Introducing Your Dog to The Honest Kitchen

What to Expect

For most dogs, the introduction of our foods is easy and they love our food right away, others might like it initially but become expectant of variety. To start, you can use our feeding guidelines (also charted on the back of your food box). Any unused portions can be placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For dogs making the change from a processed diet of kibble or canned food: our food should be introduced gradually, over a period of four to seven 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 two meals.

Tips for Transitioning

  • 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.
  • For pups that have a very sensitive GI, it may be a good idea to try adding in some of our herbal digestion aid, Perfect Form, during the transition.

If the Food is a Hit

Great! You are ready to start introducing more amounts of Honest Kitchen into their diet. Use the feeding guidelines on the back of the box (adjust as needed), unless you feel that you should slowly increase the amount.

If the Food is Not a Hit

Some dogs present a challenge simply because they are quite “hooked” on their current dry kibble or other lower-quality commercial pet food (often flavor-enhanced) and they seem to see no reason to accept something new, however healthy it may be for them. This is akin to a child who is used to eating McDonalds every day and is suddenly being expected to eat vegetables.

Here are some tips to try if you find that your dog is being particularly stubborn. Feel free to experiment with your own ideas, too!

  • Try mixing in a small amount of ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc.) with the food.
  • Offer the food for just 30 minutes, whatever is not eaten within this period, pick it up, refrigerate, and serve it to them at the next feeding time. Healthy animals can fast for a day at a time with no harm. Note: If your dog is used to free-feeding, the first step will be to teach a new schedule of regular meal times.
  • Rehydrate The Honest Kitchen with a low-sodium broth in replace of the water.
  • Add a spoonful of plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
  • Adjust the texture of the food by increasing or decreasing the amount of water to make the food more or less soupy.

Tips From The Honest Kitchen Community

We hear success stories about picky dogs loving our foods right away and others who needed to have a couple different recipes on hand. Sometimes setting yourself up to offer variety can solve the issues that picky dogs present. If you have a similar success story, I welcome you to post about it in the comments section below to help others out!

Meet the Author: Brandy Vachal

Brandy Vachal Moore is a dog mom to three pint-sized dogs: Donnatella the Maltese, Ernie the Yorkie-Maltese mix and Rico the Chihuahua. When she’s not defending her personal space from three dogs who know no boundaries. Brandy enjoys anything fitness related, traveling, hiking, and being outdoors in the San Diego sunshine. She loves all things social media and journalism and has worked for The Honest Kitchen for the past 5 years.

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