In the search for great dog food, there are a lot of different variables that dog owners might consider. Does your dog have any type of food sensitivity? How important is it to give your dog healthy dog food and provide the ingredients that they really need to live their best lives?
While you could certainly walk into any store and pick up a cheap bag of dog food, these options rarely have essential nutrients and are packed full of fillers that don’t provide benefits for the health of your pup.
Honest Kitchen dog food takes a unique approach and uses dehydrated dog food with human grade ingredients rather than using food with fillers that have no benefit. It’s all about providing health benefits through dog foods and doing so without an extreme amount of processing with the ingredients.
Take a look at this Honest Kitchen dog food review to learn more.
About Honest Kitchen Dog Food
Honest Kitchen is not the only company out there to take human grade ingredients and turn them into dehydrated dog food. It is a unique concept and certainly not what you find in most dog foods. When you look up dehydrated dog food, you will find there are several choices out there.
But Honest Kitchen dog food brands do take a unique approach. They use raw ingredients that are really human food and dehydrate those to create tasty and nutritious food for your canine friends. The dehydrated approach gives you human grade ingredients that are created for the benefit of your dog and made into dog food. It’s made to accommodate their nutritional needs and their own palettes.
The dehydrated approach to real food makes the dog food easier to digest for most dogs but it also gives you a safe and healthy route to feed them without having to cook your own raw ingredients.
The story behind Honest Kitchen was really all about answering why the founder’s dog was having specific issues. In Lucy’s search, she found that the standard to making dog food was simply unacceptable. And that’s when the mission behind Honest Kitchen really began. The dog food is human food but made into dog food and sold as such.
The company stands behind its founding principles, which are the following.
Honest Kitchen Dog Food History
The brand really has a unique history. Honest Kitchen’s founder, Lucy Postins, simply decided to ask why. She then made it her mission to answer the why and come up with a solution for dogs and cats everywhere. The Honest Kitchen brand began in 2002. It initially started right out of Lucy’s home kitchen in California.
Of course, as more and more people wanted the food, it became time for Lucy to expand. She also recognized the need for grain free and that was her first additional product. Her food was originally sold in buckets to her initial clients. She quickly got FDA approval and was allowed to label her foods as human grade thanks to that. At that time, there were 2 employees.
In 2006, their home kitchen for the Honest Kitchen was no longer enough. They purchased the old Wonder Bread factory in San Diego, launched some more new lines, changed up their packaging to be more eco-friendly, and grew to 16 employees by 2011.
Through the years, they have continued to grow and add employees. They have launched multiple new products and maintained their FDA human grade approval. As of 2019, the brand has won several awards and has been featured in news articles. Lucy also has won awards. They have multiple lines and products and more than 55 employees.
They continue to grow and they are proud of their accomplishments. They have a history of listening to client requests and then trying to make them happen to the best of their ability.
They continue to stand behind the founding principles that we mentioned earlier and they are still producing through the Wonder Bread building that they acquired in 2006. Their headquarters are right there in the San Diego bay area. All of the employers are pet enthusiasts and great care is taken to stand behind quality products every single time.
Where is Honest Kitchen Dog Food Made?
All of this food goes through the minimal manufacturing process. It’s truly just dehydrated food and then you add water to give your dog delicious food that is acceptable for humans. That means that pet parents could safely try the food if they really wanted to.
One of the cool things about the background of Honest Kitchen is that it literally started out of a kitchen. In 2006, they went looking for a place to expand and found the old Wonder Bread facility that was in the San Diego Bay area. They moved there and that is where they continue to create their products.
They’ve been using this plant ever since. It’s allowed them the space to add employees and continue to build on what they can offer customers. They continue to be FDA-approved creating food that is acceptable for human consumption and focusing solely on creating good stuff for beloved pets
Honest Kitchen Cost for Pet Owners
Since they are using dehydrated foods that are real meat and ingredients, the cost is a bit higher than your average bag of generic dog food. What you’re paying for is really the nutritional value, the longer shelf life, and knowing that every ingredient was chosen carefully and designed to provide your pet whole foods that are beneficial rather than a bunch of fillers and preservatives.
It is slightly more expensive than some foods but it’s also pretty comparable overall to most high-quality foods out there. The price of Honest Kitchen foods is also right on point with other brands that do similar things.
The dehydrated food options range in price from about $25 to $125. It ultimately depends on what type of food you want and the size of packaging that you choose to go with. For example, the limited ingredient duck flavor is going to be more expensive than dehydrated chicken might be.
Of course, they also have food clusters, grain free, and other lines as well.
Honest Kitchen Food Quality
This is really the heart of the matter. The entire intention behind the Honest Kitchen dog food review is to talk about the quality. Remember that this company uses actual whole foods and their primary lines dehydrate those foods.
You see things like organic ingredients, wholesome ingredients, organic flaxseed, free range chicken, sweet potatoes, and other types of natural meat. Their primary lines combine the ingredients for balanced nutrition and then dehydrate it. You just add warm water to prep it for your pet at their meal time.
Of course, they also have grain free choices and now also have some clusters that don’t require any prep or adding water to it.
Let’s talk about a few of the ingredients.
The packages all have some sort of real meat as the protein. It’s human approved meat and it would be much like you preparing your own meat at home for your dog. One thing you will find unique about their meat is that it’s all free range or ranch raised. The chicken is free range, the beef is ranch raised beef, and it does along this route.
When you get ranch raised beef as opposed to stockyard beef, it’s just better quality overall.
Carbs are an important part of a dog’s health. It supports their energy needs and contributes to balanced nutrition. The carbs in your dog food might vary because they have grain options and grain free options. So something like the grain free chicken is going to build with ingredients like dehydrated potatoes or sweet potatoes where other blends might have oats in them.
Sweet potatoes offer a lot of nutritional value. Some of these ingredients are lightly cooked before dehydration to prepare them better.
Vitamins & Minerals
All of the dehydrated ingredients chosen are really founded on the needs of a dog. When you compare it to something like dry kibble where you get a ton of by products and questionable ingredients, it’s just not the best food.
Those might have some vitamins and minerals but they also have artificial preservatives and more. This antibiotic free solution is a limited ingredient diet even in the original recipes. There are no cheap fillers but you will still find the necessary Vitamin E supplement, healthy fats, and other minerals needed.
Here are some of the additional items.
- iron amino acid chelate
- zinc amino acid chelate
- medium chain fatty acids
- copper amino acid chelate
- Vitamin E supplement
- Sodium selenite
- potassium iodide
- selenium yeast
These are suitable for supporting the immune system, providing your active adults and dogs in all life stages valuable nutrition, and even catering to the picky eater. Overweight dogs, senior dogs, puppies, adult dogs, and everything in between can benefit from this dog food.
Honest Kitchen Top Product Lines
Now, we’ve mentioned that Honest Kitchen has several different products. They have more than 110 products for dogs alone. Obviously, we can’t go through each of those in these dog food reviews but we can look at a few of the most popular lines for you.
Grain Free Recipes
The grain free chicken was their first in this line and it’s been popular ever since it came out. The founder actually developed this recipe because customers were requesting something without the grains. Rather than oats, you will find sweet potatoes, paired with chicken that was free range, as well as tasty green beans, and a few other additions.
It comes as dehydrated food so you will add water to create a real meal for your pup. In this line, they have several different recipes. This includes some limited ingredient options, beef, chicken, turkey, fish, and duck. They also have a fruit or vegetable base mix here too.
Standard Dehydrated Recipes
Of course, Honest Kitchen made its name with its standard recipes. It all started with some dehydrated chicken, oats, and veggies to create a homemade food. The ingredients are carefully chosen still and they use whole grains. They also use things like potatoes and the vegetables that are added to the mix might vary depending on the meat. Here are some of those flavors.
- Fish & Oat
- Chicken & Duck
- Turkey & Fish
- Beef & Salmon
This line also has the veggie and fruit base mix available as well.
Whole Food Clusters
One of the newer products that they’ve designed is clusters. The clusters were made for people who didn’t want to have to prep the food with water. Remember that this company really strives to listen to feedback from customers so they worked hard to provide this type of solution as well.
The clusters have no grain or grain choices so you can pick what works for you. They don’t have a ton of different flavors in this line yet but they used the same philosophy as they did with the other food. They just created little tiny clusters that look like kibble with the exact same ingredients they use for the other product lines.
Choose from chicken & oat, beef & oat, chicken, beef, and turkey options.
Alternatives to Honest Kitchen
Honest Kitchen is not the only brand out there that creates dog food like this. Others have followed suit as well. While they might not be exactly the same, there are other choices to consider. Let’s take a look at a few alternatives.
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Freeze-Dried Food
This first option is a freeze-dried food. It’s made in the USA and uses a similar approach to creating food with fruits and vegetables and combining them into a mix for your dog. One of the most noticeable differences with this particular food option is that it is all fruits and veggies. There is no meat in it. You serve it much the same way, using water to prepare it.
Nature’s Diet Simply Raw Freeze-Dried Food
Here is another freeze-dried option and it has yet gained different ingredients. They use no grains, raw meat, superfoods, bone broth, and whole eggs to create this dinner for your pet. There are lots of veggies and superfoods mixed with the meat. This one does use the whole egg, which can be a trigger for some pets so be mindful of this ingredient.
We Think You’ll Like: Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat? (The Truth About Raw Dog Food Diet)
The Simple Food Project Freeze Dried Food
Finally, another alternative you can check out is the Simple Food Project. They use much the same approach as these others but their food prices can be a bit more expensive overall. It’s all made in Wisconsin, the USA using natural ingredients. All of the ingredients are also sourced from the US. These are made with meat, superfoods, veggies, fruits, and then things like beef liver and beef heart. They also use some salt but not in large portions.
Where to Buy Honest Kitchen Food
Honest Kitchen foods are available at several retailers. You can purchase directly from the company and even set up recurring orders if you want. With a recurring order, you can save 5% so it’s a good deal once you figure out how much and how often you need an order. You have control of those details when you order recurring.
They also have a useful tool on the website where you can find a store near you that carries their food. Places like Chewy, small pet shops, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and more.
Honest Kitchen Dog Food Recalls
With the process that they use, it’s not as likely to run into recalls. Most companies see some sort of recall over time and Honest Kitchen isn’t exempt from that. What really stands out is how recalls are handled.
In 2013, Honest Kitchen did have to recall some food due to potential salmonella contamination. This was not through carelessness or processing practices but rather because of potential contamination from parsley purchased through one of their suppliers. They immediately made the recall when they found out and then they also changed suppliers to be proactive.
Overall, Honest Kitchen is a really great food option for adult dogs, puppies, and senior dogs alike. They have a ton of different options with a unique story. They even have a process that is different from every other freeze dried food out there. You see, they gently roast and lightly cook their foods before they freeze dry them. It can make a difference!
If you’re looking for a quality brand of dog food, you can find it here. You find reliable integrity from a person who simply wanted to make a difference in the life of her own pet and then share with pets across the US. It’s certainly worth a try for the health of your pet.