Almost a year ago I reviewed a few products by the honest kitchen and raved about how my dogs thrived on their food. For most of Elsa’s life and the early part of Bardia’s I fed them Preference with boiled chicken breast. However, as Bardia got bigger, it got more tedious and more expensive buying and preparing both the chicken and vegetable mix. I ended up switching them over to a high quality, grain free kibble. Convenient and super affordable! Almost immediately, though, I began to see changes in them. They both put on weight, which is good news for Bardia who is a spindle but bad news for Elsa, especially considering how little her serving size was. I feed them twice a day so for her recommended quarter to 1/3 cup, I was giving her literally a few tablespoons per meal, poor thing. In addition to the weight gain, her coat grew dryer and less easy to manage until she ultimately developed a hot spot. I tried to remedy this with adding yogurt, sometimes eggs, and eventually fishoil to her food. No go.

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As for Bardia, while the weight gain was welcome and his coat didn’t change much, he developed excessive discharge from his eyes. Something in the recipes ( I use plural because we tried numerous “regions” and protein sources ) also did not agree with his notoriously sensitive stomach because it took a whole lot of pumpkin to get that guy to have a solid stool. While I was glad he bulked up a little bit, the rate at which he did so alarmed me. Since both of my dogs are avid runners and hikers, I prefer to keep any excess weight off in order to reduce the strain on their bones and tendons.DSC_4106DSC_3967

I reached a point where it was too difficult to remedy all of the issues that kept arising. Honestly, I don’t even feel like I can’t fault the kibble too much. It’s tremendously hard to find a food that agrees with my two dogs who are so vastly different in size, coat and sensitivities. The executive decision in our household was to return to The Honest Kitchen. Instead of going back on Preference we put the dogs on Embark, the formula for active adult dogs and puppies of all breeds and sizes. Almost instantaneously everything went back to normal. The eyes, the coats, the bowel movements (I swear THK doesn’t pay me)! I couldn’t believe the stress I had put on myself and the dogs for months trying to get another food to work, just to save some money. Well let’s be honest here, a lot of money. In fact the only drawback is that I now have about a $400 dog food bill every month. Now of course it would be less if you have a smaller dog but all together, my guys don’t weigh more than 75 lbs and we go through one ten-lb box a week. I can understand how it wouldn’t be feasible for someone with a large dog over 100lbs, but if you can make the room in your budget , I would recommend The Honest Kitchen a hundred times over- you can can’t put a price on happy, shining, energetic dogs.

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*photos from our recent visit to Minnewaska State Park and Mohonk Preserve

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