Review – The Honest Kitchen

One day while browsing several dog blogs and the usual websites, I saw an ad for The Honest Kitchen. It caught my eye because who doesn’t want to feed their dogs natural “Human Grade” food? In reading the information on their site I was intrigued to learn that they make their food in a human food facility, and rather than the traditional dry kibble bits, their food is dehydrated and comes in pouches or boxes that you re-hydrate. It was an interesting point of difference and i thought it was worth a try.

My dogs are picky and they are used to their “Small Dog” formula, and i wasn’t sure how they would react to a new food, and one that needed preparation. It would obviously be a different texture than what they were used to. On the occasion that human food bits drop to the floor (while prepping vegetables, or preparing an evening snack), they will find the crumbs and eat them fast. Except when something like a gluten-free pretzel happens to land close to them. Dexter went over, smelled, it  – probably determined it was too healthy for him – and continued on his way. I wasn’t sure if he would eat something so “healthy”.

I ordered the Sample Bundle and some brochures “Product Flyer” and the “Little Book of Proper Food”; because I was curious and.. they are free.

The Product Flyer is exactly what it says it is, a pictorial representation of their product line: grain-free, whole grain, food for dogs and cats, from a variety of sources: chicken, turkey, beef, and fish or duck. They also have cleverly named dog and cat treats (Pecks, Smooches, and Nuzzles; how cute), and supplements to help with digestion. 

The Little Book of Proper Food tells more about the Human Grade Ingredients – where they are sourced, how they are gently prepared (dehydrated to preserve the nutrients) and their testing. They have a requirement from their suppliers to sign their “Human Food Grade Guarantee”, and perform in-house taste tests (!), quality control for yeast, mold, contaminants, and nutritional testing.

On to my experiencing preparing the product.

The Samples come in 1oz packages (packed in pouches printed with water-based inks) and the sample pack includes (as of my order date) a portion of Beef, Chicken, and Turkey. I also received a supplement pouch, though I have yet to try that.

The instructions are very simple, and there is a video on the website for demonstration. I will summarize:
1) Pour pouch contents into a dish
2) Add 1/3 cup of warm water; Stir
3) Wait Three Minutes the serve.

I used my Keurig for the warm water, measured it, stirred, and waited three minutes.

The pouch contents are a fine grind of lots of green ingredients, and there were several very small pieces of turkey. My sample pouch had about six turkey pieces. Due to the nature of the packaging and portioning, the amount of proteins you receive will vary. The recipe smelled very earthy; in a good way. You could tell from the smell that the ingredients are plant and vegetable based. I was immediately wondering if my dogs would eat it. Their normal food is dry, and smells like grain.

I mixed the water in and gave it a good stir, it looked like a Cup-of-Soup, but after my kitchen timer finished counting down three minutes, I stirred again, stuck my finger in to feel the temperature (I didn’t taste test myself); portioned it into two dishes and took some pictures.

Perhaps I added too much water, but the ingredients had re-hydrated and the texture had firmed up. The final texture was of thick pudding.

Now the real test; will the dogs eat it (and enjoy it)?

After a few apprehensive sniffs, they both dug in and licked their bowls clean! They had both eaten their breakfast just over an hour earlier, so they weren’t wolfing the food down out of hunger, it was because it tasted good! It is hard to saw whether they preferred the Turkey, hHicken or Beef, but all three were consumed quickly.

I think this product is great, has a great social and environmental message as well as the healthy eating aspect for our fur buddies (dogs and cats). The pouches make it so easy to travel with as it reduces the amount of bulk needed while traveling (especially long trips when lots of food is required). No more lugging giant bags of food from the grocery store (Honest Kitchen is sold in select pet stores) or storing food in giant bins, just have a box delivered to your door. Packaging is in 2-lb, 4-lb, or 10-lb boxes. There is a chart on the back of the box to show the equivalent Honest Kitchen portion to traditional dry food, and a calculation on how long a box will last you feeding at those rates.

The Natural Kitchen has all of the requisite social media links where you can share your stories, view others’, and learn more about the company or purchase directly from them.

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