back and humanely put him down.

Slim fought the first 3 days. He was fed canned cat food watered down. Dropper for water to give him water. His head swelled up but not as bad as the vet thought. He had tons of seizures and body tremors.

Day 4, I was dead tired from staying up the past 3 days. I picked him up gently and held him and kissed his head carefully. I asked him what he thought and he meowed and gave me a bit of a purr. When the vet saw him he said he was surprised he was still alive. He examined him and said the swelling was slowly going down but it appeared Slim couldn’t see anymore. The vet just said keep moving forward. Help him eat, teach him to eat whatever I could do. So I set up a pen for him and we started learning to do things over.

Day 30 Slim was walking but held his head to the left and walked in circles and clearly had a handicap we had to work through.

The vet was amazed but yet guarded. I hadn’t seen a seizure for a long time, but when I am sleeping and working with other animals, I don’t see everything. He was eating, but not dry cat food well. So after voicing my concerns about his weight not advancing and his coat being so rough I wondered what to do. The vet didn’t have any ideas either. Plus it seemed Slim was having a hard time with another canned cat food – processing it. So I started to look for a different food.

Slim the Cat

I came across Halo® on an Amazon Daily special and ordered a case. Slim went nuts over it. It took about three weeks of Halo chicken canned cat food before I really started to see a difference. But he started becoming more active and his coat was softening. And he was doing much better processing the food too. We tried the dry food, he likes it, but he just can’t crunch it well.

Today it has been about five weeks since we started Halo- goodness its spendy! Slim eats 2 full cans and shares another can. I put the old ladies (3-17 year old sisters whose health is failing now) on HALO as well. Slim races around his room and leaps with abandon. Actually I noticed this past week he has been gauging heights of the furniture in his room and has been clearing them just fine the past couple days.

Yes Slim is still blind. We think, the vet and I, that he has partial sight, but it would be the angled at the ground. He follows toys on the ground, but not in the air level with his head. So we know he sees something.

Today was a surprise and a first. Slim leapt into my arms. He’s been studying the height of my knees when I sit down for almost a week. He made a clean jump and I was able to catch him.

I don’t know if I would have found another cat food, I am just glad Halo is what he goes nuts over and what has helped him come up in health and I don’t mind the poop end of things either. Much easier to tolerate.

Jazz is a new kitty about 3 months old that was rescued from the cold. Jazz had 3 siblings and a neighbor brought one of his siblings over to me when it started to get cold out. They were about 5 weeks old at that time. The sibling that was brought to me did not make it, it had been cold too long and I couldn’t get it warmed up and couldn’t get it to take milk. The other 2 siblings we hunted for, but couldn’t find the same afternoon. Jazz showed up in my barn that evening. He was in between 5 other cats- they were blanketing him in a circle of fur. Cats are intelligent. However, I knew if they scattered, Jazz wouldn’t make it. So I grabbed Jazz and brought him inside. Jazz now resides in the same area of the house that Slim does and Jazz is now on Halo, too.

It’s a good cat food. Slim is living proof of how good it is. The improvement of his overall health and his coat speaks volumes.

If I were rich I would buy stock, lol.

I just wanted to share Slim’s story. If we hadn’t stumbled on that Amazon deal, I am not sure where we would be today. Thankful we stumbled on it.”

Slim the Cat

Thank you Tracie for sharing your story and we are happy to hear that Slim and Jazz are doing well on Halo!

Halo® Donation to Help Shelter Pets is Best Loved Item in Hollywood Gift Bag

Posted by & filed under #HaloFeeditForward, Donations, Freekibble, GreaterGood.org.

The 2018 Ocars

From left to right: Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer, Daniel Day-Lewis

This year’s actor nominees like Allison Janney, Denzel Washington, Margot Robbie, Timothée Chalamet and Octavia Spencer will have an opportunity to make a big difference by redeeming Halo pet food donations to feed shelter dogs and cats. The highly coveted item is part of the “Everyone Wins” nominee gift bag and has been redeemed in the past by many A-listers, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Jeff Bridges, Ethan Hawk and Samuel L Jackson.

In celebration of Hollywood’s biggest night, the Oscar® nominees in the top five categories receive a special “Everyone Wins” nominee gift bag. For the fourth consecutive year, Halo invites celebrities to make a 10,000 bowl pet food donation to an animal shelter of their choice.

“As always, we are thrilled to have Halo join us because it adds a philanthropic component to our nominee gift bag, ” said Lash Fary, the curator of the unofficial gift bags and founder of Distinctive Assets. “So many celebrities love pets and making a difference so the Halo donation to help shelter pets remains the most redeemed item in our gift bag’s history.”

Halo is proud to partner with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org to feed thousands shelter pets every year nutritious pet food through the #HaloFeeditForward campaign. Since Halo pet food is made only with real WHOLE meat never any “meat meal,” like chicken meal or by-product meal, these generous donations are often life changing for those shelter pets that receive them.

The Distinctive Assets gift bag is not affiliated with the OSCARS® or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences does not award, sponsor, endorse or provide these gift bags. As for Halo, they are just happy to support generous nominees to show the love to shelter pets!

What You Should Know About the Recent Pet Food Recalls

Posted by & filed under Pet Food Recall, Pet Nutrition.

Dave Carter, Director of Sourcing and Ingredient Stewardship for Halo, Purely for Pets

If you watch the news, you are likely concerned by the recent reports regarding the withdrawal of certain pet food products from store shelves because of food safety concerns.

First, please be aware that no Halo products are involved in any of these recalls. Additionally, I want to take this opportunity to let you know of the steps that we, at Halo, take to provide you with peace of mind regarding the quality of the meat, poultry and other ingredients that we put into each of our products that you feed your companion animal

We start with only real, whole meat and poultry. That means that we are sourcing only whole muscle meat and highly nutritious livers that were processed and prepared to be human food. Unlike most kibble pet foods, we never use any “meat meals” (like chicken meal, lamb meal, fish meal, etc.), which are rendered ingredients that are not human edible. These whole, real proteins are the foundation of our promise that Whole Meat Makes a Whole Lot of Difference™.

This difference in sourcing, using and labeling specific ingredients is very important. Many pet food ingredient labels also contain ingredients such as “animal fat,” or “meat byproducts”…terms that you will never see on a Halo product label. “Animal Fat,” is a vague term, which means that the fat could come from any variety of animals, including those that were considered inedible as human food. By contrast, you’ll see that our ingredient panel will list a specifically sourced ingredient such as “chicken fat” because that’s exactly what it is…fat from chickens…that were originally prepared and handled in facilities designed to deliver human food.

And, “meat byproduct”? That’s another vague term that represents ingredients sourced from unnamed species. Look again at a Halo ingredient panel. You will never see the word “byproduct” on any Halo ingredient list.

I hope this information is helpful to you. We want you to know that we take our responsibility to provide your loved ones with the most nutritious, digestible, high-quality ingredients on the market today.

Dave Carter
Director of Sourcing and Ingredient Stewardship

About Dave CarterDave Carter - executive director of the National Bison Association
Dave Carter studied journalism at University of Northern Colorado but found his true calling working with farmers and ranchers at the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union for 25 years. He’s now the executive director of the National Bison Association. Dave served as Chair of the USDA National Organic Standards Board during the implementation of the national organic regulations. Follow Dave at @bisondave.

Important Corrections About Flying With Your Dog

Posted by & filed under Bloggers, Pet Tips, Pet Travel, Tracie Hotchner.

Traveling with dogs

I received a most informative email today, right on the heels of the most recent podcast of the DOG TALK show in which Dr. Nick Dodman talked about the (mis)use of tranquilizers for dogs when they are traveling.

I received this detailed and well-informed rebuttal to several of the points that came up in our interview from a pet travel professional. Joe, who’d had a pet travel service for many years and transported close to 500,000 animals before selling the company, said they never had a loss or injury during that time. He wanted to dispel some of the extreme warnings made in the radio interview and thinks everyone should be reassured that there are many regulations in place to protect animals being flown.

Here are some of Joe’s points about the protections in place to fly with your dog:

  • Pet transportation regulations for both the owners and the airlines have become very tough in recent years.  Live animal compartments are inspected and verified to be in order before each flight.
  • The compartments in which the animal crates are secured are heated or air-conditioned the same as the passenger cabins;  the air is circulated to prevent air borne health issues.
  • The temperature consideration of whether an animal can be flown is not based on the live animal compartment conditions inside the plane, but rather on the outdoor temperature on the tarmac.  If the external temperatures are extreme, the airline will not allow the animals to be transported.  However, the temperature in the aircraft would nevertheless be perfectly suitable.
  • In Joe’s experience, there is only one airline that has the proper equipment for animals to travel without having concerns about temperatures on the ground, because they have climate controlled ground service equipment for the animals. That airline is United.
  • In regards to tranquilization, it is against federal law to use drugs on any animal introduced for transport, unless there is a certified licensed vet traveling with the animal. The person presenting the animal must verbally confirm and sign a statement that the animal has not been drugged.
  • If any animal dies in transit the animal will receive a necropsy.  Should they learn the animal has been drugged, US Marshals can arrest the shipper.
  • Airline employees are trained to look at the animals to check whether they are in any physical distress. For example,  a pup that has a runny nose will be rejected from the flight.   Also, each airline has emergency vets on call should they be needed.  There are also professional kennel people to care for the animals should there be travel delay etc.

Joe also pointed out there are many steps to preparing a pet to fly by having the right equipment and taking the time to introduce the pet to his crate long before flying.  My book The Dog Bible has a section on pre-flight preparations in the travel chapter like introduction to the crate and spending relaxed time in the crate at home before the flight. One of the simplest ways to do this before you know you’re going to travel is to bring the crate with a kennel pad into your living room or bedroom, prop the door open,and throw a few tasty treats in there every so often. [Halo’s beef, chicken or salmon Liv-a-Littles work really well as positive reinforcers!]

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.