The Honest Kitchen Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Honest Kitchen product line includes 4 dehydrated dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.
- Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe [A]
- Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe [A]
- Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe (4 stars) [M]
- Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe (3.5 stars) [M]
Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe
Dehydrated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, organic quinoa, sweet potatoes, spinach, parsley, organic kelp, minerals [tricalcium phosphate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite], vitamins [vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin D3 supplement] EPA, DHA
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||47%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||36%||40%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
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 Score1 of 91.
The sixth ingredient is kelp, an algae-based seaweed modest in protein content but rich in marine minerals.
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 Review
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 Dog Food appears to be a superior product.
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-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.
The Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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
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.
- Honest Kitchen Recalls Five Lots of Dog Food (2/21/2013)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
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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Notes and Updates
01/14/2019 Last Update