The Honest Kitchen: A K9 of Mine Hands-On Review

Brand Reviews By Kelsey Leicht 30 min read June 9, 2023

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Honest Kitchen Food Review

The Honest Kitchen is a pet food manufacturer that strives for “The Honest Difference.” 

One of the ways they do so is by only using human-grade ingredients prepared with the same quality and safety standards as human food. The brand is best known for its dehydrated foods but also offers dry dog food, wet food, and meal toppers. 

Below, we’ll dig into The Honest Kitchen’s history, discuss the brand’s manufacturing processes, and review some specific recipes.

Check it out: As a K9 of Mine reader, you can enjoy 30% off your first order of The Honest Kitchen by entering code K930 at checkout!

The Honest Kitchen History & Background

Honest Kitchen History

The Honest Kitchen began in founder and Chief Integrity Officer Lucy Postins’ home kitchen while she was cooking for her doggos back in 2002. Disenchanted with the quality of commercial pet food ingredients, Postins imagined dog food using human-grade ingredients and facilities, and thus, The Honest Kitchen was born.

Under Postins, the pet food brand became the first to be able to legally claim their food was human-grade by proving it in court. 

Today, The Honest Kitchen has come a long way from Postins’ kitchen, crafting pet foods using human-grade ingredients in human food-making facilities in the USA. The brand’s most recognizable product is dehydrated dog food, with their signature cube boxes being easy to spot on store shelves.

The Honest Kitchen is also one of the most eco-friendly dog food brands around, thanks to their products’ lightweight design and focus on sustainability. 

You can also see which region of the world each ingredient came from using their nifty supplier map. For example, you’ll see that their apples hail from South America, while their cranberries come from North America.

The Honest Kitchen is a Certified B Corp

We know that supporting ethical, environmentally and socially conscious brands is important to many of our readers. So, we thought it was important to mention that The Honest Kitchen earned certification as a B Corp in September of 2022.

You can read more about B Corps and the certification process here, but The Honest Kitchen sums it up pretty well on their website by explaining that:

“Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”  

Of course, this doesn’t mean their foods taste better or provide better nutritional content than their competitors do — we’ll get into all that below.

But it does mean that you will know that when you purchase The Honest Kitchen products, your money is going to an organization that treats their employees well and takes environmental stewardship seriously, among other worthy goals.

The Honest Kitchen Recall History

recall history

As of 2023, Honest Kitchen has had one recall. Occurring in 2013, this voluntary recall involved five lots from its Verve, Thrive, and Zeal lines for potential Salmonella contamination in the included parsley. Salmonella can make pups (and humans) ill with gastric symptoms and, in severe cases, can be deadly.

As a result of the scare, the brand implemented new safety measures to reduce Salmonella risks, including: 

  • Steaming all dehydrated leafy greens to eliminate potential pathogens
  • Additional testing on all incoming leafy green ingredients for possible pathogens
  • Ceasing business with the supplier who provided the potentially tainted parsley 

Every batch of The Honest Kitchen food produced today is third-party tested for pathogens before being released into distribution, using the brand’s strict Test, Hold, and Release Program. Regular testing is also performed to ensure correct nutrient profiles of included vitamins and minerals. 

These top-tier safety measures are likely the reason The Honest Kitchen has been able to produce so much pet food while only suffering one recall.

The Honest Kitchen’s AAFCO Home Feeding Trials

aafco feeding trials

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets nutrition profile standards for dogs, but they are not a governing body that tests or approves products.

Manufacturers can essentially take one of two approaches to meet the standards the AAFCO has established:

  1. They can calculate the nutritional content of the food by utilizing existing data for each ingredient.
  2. They can actually test the food by implementing a feeding trial.

Most manufacturers opt to calculate the nutritional content of their food, but The Honest Kitchen has recently conducted their own AAFCO feeding trials.

AAFCO Feeding Trials

Each six-month in-home trial included eight healthy dogs, with 24 dogs total studied by a third-party veterinary group using the recipes Dehydrated Grain Free Chicken, Dehydrated Whole Grain Chicken, and Grain Free Chicken Whole Food Clusters.

Before the trial, a board-certified veterinary cardiologist gave participating dogs an echocardiogram (heart scan).

During the trial, all dogs had three blood samples taken for testing. 

The dogs all had healthy blood draw results, and follow-up echocardiograms performed at the end of the trial showed no significant difference in cardiac measurements.

In the end, dogs were also found to maintain an ideal body form and muscle condition. Stool reports remained ideal throughout the study too.

Obviously, every dog is unique, and this trial included one small sample of a massive canine population. But it’s still a good move on the brand’s part that will undoubtedly make many owners feel better about opting for the brand’s recipes.

The Honest Kitchen Formulas & Recipes

The Honest Kitchen Options

The Honest Kitchen offers four categories of food:

  1. Dehydrated dog food
  2. Dry kibble clusters
  3. Wet food
  4. Toppers

Among them, you’ll find four various core formulas, including grain-free options, whole grain options, gourmet grain options, and limited-ingredient recipes

Each formula has unique recipes with varying proteins and ingredients that meet or exceed AAFCO nutrient profiles for dogs of different life stages. Some are single-protein recipes that fit sensitive systems, and others have multiple types of meat to tempt picky pupper palates.

Let’s take a closer look at the four categories of food The Honest Kitchen offers and the formulas and recipes of each.

The Honest Kitchen Food Category #1: Dehydrated Dog Food 

how to serve Honest Kitchen dehydrated

The Honest Kitchen’s line of dehydrated foods includes five formulas in a whopping 19 recipes

These formulas range from grain-inclusive to grain-free and limited-ingredient foods, offering an option for nearly every pup’s nutrition needs. All feature protein as the first ingredient, which is always ideal, along with a mix of fruits and vegetables for natural sources of key nutrients.

The foods have their ingredients stripped of moisture using low-temperature dehydration, preserving nutrients, color, and, most important to your doggo’s tastebuds: flavor. Dehydrating ingredients gives them a long shelf life (potentially longer than kibble if stored correctly) and requires far less processing than the extrusion method used to make kibble.

Dehydrating ingredients also allows more food to fit in each box, with one 10-pound box of the brand’s dehydrated food making 40 pounds of fresh food once rehydrated. This is much easier than lugging around a huge bag of kibble or two, especially if you have a large breed or multi-dog family. The lightweight boxes are also easier to ship, which means they create a smaller carbon footprint than kibble does.

Pricing may be a concern, as dog food with human-grade ingredients costs more to create. The largest box starts at around $80 and goes all the way to $150 per box for some varieties. Now, this box makes 40 pounds of food, so it’s somewhat comparable in price to premium kibble but definitely not as affordable as other options.

To feed your dog a dehydrated recipe, measure the proper amount for your pup’s size into his bowl, add water, mix, and let the dehydrated bits absorb the liquid before serving to your dog. The end texture is close to fresh food options in appearance but easier on your wallet, plus pups tend to like it. Dehydrated foods can, however, be messy – especially if your dog eats with gusto.

Whole Grain Dehydrated Formula

Honest Kitchen Whole Grains

First up in the Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated food formulas are the Whole Grain recipes. These grain-inclusive foods mostly feature a single protein source paired with grains like barley or oats, plus produce like carrots and pumpkin for added fiber and spinach and cranberries for antioxidants. 

The one exception to the single protein rule is the Whole Grain Fish & Oat recipe, which contains eggs.

Whole Grain dehydrated food recipes include: 

  • Whole Grain Beef Recipe
  • Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
  • Whole Grain Turkey Recipe
  • Whole Grain Fish & Oat Recipe

Overall, the Whole Grain formula offers a solid selection of proteins, including flavor-packed favorites like chicken and beef and turkey, as well as fish for pups with food sensitivities who may need something more exotic. All ingredients used in these foods are non-GMO, and several recipes are pea-free for pet parents looking to avoid legumes.

The Whole Grain Fish & Oat and Whole Grain Turkey recipes meet the AAFCO standards for adult maintenance, while the Whole Grain Chicken and Whole Grain Beef recipes meet the nutrient profile for all life stages, including the growth of large-sized dogs. 

This provides some flexibility for most owners, though those with puppies are restricted to just two protein options, which is a bummer.

Gourmet Grains Dehydrated Formula

Honest Kitchen Gourmet Grains

Another dehydrated formula line is Gourmet Grains, featuring barley, oats, and quinoa, plus a more limited ingredient list without peas, lentils, potatoes, wheat, corn, or soy. They still contain fruits and vegetables, relying on coconut, broccoli, apples, and kale for digestion-friendly fiber and natural antioxidants.

The Honest Kitchen’s Gourmet Grain recipes include: 

  • Gourmet Grains Chicken & Duck Recipe
  • Gourmet Grains Turkey & Fish Recipe
  • Gourmet Grains Beef & Salmon Recipe

A key difference between the Whole Grain and Gourmet Grains formulas is the use of mixed proteins. While their Whole Grain formulas stick to single-source proteins in nearly every recipe, their Gourmet Grains formulas incorporate multiple proteins. This offers a punch of flavor that some dogs go gaga for, but it can spell trouble for dogs with food sensitivities. 

All Gourmet Grains recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including the growth of large-breed dogs weighing more than 70 pounds. This makes it an attractive choice for multi-dog families or if you’re looking for long-term food for your sniffer.

Grain Free Dehydrated Formula

Honest Kitchen Recipe Reviews

Next is the Grain Free dehydrated formula, intended for dogs with grain sensitivities. The primary source of carbohydrates in each is potatoes instead of grain, including white potatoes and sweet potatoes. 

These formulas are great for dogs with bona fide grain allergies or intolerances (which are rare), but grain-free dog food isn’t a good fit for every four-footer, especially those at risk of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Fruits and vegetables in this formula are natural sources of vitamins and antioxidants, including carrots, celery, and even bananas (which is not an especially common dog food ingredient). 

Produce like cabbage and pumpkin also provide fiber for digestive support, while omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed and fish oil round things out to boost your canine’s skin and coat and aid in brain and eye health.

The Honest Kitchen’s Grain Free dehydrated recipes mirror the Whole Grain offerings, including: 

  • Grain Free Beef Recipe
  • Grain Free Chicken Recipe
  • Grain Free Turkey Recipe
  • Grain Free Fish Recipe

A marked difference is that both the Grain Free Turkey and Grain Free Fish recipes include eggs, while the Grain Free Chicken and Grain Free Beef are single-protein blends. This is something to be mindful of in any food if your dog has protein sensitivities. Eggs are a sneaky one to watch for in any food if your dog has suspected poultry allergies, as some dogs react to eggs too.

The Grain Free Chicken and Grain Free Fish recipes satisfy the AAFCO standard for adult maintenance, while Grain Free Turkey and Grain Free Beef meet the AAFCO standards for all life stages, including the growth of large-breed dogs over 70 pounds.

Grain-Free Foods Require Careful Thought

It’s a good idea to consult your vet before switching your dog’s food, especially if you’re considering grain-free dog food. This is particularly important if you have a breed already prone to developing heart issues, such as a Doberman, Great Dane, or boxer.

Yes, the commercials with the meaty bits and wolves running through the forest look amazing, but your dog isn’t a wolf, and grain-free foods have been linked to a heart-breaking condition (literally).

Grains aren’t always the boogeymen they’re made out to be, with most food allergies actually linked to meat and other proteins. If you suspect a food allergy or intolerance, check in with your vet to rule out other potential causes like environmental allergies, parasites, or skin issues.

Limited Ingredient Dehydrated Formula

The Honest Kitchen LID

Dogs with sensitive systems may benefit from The Honest Kitchen’s Limited Ingredient formula, which features a focused list of six key ingredients. Each recipe is free of corn, soy, and wheat, plus leaves out gluten, white potatoes, and green peas.

Most of the five recipes are single-protein, though the Grain Free Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe also contains eggs, which may be an issue for some dogs. 

Speaking of duck, this quacky protein ups your meat choices to five over the four seen in other formulas. We’re happy to see it, as it’s a relatively exotic (not to mention tasty) option for dogs with allergies to common proteins like beef.

All recipes include vegetables, though the exact slate of veggies varies in each. Some contain fiber-rich pumpkin, chickpeas, or sweet potatoes and others featuring greenery from spinach or celery. While it’s not the biggest garden bounty as a limited-ingredient food, it still includes produce in every recipe, which is a win.

The Limited Ingredient line’s recipes include: 

  • Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe
  • Grain Free Limited Ingredient Turkey Recipe
  • Grain Free Limited Ingredient Beef Recipe
  • Grain Free Limited Ingredient Fish Recipe
  • Grain Free Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe

We’re bummed that only one Limited Ingredient option is grain-inclusive, and it’s made with chicken, which is one of the most common protein allergies in dogs. Another option, like whitefish or salmon, would be ideal. 

Overall, the six key ingredient design is perfect for dogs with sensitive systems that don’t need all the bells and whistles of the other dehydrated options.

The Chicken, Fish, and Duck recipes all meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including the growth of large-breed dogs, while Turkey and Beef suit the AAFCO standard for adult maintenance. 

Base Mix Dehydrated Formula

The Honest Kitchen Base Mix

The Honest Kitchen also offers Base Mix options that are designed to be fed in conjunction with a protein of your choice. This is super convenient and potentially cost-saving, as tracking down fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates, plus necessary vitamin and mineral supplements is as tough as it is expensive when preparing a homemade diet.

This is also a great idea if your dog has to eat a novel protein like rabbit or goat that isn’t offered in The Honest Kitchen’s other dehydrated dog food formulas. This formula also works well for owners who like to rotate proteins regularly or want to ensure only the protein of choice is included.

Each recipe has an assortment of fruits and vegetables. It may be pumpkin, cabbage, or sweet potatoes for fiber. Apples and cranberries can also be found. Coconut is a common ingredient, which can be a head scratcher, but this fruit-grown goodie is loaded with fiber, potassium, iron, and magnesium.

The dehydrated Base Mix recipes available are: 

  • Whole Grain Grains, Veggie & Fruit Base Mix
  • Grain Free Fruit & Veggie Base Mix
  • Grain Free Veggie, Nut & Seed Base Mix

Again, we wish there was another Whole Grain option, though the one offered is a decent blend of oats, barley, and quinoa, which provides satiety, fiber, and energy. Plus, the Whole Grain Mix is free of peas, lentils, potatoes, wheat, corn, and soy. The Grain Free Mixes both include peas as a carbohydrate source, which is controversial due to the possible DCM link.

This formula is intended for supplemental feeding only, as it must be paired with a protein, so these recipes do not meet any AAFCO nutrient profiles. Check with your vet to ensure your dog’s homemade diet is balanced.

Recipe Deep Dive: Examining The Honest Kitchen’s Dehydrated Whole Grain Chicken Recipe

Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken

Let’s explore one of the more popular choices among The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated dog foods to fully understand these wet-and-serve eats better: Whole Grain Chicken Recipe.

The Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Chicken Recipe contains the following:

Based on The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe.

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Ingredients:

Ingredients List

Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Flaxseed, Organic Oats...,

Dehydrated Peas, Dehydrated Carrots, Dried Parsley, Dried Bananas, Dehydrated Celery, Dried Organic Kelp, Minerals [Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite], Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement], Fish Oil (A Natural Source Of DHA And EPA).

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Calories: 485 (kCal) per cup
  • Protein: 24.5%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 4%
K9 of Mine Staff Review

Our CEO Megan Marrs had the chance to try out one of Honest Kitchen’s recipes with her pooch Remy. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

Remy and I had a lot of fun trying Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated food! It was super easy to prepare and mix together.

I also loved how easy it was to add supplements and fish oil to the Honest Kitchen food — it mixed right in!

Remy is kind of a huge fan of all food, but he seemed especially psyched whenever I started mixing up the dehydrated stew. I could see this food being especially great for owners on the go, since it’s a lot lighter and easy to travel with than kibble.

We have a video of our experience below too — make sure to check it out!

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Whole Grain Chicken

Protein-packed dehydrated dog food that's full of nutritious ingredients and will have your pooch beggin' for more.

Use code K930 to get 30% off your order!

Buy on Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Food Category #2: Dry Clusters

clusters by The Honest Kitchen

Dry Clusters are The Honest Kitchen’s take on kibble. They cold press ingredients into kibblets, then roast and dehydrate them instead of using extrusion, a process most kibble manufacturers use. Extrusion involves high temperatures that damage flavor, color, and some nutrients, which must be supplemented later with spray-on mixtures.

Thanks to gentler cooking methods, you can see the ingredients inside Dry Clusters’ kibblets, like carrots, broccoli, and kale. Dry Clusters utilizes the same great human-grade ingredients as the brand’s dehydrated food but in a more convenient style if you’re on the go. It also includes a strain of probiotics for digestive support.

Two formulas of Dry Clusters are available in eight recipes, giving you a range of options depending on your dog’s dietary needs. These include grain-free and grain-inclusive foods with standard chicken, beef, or turkey proteins. 

The largest bag option weighs 20 pounds, but Dry Clusters has roughly 400 calories per cup (varies by the recipe), so you may feed your dog slightly less of it than other foods. Most kibbles range from 300 calories a cup to over 500, so this is a middle-of-the-road caloric density.

The biggest drawback of Dry Clusters is the price tag. Its human-grade ingredients and gentler processing methods cost more, with 20-pound bags starting at around $84 and stretching beyond $100 for certain recipes. However, this is close in pricing to other high-end foods, with Dry Clusters potentially edging them out in quality using human-grade ingredients. 

Grain Free Dry Clusters

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Clusters

Most Dry Clusters recipes are available under the Grain Free formula, with five options in total. Among them, you’ll find Small Breed and Puppy recipes featuring smaller kibbles that are easier for little jaws to crunch.

All recipes have meat as the primary ingredient, joined by supplemental protein sources including liver and sometimes eggs. The Honest Kitchen only uses real meat in its foods, never rendered versions, which many pet parents prefer. 

Designed for dogs with grain sensitivities, Grain Free Dry Clusters use alternative carbohydrate sources for energy and satiety, including potatoes, peas, and lentils. These items are a mixed bag inclusion, as some dogs eat them just fine while others don’t tolerate potatoes especially well. There’s also the concern about their link to DCM to contend with.

Grain Free Dry Clusters also include healthy fats from ground flaxseed, chia seed, and salmon oil to nourish your dog’s skin and coat, along with a garden of vegetables and fruits the brand is known for featuring, like broccoli, coconut, and carrots.

Grain Free Dry Clusters recipes include:

  • Grain Free Chicken Recipe
  • Grain Free Beef Recipe
  • Grain Free Turkey Recipe
  • Grain Free Chicken Recipe Small Breed Blend
  • Grain Free Chicken Recipe Puppy Blend

The variety of proteins is nice to see, even if they are all pretty common options. A fish or lamb recipe would offer more options to dogs needing a more novel protein. It’d be nice for Small Breed and Puppy to be offered in more than just chicken, too. 

All Grain Free Dry Clusters recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including the growth of large-breed dogs, except for the Grain Free Small Breed Blend, which suits AAFCO standards for all life stages, excluding large-breed dogs over 70 pounds. The formula covers dogs big and small just fine, making it a good choice for multi-dog families.

Grain Free Dry Clusters is a good choice for dogs with grain sensitivities, as meat is its main ingredient, followed by quality produce and grain-free carbohydrates.

Whole Grain Dry Clusters

The Honest Kitchen Clusters with Grains

The Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Dry Clusters come in three recipes, offering less wiggle room when browsing for the perfect grain-inclusive kibble for your pup. They also cater to a dog’s size, with the Small Breed and Puppy blends featuring smaller bites, making them easier for doggos to enjoy. 

Each recipe features chicken as the primary protein, with nutrient-dense chicken liver also appearing on the ingredient list. While cringe-inducing to many people, organ meat is a nutrition powerhouse. The Puppy recipe also includes eggs for added protein and vitamins.

Oats and barley are the key grains in this formula, while flaxseed, chia seed, salmon oil, and coconut oil bring in healthy fats for skin and coat health. These are especially important in the Puppy recipe, as omega fatty acids support brain and eye development in growing doggos.

Like other pup products The Honest Kitchen makes, fruits and vegetables, including pumpkin, apples, and kale, are well represented. Kale is one of the ingredients people love to hate, but it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals like manganese for energy and metabolizing nutrients.

The three Whole Grain Dry Clusters recipes available are:

  • Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe
  • Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Puppy Blend
  • Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Small Breed Blend

We’re disappointed that the only protein option is chicken. Now, chicken is a great ingredient for most dogs. It’s tasty and has plenty of protein, but it’s also a common allergy trigger, and some pups just don’t like it. We’d love to see fish, beef, or turkey recipes available. Despite the limited selection, these are quality offerings focused on protein, grains, and produce for wholesome nutrition.

The Whole Chicken & Oat Recipe satisfies AAFCO standards for adult maintenance, while the Puppy and Small Breed options meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including the growth of large-sized dogs. It’s a little strange that the Small Breed covers large-breed needs while the Whole Grain Chicken doesn’t.

Recipe Deep Dive: Examining The Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Dry Clusters Recipe

The Honest Kitchen Chicken & Oak Clusters

Looking at the ingredients of Dry Clusters is key to understanding its quality and if it’s a good fit for your dog’s needs. Let’s peek at one of the more popular options, Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe.

Based on Dry Clusters Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe.

Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Ingredients:

Ingredients List

Chicken, Oats, Barley, Chicken Liver, Carrots...,

Eggs, Ground Flaxseed, Broccoli, Pumpkin, Apples, Natural Chicken Flavor, Coconut Oil, Kale, Chia Seed, Salmon Oil, Minerals [Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite], Fenugreek Seed, Dried Kelp, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Vitamins [Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Choline Chloride ], Mixed Tocopherols (A Natural Preservative), Turmeric, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Calories: 428 (kCal) per cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 14.5%
  • Fiber: 5%
  • Probiotics (Bacillus coagulans) min: 20 million (CFU/lb)
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Clusters

A kibble-like product that's gently dehydrated, full of high-quality protein, and tasty enough for picky puppers.

Use code K930 to get 30% off your order!

Buy on Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Food Category #3: Wet Food

The Honest Kitchen Wet Foods

The Honest Kitchen offers two formulas of wet food, which come in 10 recipes total. These foods are different from most of today’s wet dog food options, as each recipe is packed in a 10.5-ounce resealable box, mirroring the look of the brand’s dehydrated products. The containers are BPA-free and recyclable, putting safety and sustainability front and center.

Like all other products by the brand, The Honest Kitchen’s wet foods are made in human food facilities using human-grade ingredients. They’re prepared in small batches, ensuring safety, consistency, and quality, and formulated to offer complete and balanced nutrition, so you can feed them on their own or add them to your dog’s food for a pop of flavor and nutrients.

The Honest Kitchen’s wet food is of the highest quality, as the food has a texture that’s far more “human food”-like than traditional wet dog food. That said, it’s pricey. A 10-pound dog eats about a box daily if it’s his sole food source. It’ll wallop your wallet at about $25 for a 6-pack of boxes, especially if you’re feeding a large dog. 

Let’s check out the two The Honest Kitchen options and see if they suit your sniffer.

One Pot Stews

The Honest Kitchen Stew Recipes

One Pot Stews is The Honest Kitchen’s stew-style wet food option, featuring five recipes of chunked meat and vegetables in savory broth dogs love. The stew texture is easy for any dog to eat, though you may want to shred larger hunks of meat with a fork if your pup is missing teeth. 

Meat is the primary ingredient of One Pot Stews, with no rendered meat meals or by-products used. Both single-protein and multi-protein options are available, suiting dogs with dietary restrictions and those needing more oomph in the flavor department. Bone broth in each recipe enhances the food’s taste and protein content. 

One Pot Stews also have real fruits and vegetables you can see, including vitamin-rich kale, carrots, and green beans, depending on the recipe. Produce is an integral part of a well-rounded doggo diet, and we love to see the brand’s inclusion of several types in every food.

One Pot Stews come in grain-free and grain-inclusive options. Most grain-inclusive recipes feature gluten-free quinoa, with Salmon & Chicken using brown rice. Quinoa is high in fiber, aiding digestive health, and offers nutrients like protein, magnesium, and phosphorus. The grain-free recipes have alternative carbohydrates, including tapioca and sweet potatoes. 

The five One Pot Stews recipes are:

  • One Pot Stews Slow Cooked Chicken Stew
  • One Pot Stews Tender Turkey Stew
  • One Pot Stews Roasted Beef Stew
  • One Pot Stews Braised Beef & Lamb Stew
  • One Pot Stews Simmered Salmon & Chicken Stew

The variety of meats is nice, especially the turkey option as a single-protein recipe, as it’s a popular meat enjoyed by pups who don’t tolerate chicken or beef. Overall, it’s a solid lineup suiting the needs and preferences of most dogs.

All One Pot Stews meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including the growth of dogs over 70 pounds, making the formula a solid pick for multi-dog households or growing puppies.

Butcher Block Pâté 

The Honest Kitchen Pate

Butcher Block Pâté is a meaty mash with a slightly different consistency than One Pot Stews. Its five recipes come in grain-free and grain-inclusive options. It’s far from the pâté-style canned options you may be familiar with, as it resembles more of a thick ragù sauce than a hunk of mystery meat.

Real meat is the first ingredient and primary source of protein, but liver is also included in each recipe. This wonder organ contains vital nutrients like iron, copper, and zinc. Butcher Block Pâté recipes also feature fruits and vegetables that give the meat mix pops of color, including carrots, broccoli, or cranberries, depending on the food.

All Butcher Block Pâté recipes are made with non-GMO ingredients and include no corn, soy, wheat, or feed-grade ingredients. They’re also free of artificial flavors and preservatives.

The Honest Kitchen has five Butcher Block Pâté recipes:

  • Butcher Block Pâté Chicken & Super Greens Pâté
  • Butcher Block Pâté Turkey & Autumn Veggies Pâté
  • Butcher Block Pâté Turkey, Duck & Root Veggies Pâté
  • Butcher Block Pâté Beef, Cheddar & Farm Veggies Pâté
  • Butcher Block Pâté Beef, Lamb & Spring Veggies Pâté

The protein lineup offers something for most dogs, including single and mixed-meat options, which suit sensitive sniffer tummies and pickier palates. The formula is a high-quality alternative to the canned pâté recipes that line today’s store shelves that coat kibble well or make a delicious main course for mutts.

All Butcher Block Pâté recipes suit the AAFCO standard for all life stages, including the growth of large-breed dogs, making it a solid pick for multi-pup families or growing puppies of all sizes.

Examining One Pot Stews Tender Turkey Stew

The Honest Kitchen One-Pot Turkey

Examining the ingredient list is the clearest way to show the focused quality of The Honest Kitchen’s wet food formulas. They’re more limited than many wet dog foods today, featuring a high-quality mix of nutrient-rich ingredients.

Based on One Pot Stews Tender Turkey Stew.

One Pot Stews Tender Turkey Stew Ingredients:

Ingredients List

Turkey, Turkey Bone Broth, Quinoa, Carrots, Broccoli...,

Tapioca, Minerals [Copper Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Zinc Proteinate, Sodium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride], Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Choline Chloride], Salmon Oil, Dried Kelp, Sage

One Pot Stews Tender Turkey Stew Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Calories: 268 (kCal) per box
  • Protein: 8%
  • Fat: 2%
  • Fiber: 1%
The Honest Kitchen Tender Turkey Stew with Quinoa

Honest Kitchen's take on wet dog food, these meaty meals are full of human-grade ingredients you and your pup will love.

Use code K930 to get 30% off your order!

Buy at The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Food Category #4: Dog Food Toppers

Dog Food Toppers from The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen also has a line of meal toppers intended as supplemental additions to another complete and balanced diet like Dry Clusters, their dehydrated foods, or another brand’s kibble. They’re a great way to add the benefits of The Honest Kitchen’s food to your dog’s bowl for less.

They come in two formulas: Pour Overs and Meal Boosters.  

Pour Overs

Honest Kitchen Dog Food Toppers

Pour Overs are stews formulated using a blend of delicious, high-quality ingredients geared toward a specific canine issue that varies from recipe to recipe.

For instance, Skin & Coat is rich in fatty acids, while Immune Support has extra antioxidants. They all include meat for taste and protein and vegetables as natural sources of key ingredients. 

Pour Overs is offered in fourteen recipes, with some ingredient lists being more limited than others. Some include potatoes and mixed proteins, so double-check the ingredient lists if your dog has restrictions.

The fourteen recipes include:

  • Pour Overs Skin & Coat Salmon Stew
  • Pour Overs Hip & Joint Chicken Stew
  • Pour Overs Immune Support Beef Stew
  • Pour Overs Heart Health Turkey Broth & Salmon Stew
  • Pour Overs Revive & Restore Chicken & Pumpkin Stew
  • Superfood Pour Overs Chicken Stew
  • Superfood Pour Overs Turkey Stew
  • Superfood Pour Overs Lamb & Beef Stew
  • Pumpkin Pour Overs Chicken & Pumpkin Stew
  • Pumpkin Pour Overs Turkey & Pumpkin Stew
  • Pumpkin Pour Overs Salmon & Pumpkin Stew
  • Bone Broth Pour Overs Chicken Stew
  • Bone Broth Pour Overs Turkey & Salmon Stew
  • Bone Broth Pour Overs Beef Stew

The recipes feature a solid mix of proteins and address various areas of health concern. Overall, they’re a good way to bolster your dog’s diet with healthy ingredients.

Meal Booster

honest kitchen meal boosters

The Meal Booster formula of toppers aims to add flavor and protein to your dog’s diet with high-quality meats in a grain-free, limited-ingredient form. It’s so limited you’ll only find a protein like chicken, water for processing, and agar-agar, a thickener derived from seafood.

Packed in 5.5-ounce packets in 12-count boxes, it’s BPA-free. Each box costs slightly over $40, so it’s pricey, particularly if you’re feeding multiple doggy diners.

The Meal Booster line has four recipes:

  • Meal Booster Cage Free Chicken
  • Meal Booster Cage Free Turkey
  • Meal Booster Ranch Raised Beef
  • Meal Booster Wild Caught Salmon & Pollock

The line offers a good mix of protein options for dogs and is a convenient way to add more texture and taste to your pup’s kibble. Plus, it’s protein-packed, which is always a win for muscle health and development.  

Examining Bone Broth Pour Overs Beef Stew

The Honest Kitchen Bone Pour Overs

The Honest Kitchen’s meal toppers offer limited ingredient lists targeted to address specific areas of concern, whether increasing the flavor of your dog’s current food or giving his tummy a boost with more fiber. Let’s look closer at Bone Broth Pour Overs Beef Stew to understand the products better.

Based on Bone Broth Pour Over Beef Stew.

Bone Broth Pour Overs Beef Stew Ingredients:

Bone Broth Pour Overs Beef Stew Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Calories: 107 (kCal) per box
  • Protein: 4.5%
  • Fat: 2.5%
  • Fiber: 1%
The Honest Kitchen Beef Bone Broth Pour Overs

Delicious dog-food supplements that give you an easy way to boost the nutritional value and taste of your dog's food.

Use code K930 to get 30% off your order!

Buy at The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Pros & Cons

Like any dog food, The Honest Kitchen has benefits and drawbacks that deserve careful consideration. Let’s run through them together.

The Honest Kitchen Pros

The Honest Kitchen Pros

As the first brand to use only human-grade ingredients and one making their food in American human food facilities, The Honest Kitchen is among the best pet food manufacturers in terms of quality

They use real proteins and a wide array of fruits and vegetables in their foods, with bonus ingredients like bone broth and organ meat for extra nutrients and flavor.

The cooking methods used by the brand protect taste, nutrients, and color, so they don’t rely on artificial dyes and flavors like other brands, and most dogs go gaga for their foods, even the Dry Clusters variety. The dehydrated and wet food varieties are excellent if you have a selective sniffer at home.

The Honest Kitchen’s commitment to safety also deserves applause, particularly the changes implemented after their single recall in 2013. The small batch preparations and ongoing third-party testing for pathogens and nutrient levels are great for giving concerned pet parents peace of mind.

The convenience factor is a shining perk of The Honest Kitchen’s foods, as many of their offerings are suitable for all life stages and dogs below and above 70 pounds. This means families with multiple mutts of various ages and sizes can use one product for all pups.  

Another high point for the brand is the variety of foods they offer. You can find grain-free and grain-inclusive offerings in every form, plus an assortment of common and novel proteins. There are also limited-ingredient options, suiting dogs with food limitations.

Lastly, ease of handling is a win. With dehydrated food making 40 pounds of fresh food per 10-pound box, you can save your back and pantry space if you switch.

The Honest Kitchen Cons

drawbacks for The Honest Kitchen

While The Honest Kitchen is premium in quality, the brand does have areas of concern that make it less appealing to some fur families or eliminate it from consideration.

The main downside of The Honest Kitchen is pricing. For those on a strict budget, with large dogs, or having multiple fur kids to feed, their food may be out of reach, as some larger boxes cost over $100. The wet food options are particularly pricey if fed as a single source of nutrition. 

Quality does come at a price, but it’s a steep one. 

Another drawback is the mess factor. The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated dog foods must be scooped out and rehydrated in your dog’s bowl, adding more dishes to your feeding routine. The resulting mixture can also be sloshed around by an overly enthusiastic eater, making a mess of your kitchen floor and walls.

Most ingredients used by The Honest Kitchen won’t stir up a stink with pet parents, but they do use potatoes, peas, and other legumes in some recipes. With the potential DCM risk, some owners aim to avoid these ingredients at all costs.

Final Thoughts on The Honest Kitchen

Wrap Up Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen is the OG of human-grade ingredients in pet food. 

They pioneered a landscape others ignored in favor of cheaper eats, putting quality over convenience (even going to court to do so). They also made significant changes after a voluntary recall, putting safety first. All this speaks to a company that genuinely cares about dogs and canine nutrition.

The Honest Kitchen offers a great mix of foods for dogs big, small, young, and old, plus it caters to canines with food restrictions by offering multiple limited-ingredient diets and single-protein eats. The brand also uses produce in nearly every recipe (except Meal Booster toppers), introducing fiber and nutrients from natural sources whenever possible.  

Obviously, The Honest Kitchen is a shining star of quality, taste, and safety, but their food is expensive. You can get some of the incredible benefits of their food for less by serving one of their meal toppers or canned options to mix in your dog’s current food.


Does your dog chow down on anything by The Honest Kitchen? What recipe(s) does she love? Tell us about your experience. We’d love to hear!

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Written by

Kelsey Leicht

Kelsey is a lover of words and woofs. She worked hands-on with dogs for several years at a boarding kennel as a shift runner and office manager before venturing into the world of writing. She lives in New Jersey with her crew of crazy canines.


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