How do I make your dehydrated recipes?
Making our dehydrated foods is as easy as 1-2-3!
- Just add water
- Wait 3 min while food re-hydrates
- Serve with love!
For our base mixes, follow the same steps above and also add your dog's favorite protein.
Do I have to add water to your dehydrated recipes?
Yes! It is imperative that you re-hydrate our dehydrated recipes before serving. The food swells when it comes in contact with moisture so it's important that this takes place in the food bowl before consumption, and not in your pet's tummy. When the food is hydrated with water, it will not swell further after eating, which is why our food is so great for breeds who are prone to bloat.
Do I have to feed The Honest Kitchen foods as 100% of my pet's diet?
No, our foods may be included in our pet's diet in a variety of ways! Check out the A,B,C's of how you can use them:
A is for All Alone Feed Honest Kitchen food by itself as a complete meal (except for our Base Mixes, which you mix with meat). Just add water and it's ready to go!
B is for Base Mix Use as a base for your own home-prepared ingredients. Lots of people love to make their pets' food. Honest Kitchen recipes are an excellent starting point (with balanced calcium: phosphorus ratios) that you can mix with your own meat and other goodies.
C is for Complementary Mix with kibble as a convenient, healthy whole food topping that provides more phyto-nutrients than cooked diets. Because our foods are gently dehydrated, they retain much more of the natural nutrition that conventional pet food production methods. If you aren't ready to make the switch to 100% fresh or dehydrated food, try our recipes as toppers, so your pet can still enjoy some of the benefits of a whole food diet! Feed a _ and _ mixture of Honest Kitchen and your favorite dry food or in whatever ratio works well for your pet.
D is for Defrosting error Use as a stand-in when you forget to thaw your raw! Some of our customers feed raw food most of the time. But sometimes, schedules can be disrupted or plain old absent-mindedness can set in. Our foods are great to keep on hand as a stand-in for just such occasions!
E is for Emergencies Dehydrated foods are compact to store - you can keep our products in your emergency preparedness kit for up to 12 months and they'll be easy to take if you ever have to leave home in a hurry.
F is for Fun outdoors Take on your travels, backpacking and camping - our dehydrated foods are lightweight, and quick & easy to prepare for a tasty meal on the road. Each dry-measured cup of our food makes a whole pound of fresh food when re-hydrated.
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.
Is your food raw?
Our recipes are made from dehydrated whole food ingredients, but they're not quite the same as raw. Our meats, fish, and eggs are gently steamed at about 165 degrees F before being dehydrated to make sure they're safe and free of any pathogens, without the use of harmful irradiation. The steaming process means that these ingredients are not considered raw. Our leafy greens are also steamed in a dry-steam process which takes place after dehydration, as a food safety measure. All our remaining produce is dehydrated below 104 degrees F, and is still considered raw after the drying is complete. Our potatoes and grains are flash heated (and rolled in the case of our grains) to help break down the cellulose, which aids in digestion. They are then gently dehydrated to remove the moisture.
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.
Why can't I feed my puppy the Base Mix recipes?
Puppies have slightly different mineral needs. Of particular interest are calcium and phosphorus, which our bases mixes do not support the levels and ratios necessary for puppies. We have several diets that are designed to support puppies during their rapid growth months.
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.