Forum Replies Created
Shrub, glad to hear everything is back to normal. Since you were able to add the bone broth back without any problems, you just may need to take it slow.
Since you mentioned Dr. Harveys’s, are you going to be trying the Vibrance mix for raw food?
Anon , NO that was not specific to my dog or examination. The vet said that when dogs get diarrhea it can cause them to strain and it is not uncommon to see blood in the stool as a result.
I do know what the OP’s case is because I read the message, unlike you who thought the problem was from RAW food. You do not have to go to veterinary school to know that when you feed a dog too much of a new food, they will get diarrhea. Please quit attacking me when I post a message.
Shrub, I am not a raw feeder, but have experienced what you are going through when my girls were eating food without probiotics. I believe you just added too much too fast and your girl’s digestive tract needs time to adjust, and like you said just do it more slowly. I have used kefir in the past with good results and since you used Answers bone broth, you may want to try their goat milk. I have heard a lot of people say they had better results with goat milk. Also, you may want to try adding a little raw, instead of cooked. It is my understanding cooking kills off the digestive enzymes that come from raw.
BTW, when I had problems, my vet told me a little blood in the stool when they have diarrhea is not uncommon, and as long as it goes away after a digestive upset not a problem, as in your case.
Shrub, since you are feeding FULLY COOKED meat and NOT RAW, this clearly has nothing to do with raw meat. Was the bone broth also chicken? Your dog could have developed a sensitivity to chicken but if she has been eating the same food for awhile her digestive tract may not have the gut bacteria to handle additional foods.
What percentage of her regular food did you replace with the cooked chicken? Is she eating a food with probiotics?
“I discovered he is Very allergic to salmon”
Is he actually allergic to salmon or did it give him acid reflux?
I am not familiar with the ingredients or GA of Kirklands but if the salmon oil made the acid reflux worse, it is probably due to the amount of fat you added to his diet. I would suggest that you try a limited ingredient diet with lower fat than the Kirklands. I found that Natural Balance LID’s are a good starting point when trying to determine food issues since they are lower fat and less ingredients than many of the other LID’s. If I recall correctly, TOTW does have some lower fat formulas but more ingredients.
Also, I would not soak the kibble in anything. Too much moisture can make acid reflux worse. If you want to offer bone broth on the side, wait a few days and see how he is on the new kibble before introducing anything else new.
“The problem is that the puppy just wont eat her new food. I tried the 20% new, 80% old trick but she just picks the old food and eats, or even if by mistake she picks the new ones, just throws it out! ”
Listen to your puppy. When a dog does not want to eat a food they are telling you that something in it does not agree with them. Stay on the food that agrees with her and then if you are intent on changing foods, look for something with similar ingredients, fat content, fiber content and protein percentage.
There is nothing wrong with changing foods if you feel it is food related. If this started with the last brand of food you are feeding, I would look to see if there are ingredients in this brand that were not in previous brands. I would also go back to a brand where there were not issues to test your theory.
If your beagle is eating food with 4% fiber and you increase to 6% or 9%, you will see an increase in the amount and frequency of poos and possibly diarrhea. I would look for an adult food that has around 4% fiber and start with that one first. Unless your dog is having digestive issues, there is no reason to increase the fiber that much at once.
I agree with you that 4 Health is high in potato and peas, and definitely not limited ingredient, but it is kind of a middle ground with what you are currently feeding. Fish meal is in a lot of foods now, so fish is only novel if your dog has neve been exposed to any form of it. To me, the bigger concern about fish is the number of containments it has. After you get Atlas onto another food, then try other proteins.
A lot of people have good success with ProPlan and that is why I am considering it. The Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach (I think that is the one you are referring to) is basically fish and grains, so it is more of a limited ingredient food than 4 Health. You are correct, it has prebiotics and no probiotics. If you go with ProPlan buy a probiotic to supplement with. I prefer the ones that come in powder form rather than capsules.
I looked at the Diamond Naturals, and I personally think lentils are as much or more of a problem than peas. The 4 Health Salmon & Potato (also has barley and millet) seems like a better food to me. The 4 Health Whitefish & Potato Grain Free has more peas than American Journey. I just noticed that AJ has beet pulp and FOS for prebiotics, so that could be another reason Atlas did better with it. All the 4 Health foods have pre/probiotics. I believe I saw on the Reviews side that Diamond manufactures the 4 Health food for TSC. Also, Diamond has a sensitive food like the 4 Health–it may be the same one.
I did look at the limited ingredient foods, and all the ones I found were basically as high as NB or higher.
I too am concerned with the FDA warning and think it needs to be taken very seriously. There is a lady on DFA who was feeding her pup Zignature Zssentials and its taurine level was below critical. I now have my allergy girl on a grain inclusive food, and I am going to start working on trying to find a food for the other one. I am thinking of trying ProPlan or 4 Health for her.
Cooking legumes at home is a different process and that will not help as to whether he can handle them in a kibble. I personally would go with a food that has no more than one legume, and you may want to consider a grain inclusive food. His gut is in a different place now than when you had all the trouble previously. When you do start to transition again, if he starts to get soft, I would also add a good pet probiotic with prebiotics and see if that makes any difference.
The full name for FOS is fructooligosaccharides which is what AJ identifies it by. Other common ingredients that are prebiotics are inulin (chicory root) and beet pulp. Some dogs with gut issues seem to do better with FOS than inulin or beet pulp and that is why I asked about the other foods you tried.
When you see an ingredient that ends in “fermentation product” it is a probiotic. Whatever proceeds that is the particular strain of bacteria. Some foods might have 1 strain whereas others may have 5 or 6 or more. The different strains of bacteria have separate functions in the gut. Right now Atlas only has the strains of bacteria in his gut to handle what he is eating and when you add the new food that is why his poo gets soft.
I think it would help to supplement with a probiotic that contains prebiotics when you start adding new food, but not while Atlas is just eating the NB. I don’t remember if I mentioned this before or not, but when I was feeding my girls NB, one was getting probiotics everyday along with her food, but when NB discontinued the formula I was feeding, I could not add 4 kibbles of a new food without it giving her diarrhea. I ended up putting her on kefir and some fresh food in addition to the probiotic. My other girl I had to add a prebioitic/probiotic combination in addition to the new kibble with probiotics. Neither one of the girls had trouble transitioning to new foods prior to feeding the NB for several months. This is why I said that I don’t think it has the right components to build a healthy gut.
I’ll go through some ingredient lists and get back with you on the brands. I don’t know that any of the limited ingredients foods are going to be any cheaper, but I do think you need to add another food to help build his gut bacteria.
Good to see you post again. Another post made me think about Atlas the other day and I was wondering how he was doing. DFA rates foods by the amount of protein, and because the NB LID formulas are lower protein, that is why they get a 3 star rating not because they are not a good food.
“Maybe I need to focus on fiber content? Or fat content? Or something I’m not thinking of altogether?”
The issue still lies in his gut bacteria. Amercian Journey is higher fiber, higher fat, contains peas and chickpeas, but it also has fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which is a good prebiotic plus a probiotic. As I mentioned before Natural Balance does not contain prebiotics or probiotics, and in my experience does not have the necessary components to build gut health even though it is easily digestible.
Have you compared the ingredient lists between the other foods you tried? Did any of the others contain a prebiotic and probiotics, specifically FOS? Since you mentioned he did better with AJ than the other foods, then gradually adding a food that contains FOS for several months would be my next move. I personally don’t think that adding psyllium husks will help. There are several brands of kibble that contain FOS if you do not want to use AJ because of the legumes.
Just wanted you both to know I find your conversation very worthwhile and interesting. I am keeping positive thoughts for both of you. Both my girls have been on foods with potatoes and or peas all of their lives (over 6 years) and I need to find out if taurine was included in their most recent bloodwork. I may be following down your same path soon and it is nice to know I have somewhere to get support if needed.
Neither, the calculator requires kcals per cup and the two you mentioned are for a kilogram and the can of food. (Calculator use to have option for kcals/kg)You will need to figure out how many cups of food are in the can and go from there.
All the Wellness kibbles contain probiotics so you can rule it out. It seems that a lot of dogs with allergies do not tolerate kibbles with probiotics or digestive enzymes. My allergy girl can only tolerate a small amount of kibble with probiotics and she does not tolerate any food with FOS (fructooligosaccharides) prebiotics whether it has probiotics or not.
I think the acid reflux is probably due to the condition of his gut right now. I feed THK base mixes, and my girl will get acid reflux if there is too much fat in her food-she does not tolerate fish oil at all on THK. You may want to try a little Kindly base mix and add your own turkey and see how he does. The base mixes are not ground as fine as the complete mixes, such as Embark, and I hydrate those a lot longer, 4 to 12 hours.
I had was giving my girl probiotics for over a year and mentioned to the vet that I did not think they were helping her, and he suggested adding the kefir. I took her off the pet probiotics when I could not add 3 kibbles to her food without getting diarrhea, and then added kefir and had no problems at all transitioning to another kibble. (She does better with a few kibbles mixed into the THK).
Since the THK is bothering him right now, and he tolerates potatoes and sweet potatoes, you may want to try a little of that with the turkey. White potato has less soluble fiber than sweet potatoes and might be a good choice. I strongly suspect the squash and oatmeal are too much for his system.
Have you tried the Wellness Simple Turkey or Natural Balance Duck and Potato?
With the journey I have been through with my girl, I definitely know what it is like to feel defeated and ready to give up–every time I get a good combination that is working formulas are changed or discontinued. I don’t know that I will have any answers for you but can help get you pointed in the direction to head.
The pain meds could be the source of his change in appetite. You might want to ask the vet about that too.
I know what it is like to go through food issues and it can be really hard to find the right combination that will help your boy. The best place to start is to determine which foods he has done a little better on and which ones the worse. I use to keep logs of the ingredients and GA on how my girl reacted to everything and that is where I was finally able to find a link.
You said your boy has had diarrhea for 4 months–has he been eating the turkey, squash and oatmeal mixture during all that time? That mixture is high in soluble fiber, and the Royal Canin Ultamino and Gastro foods are also high in soluble fiber along with having prebiotics in them. If your boy is sensitive to soluble fiber, all these foods would make him worse. The Farmina Digestive is also very high in soluble fiber along with prebiotics so this food will probably give the same results as the Royal Canin food.
Has he been eating the THK Embark during the past 4 months and what were the results when he ate that food?
Have you tried any other carbs with the home cooked turkey?
Have you tried any limited ingredient kibbles in the past and if so, which ones?
Right now with the condition his gut is in, you are going to need to go very slow with trying to introduce any kibbles. You may want to try adding a teaspoon of plain kefir to each meal when you do another transition.
All the various brands of canned food I have looked at show the Kcal/kg and the Kcal/can of food. The above poster did not explain clearly what Kcal/Kg is–it is the amount of kcals in a kilogram. In the example you posted, 860 kcal is for 1 kilogram (1000 grams) of food. If there is 311 kcals in the can it would contain around 361 grams (aprox 12.9 ozs –28 grams in an oz.). If you are feeding your girl 3.3 oz twice a day, that is aprox 159 calories in canned food from the example. If you are feeding Canidae lamb, turkey and chicken it is 1200 Kcal/kg so she would be getting around 270 calories a day with treats which sounds about right.
Hope this clarifies kcal/kg and good luck with your babies.
Both of those products also have digestive enzymes so they would have made him worse. My allergy girl is like this and I understand what you are going through. She also does not tolerate probiotics that have a prebiotic in them either.
I have been able to use plain Heartguard with only a slight increase in itchiness for a couple of days, and use Advantage topical every other month for fleas.
SeaMeal contains digestive enzymes and that is what made your boy much worse. Zignature is a dense food, not as easily digestible and does not contain probiotics-this is why he does better on it. You are going to need to stay away from anything that makes food more digestible.
What other supplements have you tried?
Since she is pooping a lot and not gaining weight, your vet may think she is having trouble digesting the food she has been eating. Natural Balance is limited ingredient and easy to digest, and that is probably why it was recommended to see if it makes a difference.
As haleycookie mentioned, the only accurate way to determine food allergies/sensitivities is through an elimination diet and Hill’s ZD is the perfect food to start that with. If your vet did not discuss with you, then for 12 weeks only feed the Hill’s ZD with absolutely no other food. If you need to give treats then use the kibble, or buy the ZD treats. After 12 weeks and no issues, then slowly introduce a new food to see is there is a reaction. This is how a proper elimination diet is done so please discuss this with your vet. If you can find foods where there is not a reaction, then you will have other choices, but do the full 12 weeks before considering adding another food.
Hi GAby R
I hope you are still here because everyone on here is not rude and am sorry what you had to experience-I have been subjected to that myself.
I just wanted to say that the symptoms you have described can most definitely be caused by food especially a higher fat food like Instinct. I would suggest trying a food with lower fat.March 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm in reply to: Any real difference among Merrick's 3 brands beyond their price? #112108 Report Abuse
Compare the ingredient list and the GA for all the foods and you will see the difference. Whole Earth is a lower protein food and therefore has less of the named protein, such as chicken, and uses the meal form of the protein as the top ingredient rather than the actual chicken. Merrick and Castor and Pollux have more of the chicken which is more expensive than the chicken meal. They probably use the same ingredients for all the lines, (except Organix) just vary quantities of protein.
My girl used to get yeast infections in her ears every 3 or 4 months until I switched from the prescription drops and cleansers my vet and dermatologist were prescribing to Zymox ear products. I used the otic solution for 1 week to get rid of the yeast and have since been using the ear cleanser on a regular basis to keep her ears clean and healthy, like crazy4cats does. It has been over 2 years now without a reoccurrence of the yeast.February 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm in reply to: French Bulldog Puppy – Dry food suggestions – Please help #111298 Report Abuse
Since your boy had problems digesting his previous kibble and now the Organix kibble, but yet responds well to home cooked food, I would suggest you consider adding canned food to his kibble to see how he does. Get one that can be fed alone and not just supplemental so that it will be balanced and work up to a 50/50 dry and wet.February 22, 2018 at 12:41 pm in reply to: French Bulldog Puppy – Dry food suggestions – Please help #111244 Report Abuse
The food you are currently feeding does not appear to have potatoes so there is no reason to rule out an ingredient that you are not feeding.
Do you know what your puppy was eating when you brought him home and was his stool soft then? Was there a reason you chose to go grain free. Is there a price point you need to consider?
With the venison shortage, something may have changed in it. Why don’t you try a can of the NB Buffalo and Sweet Potato–still a red meat with just a little more protein and fat.
AmCa it sounds like you are doing a great job getting her healthy. Hopefully everything will resolve and no further health issues.
What you described is how my girl’s nipples were and if I remember correctly, it was 2 to 3 months after she was spayed (and she had her “puppies”) before they were back to normal. (We had her spayed as soon as the second half of the heat was over.) I always associated the split heat and false pregnancy together but may have been two separate issues. Has your girl “adopted any puppies”. My girl actually made a place to have her “puppies” in our bedroom closet and then stayed there for several hours like she was in labor. Next she gathered her “puppies” as if she was nursing. She would go into the closet to “nurse” several times a day. This went on for several weeks and sometime during this period her nipples returned to normal. Never knew if it was a result of being spayed or having the “puppies”. It was definitely an experience to go through and at different times during her life she would exhibit some of the behavior again.
Maybe she is going to have a split heat. Before I got one of my other girls spayed, she came into heat and her nipples stayed swollen and the next thing I knew she was in heat again 3 months later — she also had symptoms of false pregnancy. I did some reading up on it at the time but don’t remember a lot about it now. I wonder since she is in poor health if that could cause a split heat–just a thought you may want to run by the vet.January 28, 2018 at 6:41 pm in reply to: "American Journey" Dog Food who manufacturer's it? #110013 Report Abuse
After reading the list of foods you tried, it doesn’t seem the vets gave you any guidance when they told you to switch food. If you can afford NB, it will be a good starting place to settle the GI system down.
It does sound like the rice is not agreeing with her, and it would be a good idea to switch to sweet potato or white potato. She may end up needing the Metronidazole. It must be given with food, and usually the vets prescribe Pepcid also because it can cause nausea. When you go back to the vet, make sure you tell them how she reacted to the Pepcid.January 27, 2018 at 2:56 pm in reply to: "American Journey" Dog Food who manufacturer's it? #109980 Report Abuse
Not Susan here, but I do have prior experience with this behavior also. It does sound like the food is giving your puppy acid reflux, and apparently the vets do also, since they are telling you to change food and use Pepcid. You said that it increased after changing from puppy to adult so it would appear there is more of what is causing the problem in the adult food. I do not think the problem is adult food, but the ingredients in Merrick. My girl that is grain intolerant was throwing up in the mornings when I fed her Blue Buffalo grain free, but she quit immediately when I changed her food to Natural Balance limited ingredient. I now feed her Wellness limited ingredient and Natural Balance plus she gets a topper on it.
I agree with the vets that you need to try changing foods first because that will give the vets a wealth of information. If changing food makes it worse or improves then you know the cause is food, and not something else. This is easier and cheaper to do than running tests.
Also, the last thing you should do is add more water to the food at this point. Additional water will make them throw up more when they have acid reflux due to food. As Susan will tell you, when the acid reflux is really bad, the dog will not want to drink at all because it makes them sicker.
I would recommend the NB Potato and Duck or Sweet Potato and Fish since they are both very limited ingredients and it is best to start simple when trying to determine if there is a food issue.January 20, 2018 at 4:53 pm in reply to: Not transitioning well to Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural #109815 Report Abuse
A week’s transition will work if the dog is eating a similar food, but in many cases they are not and it takes a lot longer to adjust. For example in your case, let’s say your diet consists of baked chicken with a baked sweet potato everyday for every meal. Then next week, every day you replace one or more meals with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and by the end of the week that is your diet. I know my body would go on strike if I did that, and basically that is what you are doing going from Natural Balance to Earthborn Primitive. If you had already been eating a diet of hamburger and fries everyday, then it would not be as drastic of a change to your body to start replacing with a fried chicken meal. Hopefully this example gives you a better perspective. Not only does the digestive track need time to adjust, the rest of the organs in the body will need time.
If the poo was ok on the grocery store brand, you need to go back to that and get her stabilized before trying to introduce another new food. The large poo means she is not digesting the food properly which may or may not have anything to do with fiber. It probably has more to do with totally new ingredients, higher protein and fat. Look at the bag of the grocery store food and compare protein, fat, and fiber to the Wilderness food. Unless you get a limited ingredient grain free food, most are not as easily digested as the grain inclusive brands. If you want better food, go on Chewy and look at the ingredients, protein, fat and fiber in other foods and find one that is closer to what she is doing ok on. If you want to try a grain free food to see how she does, then choose one with very limited ingredients to start, such as Natural Balance or Wellness Simple.January 19, 2018 at 8:32 pm in reply to: Not transitioning well to Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural #109804 Report Abuse
You are correct, your dog is not able to digest the new food properly at this time. The previous food, NB Chicken & Sweet Potatoes, and Orijen do not contain probiotics. If your dog has been eating that for awhile, it is going to take longer than a couple of weeks for the gut to adjust to the Earthborn even though it does contain probiotics. The dog was being fed a lot lower protein and fat diet even with “a little Orijen added”. Earthborn Primitive Naturals is too big of a jump in a short period of time. Considering the high protein and fat in Earthborn compared to the previous diet it could also bring on a pancreatic attack. If you want to continue with the Earthborn back it down to only 25% and give it a week and see what the poo looks like. When it is ok, do a small increase and then wait a few days or week before making another small increase.
If your dog was doing ok on NB, then there is not a problem with peas and potatoes since it contains sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas and chickpeas. I personally would recommend making a smaller jump to a food with no more than 28-30% protein, and sticking with it for several months before considering such a high protein food.
Misti, the constant gas is definitely a symptom of a food problem and not environmental. All of the issues could be due to food. I hope your vet recommends and a hydrolyzed diet and a steroid.
It is important that you take a list of the ingredients in the foods you are feeding to the vet. They all seem to have corn, wheat, and rice and it is probably one of those ingredients causing the gas. The prescription hydrolyzed diets I am familiar with are rice, starch, or potato based and knowing the current ingredients you are feeding may make a difference in which food your vet prescribes.December 9, 2017 at 4:01 pm in reply to: Has anyone had a bad reaction to oral flea medications? #108378 Report Abuse
a c -Since you are uncomfortable with Bravecto, I would get a new batch of Frontline or try Advantage before going with the pill. You may have received some that was not stored properly and has lost its effectiveness. My vet does not carry the topical flea treatments so I order Advantage online from either Drs Foster and Smith or Chewy.
Glad to hear Atlas is doing good. You are correct about the poo…smaller and less frequent does mean food is being digested better and that makes it easier for the nutrients to be absorbed by the body.
Glad to hear things are going smooth. Just wanted to mention that salmon (or any fish) is high in sodium so be careful not to feed too much.
Merrick and Castor and Pollux are definitely high protein foods. If your mom is having good results with Dr. Harvey’s, you may want to try that first, rather than Honest Kitchen. (My girl does better without flaxseed so that is why I use Honest Kitchen rather than Dr. Harvey’s.) Ask your mom how much meat and oil she adds to the mix and start there. If I remember correctly, the recommended amount of meat to add is double the amount of base mix and that would be a high protein diet.
When I first started feeding base mixes, I got on BalanceIt.com and played around with the free recipes to see approximately how much protein their mid-range recipes called for my 20 lb dog, and it worked out to be around 4 oz. Honest Kitchen recommends equal amounts of dry mix and protein for normal activity level–equal amounts turned out to be about 4 oz of protein. Depending on the protein, calories will vary so I focus on calories a day my girl needs and not the weight of the protein.
One thing I should mention about Honest Kitchen complete mixes is they are ground very fine and if you mix with the recommended amount of water, it is a soupy mix. The base mixes are a chunkier mix and not soupy.
What canned food and how much are you currently feeding? I will look up the GA so we will know for sure what amount of protein and calories she is currently eating.
I feed Honest Kitchen base mix and have tried Grandma Lucy and Dr. Harvey-there are also other brands out there. Any of the dehydrated foods are going to be a big change to her current diet, and you would probably need to go with a very slow transition. Honest Kitchen and Grandma Lucy both have sample sizes. I would suggest that you give Honest Kitchen a call and see if they will send you some samples. On the website, they are a $1 each, but I have heard they sometimes send samples free. I have one girl that loves Honest Kitchen and the other eats kibble and canned food because she does not care for it and it does not agree with her.
If you are feeding a canned food that says 7% to 8% in the GA on the can, you are actually feeding closer to 40% to 45% protein which is considered high protein. You need to remove the moisture from the equation and use a dry matter basis to determine actual protein. A low protein food would be 20% and less.
Dr. Harvey’s Veg to Bowl is a little over 2% protein on a dry matter batter basis. You need to add meat and oil to this mix. Yes, you would need to look up the grams or protein in the meat you are feeding plus convert the percentages of the Veg to Bowl to grams. Dogs need at least 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight. If you do not want to do the conversion, Dr. Harvey’s has a recommended amount of meat and oil to add to their mix, and it would be comparable to the 40 to 45 percent you are currently feeding.
Honest Kitchen has base mixes that you add your own meat, or the complete mixes with meat already included. The majority of the complete mixes are going to be less protein than you are currently feeding. They are mostly in the mid range of protein-mid to upper 20’s to low 30’s.
Weezerweeks, I don’t know if this will be of any help or not, but as you know I use kefir and Lucy eats 90% THK Preference w/ground round and 10% Wellness Simple Turkey. When I first switched her to Preference, she was getting 50% kibble. At that time I was able to give her an omega oil capsule daily without any issues. Now that she is eating mostly THK and ground round, she does not tolerate any additional oil and I drain part of the fat off the ground round. I was trying to add just a couple of drops of the omega capsule, but the next day she would throw up in the morning and would belch every time she drank water. Do you remember if the nausea spells came when you were feeding a particular protein? If it was a higher fat protein along with the additional fat of the fish oil and coconut oil, that could cause the nausea. Too much fat can also cause diarrhea, but I have no idea if it played a role in the diarrhea this week. I do think you should try potatoes or sweet potatoes instead of the rice.
As an experiment, try cutting back some on the fish oil and coconut oil. Preference contains coconut and kelp, and you are able to feed a wide enough variety of proteins, that overall the diet is not lacking in omegas. I would not use kefir and yogurt at the same time–I would alternate days or give one in the morning and the other at night.
By any chance, had you started a new box of Preference when the diarrhea hit? I had a horrible time these past few months while they were experimenting with a smaller grind. Several were shipped to me that were over half bananas and apples, but it appears now they have gone back to their original grind.
I guess it’s an acquired taste like buttermilk (my brother does not like the plain either). In my older years now, I prefer tangy and tart. I have tried the strawberry, blueberry, and peach. The strawberry also has quite a tang so not sure if you would like it, The blueberry and peach are not quite so tangy-my store does not carry any of the other flavors.
I use Lifeway low fat plain kefir that I buy in my grocery store.(I drink it as well as giving to my girls.) Lifeway does not have any added sugar but milk has natural sugars so I seriously doubt that you can find sugar free kefir. When you consider the small amount of kefir that you would be giving your dog, the low amount of natural sugar should not be an issue.
Glad to hear the poo situation is improving. If you decide to try the canned food, start with just a small amount straight out of the can. If he does ok, then lightly bake some and see if the poo stays the same. Just keep an eye out in case the baked edges get too dried out for his gut right now.
Also, I looked at the NB LID canned foods and the chicken and sweet potato is closer to the protein and fat that you are currently feeding (the canned food does not contain chickpeas like the chicken and sweet potato kibble). The fish and sweet potato is higher in protein and fat, but still might agree with his system. Stay away from the potato and duck canned food because the fat to protein ratio is too high.
You can always use the Off Topic forum for things not related to food.
I honestly think once you get his gut healed (it may take several months) he will be able to eat the jerky and a bigger variety of kibble. I suspect this was going on before he was rescued and right now he just needs food that is very easily digestible so as not to irritate his gut. If you do try to introduce any of the duck and potato kibble or treats, I would do it very slowly with only 3 or 4 kibbles or half a treat in a day. I think he will be able to digest it, but take it slow to give his gut time to adjust.
I tried to find out how much soluble fiber was in several different brands of kibble (including NB), but all the companies could only give me their total fiber. Since you said probiotics and kefir don’t seem to be making much difference, that makes me think that his diet may not have enough soluble fiber to feed the bacteria (based on my experience with what I saw in my girls). I personally prefer adding food to the diet although you could add a probiotic with a prebiotic in it.
If you continue to not see any improvement (firmer, smaller, and less frequent poos), I think it is worth a try add a little banana along with the kefir and see if that helps any. Like you said, give him some time to stabilize before making any additions.
No, I don’t think soaking or anything could bring the jerky back to the same state as fresh cooked chicken. Once the moisture is pulled out it changes the structure of the meat, like the difference between raw and cooked meat and jerky goes even further than cooked. If nothing else is working out for training, maybe you could just use small bites of the chicken you cook and try dipping the LID treats in the cooked chicken liquid.
At this point, you need to concentrate on getting the bacteria built up in his gut so he will be able to digest more. As I mentioned before, feeding kefir with food will aid more in digestion and as Susan stated maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons a day. You might try adding just a little banana-it would give the bacteria something to feed on. I just don’t think the LID food alone provides enough soluble fiber to get the gut healthy based on what I saw with my girls. I know NB has tweaked their formulas since I was feeding it and they may have added more soluble fiber.