From Kibble To Real Foods

The Honest Kitchen SamplesI’m not much of a fan of kibble.  I personally feel dogs do better with real foods and a variety of foods.  Rocky was on a raw and homemade diet pretty much his entire life and it did wonders for him.

I knew that I would be switching over Avery to a real foods diet at some point but wasn’t sure of the time frame.  I wanted him to get adjusted and used to his new life first before I started throwing out new foods to him.

I did introduce him to veggies right away though.  He was underweight and not looking too good so I wanted to introduce some fresh foods to him quickly.

Veggies are a great way to add in fresh foods because they are pretty easy on the stomach and a great source of vitamins and minerals (just like for humans!).  They can get mixed with kibble without causing too much stomach distress.

My next step was to then start to wean him off kibble and move to a dehydrated food. This got accelerated thanks to his dental issues. After his surgery, he wasn’t allowed to chew anything for a week.  Dehydrated food worked great because it’s soft and easy to eat.

I got some samples from The Honest Kitchen and tested them out with him to see what he preferred.  I’ve been a customer of theirs for years and love their products.  I ordered three grain-free samples and one that had quinoa in it.

He really enjoyed their Love (beef, grain free) and Thrive (chicken with quinoa) varieties.  I got the 4lb boxes of each and those were his meals post surgery.

Dehydrated food dryThis is what the dehydrated food looks like before you add water to it.

dehydrated food wetThis is what it looks like once water has been added and it has time to reconstitute.

You can make the food thicker or thinner by the amount of water you add.

I still mixed in fresh veggies and I also mixed in some canned dog food.  So he wasn’t off dog food entirely at that point but getting close.

Then I switched out the canned food and added in some cooked chicken along with the dehydrated food.  After a week of that, I switched to cubes of raw chicken in with the dehydrated food.

He handled that really well so after a week of that I put him on pre-made raw food.  Right now he’s eating the Stella and Chewy’s variety which I can buy at my local pet food store.

Again, since he does have teeth issues and can’t chew hard things, giving him something like chicken backs is out of the question (that used to be Rocky’s breakfast, a bowl full of backs. Which he loved!).  Avery needs something where the bone is ground up with the meat.

Veggie Mush for Avery

Currently Avery is now fully switched over to a real foods diet.  I make veggie mush for him every week and that gets mixed up with the ground raw food.  He’s a great veggie eater which allows me to rotate the veggies around and provide him with some variety.

His coat is so shiny and soft now that he’s fully off kibble.  I do give some supplements as well which I’ll talk about in another post!

Do you feed kibble? Have you considered a fresh foods diet for you dog?


  1. Thanks for the great tips on some healthy options for feeding your dog. Brooks loves fresh fruits and veggies. Kelly usually picks around the healthy stuff! Thanks for joining FitDog Friday!

  2. We eat The Honest Kitchen grain free Embark. Love it!! We are actually having a giveaway for some Smooches treats right now. Both dogs like fresh vegs and fruit too.

  3. Avery – thanks for joining our Hop – great diet tips!

  4. Great tips! I always feel like the odd ball for using kibble, but the vet wants Finn on it, so we experiment with different veggies and fruits along with it for fun and variety.

  5. This is very interesting. I, too, have a sample from Honest Kitchen. I think it is the Force variety, but Luna hasn’t tried it yet. Right now, I do feed her kibble. How should I have Luna try the Honest Kitchen sample? Is it best to only do part of a meal or is it okay to do the whole meal? Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi and thank you so much for stopping by! I think that you could do it as a meal and see how she does. I would also do it when you know you’re going to be home. So if you work outside the house during the day maybe wait and use it as her dinner meal. Just so you can be around to see how she does with it and in the event she has any reactions. :)

  6. Thanks for these great tips. When my Tynan had his first bought with cancer, fresh food and raw food helped him stay energetic and keep a shiny coat. I admit I have been lazy with getting the new boys away from kibble but I’d lie to someday. This is good inspiration!

    • Hi Bethany, Thanks for stopping by! Raw definitely helped our previous boy too when he had cancer. I’m convinced that diet helped him live a full year after diagnosis.

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