This year I decided to pay a lot more attention to what the dogs are and aren’t eating. I read a lot about the importance of fruits and vegetables in puppies diets because of Deluca. I decided to start incorporating them into each of her meals and some of the other dogs meals. And so began Sunday Dinner at the Miepet house. I had looked into dehydrated fruits and veggie food and while I didn’t want to switch fully to a dehydrated food system I liked the idea of adding some to their food so I bought a bag of Sojos. I have enjoyed the Sojos food and will review that another day but I was recently offered some samples of another brand, The Honest Kitchen, in exchange for a review.
Here is my stash 1.) Zeal dehydrated food trial 2.) Force dehydrated food trial 3.) A seed bomb ball (how cool is that!?) 4.) A Honest Kitchen reusable bag 5 & 6.) Love and Embark dehydrated food taste test sample.
I started with Love.
If you aren’t familiar with dehydrated dog food here are the basics.
1.) The food is dehydrated rather than cooked down to a pulp and then mashed into little bits of kibble.
2.) You can feed your dog just the dehydrated food or you can mix it together with other things like regular dry food, fresh fruits and vegetables or meat.
3.) The food comes in a dry formula and is mixed with water before your dog eats it.
As you can see the stuff you get right out of the box is pretty much powder. You can make out bits and pieces of different things but it is mostly a uniform consistency. I put mine in a smaller Pyrex container because Pyrex is awesome. Any container with a lid will do, but you really should go get some Pyrex.
Then you add your warm water. This stuff starts to bubble and turn into goo pretty quickly but it takes a little extra time for it to be fully absorbed into the food. I usually give it a good mix and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Just enough time to let a dog out to go potty and then have it back sitting at my feet wanting food.
Once everything is mixed it smells a little earthy but all around pretty good. On the other hand it looks a bit like the dog already puked it up once or twice. I like to mix it into their food, just so my stomach feels a little better.
The dogs love it and have never had any issues eating it. That being said switching a dog over to this kind of food is something that should be done over a longer period of time than other dog foods. Even with mixing it in I started out giving them about ¼ of a table-spoon and worked them up to a full table-spoon or so.
My favorite thing about dehydrated dog food is that it is so much more nutritional than regular dry dog food. Because of the way it is prepared it retains much more of the good stuff and with out a lot of the added bad stuff that is in kibble. They also use some seriously high quality ingredients, and my dogs deserve high quality. I also like that it keeps for longer than fresh fruits and vegetables. Depending on how long it has sat on the shelf at the store, dehydrated food can last up to a year. It also takes a lot of the guess-work out of what you can, and can not feed dogs. I am guilty of feeding Banksy a ton of grapes, only to find out the next day you shouldn’t feed dogs grapes. On top of that it is a light weight option for taking your dog back packing or on a trip.
There are multiple brands of dehydrated dog food. What I like about the Honest Kitchen specifically is the variety of products the have. There is even a handy chart above this you can use to see what product is best for your pups. They also seem to be one of “those companies”. You know, the kind where people love to work there and they don’t compromise their mission in order to make more money. In fact they only use human grade food that is cooked in a facility that only cooks human grade food. They also support rescues and shelters, and pride themselves on giving back.
There are a couple of things I am not a huge fan of. First and by far the dumbest is my own personal hang up on feeding my dogs just the dehydrated food. I am just so use to boring ole dry dog food, that I can’t quite compute that this stuff is enough food for my dogs. It isn’t true, and I know that, but I just can’t seem to get over it. Another issue is that since they are using a lot of different foods that are only cooked as much as they need to be instead of overcooked as much as possible you do run a risk of having recalls. They actually just had one recently. While I haven’t done a ton of research it seems like they have a much lower rate of recall than most other dog food brands. Since they take pride in knowing where every ingredient comes from and having a strong relationship with those suppliers they stay on top of any issues that might come up. The biggest draw backs are that it does take a little time to prepare and that unlike normal kibble if I make a bit too much I can’t just throw it back in the bag. Once hydrated you can store the food in the fridge for a day or two but they don’t suggest keeping it any longer than that.
The process for figuring out how much to feed your dog can be a little bit of work. There is a nice guide, but it is different from how we have all been trained to measure dry dog food. Your dry dehydrated food is going to be much smaller and lighter than the finished product. A little bit of the dry dehydrated food goes a long way. Since I am just mixing it in with their normal food, I don’t worry too much about how much I am giving them. Then again, my dog are all at a very healthy weight, so a little more or less food doesn’t have much of an impact on them. Just pay attention when you first start the food and see if you feel your dog needs more or less food. Eventually it will become second nature, but there is a learning curve.
Now onto the financial aspect. Compared to feeding your pup cheap kibble from Wal-mart (if you are STOP) The Honest Kitchen is quite a bit more expensive. If you are looking into feeding your dog a whole food diet (just actual meat, fruits and veggies) you are getting well over $100 worth of groceries in a 10 pound box of Honest Kitchen, for around $75.
The 4oz trial sized boxes also come with a coupon for $3.50 off a full-sized box. It may be worth it to get a trial box first.
Using Banksy as an example, on average, he eats 2 cups of Taste of the Wild grain free food per day. A 30 pound bag would last him around 60 days and puts us back about $49. Meaning he eats about $.81 worth of food a day ($.40 per cup of food). A 10 pound box of The Honest Kitchen has about 40 dry cups of food. Banksy would eat about 1.25 cups of dry HK a day meaning a box would last him around 32 days and put us back around $2.18 per day for one of the cheaper verities and $3.12 for the more expensive. So yes it is quite a price jump. Now if you are looking to mix it in with your dogs normal kibble it is a whole different ball game. I give Banksy about 3 (dry) teaspoons of HK a day (about 2 tablespoons of wet mixture). At that rate a 10 pound box would last him around 640 days (in this case we would either need to feed him more, buy a smaller box or share with a sibling or it would expire too soon). If we take a box of Force that you can get on Amazon for $79 that means it is about $.12 a day.
It can be a little harder to find Honest Kitchen in stores. It isn’t stocked at Petco or Petsmart, but it is at most smaller pet stores. They have a handy-dandy store locator on their website here. You can also find their products on most pet supply websites like Wag.com (If it is your first purchase on their website use the code WAGTHIRTY and get 30% off) or you can find it on Amazon.com.
The Honest Kitchen sent us some product samples in exchange for a review. For more information about our reviews check out our review page.
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