Honest Kitchen – Where's the meat?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Dog Food Ingredients Honest Kitchen – Where's the meat?

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  • #66411 Report Abuse
    Sam D
    Member

    Ok – I know it’s ground up and in there but I have two types of HK. Embark, which is the turkey and the base mix which has nothing. They look virtually the same except for some dehydrated, light-colored bits that are in the Embark. Is that the turkey? There’s just no possible way that’s enough meat for my dog, if it is the turkey. Sometimes I mix up his HK and it feels like I’m just giving him vegetable soup….

    Anyone want to set me straight? I hate to sound like a paranoid person but I just don’t understand how a food looks like that is comparable to the Instinct raw beef or turkey bits we feed him where it looks like ACTUAL meat is the primary content.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Sam D.
    #66438 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Member

    Oh boy, Sam D-
    I hope you know what you have gotten yourself in to with this question. Put on your hard helmet! Lol! It seems to be a emotional controversial topic. But, I’m with you. I feel the same way. I still have a box of it left from my bargain trials from Pet Flow I got a while back. I mix it in by dogs kibble a couple days a week. They feel the same way too. They look at me like, “where’s the meat” as well. I think it looks and smells like soup mix too. We don’t hate it and their poops are actually good the next day after eating, but something just doesn’t feel quite right. BDog has used her boxes to make yummy treats for her dog. I’m not sure that I will buy again as it is really expensive for them to be so so about it. Many love to feed their dogs The Honest Kitchen and it does have a pretty good reputation, but I don’t think its for us either. Good luck!

    #66440 Report Abuse

    It’s supposed to be ground up in the box. I always add a bit of fresh meat when I give dehydrated type mixes.

    #66480 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog
    Member

    Yes, I ended up making treats out of them; not a favorite food for my dog.

    Check out the Honest Kitchen reviews for other posters experiences and concerns with this brand:
    https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/honest-kitchen-grain-free/
    https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/honest-kitchen-dog-food/

    #66487 Report Abuse

    I ,too agree one wonders where’s the meat.
    That’s why like Melissa I ALWAYS top it off with either meat ,poultry or commercial raw.
    My older gal can’t eat kibble, and she is doing well on THK ,there is ALOT i do not like about this food, but, it is working so far for Pepper and that’s what counts.
    I wouldn’t feed this alone.

    I have emailed the company about my concerns esp. their base mixes which i will not feed any longer!! I am still waiting to hear back from them.

    #66497 Report Abuse
    Kate F
    Member

    Hi everyone! Kate from The Honest Kitchen here. I just wanted to help try and clear up any confusion. All of our diets (excluding base mixes) are complete meals that are balanced to AAFCO standards. This means you can feed them as stand alone diets and know that they have the appropriate amounts of nutrients – including protein – that dogs need. If you want to look at the specific nutrient breakdown, you can find the nutrient profiles here: http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/help-center/nutrient-profiles/

    The reason that you can’t actually see pieces of meat or fish is because we ground our protein down to almost a powder so that it is evenly distributed throughout the recipe. This ensures that every scoop of food will have protein in – whereas if it was chunks, they could all settle at the bottom of the box and you wouldn’t always have the right amt of protein in every meal.

    Our base mixes are different in that those DO require a protein to be added. The base mixes have a balanced amount of nutrients and vitamins except protein – so that all you need to add is meat or fish (cooked or raw) and know that you are feeding your dog a complete diet. This takes the guess work out of trying to feed a raw diet and wondering if your dog is getting all the nutrients it needs. These recipes are great for raw feeders, people who like to make homemade diets or dogs that have severe allergies & can only eat specific proteins like rabbit.

    Please feel free to give us a call at any time and we can discuss this in more detail with you. Our customer service team is amazing and happy to answer any questions. 866-437-9729

    Hope this helps!

    #66498 Report Abuse
    Dog_Obsessed
    Member

    Hi Kate! Thanks for taking the time to reply! I have used THK complete diets as toppers, and I once used Preference for a kibble-free meal. I have been happy with both of them, but there is a question I’ve had for a while about the base mixes that I was hoping you could answer:

    The suggested daily feeding amount for 1-10 pound dogs of a typical activity level is 1/4 cups of base mix and 1/4 cups of meat. This is a huge weight range, and Lily, who is around 10 pounds, would need almost twice that much calorie-wise. But the recommendations are just guidelines, so I can understand that. The thing is that the recommendations for highly active 1-10 pound dogs is 1/6 of a cup base mix and 1/3 of a cup meat daily.
    If the base mix is complete used as directed, then the dog would be getting certain nutrients from the meat and others from the base mix. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the nutrient numbers for highly active dogs aren’t that different then they are for typically active dogs, and changing the base mix to meat ratio would off-balance the nutrients.

    Is this a question you can answer, or should I email the company in general? Thanks!

    #66567 Report Abuse

    Kate, Maybe you can help me and others that are concerned about the grain free- base mixes having too many of the veggies not being digested by the pups. In my particular case when feeding either the Kindly or Preference what went in came out EXACTLY the same way, I did a test and it happened each and every time. Big pieces of undigested veggies were very visible in Pepper’s stool.
    It is not AS BAD with the protein inclusive line,but I do see tiny pieces of undigested veggies in Pepper’s stool.
    I have e-mailed the company about doing a digestibility study on various breeds ages etc. and post the findings on your website. I still have not gotten an answer to this.
    I cannot feed my older schnauzer kibble any longer and so far she is tolerating the grain free protein inclusive line. I just do not like the fact that i still see bits of undigested material in her stool.
    I want to insure she is getting a nutritious meal so I always use a topper of boiled poultry or beef or commercial raw.
    I will continue to feed my angels this food ,because all that matters is that the like it and especially with Pepper who suffers with bad gastric problems she is doing well on it.
    I just feel it is important as a consumer and a pet guardian that your company who prides themselves on using human grade ingredients be made aware of this important issue.
    Their is another Honest Kitchen thread that many of us have voiced are concerns about this.
    Please read these so you see i am not the only one concerned about this digestibility problem.
    Thank you Katie

    #66568 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Kate-
    Thanks for popping in. You are right. THK does do a good job of packaging the food to ensure it is evenly distributed throughout the box. I opened my last trial box last night. It is Force, a chicken flavor. I mixed 3 heaping TBS on top of my dogs’ kibble and added warm water, stirred it up, let it sit for a few, and then fed it. Wow! No funny looks this time. Either they like this flavor better, or it was because it was something new. Either way, I was glad I didn’t have to “doctor” it up. Their “output” was very good this morning. That’s a good thing as they struggle in that area. I didn’t dissect it or wash it off, but looked at it pretty closely. I’m no stranger to examining poop either. My family is pretty much sick of the subject. Lol!

    I’m glad not to have to recycle another can as I go through so many, especially with my fleet cats. I just wish, still that it had a little more meat and it was a little less expensive.
    But, great results with the Force flavor so far.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by crazy4cats.
    #66570 Report Abuse
    DogFoodie
    Member

    My Cavalier is currently eating Halcyon and my Golden is eating Thrive. Both love it. My Golden, Sam, had lots of food intolerances, so I’m happy this is one of the few foods he’s able to eat.

    I add water to the HK and let it sit on the counter for a while why it’s rehydrating. At that point, is hard to get the dogs to do anything else. They lay on the floor in front of the counter until it’s time to eat. When it’s time, I add a bit more water, stir well and then finally, they get to eat. Torture, I know, but I stick to meal times. Mine like the consistency of their HK a little bit thicker.

    #66707 Report Abuse
    Kate F
    Member

    Thanks for all the great questions and it’s wonderful to hear about all the dogs doing well on our food! Here are some initial responses to some of the questions but I also encourage you to give us a call so we can get more in-depth answers for you: 866-437-9729

    @Dog_Obsessed:
    For a more active dog, we recommend increasing the ratio of meat to the dry mix. This provides more calories from the protein and fat, and less of the fruits and veggies, which offer less calories per gram. The guidelines are offered as a place to start and we strongly believe that each and every dog is an individual. So, we recommend that you start with these amounts and then adjust in time to suit your dog’s individual dog’s needs.

    You may increase the ratio of meat to base mix by as much as 2:1, two parts meat to 1 part dry mix. You may also increase the total amount of both meat and base mix as needed, as long as you feed within our recommended ratios, which will keep the nutrients in balance. The minimum is 1:1, maximum 2:1 (meat:base mix). If fed within our recommended ratios, you may create a meal that meets AAFCO guidelines.

    If Lily needs more than what is recommended, please feel free to increase her daily portion to suit her calorie needs.

    @cheryl-pepper-millie-belle:
    It may be helpful to know that the stool created from a diet of colorful whole foods will naturally be more colorful, too! It will not look the same as a the stool created by a homogenous dry kibble or a mostly meat raw diet. A whole food diet allows the GI system to efficiently absorb the nutrients the body needs and move the rest on out, including the insoluble fiber in fresh fruits and veggies. Your dog’s overall body condition and health will determine if he/she is getting the nutrients they need.

    While most dogs with a healthy and balanced digestive tract are easily able to digest and assimilate the nutrients from our dehydrated whole foods, some may need a little help. If the GI tract has been compromised in any way due to a variety of chronic ailments, courses of antibiotics, medications, stress, etc., the addition of digestive enzymes and probiotics can help a dog regain balance and the overall strength of the GI system.

    For Pepper, it may help to blend the mix using a food processor or blender prior to feeding to break the larger pieces down a bit. I’ve heard a few customer doing this for their very sensitive pups and it works great! We’re happy to hear that Pepper is doing well with the food!

    Hope this helps! -Kate, THK

    #66708 Report Abuse
    Dog_Obsessed
    Member

    Thanks Kate! Lily is on an elimination diet for allergies right now, and so I probably won’t be using the base mixes in the near future, since it’s hard to buy and prepare unique meat at the store. It may be useful in the later stages of the elimination diet, because I can use it see if she is allergic to a certain protein without playing with the other ingredients too. Thanks!

    #106073 Report Abuse
    Mary V
    Member

    Keep in mind honest kitchen is almost all plant. Even the mixes with meat in them are plant based. Not much meat in them. And you see no chunks. Why? It’s ground into powder. Now, maybe it’s so you get the same amnt of meat in each portion. Or…so you don’t see how little meat is in it?
    I got this for my cats (prowl) and my dogs as one of my mastiffs has tons of allergies after losing a chunk of stomach and intestines.
    Problem is none of my animals will eat honest kitchen. Wasted about $300 bucks.
    They LOVE sojos. Which…chunks of actual meat! Also they preferred Stella and cheweys. Both are meat based. Not plant based.

    #106089 Report Abuse
    poodaddy
    Member

    Don’t we all simply want to have an application that we can enter our specific food items into and instantly get the following: Macro Nutrient %s, Major Mineral mg and %s, Minor Mineral mg and %s, Vitamin mg and %s, Fats and Fatty Acid mg & %s ? Then wouldn’t it be uber sweet if that app provided a variance listing of all the above from the industry accepted minimum and maximum standards? Then, it would be too much to ask, but we can hope nonetheless, for that app to suggest foods that could balance the menu.

    #108282 Report Abuse
    Cannoli
    Member

    I use Honest kitchens minimalist chicken and duck foods as a base when I don’t always feel like making everything from scratch or during the cold fall/winter months. But like most people I do end up topping this food with additional home made meat on top of it. I too don’t see the meat.

    Also my pup won’t touch his honest kitchen meals unless I soak it with my homemade chicken or turkey broth which adds even more nutrients to this controversial food.

    #146691 Report Abuse
    Sara M
    Member

    You need to switch to Easy Raw. Their new formula is fantastic! Whole chunks of freeze dried meat and veggies. Organ meat and bone broth and 32 percent protein. My dogs wouldn’t eat Honest Kitchen Soup. They gobble this up. You can see the meat! Tons of it! Not so honest Kitchen hides how much meat is really in there by grinding it into powder. Easy Raw keeps it in whole dehydrated chunks, so you can see exactly what your dog is eating!

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