When Rugby and I returned from Orlando in December, we came home to find our dog food freezer had been unplugged for the whole week. That was a smelly, and expensive mishap. The food was disposed of, the freezer cleaned and the stink dispersed. All of a sudden a more shelf stable food option was looking very appealing.
I was thrilled when Rugby and I were given the chance to try out The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated raw food diets. The price is more in line with our raw diet than other fresh and frozen food available locally. It is made of quality ingredients, healthier than kibble and easier than raw. Not to mention, I wouldn’t have to worry about knocking the freezer plug from the wall and leaving for a week.
We were sent trial size boxes of the “Love” and “Embark” varieties of The Honest Kitchen’s food. Both boxes make 1 lb of fresh food, and since Rugby eats about 1/4 lb of food each day, the boxes took us exactly eight days to get through. I kept a daily log of our Honest Kitchen experience. It is long and includes details of Rugby’s poop. You can skip straight to our conclusion at the bottom if you would like.
Day 1: Following the instructions on the box, I mixed 1/4 cup of the dehydrated food and 1/3 cup of warm water in his bowl. I let it sit for
5… 10…20 minutes before I gave up on it ever becoming oatmeal consistency. Rugby wasn’t sure how to eat it, so with some begging on my part he ate the entire meal off of a spoon. He isn’t one for licking bowls clean. He never wants to seem desperate. 🙂
Day 2: I mixed 1/4 cup of dehydrated food with 1/8 cup of warm water. It gave me a better consistency for Rugby. Even though he didn’t want to stick his face into the bowl, he required less begging and ate chunks of the food that I gave him from my hand.
He went to the bathroom once, but it was a poo of a much larger dog.
Day 3: Again, I mixed 1/4 cup of food and 1/8 cup of water. This time I changed the presentation. I divided the food into “bite-sized” pieces, spread them out on a paper plate and let Rugby go for it. He ate it quickly and without protest and didn’t leave any left behind.
He went to the bathroom twice, both times with larger than usual sized turds.
Day 4: Same idea as the previous day, but this time I left the divided clumps in the bowl. I made the clumps bigger, so they were a little more than bite-sized but the separations left him get his mouth around them. He ate them willingly. There was extras left on the side of the bowl that he did not clean up.
This time, he went to the bathroom twice during his morning outing and again in the evening.
Day 5: We made the switch to “Embark.” I mixed 1/4 cup of food and 1/8 cup of water. I piled it up in the middle but didn’t separate it into clumps. He licked the bowl clean. He worked on the bowl for a good five minutes after he had finished the food. Is it because he liked the taste of Embark better? Is it because he finally figured out how to eat the food? He got used to the different texture? He was actually starving because he pooped out more than he ate?
Day 6 & 7: Licked the bowl clean each day. During his morning walk on Day 7, Rugby stopped three times to use the bathroom. Each one was above average in size. The third one really surprised me. “How is there anything left in there?! You don’t eat that much!”
So what do we think after a week of serving up The Honest Kitchen?
1) If you are a raw feeder planning on using this on vacation, start feeding it before you leave in case your dog needs to be taught how to eat it, the way Rugby did. You might not have a problem with a less picky dog, but better safe than sorry.
2) This would be a great supplement to a kibble-fed dogs diet. Even in its soupy form, it can make any kibble more enticing. You could add as much or as little as you like.
3) This could be a back up for raw feeders on the days you forget to defrost, and the The Honest Kitchen lists this as one of many uses for the food. Not a bad idea, just remember to take an extra poop bag or two on your morning walk.
4) If it weren’t for the excessive pooping this week, we would switch to the Honest Kitchen and not look back. It is easy and convenient! I attribute Rugby’s regular, once-a-day poo to the fact that his raw diet does not contain fruits and veggies. If The Honest Kitchen made a meat/tripe/bones/organs mix without all the extras, I think it would solve the pooping problem (and make me a very happy person).
5) If you don’t mind the extra poop, this is the most economical commercial brand raw/fresh food I have found. Chance are it isn’t too long of a drive to find The Honest Kitchen locally either. You can search for retailers on their website.
6) Rugby had NO tear staining this week. It could be the food, or the weather since both tend to effect his staining and both changed this week. It could be a combination of the two. I am tempted to give this food another shot in the spring/summer so I can know for sure. Look how cute that face is!