It has been almost 2 months since our pups Missy & Buzz have been licking their mouths & drooling over their new, homemade diet, and they couldn’t feel & look better!
Our recent cancer-survivor Missy is full of energy and living & loving life to its fullest! It is a joy to watch her play with her brother Buzz and race through our yard!
We have been reintroducing morning backpack walks & she does just fine with it! (We had omitted the backpack during her cancer treatment).
I didn’t realize how many pet food companies exist who make feeding a healthy, balanced homemade dog diet a breeze! I was a little hesitant at first as I wasn’t sure how much protein I’d have to feed the pups, and how I would make sure that their meals were balanced and truly healthy.
I first started off with Dr. Harvey’s and their grain-free, dehydrated pre-mix, adding our own protein to it. It came with clear, detailed, and easy to understand & follow instructions on how to prepare the food and how much protein to add for our pups’ different weight classes.
Since then, I have heard of several other companies I will be looking into. Today I’d like to share my latest finds: The Honest Kitchen (THK) and their Grain-Free Preference Dehydrated Base Mix, as well as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and their organic raw meat.
I love & couldn’t agree more with THK’s slogan: “We think pets deserve proper food!“
The Honest Kitchen Preference Grain-Free Base Mix
This grain-free base mix is recommended by holistic veterinarians. It is dehydrated, just like Dr. Harvey’s Grain-Free Veg-to-Bowl pre-mix (<– click link for article) which got us started on our journey of a homemade dog diet.
All that’s required for dehydrated pre/base mixes is water to rehydrate the mix and adding our own protein source.
We are currently on our second 7 lb box of grain-free Base Mix (it retails for $51.99 at our preferred pet supermarket in Raleigh, NC ~ Phydeaux). The first one lasted us 17 days ~ I made sure to write the beginning & ending date on the box to see how long it would last us!
Side note: the 7 lbs make 29 lbs of base mix once water has been added.
THK Base Mix Ingredients
All of The Honest Kitchen Base Mix ingredients are human food grade ingredients. The Base Mix does not contain any animal feed grade ingredients, by-products, fillers, preservatives, and no wheat, corn, or soy.
It is made in the USA, and does not contain anything from China!
Since it doesn’t contain any preservatives, its shelf life is fairly short; our first box has an expiration date of September of this year, and our current one expires in January of 2016. Because of this, we are not going to stock up on THK products, but we are totally fine with that!
Now here’s what our pups have been drooling over:
Sweet potatoes, peas, cabbage, organic coconut, apples, spinach, pumpkin, bananas, celery, organic kelp, honey, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate.
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
Kimberley from KeepTheTailWagging.com mentioned Darwin’s Natural Pet Products on Instagram when I was looking for an organic protein alternative to the meat from our local supermarket.
I’ve been fairly successful at finding organic meat at value prices in our supermarket meat display, which is why I only ordered 24 lbs from Darwin’s per 4 weeks. The 24 lbs will cost us $131.66.
–> The pups eat a combined total of 2.5 lbs per day, totaling 17.5 lbs per week. I figured I can easily find 11.5 lbs of value-priced, organic meat at our supermarket and mix it in with 6 lbs of organic duck & turkey from Darwin’s every week.
I’m willing to spend more money on our pups’ health, but it still needs to stay affordable!
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products is Seattle based, but thankfully they also ship their meat to our North Carolina location!
Our first meat order arrived frozen and was protected by dry ice. We actually took advantage of their awesome introductory offer of 10 pounds of meat (we got 6 lbs of duck & 4 lbs of turkey) for only $14.95.
We’ll be receiving our subsequent “real” order of 24 lbs of turkey & duck once a month, beginning in mid June.
Darwin’s has a recycle/return program, which requires their customers to return the cooler & the box the meat was shipped in.
Enclosed in our box was a pre-paid UPS Ground return shipping label ~ all we had to do was tape the shipping box back up, add the UPS return shipping label, and take the box to a UPS drop off location. Voilà! Easy peasy AND environmentally friendly!
This is what Darwin’s says about their raw meat:
Darwin’s uses only human-quality, USDA-approved meats and (for dogs) vegetables, with no fillers. The high protein in Darwin’s pet food comes from real meat, not from grains, soy, or from “meat by-products”. We visit the farms that supply our high-quality meats to ensure that the animals are treated humanely and are free range, cage-free and hormone-free. Darwin’s pet food is minimally processed and immediately frozen to preserve freshness.
Organic Coconut Oil & Organic Turmeric
We have also been adding a tablespoon of organic coconut oil & several sprinkles of organic turmeric to the pups’ meals. Both are healthy powerhouses & have anti-cancer benefits.
Combine THK Base Mix & Darwin’s Organic Meat for a Nutritious Meal!
Step 1: Rehydrate the Base Mix
Step 2: Add Protein to the Hydrated Base Mix (we cooked ours)
Step 3: Top Meal off with Turmeric & Healthy Fruit (Here: Blueberries)
Do you know of any other companies who make feeding a homemade doggie diet a breeze? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!
We’re joining the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop sponsored by Sugar, the Golden Retriever and Kolchak from Kol’s Notes!
This is great. I’ve been looking for more alternatives for my pugs food. I actually have a few recipes I follow to make their own food at home. I’m going to try some of these suggestions! Does the food smell good?
That’s so neat that you make their own food at home, too! Where did you find your recipes? I’m curious about those 😉
The food smells pretty neutral to me, but the pups seem to think otherwise…they are 100% focused on the food preparing process & start drooling!
Glad the pups are doing so well on their new diets. I use coconut oil in my lotions and chapstick I should start giving it to the dogs, I’ve heard of so many health benefits from it.
Thanks, JoAnn, I am too! I was “brave” this morning & added the raw, uncooked Darwin’s meat to their base-mix, and I want to say they were even slightly more excited about their food than they are with cooked meat.
Your pups would probably love the coconut oil…I put a little on my finger every now & then and let the pups lick it of 😉
Nice review – they are making it pretty easy now to go more natural aren’t they? I just bought some coconut oil – going to start adding it to the diet. BTW – the dogs look great!
Thank you, Kate, they really are. I always thought I needed a degree in K9 nutrition to go the homemade dog food route! Your pups are going to love the coconut oil! By the way, I am too…I made some pancakes in coconut oil the other day, and it was SOOO delicious!
Thank you for the doggie compliment :-))
I agree, that does sound much easier than I would have thought. Interesting!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
I thought I’d be overwhelmed trying to figure it all out, but is has been very doable & fun to put their new diet together!
I absolutely love THK. Just wish I could get Atka to like it. I think I need to experiment a bit with him…
I remember trying one of the dehydrated full meals from THK a few years back, and Buzz wasn’t too interested in it, so we stopped feeding it. Both pups are all over the base mix/fresh meat combination though!
Quick question. Do you need to add meat with bone to the mix or just meat? Seems so easy if I don’t have to worry about bones. Either way, I’m thinking about trying one of the base mixes for Ace.
All that’s needed is meat 🙂 Just found out about another pre-mix by Sojo’s. Currently trying it ~ so far, so good!