In January, I wrote a guest post for @DoggyBytes extolling the virtues of our switch from a high quality kibble to a dehydrated, close-to-raw dog food made by The Honest Kitchen. This week @ThisOneWildLife wrote about her decision to try, and ultimately switch to, dog food from THK. It reminded me that it might be time to talk about our six month continuing experience with the new food.
The subjects of this experiment are:
I list these characteristics only so you can see that we’re dealing with weight, age, breed, and activity differences – all of which have been satisfied by one product from THK.
Ty was 8 weeks old when we brought him home in October 2005. Buster, our rescue, found us in May 2008, and our vet guessed he was between 9 and 12 months old. Ever since they’ve been with us, we fed them Wellness Simple (rice and venison). No problems – Ty and Buster woofed down the kibble. Then, a shortage of farm-raised venison caused Wellness to discontinue that product.
Our decision to feed Ty and Buster dry food was a matter of (1) not thinking we were doing them any harm by feeding them high quality kibble, (2) not realizing there was any other alternative other than canned food, which we wanted to avoid, and (3) the convenience factor dictated by our travel schedule that puts us on the road for weeks at a time with the boys.
About 18 months ago, we made a conscious effort to eliminate most processed foods from our diet. So we figured why not do the same for Ty and Buster? When we looked to make a fresh start, we faced a mind-boggling amount of information and opinions on the pros and cons of dog food choices.
We were drawn to THK’s products for these reasons: It’s a close-to-raw food diet … with minimal processing … using human grade ingredients … and every batch is tasted by humans as part of quality control. The tipping point was the fact that the food is dehydrated, which makes it easy for us to store and serve at home and on the road.
THK offers six types of dog food (along with one kind of cat food, treats, and supplements). We chose to feed our boys Force. It’s grain-, wheat-, and gluten free. Force’s ingredients are free-range chicken, organic flaxseed, potatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, apples, alfalfa, organic kelp, honey, zucchini, green beans, cabbage, bananas, papayas, basil, garlic, rosemary, vitamins and minerals – not a single ingredient you can’t pronounce.
THK does not use by-products, fillers, artificial colorings, or preservatives. Its USDA meats are hormone and antibiotic free. Fruits and vegetables are certified non-GMO, and grains are certified organic and fair trade.
Here’s an analysis of the different dog and cat food products.
For those of you concerned about the muss and fuss of rehydrating the food – don’t be. We add a cup of warm water per cup of dry food, and it literally comes to life in about a minute.
We get the food in a 10 pound box. After being hydrated, one cup of food weighs one pound. There are 43 cups in the box, so we’re getting 43 pounds of dog food from one box.
The cost is $76 per box. However, THK offers a bulk discount and free shipping on purchases over $600. So when our first test box was running low we ordered eight boxes with a “street value” of $608 and paid about $485. At this pricing, the cost works out to a palatable $7 per day for both of our dogs.
Mealtime is a wonderfully different experience for Ty and Buster. While our dogs never really suffered from a lack of appetite, they ate because they were hungry, not because they loved kibble. Now they eat because they are hungry and because they LOVE the food. If I were to show you a picture of the clean dog bowls before food is added and a picture of the bowls just after feeding, you would be hard pressed to see the difference (clean as a hound’s tooth?!).
We’ve also gotten compliments on Buster’s shiny coat, and both dogs’ teeth are so clean we don’t have to brush them.
Last, but not least – and we cannot prove this is a direct result of the new food – we’ve been able to cut back on Ty’s hypo-thyroid and Buster’s seizure medications. I mention this only because even our vet was impressed by the dogs’ blood panels that were done back in March.
We like patronizing THK because it’s a small business, not a division of some conglomerate. THK is committed to protecting and preserving the environment. Food is packaged in a combination of USA-made, recyclable, biodegradable and recycled paper supplied by a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Even the box is printed with vegetable-based inks.
If so, what are your thoughts? Do your dogs like it? Do you?
Disclosure: The Honest Kitchen recently became a sponsor of GoPetFriendly, much to the droolight of Ty and Buster.Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy: Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities
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