Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dehydrated)

Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food Review

Review of Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dehydrated Dog Food

Rating:

Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s best rating of 5 stars.

The Honest Kitchen Grain Free product line includes the 8 dehydrated dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

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Product Rating AAFCO
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Fish 5 M
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Beef 5 A
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey 5 A
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken 4.5 M
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Fish Limited Ingredient 5 A
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Beef Limited Ingredient 5 M
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Duck Limited Ingredient 4.5 A
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Limited Ingredient 4.5 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Recipe

Dehydrated Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Dehydrated chicken, organic flaxseed, dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated sweet potatoes, dried apples, dehydrated celery, dehydrated honey, dehydrated pumpkin, dehydrated cabbage, dried bananas, dried papayas, dehydrated green beans, dried basil, dehydrated organic kelp, dried garlic, minerals [tricalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, taurine, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement]

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.1%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%16%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%35%43%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is dehydrated chicken. This item is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh chicken.

Plus (unlike chicken meal) dehydrated chicken is never exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural nutrients.

The second ingredient is organic flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

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

The fifth ingredient is dried apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The sixth ingredient is dried celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.

The seventh ingredient is dried honey. Even though honey gets its sweetness naturally from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, it must still be considered a form of sugar.

The eighth item includes dried pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

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

But realistically, items located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Honest Kitchen product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

In addition, taurine is an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

Next, this recipe includes sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

And lastly, 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.

Nutrient Analysis

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, based on its ingredients alone, the Honest Kitchen appears to be a superior dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Which means this Honest Kitchen product line contains…

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed in this recipe and the chickpeas or navy beans contained in a few others, this still looks like the profile of a product containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food

Honest Kitchen Grain Free is a dehydrated dog food using a significant amount of named dehydrated meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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Has Honest Kitchen Brand Dog Food Been Recalled?

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Honest Kitchen.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

References

  1. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)

08/13/2021 Last Update