I recently started fostering Pablo, a lovable one year old Feist mutt who’s been to 3 different homes within the last 5 months through no fault of his own.
While he’s a fun little guy who only weighs 38 lbs and LOVES to explore the outdoors, he immediately pointed me in the direction of an annoying problem: skin allergies. He started scratching his itchy body in regular intervals on day 1 of being in my care, and I knew I had to use the nutritional knowledge I acquired over the course of the last 4 years to help this little guy out.
My mission was clear – find a raw or dehydrated, hypoallergenic, grain-free dog food with limited ingredients that would be unlikely to continue to cause skin allergies.
Step 1 was to immediately add an organic raw egg to his first breakfast to start boosting his nutritional intake. Eggs are not only an inexpensive and complete source of protein, they also contain omega-3 fatty acids for a shiny coat as well as lots of minerals and vitamins.
Check out my blog post Spoil Your Pup With An Egg-Cellent Nutritional Booster – Not Just On Easter! to learn more about the oval food’s benefits for dogs.
Step 2 consisted in giving him a few bites of fresh, raw chicken breast that afternoon. Raw dog food is highly nourishing for your dog’s body and helps tremendously in boosting her immune system as well as her skin/coat/dental health.
Step 3 was to let the rescue lady know that he would likely do a lot better with an upgrade from the poor quality Costco kibble he was on.
While she agreed with my raw dog food approach in general (chapeau to her for being that nutritionally open-minded!), she did suggest to switch Pablo over to a food that’s more conveniently served than homemade raw dog food. She also made the valid point that the new food would need to be affordable for a new adopter if Pablo was supposed to stay on it, so pre-made commercial raw was out of the question due to its high price point.
I did a little thinking on that and figured that the easiest way of boosting his nutritional intake would be to feed him a dehydrated, hypoallergenic dog food.
After comparing a few different products from The Honest Kitchen (THK), Sojos, Stella & Chewy’s, Spot Farms, Dr. Harvey’s, and Cloud Star Wellmade, I came to the conclusion that Pablo’s new adopters would get the biggest nutritional bang for their buck by feeding one of THK‘s grain-free foods.
The rescue lady gave me the green light and I went ahead and ordered a box of THK‘s 4 lb grain-free beef recipe.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored product blog post. I did not receive any kind of compensation for mentioning The Honest Kitchen’s food, nor is the brand responsible for the content of this article.
THK Human Grade Dehydrated Grain-Free Beef Recipe
THK’s dehydrated beef recipe is a minimally processed dog food that’s fed with the addition of warm water, nothing else. The 4 lb box I purchased for Pablo makes 16 lbs of dog food and costs $30, but it’s also available in a 10 lb box that makes 40 lbs of food for $99.
How to make the food
This is the super convenient part – all you need to do is scoop out the amount of dehydrated food your pup needs (follow guidelines on the box), add some warm water, and wait a few minutes for the food to rehydrate. All that’s left to do is serve it.
What’s in the food?
It consists of dehydrated ranch-raised beef, sweet potatoes, potatoes, organic flaxseed, organic coconut, parsley, chard, papaya, cranberries, pumpkin, honey, and several vitamins and minerals.
It does not contain any by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or added sugars.
According to the company, all ingredients are processed in the USA in a human grade food processing facility. They are non genetically modified and free of any chemicals & preservatives. All meat is hormone and antibiotic free.
Transitioning Pablo from his kibble to THK dehydrated dog food
I transitioned Pablo from his Costco kibble to the new dehydrated dog food within 7 days. The way I did that was by slowly decreasing the amount of kibble while incrementally increasing the amount of THK food he ate with every meal.
He used to get 1 cup of kibble twice per day, and is now eating a 3/4 cup of THK food for breakfast and dinner.
I’m happy to report that he enjoys his new food very much and that his itch to scratch has drastically decreased – pun intended!
Dehydrated dog food is not as healthy as my personal favorite of a fresh raw dog food diet, but it’s considerably healthier than highly processed dry dog food. As such, it can be a good stepping stone into making the transition from kibble to a raw dog food diet.
I personally am not a fan of feeding dog foods that include starchy ingredients such as this one (in this case potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin), but it’s a challenge finding an affordable commercial food that doesn’t.
I stopped feeding starchy foods altogether when learning that they fuel cancerous cells when my pup Missy was re-diagnosed with cancer after having been in remission for 3 years.
According to my homeopathic veterinarian Dr. Charles Loops as well as dog cancer vet Dr. Demian Dressler, starch-free veggies that are ok to feed are broccoli, brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, and red & yellow peppers. Veggies & fruit should always be offered in puréed form for optimal nutrient absorption because dogs lack the enzyme necessary to break down plant cell walls.
That’s why I will always feed my own dogs a raw food diet free of starchy veggies and fruits. It’s as affordable if not less expensive than commercial dehydrated dog foods.
The only “downfall” is that it doesn’t come in a box, but I don’t mind preparing my dogs’ food one bit. On the contrary, I actually enjoy putting my own dog meals together because it’s the only way of truly knowing what will make it into their bodies.
Where Can You Buy THK foods?
You can get your hands on THK dog food on Amazon or Chewy.com, and purchase it from well stocked independently owned pet retail stores. I know that a local pet retail store here in my area carries their products (Naturally Unleashed in Fayetteville).
You can also check out the brand’s store locator on their THK website.
I’m glad that I was able to get Pablo’s skin allergies under control with THK‘s dehydrated dog food. Its price point is fair and should be affordable for a new adopter. Who knows, maybe it’ll even serve as a stepping stone over to raw dog food! I told the rescue lady that I’d be giving Pablo’s new adopter a free copy of my ebook 20 Raw Meals For Dogs if they’re interested.
Are you familiar with THK’s dog food? Has it helped your dog get allergies or something else under control? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!