Hello. I’ve been on this site before for the dog food reviews, but this is my first time posting. My dog has a condition called toxoplasmosis. For those of you who are unfamiliar with toxoplasmosis, it is a parasite that lives on the brainstem and causes swelling which result in seizures or seizure like symtoms (shaking, twitching, ect). After hearing about how The Honest Kitchen has helped reduce seizure activity in dogs with epilepsy, I decided to try it out for my dog. I started feeding it to my dog in November and not only is he having less seizure symptoms, but he no longer suffers from chronic itching and soft stools/gas, plus he’s shedding way less.
So it sounds like he should be doing awesome now, right? One difference I’ve noticed that has me concerned is that he’s constantly wanting to be fed. Now don’t get me wrong, he has always begged for food pretty often, even when no one is in the kitchen or eating. But now it seems like he begs way more. He even stops playing after just a few minutes to go sit by the spot where we put his food bowl for meals. He’s a Jack Russell/Rat terrier mix and normally has all the energy Jack Russells are know for having- he’s a total adrenaline junkie and will play for long periods of time before losing interest or getting tiered. Now I can’t decide if his energy level is off, or if he’s just feeling really hungry. He isn’t as playful and goofy as usual. Could it be that The Honest Kitchen isn’t filling him up enough? He is eating the grain free beef recipe called Love. It’s high in fiber, but lower in protein so perhaps it doesn’t give him the fuel he needs to get through the day? Has anyone else who has fed this food had a similar experience?
This is the first food that has helped his digestion problems and chronic itching, but it still doesn’t seems to be right for him. Does anyone have suggestions for alternative foods? Thank you!
How old is the dog? I ask because I recently lost a small breed at the age of 16, for the last 2-3 years he was showing signs of dementia. He LOVED to eat, and I think he often forgot that he just had a meal. So, what worked to keep him comfortable was 3-4-5 small meals per day plus a bedtime snack.
I would consider consulting a specialist, a veterinary neurologist, maybe a little prescription medication would help? Maybe some more testing, after all, epilepsy is a neurological disorder.
I doubt changing foods would make much difference, although, I would avoid unnecessary additives, chemicals, supplements and such.
Maybe a grain free limited ingredient kibble as a base, you can presoak the kibble in water or plain chicken broth, it helps them consume enough water plus the kibble swells up and they think they are getting more 🙂
I feed this too. We have Embark and the base mix Kindly. Could your doggie just love it so much more than his old food that he wants more? How’s his weight? Sometimes I top the Embark off with boiled turkey. Are you following the directions to feed more for high energy dogs? Jacks definitely are high energy. Their gudielines for feeding are just guidelines. Maybe you can sneak in a Kong filled with food for more calories and energy. Since it is high in fiber I have to be careful with over feeding. I will give them sweet potatoes on the side or more meat. I don’t know which foods are highest in calories but that’s something to look into. Mine have more gas on this sometimes and they haven’t in the last on other foods! And I don’t like the garlic in some of the mixes even though I’ve been assured they are fine in small doses I have one that is 5lbs so I worry. My girl begs for those treats they make called Pecks. It’s really bad and borderline annoying.
I would never add water to kibble. Ever. Or their food for that matter unless it’s deydrated and a must. It can cause bloat and also adding water exacerbates acid reflux. If they need more water make a broth and give as a treat but not with their food.
I have been doing it (adding water/presoaking kibble) for many years with my vet’s approval, excellent results. Especially if you want to avoid struvite and bladder stones.
I guess it depends on the dog, that’s why it is important to find a vet that you trust and go by his recommendations that are specific to your dog, the dog he has examined, checked annual labs, etc.
I’m glad it’s working for you. I have researched this topic a lot lately because I was dealing with a dog with something I thought was bloat and also reflux. I was adding a little more water to his food because his labs showed possible dehydration. It’s just something for people to be aware of. It can potentially cause bloat, especially if you have a German Shepherd in particular. But larger breeds in general are prone to bloat. Mine are tiny and they aren’t exempt. If anyone’s noticing their dog coughing and or burping food after adding water to it it’s probably not agreeing with them.
Bloat is idiopathic, therefore no matter if you do “all the right things” your dog can still bloat. I know a couple who has had one dog bloat 3 times despite a slow feed dish, 3 smaller meals a day and all the other steps they took to prevent it. Adding water to their kibble will not suddenly cause bloat, nor will NOT adding water help reduce the risk for bloat.
Geez settle down people. Exercising with a full tummy can cause bloat as can a too full a tummy which can and not always will happen with adding water.
I am seeing two vets. An IM and a regular. Both have told me this.
Hi my Patch keep waiting in kitchen near the food cupboard to be feed again when he had his acid reflux… he was put on Losec an ant acid reducer & his diet was changed (no grains) & touch wood he’s all good again until I feed a something that causes him to get his acid reflux…Have you tried feeding something else & see does this continue? have a look at the Zeal (fish) the protein is a bit higher, the fat is lower at 8.5% & the fiber is 5.8% isn’t as high as the Love is & feed 4 smaller meals a day & feed the same time everyday….. can you cook? peel & boil sweet potatoes & buy 1kg (2lbs) of lean grounded beef mince, I make beef rissoles baked in the oven, I add 1 whisk egg, finally cut up about 1/2 cup broccoli no stems, peel & grate 1 small carrot, 1 teaspoon finally cut up parsley mix all together & make 1 cup size rissoles, put on a foil lined baking tray & bake in oven then about 15mins when 1/2 cooked take them out rissoles & drain any excess water/fat & turn them all over then bake till cooked, boil some peeled & cut up sweet potatoes cool & freeze the rissoles & sweet potatoes then take out the day before & thaw in fridge & feed the next day, do this for 3 days & see is he still acting hungry….
I was feeding Sunday Pets, a New Zealand dehydrated dry big biscuits, Patch loved them but I think cause they were higher in fat & I was adding water cause they were dehydrated they swelled up when water was added, then it was causing his acid reflux to come back again, something wasn’t agreeing with him but he kept eating & wanting them, the nut……
It’s hard to tell when they get acid reflux, they can’t talk & tell us, some dogs start licking & licking their lips & swallowing, Patch grinds his teeth & makes weird mouth expressions & he gets his toys/balls & bites & bites & shakes them… the only way to know is feed something else that’s lower in fat for a few days & stop the Honest Kitchen & see does he stop doing what he’s doing….
Susan it never occurred to me that chewing things they shouldn’t could be due to pain, as in reflux. I knew they would maybe lick or chew paws. That could explain one of my boys acting out. So when your dog has reflux he wants more food?
I have zeal. I got it because the fiber is so high in the two I have and wanted to see if zeal is easier on them. I will say it is hard to soften and I have found grinding it before adding water is much better. hope this helps the original poster. And maybe since your baby seems to have lost his mojo maybe the food has too much fiber? Could you experiment with ratios as they say you can on the box? Maybe doggy needs a supplement. Mine was so low in b12 so we have a tech give him injections and I supplement with folate (also low).
Hi Susie, yes Patch was also licking & licking his front paws after eating, I forgot about that, when I first got him he had skin problems, food sensitivities & environment allergies & was put on vet diet Royal Canin HP, the fat was really high at 19% & only 18% protein, then he got real bad acid reflux but I didn’t know back then what was wrong with him, his first vet was an idiot, Patch started wrecking his toys, shaking, chewing & ripping them, then a new vet said sounds like he’s in pain & Patch ended up with Pancreatitis from the vet diet R/C was too high in fat, 1 yr later we thought he had stomach ulcers he was still having acid reflux, chewing, ripping toys & whining while lying on his stomach & hungry 24/7, so I had an Endoscope & Biopsies done, when I picked Patch up from vets, vet said stomach looked really good & there’s no ulcers, I said but we still have the 2 biopsies, when will the results be back, I bet it’s Helicobacter-Pylori, I’ve had the Helicobacter-Pylori bacteria a few times & you feel so hungry 24/7 when the acid gnaws at your stomach, so you keep wanting to eat to take away the burning pain but 20mins after eating your in pain again with bad acid burning & gnawing in your stomach….& I was soaking Patches vet diet for IBD in water cause he’s a gulper with food & was gulping his kibble in 5-10 seconds, vet said just add water to his kibble, again I didn’t know until I read an article a few years ago around the same time those new stop gulping food bowls started coming out, the article said, why adding water with kibble can be a bad thing, especially if the kibble hasn’t soften yet, the dog gulps up the water & gulps air trying to get to his dry kibbles….years ago they were saying add water to your dogs kibble it was suppose to slow dogs eating down that gulped their food….then I was softening all his kibbles & draining all the water out as much as I could & making it like wet tin food with his dry vet diet.. I just knew something wasn’t right after Patch ate the kibble with water, he was burping, farting whinging after eating, he got worse….Those go slow food bowls didn’t work either for Patch he couldn’t get the small kibbles out cause of his big fat snout, then he was gulping air again trying to lick up the little kibbles, so now I just add a few kibbles at a time to his normal stainless steel bowl & tell him to chew, then when he’s has chewed all the kibbles I add more kibbles to his bowl & his bowl is on a stand level with his stomach…
It’s taken me 3-4 yrs to finally find foods that work, stop him itching, licking, whinging & have no acid reflux, that Helicobacter is very hard to kill, high fiber diets are no good, you need low carb, low fiber diets & no sugar diets, the fat can be around 15%max & no fish/salmon oil in food but all dogs are different it all depends on your dog…..
Thank you to all of you for your thoughtful replies! I definitely have some things to think about!
anon101: My little guy is about 4 and a half. We don”t know his exact age because we rescued him a little over a year and a half ago. I considered feeding him part kibble and part THK and even started adding some of his Acana that we had on hand into it, but his gas came back immediately even though I gave less than 1/4 cup of kibble and i just gave up on it. I’ve yet to find a kibble that worked well for his tummy. Probiotics and pumpkin helped, but not enough to satisfy me.
I’m sorry to hear about the dog you lost. It’s heart breaking to lose a beloved pet.
Susie: We started him out on 1 1/4 cups per day, fed in the morning and evening. He was at the vet in December for a UTI and his weight was just a pound under his normal weight. Now we’re feeding him 1 1/2 cups and he’s 18 pounds which is normal for him. The vet says his weight is perfect. He gets a kong 2-3 days a week, usually with peanut butter. I will look ito some other ways to fill it that might be better for him. Thanks for the suggestion!
Susan: I have a box of the Zeal to try once the Love is used up. Hopefully it will work better for him. I’ve never considered the idea that a dog could have acid reflux. He does often do a swallowing thing after he eats, but he tends to gobble down his food too quickly, so that may be why. I think I will talk to my vet about feeding something home cooked for a few days like you suggested and see how he does. Thanks for the recipe! Paw chewing/licking has been a big problem for him in the past, but he hasn’t been doing it for the last couple of months. His paws look so much better.
Thanks Jessica and Susan! Susan, I guess fish oil can cause heartburn. Is that why it’s not always good?
Jessica, I have been experimenting with handfeeding Max versus letting him gobble food down and he is way better when I make him eat slowly out of a spoon or my fingers. It definitely can cause gi troubles. I’ve been dealing with max and his inflammatory bowel disease for a while now and hand feeding helps. While I’m scared of drugs, I am giving Max the lowest dose Pepcid (per vets) every 24 hours. Wow if I don’t give it to him he coughs and regurgitates. The reflux is real. With the Honest kitchen I’ve also found it is better for max if I don’t make it too soupy. It comes back up the esophagus too easily. Just telling you these random things in case it can help you. Also I grind it in a coffee grinder before making it and let it sit over night in the fridge. The ladies from THk told me to do this for better digestion. I don’t like to give mine peanutbutter because of the sugar. I wouldn’t but a lot of people do. Just think it can feed the bacteria in their gut. Also consider a probiotic. I guess I’m off track. Maybe your kiddo just really loves the food and wants more! I’m kinda a psycho dog momma and I soak my dogs’ paws in a large Rubber bin after walks. I use diluted vinegar or diluted providing iodine to clean their feet. I am hoping it is why they don’t really have paw issues. And I agree that mine stopped ictching on THK but it is probably because we stopped chicken at the same time.
Thanks for the tips Susie. I switched my dog, very slowly, to THK Zeal to see how he’d do. He has barley gotten up off the couch the last couple of days. The only change has been the food. It has been awhile since he’s been 100% himself and the vet hasn’t found anything wrong with him. I don’t think THK is really right for him, unfortunately. I’m tempted to try homemade food, but time and kitchen space are limited for me, so I’m really on the fence.
Jessica, have you thought about using one of their meatless pre-mixes and adding protein (cooked or raw) on your own? It’s not for everyone but I know of a few people who do this and love it. They can feed “real” food without having to worry about all the balancing (and time prep if you’re going for cooked.)
One girl I know who feeds this way also keeps a few cans of wellness (the 95% meat variety) to add to the premix if and when she forgets to buy or thaw or cook meat. It’s a nice middle ground for those who want to do a home prepared diet but are unable to at the moment.
I have, but then I noticed that it is even higher in fiber. I’m worried it will be too much for him. Does anyone know of any other brands that make a premix like THK that I could look into? Thanks for all of your input by the way!
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