Honest Kitchen Dog Food

Hi Everyone! I am thinking about changing Lily’s dog food from Nutro to Honest Kitchen Dog Food. I am VERY confused on how much of this food to give her. When I go to the website it is very confusing. If I give her approximately 3 cups per day (1 1/2 am and 1 1/2 pm) how much of the dehydrated would I give her? It seems after you add the water it expands and then I would have too much. Anyone out there that can explain this to me? Thanks! Pam & Lily

20 thoughts on “Honest Kitchen Dog Food

  • July 6, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Hi Pam,
    Don’t feel bad. I was just as confused when I started with HK as you are now. I called the company to try and understand the concept.
    Here is how I use HK, based on their directions;
    I only feed my dogs HK in the evening & I mix it with kibbles. For U-Rock, who is 9-months old, I mix 2-cups of kibbles with 3/4 cup of HK. I first place the HK powder in the bowl, add 1-cup of warm water, & wait about 10-15 minutes for the water to hydrate the powder. I then add 2-cups of kibbles, spoil him by zapping it all for about 1-minute at low power and voila… food is ready.
    For Lindy, who is 3-years old, I do the same but only give her 1-cup of kibbles.
    I don’t use HK in the morning. I mix their morning kibbles with alternating eggs, cottage cheese, or yogurt.
    I only treat when I train so, this plan so far has kept both dogs happy & healthy… both eat fast & well… & food is no longer a chore.
    Good luck & hope this helps.

  • July 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

    If you are feeding only the HK food (all are complete foods except for Preference), here are the feeding guidelines from their website:


    That will tell you how much dry mix to rehydrate according to your dog’s weight and activity level.

    They also go into adding in extra ingredients if you wish. When I feed raw, I use the HK foods instead of ground meat.

  • July 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Personally, I don’t worry too much about how much water to add. Just slowly starting adding until it is all mixed in. I end up getting varying consistencies from day-to-day (oatmeal-like to soup). If there’s too much water, adding yogurt is good for a thicker consistency (and added calcium).

    Feeding Honest Kitchen is based on weight and activity level. So to decode the website, this is how many DRY (dehydrated) cups you feed…

    Weight: (Average Activity Level) – [Active/Puppies]
    11-30lbs: (0.25 – 0.5 cup) – [0.5 – 1 cup]
    31-50lbs: (0.5 – 1 cup) – [2 – 4 cups]
    51-70lbs: (2 – 2.5 cups) – [4 – 4.5 cups]
    71-90lbs: (2.5 – 3 cups) – [4.5 – 5.5 cups]

    I use these as guidelines. At 4 months and 45-ish pounds, Fenris gets about 2 cups of HK per day (1 in the AM, 1 in the PM). It’s actually more like 2/3 of a cup every feeding since I add yogurt, carrots, and occasionally, additional raw meat.

    Hope that helps!

  • July 6, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Where’s ninja Jennie when you need her? Slacker.

  • July 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Pam, once you get used to the mixing and consistency, HK is a breeze. It’s a great food.

    I’ve found that the consistency and water requirements vary between formulas. The two I use are Love (beef – Batman’s favorite) and Embark (turkey). Embark rehydrates more “chunkily” than Love, which is more oatmeal like, and absorbs more water.

    When Batman was 4 months old, he got 1.25 dry cups of Love, which is 5 oz by weight, and 1.25-1.5 cups of warm water per mean. The total rehydrated weight of 1.25 dry cups was about 1 lb per meal.

    Weighing is the most accurate way to measure portions, but I only weigh dry matter when I’m parceling out portions in ziplocs for Batman’s boarder. At home, I just use a measuring cup for the dry matter and a Pyrex glass measuring cup for the water. If the final meal looks too big or small to me, I stick it on the scale and either add a little more if it’s coming in low, or remember to adjust back his next meal if it comes in high. You might want to get a food scale and weigh portion sizes when you’re first starting out, until you get a better sense of what a meal portion should look like.

    The Embark for some reason requires a bit more water than Love. For a 1.25 cup portion, I would add 1.5-1.75 cups of water.

    At almost 10 months, Batman gets 1.75-2 dry cups of Love or Embark per meal, or 3.5-4 rehydrated cups (weighing in at 3.5-4 lbs) per day. The variation is because Love has slightly more calories than Embark, so he will get less Love than Embark on average. Or on days when we are especially active, I tilt his portion towards the higher end of the 1.75-2 dry cup range.

    Finally, I give him an egg yolk 3-4 times per week and a 4.75 oz tin of sardines in water 2-3 times per week. For those meals, I reduce the amount of HK to account for the mix-ins. Sometimes, I add a little (1/4 lb or so) of lean raw meat like lean ground beef, and reduce the HK accordingly. I will also add a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin to firm up his poop. And I add a half-tablespoon or so of coconut oil, hemp oil, salmon oil or krill oil to every meal.

    This is all probably more detail than you really need! You will get the hang of it though. It just becomes routine over time, and you will see the payoff in the continued good health of your beloved pup!

  • July 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    LOL! I’m here! I’m here!

  • July 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Also, I should mention, that you should adjust from Nutro to HK based on equivalent calorie counts vs cup size.

    According to this website: http://www.dodgecountycanine.com/files/Dry_Dog_Food_Calorie_content.pdf

    For example, Nutro Puppy Large Breed formula (not sure which formula you currently use, just picking this one as an example) has 346 calories per cup. Since you feed 3 cups per day, Lily is getting 1,038 calories per day.

    To convert that to HK, you would need to feed about 2 dry cups of Love per day (514 cals/cup x 2 = 1,028 cals/day). If you go by weight, each dry cup should weigh 4 oz.

    Embark has 488 cals/cup, which would require 2 dry cups plus 1 tablespoon per day to be equivalent to Lily’s current 1,038 calorie intake.

  • July 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    So how much do you spend onthis food a month Jennie? Does Batman get bored with it? On average, I spend about 150 a month on raw food, not including supplements.

  • July 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I spend about $190 per month on Honest Kitchen. Big-Butted Batman goes through about 2.5 10lb (makes 40 lbs rehydrated) boxes per month. Love costs $80/box and Embark is $70/box. I order everything by the case and with coupons on doggiefood.com to get as many discounts as possible. I’m trying a new formula, Thrive, which is chicken and quinoa, to see if he likes it. Thrive is $60/box, so hopefully he does well on it!

    I rotate between Embark and Love. He prefers Love, but it costs too much to feed him only that, given the rate he goes through boxes. Also, some variation is good for him.

    I would like to do true raw, but don’t have the freezer space or kitchen space for it. It also would be harder because I can’t have it shipped, and I don’t have a car. So for the convenience and quality, HK is as good as it gets for us!

  • July 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I just checked the Honest Kitchen website, and they are having a sale: 20% off everything for the month of July, to celebrate their 10 year anniversary!

    This is a GREAT sale. 10lb boxes of Love are $75.59 if you buy a case of 4, or 77.59 if you buy fewer than 4.

    The downside is that free shipping doesn’t kick in until you buy $350 of stuff, but if you really want to stock up, now would be a good time. I would not buy more than 9 months supply at once — the food does expire, usually within a year or so after purchase.

    Also, remember to save the UPCs. If you mail in 10, you get a free box!

  • July 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    LOL Josie!

  • July 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Bingo Jennie, I think that is the answer Pam was looking for.

  • July 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I didn’t know that about the UPCs I go through a box a day around here. Thanks for the tip.

  • July 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I like the Thrive variety. I spend about 3k a month on dog food.

  • July 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    You win. Holy mother, thats crazy sauce.

  • July 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I didn’t either…thanks Jennie! I am going to bring some scissors to Julie’s place this weekend.

  • July 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    HK website now indicates it takes 12 instead of 10 to get the free box. Still a deal I didn’t know about before, so thank you all for the discussion.

  • July 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    LOL, Lee!

  • July 8, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Jennie, that’s a great site that you found for calorie listings. Thank you!

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