talk to me about Honest Kitchen and Nature's Variety - Mothering Forums
Pets > talk to me about Honest Kitchen and Nature's Variety
blessedwithboys's Avatar blessedwithboys 02:39 AM 01-13-2009
specifically the NV frozen raw patties/medallions.

i know the HK isnt truly raw, but it sounds like one step closer to it than what we're doing now...

mesa's Avatar mesa 12:37 PM 01-13-2009
Austin eats Honest Kitchen supplemented with Evo. It really is awesome food. I wish I had a picture of him from before HK and after. It's spendy, at least for my big dog, but until I have freezer space for raw, it'll have to do
mom0810's Avatar mom0810 01:48 PM 01-13-2009
I like NV a lot and have used both the kibble and the frozen raw, BEFORE I had little kids. I won't do any raw now.

Honest kitchen LOOKS so good on the label. My dogs hated it, though, and it was so expensive.

I have tried pretty much everything out there in the holistic and natural good dept... my friend owns a natural pet food store here in town and my dogs have been test subjects for much of her new foods!
wannabemoms's Avatar wannabemoms 02:18 PM 01-13-2009
NV was our "introduction" to the world of raw, when we started dabbling in it. The dogs LOVED it but it was pricey. We're doing our own raw now, it's cheaper and the benefits of whole, unprocessed raw foods are worth the teeny tiny bit of extra work, IMO. It was, though, a nice "easy" baby-step into the raw world.
blessedwithboys's Avatar blessedwithboys 07:29 PM 01-13-2009
i ordered a 1oz sample of HK. i feel like these will be my best options other than the lifes abundance kibble. i just cant seem to figure out how to do homemade raw correctly
mesa's Avatar mesa 07:42 PM 01-13-2009
once I get a bigger freezer, I plan to feed prey-model raw...I don't know if you've looked into it yet or not, but you can either feed whole prey (easiest of all!) or replicate a whole prey with bits and fruits or veggies to worry about unless you WANT to feed them...I'd lvoe to just feed whole rabbits and chickens, just toss them in the backyard and let em go at it, you know?
wannabemoms's Avatar wannabemoms 11:45 PM 01-13-2009
We don't have a freezer (yet), but it's winter and we have a shed...sooooo...that's working for now Of course in the spring we'll have to break down and get one, but I've often seen really cheap or free freezers on online classifies or FreeCycle, so I'm not too worried yet

As for doing raw on your own, I definitely am an over-complicator by nature, so it took me a while to feel comfy with it for sure. We started with the raw prepacked stuff, then asked our butcher what he might be able to provide for us. To our delight, he was happy to give us scraps and chicken backs for free! Also, we found he has other clients who buy organs in bulk for their dogs, so that proved to be very cheap. We watch flyers for deals on things like chicken thighs/quarters/whole, and turkey wings, pork shoulders, beef brisket etc, and grab a bunch when it's low price. Here's what we do:

basically you need about 10% organ, 10-15% bone and the rest is meat. 2-3% body weight a day, depending on the dog's propensity for putting on weight and age (puppies get higher end, up to 10% of our dogs gets 3% while the other gets 1.5%, you learn what works best to keep their body weight at ideal).

It's really not all that hard. What I do now is make daily "rations" once a week,on the weekend, then stick them all in the freezer. I do once-a-week cooking for the humans in the house, so this is really just an extension of that for us.

It takes maybe an hour to weigh stuff out...I do about 10% organs for the week (liver, green tripe-bought in a can at the pet store, kidney) and put frozen peices of them all in one bag per dog for the week, then just throw in a few peices of whatever with their dinner every day, still frozen (they actually prefer organ meats frozen which is fine by me 'cause I hate handling raw organs, yuck).

For the "main course", the meat and RMBs I make up one bag of food per dog per day, and label them with their names. If I think too much about the exact % of bone in the meat I get all cross-eyed, so I just eyeball it and try to use common sense.

Our meat/bone staples are chicken backs/necks/quarters/thighs, pork anything (shoulders and butts are cheap), beef and lamb anything that's on sale/cheap (see if your grocery store has a discount freezer for meat), and ground beef that we mix in with some veggie slop (mainly just leafy greens like kale and whatever's on its last legs in the fridge, plus some oil and some whole eggs). I'll throw in whole eggs, canned sardines, fresh fish, whatever, to supplement the meat if I'm running low. The fish is important IMO for EFAs, but you could use a fish oil supplement for that too.

I make sure there's a least SOME bone every day, so if I have a chunk of pork shoulder as the meal, I toss in a few chicken necks to add bone. So I keep two days worth of food in the fridge, take a new batch of bags out of the freezer two days in advance so it'll thaw. Every morning I just grab a few peices of whatever's in that dog's bag and throw it in the bowl. At night I feed whatever's left, plus some stuff from the organ bag. It's actually pretty easy now that I prep once a day.

I think the main thing is, we tend to freak out about exact proportions, balanced meals, etc. but the reality is, HUMANS rarely eat balanced meals every single day, it's the same for dogs. Just try to make it as balanced as possible throughout the course of a week or two. Like, if I wasn't able to get cheap liver one week, I'd just make up for it the next week.