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Okay, so that sounds harsh, but have you heard of The Honest Kitchen?  I was blown away by how much this food costs.

I discovered The Honest Kitchen at the Jones and Company Pets annual anniversary sale.  All of the pet food is BOGO – buy one, get one half off.  There are a few sales at various pet stores that I have on my calendar and these sales, along with frequent buyer clubs, help us with the cost of premium dog food.

I was loading up my cart with Halo Pets kibble and Merrick Canned Food when I walked past The Honest Kitchen display.  As you know, I’m always interested in healthier foods for our dogs and the company rep scored a big point with me – she didn’t look in my cart and immediately start tearing down the competition, something that bugs the hell out of me.

The Cost of The Honest Kitchen: She was a great sales person and after my introduction to The Honest Kitchen, I was sold.  The Honest Kitchen offers a wholesome, less processed diet for our dogs.  Everything they make is 100% human grade (so I can eat it), made in the USA, and doesn’t contain the controversial grains some dogs have trouble with (corn, soy, wheat, rice, beet pulp).

I grabbed two big boxes (BOGO, remember) of Verve and then saw the price ($63 per box).  I put the two big boxes back and grabbed two medium boxes ($34 per box).  Note: prices mentioned are regular (non-BOGO) prices and I paid for them (these weren’t given to me for free in exchange for a review).

I was excited to see how the dogs liked the food.  Although I was told how to make the food (plus there are clear instructions on the box), I screwed up the first serving and the dogs weren’t very interested.  Think instant oatmeal, mixed with lukewarm water, and served immediately.  Top Chef here I come!

Verve Ingredients: Dehydrated beef, organic oats, organic rye, organic flaxseed, potatoes, carrots, organic alfalfa, eggs, apples, parsley, cranberries, spinach, chicory, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.

The Dog’s Review:  So I scrapped that serving and started fresh and got it right the 2nd time.  Sydney LOVED the food.  Rodrigo seemed to enjoy it and Blue ate it, but you could tell that he wasn’t a fan.  I had two boxes of Verve (the BOGO required that you get the same “flavor”) and I hoped that he would warm up to it.

I fed the dogs the food mixed with their kibble 2x a week as a “treat” and it was still a hit with Sydney and Rodrigo (especially Sydney).  Blue warmed up to it, but it still wasn’t his favorite; Sydney usually finished what he left behind when he walked away after having eaten the Halo Pets kibble, but not much of The Honest Kitchen.

The Fur Mom’s Review:  I loved the food and found myself wondering if a different “flavor” would appeal to Blue.  The two medium boxes we purchased lasted nearly 2 months with three dogs.  But we didn’t feed them The Honest Kitchen daily and instead we fed it to them as a treat – not a great idea for us and explains why our dogs had gas whenever they ate it.  And Rodrigo has a sensitive tummy and although he enjoyed the food, I didn’t enjoy his loose stools.

I’ve been thinking about cooking for the dogs or switching to a raw food diet, but the cost and time has kept the change at bay.  The Honest Kitchen allows us to put the dogs on a healthier diet, while making sure that they get all the nutrients that they need.  Will I be able to do this on my own?  I worry that by cooking for our dogs, they’ll be missing out on key nutrients that a brand like The Honest Kitchen can provide.

But, to be honest, I just can’t get past the price.  It would take some changes for us to afford The Honest Kitchen for our dogs.  Looking at their food choices, I would choose the grain free versions: Zeal (wild-caught white fish), Embark (cage-free turkey) and Love (hormone-free beef), which range from $86 to $105 (wow!) for 10 pound boxes (which makes 40 pounds of food).

Based on what I read on the site, our dogs, who have a combined weight of 190 pounds, would eat about 6-1/3 cups of The Honest Kitchen daily.  A 10-pound box will last us about a week.  We would be spending approximately $400 a month on dog food.  This blows my mind.  I’m an accountant by day and I’m pretty sure my math is right, but I redid the calculation several times.

When Keep the Tail Wagging takes off financially, I will definitely consider switching the dogs to Honest Kitchen.  If you have one dog or a better budget; I suggest giving Honest Kitchen a try and please let me know what you think.

For now, Honest Kitchen has inspired me to rethink cooking for our dogs.

UPDATE:  Thank you, Kim Klune, for filling me in on the The Honest Kitchen Allies Program.  At this time, it’s for reputable dog and cat breeders and qualifying rescue groups.  Not bloggers – bummer.  But that doesn’t make it any less impressive!  You can also read an interesting view point on Honest Kitchen in this blog post.  I found it fascinating.

 

Have you tried The Honest Kitchen or do you feed your dogs The Honest Kitchen?  Please share your experience.


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