Just when I’m thinking about trying to put Jake on raw meat and dinner mixes I find out I can’t get SSLL. What are your opinions on the Honest Kitchen mixes? Price wise and quality wise? And which one? There are 3 to choose from. He’s a 30ish# beagle/bassett mix with no allergy issues or anything, I’m just thinking about better food for him. I’ve upgraded his kibble since I found this site altho I’m glad to know at least I was never giving him the 1 or 2 star stuff! Also added RMBs which he loves, but I’m not quite ready have a freezer full of bunny and quail. So I thought meat and the mix would be a good compromise if it’s not terribly pricey. Would that be comparable to a bag of 4star kibble? I’m betting he might drop a pound or 2 on the new diet, too, which would be good for him. He’s gained a couple of pounds since my other dog went to the bridge, Mom’s overcompensating I guess.
I’ve only used THK as a topper with their kibble. I haven’t tried the premix, only the SSLL dinner mix so far. So, I guess I’m just bumping up your post. But, I know that others have discussed this topic before. Try going to the forum home page and put premix in the search bar. Maybe something useful will come up. I just feed mine a kibble free meal once a week with either ground turkey or beef. They love it! They are so quiet and just stare at me while I’m getting to ready. I think it would be much better than a 4 star kibble! I can’t see myself having rabbits and quail in my freezer either. Lol!
Thanks C4C. Did you like the SSLL mix? I have a few bags of kibble left so no hurry for the mix, I can wait for the new version of SSLL. Jake likes THK, I’ve given him some samples in the past. Actually he loves everything, I always laugh when I read people talking about their picky dogs. I’ve never had one of those. And my comment about the 4star kibble, I meant would it price wise be about the price of a 4 star? I’ve done the ABC diet and your idea about a kibble free meal sounds good, too.
Well, I don’t like it, but my dogs do! It’s very green and smells funny. Doesn’t bother them one bit. They love it. Their poops are the best after eating it. Wish I could afford to feed it with meat more often.
I use SSLL and I agree with C4C the dog poops are great. I don’t love the color or smell but when I make my own food I carve a hole, dump the SSLL in the center, cover it, and voila a great doggie dinner. I use small mason jars and freeze. Have only tried THK once and I did not love it, there’s a lot of chunks, and it’s dehydrated not raw. Have you looked at Better In The Raw? I may try it when my SSLL runs out.
My dogs are having raw rabbit chunks in the morning topped with sardines:) Their one RMB meal of the week. I am thinking about buying a whole rabbit at Whole Foods and carving it myself.
Kristin C: Do you feed your dog rabbit bones?
Hi Jakes Mom:
I haven’t tried a pre-mix yet, but I have several bookmarked. I plan on trying SSLL dinner mix when it’s back on the market in the spring. I haven’t looked at THK dinner mixes. Here are some others:
Know Better Pet Food, they sell a trial size bag:
On another topic, KBPF makes dinner mixes for cats…
Bobby dog-they’ll be getting their first rabbit bones in the morning. If all goes well, I’ll probably buy an entire rabbit and just cut it up myself. If it freaks me out I’ll probably just do rabbit grinds in the future.
Re: the dinner mixes. Urban Wolf looks like an awful lot of work to me. Better in the Raw is on my list to try. I’ll check out the CarnivoreRaw.
I’ll post if the rabbit bones go well, or not.
The rabbit, bones and all, went good. Both my dogs had no problem chomping through the bones. Think I am going to see if I can purchase a whole rabbit and cut it into portions myself, assuming it’s more cost effective than purchasing the pieces already cut up.
Wow! You go girl 🙂
I did purchase a whole rabbit at whole foods-it was costly and not very meaty-i found believe it or not more fat than I would expect, now I didn’t give my girl the bones due to her health & age, so for you it may be worth it. I was very disappointed.
I posted -YET AGAIN IN THE INCORRECT AREA, I wanted to know if you had tried the
stella & Chewy’s meal toppers.
I was directed by Bobby dog to SSLL & was disappointed to learn, it won’t be available until later.
have you ever tried it? If so were you pleased with the results?
Cheryl-thanks. Whole Foods is where I would get the rabbit too so I’ll check out how meaty they look and go from there. I responded to the meal toppers on the other post.
I use SSLL when I make my own food. I don’t love that it turns everything green, so I just bury it in the center of the meat. I ordered several pounds of it and put it in the freezer when I found out they were discontinuing. Hopefully it lasts until they come out with the new product. And hopefully the new product is as good, so yes I am pleased with it overall.pugmomsandyModerator
I have bought whole dressed rabbit from the large farmers market for about $6.50 a pound. There’s a lady who occasionally comes into town and sells whole prey rabbit for $2/lb. I’ve also seen Rabbits4u.com regularly on the carnivore-supply list.
For anyone that uses Urban Wolf, what is the consistency?
Good to know. Right now I get the chunked rabbit for $7.79/lb so I don’t feed it very often. I’d like to know about Urban Wolf too for when my SSLL runs out.Akari_32Member
I am using SSLL for Bentley and am very happy with it. The poor guy is getting bored with it, though, but it’s the only mix that I’ve found that is affordable and doesn’t contribute mass amounts of carbs to the diet. He now only eats the mix if I add some coconut oil to it, or the meat I’m offering is very bloody (I use large pieces of meat rather than ground most of the time, so the mix is made up with a bit of water and meat is served over the mix). He’s not a dog that can eat the same thing all the time and be happy. He likes variety.
I don’t mind the color (though it is weird lol) and I don’t notice a smell, either. However, I hope the new stuff is still good, as well.Dog_ObsessedMember
I am considering using a pre mix for Lily once and a while. I have a sample of THK Preference, and that is probably what I would use. I don’t think it would be that hard to buy some meat, cook it, freeze it, and every once and a while take out the 1/8 of a cup required for her meal.
I was just looking at the SSLL premix, which I will hopefully try when it comes out this spring. 🙂
Bobbydog, you’re costing me $$ lol! I started this asking about mixes for Jake but you gave me the link for KBPF and I just ordered cat premix! I got a trial size of both raw and cooked mix, since I don’t know how this will go over with the kitties. Jake has a lot of kibble bags in the pantry so I’ll think about him when and if I order more cat mixes. A few of the cats like raw chicken/turkey so they’ll probably go for the raw but I’m not sure about the others so I decided to try a cooked premix too. If all fails, Jake has toppers for a while. With 5 cats I’m constantly lugging home cases of cat food and if they like this it might be a tad more expensive but better for them and easier for me.
HAHA!! It’s been so long since I have talked to you it’s the least I can do. And you know me, I have a million things bookmarked and I love to post links! lol
Good thing we have our living garbage disposals for unwanted cat food, AKA our dogs.
I can’t wait to hear how it goes, so don’t forget about us on the cat rec thread. I have too many things I want to try, this brand is definitely at the top for Bobby and the cats. I will go with the cooked food version for the cats. They just don’t care for raw. I will be buying the SSLL dinner mix when it’s back on the market. I was going to buy a bag before he stopped selling it on his site, but I thought what if I like the old version over the new. So I figured if I never feed it I won’t know anything about the old.
Hi Jakes Mom,
In regards to Honest Kitchen mixes, I wouldn’t use them. The company posts nutritional information and comparing that information to AAFCO it is evident that their mixes ( their complete diets too) fall short of AAFCO minimums. If you use them occasionally then no harm as long as your dog’s main diet is well balanced. But if you use their products often I think you need to be very careful to calculate out your dog’s nutritional needs and compensate for the company’s stated deficiencies to ensure your dog’s needs are met.
I’ll give you an example. To compare nutrient levels between foods it is best to compare the nutrient level in relation to the number of calories. This is called “energy basis”
AAFCO min requirement for Vit D is 142 IU/1000 kcals. ( 500 IU/ kg food and each kg has 3500 kcals, 500 IU/3500kcals X 1000 kcal = 142IU/1000 kcals) Honest Kitchen Kindly reports their base as having 93 IU/1000 kcals. So right away it is evident that the base mix falls far short of AAFCO minimums.
I used the USDA nutrient database and made a meal following their recommendations. Using chicken breast as a meat source the Vit D falls to 68 IU/ 1000 kcals. If you used a fattier meat like say 70/30 ground beef the level falls to 36.6 IU/1000kcals and if you use their active dog ratios of 2 parts meat to 1 part mix it plummets to 26 IU/1000 kcals.
In the best of circumstances, a low fat meat source at 1:1 ratio, the diet provides only 47% of AAFCO requirements and at a higher fat meat source and a higher ration of meat to mix it provides less than 20% of AAFCO.
Honest Kitchen products across the board have nutritional deficiencies according to the information they provide. Even their complete diets don’t meet AAFCO!! For example, Keen is reported as having 5 IU vit E /1000 kcals and AAFCO min is 14.28 IU/1000 kcals. It is crazy isn’t it???
I’ve inquired about these reported deficiencies. I was told that they quote “do not have the time to work through all this” but would “let you know when I receive an update.” UGH!! A company that doesn’t have time to ensure their foods meet nutritional needs. It has been over 6 months since they said they would update me after finding time to answer my questions. Still waiting…..
I’ve learned about so many things on this site sometimes I don’t know where to begin, canned, raw, high quality kibble, ABC and kibble, RMBs, geez! Jake will eat anything as I’ve said before, I don’t even need to transition him from one bag of food to the next. Put it in the bowl, it’s gone. Sometimes I doubt he even chews! The cats are a little more high maintenance. Will try the Dr. Becker method for transitioning cats to a different food and see what happens.
Thanks for posting that info. I remember another conversation on the review side between you and losul (I think) about the above info. Important to keep in mind when looking at pet food companies and the products they sell.
Have you ever used a dinner mix? I am interested in using one for a few meals per week for cooked food. Just wondering if you had any thoughts on them.
Very interesting Aimee, thanks! Right now I’ve ordered a different product from KBPF and will see how that goes. Sounds like there are better options than THK. I just mentioned them because they were the only other “mixes” I knew of besides SSLL.
I just read your post on THK & need a pre-mix for my schnauzer as she cannot digest kibble,
I thought THK was the best, but if nutritionally it won’t be adequate for her, can you suggest something better.
I do top it off with lightly cooked ground turkey breast or low fat beef-she seems to be doing ok with keeping the food down. I have tried all in the grain-free line except the beef.
we have been transiting very slowly.
Now I worry she will not be getting the proper nutrient profile if she continues to eat this.
I am not a great fan of canned food, that’s why I thought this was the one.
My other choice is the Royal Canin Vet diet hydrolyzed protein. Urghh.
Freeze dried or raw is not an option due to her other health issues.
thank you in advance for any info you can give me.Hater and Molly’s MomMember
Thanks for posting that Aimee! How can THK get away with that if their food does not even meet the AAFCO standards?
Hi Bobby Dog,
The only dinner mix I ever used was THK Preference when I did my crude food trial. I purchased it because I suspected that THK’s dehydrated foods would not be digested and wanted to test that idea, but didn’t want to pay the price for the complete diets.
The only time I used is it when I did the trials. I still have the box, but never fed it again. Kinda pointless to use it as the stuff comes out the same way it goes in, yet for some reason I can’t bring myself to toss it! LOL
I’ve looked at a few premixes and the only ones that makes any sense to me are balance it’s products.
Thanks Aimee, I have Balance IT bookmarked as well. If I remember correctly, I think they even make one that is formulated for both cats and dogs. I still need to take the time to research making home cooked meals.
I hang on to certain things for unknown reasons too. lol I have been using the boxes I have left of THK for making dog treats. I bought 4 or 5 boxes to use as a topper when Petflow had a deal on them a while ago. Bobby ended up not liking THK much. After I fed the first box I forgot I had them until I got an e-mail from THK with recipes for making treats.
Cheryl, if you check out the site for Know Better Pet Foods (there’s a link Bobbydog posted on page 1) they have a premix for use with cooked meat. Maybe that would work for your dog. There’s a sample size for $14.99, includes shipping.Dog_ObsessedMember
@aimee Interesting, thanks for posting! That stuff is way too complicated for me to understand with all the levels and stuff. 🙂 I agree with H and M’s mom, how can they distribute their product saying it meets standards if it doesn’t? Also, dogaware.com seems to think it is a complete mix: http://dogaware.com/diet/dogfoodmixes.html
Hi Jakes Mom.
I didn’t know what KBPF was but looked it up. I wasn’t familiar with the company so I took a look and this is a company whose products I would most definitely not use.
When I evaluate a company I first look at the website. I ask myself several questions: Does the information make sense? Does the company have a basic understanding of nutrition or is it full of pseudo science? What is the company’s attention to detail? If they post nutritional information does it add up?
First I looked at the FAQ and found this: “Protein is an amino acid” Right away a red flag goes up. Either the company doesn’t know that a protein is made up of long chains of AA’s or it has very poor attention to detail. Whatever the reason for such a blunder it is a bad sign in my book. Honestly, it just went downhill from there, like this gem: “Dogs lack the digestive enzymes to break down and metabolize carbohydrates.”
So within about 45 seconds of looking at the website I failed the company, but to be complete I’ll look at the nutritional information they posted and pull out the calculator.
The company reports as fed nutritional information for 1 lb of homemade dog food using their mix and prepared with 85% lean beef as the meat source. They report 1 lb of homemade pet food as having 733 kcals and 695 mg of Calcium. To convert to an energy basis that would be 695 mg Ca/733 kcals X 1000 = 948 mg Ca/1000 kcals. AAFCO Min for maintenance is 1714 mg Ca/1000 kcals. Using the information they provide they are reporting that if you use their product and make food according to their instructions your dog will take in far less Calcium than what the AAFCO min recommendation is for an adult dog.
For giggles I looked at Zn. The company reports Zn as 20.8 ppm. Now this is very very odd as the analysis is clearly titled “Based on “as fed” per pound of finished dog food” yet they are reporting Zn as PPM which is the same as mg/kg. Pressing forward… KBPF reports 20.8 mg of Zn in 1 kg of finished pet food. They report 1 lb prepared pet food has 733 kcals which means 1 kg has 1612 kcals. 20.8 mg Zn/1612 kcals x 1000 = 12.9 mg Zn/1000 kcals. AAFCO current min for Zn is 34 mg Zn/1000 kcals. The diet is short on Zn as well.
Ok, this is just too easy. The folic acid looks off as well. They report .01 mg folic acid/733 kcals which is ~.014mg folic acid/1000 kcals; AAFCO min is .051 mg folic acid/1000 kcals KBPF reports that their diet fails to meet AAFCO’s min for folic acid.
It really didn’t surprise me that KBPF nutritional information wouldn’t make any sense. I kinda knew right from the get go that the company would fail miserably. I mean really… if the company writes ” Protein is an amino acid” it is pretty clear that they don’t have a clue as to what they are talking about.
Hi Cheryl H,
I’m sorry your dog is having difficulty. The best I can do would be to direct you to balance it. They can work with your dog’s vet to formulate an appropriate homemade diet. Wish you and your dog the best.
Thanks for checking out KBPF! 🙂SusanMember
Cheryl H, have you tried this company “Just Food For Dogs” someone posted JFFD on the IBDog yahoo group, here’s their site http://justfoodfordogs.com/ hover over products then click on “Vet Support Diets”…..
Hi Hater and Molly’s Mom and Dog Obsessed,
To answer your question, “how can they distribute their product saying it meets standards if it doesn’t?” all I can say is “Who is there to check and hold them accountable??” No one really… so companies are on the honor system and can do as they like.
Some companies are simply marketing machines. Because the companies don’t study or understand nutrition they themselves can’t even see that the information they post doesn’t make any nutritional sense. Marketing companies, like THK, have as their primary concern getting people to open their wallets.
I reported Grandma Lucy’s to my state feed control official for the same type of nonsensical nutritional information that I see with THK. The state feed control official issued an immediate stop sale order, but I’m sure I’ll see it back on the shelf. The inspector can’t be there 24/7 and “marketing” companies, as opposed to nutritional companies don’t seem to be concerned if a product doesn’t properly nourish an animal.
For THK, base mixes don’t have to meet AAFCO as they are labeled for intermittent/ supplemental feeding. In regards to their complete mixes… well the company won’t answer that question. THK just sticks to their story that they meet AAFCO despite that their self reported nutritional information says otherwise. Apparently they don’t understand enough about nutrition to see how foolish it all sounds The reality though is that it is anyone’s guess what is actually in the food. Who knows if the nutrient information they post is correct or if the stuff they post is incorrect and the diets do meet AAFCO. For me though it doesn’t matter… if a company posts nutritional information and it doesn’t “add up”, I won’t use their products.
Hi Aimee – so you make all your dog’s food and use Balance It? That’s it? I checked out the website and the supplement doesn’t give use instructions. It looks like downloading or purchasing recipes, or going through a vet is the only way to get that information. The ingredient list looks like all chemical based supplements to me, as opposed to whole food ingredients which I prefer not only for myself but for my dogs as well.
Have you ever reviewed the See Spot Live Longer product?
Thank’s for the info. Will look into further, just briefly looked at it this am.
Weekends are a better time lately to do in-depth research.
Also am looking into “Balance It”-soo much out there it can get overwhelming and very confusing. Kristen, I agree with you on the supplements.
Kristen, have you checked out “the justfordogs”site?
What does KBPF stand for??
thanks again everyone
Thank you. I wish it was possible to have a discussion w ANY vet on pepper’s nutrition-impossible where I live.
Can’t expect 8 hrs of training at vet school for them to be well versed on home cooking and not being indoctrinated on selling the Vet diets where they get kickbacks, and make money.
People who have access to vets that can speak intelligently about nutrition are really very fortunate!!
thank you for the info-it’s on my list to check out
Cheryl – KBPF I believe stands for Know Better Pet Food. I’ve looked at their Better In The Raw mix and may consider trying a sample. I’ve heard about Just for Dogs in the past. They are a storefront that’s based out of CA. They have products you can order but I’d have to look closer at the ingredients. At first glance, they may not work for me since I don’t feed rice, white or sweet potatoes.
Yes I saw that I guess they must cater to ‘THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS” 🙂
They only thing (out of necessity I have been giving Pepper is sweet potato -not crazy about doing it -but it has helped her)I just went to their pg of recipes have you checked that out-the KBPF site -they also have a cooked sample I may try-more investigation needed-you know this is becoming a full-time job lately-not so much for Pepper,but for the new gal Millie @ 6 months I MUST KEEP HER HEALTHY & I AM BECOMING CONVINCED THE LESS SHE EATS KIBBLE THE BETTER OFF SHE WILL BE!!!!
Thanks for the clarification
KBPF is one of the dinner mixes I suggested you look into on the review side. Aimee was kind enough to look at the company and found some very interesting info in regards to what they have posted on their website and the pre-mix formulations. Read her January 4, 2015 at 11:54 pm post.
I want to start making some home cooked food for both my dog and cats, but have not had time to research it. The info that Aimee posted is the type of research that I feel is necessary before I buy a supplement. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time right now. KBPF is no longer on my list of pre-mixes to research, one less company to look at. lol
If you are interested in speaking with a Veterinary Nutritionist, you can find one here:
You can also contact a University that has a Veterinary School to see if they offer nutritional consultations with their Vet Nutritionist. Most that offer these services will do phone consultations with you and your Vet. Tufts, Cornell, U of Minnesota, U of Tennessee, UC Davis, and Penn Vet are some schools that offer this type of service; I am sure there are many more.
as always thank you again for the info.
Unfortunately, as I live in LA. & take pepper to LSU Vet school I cannot talk to a nutritionist that can intelligently speak about a home cooked diet.
I will look into the other vet schools, I don’t hope if LSU is an example.pepper’s internist a lovely young man admitted to me nutrition is so lacking in all vet schools curriculum, they really are not taught much.
I did read Aimee’s posting and 1 less to dig deeper into.
I am getting out the food processor and cook & puree some veggies, I cook the protein already and stop making myself nuts.
I just want to make sure they are getting a balanced diet -I must just dive in & stop being afraid!
Hi Cheryl H:
I just did a quick look at the services LSU Vet School provides to clients and I didn’t see anything for a nutrition consultation; I may have overlooked it. The Vet schools I listed have a Vet Nutritionist on their staff and provide consultations. I am sure there are more. I looked up such services last year because my cat was very ill. Fortunately, my Vet figured out how to help him and I didn’t need a special diet. Here are summaries of Cornell, Penn Vet, and Tuft nutrition services:
Anyway, just something else to add to the list. 😉
To Anyone – does your vet suggest a consult when you tell them you feed homemade, raw or cooked? Mine did, but she suggested one who doesn’t advocate raw, which is what I feed. Another topic I guess.theBCnutMember
Basically, AVMA has taken a stance against raw, which means any AVMA vet is supposed to try and talk you out of feeding raw, and any vet that is pro raw feeding can get in trouble with AVMA.
Got it. Thanks BC.
I’ve never purchased or used balance it supplements. I have made lots of recipes on the site though just to see how it works. It is super duper easy and a lot of fun to play with! Not sure how you got the idea that you had to download or purchase anything or go through a vet. Just scroll over homemade food tab and click on autobalancer EZ. You can pick ingredients from the lists and the program then gives you options that vary in protein and fat content. After the initial options are presented you can customize it by entering your dog’s weight and what protein and fat percentage you’d like the diet to have. The recipes are free to look at, the program tells you how many deficiencies are present if you don’t supplement and you can see how much supplement you need to use /batch. For me that is where the “fun” lies. It is interesting to see how adding particular ingredients changes the profile, the number of deficiencies and the amount of supplement needed to balance the recipe. I’ve found that the amount of supplement can vary significantly depending on the ingredients/fat levels that you choose to use in the diet. That’s why there isn’t a “standard” recommendation in regards to how much supplement to use. the program calculates out the least amount needed based on the base diet. I love that it gives you a full nutrient analysis for the recipe and detailed instructions.
Have not looked at See Spot Live Longer.
Thanks Aimee. I checked out the Autobalancer and although it’s fun to play around with it does not list all the ingredients I use for chicken and beef meals.
What do you feed your dog(s)?
I wil look at those links to vet schools & contact them, one by one.
In reference to Aimee’s comments, I too thought you had to purchase those home made reciepes-I will have to go back & check, because it was easy-just picking from different lists.
If & when you have some time & only if you wouldn’t mind-what ingredients do you use in your chicken & beef meals.
I would like to start doing all homemade meals for my gals
Yes, I checked out Balance It a while ago and the autobalancer is convenient because it takes the guessing out of creating a balanced meal. One of these days I will make time to research this more. Are you looking to cook or feed raw?
Remember there are more Vet schools that offer nutritional consultations I just thought those three had a good explanation of what they offer on their sites. At least you have some more options for your pup. And there is the link to find a Vet Nutritionist in my previous post too. You’re welcome!
Cheryl – I made chicken yesterday and most of the ingredients were on the Balance It Autobalancer.
60% Chicken thighs and breasts
15% Chicken gizzards and hearts
5% Chicken liver
5% Spinach, Green Beans, Blueberries
15% Canned pumpkin
SSLL dinner mix
I usually use whatever vegs and fruit I have on hand. Beef is a bit more work for me. In addition to the dinner mix, pumpkin, veg/fruit, I will use 90-93% lean ground beef or whatever other cut I can get for a decent price (60%) heart & cheek (10%), liver (5%), kidney & thymus & lung (5%).
Hope that helps.
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