I’ve always had a strong interest in the link between food and health. When I was a child in England, we grew a lot of our own produce in our family garden, and have always eaten a real-food diet, not one that contained lots of processed foods. When I got my first puppy years later, I was very keen to do a natural, real-food diet for him too, because it just seemed common-sense to me. I started off making his meals from scratch using raw ingredients; I loved the results but found it to be very time consuming and messy. So I began thinking of a way to continue feeding whole foods, but in a format that was a little simpler to prepare. The idea for dehydration came from just wanting to remove the moisture from the ingredients while leaving all the delicious flavor, color and nutrition intact.
What’s the typical feedback from a new customer who recently started to feed The Honest Kitchen?
Some people take a little time to actually become customers, because they have to get used to the idea of feeding something that looks and smells so different from the conventional, processed pet food pellets they’re used to feeding. Many of our customers are amazed at how fast their pets gobble up the food, lick the bowl clean and beg for seconds! In addition, there are a lot of health benefits our customers see after just a few short weeks.
What are some of the benefits of feeding a whole food diet?
After a couple of weeks, they usually start to see the visual benefits too – we get dozens of emails, calls and Facebook posts each week from people who can’t believe how shiny their dogs’ coats have become, the eyes are brighter, they just have a general sense of better wellbeing, better digestion, and many chronic ailments like itchy skin and ear infections (which are often related to diet) clear up. I think a good analogy for how pets feel on our food, is the light, energized feeling we get after eating a bowl of salad or a freshly made smoothie, compared with the mildly queasy, heavy feeling of eating highly processed, greasy foods with lots of MSG and other artificial components – fast food or a TV dinner, say.
Many of our customers report they’ve been able to reduce or even eliminate some of their pets’ medications for various chronic health problems, after they start to feed The Honest Kitchen’s healthier dehydrated whole foods.
What do you love most about San Diego?
Fiesta Island is a big favorite, as well as the Dog Beach in Del Mar which just has lovely energy, especially when the tide is low. I’m a foodie at heart too, and love the local farmers markets for the fresh seasonal produce because I love to cook. I really like the farmer’s market in La Jolla – there’s a great bike path from Birdrock to La Jolla and it’s so much fun to cycle there on Sundays for the market. And there are so many great restaurants here too – Beaumont’s in Birdrock is a regular haunt, as well as 926 on Turquoise, Sushi on the Rock in La Jolla and Bully’s in Del Mar.
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