For dogs making the change from a processed diet of kibble or canned food, our food should be introduced gradually, over a period of 4 to 7 days depending on your dog’s sensitivity. If your dog is already consuming a varied, raw or home cooked diet, our foods can usually be introduced more quickly, over one or 2 meals. Start by adding just a small amount of the Honest Kitchen (with water added) into your dog’s current meals. Gradually increase the amount of the Honest Kitchen while decreasing the amount of your dog’s original diet. This will allow the natural ‘friendly’ gut flora in the intestines to get accustomed to the new diet and become more efficient at digesting the new food. How much you start with will depend on the size of your pup and how sensitive they are to change. For some, ¼ of the Honest Kitchen and ¾ of the original diet may work well. For more sensitive dogs, start with a smaller amount. For more robust tummies, you may try ½ and ½. Feel free to adjust the amount and schedule to suit your pup’s individual needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is your food raw?
Our recipes are made from dehydrated whole food ingredients, but they're not quite the same as raw. Dehydration is a slow, gentle method of preserving food. It helps to keep many of the natural nutrients in the raw ingredients in tact. On the other hand, cooking denatures many of these nutrients including delicate enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids (making for a less nutritious finished product).
What exactly does 'Human Grade' mean?
Human Grade means ‘food grade’ or fit for human consumption. For us, it’s a line in the sand about the quality and integrity of the finished products we send out the door. We blend our healthy pet food in a human food facility that makes things like breakfast cereal and bakery mixes. So, we abide by the same strict standards for safety, cleanliness, record-keeping and overall quality as the place that whips up your favorite cookie dough.
How will my dog’s teeth get clean with a soft food?
Contrary to popular belief, kibble doesn't actually clean the teeth. For the most part, dogs (and some cats) actually swallow their kibble whole and don't chew their food at all. You'll know this if you've ever had the misfortune of seeing your pet regurgitate his kibble, when those pellets come back up the same way they went in! This means the pellets don't have a chance to come into much contact with the teeth, and even if they were to be crunched, they aren't really hard enough to have an abrasive action that's effective enough to scrape tartar from the teeth. If kibble is chewed (which may happen in some smaller dogs and cats) the sugars and refined carbohydrates are actually more likely to get impacted into the gum line, which is detrimental for the long term health of the teeth and mouth.
I can see bits of food in my dog’s stool, are they not absorbing the nutrients?
When dogs eat a high moisture, whole food diet such as ours, the stool will not look the same as it did when consuming a dry kibble or raw food. The stool will reflect the colorful ingredients going in. It's not abnormal to see pieces of carrots, spinach, etc. present in the stool. The nutrients, phyto-nutrients and antioxidants from the foods are still being absorbed. Since the food is high in moisture and fiber it's also common for the stool to be more voluminous. Our office dogs go 3 - 4 times a day.
Once I’ve added water, can I refrigerate the food? For how long?
Once the dehydrated food has been rehydrated with warm water, you may cover and refrigerate any uneaten portions for 2-3 days. Frozen leftovers will keep for even longer. We suggest adding a little bit of warm water to the mix and stirring before serving.
Do I have to add extras, like meat or other foods?
No, adding other ingredients to our diets is not necessary (except for our base mixes which require protein to be added). Our foods are formulated to meet the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles and can be fed alone. However, many of our customers love to mix up their companion’s meals with home-made extras. We encourage this because we think pet’s deserve variety in their diets just like we humans do. Our foods have balanced calcium: phosphorus ratios to allow you to add in extras in moderate amounts without throwing these important minerals outside their optimum ratios.
If I want to add extras, what do you recommend?
Popular add-ins are meat, raw meaty bones, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, veggies and fruits. We recommend 1/2 to 1 cup of extra ingredients for each dry-measured cup of the food. A more active dog would have these quantities added to the regular food serving. For a less active or senior pet, you can cut back the amount of Honest Kitchen food to allow for the additional ingredients being included, and prevent the calories from increasing too much.
How do I store your food and what is the shelf life?
Our dehydrated foods are naturally shelf stable and should be stored in a cool, dry place - out of sunlight. We don’t recommend refrigerating our food when it’s dry, because this can introduce moisture. If you want to freeze the food, you should hydrate it first (some of our customers like to freeze in individual pre-made portions). If you do choose to place the dry food in the freezer, we recommend keeping the box in the freezer for the remainder of its use. Our Complete Diets have a shelf life of twelve months from the manufacturing date, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity where you live. The date of manufacture is printed on the top of every box in a specially designed ‘tear out and keep’ card.