Posted in From Kibble to Raw, Maui's Caturday, Willow Wednesday

Kibble To Raw: The Honest Kitchen

I mentioned The Honest Kitchen in another post a couple weeks ago, when I was talking about goat’s milk. I have now been feeding Willow THK exclusively for a month, and Maui has been eating half THK and half canned food. They have also been getting a digestive supplement called Perfect Form, also by THK, mixed in with their foods every day.

WARNING: THERE WILL BE TALK OF BODILY FUNCTIONS IN THIS POST. IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO DISCUSSING OR READING ABOUT THINGS COMING OUT OF A HEALTHY BODY, PLEASE CONTINUE READING WITH CAUTION.

THK Backstory

THK is a product line that we sell at my job that, I will openly admit, I overlooked for several months. Then we had a training session with some company representatives, and I learned all about it. They provided us with extra training links, which I blew through within 24 hours. I’m not going to lie, I was hooked.

The owner, Lucy Postins, started her company with the intention of giving her pets food that would not make them sick, have any allergic reactions, and would give them all the nutritional benefits of raw food. She wanted something that could be used for all stages of life, from the toothless puppy phase to the seniors with low tolerances phase. Since then, she has gotten special permission from the FDA to place the words “human grade” on her packaging (because it’s manufactured and processed in a place that also manufactures and processes baking mixes and cereals) and has changed the lives of many allergy riddled pets.

I could waffle on for days about this company (and I often do while I’m at work), so if you have any other questions about what specifically about this company I really like, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a PM.

Willow:

My lil pupper took to THK very quickly. The palatability was right up her alley, the warm water I used to mix released the super yummy smells really well, and she straight up licks her entire bowl sparklingly clean every time I put it down in front of her. I have had no adverse reactions regarding her fish allergy, which means to me that what they put on the label is ONLY what’s in the products. (Pet food manufacturers don’t have the same standards as human food manufacturers, so they can get away with a little bit more).

I’ve also noticed significant changes in her, physically. Her fur is a lot softer, and she’s shedding quite a bit less than she used to. (Could partially be winter, but in previous years, she would shed quite a lot in the wintertime too.) Her eyes are running a lot less and the stains by her tear ducts are smaller too. Her intestinal gas has decreased a huge amount and they’re not nearly as pungent as they were before, and she seems less stiff when the weather changes.

But the most noticeable thing for me was in her poops. She used to drop healthy sized poos, stinky and colored depending on what she ate that day. They had the consistency of soft, healthy poop that easily squished into the grass whenever I tried to pick it up, and one poo would damn near fill up my poop bags. Now, her poops are much darker brown, not colored by very much, and very easy to pick up. They are much more condensed now, which makes them SO much easier to get out of the grass, and they’re a lot less stinky. I can also now fit at least 4 separate deuces in one bag and still have enough room to tie it off.

All in all, Willow is responding beautifully to THK, and I’m very excited to see what her responses will be to the next steps on our Journey to Raw.

Maui:

Maui took a little more time to adjust to the new food. The texture was different than anything he’d ever eaten before, so that was a bit of an adjustment for him. Being a wee little baby, he adjusted within the week and is now looking forward to his daily dose of THK.

For the first little while, he did have some soft poos that I was keeping an eye on. His energy levels didn’t change at all, he didn’t seem like he was uncomfortable in any way, so I just rode it out. Now, he’s well balanced and his GI has settled into his new diet.

Similarly to his sister, I have noticed improvements with his coat. He’s now cloud kitten soft, with clear eyes and no more gunk in his ears. If anything, his energy levels have increased and he’s experimenting with his athleticism pretty extensively. His reaction time when playing is faster too, we have to work harder to get him to miss the toys he pounces on and he’s having a lot of fun destroying boxes.

I have been keeping him on half canned food for two reasons: 1) he really enjoys the texture of it and 2) it’s easier for Vinh to do the pm feeding when he doesn’t have to use a measuring cup and mix it up. I will eventually get him onto THK completely before switching him over to raw, but this is a good system for what we need it for right now.

Overall, I love the way THK is responding with my animals. They’re both doing healthier, enjoying their foods, and are doing much better with the higher digestibility. I highly recommend this food for anyone who just wants to try something a bit healthier than kibble, or someone who may have a pet with allergies or geriatric sensitivity. If any of you are interested in trying it out, I have a link for 50% off of a 2 pound box for you to try out here. 

Posted in Doggy Reviews, From Kibble to Raw, Uncategorized

Goat’s Milk and Why I Love It

I love pro- and prebiotics. I eat Greek yogurt religiously and take supplements for myself, and I force feed my boyfriend his own as well. So naturally, I’m going to be feeding my animals pro- and prebiotics as well. The easiest way for me to administer The Biotics for me is through goat’s milk.

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!

I am extremely fortunate that my animals enjoy eating things that are good for them (also not good for them like cheetos [Willow] and pretzels [Maui]). I don’t have to struggle to hide pills in various types of wizardry to get Willow to take her meds, and I don’t have to force feed either of them their supplements. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to make them more palatable. Willow’s pills are always wrapped up in some Greenie’s Pill Pockets and Maui has special treats for when I do something particularly unpleasant like nail trimming or looking at his teeth. I have recently started giving the kids a digestive supplement by The Honest Kitchen called Perfect Form that they aren’t super crazy for the taste of. Maui picks at his food if it’s just sprinkled on top of it and Willow just kind of halfheartedly laps at it.

Goat’s milk is my FAVORITE way to hide them in it. Its got a decent fat content, which hides any flavors they may not like and also helps keep their joints healthy. It’s chock full of probiotics and prebiotics that help balance out their guts. I’ve noticed a difference in their poops color and consistency (namely smaller, darker and a bit dryer) but the best of all is that I’ve noticed a HUGE decrease in the amount of gas they have, both burps and farts.

I’ve used a couple of different types of goat’s milk: 1. Answer’s Raw Goat’s Milk 2. Primal Raw Goat’s Milk 3. The Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom Instant Goat’s Milk .They each have their own pros and cons, and hopefully I can outline them a little bit here.

I didn’t notice a huge difference between the Answer’s and the Primal. They are both sold frozen due to their short shelf life and have to be defrosted before serving. I usually put it in my refrigerator either a full day or two days before I wind up needing it. If I need a shorter defrost period, I’ll leave it on my counter for an hour or so and use whatever defrosts in that time. They both usually have a little bit of sediment in them (which is totally fine! It just separates during the freezing process) so they have to be shaken up a bit. The downside to them is that the smallest size they come in is a pint and I just don’t go through it fast enough. I usually wind up having to throw a bunch of it away before ever getting close to the bottom.

My favorite is the Pro Bloom. I make it as I need it, it’s shelf stable, and it’s VERY inexpensive for the amount that it makes. I give Maui about an ounce a day (he’s a 4 month old, 3ish pound kitten) and I give Willow about 4 ounces a day (5 year old, 45ish pound doggo). I find that too much more than that gives them soft poos. Naturally though, this is going to vary based on your own particular animal. It took me quite a while to figure out exactly how much Willow could take each day and I’m still working on adjusting Maui’s levels to be perfect for him too.

So what do you think about goat’s milk? Something you may want to include in your pet’s diet? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Posted in From Kibble to Raw

Transitions: I’m Going to Feed Raw

I have been feeding Willow kibble for three years. She came to me eating Science Diet (aka utter sh*t) and have since transitioned her to single-protein Acana (a LOT better, nutritionally), on which she has done well. I have dabbled a little bit in canned wet food, but honestly, Willow isn’t crazy for it. I think there are ingredients in it, or maybe it’s the gravy, that just doesn’t sit well with her. Wet food always, a l w a y s gives her unnecessary amounts of extremely odorous gas, the cans containing a higher nutritional value are usually obscenely expensive (the Koha I mentioned in this post sells for $2.79 per can from the pet store I go to) and as a 45 pound dog, one standard can is only about 1/6 of her daily value of nutrition. You can do the math, it’s not realistic for me to feed her wet all the time.

But lately, I haven’t been satisfied with her food anymore. It’s not necessarily the Acana, which in the game of dry food is a very high contender. Maybe it’s partially that I can never find a wet food that I feel drives Willow bananas. Don’t get me wrong, she really liked the Koha. But that’s also really liking a category of food that has never really made her lose her mind (this girl has gone utter bananas over a piece of bacon that I dropped on the floor and a bag of cheetos she found when I was showering). Maybe it’s also partially just how expensive Acana is (I pay between $70 and $75 per 25lb bag for her dry food) in addition to her normal supplements and treats (goat’s milk as a probiotic, dental treats and marrow bones for her teeth, and then her normal treats for training).

Maybe it was adopting Maui and learning more about feline nutrition and realizing that while I was doing what I thought was right and best by feeding kibble to both of my babies, perhaps I wasn’t. But what is life but learning from one’s mistakes?

Or maybe, it’s just me learning more about the difference between kibble, freeze dried, dehydrated, frozen raw, and just plain raw food. I’ve been going through a bit of a boot camp with regards to different types of food, different requirements for canine and feline nutrition and how kibble just doesn’t meet those requirements.

So, I have decided to change how and what I feed. Which is unfortunate after purchasing a bunch of new foods for Maui. BUT I DIGRESS.

I will be talking about the different steps I’m going to take to transition from kibble to, ultimately, some form of raw feeding. I will be making some stops at freeze dried, testing some dehydrated food, and sampling different types of raw that are on the market, breaking down the prices and their ease of use.

If there’s anything specifically you would like me to try out or if you think there’s something that I definitely should try, please let me know!

Disclaimer 1: Before telling me that it’s unhealthy to be switching between different foods all the time, it’s important for everyone (animals and humans) to have a varied diet to get all the nutrients that they might not be exposed to if they were only eating the same thing every single day. Also bear in mind, this is not going to be something that I’m doing every single day. They will be staying on a single type of food for, potentially, months. So this series is going to be a slow burn.

Disclaimer 2: While I would absolutely LOVE your opinions, bear in mind that I will also be doing research on any brand/company/food that is recommended to me extensively before even considering feeding it to Maui or Willow. I am not going to irresponsibly feed my animals any random food that someone online tells me to feed (no offense).