newtraciepic2I wanted to dance a little jig today when I learned that an old friend of mine (he’s literally old, too – a very vibrant 80 years old!), was inspired by listening to THE EXPERT VET to put his own 12-year-old Lab Maverick on Halo’s Healthy Weight food.

Bob heard me on the show, discussing with Dr. Donna how the Halo Healthy Weight Challenge was helping Levi the Pug in South Dakota to take off some unhealthy pounds before his vet would agree to do a sight-saving eye surgery on him.

(And BTW, Kimberly has been doing such a terrific job with Levi that he has slowly, steadily and forever lost ounces every week, so that he has a lovely waistline now. And she appreciated getting three months of of the kibble for free from Halo, along with cans of Halo Spot’s Stew). (Please let us know if you’d like to be our next participant by writing me to

I had invited Bob to propose Maverick for the Halo Challenge, because Maverick had gotten up to 92 lbs (yes, this is possible for even a well-meaning large dog owner – I know because several years ago I unwittingly plumped up my own Weimaraner Scooby-Doo to 101 lbs before I came to my senses, put him on Healthy Weight Management food, and got him down to 82 lbs).
Bob was concerned about Maverick’s weight and how it would compromise his quality of life as an older dog. He even had to buy a ramp for his car because Maverick could no longer get himself up onto the seat. But Bob knew himself and said he wasn’t going to be good about making a list for Dr. Donna of everything he was feeding Maverick, or do a weekly weigh-in.

Instead, he went out and bought the Halo Weight Management food and substituted it for the dry food he had been feeding. He continued doing everything else the same, even giving snacks and treats he knew might work against him.

Lo and behold Maverick had to be weighed today, when he went into the vet to have surgery to remove a nasty growth from his elbow, and he as down to 74 lbs! Bob knew that the food had slimmed Maverick down and made a huge improvement in the old Lab’s daily life, because Maverick had begun to jump right over that ramp and into the car on his own!

The moral of the story is that old dogs – human and canine – can learn new tricks! Most of our dogs are overweight- much more than we’d care to realize or admit! – and we really don’t have to do anything more complicated than substitute our current kibble for the Healthy Weight management to be able to win our own little personal battle of the bulge!
Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.

She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.