The Honest KitchenTHE QUESTION

Having lost two dogs and a cat in little more than a year, I have deeply reflected upon my choices for them, as loss often inspires us to do. Knowing our rescue family enjoyed their final mid-teen years, I still wondered if I could have done more for their health and happiness. And now, how can I be a better mother to our next generation of rescues?

On the heals of these thoughts, I won a copy of Bethanne Elion’s book, Memoirs of a Bathtub Psychic, and devoured every page. It was more than a good story. It was an education. Bethanne offers a rare view into holistic healing, nutrition and the deep connection between the two. Her writing has inspired me to learn more.


While I often rant about the human food industry, from irradiated meat to pesticides and the dangers of genetically modified fruits and vegetables, I hadn’t much considered the content of my pet food. Commercials never educate beyond canned food, kibble and the various price ranges. As it turns out, there are far healthier options than either in any price range.

What I’ve gleaned from Bethanne, vets, breeders, and dog forums, is that a raw diet is the way to go. *FACEPALM* Of course it is. Animals don’t host BBQs in the wild. They don’t process their food into machine-groomed, bite-sized bits of unrecognizable brownness. By design, dogs eat on the spot, sparing no nutrient. Their systems are designed for this and a raw diet offers what they were born to eat. Now that I’ve got a clue, I wish to respect my dogs for the beings they are and provide for their needs in the best way possible.


With full appreciation for natural order of things, I must also respect the tricky food politics afoot in this household. My husband refuses to ply the cruelty of the meat industry with his grocery cash and has refrained from doing so for many years. I went vegetarian for health reasons more than 10 years ago, but as healthier, happier, grass-fed, free-range and hormone free animals are more and more accessible, I’m craving meat again (which could also be a B12 deficiency). Mere mention of this craving produced an “I’ll divorce you” from my husband (in jest, I hope) but no matter.

It would take a lot for my husband and me to hack up a cow for the freezer. If we could ever bring oursleves to do it, I’d follow Bethanne’s lead. The cows Bethanne feeds her dogs are born, live happy and pass at a local dairy farm with no fearful transport or strangers in their midst. Bottom line, we are what we eat. If a farm enslaves one animal to feed another, that’s unhappy meat. I can only imagine the bad karma that brings, yet I have no way of knowing where the meat in my dog’s kibble comes from.


Alas, The Honest Kitchen has arrived to save the day (and possibly my marriage). Respecting the complicated beings that we humans are, we find that the Honest Kitchen provides for our needs in the best possible manner, as well as for our dogs’. We’ve started feeding from their line of dog food which consists of 100% human grade, free-range, hormone and antibiotic-free meat, slowly dehydrated to preserve nutrition, boxed in recycled cardboard and printed with vegetable-based inks. (See their website for a complete list of good reasons to try.) The end result is a healthier, happier, close-to-raw diet we can all feel great about, in packaging that’s good for the environment.


From the first day I fed our boys from The Honest Kitchen, their tails have wagged non-stop throughout every meal. This never happened with kibble. As what smells like homemade chicken soup wafts through the air, Emmett’s drool pools around his little white feet — and he’s not even a Newf! In fact, Emmet has a new trick. While I keep the dogs are on the porch and out from under foot during food prep, this is what Emmett does while waiting…


If so, what are your thoughts? Do your dogs like it? Do you?

Disclosure: I have joined The Honest Kitchen Ally program to advocate for healthy pet nutrition. Allies receive special rates on purchases, a free Honest Kitchen T-shirt, literature and access to product samples plus a chance to participate in new product taste-tests. I share my experiences here, not for the free swag and coupons (although they’re nice), but because I truly believe in this food and I hope to help shape the way The Honest Kitchen does business.