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Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I find your shipping information?
Do I have to add extras, like meat or other foods?
If I want to add extras, what do you recommend?
Must I add water?
What does the term ‘human-grade’ mean?
What do the Honest Kitchen diets look like?
Do the Honest Kitchen diets contain bone?
Will adding meats or raw bones affect the calcium:phosphorus ratio?
How do I measure out 1 cup of food and how much fresh food will this make?
How long will a box last?
What is the shelf life on the Honest Kitchen diets?
What’s the difference between dehydration and freeze drying?
What about ingredient origin?
Which food do I choose for my pet?
How do I know if my pet will like this food?
What’s your return policy?
How much does this food cost?
Where is your accent from?
How do I make this crazy food!?
Do I need to add vitamin supplements?
Where did your company name originate from?
Are you on the stock markets and can I buy shares?
My pet has urinary tract problems. What is the pH of the Honest Kitchen’s pet foods?
Your food sounds great – can I feed it to my husband?
What about feeding them to chickens and other birds, ferrets or other small pets?
How can I really show my pet how much I love him?
How do I find a holistic vet?
What can you tell me about the Honest Kitchen’s manufacturing?
Do you conduct any laboratory based testing?
How do I get in touch with you doggone people?!
Where do I find your shipping information?
Do I have to add extras, like meat or other foods?
No, adding other ingredients to our diets (except Preference*) is not necessary – our foods are formulated to meet the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles and can be fed alone (or in one of these six ways. 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.
You can really add as many or as few additional ingredients as you wish, depending on time and convenience, if you are using our ‘complete and balanced’ diets. 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.
*Using Preference, where additional protein is mandatory to create a balanced meal, we suggest a minimum 1 to 2 cups of extras, to be added to each dry-measured cup.
Yes! It is imperative that you re-hydrate these foods 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.
It’s a little confusing to grasp but here’s the gist of it: Human-grade refers to the quality of a finished product. The term refers to a product that is legally suitable for consumption by human being (“edible”). The term feed grade refers to a product that is not suitable for consumption by people and is only to be fed to animals (“inedible”). The FDA and USDA are responsible for regulating human foods and determining ‘edible’ status. Our plant actually makes foods for human consumption and is regulated and inspected by the FDA. The Honest Kitchen is the only manufacturer in the US to have written permission from the FDA to use the term ‘human-grade” on its product labels.
Other terms like “Human Quality” or “Table Grade” are not legal definitions for human food or pet food. And the term “Made with Human-grade Ingredients” doesn’t mean that a finished product is actually, legally, human-grade.Ingredients may start off with ‘human-grade’ status but once an ingredient has been shipped to and processed in a pet food plant, the ‘human-grade’ term can no longer legally be used.
Various ingredients used in other pet foods are not fit for human consumption at all, and may include by-products, chemicals, fillers and parts from ’4D’ meats (animals which are dying, diseased, disabled or deceased). Read more about what it really means to be human grade pet food.
All of the diets have a texture resembling muesli or ‘loose mixes’ before hydration, with some colorful pieces of recognizable fruits, veggies and, for certain foods, grains. All diets have a very pleasant aroma. After hydration, the foods look more like oatmeal or stew.
The Honest Kitchen diets don’t contain any bone. Our meats are 100% pure, USDA muscle meats only. Raw meaty bones may be mixed in with our foods if desired.
The calcium: phosphorous ratio in our foods is balanced with the vitamin premix, containing human-grade tri-calcium phosphate, and is set at a ratio that allows for additional meat and raw bones to be mixed in without throwing the ratio outside its optimal range of 1:1 to 2:1 parts calcium:phosphorus.. As a general guideline, we recommend about 1/2 cup of meat or RAW meaty bones (such as chicken backs/ or necks) to 1 cup of dry-measured Honest Kitchen diet. We say this a lot – please, NEVER FEED COOKED BONE!!
Our label feeding recommendations are based on the Dry-Measured amount. One cup (8 oz by volume or 4 oz by DRY weight) of our dehydrated food will make approximately 1 lb (or a little over two cups by volume) of fresh food when the water’s added. A 10 lb box will make about 40 lbs of re-hydrated food depending on the recipe. See more on this on the How To Feed Our Food page.
This depends on the size of your dog. A 30 lbs dog will eat about 1 dry-measured cup per day of our food. This will make about 1 lb of fresh food. A 10 lbs box hold 40 dry-measured cups so it will last a 30 lbs dog about 6 weeks. See more on this on the How To Feed Our Food page.
All of our foods and treats have about 12 months’ shelf life prior to hydration. Once re-hydrated, any leftovers should be treated like raw food and refrigerated or discarded. Our herbal supplements have a 24 month shelf life depending on ambient temperature and humidity.
Dehydration and freeze drying are somewhat similar, in that they both remove moisture from foods. Freeze drying involves freezing the ingredients, followed by a rapid drying process under vacuum. Dehydration or ‘air drying’ is a slower, gentler process that can take place at different temperatures (around 140 to 165F for meats and below 104F for most other ingredients) and takes varying amounts of time depending on the ingredient. Learn more about our dehydration process.
Our company purchases raw ingredients from several different suppliers, to insure a safe, reliable supply and to avoid shortages during drought or other situations that affect harvests. Learn about where our ingredients come from.
Our meats are hormone and antibiotic free, fruits and vegetables are certified non-GMO and our grains are 100% organic. All ingredients are tested for Standard Plate Count, Yeast & Mold, Coliform, E Coli and Salmonella. A Certificate of Analysis is issued for each & every lot. All ingredients purchased by The Honest Kitchen are the same products that are used in a variety of human foods including soups and stews. As an additional assurance, our finished products are routinely tested to ensure they are free of contaminants such as melamine, ethoxyquin and heavy metals like lead, arsenic and mercury. Read more about our pet food quality.
There are lots of factors to consider. If you aren't sure, we welcome you to call us for a complimentary consultation at 1-866-437-9729 or email us. Our human and canine employees are standing by to help you!
Most pets adore it but some don’t. If you have a picky pooch or fussy cat, may we suggest our mini-samples or travel size packets so you can try a smaller quantity before purchasing a full size box.
If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please let us know and we will try to put things right, or arrange an exchange or refund. An RMA# will be authorized and return address provided to you. Any returns must be made within 30 days of the original purchase date. Unfortunately we are not able to refund outbound or return shipping charges. Feel free to call us at 866-437-9729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
The cost ranges depending on the size of box (10 lb boxes are more cost effective) and the recipe (grain free is a little bit more expensive). The diets range from $1.50- $2.75 per cup (remember each cup makes 1 lb of fresh food when rehydrated). Force, our most popular diet, costs about $2.00 per lb on a rehydrated basis. This is a little more than some dry food kibble diets and less than most frozen raw diets, which can cost up to $3 or $4 per lb.
Our founders, Lucy and Charlie, are both from the UK and despite having been here in the States for over a decade, they still can’t do an American accent.
It’s actually very simple! If you can turn on a tap, you can probably do it! Just measure out the appropriate quantity of dry food based on your pet’s weight. Then add just over an equal amount of warm water and stir. Wait 5 minutes and it’s ready to serve. See more on this on the How To Feed Our Food page.
No, this is not necessary, since our foods contain a human-grade vitamin mineral premix. Other supplements such as enzymes and herbs can be added according to your pet’s individual needs.
The ‘Honest’ part is a reference to the conventional pet food industry which isn’t always as honest as its marketing would have you believe. The ‘Kitchen’ part emphasizes the truly human-grade nature of our products, and the fact that we’re a family owned company. The commercial production of our recipes actually takes place in a human food manufacturing plant and not actually in our kitchen, although we have on occasion been tempted to try making it at home - especially on those days when we’re all sold out and lots of hungry pups are calling on the phone!
No, we’re privately owned and not currently available on the stock market. Sorry!
The Honest Kitchen’s pet foods have a pH of 5.8 to 6.4 depending on the particular diet. The resultant output urine will have a pH of between 6.1 to 6.7 for a normal healthy pet consuming our foods. When checking or monitoring urinary pH it’s important to test promptly; urine that has been left in a container for a period of time prior to testing will gradually acquire a higher and higher pH as time goes on, which can skew the result. Our foods are not designed to artificially alter urinary pH like some prescription diets. Rather, they are formulated to be naturally slightly acidic for optimum health in a normal animal.
If you pet suffers from urinary tract problem, a high moisture diet like the Honest Kitchen can be excellent for helping to keep the urinary tract and kidneys well hydrated and ‘flushed out’ to reduce the likelihood of crystal formation and infection, compared with very dry, highly-processed diets which can cause an animal to be chronically dehydrated all the time. Read more about urinary tract health in dogs and cats.
Although our foods are all guaranteed human edible, we are not actually licensed to sell them for consumption by people. We do taste all our products ourselves as part of our quality testing process but as the box says, they are nutritionally balanced to be fed only to pets!
We haven’t conducted any research studies into the suitability of our foods for other species. We do have customers who feed our diets to pets other than dogs and cats but we just don’t have any scientific data on this.
We recommend a well rounded combination of tickles, exercise, quiet conversation and good wholesome food. Clothing, glitzy collars and painted toenails are not the most obvious expressions of love for an animal (in our humble opinion).
Check out our Holistic Care Directory to find a practitioner in your area.
Our company is privately owned and our proprietary manufacturing process takes place in a human food producing, FDA inspected facility here in the United States, in Illinois. The facility names are confidential due to privacy for the other high-end human foods that are also made there, as well as for homeland security. Our California facility has, however, been toured by Nancy Kerns, editor of the Whole Dog Journal and Sabine Contreras of the Dog Food Project. No other pet products are made in the facilities that make the Honest Kitchen’s products. Humans also taste our finished products as part of our normal quality testing process and we also taste all raw ingredients during research and development stages.
Our company doesn’t conduct formal laboratory / kennel based animal testing. We are looking into in-home trials (as opposed to in a laboratory based testing) which we believe is more ethical.
Please visit the Contact Us page. We try our best to answer the phone on the first ring and respond to every email within two business days! Sometimes it takes a tiny bit longer but that’s what we strive for and we’d love you to let us know how we did!