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The Honest Kitchen has successfully completed in-home, comprehensive AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Feeding Trials*, which substantiate the nutritional adequacy of the brand’s human-grade offerings.

The trials were completed on active adult performance dogs living at home with their own families. A total of three trials were conducted, spanning six months each, and included eight dogs per trial. Each trial was conducted by a third-party veterinary group, proficient in both AAFCO standards and The Honest Kitchen’s products. The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated grain-free chicken recipe, dehydrated whole-grain chicken recipe and clusters grain-free chicken recipe for dogs were fed exclusively for the duration of the trial. 

In addition to meeting AAFCO’s standards for measuring nutritional adequacy throughout the three respective trials, The Honest Kitchen performed a broad array of additional blood work labs and testing, and expanded standards to ensure the research was more comprehensive, accounting for overall health and wellbeing:

  • Rather than following the traditional protocol of performing the feeding trials at a kennel facility on a group of dogs of the same breed, the dogs in The Honest Kitchen’s trials were from several different breeds and remained living in their own homes for the duration of the trials, for the comfort and wellbeing of the dogs.

  • Three veterinary examinations, weigh-ins, body condition scoring and muscle condition scoring were performed at the beginning, middle and end of each trial (rather than at only the end of each trial, which is the AAFCO standard).

  • Expanding on the four required post-trial blood parameters (hemoglobin, packed cell volume, albumin and serum alkaline phosphatase), The Honest Kitchen completed a total of 86 different blood work analyses including complete blood counts, serum chemistry blood panels, plasma amino acid profiles, whole blood taurine levels and cardiac biomarker parameters. The Honest Kitchen also required these to be collected three different times (at the beginning, middle and end of each trial), versus only at the end.

  • Echocardiograms were also performed on every dog eating The Honest Kitchen’s grain free recipes at the beginning of the trial and after 6 months, and were evaluated by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist. Cardiovascular analysis is not part of the requirement for a typical AAFCO feeding trial.

  • A weekly stool check was conducted for each of the dogs in its trial. 

  • The dogs’ owners also provided  feedback on their dogs’ overall wellbeing, energy levels and performance in their sporting activities. 

  • All dogs were up-to-date on vaccines and flea/tick preventatives, in good health, had no concurrent medical conditions and were not on any medications.

With over 170 offerings available, The Honest Kitchen dog food can be found on Amazon and Chewy, as well as at over 6,000 retail locations, including independent pet supply stores and Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, and various health food stores such as Sprouts and select Whole Foods.

*AAFCO does not approve, certify or otherwise endorse pet foods. There is no AAFCO-approved pet food. Most state feed laws and regulations reference to the AAFCO Official Publication as part of nutritional adequacy labeling for pet products. AAFCO has established guidelines for a science-based feeding trial, but they do not provide oversight, guidance or approval on the trial.