A picture of Hobbes the dog testing The Honest Kitchen Dog Food.

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food Review

We tested several of The Honest Kitchen's dog food products. The consensus: Our dog loved them all. We'll compare your options, the ingredients, and the prices in this review. Take 30% off with code DOGTALE30.

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As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” And for too long, dogs have eaten pure junk. Most pet kibbles are made with feed-grade meat meals and useless fillers like corn and soy that make the food cheap to manufacture but bad for your dog’s health.

The Honest Kitchen is one of several brands hoping to change that trend. It uses human-grade ingredients with minimal fillers and byproducts, so your dog can get the nutrients it needs to live a long and happy life.

We personally fed our dog a few of The Honest Kitchen’s dog food recipes to see how good it really was. Learn more and watch us unbox it below.

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

  • Fresh, human-grade meats sourced from ethical farmers
  • 100% GMO-free vegetables
  • Get 30% off with code DOGTALE30

In this review:

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food review

The Honest Kitchen is one of several brands offering human-grade food for dogs and cats. These meals are prepared in human food facilities, and they strip out many of the useless or harmful fillers that pet kibble manufacturers depend on to keep their prices down.

But before we get into what food options the brand offers (and there are many!), we want to call out how the business has structured itself to be better for your pet and the rest of us.

Unlike many businesses, The Honest Kitchen has structured itself as a B-Corp. While the more popular C-corp is typically oriented around driving profit for shareholders, B-Corps are designed to address and accommodate environmental and social issues as well as the impact of its decisions on customers.

This means that while big players in the pet industry, such as Purina, are unlikely to make decisions that don’t benefit their bottom line, The Honest Kitchen has voluntarily burdened itself with the obligation to consider what serves the greater good.

So, what does that look like in practice? For starters, the company makes every effort to ensure humane methods are used in the sourcing of its meat. The brand has transitioned its poultry-based products to free-range chicken sourced from members of the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), one of the biggest animal welfare programs in North America.

In addition to partnering with the GAP, the brand also sources its fish through the Marine Stewardship Council to help improve sustainable fishing practices.

The brand also does its best to source its primary ingredients locally to cut down on shipping waste. However, one noted exception to this tactic is in the sourcing of its produce. Because the brand has committed to 100% non-GMO produce, much of it is sourced from European countries where harmful GMOs are outright banned. This means cleaner ingredients for your pet and more sustainable farming practices for the land where the ingredients were grown.

All of this combines into a clean line of human-grade pet food that isn’t just healthy, but it’s also likely to pique the interest of any picky eaters. Our dog, Hobbes, was a huge fan of every product he tasted. We’ll break down what all of your options are lower in this review.

What we like
  • 100% Human-grade ingredients: No feed-grade ingredients or meat meals.
  • 100% Non-GMO: The Honest Kitchen only uses non-GMO ingredients. No fillers, corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Sustainably and ethically sourced: The company partners with the GAP, the Marine Stewardship Council, and GMO-free farmers to source its meat and produce. A majority of the nutrient-rich ingredients come from North America.
  • Lots of options: Choose from wet, dry, or dehydrated food options, savory meal toppers, supplements, and 20 treat recipes. Plus an entire line of cat food. Each product includes several recipes to help accommodate dogs with allergies.
  • Shelf-stable: Unlike most human-grade brands, The Honest Kitchen doesn’t need to be frozen or refrigerated. All of their food comes in sealed boxes that can stay in your pantry until you need them, which frees up a lot of freezer space.
  • 100% recyclable: All packaging can be rinsed and recycled with the rest of your household waste.
  • Discounts: Our readers get 30% off their first delivery with code dogtale30. Plus get discounts of up to 60% off on select items.
  • Dogs & cats: The Honest Kitchen makes high-quality food for both dogs and cats, so you can feed all the pets in hour household with one order.
  • Prices don’t change with recipes: Other brands increase the price for recipes with certain ingredients, such as lamb or venison.
What we’d change
  • Price: This is premium pet food made with premium ingredients. That means it will cost more than most common pet kibbles. The wet food is especially expensive, so we recommend mixing it with kibble to balance quality and cost.
  • More packaging waste: With the exception of The Honest Kitchen base mix and dehydrated meals, most of the food includes more packaging waste than you’d get with brands such as The Farmer’s Dog. That’s because these other brands tend to deliver larger frozen blocks of food that you thaw and divide into meals, whereas The Honest Kitchen’s food comes delivered in a small, sturdy cardboard box that’s lined to retain moisture. However, these cartons are made by Tetra Pak and are curbside recyclable. Just rinse out the carton first.
  • Garlic in some recipes: In big enough doses, garlic is toxic to dogs. However, it offers some nutritional benefits in small doses. The Honest Kitchen uses very small amounts of garlic in some of their recipes for this reason. However, other recipes are garlic-free, so you can avoid it if you want to.
  • Shipping minimums: If you order online, you have to spend at least $49 for free shipping. Otherwise, shipping costs $5 to anywhere in the continental U.S. But reaching the shipping minimum won’t be a problem for most people, especially since ordering larger quantities is usually a better deal.

Is Honest Kitchen a good dog food?

Yes! We’ve reviewed their ingredient sourcing, recipes, and product options, and we can confidently say The Honest Kitchen makes good dog food. Whether it’s the right food for your dog may depend on what type of food you want to feed them, their dietary needs, and how much you’re willing to spend. We outline all of these options and alternatives in the feeding guide below.

The Honest Kitchen dog food ingredients

The brand offers too many different products and recipes to break down all of the ingredient lists here. But I do want to call out what you won’t find in the ingredients list:

  • No fillers: None of the dog food recipes include corn, wheat, or soy.
  • No GMOs: 100% of the produce used is non-GMO.
  • No byproduct meals: The Honest Kitchen only uses whole human-grade ingredients, never feed-grade meat meals or byproducts.
  • No ingredients sourced from China: The brand does not source any ingredients from China because, in the past, China-based pet food has been contaminated with melamine.

For example, here is the ingredient list to the Braised Beef & Lamb Stew recipe:

Beef, beef bone broth, lamb, green beans, sweet potatoes, tapioca, kale, minerals [copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, zinc proteinate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, magnesium proteinate], tricalcium phosphate, sunflower oil, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, choline chloride], salmon oil, dried kelp, thyme.

While some cheap kibbles would use beef meal or even corn meal as one of the first two or three ingredients, The Honest Kitchen leads with large portions of whole meat, nutritious bone broth, and yet another whole meat. The produce used to complement the meal are whole vegetables rather than byproducts, and other healthy ingredients such as sweet potatoes, salmon oil, and kelp are added to provide antioxidants, vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids necessary for healthy skin and joints.

The other wet dog food recipes look similar. The ingredient lists will adapt as you change products, from their crunchy dry “clusters” to their dehydrated food. But their commitment to leading with whole human-grade meats and veggies doesn’t waver. The result is a diet rich in nutrients and protein content that is less processed than traditional kibble.

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

  • Fresh, human-grade meats sourced from ethical farmers
  • 100% GMO-free vegetables
  • Get 30% off with code DOGTALE30

The Honest Kitchen dog food options

The brand offers a variety of product types, so you can find exactly what your dog likes.

The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food and base mix

The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food can be fed on its own or offered as a base mix. The standalone food includes real meat, while the base mix includes healthy veggies and other ingredients that serve as a base for the added protein content of your choice.

We reviewed it, and believe it’s a good option if:

  • You want to save space
  • You want to reduce shipping and packaging waste
  • Your dog has bad teeth or can’t chew well
  • Your dog has a food allergy and needs a limited-ingredient diet
  • You need to control your dog’s source of protein

The food features the same high-quality ingredients you’ll find in other recipes. For example, the limited-ingredient chicken recipe is made with:

Whole dehydrated chicken, organic quinoa, dehydrated sweet potatoes, dehydrated spinach, dried parsley, dried organic kelp, minerals [tricalcium phosphate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, choline choride, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite], taurine, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement], fish oil (a natural source of DHA and EPA).

These ingredients are gently dehydrated, unlike the extreme temperatures and harsh processing used to extrude kibble. This gentler approach helps preserve the nutrients present in the raw ingredients. The ingredients are then ground into a powder that creates an oatmeal-like texture.

When it comes time to feed your dog, you just mix the instructed amount of powder with warm water and feed it to your dog. It’s super easy to serve and clean up, and our dog, Hobbes, actually ran to this recipe first when we presented him with all of the wet food options.

You can feed it as a complete meal or use it as a base mix by adding in your chosen source of protein, such as canned tuna, chicken, beef, or other protein content.

The Honest Kitchen wet dog food

The Honest Kitchen offers two wet dog food options: Slow Cooked One Pot Stew or Butcher Block Pâté. Each meal type comes in a variety of recipes, such as Braised Beef & Lamb One Pot Stew or Turkey & Autumn Greens Pâté.

Hobbes the Goldendoodle testing The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

In our review, there wasn’t a huge difference between the consistency or quality of these two options. The stew has slightly more broth, while the pâté typically includes more meat. But both types have plenty of moisture and are packed with soft, easy-to-chew morsels of meat and veggies, and I think you could feed them to your dog interchangeably.

If your dog has specific dietary needs, examine the ingredients, fat content, and protein content of the various recipes to find a good option.

The first three ingredients of each recipe tend to start with whole meat, bone broth, and then organ meat (for the pâté). The rest of the list includes wholesome veggies, minerals, vitamins, and healthy salmon oil. The recipes are also AAFCO-certified for all life stages, although the brand makes recommendations for which recipes are better for puppies and active adult dogs versus inactive adults and seniors.

The food comes in 10.5 oz. Tetra Pak boxes that are easy to stack in your cupboard until you need them. The packaging is much more convenient for storage than brands such as Nom Nom or Farmer’s Dog, which must be stored in the freezer. However, they can be slightly harder to serve. We recommend cutting the entire top off of the box and using a spoon to scoop it out before rinsing and recycling the packaging.

In our review, this is the least processed and best dog food the brand offers. But it’s also the most expensive, which is why we recommend using it as a topper on your dog’s current food to balance quality and cost.

The Honest Kitchen kibble / dry dog food

The Honest Kitchen offers a dry dog food kibble alternative called Clusters. Clusters come in both large and small breed varieties and include both grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes for each protein option. There is also a line of recipes specifically for puppies.

Regardless of which option you choose, Clusters are made with human-grade ingredients and include no rendered meat meals, artificial flavors or preservatives, and no feed-grade ingredients.

Because the company’s pet nutritionists have cut out the fillers found in cheaper kibbles, The Honest Kitchen dry dog food may be more calorie-dense than you’re used to. This means your dog may eat less per day than they would with certain other brands. You’ll find portioning instructions on the packaging.

Aside from the ethically sourced, human-grade, non-GMO ingredients The Honest Kitchen Clusters are also better than kibble because they are less processed.

Traditional kibble uses extrusion, a process that applies extreme temperatures and pressure to sanitize, dehydrate, and shape kibble pieces. This overprocessing is great for making cheap, shelf-stable food, but it destroys many of the ingredients’ nutrients in the process.

By contrast, The Honest Kitchen kibble is made with cold pressing, roasting, and slower, gentler dehydration processes. This helps the nutrients remain intact and bioavailable for your dog’s body to absorb and digest.

Consuming more nutrient-dense and bioavailable foods can have a dramatic effect on your dog’s overall health as well as the consistency and amount they poop.

Honest Kitchen Clusters vs Dehydrated

The Honest Kitchen Clusters and Dehydrated food are their two cheapest options, so you may want to know which is better. When comparing the ingredient lists, both foods are made from a similar set of healthy, human-grade, non-GMO meats and veggies. Both are made in the USA with ingredients sourced globally but mostly in North America. Both also use gentler processing techniques to dry out the food without destroying as many nutrients.

So, which is right for your dog? It comes down to personal taste and teeth.

Clusters have a typical kibble crunch to them. If your dog has always been content eating kibble, then they’ll probably like this dry dog food. One advantage of kibble is that the hard, abrasive texture helps clean your dog’s teeth while they eat, and it doesn’t stick between the teeth to promote dental issues as much as wet food.

The dehydrated food is served warm and moist, so picky eaters may be more excited to eat it than the clusters. This is especially true if your dog has been unenthusiastic about kibble in the past. Another advantage to dehydrated food is that it doesn’t require much chewing, so dogs with advanced dental decay or missing teeth will have no problem scarfing it down.

You can get picky dogs really excited by using dog-safe bone broth instead of water when preparing the dehydrated food.

In terms of price, the dehydrated Whole Grain Chicken recipe would cost a 30-lb. dog about $1.99 per day, while Clusters would cost that same dog approximately $2.90 per day. So, the dehydrated food is cheaper.

The Honest Kitchen pour overs review

These pour-overs are brothier than the Pâté and One Pot Stew recipes because they’re meant to be a topper on your dog’s current food rather than a meal on their own. However, Pour Overs are still much meatier and more substantial than the bone broth that many brands sell.

If you plan to feed your dog kibble but want to enhance the flavor and nutrition, The Honest Kitchen Pour Overs are a great meal supplement. We put some on our dog’s dry food and he was much more excited to eat dinner than he is when it’s just kibble in the bowl.

Honest Kitchen low fat dog food

If you want to feed your dog The Honest Kitchen, but they need a limited-ingredient low-fat diet due to dog IBS or some other issue, then we recommend reviewing the following options:

Honest Kitchen freeze-dried dog food

The brand does not make freeze-dried dog food. Instead, try their roasted Clusters dry dog food. If you really want a freeze-dried dog food, check out our review of Open Farm’s Freeze-Dried Raw dog food.

Treats & toppers

In addition to all of the foods we’ve reviewed above, The Honest Kitchen also offers a whole line of bone broths, treats, and toppers you can use to reward your dog in between mealtimes or add to their current food to increase its flavor and nutritional content. Each of these supplemental foods comes with the same ethical and sustainable sourcing methods, so you can feel good about what goes into your dog’s diet.

Items worth checking out are Bone Broth Bites, Peanut Butter & Honey Goat’s Milk N’ Cookies, and Parmesan Pecks.

Where to buy Honest Kitchen dog food

You can purchase The Honest Kitchen on their website, on their Chewy store, on their Amazon store, on Petco.com and at a large network of physical stores, including local pet stores and Petco locations. They offer a store locator on their website if you want to buy it in person.

However, the only way to use our exclusive 30% discount code (dogtale30) is by ordering from their website directly.

How much does The Honest Kitchen cost?

The Honest Kitchen can cost as little as $0.99 per day to as much as $25+ per day depending on the size of your dog, the type of food you buy, and the specific recipe you choose.

Your cheapest option is the dehydrated food. For example, the Dehydrated Whole Grain Chicken recipe costs $79.99 for a 10-lb. box that makes about 40 lbs. of food. Here’s how the price breaks down for different dogs:

Dehydrated Whole Grain Chicken

Dog size (active adult):Lasts for:Price per day:
10 lb. dog80 days$0.99
30 lb. dog40 days$1.99
50 lb. dog20 days$3.99

Smaller boxes are available at lower price points, and prices vary by recipe.

The Clusters dry food is the next cheapest option. Prices vary by recipe and the size of the bag, but a 20-lb. bag of Whole Grain Chicken Clusters costs $89.99. Here’s how that breaks down by dog for active dogs:

Whole Grain Chicken Clusters

Dog size (active adult):Lasts for:Price per day:
10 lb. dog80 days$1.12
30 lb. dog30 days$2.99
50 lb. dog22 days$4.09

The most expensive product is the wet food, but it’s also the brand’s highest quality and least processed food. The food costs $25.74 for a pack of six 10.5 oz. boxes. Each of these boxes will feed a 10-lb. dog for at least one day, but a larger dog may require multiple boxes per meal or day.

Turkey, Duck & Root Veggies Pâté

Dog size (active adult):Lasts for:Price per day:
10 lb. dog8 days$3.21
30 lb. dog2.6 days$9.90
50 lb. dog1.6 days$16.08

As you can see, the price for The Honest Kitchen’s wet dog food is prohibitively high for larger breeds. If you are set on feeding your dog human-grade wet food but can’t stomach this price, we recommend The Farmer’s Dog, which is far less expensive for medium and large dogs, even though it is still in the premium price range. Learn more in our breakdown of The Farmer’s Dog prices.

You can also use The Honest Kitchen as a dry food topper on their Clusters or your dog’s current food to help reduce the daily price.

Is it worth it?

It’s hard to overstate the impact of a wholesome diet on your pet’s holistic health. The nutrition your dog receives from their diet is the foundation of their body’s ability to fight disease, joint deterioration, illness, and more. A better diet could prolong their life.

However, premium pet food can be expensive, so it’s up to you to determine how you want to balance quality and cost. I’d rather spend a little more on my dog’s food and a little less on toys or other avoidable expenses.

The Honest Kitchen’s Dehydrated food offers high-quality ingredients for a fair price, so we think it’s worth it. Their Clusters are also priced in range with other premium dry food, and we think the ingredients are top-notch.

When it comes to their wet food, we don’t think most people with medium-to-large dogs will be able to afford it as a standalone meal. That’s why we recommend using it as a topper. If you want to feed your dog 100% human-grade ingredients but not kibble, we have some even better and more affordable options below.

How does it compare to other options?

If you’ve been considering other fresh or human-grade dog food brands, then you may want to know how The Honest Kitchen stacks up.

There are a number of other human-grade pet food brands that offer excellent pet food at a lower price point. Even better, this food is cooked, immediately frozen, and then shipped to your door within days, so your dog’s diet is always fresh.

Our top recommendations would be either Nom Nom Dog Food or The Farmer’s Dog. Both of these brands offer our readers a substantial discount on your first order, and your pet’s food will be automatically delivered on a schedule you can adjust, pause, or cancel at any time.

Another brand that offers both fresh wet food and healthy human-grade kibble is Ollie. Ollie also offers the unique benefit of giving every subscriber access to its free 24/7 veterinary chat service, so you can talk to a vet anytime your furry friend is feeling sick. See all of the benefits and meal options in our Ollie Dog Food review, or our Farmer’s Dog vs Ollie comparison.

Sundays For Dogs may be interesting to you if you’re considering The Honest Kitchen Clusters. Sundays makes air-dried human-grade dog with one of the cleanest ingredient lists we’ve seen. The brand only offers a few recipes to choose from, but it’s a great alternative to mainstream kibble. Learn about it in our Sundays dog food review.

If you want to feed your dog wet food and they have specific health conditions, check out our Just Food For Dogs review. The brand offers a ton of fresh and boxed wet food recipes, including vet-approved recipes formulated to address needs like low-fat diets, renal issues, joint issues, IBD, and more. It doesn’t offer the dry or dehydrated options that Honest Kitchen has, but it may help you find a specific recipe.

While most of the above brands are subscription-only, Open Farm operates similarly to The Honest Kitchen, with ethical sourcing and a wide variety of products. Open Farm offers a variety of sustainably sourced dry food options as well as boxed wet food. In our opinion, The Honest Kitchen Clusters are of much better quality than Open Farm’s kibble. However, Open Farm’s wet food may be just as good at a lower price point. You can learn more about the brand in our Open Farm Dog Food review.

Finally, Spot and Tango is worth mentioning because it offers both fresh frozen food and a high-quality kibble alternative called UnKibble. Our dog loved it, but The Honest Kitchen’s dry food may have better sourcing and ingredients. Learn about it in our Spot and Tango Dog Food review or our comparison of Spot and Tango vs Farmer’s Dog.

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

  • Fresh, human-grade meats sourced from ethical farmers
  • 100% GMO-free vegetables
  • Get 30% off with code DOGTALE30

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