My first time on this forum, thanks for any input. My large Bouvier is doing fantastic on The Honest Kitchen ‘Embark’ after we almost lost her to an auto-immune disease. For obvious reasons, we don’t want to switch her away from this superior food but it is expensive!! She is going through 10Lb ($90) boxes every 2+ weeks. Is there a superior dry food that closely resembles Embark? There are just too many for me to go through every one. My thought was to give her dry food and add Honest Kitchen ‘Preference’ for added vegetable and holistic nutrition. Thoughts or suggestions?
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi soccermom7 –
Do not add Preference to a balanced kibble. Preference is designed for the addition of boneless meat. Meat is high in phosphorus but has negligible amounts of calcium (dogs need calcium and phosphorus in between a 1:1 and 2:1 ratio) therefore pre-mixes such as Preference are very high in calcium to compensation for the addition of meat, kibble already has a balanced C:P ratio so adding Preference would potentially throw it off. Additionally, if anything you should be adding more meat to kibble not fruits and vegetables – kibble is too high in plant matter as it is.
As far as a kibble replacement for THK – there is not kibble replacement. The Honest Kitchen is a minimally processed food and about as close to a raw natural or home cooked diet as you can get with feeding commercial food. THK even has some enzymes still intact. Kibble is highly processed. I can understand wanting to cut costs because THK is pricey (I used to feed it) but, unfortunately, going to kibble is going to be a huge decrease in quality.
My recommendations would be to consider a homemade diet (raw or cooked, whatever you’re more comfortable with). There are many books available with balanced recipes. Homemade diets can be done very cheaply. When I was feeding two of my bloodhounds THK I was spending over $500 per month. I’m now feeding them a homemade raw diet, which is even healthier than THK, and spending just under $200 per month. You may want to check out Grandma Lucy’s – it’s another dehydrated type food similar to THK and is a bit more reasonably priced. Another option would be to feed kibble for one meal and THK for the other or to “top” the kibble with some rehydrated THK. You could also look into canned foods – many canned foods are expensive however there are some really reasonably priced quality canned foods available. Pure Balance (available at Walmart) it is rated 5 stars and costs between $1 and $1.25 per can. Costco sells Kirkland Cuts in Gravy which is rated 5 stars for $0.79 per can. 4Health which is rated 4.5 stars is available at Tractor Supply for $0.99 per can. If you added an enzyme supplement to one of these foods it would be nearly as good as THK and much better than kibble. If you do find that you need to go with an entirely kibble diet, I’d pick a 5 star kibble, rotate brands often for variety and add some fresh foods whenever possible (leftover meat, eggs, yogurt, tinned sardines, etc.).
I have a 50lb.3yearold golden doodle we feed her 1 -2cups a day of HK whole grain beef. I also add /4 to 1/2 can of Merrrick beef,lamb or salmon yo her meals . As a topper or mixer Sometimes I use Canada’s kibble instead of the canher am meal. What are your thoughts on this? She is not that active but can’t wait to eat the minute she sees her dish is ready. I don’t want to see her get fat so I wanted your opinion on the amount she is eating.
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