By now, it should be a no-brainer to understand that what feed our dogs is the single most important way we can affect their health.
For the good - or the bad.
That’s why more and more pet owners are looking to dump mega processed "kibble" and canned junk for fresher and healthier options.
New and old pet food producers are doing their part to fulfill the heightened requirement of dog owners
Many brands are getting rid of preservatives, additives, and chemicals and bucking the idea of ultra-processed kibble.
Of course not all brands are equal when it comes to quality and "honesty".
Some of the bigger brands do a better job at trying to "sell" you on their "improved" dog food through large marketing and branding campaigns.
While better brands simply concentrate of creating delicious and healthy food using top-notch ingredients for our beloved pets.
One of the brands that stands out from the competition is The Honest Kitchen, a line up of dehydrated dog foods that we have been using and enjoying for the past few years.
Is The Honest Kitchen worthwhile? Is it healthy enough to meet the dietary needs of your pooch? We’ve got answers for you.
A Little About The Honest Kitchen
“Pets deserve human-grade food, too.”
That’s on the front page of the Honest Kitchen website.
Wouldn't you agree?
The Honest Kitchen definitely does and so do we.
Honest Kitchen's founder, Lucy Postins, struggled to figure out why her dog suffered from various health issues. She figured that it could have something to do with his diet, so she started asking the question - why is the quality of food for dogs so much lower than that of humans??
So Postins took the initiative and started making meals for her pooch in 2002. She immediately noticed an improvement in her dog's health and wondered if she could take her discoveries and ideas further. She shared her stories and food samples with others, and the popularity of her creations went through the roof!
Since then, the kitchen has moved from the Postins’ household to the old Wonderbread factory in San Diego.
Now, the Honest Kitchen is a well-known family-owned company trusted by pet owners throughout the United States.
They continue to make dehydrated food that is 100% human-grade. They have launched several new products throughout the years, including a 32 product launch between 2018-2019.
The Honest Kitchen has a couple of principles they follow:
Honesty. Quality. Responsibility. Joy.
Does the company live up to those principles and promises? Let’s find out.
About Dehydrated Dog Food - Is It Healthy?
To some, dehydrated dog food may sound like it would be similar to processed kibble.
However, unlike canned food or dry kibble, dehydrated dog food is neither cooked or processed.
By avoiding extremely high cooking temperatures, the majority of the important nutrients in the food remain.
During the dehydration process, the food is slowly dried while removing moisture and gently cooking the food at the same time.
When food is cooked at lower temperatures, it becomes more digestible - especially proteins like meat.
Here are some more benefits of dehydrated dog food:
- Highly digestible. Dogs that have sensitive bellies will benefit from a diet of dehydrated food, as the food is packed with nutrients but also more bioavailable.
- Long shelf life. Removing moisture from the food extends the shelf life, so you can keep your dehydrated food stored for longer. Dehydration also means that preservatives don’t need to be used, making this a healthy option. According to The Honest Kitchen, most of their products have a shelf life of 12-24 months, depending on the product, humidity, and temperature.
- Pathogen-free. Although dehydrated dog food isn’t cooked like usual dog food, it is exposed to low or moderate heat to kill viruses and bacteria.
- Easy to store. Because the food is dried, it takes far less space. This makes dehydrated dog food a more convenient choice when traveling with your pet.
Honest Kitchen Product Line-up
Here's a super cool fact that makes The Honest Kitchen live up to their name: rather than doing feeding trials on dogs, their "human" staff taste test the food to make sure it actually tastes good!!
Most of the ingredients (about 67%) used are sourced from the USA or from North America.
This includes turkey, salmon, beef, chicken, oats, eggs, flaxseed, and more. 13% of the ingredients are imported from South America, including pumpkin, apples, and potatoes.
A small percentage comes from Europe. The Honest Kitchen has worked hard to form relationships with the suppliers to guarantee that the items they receive are always of superior quality. Best of all, there are no questionable ingredients used.
So what’s on the menu at The Honest Kitchen? Here’s an overview of their entire product line— and not just the dehydrated food:
Honest Kitchen Product Line-up
Toppers & Meal Boosters:
- Proper Toppers: Grain-Free Fish, Beef, Turkey, or Chicken (some are available seasonally)
- Wet Meal Booster: 99% Chicken, 99% Beef, 99% Salmon & Pollock, or 99% Turkey & Duck
- Crunchy Fish Sammies – Cod Stuffed with Carrots & Apples
- Superfood Cod Crisps – Cod & Blueberry or Cod & Strawberry
- Surf & Turf Meaty Littles
- Bone Broth Bites
- Jerky Harvest
- Goat’s Milk N’ Cookies
- Pecks Cookies
- Butcher Block Pate – Chicken & Super Greens
- Butcher Block Pate – Beef, Cheddar & Farm Veggies
- Butcher Block Pate – Turkey & Autumn Veggies
- One-Pot Stews – Slow Cooked Chicken With Sweet Potato, Spinach, Apples
- One-Pot Stews – Simmered Salmon & Chicken Stew With Brown Rice & Broccoli
- One-Pot Stews – Roasted Beef With Kale, Sweet Potatoes & Carrots
Whole Food Clusters:
How To Serve The Honest Kitchen
Preparing The Honest Kitchen meals for your dog can be as simple or creative as you'd like it to be.
The easiest route requires you to simply add water to the food. Wait about 3 minutes for the liquid to absorb into the food then serve.
After you've rehydrated the food with water, you can cover the food and place it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Freezing is fine as well. Add more warm water when you’re ready to serve the leftovers, stir, and serve.
Want to add in something special for your furry friend? Or do you have a dog that doesn't seem to like the texture of Honest Kitchen and prefers foods with more "bite and chew"?
Although Honest Kitchen meals are formulated to meet AAFCO Nutrient Profiles and don’t require any add-ins, you can customize the meals at home.
Feel free to put in fruit, vegetables, lean meats, cottage cheese, or plain yogurt.
Half a cup or 1 cup of add-ins should be fine as long as you are considering the total amount of daily calories in your dog's diet.
Diversity in your dog's diet is A GOOD THING.
When you are not using Honest Kitchen products, avoid putting them in the refrigerator, as this could introduce moisture to dehydrated foods and cause premature decay.
Simply place any dehydrated products in the pantry, out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry place.
What We Loved About The Honest Kitchen
Now that you have learned what The Honest Kitchen is all about, their ethos, and their products, you might be wondering if Honest Kitchen dehydrated chow is worth the price?
What makes Honest Kitchen products top of the line when compared to other similar brands?
The Honest Kitchen has built a reputation over the years that's truly tough to beat. Their products have been reliable since inception and every single meal is made with extremely high standards.
In fact, The Honest Kitchen won a law suit to use the term “human-grade” when describing their food. That’s how much they believe in producing top quality dog food!
Additionally, the Honest Kitchen actually exceeds AAFCO standards for their food.
Unlike some other brands, you don't have to supplement anything when using their meals.
There’s no fillers, no preservatives, no artificial colors, and the 100% all-natural ingredients have been selected for maximum bioavailability for dogs.
Quality assurance standards are also on par with restaurant standards.
Before the food is prepared, The Honest Kitchen carefully analyzes everything, from measuring nutrition, scanning for germs, mold, yeast, contaminants, and bacteria.
They even screen for heavy metals using standards set forth by international agencies.
The only possible negative we could find was that some dogs may not like the texture of the food - especially in the beginning.
However, adding some additionally ingredients with "bite" can easily solve the dilemma.
Eventually most dogs develop a liking to the freshness of the food that they'll accept it even without additional ingredients.
We've found that The Honest Kitchen is truly a company that is passionate about their clientele - both dogs and their humans.
The quality of their foods show just how much they care about the future health of our beloved pets.
So, if you’re concerned about giving your furry companion only the best food out there, it’s time to be honest with yourself.
Check out the food that is blended with healthy, human-grade ingredients—check out The Honest Kitchen.
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