Product Review: Honest Kitchen Embark

Thanks largely to M.C. over at The House of Two Bows, we tried The Honest Kitchen’s Embark food last week.

Honest Kitchen Embark

It looked so perfect. The ingredients are: Dehydrated cage-free USDA turkey, organic flaxseed, potatoes, celery, spinach, carrots, organic coconut, apples, organic kelp, eggs, bananas, cranberries, rosemary, 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.

Good for the allergies, which seem to be entirely protein related. Good for staying with the family, who are freaked out by the dog chowing down on assorted turkey parts. (Our original plan for the trip was to stay with my in-laws, who are both vegans and germophobes.)

It was, indeed, a wonderful, easy food to travel with. If you haven’t seen the Honest Kitchen foods before, they’re a powdered, dehydrated raw food. Just add water, wait five minutes, and serve. Much easier than raw, much more compact than kibble. I had visions of how very easy it would be to go places now, without having to worry about the cooler and the turkey parts. The clouds parted, and the sun shone down upon us.

Except Silas hates it.

For most of this trip, he was getting ten times the exercise he usually gets. He was convinced that he was starving. And he still wouldn’t eat the Embark. Added peanut butter. No. Added eggs. No. Added pumpkin. No. Put treats on top. No. Did all of those things in one meal. Still no. In fact, all that I managed to do was make him extremely suspicious of his food again and re-teach him that if he walks away from his food I will do something to make it “better.”

It wasn’t, in all fairness, the most slow and gradual introduction to a new food, especially for a dog who is already suspicious. We did have other food with us, and we did mix small servings of the Honest Kitchen food with those, but it’s possible I should have started even smaller.

He will eat it mixed with his tripe, so that’s how we’ll use up the box. (Tripe hoarding status: 50 cans.) Half a can of tripe is slightly skimpy for one meal, so it will be a nice way to round that out. Maybe if I’m lucky it will also teach him to like it in a larger quantity.

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9 thoughts on “Product Review: Honest Kitchen Embark

  1. Oh no!! Typical Silas foiling your plans again. Sounds just like my cat. She wouldn’t shut up about starving to DEATH and I was not budging on the HK issue, haha.

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    1. Yep. Silly animals and their silly ideas.

      Silas holds all the cards about eating, though, and he knows it–skipping meals makes him throw up, and I would rather cave than clean the carpet.

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  2. Honest Kitchen is held in high regard at our house. The dogs love it better than raw meat, better than home cooked meals. It’s too bad that Silas doesn’t like it! Some people report that HK is a little too “green” for their dogs and they have better luck with Addiction, which is the same type of food but with less veggies. They don’t have a turkey formula but they do have some pretty novel proteins (I doubt any dog in the history of dog-dom has ever had an allergy to Brushtail, which is a New Zealand possum type creature). It’s a bit pricier than HK due to the novel proteins but it might be worth a shot to try so you’ve got a good travel option. 🙂

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    1. Oh, thanks for the recommendation! He eats venison tripe, so I think he could eat their venison flavor.

      I was hoping he could eat the Primal dehydrated, because he loves their frozen food, but they didn’t put out a turkey flavor. The Stella and Chewy’s turkey flavor also has duck.

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  3. Oh noooooo! Silas doesn’t know what he’s missing out on!! Poor pup.
    He’s only the second dog I’ve heard of that actually refused this good stuff — the other one case I knew of said, as above, that it was perhaps “too green” for their dog.

    When I’m tossing extra things in, I try to go with more meat/protein, since it already seems so green. Sometimes you have to experiment with the texture too. Some dogs seem to prefer it soupier, some prefer it thicker.

    I recently had some extra ground turkey that I seasoned with dog-friendly, smelly spices, blanched in hot water, and tossed into the HK mix (using the broth to rehydrate the powder). That was a huge hit.

    At any rate, I guess I’m just helping Silas to train you that rejecting food = human makes more SUPERfood. Hopefully you were able to find one of the smaller trial size boxes, or do you have a whole 4 pound box with which to change Silas’ mind?

    There are several other dehydrated raw foods on the market that I, too, will continue to explore. I’d have tried more of them if I wasn’t so attached to THK. 😉 Sojos makes a turkey-based dehydrated raw food as well, but we had a baaaad time with that one, so I personally can’t recommend it unless one was desperately seeking turkey-based dehydrated raw options.

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  4. I’m looking for a dehydrated food for exactly those reasons (travel, convenience etc.) I was thinking of Addiction. I do have a question, Sampson and Delilah get freeze-dried tripe on their food, are you saying Silas gets a meal exclusively tripe? Where do you buy canned tripe?

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    1. Silas gets a can of tripe (which is two meals for him) about three or four times a month. I’ll sometimes give him a little something with it, but usually not. I started doing it because tripe is supposed to be good for sensitive stomachs.

      All of the better pet food stores sell it here. I can also get frozen at my raw food supplier, but Silas didn’t like it.

      The two big brands of canned are Tripett and Solid Gold. I know that Tripett has a dealer locator on their website, but it’s not perfect. They’re both pretty common online, but I suspect you would need to buy a 12 can case.

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