The Honest Kitchen is an established and trusted brand that has been operating since 2002. It was born from the founder’s questions about poor doggy diets and their linked health problems. They are a premium brand that uses human-grade food made in kitchens in the USA. Plus, they have proved to their consumers that they take the safety of our pups seriously. All this and their excellent reviews have intrigued us to learn more.
The Honest Kitchen offers an impressively wide dog food range, more than most premium brands. They cater to different sizes, dietary needs, and all life stages. And their wide range of protein and diet options means that there is something here for every dog.
The Honest Kitchen prides itself on offering our pets the best-quality food to improve their health and happiness. This premium brand comes with a higher price tag than many other brands. But is it worth it? We, and many others, think it is. Let’s dig a little deeper and discover their recipe for success.
At A Glance: The Honest Kitchen Food Flavor Favorites
- Brand History
- Recall History
- Range Of Recipes
- Pros & Cons
- Nutritional Analysis
- Where Do They Make The Food?
- How Does The Honest Kitchen Work?
- How Much Does It Cost?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
The Honest Kitchen was set up in 2002 by founder Lucy Postins. Lucy’s dog, Mosi, regularly suffered from skin and ear infections, and she began to wonder if diet could alleviate these conditions. She also questioned why brands made dog food with poor-quality ingredients and the link between this and doggy health. So she decided to start a brand that would make a big difference in the pet food market.
Over the last two decades, The Honest Kitchen has developed a range of pet food with the help of canine nutritionists, vets, and avid pet lovers. Their premise is to bring human-grade ingredients and quality to pets, and this is never going to change.
The Honest Kitchen is a Certified B Corporation. These businesses meet the highest social and environmental performance standards, transparency, and legal accountability. They use profit and growth to positively impact their consumers, employees, and the greater community.
The Honest Kitchen has only had one instance where it voluntarily recalled a handful of its products. This happened in February 2013. The Honest Kitchen became aware that an ingredient supplied to them was at risk of salmonella contamination. The parsley ingredient was used in five batches of Honest Kitchen products.
“While our quality control tests did not find evidence of Salmonella in any of our finished products, we are accountable for everything we make, and are taking precautionary action to ensure the safety and integrity of our products.”Lucy Postins, Company Founder and CEO.
Although there was no suggestion that The Honest Kitchen products were contaminated, they put the safety of their customers first. After this, they have put extra safety measures in place, including steaming their green vegetables to kill off any potential pathogens. This demonstrates that The Honest Kitchen is a trustworthy brand that strives to improve and takes the safety of our dogs seriously.
Range Of Recipes
The Honest Kitchen currently offers six product lines, including:
- Clusters of dried food.
- Dehydrated food.
- Wet food.
- Supplements and broths.
Clusters dried food is cooked ingredients cold-pressed into bite-sized clusters, roasted and dehydrated to maintain the nutrients, aroma, and taste of whole foods. Clusters provide the same convenience as other dry dog foods while providing your pup with minimally processed, 100% human-grade nutrition.
Their dehydrated range is gently dried food to maintain nutrients and taste. All you need to do is add warm water and wait three minutes for a tasty, homemade meal. Dehydrated offers almost the same nutritional content as fresh, but it has a longer shelf life and is more convenient.
The wet food comes in the form of stews and pate. Their topper range includes two options, one contains 99% protein, and the other is a pour-on stew product that adds extra taste and nutrients for picky pups. Wet food is naturally preserved with ingredients such as rosemary oil.
Within these lines, they offer a wide range of flavors, including chicken, beef, fish, turkey, duck, and lamb. They also offer three base product options, grain-inclusive and grain-free, which are everything your dog needs except protein. Choose your base, and add water and protein yourself. This is an excellent option for owners who want to feed their dogs raw protein but aren’t comfortable or haven’t got the time for the prep work.
The Honest Kitchen caters to all three life stages, puppy, adult, and senior. They also cater to a wide range of specific dietary needs, including grain-inclusive, grain-free, legume-free, limited ingredients, high protein, low protein, low fat, low sodium, and low carb. There aren’t many premium brands that offer this much variety, which is impressive.
Pros & Cons
|Subscription option for regular deliveries with discounts||Only ships in the USA|
|Uses 100% human-grade ingredients||Premium pricing|
|Impressive range of formulas|
|Many proteins to choose from|
|Caters to a wide range of dietary needs|
|Made in the USA|
|Transparent about ingredient sourcing|
|60-day money-back guarantee|
Here we review some of The Honest Kitchen’s best-selling products.
Grain-Free Beef Clusters
- Convenient but highly nutritious dried food.
- Tasty recipe with 26% beef protein.
- Contains beef liver and eggs, which are nutrient-dense.
- Flaxseed, salmon oil, and coconut oil keep skin and coat healthy.
- Available in a trial, mid, or large-size bag.
Like all the Cluster products, this grain-free beef cluster option uses human-grade, nutrient-dense ingredients cold-pressed into bite-sized clusters. Which are then roasted and dehydrated to maintain the nutrients, aroma, and taste your dog loves. Ranch-raised beef is the number one ingredient, offering a protein content of 26%.
Made with all life stages in mind, this is an excellent option for most dogs who like crunchy and beefy kibble. Pumpkin is a prebiotic fiber great for digestive qualities. Combining them with probiotic ingredients helps your dog’s gut. In addition to peas, broccoli, apples, and kale, this product is fortified with vitamins and mineral supplements to ensure your dog gets everything it needs.
We love that this recipe uses ranch-raised beef as the number one ingredient.
Whole Grain Chicken Clusters
- Minimally processed dried food for top nutrition.
- Convenient bag.
- 24% protein from cage-free chicken.
- Contains highly nutritious animal organs.
- Available in trial, mid, or large-size bags.
The Chicken Cluster dried option is one of the best-selling grain-inclusive diets that The Honest Kitchen offers. Easy-to-digest oats are the first ingredient, followed by barley, flaxseed, and chia seeds. These ingredients provide slow-release energy, fiber, and other necessary nutrients your dog needs. Plus, the first ingredient is cage-free chicken, providing your pooch with wholesome protein.
Eggs, flaxseed, salmon oil, chia seeds, and coconut oil provide your pooch with healthy fats and DHA to help with cognitive function and eyesight. Dried kelp is listed, which is nutrient-dense, and this recipe is enriched with a wide range of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog feeling their best.
We love that this recipe is made with easy-to-digest grains, which is ideal for dogs needing a grain-inclusive diet.
Dehydrated Grain-Free Turkey
- Dehydrated to retain the highest nutrition.
- Simply add water for a tasty homemade meal.
- Grain-free diet.
- Cage-free turkey is the number one ingredient.
- Contains superfoods like spinach, coconut, cranberries, and kelp.
This is one of the top-selling dehydrated formulas. All you need to do is add some water, wait three minutes, and you have a tasty homemade dinner that your pooch is bound to love. This recipe lists cage-free turkey as the first ingredient, providing your dog with a protein content of 29%. The product is concentrated, so a 10-pound bag provides you with 40 pounds of food.
Other ingredients include spinach, carrots, coconut, apples, bananas, celery, cranberries, and kelp for an antioxidant hit. Flaxseed and eggs help to keep your dogs skin and coat nourished. It comes in five size options, meaning you can try it and go on to buy a bigger bag when your porch gives you the thumbs up.
We love that this recipe is minimally processed using dehydration, making it highly nutritious for your dog.
Beef & Cheddar Butcher Block Pate
- Natural wet food for all life stages.
- Made with tasty ranch-raised beef, beef broth, and beef liver.
- Lists irresistible cheddar cheese.
- Wholesome farm veggies provide fiber and nutrients.
- Enriched with vitamins and minerals.
There are several wet food options, and this option is one of the favorites. It is a beef, cheddar, and farm veggie butcher block pate. It lists ranch-raised beef, beef bone broth, and beef liver as the first three ingredients. Meaning it is super tasty and highly nutritious. It also lists cheddar cheese which most dogs go crazy for, and veggies such as green beans and carrots.
There are many other pate flavors to choose from. Plus, they have a one-pot stew alternative with various protein flavors. You can purchase bulk bundles or a variety pack mix, whatever suits your needs.
We love that this recipe provides dogs with a moist option if they cannot stand dried alternatives. Or you can also mix it with dried kibble for fussy dogs.
Dehydrated Grain-Free Base Mix
- This dehydrated base mix makes homemade food simple.
- Just add your choice of protein and a little water.
- Great for dogs with protein sensitivities.
- Contains highly nutritious ingredients such as sweet potatoes, coconut, and kelp.
- One bag makes a lot of meals.
This product is a base mix of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables enriched with additional minerals and vitamins. It’s similar to a granola mix – all you need to do is add the protein of your choice and a bit of water. It eliminates the prep work for busy owners and supports them in providing the best nutrition for their dogs.
Why not combine this with one of the meal topper options? Such as tasty Salmon and Pollock Meal Booster full of freshly cooked protein. Carefully chosen ingredients include sweet potatoes, peas, cabbage, coconut, apples, bananas, spinach, pumpkin, celery, organic honey, and kelp. There are two grain-free options, including this one, and a whole-grain option.
We love that this recipe acts as the base mix assisting owners in making homemade recipes while ensuring your dog gets all the nutrition they need for a healthy and balanced diet.
The Honest Kitchen only uses human-grade ingredients, so you can be sure that the nutrition they provide your pooch is top quality. Their ingredients are non-GMO certified and do not use artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, meat meals, or fillers. None of their recipes list corn, wheat, or soy. And nutrition is preserved through careful preparation methods like dehydration.
The Honest Kitchen recipes are designed to meet AAFCO guidelines. When considering all of their product lines, independent dog food sites such as Dog Food Advisor enthusiastically recommends The Honest Kitchen based on their nutritional analysis. Across some of the ranges, the average protein content is 29%. Overall they provide above-average protein, near-average fat, and below or near to average carbs. Making their food a premium option.
Where Do They Make The Food?
The Honest Kitchen makes its food in kitchens that conform to human standards across the USA. This means that their kitchens are approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA.) Their headquarters is based in San Diego, with several field offices around the country.
Unlike most other brands, The Honest Kitchen is transparent about where they source their ingredients. Their sourcing map shows that 84% of their ingredients are from North America. They source the rest of their natively-grown ingredients from around the world, including Europe, South America, and Asia.
They have a quality assurance program that ensures their food is suitable for human consumption, just as if their end customer were human. Their quality assurance program has three tiers of safety: Ingredient Hazard Analysis/ Risk Assessment, Supplier Code of Conduct, and Supplier Compliance.
All food is tested at an independent third-party laboratory, ensuring that every batch is clear of pathogens. Until the lab report is clear, The Honest Kitchen does not release the product. They also conduct routine tests to ensure that the nutritional profiles are correct. This demonstrates their lengths to ensure your dog gets the best nutrition.
How Does The Honest Kitchen Work?
The Honest Kitchen is an online food brand where you can select products online. You can also take a quiz where you enter your pup’s details and dietary requirements, and they recommend selecting their products. If you’re still unsure, you can schedule a 15-minute call for an HonestExpert to guide you through the best recipes for your dog and other feeding tips.
Once you have chosen, you can buy the products as and when you need them. They are then delivered straight to your door. Alternatively, you can set up a subscription for regular deliveries, making it much more convenient. You can edit, pause, or cancel your subscription at any time through your online account. Regular subscribers currently get a 5% discount and other member perks.
The Honest Kitchen has a point system where you can earn and redeem points and use them against future orders saving you even more money. You can earn points by opening an account and money spent, writing reviews, recommending friends, and sharing their brand on your social accounts. Plus, birthday points are also available.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Honest Kitchen is a premium brand using human-grade ingredients, which means it is more expensive than other standard brands. But in return, you get a much better product and top nutrition for your pooch. So, while their prices are higher than the market average, if it fits your budget, we feel it is worth the extra cost.
Bag sizes range from 1-pound up to 20-pound. The 1-pound bags are a trial size, meaning you can try their food without committing to a large order. Plus, you also get a 60-day money-back guarantee. So if your pup doesn’t like it, no worries! Selecting higher-quality nutrition usually means that your dog is and feels much healthier, which generally means fewer trips to the vet for health problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Does The Honest Kitchen Food Make Their Food?
The Honest Kitchen makes its food in USDA-approved kitchens in the USA. Their main headquarters is in San Diego, with offices throughout the country. They source 84% of their food from North America, with other ingredients sourced from overseas. Each supplier has stringent checks to ensure they meet their strict quality assurance.
What About The Honest Kitchen and DCM?
We understand that many dog owners are concerned about Dilated Cardiomyopathy and its potential link to diet, mainly grain-free diets. The FDA is investigating this possible link, but as it stands, no causal link is clear. If you are concerned, select the grain-inclusive options or speak to your veterinarian about a change in diet.
Can I Buy The Honest Kitchen In-Store?
You can buy the Honest Kitchen in a selection of stores. However, their website offers their full selection providing you with a much better choice. There is a store locater page on their website if you want to browse their products in person. Other brands like Ollie do not offer this.
Can I Feed The Honest Kitchen To My Puppy?
Yes, you can. The Honest Kitchen has several options designed specifically for the developmental needs of puppies. Each product states whether it is suitable for puppies or not, so be sure to check this.
The Honest Kitchen is an established brand that offers an impressively wide range of foods for all dogs. Owners and their dogs rate all of their products highly, as do many vets and independent third-party experts. Their food is made using human-grade ingredients in stringently checked USA-based kitchens. They minimally process each product to maintain its highly nutritious content.
As a result, the price is higher than traditional foods, but you are getting a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. But you can be sure your dog is receiving one of the best diets. The Honest Kitchen offers the best of both worlds – products in-store and online. Regular subscribers receive perks and discounts too. Because The Honest Kitchen provides high quality and value for money, we highly recommend it.