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Mixing raw and kibble?

Posted: 03 Jul 2019, 10:13
by echo189
Hi there! I am new to the forum but I have spent hours combing this site — thank you to all of the people who work so hard to put it together!

About 3 months ago, we adopted Echo, a rescue who was confirmed to have EPI (our vet did another test just in case, so we are doubly sure that she has it!). She is on Bio Case Plus and doing great on it. We're not sure of the exact details, but know that she is some type of Dutch Shepherd mix (maybe some jindo in there too), and is just under a year old.

The rescue that we got her from suggests that all their dogs go on a diet of raw (we use Raw Dynamic) mixed with Honest Kitchen veggie base. We mix the Bio Case Plus with kefir before mixing it into the rest and incubating. We've been giving her that for a couple months and she scarfs it down.

She is definitely gaining weight as she is growing bigger/longer (got her at 19lbs and she's now 26), but I can still see her ribs/hip bones. Her poops are solid but very large and about 3-4x a day. Those two things made me think that she still isn't absorbing all of the nutrients needed from her food. After spending even more time on this site and others (again, thank you!!), I realized that the Honest Kitchen base is about 8% fiber, more than the recommended 4%, so I'm looking to switch to kibble (also to make it easier on sitters when we're away).

After all that (if you've made it this far, bless you), I'm here to ask if anyone has had success mixing kibble with raw food in the same meal? I've done some research that says you definitely shouldn't because of different digestion rates, general negative effects of kibble, etc., but some that say it's just fine. After more research, I think we're going to try Canidae Duck & Sweet Potato, but don't want to switch her over to 100% kibble just yet.

Is it okay to mix the kibble with the raw food? Would love any thoughts/feedback from those with similar experience!

PS: Two other weird things to note: when our vet tested Echo for EPI, the results also said her B12 levels were off the measurable charts (too high), as she was receiving a supplemental B12 shot every two weeks. We need to have her retested to see where the B12 levels are now, but I'm wondering if any EPI dogs ever have normal B12 levels?

Also, Echo eats normal treats just fine (our vet had said that as long as the enzymes go on her meals, she should be good). We give her bully sticks, Zuke's, and Stella & Chewy's and they've never had any negative effect on her poops. Do anyone else's EPI dogs consume treats normally?

Thanks and sorry for the extremely long post!!
Tessa (& Echo)
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Re: Mixing raw and kibble?

Posted: 04 Jul 2019, 08:48
by Madelon
Hi Tessa - welcome to you and Echo. What a strikingly, beautiful dog.

With regard to mixing raw and kibble, I honestly don't know because I've never fed raw. I know our Founder and Director of Research home cooks food (to avoid bacteria issues) and mixes the home cooked food with kibble. That might be a good option for you to try.

The food at 8% fiber could be why the poops are so large and going more often. When you start switching kibble, be sure to keep a detailed log of the poops to see if there's any change in the amount and how often. It could also have something to do with the weight as fiber can interfere with the efficacy of the enzymes. Also, have you been feeding 150% of the food for the weight your dog SHOULD be?

As for B12, EPI dogs are not able to maintain their B12 without supplementing so supplementing is for life with these dogs you just have to find the right dose for your dog. A lot of us use WonderLabs Pet Factor B12 pills after finishing the shots.

As for treats, some EPI members are able to give a treat close to feeding an enzymed meal, however, I'm wondering if this could be another reason for the large poops and pooping 3-4x a day. If I were you, I would stop the treats while you figure out the food and then once you've got the optimal food and poop, then try giving a treat close to an enzymed meal and see how things go.

Please keep us posted on how things are going.

Re: Mixing raw and kibble?

Posted: 06 Jul 2019, 16:35
by echo189
Thanks so much Madelon!

Yes, we have been feeding 150% of the ideal weight for her. Will definitely keep a log of what happens when we make the switch to kibble, and will try cutting the treats too.

Thanks for your help!

Re: Mixing raw and kibble?

Posted: 08 Jul 2019, 21:41
by Madelon
Please keep us posted.