Honest Kitchen Dog Food (Dehydrated)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

Excluding the meat-free premix (Hale), the Honest Kitchen product line includes five dehydrated dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and three for maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Honest Kitchen Revel Chicken Recipe
  • Honest Kitchen Thrive Chicken Recipe
  • Honest Kitchen Verve Beef Recipe (3.5 stars)
  • Honest Kitchen Keen Turkey Recipe (3.5 stars)
  • Honest Kitchen Halcyon Duck Recipe (4.5 stars)

Honest Kitchen Thrive Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Honest Kitchen Thrive Chicken Recipe

Dehydrated Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Chicken, organic quinoa, sweet potatoes, spinach, parsley, organic kelp, 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, thiamine mononitrate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%21%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%21%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%41%36%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

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 a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

The third ingredient includes sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The next two ingredients include spinach and parsley. Due to their exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach and parsley exhibit a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.

The next ingredient is dried kelp, a dehydrated form of seaweed also known as alginate.

The seventh ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorous. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With one notable exception

This food contains 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 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.

Since this recipe also contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating.

That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 21% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the quinoa in this recipe and the flaxseed contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

The Honest Kitchen is a plant-based dehydrated dog food using a moderate amount of poultry or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Honest Kitchen Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
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Readers are invited to share news about coupons and discounts with others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/26/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
  • Julie

    I give my dog the Kindly base mix and mix it with cooked ground turkey or chicken breast. She has chronic pancreatitis/IBD and we couldn’t find a kibble that didn’t upset her stomach. Honest kitchen was a life saver! If you call them, they will tell you exactly how to transition your dog. I highly recommend their supplement, Perfect Form, when transitioning too. It really helps to avoid loose stools and tummy upset. I also give my dog the Pro Bloom which is their instant goats milk and is a probiotic. Hope this helps.

  • Tarakore

    I’m looking for advice on this if anyone might have some info.

    I have an ~9-10yr small dog, a chihuahua/pekingese mix that I got from a shelter. She was a puppy mill rescue and unfortunately due to years of neglect, most of her teeth are gone, and the remaining teeth are either crooked or damaged in some way, so hard foods have become painful to her, and thus has made her very picky/scared about eating anything.

    Over the years her food has gone from kibble, to kibble and some wet, to half kibble and wet, and now to mostly wet with a tiny bit of kibble. This has been a gradual change, however she seems to have gotten fed up with attempting the kibble at all, and I don’t really blame her, poor thing :( After the first year I started soaking the kibble in water prior to mixing but I think the center is still hard and still hurts her.

    However, when I tried slowly easing her off the kibble onto just her wet food, every time she eats it with no kibble, she ends up getting very bad tummy aches and sometimes she throws up, even if the change is so gradual that I’m adding like 5 pieces of kibble to her food.

    Her hard food is Science Diet Senior, the only dry food she likes, and her wet food is Blue Buffalo turkey or chicken.

    I’ve tried a small THK tester meal with her and she ate it after a while, but she seemed really offput by the texture. She absolutely loves Blue Buffalo but like I mentioned earlier, eating it alone makes her sick.

    So what I think I might do is buy some THK and Blue Buffalo and mix them for her meals, no kibble. Has anyone tried this before and has it worked well nutritionally? Not just with BB but with any wet food really. I’m just worried that taking out hard food entirely will disrupt her system.

    And also would it be better to get a normal mix (She seemed to ‘like’ Force the most) or a Base Mix, since there’s different food with it? I also believe she might have a grain allergy so I’m looking at THK grain free specifically, as I’ll be switching her BB to grain free too.

    ( Sorry for such a wordy post, I really need advice for my poor old pup ;_; )

  • Deborah L. Kunesh

    I too was originally worried about the garlic. My conventional vet freaked out when I mentioned garlic, but the holistic vet we just saw said that garlic is okay in smaller amounts. I had to laugh this morning when I looked at the ingredients of the biscuits we’ve been feeding our dog for over a year now…one of the ingredients? garlic! I didn’t realize and have been worried about trying THK’s foods with garlic (some of theirs don’t have it) or other foods with it.

  • DogFoodie

    That’s good. I prefer to rotate brands also. One of mine had Fromm with eggs and berries this morning and the other had Nature’s Variety Instinct LID with eggs and some leftover turkey. They both had THK for dinner. One got Halcyon and the other Thrive. Breakfast tomorrow is yet TBD, but has to be quick so it’ll be kibble with a canned topper.

  • aimee

    You’re welcome!

  • LadyMephisto

    Thanks – I rotate her meat patties (which she gets for her 6:00pm meal). I didn’t mention this above, but I also rotate between Force and Keen. Aimee (belie) provided the link for a nutritional analysis of Force.

  • LadyMephisto

    AIMEE – thanks so much! I couldn’t find this earlier.

  • DogFoodie

    That’s precisely the reason why a lot of posters here choose to feed a rotational diet.

  • aimee
  • Dori

    You could also call the company and ask for customer service. You’ll get a faster response by phone than you will be email. I’ve never had an issue with customer service. They have always been very helpful.

  • LadyMephisto

    THANKS crazy4cats – I’m sending them my questions this week.

  • Crazy4cats

    Have you tried contacting the company? Others have reported that they are good about answering questions.

  • LadyMephisto

    My dog (Boston Terrier) loves Hk’s Force (Chicken, grain-free). Because this is her 2nd year of eating this, I really need to know the vitamin & mineral content if I’m going to continue her on this food. I also feed her raw beef, venison & buffalo meat patties made locally (for dogs) so I’m hoping that she’s getting a balanced diet – but without a list of minerals & vitamins I’ll never know for certain.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Have you tried some of the other premixes? There’s Sojos, Grandma Lucy’s (this has a distinct garlic scent), Dr. Harvey’s. There are several others that some people on this site have used, but I’m not familar with them.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Joey David:
    Maybe you could incorporate a few homemade meals along with the Fresh Pet into your dogs diet until you find a few foods that he does well on and fit into your budget. Here is a site with info on balanced homemade diets:
    http://www.dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html

    Here are some recommended books about homemade diets from the same site:
    http://www.dogaware.com/diet/bookreviews.html

  • Joey David

    I’ve been feeding my dogs the new Kindly formula without the Alfalfa for a few days and there’s something in the mix he’s allergic to, one of his eyes is all flared and red, he is licking his paws and leg and his butt is itching because he does that butt then on the floor thing. I will have to revert back to Fresh Pet which is costly. I can make my own food but I don’t want to mess with that, I could put too much or not enough of anything for their diet.

  • Joey David

    Great thanx for the link and info, the new recipe of Kindly is hard to come by here in Toronto, the stores offered to order it with a 2 day waiting time frame. I managed to find a store that had a just one box left. I’ll try it and see how it goes. The bacterial/yeast infection info was very helpful, thank you. Looks like my dog is getting back some of the symptoms. He was doign well on Fresh Pet. Then I switched to the HC and that’s when it started again, I am guessing it’s the peas which does have a higher sugar content. I even played with the idea of making my own food since there is no food out there with only the ingredients my dog can handle.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I thought Kindly was a newer recipe than preference. The current box I got was purchased a couple of months ago. It replaced the alfalfa with peas. I’m glad because I wasn’t crazy over the alfalfa. I just looked @ THK’s website and Kindly’s formula must have changed as well. It no longer has alfalfa in either formula. Preference has sweet potatoes and Kindly has carrots.
    Just a couple of my tricks with feeding THK: I use a spice grinder to grind it fine before I rehydrate it. It seems to digest better. I also add much more meat to the mix than they call for. I use @ least 1:1 ratio. i.e. at least 1 cup of protein to 1 cup of rehydrated(not dry) base mix. Otherwise I think the protein is too low.

    Here’s Dr. Karen Beckers take on dealing with yeast:

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/05/03/eating-these-foods-can-make-your-dog-itch-like-crazy.aspx

    Let me know how it goes!

  • Joey David

    I feed them THC Kindly which is the Grain Free recipe, I don’t know what produces yeast/bacterial infection but one of my dogs had it. They were doing really well on FreshPet Salmon/Fish recipe but it was becoming very expensive at $50 a week as I have 2 dogs. THC is a bit more economical as I get free produce (salmon/chicken/beef etc). Kindly is $60 an should last a month.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I forgot to mention that I only use the grain free base mixes. I don’t know if that makes a difference for you. I have an open box of Preference I’m using right now. It’s the newer version that contains peas and no alfalfa. I just looked at the ingredients and garlic is not listed on it. If you’re uncomfortable about the garlic, you could use Preference instead.
    I’ve also found that my dogs seemed to be pooping the pieces of sweet potato and vegetables out in pretty much the same way they went in so I do grind the mix before I rehydrate it. There was some discussion on this earlier, perhaps on the Grain Free Honest Kitchen thread. I found this to be true for me so I grind it. I’m not sure what the grained versions look like as I don’t use them.
    I do use Grandmas Lucy’s Pureformance premix also and that has a distinct scent of garlic when mixing. Much more than the Honest Kitchen.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Joey-
    I agree with c4d. It is a controversial ingredient. I’m one who does give small amounts of garlic to my dogs to help prevent fleas and parasites. I’ve not had any issues so far. And as she states, it is very far down on the list and shouldn’t be a problem. But, you need to be comfortable with it also. In addition to the article on the Dogs Naturally Magazine website, check out the bugs off garlic website. It also has a lot of info on the subject.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I use the base mix all the time. Garlic is sometimes considered controversial. The more natural feeders like it’s various properties. At any rate, it’s so low on the list it shouldn’t be a problem.
    Here’s DFA link:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/red-flag-ingredients/dog-food-garlic/

    Dogs naturally magazine has an article on it but I can’t seem to access it right now.

  • Joey David

    I recently bought the Base formula and mix it with salmon, but one of the lessor (bottom of the list) ingredients is garlic and I read garlic is not good for dogs, should I return this?

  • Len C

    I bought it when the BOGO was in effect. My 2 Siberians Huskies have loved it.

  • Dori

    Dawn, on any of the raw food sites they will list which of their foods have gone through the HPP process. Typically it’s their poultries.

  • DAWN

    Oh ok I get you now

  • Dog_Obsessed

    There are some “cooked frozen” recipes available too. They are not cooked to as high temperatures as kibble is, but they are not raw. What is your opinion on these?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Oh, I just skimmed the post before and thought she was talking about cooking THK. Sorry!

  • aimee

    Hi Dawn,
    Primal doesn’t HPP their venison which is why I cook it. Feeding a raw diet isn’t appropriate for my family.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    THK is dehydrated, not raw.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I don’t know about the other formulas, but the Veg To Bowl is grain-free. I agree it is very expensive though, especially for a pre-mix.

  • DAWN

    Dr Harveys food is soooo Expensive! More than THK… also their food is a lot of grains :O/

  • DAWN

    if…you…cook..raw food…your no longer feeding your dog a raw diet lol

  • DAWN

    HK does…make Duck..Halcyn

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    From: Cheryl Heymann-Lemoine

    Subject: Re: About your Honest Kitchen question…

    Date: February 9, 2015 at 4:44:36 PM CST

    To: The Honest Kitchen

    Missy,

    Thank you for answering my question, really appreciate it. A thought that one of the posters on DFA pondered and I felt it was pertinent enough to ask.

    Has anyone at the company ever considered doing a digestibility study on these base mixes?

    It may be difficult, but if you could take a cross section of age, breed, weight to see how these pups digest the base mixes.

    I know consumers would really appreciate the company doing this and reporting the findings online.

    Thank you,

    Cheryl Heymann

    On Feb 9, 2015, at 10:12 AM, Missy Gurga (The Honest Kitchen) wrote:

    ##- Please type your reply above this line -##

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you very much for your feedback, we really appreciate know what our customers want to see. I have forward your email to our R&D Operations team and they will be able to work on it. Thank you again for your feedback, have a great day.

    ***************************************

    Here’s a history of our conversation:

    Missy Gurga (The Honest Kitchen)

    Feb 9, 08:12

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you very much for your feedback, we really appreciate know what our customers want to see. I have forward your email to our R&D Operations team and they will be able to work on it. Thank you again for your feedback, have a great day.

    Cheryl Heymann-Lemoine

    Feb 7, 07:53

    Good Day,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I am satisfied to a point.

    I would like to request a re-evaluation on how your grain-free base mixes Kindly & Preference are made. Would you consider making the veggies in a finer grind?

    Many people are questioning when feeding their pups this particular food the what goes in comes out exactly the same way-your veggies are not getting digested.

    If you go to Dogfoodadvisor.com, you will see and read, I am not the only consumer having an issue with these mixes-all breeds all ages are concerned that these mixes do not re-hydrate well enough to be fully digested by the pups.

    As someone who has become an HK devotee, I would hate having to stop buying your base mixes.

    I know I am only one asking your company to consider not really a re-formulation,just a better way to get the veggies to be digested,I would think that is your whole reason in making these base mixes in the first place.

    Please let someone in manufacturing be aware of this problem, because it is a problem.

    Thank you for your time.

    I await a reply.

    Fondly,

    Cheryl Heymann

    Missy Gurga (The Honest Kitchen)

    Feb 4, 09:31

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you for contacting is with your questions, I am sorry that your little girl is dealing with IBD. It is very unusual what you are experiencing with your little girl, we normally hear the opposite because you can control how much water goes into the diet. I would consult with your vet about her extreme thirst. The sodium in our diets is naturally occurring in the ingredients, never added. Here are the sodium levels in our two base mixes and our grain free options.

    Preference: .25%

    Kindly: .40%

    Force: .38%

    Embark: .50%

    Love: .34%

    Zeal: .28%

    I would love to send you samples of any of our grain free diets if you forward me your US mailing address.

    A dog eating a high-quality whole food diet which includes fruits and veggies, will naturally have a very regular, well-formed, and bulkier stool. It is normal to see bits of food and does not indicate they are not getting what they need from the food. The body is able to assimilate the nutrients it needs more efficiently from whole foods than from a processed diet. Please let me know if you have any more questions, we are happy to help. Have a good day!

    Cheryl Heymann-Lemoine

    Feb 3, 15:05

    Good Day,

    I have been using your grain-free line going on 2 months now. My 11 1/2 y.o. mini schnauzer has IBD and her last bout was the last time for me giving her kibble, although I soaked it and it was a very high quality brand, my little angel could no longer digest it.

    She has been doing much better on your food but I have noticed some things that feedback from your company would be greatly appreciated.

    When she eats either the Kindly or Preference around 1-2 hrs after eating she starts panting and is EXTREMELY thirsty, my question do these 2 foods contain a lot of sodium, I would like to know how much sodium these mixes contain as well as the grain free protein inclusive lines.

    Secondly, when eating the base mixes ,a lot of undigested vegetables come out in her stool, they come out looking they same way they went in. Do you recommend that I cook the base mixes a little to break down the vegetables more?

    My concern is loosing the nutritional value,but since she has IBD, I am not looking to give her a case of gastritis due to the vegetables not being cooked completely.

    Thank you for your response.

    I look forward to your response.

    Yours truly,

    Cheryl C. Heymann

    This email is a service from The Honest Kitchen. http://www.honestkitchen.com.

    Message-Id:STMESP71_54d8dc5fafa17_4c1b3fd4da0cd32c901950_sprut

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Aimee,
    I am now ABSOULTeLY 100% sure the base mixes are problematic-this morning it was so apparent what pepper ate last nite -so the base mixes are out of our rotation. I emailed THK about doing a digestibility study but I am not holding out hope.
    My observations will continue as they always have on Pepper and now Millie’s poo-poo.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Hi Aimee,
    I did email the company this am. I did not (which I should have done) ask them if any digestibility trials have been done EXCELLENT POINT-WILL do ASAP –
    Either something will happen or they will hate me and stop answering my emails.
    I did suggest they go to the posts here and see it is not only my pup that is having this issue.
    I didn’t want them saying she is old with IBD so you can expect that to happen.
    Maybe if we all wrote in it would have more “BAM” -THAN JUST ME COMPLAINING, JUST A THOUGHT.
    Thanks Aimee-really appreciate your thoughts and ideas.
    Gotta email them before my angels get their afternoon stroll.

  • aimee

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for reporting back with your findings!
    I think you should write the company but I don’t know that the answer is found in just making the pieces smaller.
    I think doing that may just make them harder to notice in the stool.

    THK told me they haven’t done any type of digestibility studies on their foods. Not even something as simple as looking closely at the “output” as we have done. Instead of asking the company to make the prices smaller I’d ask for them to invest in digestibility trials.

    In my opinion the company has focused on the emotional aspects of what goes into the food, and have fallen short on objective criteria; what is the dog getting out of the food.

  • theBCnut

    Yes, I’ve used the fine ground. The pieces are very tiny and I don’t see anything in my dogs stool with the fine ground. The course ground pieces are about the size of peas and I definitely saw them in the stools.

  • http://theuglypugglyboutique.com/ sandy

    The website says it’s dehydrated. I haven’t used it yet. I believe BCNut has. And I’m sure the nutritional value of it can be discussed/examined and cross examined as with other foods! 😉 Let the games (debate) begin!

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Sandy,
    i have not is it a dehydrated food like THK?
    I did get a bag of the Oracle which is his freeze dried
    I will check it out
    Thank you so much Sandy for the info.
    Do you have good results feeding this food? I guess you have been reading my concerns with THK base mixes

  • http://theuglypugglyboutique.com/ sandy

    Have you ever checked out Dr Harvey’s Veg To Bowl fine ground?

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Aimee,
    It is 100% the base mixes that when ingested by Pepper come out looking the same.
    Now Pepper is older and has IBD, so I know she has issues, but if the base Mixes do this to her IMHO I am better off cooking and pureeing veggies & some fruits and giving them to her.
    Now in the protein inclusive line I do not find this as much.
    I saw ( and again it may only be Pepper,)but very tiny fine pieces of veggies are visible in her stool-nothing compared to the base Mixes.
    I had an idea, I am going to email them again about their base mixes and if anyone else would do so also-IT MAY JUST MAKE THEM LOOK INTO FORMULATING THE BASE MIXES WITH SMALLER PIECES. Maybe if enough of us email them , they will see it is an issue with all types of ages and breeds of the fur-kids.
    I know this company thinks its perfect because it gets such stellar reviews,but you never never know what a few of us who feed this can do.
    I will still feed THK because it seems to be agreeing with Pepper and that’s all that matters to me.
    But those base mixes need to be changed.
    So let’s all email them and see what we all can do to change this!!!!

  • aimee

    We may be on to something…I have some sample packs of their protein inclusive. I might have to investigate further but not now to cold out!

  • aimee

    Hi Dori,

    I saute the raw because I decided feeding raw meat isn’t appropriate for my household in regard to bacterial pathogens.

    The veggies are steamed, usually leftovers from our dinner. If i’m cooking for them then streamed and purred. The fruit is usually fresh occasionally as we make cooked apples they will have cooked apples.

    Yup The Dr. Wynn I refer to is Dr. Susan Wynn. How lucky for you to have her as your vet!

  • aimee

    It isn’t really an indoor activity is it : )

    After you hydrate the food inspect it so you know what size shape you are looking for in the output.

  • aimee

    Hi Storms Mom,

    I “cold turkey” switched her and fed THK on its own. Whenever I change her food I cold turkey switch. So one day she may be on Pro Plan and the next on Annamaet. She never has had any GI problems from doing this. Some will say this is a sign of a healthy gut. She gets fresh food daily. Last night she had spinach and chicken and apple, the night before pork, green beans and broccoli. Some days all she eats is fresh.

    What specifically is it that makes you think she would have difficulty digesting THK?

    As to why I said it is the diet, dogs can not digest certain things well unless processed, raw potato starch for example, or cellulose. Other things can be digested raw, corn starch for example. This allows basic predictions to be made.

    A few years back I had Brooke eat uncooked corn off of two ears and predicted she’d digest the kernel contents without any problems, and she did, only the empty cellulose laden “skins” remained.

    When I posted my THK results Shawna and Hound Dog Mom posted that they noted the same thing with SoJo and Dr. Harvey’s Veg to Bowl.

    For certain things to be well digested some processing is needed. After I processed the food, as predicted she digested it just fine.

    Cheryl posted that the pre mixes have much larger pieces than the protein inclusive mixes. I think this is a plays a large factor into why people don’t see things in the stool with other mixes. As I said when I fed the Zeel I suspended and strained the output several times and I even used magnification. When in a finer form is it digested or just harder to find? I don’t know. After hydrating see if you can find and identify all the ingredients, if you can, then knowing what size you are looking for check the output for the same and report back.

  • Dori

    Well I’m not gonna bring it in the house or anything like that. Just outside with a hose and inspect. Before I got Katie straightened out she would constantly have runny diarrhea that couldn’t be picked up so I’d have to hose the area off. I just thought today that instead of going back and forth wondering how much if any undigested Honest Kitchen food was in the poop I should just check it out with the hose. I will most definitely post back as soon as I feed them THK next.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Wow, that’s brave of you! I don’t have a problem with picking up dog food, but hosing it off…no thanks. Be sure to let us know how it goes!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Oh, I just don’t want Storm’s entire dietary intake to rely on whether or not I forget/know how/have time to properly hydrate, cook, etc his food (including portion size). I’m just more comfortable feeding kibble with a canned or other topper (at the moment, subject to change…).

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Horray Dori,
    My computer guru-I forgot all this when I stopped working, funny how a skill gets put way back, but the moment I read your instructions I said yes you bozo how could you forget this.
    I think the ProDen was the culprit I stopped giving it to her with her evening meal and the thirst stopped.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Aimee,
    I did as you said light night and day between base mixes & protein inclusive lines. This am pepper ate Love pieces were finely ground.
    This evening she ate kindly -chunks of veggies picked a bunch out-hydrated them in a separate bowl-so I will see tomorrow.
    I just may cut out the base Mixes-she isn’t digesting those chunks too much for her tummy

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    From: “Missy Gurga (The Honest Kitchen)”

    Subject: About your Honest Kitchen question…

    Date: February 4, 2015 at 11:31:49 AM CST

    To: Cheryl Heymann-Lemoine

    Reply-To: The Honest Kitchen

    ##- Please type your reply above this line -##

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you for contacting is with your questions, I am sorry that your little girl is dealing with IBD. It is very unusual what you are experiencing with your little girl, we normally hear the opposite because you can control how much water goes into the diet. I would consult with your vet about her extreme thirst. The sodium in our diets is naturally occurring in the ingredients, never added. Here are the sodium levels in our two base mixes and our grain free options.

    Preference: .25%

    Kindly: .40%

    Force: .38%

    Embark: .50%

    Love: .34%

    Zeal: .28%

    I would love to send you samples of any of our grain free diets if you forward me your US mailing address.

    A dog eating a high-quality whole food diet which includes fruits and veggies, will naturally have a very regular, well-formed, and bulkier stool. It is normal to see bits of food and does not indicate they are not getting what they need from the food. The body is able to assimilate the nutrients it needs more efficiently from whole foods than from a processed diet. Please let me know if you have any more questions, we are happy to help. Have a good day!

    ***************************************

    Here’s a history of our conversation:

    Missy Gurga (The Honest Kitchen)

    Feb 4, 09:31

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you for contacting is with your questions, I am sorry that your little girl is dealing with IBD. It is very unusual what you are experiencing with your little girl, we normally hear the opposite because you can control how much water goes into the diet. I would consult with your vet about her extreme thirst. The sodium in our diets is naturally occurring in the ingredients, never added. Here are the sodium levels in our two base mixes and our grain free options.

    Preference: .25%

    Kindly: .40%

    Force: .38%

    Embark: .50%

    Love: .34%

    Zeal: .28%

    I would love to send you samples of any of our grain free diets if you forward me your US mailing address.

    A dog eating a high-quality whole food diet which includes fruits and veggies, will naturally have a very regular, well-formed, and bulkier stool. It is normal to see bits of food and does not indicate they are not getting what they need from the food. The body is able to assimilate the nutrients it needs more efficiently from whole foods than from a processed diet. Please let me know if you have any more questions, we are happy to help. Have a good day!

    Cheryl Heymann-Lemoine

    Feb 3, 15:05

    Good Day,

    I have been using your grain-free line going on 2 months now. My 11 1/2 y.o. mini schnauzer has IBD and her last bout was the last time for me giving her kibble, although I soaked it and it was a very high quality brand, my little angel could no longer digest it.

    She has been doing much better on your food but I have noticed some things that feedback from your company would be greatly appreciated.

    When she eats either the Kindly or Preference around 1-2 hrs after eating she starts panting and is EXTREMELY thirsty, my question do these 2 foods contain a lot of sodium, I would like to know how much sodium these mixes contain as well as the grain free protein inclusive lines.

    Secondly, when eating the base mixes ,a lot of undigested vegetables come out in her stool, they come out looking they same way they went in. Do you recommend that I cook the base mixes a little to break down the vegetables more?

    My concern is loosing the nutritional value,but since she has IBD, I am not looking to give her a case of gastritis due to the vegetables not being cooked completely.

    Thank you for your response.

    I look forward to your response.

    Yours truly,

    Cheryl C. Heymann

    This email is a service from The Honest Kitchen. http://www.honestkitchen.com.

    Message-Id:STMESP71_54d2578577f35_a1cb3fc9018cd32c1791077_sprutTicket-Id:9963

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Storm’s Mom,
    May I ask you ( if you don’t mind) why this is a food you wouldn’t feed daily?
    I ask because I am feeding this daily to my older gal due to her inability to digest kibble any longer. i cook for her and have not fed canned , I felt dehydrated is a better option and felt THK was about the best dehydrated on the market.
    I hope you don’t mind answering the question and I do realize what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another.
    As for the poop issue i really do think the base mixes have larger pieces of the vegetables than the protein inclusive lines.
    I have carefully examined pepper’s poo & it is quite different when she has eaten Preference/Kindly as opposed to Zeal or Love, the pieces are more undigested in the base Mixes-now it MAY VERY WELL BE PEPPER’S age & her digestive problems & not the food.

  • Dori

    I think next time I feed THK I will take a hose to their poops and see for myself if there actually is anything undigested inside the poops that are not visible from the outside. I certainly don’t and have never seen anything undigested on the outside of their poops and I have three dogs so you’d think that if there was something undigested I would see it on at least one of theirs.

    Good questions to aimee, by the way. They hadn’t occurred to me.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Apologies if I missed this, aimee, but when you fed Brooke the THK that produced the larger pieces in her poop, did you feed it as a topper or on its own? ..and if on its own, did you do any gradual transition before noticing these pieces, or did you switch cold-turkey?

    I ask because it sounds like you just tried it with her out of the blue ..and given what you said about her everyday diet, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least that she’d have an issue with digesting THK. You said earlier “This isn’t a problem with your dog, it is a problem with the product.” …but based on what you’ve said I don’t see why you are so convinced it isn’t a problem with your dog’s digestive system?

    My experience with THK is that Storm’s tried several “sample packs” (tiny boxes and sample-sized bags) of THK formulae on a few different occasions (all the ones without chicken, both grain-inclusive and grain-free..haven’t tried the base mix, though) .

    When I saw this discussion a few months ago or so, I looked more closely at the poop and washed/dissolved the poop a couple of times ..and there were no pieces of any sort in his poop (changed cold turkey from his kibble (as I often do with Storm) and then changed cold turkey between the sample packs). If it really IS the food, as you said, wouldn’t Storm have issues with it too?

    THK is not a food I would feed on its own on a daily basis for a few reasons (none of which have to do with the discussions at hand), but I do and will continue to use it as a topper from time to time.

  • Dori

    HI Cheryl. I still think since the thirst if only happening when you feed the base mixes that it has to be coming from something in the protein or other supplemental ingredients that you are feeding. I think maybe you should start keeping a list (or a chart) when you feed the base mixes of the additives and what else you have fed all that day and probably the evening before also. That could be helpful to see if the excessive thirst is directly correlated to something else in their diet.

    I don’t see anything in their poops either but you can read a discussion that aimee and I had just a little bit ago.

    As to how to get the email from THK here, all you have to do is “copy” the email on your computer, then come back here, click a reply and then click from your computer “paste”. Then it will appear here. You’ll find the copy and paste on your computer in the Edit section.

  • Dori

    Aimee. I actually stopped feeding THK for awhile because of the original topic of alfalfa in their foods and only went back to the Zeal recently when I was able to purchase it again once they removed the alfalfa. I do inspect each and every one of their poops, it’s one of my ways of knowing how their guts are doing on any given day. They all poop only twice a day so it’s not a real big deal on my part and, of course, my girls are all toy breeds. I will admit quite freely that I do not wash their poops. LOL! I think if I start doing that my dear old hubby will finally have me committed for sure! So it’s possible that Zeal not having containing carrots, white potatoes and alfalfa any other bits of undigested ingredients are so tiny that they are imbedded somewhere inside the poop that I can’t visually see. Huh?

    When you say you saute the commercial raw foods, those would be ones that do not contain bones, correct? Fruits and veggies that you give are always cooked?

    Dr. Wynn that you refer to would be Dr. Susan Wynn? If so, she’s one of Hannah’s vets. A utterly fascinating person.

  • aimee

    Hi Cheryl,

    See my post to Dori above. When I fed Zeel they were hard to find due to difference in particle size.

    Do a little experiment. Hydrate the food as usually but before feeding see what you can identify and how large the pieces are. Maybe you don’t see them because they are smaller in the protein inclusive line??

  • aimee

    Hi Dori,

    The first time I fed THK it was the Zeel from a trial box. I started this “quest” because of the alfalfa issue brought up by a different poster.

    I rehydrated overnight and fed it. I found alfalfa but also “orange” pieces and some hard seed structures, a green leaf and translucent light green material. My first thought was that hubby fed her something. But then it was several days later when I thought… wait a minute maybe that orange stuff was sweet potato and the other stuff was??.

    I wanted to repeat the experiment but the store was out of trial Zeel so I bought Preference and repeated the test.

    The hydrated pieces in Preference were larger than Zeel and subsequently much easier to find both before and after going through the dog. With Preference I could identify some pieces when I broke the stool apart. With Zeel it wasn’t until after I “washed” and strained did I find the pieces.

    But to answer your question I do think it depends on formula what you will or will not see along with how hard you are looking for it.

    I ‘ve used commercial raw but I saute it and used only as a topper. The ones I’ve used are based on protein source not nutrient analysis. Jack is on a limited venison based diet and I use Primal Venison and Stella and Chewy Freeze dried Venison as some of his toppers. His kibble remains RC Venison/Potato. I don’t mess with his diet much as he and I have gotten burned a few times. But he gets a variety of veggies and fruits without problems and seem to tolerate chicken or fresh cooked beef or pork in small amounts.

    Brooke primarily eats Pro Plan. Honestly she does the best on that brand of kibble. I’ll throw in other bags here and there (Wellness, Annamaet, Hill’s) but when she stays on those other brands for more than 6 weeks or so coat will start to suffer. Brooke doesn’t get any commercial raw and toppers are primarily what I have for dinner or some canned Purina One if I don’t have anything of mine to add to hers. Last night she had pork, broccoli and green beans. Occasionally I’ll home cook a large batch of food to use as topper for her and Jack based on the recipe from Dr Wynn’s site.
    .

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Aimee, Dori, DF,BC, & D_O
    It’s funny but I don’t notice any undigested pieces coming out when i feed the protein inclusive grain-free line. It’s only when I feed the Kindly & Preference that I notice pieces that when in coming out the same way. Now Pepper has IBD/IBS so it just could be her, when I used to give her cooked carrots I had the same thing happened.

    Honest Kitchen did get back to me and said thirst is not something they have had people ask about when feeding the base Mixes. If I can figure out how to post the e-mail that they sent i will or if anyone would be kind enough to tell me how to do it I will. I will post the sodium contents in their grain free line later, I have to run an errand.
    Thanks all

  • Dori

    Hi Aimee. Hoping you’re around. I was wondering what your thoughts are on something that I was wondering about. Do you think that the reason that I don’t see bits of stuff in my dogs (3) poops is because when I do feed THK it’s 99.9 % their Zeal formula which doesn’t contain carrots or potatoes? Just a thought as I have looked at the poop pics you’ve posted and a few others have commented also on the same issue but I honestly have never anything and because of Katie’s issues with so many ingredients and because she is a poop eater I’m always thoroughly inspecting poop. I’m rather OCD on the subject. Well, truth be told, I’m rather OCD on a lot of things.

    Another question I have for you that you’ve probably mentioned somewhere and I just don’t remember is, do you feed any commercial raw foods and if so, which ones? I don’t have a head for being able to figure out all you’re able to so I’m sure you’ve already analyzed any that you would be feeding. And….do you feed a rotational diet with commercial raw and kibble?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Um, no. Lol. Thanks though! I usually just let it rehydrate for a few minutes, though it’s not very much, less than 1/8 of a cup.

  • aimee

    I’d guess there would be variations between animals, ut raw potato starch doesn’t digest well. It can ferment in the colon though.

    As I recall the first time I fed it I let it rehydrate overnight. Still found the sweet potato come out as went in.

    I’ll have to do some permeation on the experiments. Either that or have you’ll Fed Ex poop to me for “analysis” LOL

  • DogFoodie

    I do the same. It thickens quite a bit in the fridge overnight and then I like to add some hot water to thin it and warm it up just a bit.

  • theBCnut

    When I feed THK, I make it up 24 hours ahead and don’t have any issues with finding pieces parts in the stool. I think it digests better when it has soaked longer. It’s also a completely different consistency when it has set longer, more like canned food, instead of a liquid.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Hi Aimee,

    I have used THK as a topper, and sometimes used it as almost half her meal. I have never noticed bits coming out undigested. I am going to use mostly THK next in my rotation, so we’ll see then. Could it be that some dogs can digest these things raw and others can’t?

  • aimee

    Hi Cheryl,

    I didn’t cook all of it. I sorted out the larger dehydrated pieces (celery, sweet potato, apple, pumpkin) hydrated them and then cooked them until they were at a consistency similar to what I’d cook food for myself.

    I don’t recommend you cook all the food.

    Brooke’s stool was formed, green, a little on the soft side but from the outside none of those undigested pieces were visible. It wasn’t until I “washed” the stool did I find the undigested pieces. Those were in the center of the stool. When people say they never see any undigested pieces, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not there. I doubt many people have done what I did with there dog’s stool.

    I’d also imagine that different formulas have different sized pieces. If
    the material is finely ground it would be hard to identify.

    But this isn’t an uncommon finding. Others report the same thing on this and other forums

    “The stool is formed, but he goes 4 to 5 times a day and I see a bunch of
    undigested matter in it, such as grass stems, smt. looking like beans,
    etc. The stool looks like the dehydrated food only it is formed as
    stool.”

    http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/252158/Honest_Kitchen_ZEAL_and_IBD_do

    “Also it seems like Angus is pooping out undigested pieces of the food and that worries me.”

    http://www.pugauthority.com/t7519-honest-kitchen-and-increased-poop

    All of us want the best for our dogs and feeding them is highly emotional. This food costs a lot but that leads us to believe we are buying the best. Feeding our dog a food that can label itself human grade also makes us feel good.

    But really as dog food consumers we need to step back from the emotional and look at the objective. . When I combine the lack of digestibility with the reported deficiencies in their NA’s ( for example THK reports Halcyon pantothenic acid level as .75 mg/kg and AAFCO min is 10 mg/kg) their inability to understand and answer nutritional questions and the recent exchange I had with them regarding the new Preference formulation I’ve concluded that this company doesn’t meet my criteria.

  • Dori

    Hi Cheryl. Good to hear from you. I mostly feed their whole grain dinners but I do on occasion feed their dinner mixes. Their poops on all the different ones are the same pretty much and it’s been a very long time since I could make out any ingredients in their poops. I’ve mentioned to you and others, I’m a real poop inspector. My hubby had a badge made for me years ago as a joke that says “POOP INSPECTOR”. You take care also. Rotating takes a while to get use to till you’re at the point where you don’t even have to think about it. You’ll get there.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Aimee,
    when you say you cooked the food how long did you cook it on the stove? I am sure you had to keep adding water.
    I am noticing her poo is green ,solid but greenish actually the color of the honest kitchen.
    Your photo is similar to what I have been seeing lately esp. when fed Kindly or Preference-she gets either at 1 of her meals, now I am thinking of not feeding these and just use their grain free protein inclusive line to which I always top it off with very very low fat beef or turkey ground or chicken breast ground all hormone and grass fed.
    Pepper can no longer digest kibble and I thought this was my answer ,now I am not to sure.
    Another thing I have noticed with pepper, after eating either base mix she is extremely thirsty , i called them and am waiting for a call back.
    I have a feeling their foods are high in sodium.
    Well Aimee as they say back to the drawing board.
    Thanks I know you are no fan of this brand, but honestly, I thought out of all the dehydrated food this was the best.
    Thanks agin for your input, i do appreciate it.

  • aimee

    Hi Cheryl,

    When I fed THK to my dog many of the different food components came out the same way they went in: apple was partially digested but the sweet potato, celery, cabbage, alfalfa looked virtually unchanged.

    This isn’t a problem with your dog, it is a problem with the product. Certain things will not be well digested unless they are cooked, potato for example. Honest Kitchen uses ingredients in the diets that require cooking for through digestion but states they don’t cook their foods.

    After I cooked THK the food was able to be digested. I used the original Preference for my “experiment” you can see the results here http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/honest-kitchen-dog-food/#comment-1387476211

    and here http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/honest-kitchen-dog-food/#comment-1399695479

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Hi Dori,
    How is everything?
    I have a quick question-do you feed THK grain-free base mixes to the girts ? If so, is there poo-poo o.k.?
    It could be an issue with Pepper because of her digestive problems, but I do notice that it looks like she doesn’t digest the mix too well.
    I might just have to rotate her within their complete meals ?
    They ate the venison so fast i didn’t have time to get my water glass filled.

    Believe it or not I am still trying to figure out how to do this rotation although I do rotate-URGHH
    Take care and thanks so much

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Oh yeah, I think I saw Pepper on the slideshow on the side of the page. She is so adorable!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I saw that too! Congrats Dori! She’s a beauty.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    D_O
    Pepper & Millie are patron pets too, check them if you get a minute. Pep is in her raincoat

  • Dog_Obsessed

    This has nothing to do with the conversation, but I just saw that Hannah was featured as a Patron Pet in a recent article on The Truth About Pet Food. Congrats!

  • Dori

    My girls love it and have done well on it. My three girls are eaters. I doubt your girls are gonna let you give their food away. Lol

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    If Pep & Millie allow me to sneak a patty out of the fridge your girls will have it asap.
    Tomorrow we try the primal venison How did your girls like the OCRAW-gosh it is expensive to ship I hope they like it.
    How are things going?

  • Dori

    I’ll keep an eye out for it. Better yet, I’ll have the girls keep an eye out for it. They’re much better catchers than I am.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    O.K. I am sending 1 Vital Essential fish patty through cyberspace

  • Dori

    Great game. That play by the rookie Butler was amazing! Good game by both teams. Yeah, Seattle must have really been dumb founded with that pass with Lynch ready.

  • Crazy4cats

    Tom did play great even with regulation balls today. But, why oh why did we call a pass play on a second and goal with 50 seconds on the clock with Lynch ready to score? We are all shaking our heads in Seattle. Good game though.

  • Dori

    Sorry Cheryl…….GO PATS!!!!!!! THAT’S THE WAY TO PLAY FOOTBALL IN THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!!

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    I will let you let you all know.
    As usual you made me think could it be the Pro Den for plaque that i add to the food?? the topper is ground turkey boiled or it could be the perfect form that i have been adding. But now that I am thinking thanks again to you the Pro Den Plaque Off is seaweed, that could be making her thirsty. I will have to eliminate tomorrow and see.
    Thanks again my dear.

    I will have to root for the seahawks just because they rate the under dog and that football inflation hoorah got to me.
    I will bet you 1 Vital Essential fish patty can you cover this bet

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, free is always good! Just wish you could get one of each rather than two of the same. Darn.

  • Dori

    Cheryl, I’ve never had the problem but it may have something to do with what you are adding to the base mix. I’m afraid that’s my only thought.

    If you do contact them, please let us know what they say. YAY PATS!

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Lori,
    Sorry i am just getting back to you. Thank you so much for the code,unfortunately they are out of stock on the Kindly

    Thank you so so much for your recipe -the only thing I wouldn’t use would be the oatmeal, would that throw the recipe out of nutritional balance??
    I will be making this for them real soon, great suggestion to use as a topper, could use it with the Honest kitchen
    Thanks so much Lori, for taking the time to post all this, Pepper & Millie thank you very very much as well as their Mom.
    do you use the skin of the chicken after you debone it and put it back in the pot with all the other veggies ?
    I think i would have to cook without the skin

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Dori,
    Thank you so much for your reply,sorry I am just getting back to respond.
    I will wait to feed the base Mixes for Millie until she is a little older and just rotate within their complete grain free line.
    I don’t know if you ever noticed this, and I am going to contact the company about their sodium levels in the foods.
    I feed Pepper either the Preference or Kindly for her dinner meal and she is so so thirsty after -panting , now I don’t find this occurring when she eats their complete line at breakfast.
    Have you noticed this ?

    Has anyone had this issue with the grain-free base mixes??

    Enjoy the Super Bowl

  • Dori

    Hi Cheryl. With Millie being 7 months old and you feeding her a rotation diet I would absolutely have no issues feeding her THK base meals and/or their “complete and balanced” meals. I would possibly be concerned, but only a little, if you were only going to feed Millie THK base meal if she were younger. It’s, of course as always say only my opinion, and I can only tell you what I do and what I have done, and that is that in feeding my dogs (all ages) I feed rotational diets. I don’t concern myself all that much with the fact the one food or another are not complete and balanced. That is why I and many other rotational feeders will tell you is the reason that we do it. Not that any one meal has to be complete and balanced. We rotate between brands and proteins of quality foods and quality companies that “WE” trust. What they may miss nutritionally one way or the other (too much or too little) they will recapture in the next. That’s the beauty of rotational feeding. I know a lot of people believe that rotational feeding is more about not feeding the same food too often so that your animal does not become intolerant (or allergic) to that one protein that is being fed over and over again. It’s not necessarily my reason for rotational feeding. I think a lot of people that feed a rotational diet is because there really is no way to know what is lacking in one food or the other. In feeding the same food over and over again, if that food is lacking in nutrients or has an over abundance of vitamins or minerals you can do more harm than good. Rotating solely within a brand will not necessarily help as brands typically will change the proteins in their foods but not necessarily the other vitamins and minerals. Rotating brands may list somewhat the same vitamins and minerals and ingredients but there is no real way to know the % in those foods (they will differ) but at least you know they are not going to be identical to feeding one brand with the only difference being their protein. I’m hoping I’m making sense.

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Cheryl, if you home cook, you can try this recipe. I make this for my dogs now and then and they love it! It comes from cockersinneed.com

    I know a few cocker owners that only feed this for years. The only thing I question is the calcium/phosphorus. One lady said she wasn’t worried as her dogs blood tests always come back fine. Since I only do it now and then, I don’t worry, but all the time, I would

    1 whole chicken (I also chop up the heart etc. and put that in) OR 10 chicken thighs. If using thighs, add a few chicken livers
    3/4 head of garlic (not one clove but a head)–( use 1 TBS. minced garlic)
    1 handful of broccoli (cut up)–or 1/2 package frozen
    4 carrots (cut up)–or 1/2 bag frozen, sliced
    2 whole zucchini (cut up with skin on)
    1 whole yellow squash (large, cut up with skin on)
    handful of green beans, fresh,(OR 1/2 bag frozen)
    3 stalks of celery (chopped)
    1 handful of peas (or canned or frozen)
    1 tablespoon of parsley
    2 cups of oatmeal (put in the last 1/2 hour cooking time)

    In a 10 qt stock pot (stainless steel ONLY) put 2-3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil, heat and add the chicken, bones, skin and all. Fill pot with water to cover chicken. Add veggies and more water to cover. Cook over low to low-med heat for 2 hours. Add oats at the end or they tend to stick. After the stew has finished cooking (carrots are soft), take the chicken out of the mix and let cool…when cool debone it and mix it back into the stew.
    I then use an electric mixer thing to mush all of it together.

    Freeze what you don’t need immediately after it has cooled. (One batch makes about 30-34 cups of stew)

    You will notice an improved dog. More energy, better coat, skin, ears and most of all, you will see them acting like a puppy again. Breakfast and dinner will be a fun event.

    Our dogs actually watch us making this and their little noses twitch in delight all day long.

    As a side note, if your dog doesn’t do well on chicken, you can substitute a different protein source. For instance, beef cubes or ground beef, turkey or ground turkey, etc.

    If you compare the price of homecooked to store bought, this is by far a more reasonable way to go.

    We also use some raw foods in the dogs diet.

    It is recommended that you also use supplements and vitamins when home cooking. Some suggest 1/4 of a centrum vitamin. Some use Missing Link. We usually mix this in with their Evo Kibble or Merrick kibble.

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    IMHO, I think it’s a good food to feed. Too much reading confuses everything sometimes and it’s better than Purina!

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Thank you so very much, I could use some more but after reading Aimee’s posts I am so confused :(

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Dori,
    Millie will be 7 months in February,4th
    Oh no i thought I would feed 1 meal THK with a topper of boiled meat or poultry & her other meal just raw (rotating within raw various brands & proteins). Now, the base mixes might not be the best to feed her, so I could go with the protein inclusive mixes and just top with more protein, but if she is too young and I will hurt her growth by feeding THK, I will wait.
    poor thing smells Pepper’s food and just stands next to pepper sniffing-it is funny , but my heart hurts for her, she finishes her food in say 20 seconds and watches Pepper eat her honest kitchen. She looks at me as if to say feed me some of that too!!!

    I lucked out, the local lawn & feed store which just on a whim I called had it-had special ordered it for someone else & they never picked it up, they were able to get me the green tripe nibblets & rabbit mini patties ,just can’t get the fish in the mini patties . I even got (now hold on) a bag of the Wild Boar patties.
    I am going raw crazy !!!
    I also ordered 2 bags of nature’s variety instinct to try -along with some more primal (these I got on petfooddirect), I think these brands along with the OCRAW will give them enough variety and like you said will balance out in the long run.
    Thanks so much Dori as always

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Here is the code: Use promo code: HKBOGOALL Select the Kind or Hale Base Mix, or the Halcyon food and put 2 as the quantity. Then use the above code in the promotional code area. It will deduct automatically the price of one of them. It is good through 02/06.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    I would love it if you wouldn’t mind sending it -I get their emails I don’t know why I didn’t get it,unless it is for new customers only.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Lori,
    They are both precious Chuckles is what I call my nephew Charles- Teddy looks like a handsome golden-they are such a handsome breed.
    Chuckles looks pooped those ears are AMAZING
    I too fed milk bones URGHH-I think they were the only “treats” available. Pretzels lived until he was 14 or 15. So there goes our theory right down the drain. When I went to college my uncle and grandma took him well they fed him everything -they adored him & he still made old bones
    I have to figure out how to put peppers picture of her in a life jacket in the pool-poor angel was so scared.
    They really are wonderful looking -that water looks beautiful

  • Dori

    Cheryl, I’m so glad your girls love Vital Essentials fish. I figured they would. My girls go crazy for it also. But my girls go crazy for all foods in rotation. On the question of feeding THK to Millie…I forget how old Millie is. So that’s one question that I have for you and also are you planning to feed Millie ONLY THK or is it going to be part of raw rotation?

    What site did you order the Vital Essentials raw?

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    LOL I agree. I think that’s all my parents’ Golden Retriever got her whole life. My dad will fill the bowl up in the morning and when it was gone that was it. I don’t remember her ever getting treats other than the occasional Milk Bone. She was 15 when she died and always healthy up until she passed. Here’s a couple of newer pictures of my guys. Chuck (Chuckles) is on the left, Teddy (Theodore Roosevelt on the right). Teddy hates the water LOL

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    It was an email they sent me. I can give you the code if you or someone you know wants to give it a try.

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Cheryl, no need to apologize! My dogs can go from grain or grain free and have no digestive issues or anything I’ve fed them (knock on wood) since I’ve had them. I do like grain-free better though as it has more protein and don’t have to feed quite as much. :)

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Lori,
    I forgot to ask was this offer from The Honest Kitchen website or some oner website??

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Thanks DF,
    Brain Freeze is all i can say :(

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Lori,
    I hate to post this here, but when I got my toy poodle Pretzels as a 13 year old-now don’t anyone yell I fed Purina does anyone remember those patties they made that looked like a hamburger? But also funny, I always made him boiled ground meat as a topper & I didn’t even know that was what it was called.
    I guess we live and HOPEFULLY learn as we go on.
    I live in a constant state of confusion-so many choices so many opinions (which is a good thing) in the end we are their guardians their caretakers it is up to us to know them and then hopefully do right by them in all aspects of their lives!

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Dori,
    You are correct as usual -i forgot about their grain inclusive line.
    I MUST share this with you the girls ADORE the Vital Essentials fish -Dori you should see them gobble it up-Millie is a riot she cries jumps on the cabinets(she fell backwards yesterday) anticipating the fish-I can only get the large patties so I just cut it in 4 -I really think Millie & Pepper could each eat an entire patty by themselves,but according to the bag that would be way too much.
    I have been buying the frozen while its cool here, the shipping is high, but I am so afraid that when it gets hot the food will be to perishable to ship.
    I also found OC Raw online-shipping crazy high but you know me I will be getting it next week.
    what is your opinion on feeding the Honest Kitchen to Millie (the puppy) now?

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Lori,
    I do apologize for my mistake about the duck, my mind was on freeze-
    I forgot about their grain inclusive line-as usual lately Dori has my back!!!I
    I guess Millie could eat grain, but, since pepper doesn’t ,well she doesn’t -I really never understood why their food has grain in it-so i shy away from it,but if it works for you then try it.
    Again please forgive my error about the duck

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Do you feed only food such as HK or do you use kibble and cans too? I stay away from cans–just an added extra expense I don’t feel they need. I do put some fresh food on their food like chicken, yogurt, cottage cheese, some fruits in small amounts. Once in awhile I make Puppy Stew for them, which I really like, but again, with my lab eating so much, it doesn’t last long and I only have a small freezer, compliments of my apartment :)

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Your mom was right on both accounts! When I had my dogs in the mid-80s, we went to the grocery store, got some kind of canned food and fed it to my mutt I rescued the rest of his life and he was super healthy until he died of old age basically. Not info back then about food. I definitely got myself education when I got my current dogs a few years ago, but so confusing sometimes!

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Dori, I normally feed grain-free, but my dogs do well on grain foods too. Still undecided :)

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    It is!

  • Dori

    It’s a great deal. I only wish I could feed grain inclusive.

  • Dori

    No problem Lori. Cheryl and I and others only feed THK grain free which is why some may not be all that familiar with their duck formula. It’s grain inclusive.

  • Dori

    Hi Cheryl. THK does make a duck but it is grain inclusive which is why you may not be that familiar with it as you and I feed grain free.

  • DogFoodie

    Halycon is their new grain-inclusive duck based product and the other two, Kindly and Hale are their two new base mixes. Kindly is grain free and Hale contains ancient grains.

  • DogFoodie

    I bought a couple of boxes of Halcyon, too, Lori. It’s a great deal, isn’t it!

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Hi, this is what part of the email said from THK: For one week only, buy one box of Halcyon duck dog food, Hale base mix or Kindly base mix, and get one box free!

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Lori,
    I think you are confusing HK with another dehydrated food HK doesn’t make a “duck”.
    I agree that seems like a good price.
    I also agree it is expensive,but, I look at it this way, I much rather spend it on good food for them then on taking them to the vet for what can be food related issues.
    My dear late Mother always said put good things in your system and you lay a good foundation for dealing with issues as we get older.
    Our fur-kids are no different in my opinion.I didn’t have a chance to put my older one on good food since i got her when she was 8 , so her damage was long done, but I am trying my best, now she is over 11. But my puppy well her foundation is being formed now- I am hoping to get her off kibble (and she eats Orijen & Horizon Legacy) for most of her meals-their is something in kibble being fed for all meals that I think may not be the best option for them. I may be wrong, I shall see.
    Good luck

  • Lori Olin Thorn

    Thanks, Cheryl. I normally feed dry kibble, but have bought THK a few times, but not the duck. I will probably buy 4lb box. It doesn’t last long with my lab especially and my cocker spaniel, but $59.99 for 2 boxes seems pretty good to give it a try.

  • Cheryl, Pepper & Millie-Belle

    Lori,
    I have tried the Kindly (i stick to grain free) and the Preference. I should say my Pepper has tried them both ADORES THEM BOTH -poor thing is blind so I literally have to take bowl away, my angel keeps licking the bowl till it shines. Have tried the grain free turkey she loved that now on the beef thumbs up to that also.
    So if pepper were telling you she would say : go for it.
    I add different proteins to the mixes and am going to try a bit of commercial raw to top these base mixes with.

    Once you smell them ,you will think they are soup mixes, they have such a good smell.