Climate Change and Your Cat – How Can You Help?

Climate Change and Your Cat

Photo credit: Lil BUB

On Earth Day 2018, Lil Bub thanked Halo “for exclusively using humanely sourced protein from free-range sustainable farms,” adding, “It’s good for our pets and great for our planet.” Halo was proud to read Lil Bub’s kind words. As a mission-driven brand, Halo works hard to do what’s best for pets, people, and the planet. We’re no stranger to accolades for that work. In 2016 our Spot’s Stew won in the Best Pet Products, Food category of the Natural Child World Eco Excellence Awards. We were also finalists in the supplements and treats categories!

The accolades aren’t why we do it though. As Dave Carter, our Director of Sourcing, says in a Facebook video, “Nature’s kind of messy. Nature creates things that…are unique and individual and the more we learn to work within that system, those animals are helping to restore the soil. They’re helping to build a grassland that captures carbon and makes for a healthy ecosystem.” He added, “We just think that when you go back to that natural, that OrigiNative™ source, you’re getting a whole protein that’s healthier for us and healthier for our companion animals.”

Carbon capture is important. Jerry Melillo is an ecologist and a member of NOAA’s Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. Jerry told Energy News Network, “It’s pretty clear that climate change is not going to stop and it will be accelerating if we don’t move to a reduced carbon economy,” Jerry told Midwest Energy News, when he spoke at last year’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Scientists (AAAS).

We’ve seen some crazy weather over the past few years. As climate change continues, scientists say different types of extreme weather will become even more common. For example, some parts of the United States will see stronger and more frequent storms. Some areas will have more droughts and wildfires. Heat waves are also likely to become more common. How will all this crazy weather affect our beloved cats, and what can we do to help them – and ourselves?

Thankfully, Dr. Jason Nicholas, the Chief Medical Officer at Preventive Vet, took the time to talk with us about how these crazy weather patterns might affect our pets’ health. Dr. J, as he’s generally known, is passionate about pet health and helping pet parents better understand their furry friends.

We started by discussing the record-warm winter seasons that have been occurring, despite the late snowfalls that much of the United States has seen this spring. With warmer winters “the parasite seasons many people are used to or think exist are likely to change,” Dr. J explained. “So, ‘flea season’ is likely to start earlier and end later, and there may also be ‘unseasonal flares’ due to changing weather patterns. The same is likely for ‘tick season’ and even ‘intestinal worm season.’”

But seasons outside aren’t the only thing to think about, Dr. J said. Many of these parasites can thrive indoors and become hypobiotic — “sort of like a dormant/arrested stage.” As a result these parasites can be a problem for more of the year and make things worse.

Climae change could also lead to more infectious disease and mosquito-borne parasites. Mosquitos can easily spread diseases to cats. “From a mosquito standpoint, changing weather patterns isn’t just likely to mean longer and more erratic mosquito seasons, but it’ll also mean that places that haven’t historically had problems with disease-spreading mosquito populations are more likely to start having them.”

“Don’t forget, cats can also become infected by heartworms. They’re not just a dog problem,” Dr. J added. “In fact, it can take far fewer heartworms to cause significant disease in cats than it takes in dogs, and there’s no safe and effective treatment for heartworms in cats.” Fortunately, there are safe and effective steps to prevent heartworm infections.

In fact, in 2017 Dr. J wrote a blog post about mosquitos, heartworm disease, and cats. In it he warned that a single mosquito carrying a single worm is all that it takes to give a cat heartworm disease. Obviously keeping your cat indoors helps minimize the risk, but mosquitos can still get inside. He encourages people to do all they can to minimize mosquitos around their home. He also strongly recommends talking with your local veterinarian about the best heartworm prevention option for your individual cat based on where you live and any other parasites from which your cat or other pets may need protection.

In fact, Dr. J says talking with your veterinarian is the “biggest step” any pet parent should take in the face of these changing weather and parasite patterns. He suggests you ask about “the safest, most effective, and most comprehensive parasite prevention and treatment plan for all of the pets in [your] home,” including indoor-only cats.

With an increased risk of severe or more frequent storms, pets and their pet parents also face more risks for floods, fires, or other natural disasters. As with many parts of being a good pet parent, being prepared ahead of time is key. If you need ideas, Halo had a blog post about 7 Ways to Protect Your Pets in an Emergency just a few months ago. Dr. J also provides advice on putting together an emergency kit. People can download Preventive Vet’s Emergency and Disaster Prep eBook for free to get more ideas.

In addition to these specific steps to help your pet, you can also think about doing more to slow climate change. If greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced, some of the worst impacts of climate change could be avoided. Toward that end, scientists are studying a wide range of plans for countries and different sectors of industry to take.

People can also do a lot to deal with their own greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. Scientist Dr. Frank O’Sullivan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also spoke at the annual meeting of AAAS, “We don’t need one solution. We need a portfolio of solutions” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Choosing Halo for your pets can be part of that portfolio of solutions.

One way that many people, including Sir Paul McCartney and Oprah, enjoy reducing their carbon footprint through Meatless Mondays. Although cats are obligate carnivores who cannot eat a vegan diet, wholesome vegan food prepared especially for dogs can allow dogs to safely join in a family-wide Meatless Monday with Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan™ Dog Food kibbles or cans!

In fact, Halo,, and are even working with select shelters to help reduce their carbon paw print through Meatless Mondays for the shelter dogs! They’re supplying both Halo Vegan and Halo Whole Meat food for the dogs in the care of Second Chance Animal Shelter in Massachusetts, Humane Society of Tampa Bay in Florida, and Dutchess County SPCA in New York. Since it’s not good for animals to have one day with a completely different diet, the dogs are achieving their Meatless Monday by having 1/7th of their food each day be Halo Garden of Vegan™ dog food.

All three shelters have reported that the process is simple and making the dogs very happy. Sheryl Blancato, executive director for Second Chance Animal Shelter said, “We are excited about being part of Meatless Monday and the Halo food donation has helped save the lives of many animals. Since foregoing meat even one day per week has an impact on the environment, imagine the difference with can make with all of the dogs at an animal shelter going meatless on Monday!”

Together we can make a difference for our planet so that cats and other animals can live their very best lives now and in the future. Halo is here to do our part to make that as easy as possible.

Halo Pets

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Police dogs–rural style

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Whether your kids have two legs or four, we hope you have a wonderful and relaxing special day. Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at and Dog Blog

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National Police Week

National Police Week is May 13th – 19th. Have you hugged a K-9 today? To all police officers, but especially the K-9 handlers: have a safe week! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Friday Funny: all dressed up to go out

Hope you have someplace this special to go this weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Shelter Dogs Prepare for Royal Wedding by Barking “Here Comes the Bride”

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is just around the corner, and romantics and royal watchers of both the two- and four-legged variety are celebrating, including an array of adorable…

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Our Babe’s Hospital Stay + the Power of the New Baby Scent

This post is in partnership with Dreft. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby & Bean possible.

Those of you who have been following along for a while likely remember late in the summer of 2016, when our family went through what remains the most difficult time of our lives. For those who do not, our son Emmett, who was a 7 month old baby at the time, had started doing an occasional subtle movement (imagine a little shrug and slight head bob that looked a lot like reflux) that just seemed a little “off” to me. After a few days of this, we took him to his pediatrician who, while not overly concerned, referred us to a neurologist, just in case. Long story short, less than 24 hours later we were in the children’s hospital with a diagnosis of Infantile Spasms, a form of childhood epilepsy that is labeled as “catastrophic” and comes with a very poor prognosis for the vast majority of children who have it. There is, of course, much more to the story. But miraculously, after a week in the hospital followed by several months of intense medication and therapy, Emmett was one of the few (5-10%) who not only beat IS, but has been assessed as completely healthy and developmentally on track. You can see by the photos in this post that he is now a happy, healthy, active, fun, funny toddler, who makes my heart swell beyond words. And for this, I am filled with gratitude.

I’ve gone into more detail of Emmett’s journey with IS here on the blog, especially in the months after his initial diagnosis (if you search for “Emmett” you can find many posts about it), but today I wanted to share something I haven’t gotten into yet; and that’s the emotional experience of our time in the hospital, mainly how the power of scent (yes, scent) – specifically the scent of Dreft baby detergent – helped us cope during that heartbreaking time. Before I get more into details, I want to be completely transparent and say that while this post is in partnership with Dreft, everything I’m about to share is legitimately what happened – and Dreft just happened to play a part in it. One of the things my husband and I most remember about Emmett being separated from us in the hospital for countless MRIs, EEGs, blood tests, lumbar punctures, etc. was how the smell of his clothing and blankets – which were always washed in Dreft – brought us comfort. (In fact, after working on this campaign, we started using Dreft to wash the kids’ clothes again – specifically plant-based Dreft purtouch – because we remembered how powerful that scent was in terms of feeling comforted and bonded with Emmett. But more on that in a minute.)

After the neurologist sat us down to deliver the devastating results of Emmett’s EEG, we were instructed to go home and pack enough belongings to be in the hospital for a week. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and, as my husband describes it, going through the motions, almost as if we were watching ourselves on a movie. It was surreal. We frantically grabbed things and threw them in bags. I was mainly focused on Emmett, and packed his blankets, lovey pacifier, and other things I hoped would bring him comfort. Then we headed to the children’s hospital.

Within minutes of checking in and getting our room, a doctor and several nurses came in. We were asked countless questions and had to fill out pages of paperwork, and Emmett was sedated and whisked away for his MRI. That was one of the hardest parts of the entire experience. From the second the neurologist gave us the bad news in his office, I held Emmett. I even rode next to him in his car seat to the hospital. I was overcome with a biological urge to protect him, so having him taken from me (even for something that was in his best interest and meant to help him), was devastating. During his MRI (which took over an hour), a kind nurse encouraged us to go try to eat something. Sitting in the hospital cafeteria, force feeding myself crackers, I broke down in tears. Right in the middle of that crowded cafeteria, I ugly cried until I was gasping for air. I reached into my diaper bag for a tissue and instead grabbed one of Emmett’s muslin blankets. And as I raised it to my face, I smelled Emmett. Emmett’s clothes were always washed in Dreft, and the scent of that blanket instantly made me feel better, like he was close. I remember telling Robbie to smell it too. As silly as it sounds, that blanket brought me great comfort in that moment, and reminded me of the special bond I had with my babe, regardless of whether or not he was physically with me at that moment.

For the rest of our hospital stay, I made sure we had that blanket with us every time he was taken away. And while I mostly slept in the hospital chair holding and nursing him during the nights, when he napped in the crib and I napped on the hospital couch, I slept with it right next to me. I’m telling you guys, it was amazing how keeping that item close helped me (and my husband) feel bonded with and connected to Emmett during that time. While his comfort was obviously our number one priority, having those moments of comfort for ourselves as well genuinely helped us through one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. I’ve always known (from reading about it and from personal experience) that scent is incredibly powerful, but this was the ultimate proof. And here’s something crazy – the day we were released and took our sweet boy back home, he insisted on having the muslin blanket that I’d hijacked wrapped over him. He couldn’t talk, of course, but I imagined it was because he felt the same bond we did.

Now that I know more, when I think back to how powerful the scent of that blanket was, it all makes sense. In fact, a new survey discovered that Dreft‘s iconic scent actually helps parents feel more  bonded and connected to their little ones. (Here are some stats… 8 out of 10 parents feel that using Dreft can make them feel more bonded with their baby. 94% of parents say that the scent of Dreft reminds them of baby. And when they are apart, 87% of parents agree that the Dreft scent helps them feel more connected and closer to their little one. We are proof of this!) We were always very careful with our kids as babies when it came to scents, and preferred unscented products – but because Dreft is hypoallergenic, it is so gentle on baby’s skin, and has such a sweet, subtle scent (one that has been specifically formulated to resemble the indescribable smell of babyhood), we purposefully chose it over unscented detergents. I actually got my first bottle of Dreft at my baby shower while pregnant with my first, and after it was recommended to me by so many friends and family (and I learned that it was the #1 dermatologist recommended detergent for baby clothes and the #1 pediatrician recommended baby detergent!), it was a no brainer to use it. The fact that Dreft has been created exclusively for babies to take care of their delicate clothes and fabrics for more than 80 years is pretty darn reassuring too. And I mean really – if a detergent can make us feel bonded, nostalgic, happy, tearful and grateful just by smelling a load of laundry, I am in.

As I mentioned earlier, since starting work on this campaign, we’ve been using Dreft again, specifically Dreft purtouch, which was introduced last year. It is a 65% plant-based baby detergent that is hypoallergenic and made with naturally-derived ingredients to be gentle on skin. It still has that special scent we love, and gently yet effectively cleanses (removing up to 99% of baby stains, which is mandatory with a toddler). It’s really nice to have it back around the house again, as we share new (and, thankfully, much less intense) bonding moments with our little ones.

To this day, both Emmett and I love that special blanket, by the way. I am constantly reminded (especially now that we wash it in Dreft again) of how it bonded us during the most challenging time. I’ll never throw it away.

Do you have any special scents that help you feel connected to your little ones? Who else is a Dreft fan?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Best Dog Breeds For Families With Kids

Almost 75 million dogs have been adopted into homes that already owned at least one dog. Multi-dog homes are often good for families with kids. There are other dogs to play with so a dog is not expecting constant attention from your children, or you, all the time, and there is always another dog to play with when the family …
Dog’ Blog

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Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

Thank you Village Harvest for sponsoring this post. Every day Village Harvest is planting seeds of change and growing possibilities, one bag of goodness at a time.

Pssst… You can shop the image above! Just hover over it and click.

Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

There is little in this world I enjoy eating more than Thai food. (Okay, tacos too, but you’ve seen enough recipes here involving those.) And when it comes to Thai food, I almost always go for curries. (Side note: red curry was the first dinner I ever made for my now husband, almost 12 years ago. Awww.)  Lucky for me, everyone in my family (even the 2 year old) loves Thai curry dishes too. Not so lucky for me, these dishes usually require quite a bit of time and ingredients to prepare. You guys know me – I do not enjoy extravagant, time consuming recipes. So sadly, red curry was, for a long time, something I only made on special occasions (and never on weeknights). Recently though, I found a way to make a truly delicious version of vegetarian Thai red curry that only requires a handful of ingredients and takes about 20 minutes to prepare. It’s so easy and so good that it’s become a regular weeknight dinner around here. If you like curry dishes, I think you’ll love it as much as we do.

Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry
Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

Serves 2-4

1 cup Village Harvest Origins Collection Organic Coconut Tumeric Brown Jasmine Rice
package extra firm tofu, cubed*
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2 cups broccoli florets (you can also use cauliflower, or really any veggie you have on hand)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons. garlic powder
lime (for juice)
basil (for topping)
hot sauce or red pepper flakes (optional)

(I’ll preface the instructions by saying that you can easily prepare your tofu right before you eat this, but I like doing it in advance. In fact, I usually buy a couple of packages, prepare them, and keep them covered in the fridge. Then when I make this red curry, I just throw them in the sauce which makes the entire dish take about 10 minutes to make.)

Begin by pressing the water out of the tofu block and cutting into cubes. (Or, if you really want to save time, buy it already cubed like I do.) Heat some coconut oil or olive oil in a large skillet (enough to coat the tofu without being too greasy) and pan fry the tofu over medium high heat until brown on all sides, adding a little salt as you go. Once tofu is read, either place into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until you use it, or continue to the next step while the tofu is cooking. In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to a low simmer. Add red curry paste, brown sugar, and garlic powder and stir until combined. Add broccoli florets and tofu and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. While this is cooking, heat the Village Harvest Organic Coconut Tumeric Brown Jasmine Rice in the microwave for 90 seconds. Pour rice into bowls, top with curry sauce, squeeze a little lime on top each bowl and top with basil (or Thai basil). Enjoy!

Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry
Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

This red curry is super simple and so fast to make, but incredibly delicious. And that’s why it’s truly  the perfect quick weeknight meal to prepare for my family. Preparing the tofu in advance and keeping it in the fridge eliminates so much time for me, but the real time-saver is the Coconut Turmeric Brown Jasmine Rice from Village Harvest’s new Origins Collection. This collection features authentic recipes from India and Thailand that can be served alone or prepared in endless ways, and that are all organic and non-GMO, 100% whole grain, and gluten free. And they’re not just rice – they’re recipes. So you can serve them alone as tasty side dishes, or as part of recipes like this one. Best of all, they’re microwavable and ready in 90 seconds. (This is huge!) My favorite for curry dishes if the Coconut Tumeric (Thailand), but I genuinely love all of the other varieties they offer as well: Basmati & Lentil (India), Lemon Rice (India), Tikka Masala (India), and Thai Green Curry (Thailand). Village Harvest Origins is truly a smart and simple meal solution that you can bring to life in 90 seconds. If you’re anything like me and love delicious Thai (and India!) dishes but don’t have the time to prepare them on the regular, I highly suggest giving this collection a try. And let me know what you think.

Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

Any other red (or yellow, or green – I love them all) curry fans out there? What’s your favorite type of Thai food?

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Pet Food Recall: OC Raw Dog, LLC RECALLS one lot of Chicken, Fish & Produce

The FDA reports on a possible health risk:

OC Raw Dog, LLC of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, is recalling approximately 1,560 lbs of Chicken, Fish & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation which was manufactured on 10/11/2017 with a lot number 3652 and a use by date of 10/11/18. We are voluntarily recalling because of potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause severe and potentially fatal infection in animals consuming the pet food, and the humans that handle the pet food and surfaces exposed to the product. Pets can be carriers of the bacteria and infect humans, even if the pets do not appear to be ill. Short-term symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to Listeria monocytogenes infections, which can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves and their pets for symptoms.

Lot # 3652 of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was shipped to the following states with the following associated volume with the intent to sell to Independent Specialty Retailers and in turn sold to Consumers. California – 356 lbs., Colorado – 153 lbs., Florida – 195 lbs., Maryland – 320 lbs., Minnesota – 429 lbs., Pennsylvania – 78 lbs. and Vermont – 30 lbs.

This lot of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was made into 3 lb. Meaty Rox Bags, 4 lb. Slider Bags, 6.5 lb. Doggie Dozen Patty Bags and 7 lb. Meaty Rox Bags. All of which have been marked with a lot number of 3652 and a USE BY DATE of 10/11/18. Each bag has this information on a sticker located on the back lower left corner of the bag.

Product Package Nt. Wt. UPC No. Bar Code
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox 3 lb. 022099069171 Barcode--1
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Sliders 4 lb. 095225852640 Barcode--2
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Dozen Patty Bag 6.5 lb. 022099069225 Barcode--3
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox 7 lb. 095225852756 Barcode--4

To date there have been no reported illnesses of dogs, cats or persons in any connection with this product. The contamination is still under investigation.

OC Raw was notified by the FDA of the contamination after it was reported that New Jersey Department of Food and Agriculture tested the product and found it to be positive.

The same lab who conducted the tests for Listeria also tested for Salmonella on our 3 lb. bag of Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox and the test was negative. In addition to the OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce tests the lab conducted tests for OC Raw Dog Pumpkin Rox for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella and the results were negative.

OC Raw Dog is a family owned and managed by passionate dog enthusiasts who take very seriously the safety and wellbeing of its consumers and clients. We are dedicated to producing a quality product that is safe. We are taking this contamination very seriously and have sent multiple samples of machines, utensils, packaging equipment and freezers to insure there is no contamination at our facility. We have also sent several individual ingredients to insure we are using safe ingredients and the food we produce is done so in a safe environment. All samples have returned negative for listeria.

There was product at two of the seven distribution locations. The product has been pulled from inventory and destroyed. It is possible there might be a few bags at retailers or at home with consumers. We strongly urge anyone who has purchased OC Raw Dog’s Chicken, Fish & Produce to check the lot number.

Consumers who have purchased product with lot 3652 are urged to return it to the Retailer where it was purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-844-215-DOGS Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm PST.

PetsitUSA Blog

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