The Honest Kitchen Dog Food earns the Advisor’s above-average rating of 4.5 stars.
Not including the do-it-yourself meatless pre-mix (Preference), the Honest Kitchen product line lists 7 dehydrated raw dog foods, 4 meeting AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and 3 for all life stages (Thrive, Embark and Love).
- The Honest Kitchen Verve1
- The Honest Kitchen Thrive2
- The Honest Kitchen Zeal3 (5 stars)
- The Honest Kitchen Love4 (5 stars)
- The Honest Kitchen Keen5 (3 stars)
- The Honest Kitchen Force6 (3 stars)
- The Honest Kitchen Embark7 (5 stars)
Honest Kitchen Thrive was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Honest Kitchen Thrive
Dehydrated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Dehydrated free-range chicken, organic fair-trade quinoa, sweet potatoes, spinach, parsley, organic kelp, 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
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||21%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||41%||36%|
The first item in this dog food is dehydrated free-range chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.8
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain… but is prized for its gluten-free seeds.
Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), fiber and other healthy nutrients. This is a quality non-meat component.
The third ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in fiber, beta carotene and other healthy nutrients.
The next three items include a series of nutrient-rich vegetables…
We note all the products contain chelated minerals… minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Before we conclude, it’s worth noting The Honest Kitchen has taken the rather unusual step of applying for (and actually receiving) FDA approval to label its pet foods “human grade“.
The company only uses human-edible components and produces all its products in a human food manufacturing facility.
So, judging by its ingredients alone, the Honest Kitchen appears to be a superior dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
Due to its apparently higher meat content, Zeal was upgraded to our 5-star category.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a dehydrated dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.
The Honest Kitchen is a plant-based raw dehydrated dog food using a moderate amount of assorted and named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
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Notes and Updates
04/17/2010 Original review
11/17/2010 Review updated
04/01/2011 Review updated (now compared with other raw dog foods)
05/05/2011 Review updated (edited to show dehydrated chicken)
07/27/2011 Review updated (updated to new percentages)
11/17/2011 Review updated (added Love)
11/17/2011 Last Update