Adventures in Canine Cuisine, The Sequel

Does anyone else have difficulty leaving a pet store without making several purchases? On the weekend I found myself checking out the new Pet Valu store in my neighbourhood. Shiva had chewed through her ninth (tenth? fifteenth? thirtieth? I’ve lost count) Kong and we needed to get a new one before the work week.

These are the super-tough black Kongs, mind you. I really wish they’d make another colour level because while I adore these rubber toys, they are just not durable enough to withstand Shiva-jaws for very long.

But I digress.

I found what I was looking for almost right away so decided to poke around the rest of the store for a few minutes. Usually this leads to me spending the next three months’ rent on dog toys, forcing me to break dance on the street to avoid eviction. Or, in other words, it’s typically not a good idea. But hey, at least my dog has cool stuff.

This time, however, was different. Okay, so I did buy Shiva a new toy she chewed through after five minutes of play. But I am so glad I stopped to browse as it led me to a thrilling discovery. The Honest Kitchen is finally available in Nova Scotia! Woo hoo!

I have heard so many great things about this food from Go Pet Friendly and I’ve always wanted to try it out myself. The ingredients are all natural and human grade and the food comes in several different varieties. They even have a brand of cat food. We’ve been experimenting a lot with different types of pet food ever since we got the chance to sample Nature’s Harvest Fresh  earlier this year. It’s pretty cool to live in a time with so many very unique options.

Now here is where I have to lavish praise on the helpful pet store manager. He saw me checking out the cute little boxes and asked if I’d like a free sample. Unfortunately, after checking his supplies, he couldn’t find any left.

“No problem,” he said. “I can give you a one pound box instead. Would you like one for your cat as well?”

Silly question. Do I write incredibly long-winded blog posts about my dog? Of course I would! I left the store totally ecstatic, mentally vowing to do all my pet store shopping there in the future.

As soon as we got home, I had to check the stuff out. Unlike Nature’s Harvest Fresh – which comes frozen in patty form – the food from The Honest Kitchen is dehydrated. It makes preparation super easy. Just measure out the dry ingredients from the package, add water, and stir.

At first, it doesn’t really look all that appetizing. Kind of the consistency of soup or runny porridge. But after sitting about five minutes, the liquid gets absorbed and it looks a lot more like normal wet dog food.

Yum.

Shiva apparently thought so. She couldn’t stop staring at the bowl on the counter.

Is it ready NOW???

It should come as no surprise that she licked every last smudge from the bowl. Shiva is hardly a food critic. Her favourite treat is grass clippings, for crying out loud.

Still, I am pretty impressed with The Honest Kitchen so far. It was everything I expected it to be after reading so many reviews. I love how easy it is to store and think it would be great to take camping. I don’t know if I would switch over completely as I like the handiness of kibble for lots of other things, but I would definitely think about adding it as a supplement to beef up some of Shiva’s meals. I love how easy it is to mix in my own ingredients with food like this.

The real question is, will our ultra-picky-white-meat-kibble-only cat be willing to give it a serious chance?

38 thoughts on “Adventures in Canine Cuisine, The Sequel

  1. Lol this is so me at pet stores too… I got to shop at Petco by myself recently (went in there for Gecko stuff of all things) and ended up leaving after spending 50 bucks on stuff I prolly didn’t need. But it was lovely to walk around un-rushed. I love those types of stores.

    Also wanted to tell you about a different Kong color, there is a royal blue one that they say is harder than Black. But after quickly doing a research check for you, I shall not be posting a link as it turns out it probably isn’t as hard as the black. Which is probably why I have never seen them end up on shelves… Sorry

    Good luck, maybe order some kongs online in bulk to save a bit??
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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    • It’s okay, I appreciate the thought. Maybe I will do some research myself to find out. Or maybe I’ll send them an email with a suggestion. You never know, right?

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  2. Interesting. I’ve heard of the food, but don’t know anything about it. And how is that to get two free boxes! You’ll have to let us know if kitty likes it too.
    Oh, and we are the same way in pet stores. Go in for one thing and walk out with a bagful. 🙂

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  3. I shop at pet stores just like you do – you are totally not alone! Love the Honest Kitchen foods; glad they’re available by you now! Sadly they don’t have a venison version for my allergic-to-everything spaniel, but my Cavalier was a huge fan. The best part was that it could easily be hydrated, smushed into a Kong, and frozen. The dogs would go postal for frozen Honest Kitchen Kongs, and it took them ages to lick everything out. (So, like, 20 minutes for the super-chewer. LOL.)

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    • That is a great idea! I am always looking for new Kong stuffers and I bet HK would be perfect once frozen. The smell seems to have a very positive effect on Shiva anyway!

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  4. I’ve also been intrigued by Honest Kitchen and wondering if it would be a good option on a boat. Glad you were able to get a sample. Very curious to know what the cat thought. Will we be hearing about that next Tuesday?

    BTW, when will we be seeing the video of you break dancing to raise rent money?

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    • I think it would be perfect for traveling, I see why Amy and Rod like it so much. Unlike the frozen patties that took up our tiny freezer, it is super easy to store. I will probably end up buying a box to have on hand.

      The cat’s reaction was more positive than I thought. Since he is a grazer, it may be hard to feed him something like this on a regular basis as it’s not something I want sitting out all day. But I am sure it is much better for him than the cheap kibble he seems to prefer. Stubborn cat. 😛

      Haven’t I humiliated myself enough?

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  5. Nice to hear your opinion on the food. I’ve tried lots of different brands for my dog Ace but I don’t think he’s ever had Honest Kitchen. He is like Shiva and will eat anything. And then my cats … one is very picky like your cat. And the other will literally eat anything.

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  6. I’ve heard good things about the Honest Kitchen! It’s good to know that Shiva liked it at least as much as grass 😉

    Like Anna, I was going to suggest the dark blue Kong. I’ve noticed them for sale on k9 and Schutzhund type sites, but have no information or opinion on the viability of how strong they are. I’m lucky that the Kong is one toy, at least, that Elka does not destroy.

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    • I don’t think she destroys it intentionally. But over time the wear of her jaws on the rubber causes either the top or the bottom to tear off at the seam. It’s something we are used to at this point. We rely on the Kong too much to worry about the cost!

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  7. Kinda looks like my lunch today(tuna and ham salad)…..maybe I should just eat honest kitchen instead?

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  8. I absolutely cannot enter a pet store without making a purchase, which is weird, because in any other store, I am not much of a shopper.

    How nice of the pet store manager to give you a one pound sample for Shiva and some for your cat too!

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    • I think so too! It was very kind. And smart. I don’t normally shop at Pet Valu but that may be changing!

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  9. You should def find out how the cat likes it. That food looks great! Dehydrated is really a neat thing these days. We even had a dehydrated food rep come talk to our chef about the products and we got to try some samples. The corn tasted just like fresh corn should! It was pretty awesome. The way of the future, eh?

    Living vicariously through you because seriously, my fish is NOT that interesting… and talk of cats and dogs comes about so frequent but so not ready for that,

    Your sister.

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    • Interesting. I had no idea there was a movement toward dehydrated food for humans. At least, not outside of astronaut or camping food anyway. Do you think it’s something your restaurant will experiment with?

      How is your fish? I didn’t know you had gotten a new one. I bet his is more interesting than you think. Maybe you should start a fish blog!

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  10. Hi Kristine, break dance on the street for money? Okay, I’d pay to see that and I’d send Shiva treats too. Okay but I digress, this stuff looks really cool. But I think that my peeps will likely stick with raw bison and vegetables although The Honest Kitchen offers a great alternative. Oh by the way, Owen and I love eating grass too. Yah Shiva.

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  11. Thanks for showing how this firmed up! I always wondered about that! I thought it stayed more of like a paste, good to know! I think I would give it try to beef up kibble too!

    I have the same problem going into the pet stores, I spend way to much time looking around and buying things, even more so now that we have a guinea pig, they have the cutest things for rodents!

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    • I think it depends on how much water you add. The box says to add just over equal parts water to food but I think I added just a bit less because I worried about it being too runny. But I found the food soaked it all up pretty quickly!

      I have never even looked at the rodent section but I can imagine the shopping joys! Do you find it is similar to shopping for your kids, in that you end up buying things they probably don’t need, just because you know it will make them happy?

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      • Yes! Last week I bought the guinea pig a fleece bed because it was cute, he didn’t like it. I bought him a harness, he hates it. Next week I’m buying him a motorcycle jacket, I am sure he won’t like that either. I am addicted to this little rodent! I have never had a pocket pet, it’s all so new!

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  12. Rio is not a fan of THK… he’ll eat it… mostly… after pushing his nose around the bowl (probably getting some up his nose) for a little. He’s a bit of a picky eater… he ate SOJOS twice (sort of) but now refuses that completely. He’ll just push it around with his nose and walk away LOL! Glad Shiva likes it!

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    • If Shiva ever seems uninterested in her food I will be rushing her to the emergency vet. A Shiva who doesn’t want to eat something is a very, very sick Shiva!

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  13. That sounds like an awesome pet store trip! I can’t wait to hear if kitty likes it 😉 Cali has two huge overflowing baskets of toys (one upstairs, one down) I have a serious toy buying problem !

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  14. I’ve never found a pet store that couldn’t relieve me of much of my available cash. My dogs just *need so many things. We really like the HK food here. Even though we feed raw, I always have a box of dehydrated on hand, just n case. IMHO, it’s a great compromise between the convenience of kibble and the benefits of raw. You kind of get the best of both worlds. We can not WAIT to hear what the Cat thinks though.

    *need – an absolutely required, totally must have, couldn’t possibly live without item, like a squeaky shark or a light up motion activated toy. No? My dogs aren’t spoled. Why do you ask?

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    • That’s the way I looked at it too. 🙂 I am so happy I happened to see it there on the shelf. I’d given up hope it’d ever be for sale in Nova Scotia!

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  15. Daisy eats The Honest Kitchen full time. I make it with enough water so it is soupy. I’ve found if you don’t rehydrate it enough it makes them drink a lot of water. She has done sooo great on it! The price…well, that part I don’t like as much. But it would make a great topper for kibble (also makes a great kong stuffer).

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    • It is more expensive, that is for sure. And I wouldn’t be able to use it for training like I do with her brand of kibble. But as a topper or something to keep for camping, I think it will be a great option!

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    • LOL. Nothing is completely indestructible with a Shiva around. We typically get anywhere from 4-5 months out of a black Kong. Considering how happy they make her and how that toy saved our life when it came to her separation anxiety, I am happy to spend the money!

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  16. Is it a dehydrated raw food Kristine? I’ve been looking for a good quality dehydrated raw food for our emergency bag. Ideally we would want to take our raw food to avoid losing it, but in an emergency when we have to get out quick, the dehydrated would be perfect.

    Did you give any to the cat? I do have Bob on grain free as well, but his food is not raw due to the excessive cost of having two big dogs on raw. 😦

    Has she really chewed through that many Kongs? My dogs only chew the Kongs when they are filled with frozen goodness. 🙂

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    • I am not completely sure if all of the ingredients are raw but it sounds like it from the information on the website: http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/about/dehydration-demystified/
      The meat is steamed to eliminate pathogens before the dehydration process.

      In my opinion it would be a great option for an emergency kit. It comes in easy to pack boxes and requires no special care or storage. As long as you have a decent amount of water to rehydrate it for your dogs, you are good to go.

      The cat has had a few licks, which is actually saying a lot. He isn’t UN-interested, anyway. We’ll see how it goes. He is a grazer and likes to have food available to him 24/7. If his bowl isn’t full at all times, even if he isn’t hungry, he drives us crazy until we fill it.

      Shiva only gets her Kong when we go out so only when it’s similarly filled with frozen goodness. 🙂 But over time her jaws do a number on the rubber and eventually the toy cracks at the seam. Ah well. It’s a small price to pay for her comfort!

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  17. You are so not alone when it comes to not being able to leave the pet store empty handed! Whether shopping at my local pet store or online, I always leave with what I needed in the first place, plus some treats and a toy.

    While I knew I had a problem, I didn’t know the extent of it (in terms of dollars and cents) until I reviewed my 2011 year end summary from American Express, which as you may or may not know, breaks out total charges by vendor for the year. Let’s just say that there weren’t many non-dog related vendors on my list of top vendors …. But at the end of the day I’m over it, because like you said above, it’s a small price to pay for my dog’s comfort.

    I think the world of The Honest Kitchen and am so glad that it’s now available near your home. While I mostly do home cooked meals from my dog, Mazzie, I do feed her The Honest Kitchen (specifically, the grain free Force and Embark varieties) from time to time to mix things up, if I’m too busy to cook for the both of us or when we travel. She LOVES it and it’s so easy to prepare, store and take with you when you travel. Since many of the healthiest options for our dogs are inconvenient, time-consuming and/or too expensive, I feel that The Honest Kitchen this is a great solution (other than that it I wish it were less expensive).

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  18. Shiva must have some strong teeth. We use the black bone shaped kongs and they usually last a while.

    Too bad you are not switching your food completely. 🙂 I ‘d love to read a follow-up post about, you know…poop. That is usually our concern with new food. I like the idea of mixing with water since we soak the kibble, but I am always hesitant to switch foods because we have had bad luck with, you know–the resulting poop. The food we feed works for all three dogs, but the boxed stuff sounds really convenient for travel.

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  19. I’m a HUGE fan of HK! I use the Preference veggie mix and make my own meat to add to it. Every week I buy different meat to mix it up for them. While the dogs LOVE the fish (Zeal?), at +$100 a box, it’s too expensive to feed the two dogs with it. HK is an excellent camping food for dogs, too! I’ll measure out the portions and put them in zip lock baggies. Just add water & dinner is ready in 10 minutes. How great is that?

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  20. Woo-hoo!! I’m so glad The Honest Kitchen in now an option for you! And I’m glad Shiva liked it – though she likes most everything. I’m waiting for the tougher judge … the cat!

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  21. LOL – nice to know I’m not alone in my behavior at the pet store. (I actually enjoy Christmas shopping for the pets FAR more than shopping for humans… But I digresss…)

    Thanks for the info on Honest Kitchen. I’ve heard the name tossed around a lot but didn’t know much about them. I will probably give them a try but I have to admit, when I read it takes 5 minutes for the stuff to “cook” so to speak, I thought, yeah that’ll go over big at Casa de Bella. Feeding Bella is a blog post unto itself but suffice it to say we’re either pushing her off of us or luring her in from another room. lol Thanks for the tip!

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