Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Honest Kitchen Grain Free product line includes 8 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 Grain Free Fish [M]
- Honest Kitchen Grain Free Beef [A]
- Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey [A]
- Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken (4.5 stars) [M]
- Honest Kitchen Grain Free Fish Limited Ingredient [A]
- Honest Kitchen Grain Free Beef Limited Ingredient (4.5 stars) [M]
- Honest Kitchen Grain Free Duck Limited Ingredient (4.5 stars) [A]
- Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Limited Ingredient (4.5 stars) [M]
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Recipe
Dehydrated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, organic flaxseed, potatoes, spinach, carrots, organic coconut, apples, eggs, bananas, celery, cranberries, organic kelp, minerals [tricalcium phosphate, 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) = 10.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||20%||41%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||40%||34%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 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 potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score1 of 91.
The fifth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth item includes coconut. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut is rich in medium chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2
Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
The seventh ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The eighth ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 Grain Free 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.
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.
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%.
Near-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 contained in a few others, this still looks like the profile of a product containing a notable amount of meat.
Honest Kitchen Grain Free is a dehydrated dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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)
Readers interested in Honest Kitchen Grain Free dehydrated dog food may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…
Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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In any case, it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.
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Notes and Updates
08/25/2018 Last Update
- 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 ↩
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩