Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dehydrated)

Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food Review

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 9 dehydrated dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Use the links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

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

Protein = 32% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Dehydrated turkey, organic flaxseed, dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated spinach, dehydrated carrots, dried organic coconut, dried apples, dehydrated eggs, dried bananas, dehydrated celery, dried cranberries, dehydrated 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], taurine, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement], EPA, DHA

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 10.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis29%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis32%20%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%40%34%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 34%

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

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

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 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 spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score1 of 91.

The fifth ingredient includes dried carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

Next, we find dried 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 dried apple, a dehydrated, nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The eighth item includes dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free 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 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 2 notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of taurine, 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.

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.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 32%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

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…

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.

Bottom line?

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

Enthusiastically recommended.

Honest Kitchen Dog Food
Recall History

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

Related Topics

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A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned and is not affiliated (in any way) with pet food manufacturers. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) when readers click over to their website from ours. This policy helps support the operation of our blog and keeps access to all our content free to the public.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

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

Notes and Updates

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.

02/21/2020 Last Update