Pet food quality standards
The Honest Kitchen does more than meet the highest standard for food safety and quality — we invented it. A few other pet food brands have since followed our lead, but most continue to use inferior, feed-grade ingredients. Once you learn the difference, you’ll never go back to feed grade again.
The Honest Kitchen
- Higher quality ingredients.
- Subject to ~100 manufacturing and quality control regulations.
- Meets strict food safety standards.
- Does not include by-products, waste or "4D" meats.
Feed-Grade Pet "Food"
- Lower quality ingredients.
- Subject to ~15 manufacturing and quality control regulations.
- Meets the basic standards for animal feed.
- Ingredients may include slaughter by-products, restaurant or supermarket waste, feathers or "4D" meats: animals dying, diseased, disabled or dead.
Our Promise to You
A vast majority of pet food makers use stuff we never use from places we don't trust. The Honest Kitchen is made in the USA and never contains the potentially unsafe and unhealthy ingredients found in feed-grade products.
No Additives or preservatives
No "4D" meats
NO CORN, WHEAT
No GMO Ingredients
Farmers and growers that measure up
It’s hard to get on our list — and for good reason. Our suppliers must certify they meet the strictest standards for food safety and health as well as sustainability and fair-trade practices.
Every year, each of our dog food suppliers signs our “Human Food Grade Guarantee” and “Statement of Quality and Integrity.” We think it’s important you know what they have to live up to.
- Foods maintain human-edible status from harvest and all handling, screening and cleaning, through delivery to our human-food plant.
- Every ingredient includes a Statement of Country of Origin.
- Supplier adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
- Foods are not genetically modified or subject to engineered recombinant DNA technology.
- Verification that all ingredients are free of chemicals or adulterants.
- Verification that all foods are free of chemical preservatives, such as Ethoxyquin.
- Supplier follows sustainability and fair-trade practices where applicable.
Safety and quality you can see
100% Human-Grade Kitchens
Most pet food makers would never invite you inside their kitchens—because they’re not kitchens. They’re heavy processing plants. But our food is prepared right alongside breakfast cereals and bakery mixes, so it satisfies the same rigorous safety, cleanliness and quality standards of people food.
- Registered and inspected by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).
- Meet SQF (Safe Quality Foods) level II standards for human food safety.
- Exceed all proposed FDA guidelines.
- Exceed HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety regulations.
- Exceed established GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices).
A higher standard of quality assurance.
The Honest Kitchen Food Safety and Quality Assurance Program ensures that all of our recipes meet human-food standards. We analyze food nutrition, monitor water activity and test for pathogens. We also screen for harmful heavy metals in every batch of our food, four times a year.
We test for germs
We test all aspects of our dehydrated dog and cat foods to rule out anything that could possibly hurt your pet. That includes all the bad things you can only see under a microscope, like:
- Bacteria, such as salmonella, E-coli and listeria.
- Yeast and mold.
- Contaminants, such as heavy metals and melamine.
- Verify pH and proximates (protein, fat, fiber and moisture).
- Random regular tests of nutrient values for vitamins and minerals.
We screen for heavy metals
Heavy metals occur naturally in some ingredients and the FDA hasn’t established tolerance levels for U.S. foods, so, we follow internationally recognized human-food standards set by several agencies around the world.
- European Union – Commission Regulation 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.
- Codex Alimentarius International Food Standards – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, World Health Organization (Revised 2016).
- Health Canada – Government of Canada, Maximum Levels for Various Chemical Contaminants in Foods.
- Australia, New Zealand Food Standards Code – Standard 1.4.1 Contaminants and Natural Toxicants.
- Food Safety Authority of Ireland – Commission Regulation 488/2014 Maximum Levels of Cadmium in Foodstuffs.
Better Foods Need
A Lighter Touch
At The Honest Kitchen, we ditch the heavy processing of feed-grade foods in favor of a gentler approach. That goes for our new Whole Food Clusters and our dehydrated foods.
- Minimally processed to hold onto important nutrients.
- Contain finely ground, whole food ingredients to ease digestion.
- Retain the colors and aromas of their fresh ingredients, making them far more appetizing to your pets.
Our time-honored and original technique for preserving the quality of our food.
New Whole Food Clusters
Our MADEHONEST™ process brings new convenience to 100% human grade.
We back every batch
We’re so sure your pets will love our food, if they’re not licking their bowls clean, we’ll buy it back.1
Here's how online returns work:
Email or call us to report your issue2
We'll provide you an RMA number and free shipping label3
Ship the product back to us, in its original packaging
We'll credit your original payment method, or send a check if you prefer4
True Food Origins
Use our interactive Food Source Map to find out where our ingredients come from. Just rollover a region of the world to see what foods come from which places. Percentages reflect the amount of ingredients in pounds (lbs).
- Free Range* & Cage Free Chicken
- Cage Free Duck
- Cage Free Turkey
- Ranch Raised Beef
- White Fish**
- Brown Rice
- Cheddar Cheese
- Green Beans
- Navy Beans
- Sunflower Oil
- Sweet Potatoes
** Some MSC (Marine Stewardship Counsel) Certified Vitamins, Minerals, Trace Nutrients & Probiotics are sourced from around the world (nothing from China)
- Cage Free Chicken
- Cage Free Turkey
- Ranch Raised Beef
- Cheddar Cheese
- Chia Seeds
- Fish Oil
- Organic Quinoa
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Salmon Oil
- Fenugreek Seed
- Fish Bone Broth
- Active Adult
- Less Active/Senior
We believe that human grade, minimally processed whole foods provide pets the best nutrition possible. Created with a Veterinary nutritionist, these 100% human grade clusters are made with real whole foods you’d recognize from your own kitchen. They’re MadeHonest™, mixed in small batches, cold pressed, slow roasted and dehydrated to maintain the nutrients, aroma and taste of whole foods. Whole Food Clusters give you the same scoop & serve convenience, while giving your pets minimally processed, 100% human grade taste and nutrition.
PREMIUM NUTRITION: Clusters are thoughtfully prepared using human grade muscle meat & liver, low glycemic carbs, beneficial fats & live probiotics; cold pressed into delicious, bite-size, ready-to-eat pieces.
SUITABLE FOR PUPPIES & ADULT DOGS: Complete & Balanced nutrition for adult dogs and puppies of all breeds and sizes, including large breed puppies, as well as adult mothers (gestation/lactation).
SCOOP & SERVE: Unlike our dehydrated food, Whole Food Clusters is served as is. No need to add any water.
- Human Grade
- Made in the USA (with US & globally sourced ingredients)
- No artificial preservatives, feed grade by-products, fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat or soy
- Vet recommended
- Money Back Guarantee
The honest difference
We believe that the best foods are made with the best ingredients. That's why we use only real, thoughtfully sourced ingredients you'd recognize from your own kitchen and only source from folks we know and trust (and who meet our uncompromising standards). It's what we call The Honest Difference, and we can't wait for you to see the difference it makes to your pets.
Whole Food Clusters look better because they're made better. MadeHonest™ is a process we invented from the ground up, in our own human food kitchen.Watch Our Video
100% human grade.
Whole foods are mixed in small batches in our human grade kitchen.
Then, we cold-press our nutritious ingredients into pure and delicious whole food clusters.
Finally, we slowly bake and gently dehydrate each batch, to keep the nutrition inside.