The Honest Kitchen Information
The Honest Kitchen is well known and established premium pet food brand best known for its dehydrated dog food.
The brand was founded in 2002 by Charles and Lucy Postins, and two decades later, the founders are still heavily involved in the business. They have successfully grown The Honest Kitchen into a major player in the industry.
One of The Honest Kitchen’s key advantages is their transparency around nutrition and ingredients which is very similar to Health Extension.
This transparency includes information and nutritional values in great depth and precision that the majority of pet food brands do not offer.
You can see an example of this below where The Honest Kitchen details the exact proportions present in a recipe on a dry matter basis.
All of The Honest Kitchen’s recipes are made from human-grade ingredients in a human-grade facility. While some doubt the strength of the term human-grade, it is likely that this is a step up from many other lower-cost brands.
You can read more details about their human-grade facilities and safety processes here, where they discuss topics such as auditing their suppliers and testing for pathogens.
This production facility is in Illinois, which makes The Honest Kitchen a made in the USA brand, but the company itself is run from a location in California.
The Honest Kitchen is widely available from large and small physical pet stores across the United States and the rest of the world.
However, if you can’t find The Honest Kitchen in store, you can also purchase the brand from some of the popular online retailers of pet food such as Chewy, Amazon, and Petflow.
The Honest Kitchen Product Range
The Honest Kitchen has a large range of dog food products with many different varieties. This range includes traditional dry dog food (which they call Clusters), dehydrated dog food, and wet dog food.
The dehydrated range from The Honest Kitchen is their core product and offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes which is rare in this niche. You can see one of these grain-inclusive dehydrated recipes below.
When we first reviewed The Honest Kitchen’s dry food range and the wet food range, they were notably smaller, but over the last few years, this range has grown significantly and now has variation.
The Honest Kitchen does not produce too many “niche” recipes for dogs, such as senior dogs or certain breeds or sizes.
However, they do produce a few recipes, including one for small breed dogs and another for puppies. They also have some limited ingredient recipes for dogs with dietary issues.
The Honest Kitchen’s cat food range is far smaller in size when compared to its dog food range.
When we first reviewed The Honest Kitchen, this range consisted of two dehydrated recipes, both of which were grain-free.
However, in 2021, The Honest Kitchen greatly expanded this range, and it now includes three dry cat food recipes, nine wet cat food recipes, and an additional three dehydrated cat food recipes.
You can see one of these new wet cat food recipes below.
This major expansion now means that The Honest Kitchen has a moderate product range of cat food products which is in line with many of its competitors.
We have a strong suspicion that The Honest Kitchen will further expand this cat food range in the coming years to offer more variety.
The Honest Kitchen Nutrition
The Honest Kitchen dog food recipes usually provide excellent nutrition that is above-average to significantly above-average when compared to other dog food brands.
This nutritional profile consists of high proportions of protein and fat from animal and fish sources and modest proportions of carbohydrates.
Below you can see the nutritional profile of one of their grain-free dry dog food recipes.
We mentioned earlier that The Honest Kitchen has high levels of transparency and detailed information around its product’s nutrition. This information includes exact percentages of nutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Thanks to this detailed information, the above nutritional profile is far more accurate than some others we calculate, which are more of an estimation.
The Honest Kitchen dehydrated recipes can often be confusing for consumers to interpret from a nutritional perspective.
This confusion is as they are designed to be re-hydrated before consumption, which will drastically alter their nutritional proportions and profile.
We’d highly suggest performing some basic math on these values based on how much water you intend to add to get an improved and more accurate nutritional profile.
If you’d like to learn more about canine nutrition, we’d highly recommend you head over to our Dog Food Guide.
This guide goes in-depth on all the relevant dog food topics, including types of dog food, dog food ingredients, and dog food nutrition.
The nutrition offered by The Honest Kitchen’s small cat food range is similar to their dog food range and is above-average when compared to other cat food brands.
This above-average nutritional profile consists of above-average proportions of protein and fat, and below-average proportions of carbohydrates.
You can see an example of this nutritional profile below.
A nutritional profile like this is more important to cats than dogs as they are obligate carnivores and will not thrive on a diet high in plant matter.
If you’d like to learn more about feline nutrition, we recommend you check out our Cat Food Guide. Similar to the Dog Food Guide, we discuss various relevant topics and give a complete resource for all the information you may need.
The Honest Kitchen Ingredients
High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients
The Honest Kitchen uses a relatively small range of meat and fish ingredients in its recipes, with a strong focus on poultry ingredients.
All of the above ingredients are high-quality additions to a dog food recipe and can provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat.
Almost all of these ingredients are commonly found in pet food recipes and are favorites of pet food manufacturers. This popularity is because they are easy to source at scale, relatively affordable, and extremely nutritious.
On the flip side, The Honest Kitchen does not utilize any of the less common meat or fish ingredients that are sometimes found in recipes from select brands. Classic examples of these include Venison, Rabbit, or Kangaroo.
Some of The Honest Kitchen’s recipes make use of small portions of organ meat ingredients such as Beef Liver.
These organ meat ingredients are welcome additions to dog food and can provide additional animal-based protein and fat along with vitamins and minerals that are not abundant in traditional meat cuts.
Lastly, many dogs find these organ meat extremely enjoyable which can make their inclusion improve the palatability of a dog food recipe.
Other Notable Ingredients
The Honest Kitchen uses a selection of grain ingredients in its grain-inclusive recipes. Examples of these grain ingredients include Brown Rice, Barley, and Oats.
These grain ingredients can provide a range of nutrition to dogs, including carbohydrates, fiber, and select vitamins and minerals.
However, grain ingredients can be controversial additions to dog food recipes, with many dog owners refusing to feed their dogs grain-inclusive food as they see grains as fillers or junk.
If you’d like to learn more about Barley and its place in dog food, we have an in-depth article you can check below.
The Honest Kitchen also uses a range of starch ingredients in its recipes, such as Tapioca, Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes. These three starch ingredients are the most common starch ingredients to be found in dog food recipes, and there are very few others to mention.
These starch ingredients are incredibly dense sources of carbohydrates, which means that their portion size needs to be tightly controlled.
Thankfully, most of The Honest Kitchen’s recipes do not include an overly large portion of starch ingredients, and therefore you should not be concerned.
Lastly, we will highlight that Tapioca is a starch ingredient that many are not super familiar with but sees widespread use in pet food.
If you’d like to learn more about Tapioca, including where it comes from and why it is used, be sure to read our article Tapioca In Dog Food.
Peas and Lentils are both legume ingredients and are some of the most common plant-based ingredients found in dog food. They are so popular amongst brands such as The Honest Kitchen thanks to their low cost, easy availability, and favorable nutrition.
This nutrition includes carbohydrates, fiber, and high levels of plant-based protein, which many brands take advantage of to boost their overall protein proportions.
However, there have been developments and revelations in recent years that link the high use of legumes in dog food with an increased rate of Canine Heart Disease.
While this link is far from certain, it is concerning, and many dog owners and brands have taken action because of it. You can read our detailed analysis of this and a range of alternatives to legume-based dog food in our article Best Dog Foods Without Peas.
Eggs are not utilized in dog food as often as we’d like, which is odd considering how nutritionally dense they are. However, The Honest Kitchen is one of a few brands that include them in some of their recipes.
What makes Eggs special is that they can almost all types of nutrition, such as provide protein, fat, and other nutrients.
Moreover, this nutrition is in a highly digestible form that dogs can more reliably absorb, and Eggs are comparable on cost with other similar meat and fish ingredients.
Pumpkin can be found as a minor ingredient in select The Honest Kitchen recipes and is a welcome addition.
Pumpkin is best known among pet owners for aiding digestion because of its high fiber content, but it can also provide nutrition in the form of carbohydrates and beneficial vitamins and minerals such as Beta Carotene.
You can learn more about Pumpkin and some of the best Pumpkin recipes in our article Best Dog Food With Pumpkin.
One of the best plant-based sources of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids is Flaxseed, which is why it is found in many dog food recipes such as those from The Honest Kitchen.
These fatty acids are believed to provide several health benefits to dogs, such as improving the health of a dog’s skin and coat and reducing the risk of certain health conditions.
However, what many do not know is that Flaxseed can also provide several other beneficial health effects outside of those provided by the Omega Fatty Acids.
You can read more about these other benefits as well as a detailed breakdown on Flaxseed in our article Flaxseed In Dog Food.
The Honest Kitchen Animal Testing
At this time, we have no information on what type of animal testing, if any, that The Honest Kitchen participates in.
Many smaller pet food brands avoid disclosing detailed information about the type of testing or trials that they partake in as they fear backlash or negative reactions from their customers.
However, others in the industry are concerned about this lack of testing or transparency, and they fear that some foods made by smaller brands may not be suitable for long term consumption.
We strongly believe that laboratory and invasive animal testing is a cruel and outdated practice and one that should be eliminated.
The Honest Kitchen Recalls
This recall-free record shows that The Honest Kitchen takes its safety and quality practices seriously to ensure that there is no contamination or other manufacturing issues.
We hope that The Honest Kitchen can maintain and enhance these measures to keep a recall-free record going forward.
Despite this, we always suggest that pet owners remain vigilant of any future recalls of The Honest Kitchen or any other pet food brand to ensure that their pets remain healthy and safe.
Best Of The Honest Kitchen
Whole Food Clusters Grain Free Beef Recipe Review
While The Honest Kitchen may not be best known for its dry dog food recipes, they are respectable and worth consideration.
The above Grain-Free Beef Recipe is one of our favorites and has a large portion of Beef at its center, which is accompanied by a smaller portion of Beef Liver.
Beef Liver is an excellent addition and can boost the levels of protein and fat provided by the Beef and then take things one step further and also improve the recipe’s taste and palatability.
This combination, along with a small portion of Eggs, provides a satisfactory overall proportion of protein and fat, which would be suitable for most dogs.
These meat ingredients are combined with portions of several plant-based ingredients such as Potatoes, Peas, Lentils, Carrots, and more. These ingredients can provide a mix of nutrition in the form of carbohydrates, fiber, and select vitamins and minerals.
This is a large range of vegetable ingredients, which means dogs with sensitive stomachs may need to be cautious about this formula, but otherwise, they are perfectly acceptable additions.
Whole Grain Chicken Recipe (Revel) Review
Dehydrated dog food is The Honest Kitchen’s bread and butter, and they’ve almost perfected the subject with several high-quality options.
There are both grain-free and grain-inclusive dehydrated recipes available from The Honest Kitchen, but we’ve chosen to highlight one of their grain-inclusive recipes – Chicken.
As you may imagine, the recipe’s primary ingredient is a large portion of dehydrated Chicken. This dehydrated Chicken has had the bulk of its moisture removed, which means it’s an incredibly dense source of animal-based protein and fat.
This Chicken is joined by a mix of Barley, Potatoes, Flaxseed, Oats, Peas, and more, which are the recipe’s plant-based ingredients.
It is unusual for grain-inclusive recipes to include legume and starch ingredients, but The Honest Kitchen has no issue pulling it off.
These plant-based ingredients are the recipe’s source of plant-based protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, and they provide a modest portion.
One Pot Stews – Simmered Salmon & Chicken Stew With Brown Rice & Broccoli Review
Most consumers aren’t aware that The Honest Kitchen produces wet dog food recipes, and while it is a recent addition to their range, they offer some enticing recipes.
The above One Pot Stew recipe focuses on Salmon, which is one of our favorite meat or fish additions to dog food recipes.
This favoritism is as Salmon is an excellent source of the Omega Fatty Acids, alongside protein and fat. These Omega Fatty Acids can provide dogs with several health benefits, such as an improvement in the condition of their skin and coat.
However, Salmon isn’t the only meat ingredient present, and there is also a notable portion of Chicken which, when combined, provides a very generous portion of animal-based protein and fat.
The Salmon and Chicken present are joined by a much smaller portion of Brown Rice, Broccoli, Tapioca, and Peas. This mix of grains, legumes, and starches provides a modest portion of carbohydrates and fiber.
Grain Free Chicken & Fish Recipe Review
We’ve selected one of The Honest Kitchen’s newest dehydrated cat food recipes to highlight. The above Chicken & Fish recipe uses a combination of poultry and fish, which is unusual in the dehydrated space.
Chicken is the primary ingredient present and is present in a huge portion size. This Chicken is joined by a smaller portion of White Fish, which is a common fish ingredient in pet food.
Thanks to the presence of these two ingredients, the recipe offers a protein proportion above 40% and a far proportion above 25%, which is impressive.
Outside of these ingredients, the recipe includes portions of Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Flaxseed, Eggs, Spinach, and more.
The starch ingredients are typical, but the inclusion of Eggs is a welcome sight and is a much-underutilized ingredient in cat food.
Minced Salmon & Cod Recipe Review
As we mentioned earlier, The Honest Kitchen’s wet cat food range is a relatively new addition, but this doesn’t mean it should be discounted.
The above Minced Salmon & Cod recipe is a prime example of the range’s potential. The formula includes a generous portion of Salmon and Cod which, when combined, provide an extremely impressive nutritional profile.
This includes 10% protein and 3.% fat, which is far above average when compared to some other cat food brands. In addition, as we’ve mentioned already, Salmon is an excellent source of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
Outside of these two fish ingredients, the recipe only includes tiny portions of some plant-based ingredients such as Pumpkin, Carrots, Blueberries, Cranberries, and more.
These ingredients are not present to provide carbohydrates but instead for their micronutrients such as beneficial vitamins and minerals.
The Honest Kitchen Featured Articles
Best Dehydrated Dog Food – If a brand best known for its dehydrated dog food didn’t feature in our look at the best-dehydrated dog food, there would be a problem.
The Honest Kitchen was a given feature here in our in-depth look at dehydrated food. Here we discuss what dehydrated food is and recommend several of the industry’s best recipes from brands like I And Love And You, Addiction, and Sojos.
The 10 Most Expensive Dog Foods – While not all of The Honest Kitchen’s recipes are high cost, many of them are, and this cost is one of the highest in the industry.
Most Expensive Cat Food – Identical to above, The Honest Kitchen’s cat food recipes can also be at the higher end of the price spectrum due to their high nutritional value and impressive ingredients.
Many of the same brands that we discussed regarding expensive dog food also feature here, but there are a few notable new additions.
Best Organic Dog Food – Organic dog food is a tiny niche with just a few players. While The Honest Kitchen doesn’t produce fully organic food, it does use some organic ingredients.
For this reason, we gave them an honorable mention. If you would like a look at the brands featured with full organic recipes, we highly recommend checking out this article.
Best Organic Cat Food – The organic cat food niche is even smaller than the organic dog food niche, which may make it incredibly difficult to find a recipe.
Once again, The Honest Kitchen gets an honorable mention thanks to its use of some organic ingredients in its recipes.
The Honest Kitchen Full Products Range
Dry Dog Food (Whole Food Clusters)
Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe
Whole Grain Beef & Oat Recipe
Grain Free Chicken Recipe
Grain Free Beef Recipe
Grain Free Turkey Recipe
For Small Breeds – Whole Grain Chicken & Oat Recipe
For Small Breeds – Grain Free Chicken Recipe
For Puppies – Chicken & Oat Recipe
For Puppies – Grain Free Chicken Recipe
Dehydrated Dog Food
Grain Free Chicken Recipe (Force)
Grain Free Turkey Recipe (Embark)
Grain Free Beef Recipe (Love)
Grain Free Fish Recipe (Zeal)
Whole Grain Chicken Recipe (Revel)
Whole Grain Turkey Recipe (Keen)
Whole Grain Beef Recipe (Verve)
Whole Grain Fish & Oat Recipe
Gourmet Grains Chicken & Duck
Gourmet Grains Turkey & White Fish
Gourmet Grain Beef & Salmon
Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe (Thrive)
Limited Ingredient Fish Recipe (Brave)
Limited Ingredient Turkey Recipe (Marvel)
Limited Ingredient Beef Recipe (Hope)
Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe (Spruce)
Grain Free Fruit & Veggie Base Mix (Preference)
Grain Free Veggie, Nut & Seed Base Mix (Kindly)
Wet Dog Food
One Pot Stew – Slow Cooked Chicken With Sweet Potato, Spinach & Apples
One Pot Stews – Tender Turkey Stew With Quinoa, Carrots & Broccoli
One Pot Stew – Roasted Beef Stew With Kale, Sweet Potatoes & Carrots
One Pot Stews – Braised Beef & Lamb Stew With Green Beans & Sweet Potatoes
One Pot Stews – Simmered Salmon & Chicken Stew With Brown Rice & Broccoli
Butcher Block Pate – Chicken & Super Greens
Butcher Block Pate – Turkey & Autumn Veggies
Butcher Block Pate – Turkey, Duck & Root Veggies
Butcher Block Pate – Beef, Cheddar & Farm Veggies
Butcher Block Pate – Beef, Lamb & Spring Veggies
Dry Cat Food (Whole Food Clusters)
Grain Free Chicken Clusters
Grain Free Chicken & Whitefish Clusters
Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Clusters
Dehydrated Cat Food
Grain Free Turkey Recipe (Grace)
Grain Free Chicken Recipe (Prowl)
Grain Free Chicken Recipe
Grain Free Chicken & Fish Recipe
Grain Free Turkey Recipe
Wet Cat Food
Minced Chicken In Bone Broth Gravy
Minced Chicken & Salmon In Bone Broth Gravy
Minced Turkey In Bone Broth Gravy
Minced Turkey, Chicken & Duck In Bone Broth Gravy
Minced Salmon & Cod In Fish Broth Gravy
Cate – Grain Free Chicken Pate
Cate – Grain Free Turkey Pate
Cate – Grain Free Salmon & Turkey Pate
Cate – Grain Free Salmon & Cod Pate
Cate – Grain Free Beef & Chicken Pate
Smittens Bites White Fish
Smittens Bites Herring
Smittens Bites Herring & Cranberry
Mmmixers Chicken & Duck Toper
Mmixers Salmon & Pollock Topper
Instant Goat’s Milk With Probiotics
Perfect Form Herbal Digestive Supplement
Cat Blend Instant Goat’s Milk