Friday, April 10, 2009

Diet Tweak

I wanted to share a few suggestions made to me by a holistic vet. If you are one of these folks that swear by yogurt for dogs (kibble or raw food feeders), you may want to investigate Kefir. Kefir is similar to yogurt, but it has far more probiotics per serving than yogurt does. My local-nothing-special-grocery store carries it in the dairy, health food section. Some Kefir is flavored so make sure you get plain, unsweetened.

For raw diet feeders, there is a particular digestive enzyme that thrives on fiber. You may want to add a small serving of fiber rich food to the raw meaty bones on the days you are not feeding any vegetables. I have been adding approximately 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin.

I have added Kefir and fiber to everyone's daily raw food diet. The four oldsters were already doing fine. Riley was doing good, but now she is doing great and I attribute it to the Kefir and fiber since that is the only change I have made.

In addition to Kefir and fiber, Reagan has also been getting a capsule of Culturelle daily. It is expensive, but when you compare it to other probiotics, you get way more bang per capsule.

These are just a couple of things you may want to try if your hounds are not quite right digestively.

Reagan did much better during the drug therapy and was able to eat all sorts of food. Unfortunately, the results do not appear to be lasting. She appears to be especially sensitive to fat, so we are going to try a high fiber, low fat diet. Generally, I seek a balanced diet by feeding a wide variety of foods. However, when I am restricted or having to follow a recipe, I fear that meals will be deficient in something.


Jemma the Chihuahua said...

When I used to raw feed and then went on to home-cook, I strived for a variety of foods to ensure balance over time as well. However, recently, I've started to play around with and inputted some past "recipes" or diet routines and shockingly realized that the fat level especially fluctuated majorly. It jumped around from as low as 10% to as high as 59% and these changes differed daily.

I consistently fed the same amount of meat to bone to organs and veggies, and rotated different types of proteins/meats around, so I figured things would work. Luckily, I didn't end up with digestive issues with my dog (but skin issues), although I imagine that a sensitive system like Reagan's might have trouble coping. Have you tried sticking to a consistent fat % and then adjusting that to either higher or lower to see what she fares better with?

I don't know Reagan's history and what you have or have not already tried, so these are just some passing thoughts :)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks for the website. We are just getting started on low fat, high fiber with Reagan, so I have not been consistent with a fat % yet. I have some homework to do. Maybe you could send me some of your 10% fat recipes :-). I can definitely see where there would be a big variation between fat content of different meals.


Jemma the Chihuahua said...

Unfortunately, I don't have any 10% recipes to share that are good - I used to feed ratios and kept a diet log. I just inputted random days' recipes into ND and remembered some of them were 10%, but that is super low in fat. Moderate is around 30% and 20% is already considered low in fat, so maybe you could start with that? I'm now feeding 30% fat, but I've transitioned to home-cooked.

Good luck!

Laura with the Kudzu pack said...

If the dogs like the kefir & you want to keep doing it, get yourself some kefir grains & make your own. It is easy. My dogs loved it when I used to make it. I sent my grains on to someone else when I kept using them but you can search online & find people willing to share extra kefir grains. It's almost like having new pets. :)

How the diet changes work & you don't need to retry the medical route. Still if Reagan had some bacterial overgrowth you may want to try those B-12 injections for a while. Just a thought.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I did make some Kefir with goat milk! I just have a hard time deciding if I did it right or not.