Food and Poop!

September 27, 2009 at 7:17 pm 16 comments

For Wes, when I am away

(I have this on my kitchen wall for Wes to refer to, if I am away)

Boogie has been eating The Honest Kitchen for about 1 1/2 years now. I alternate between most of the formulas: Force, Embark, Keen, Thrive ... but stick mostly to Keen because:

  1. Boogie does better with grains in his food and Keen has oats.
  2. Keen is cheaper than the other formulas
  3. Keen takes the shortest amount of time to absorb water and firm-up. The other formulas, with the exception of Force, stay “soupy/liquid” for a longer time.
  4. Keen produces the least amount of poop (Will elaborate on this, later! :))

We have had no issues with The Honest Kitchen at all. He has been doing really well on it  (compared to previous foods that made him throw up) but I am still always on the lookout for other brands that are of the same high quality as THK . I don’t want to become totally dependent on one brand and its limited range of  protein choices. I am also always trying to give Boogie some variety in his diet.

Lately I have been mixing in some HALO’s Spot’s Stew .

I first read about HALO on Tracie Hotchner’s blog.

See THIS post, and Tracie’s reply in the comments:

Halo’s Spot’s Stew is now the only kibble my dogs are going to get because I learned that they use only meat that is fit for human consumption in their dry and canned foods. You can’t get better than that! It is also a high protein kibble at 33% but the vital fact is the origin of that protein. You don’t really know what is being counted as protein in foods with much higher protein levels (EVO being one). Remember that melamine AND the wheat gluten which it polluted were both being counted in a total protein percentage when neither was really bio-available to the dogs digestive system. So don’t be sure of what exactly caused it when your dog has a bad reaction to a food – just avoid it! As for The Honest Kitchen, my dogs have been eating it for years as 1/3 of their meal. As large dogs, I have always given 1/3 of the meal as kibble but now I can feel really good about it! And Halo has joined me as a website sponsor – along with THK – so you’ll be keeping it all “in the family.”

THK + Halo, with Perfect Form & Ultra Oil

70/30 THK Keen + Halo, with Perfect Form & Ultra Oil

Our local pet store doesn’t sell HALO kibble so I am starting him off with the canned stuff.

I mix it in with THK – maybe 30 – 50%, and Boogie loves it and we have had no problems. So far he has  tried the Chicken, Salmon and Lamb.  One thing I notice is that when I feed mostly Halo (approx. 80%) Boogie’s poop is harder, darker and sometimes  “pebbly” – perhaps a sign of constipation?  I wonder if this is because there is lower water and fiber content in the Halo canned food than in THK?  Boogie doesn’t drink much water to begin with. (He’s a strange dog)

Speaking of poop…

I think most THK people are already aware that this food produces a HUGE amount of poop compared to other brands. Which can be a little scary at first.  For my friend Christa, whose Emma is incontinent and wears a diaper,  the poop issue is more problematic. Here’s a little list that Christa and I came up with after comparing our THK “feeding and pooping” notes.

The Honest Kitchen POOP CHART. Yes, I am a crazy dog person.


If you feed The Honest Kitchen and/or Halo, please share your thoughts!

Entry filed under: Food, Poop, Supplements. Tags: , , .

Boogie at Bootcamp! Allergies – pink face.

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tracie Hotchner  |  October 12, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Hello Boogie! Great to meet you – and discover that your Mom is following some of my suggestions about what to feed you.Just like my four-leggeds, you are now getting The Honest Kitchen mixed with great canned food and a side dish” of Halo’s kibble. She sounds like an absolute riot and I am sure you have a helluva time keeping a lid on her.To get some of that tasty high quality Halo Spots Stew kibble, all she has to do is go to and buy right off the website (unless she has a Petco nearby). Petco doesn’t only carry a top shelf brand like Halo, they also now have an entire natural foods section – so it would be great if you could support them in moving in the right nutritional direction by using your grocery shopping dollars at Petco to support their new direction.

    • 2. lili  |  October 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      Hello Tracie! Thanks for commenting on Boogie’s blog. And thanks again for the Halo recommendation!!! Fortunately, my local neighborhood pet store (within walking distance) carries both THK and Halo so I never need to shop at Petco. It’s great news though that Petco has a natural foods section! I hope that you will continue to share your dog food knowledge & tips!

  • 3. Sarah Owings  |  March 13, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    This poop analysis is interesting and actually very useful. I’m surprised no-grain Honest Kitchen freeze dried raw diets would cause an increase in pooping because I read somewhere that raw diets should DEcrease the amount and firm up the poop because the dog should be digesting more useable nutrients. I’ve just started my girls on 50% Force and 50% Wellness. So far I haven’t noticed any major changes in the amount they poop. Zoë always has had large amounts of healthy looking brown poop. Maya poops less and sometimes her poops look dark. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

    • 4. lili  |  March 14, 2010 at 3:22 am

      What I find interesting (and this may be unique to Boogie) is that if I feed THK alone – he poops A LOT, like 5 huge poos a day. I suspect that the high veggie & fruit content in THK may be the reason… maybe he can’t digest this. Boogie normally doesn’t eat fruit & veggies anyway.

      But if I mix THK with homecooked meat & veggies, he poops less. (2-3 times a day and small poops) I prefer to pick up less poop of course… and to know that he is digesting more nutrients so I prefer the mixing method.

      In either case, his poop looks healthy and brown. 🙂

  • 5. Jzk  |  April 12, 2010 at 4:06 am

    You’re so sweet. Love your site. What an amazing and responsible dog owner you are to actually try to do the anal gland thing on your own. Thanks very much for your post on THK. I’m going to try the thrive with my chi pup. ONE sample of embark and so far 5 gargantuan poops! Scared me a bit. Thanks again!

    • 6. lili  |  April 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Jzk, thanks for commenting! Ha, I try to do the anal gland thing on my own only to save time & money! (Not out of love 🙂 )I hope THK works out for you. I mix it with cooked food and/or Halo food and there is significantly less poop than if I feed it on its own.
      Good luck!

  • 7. Alysssa  |  October 25, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Hi….I hope this blog is still active as I recently started experimenting with THK – thrive and force…also tried to give Keen but my 10 month Shiranian (shih tzu/pom) wouldn’t eat it. I’m a bit freaked by the enormous increase in poo, which is softer than normal and lighter in color than ever (a light brown color). My pup will go in the am on our walk…unload copious amounts, we’ll walk some more and again she goes…less but still! I’m wondering if Boogie is still on THK and what the benefit is. Did the poop become less? I’m thinking that maybe she just isn’t able to absorb the food well. She is transitioning off Innova puppy. Any thoughts are much appreciated!

    • 8. lili  |  October 27, 2010 at 1:09 am

      Hey Alyssa,

      Well… every dog is different. Boogie refused to eat Innova and it made him puke.

      Yes, Boogie is still on THK but I now feed him 50/50 THK and homecooked food (meat & veggies). For me the benefits are that:
      1. the ingredients are all good, the list is clear as day, no preservatives and fillers
      2. the food is convenient to store and easy to prepare, no cans, lasts a long time
      3. Boogie’s poots and poops don’t stink as much as when he is eating other brands.
      4. Boogie likes it.

      Honestly I don’t notice the poop anymore. Maybe it’s because I feed only 50% THK so there’s less poop? I don’t know. Anyway, good luck with finding the right food for your pup!

  • 9. Emily  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    We recently started to switch from Thrive to Embark because she was experiencing some very watery eyes with Thrive. More so then usual. So we decided to go the grain free different protein route…

    LET ME TELL YOU!!!!!!!!! I felt like I was up to my elbows in poo! Literally! She eats 3/8 cup daily and pooped 8 times! GIANT GIGANTIC POOPS!!!!! two of which were in the middle of the night!…

    So.. I was confused on this why would a grain free dog food be causing so much poop! So I called The Honest Kitchen! I thought if i am spending tons of money on high quailty dog food there has to be an answer for all of this POOP!

    Well I found out my problem! The second ingredient in Embark is flaxseed. She also said there is quite a bit of it in their Embark formula. She said Flaxseed aids in digestion so I am sure that is why you are seeing such giant poops! Some dogs do ok with it other do not.

    I think she is right. With Thrive it was normal 2-3 times a day!

    So she is sending us some samples of Zeal and Keen. She said Keen DOES have Flaxseed in it but its not as much and farther down on the ingredients list

    So I think this is the problem with GIANT POOPS has to be the flaxseed!

    • 10. lili  |  October 27, 2010 at 1:11 am

      Hey Emily, thanks for sharing this info! Good to know!
      Seeing that Embark is the most expensive formula I don’t usually get that one 🙂 I’m sticking with Keen or Thrive. Let me know what you think of Zeal!

  • 11. C  |  December 31, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Wow! I thought I was going crazy and my dog wasn’t absorbing any of THK Keen food when I did a google search and found this blog. Thanks for the information and easing my mind. I like THK, but was really concerned by boy wasn’t getting anything out of it! Looks like what was going in was the same amount coming out. Might have to try it with more kibble for better absorbtion.

    • 12. lili  |  January 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Hi C, You are not going crazy. 🙂 I find that if I feed 50% THK and 50% homecooked food, there is significantly less poop. I

  • 13. Elise McClintick  |  December 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Love this blog because no where else is there is Poop “meter” on The Honest Kitchen products. My Great Dane, Ellak, was switched to Embark last summer after having a close call with bloat. Her stomach settled down and she loved the food but there was so much poop, about twice the “normal” amount, that I thought maybe it’s too high in Protein. Anyway, I switched Embark to Force and Ella’s poops tightened up a little. Still close to twice the amount so doubt that it has to do with the Protein leve in the dog food but she no longer has any runny eyes and her coat is in excellent condition. It is very, very expensive to feed this to a Great Dane as it’s only food source. The people I know who show Danes have pretty much switched to making their own raw with uncooked chicken backs and adding THK Preference. I’m not much of a “cook” so will have to stick with THK. Thanks for this very informative blog. Appreciate you and Happy New Year 2013.

  • 14. Margaret R.  |  October 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I recently switched my 2 big dogs over to HK. They are both 13 and one is starting to have accidents in the house unless I take him out every few hours. Not usually a problem unless it’s while we’re sleeping or out for a while. What is driving me nuts right now is that instead of pooping 2 times a day, he’s going sometimes 6 times a day. I see you have a poop chart and thinking of trying the Thrive to see how that is. Have you tried the Duck? Is there a lot of poop with this food too?

  • 15. muffin  |  June 15, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    interesting. my dog is eating keen as of recently, and she’s been pooping a ton. They are all solid and normal, but 4x or 5x a day. She will even get up in the night to poop. I think maybe the grain is too much for her. She was on a grain-free diet for years, but that was upsetting her tummy. Now she has no stomach upset, or grumbling, but she has a lot of poops. I consider this an improvement over the inconsistent stools, jelly poops and pain she was dealing with, but it’s a lot of poop. I am going to try to mix this with a dry grainless to see if I can keep her tummy happy and decrease the #. I might try the grain free. She was going once a day on the food that upset her tummy.

  • 16. Danielle Weir  |  March 1, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I am feeding Brave (the minimalist fish & coconut grain free) and she poops an insane amount, but it’s a greenish brown color. Our other dog gets turkey grain free embark and his poop is SO green. Just wanted to let you know!


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