Review: The Honest Kitchen Natural Dog Food

Product: The Honest Kitchen

What It Is: all-natural, dehydrated raw whole foods for dogs (and a line for cats)

Manufacturer: The Honest Kitchen; the family-owned company is based in San Diego, California

DogTipper Review: Our regular readers know that we live in the country. When we first moved out here, the closest grocery store was about 40 minutes away. Today, although the travel time to the grocery store has been cut in half, we’re still in the habit of stocking up on food so we never have to jump in the car and make an unplanned trip to buy groceries…including food for our dogs.

Part of stocking up means selecting food that will last in your pantry so we were really interested when the opportunity to review The Honest Kitchen arose. This dehydrated food is an alternative to canned dog food, perfect for stocking our pantry shelves. (For example, a box with a manufacture date of March 28, 2011 has a “best if used by” date of March 28, 2012.)

First we tried Embark, a grain-free, low-carbohydrate dog food. Like all the foods from The Healthy Kitchen, the meat (in this case, turkey) is USDA inspected and is hormone and antibiotic free; the food’s fruits and vegetables are certified non-GMO (genetically modified organism). The ingredients list is:

Dehydrated cage-free turkey, organic flaxseed, potatoes, celery, spinach, carrots, organic coconut, apples, organic kelp, eggs, bananas, cranberries, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.

Like other foods made by The Honest Kitchen, Force begins with dehydrated, raw meat. According to the manufacturer, the dehydration process makes the food for dogs of all ages including puppies and seniors.

Since we eat a largely low-carb diet ourselves, we were very happy to try this with our dogs. (The Healthy Kitchen makes another gluten-free,  low-carb dog diet called Thrive as well; it is made with chicken. Many holistic veterinarians suggest a low-carb diet for dogs recovering from cancer.)

Embark was, like the other foods in the line, in powdered form when we first opened it:

We measured out one cup of food and added just over a cup of water, stirring it all together. At first, the result was a soupy mixture:

After all the ingredients were well mixed, we allowed it to stand for about 10 minutes during which time the food rehydrated until it was the consistency of canned dog food.

We also tried Zeal, a grain-free food made with white fish; Keen, a low-gluten food with turkey, oats, and vegetables; and Force, a grain-free, gluten-free food made with 100 percent free-range chicken (this one was our dogs’ favorite flavor). The Honest Kitchen also makes Preference, a grain-free foundation diet that you add your own choice of meat to which is great for sensitive dogs that need to eat more unique protein sources.

With each of the foods, you can add meat (raw or cooked) which can be a great way to stretch a box a little further. We added some chicken breast we’d prepared in the slow cooker to Force and the dogs absolutely loved it.

A big paws up for The Honest Kitchen! We love the nutritious and healthy aspects of this food as well as its dehydration which makes it super convenient for storage (and great for travel).

Price: The Honest Kitchen recently began marketing 4-ounce, trial-sized boxes for $3.50 (and the box includes a $5 off coupon); this size box makes 1 pound of food. A 4-pound box of Force (which makes 17 pounds of food) has a suggested price of $42.50.

For More Information:

Disclosure: We received some products from The Honest Kitchen for our review; we were not paid for our review and all statements are entirely our own.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • Great review. I’ve read good things about Honest Kitchen, always wanted to try it. But it’s a bit too pricey for my budget.

    • Thanks, Peggy! I’m going to try the “Preference” food next so I can add meat (then I can take advantage of sales!) Paris