Basil’s Favorite Things — The Honest Kitchen

Have you ever decided to take a casual trip to the pet store but once there found yourself standing in the pet food aisle dazed and confused?! Why is that aisle so long? Why are there so many pet food options? Every bag, box, tube, or container has a colorful logo and is doing everything it can to convince you that theirs is the best for your dog. How can you know what is BEST for your dog or cat? Who do you trust? I had all these questions and I wanted to be sure that what I was giving Basil was the best.

For today’s Basil’s Favorite Things I am going to share how we found Basil new dog food and why we truly think its the best pet food on the market. This is Basil’s Favorite Things — The Honest Kitchen. The Honest Kitchen

It all started a little over a month ago at the BlogPaws 2014 pet blogging conference in Lake Las Vegas, NV. (You may have heard me mention it…) The conference was full of pet blogger and a ton of brands. There was a whole huge conference room full of booths featuring brands from many pet food companies as well as everything else awesome for your dog and/or cat. This is where we met The Honest Kitchen. Their large booth and smiling faces first drew us in. Also, the fact that Basil somehow knows who has treats and will give them to him, also helped. Once at the table we met Kate, the digital storyteller for The Honest Kitchen. Kate provided Nate, Basil, and I with all the information about this unique pet food and let us go home with a lot of samples.

The Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated raw Human Grade pet food. It is the only U.S pet food company that is certified by the FDA to use the Human Grade seal on their packaging. This means that 100% of their pet food is produced in a human food production facility not a pet food plant.

This really stuck out to me. This mean all their ingredients are natural and if you wouldn’t eat it, your dog shouldn’t be eating it either. The ingredients used are real (free-range) chicken, real (cage-free) turkey, real fish, and  real beef. They use natural whole grain, as well as fresh produce like potatoes, celery, carrots, and green beans. Kate also told me the all there food is personally taste tested by The Honest Kitchen’s employees. I don’t know about you but I’m 100% positive I would not taste test Basil’s old food but I would try The Honest Kitchen.Basil loves The Honest Kitchen

Once home from the BlogPaws conference we immediately switched Basil over from his old food (dry kibble) to The Honest Kitchen. We received a few different samples while at the conference so everyday Basil got to try something new.

For Basil, he receives 1 cup of food a day. 1/3 at breakfast, 1/3 at lunch, and 1/3 at dinner. So when we were making the transition from dry to dehydrated we just started with dry for breakfast and dinner and THK for lunch. Slowly we switched over and now we are completely off the dry kibble. Once the samples ran out, and we were convinced by THK, the plan was to find a local store that sold it. Lucky for us our favorite local little “mama & pop” pet store, cafe, and day care, Happy Dog Cafe, is a preferred seller of all things The Honest Kitchen.

The first box we brought home was Keen. A food made of cage-free turkey, low gluten oats, and garden vegetables. Basil doesn’t have a wheat or gluten allergy (knock on wood!) like many dogs of the bully breeds, so, our options are wide open. But if your pet does has a specific allergy, like gluten, or just does better without eggs or beef, The Honest Kitchen has a type of dog food that would best suit your needs. Basil loved Keen but knowing of all the great options THK has to offer we wanted to try something else as well. The next box we received is Force. The Honest Kitchen - Force

Force is a little different. Made with free-range chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables, and it is grain/gluten-free. The Honest Kitchen website says “Force is moderate in protein and fat so it’s perfect for adult maintenance, senior dogs and dog who need a lower calorie diet.”
This is perfect for Basil because at 25 lb. he is a little over the average for a fit Boston terrier. We would love to have Basil lose 2-3 lbs. just to become a little more health and little more crazy!Crazy face!

Another great thing about The Honest Kitchen is how simple it is to prepare. Being a dehydrated raw food it does not require refrigeration and just needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. To serve THK to your four-legged friend all you need to do is add warm water, stir, and wait. I think the waiting is the hardest part for Basil. From the second I get the box out of the closet and start running the water he knows its game time. The next 5 minutes are filled with crazy eyes, and sad cries. But once his full dish hits the mat he goes to town. One of my favorite things now is watching him eat. He loves his new food so much he actually lays down to fully enjoy his meal.I lay down to eat! - Basil

So, its been about a month since we started this new pet food journey and we couldn’t be happier. Basil already looks like his has slimed down a little bit and once his next vet appointment rolls around I’ll share with all of you our weight loss progress. We highly recommend heading over to and checking out this amazing food for yourself. You can also find a local store near you that carriers The Honest Kitchen or order online.

So recap: What is The Honest Kitchen?

  • Dehydrated raw pet food
  • Human grade
  • Nature ingredients
  • Gluten-free options
  • Honest company
  • Simple solution to homemade pet food

If you would like to win a free 2 lb. sample box of The Honest Kitchen leave a comment below (using a current email address) telling me what makes your dog or cat special and I’ll pick 1 lucky winner at random. Giveaway closes at 11pm on Friday June 20th, so get your entries in now!

Hope everyone is having an awesome Friday and enjoy your weekend… you deserve it!

Travel well, nap well, live well!

-Abbey & Basil

Basil the Amazing Flying Dog!

Its been 3 weeks since our amazing trip to the BlogPaws conference in beautiful Lake Las Vegas, Nevada and Basil’s first airplane ride. We think that Basil is now officially the amazing flying dog!

I wanted to share some tips and tricks that we learned from flying with a four-legged friend. As well as a photo or two. I’ll also give you a short review of the SturdiBag pet carrier that we used and that helped Basil take another giant step for dog-kind.Basil at the airport

Tip 1: Give Yourself More Time Than You Think You Need!

When it comes to traveling on airplanes or just plain going to the airport, even when I’m traveling without Basil, I always show up WAY too early. I find that sometimes its a breeze and sometimes the line to just check-in is a mile long. Too many times have I been in line at check-in or for security and there is a frantic traveler in front of me yelling and complaining that he or she is going to miss their flight if they don’t get through this line NOW. I never want to be that person so I would rather be too early than too late!
As for traveling with your pet this tip is even more important. Most airlines do require that you make a “reservation” for your pet before your flight but this reservation is not a guarantee that your pet will be on this flight. When going to Las Vegas we flew on US Airways. They were great but they do have a 6 pet per plane max. This means if 6 pets show up to your flight before you do…Sorry, you are out of luck and that so called “reservation” means nothing! For our flight from Charlotte to Las Vegas for the BlogPaws conference I was slightly concerned, being that Charlotte is an US Airways/American Airlines hub, that there would be more than 6 pets on our flight. To make sure Basil made the flight and the conference we showed up the airport 3 1/2 hours early. This may seem like a lot but it was what made me comfortable and gave me a little piece of mind. As it turned out, we were the only pet on the plane that day but again, better safe than sorry!

Tip 2: Be Kind!
This one may seem like common sense but you would be surprised how many grown adults don’t follow it. Every person you have to deal with when traveling through an airport is just doing their job. From the clerk at the check-in counter to the person that scans your ticket at the gate and the flight attendants, they are all there to do their jobs and serve you. This doesn’t mean you can walk all over them! With just a simple smile and a thank you it really does make all the difference.
In our case, Basil and his pet carrier is slightly larger than the approved pet size allowed on most airlines. This means at any point before the plane takes off we could be confronted and asked to leave. I didn’t want this to happened and we were fortunate enough to not have any issues and everyone we spoke to had zero problem with Basil or his carrier. I do know, for a fact, that this would be a different story if I was overtly rude and chose to complain about issues that couldn’t be resolved. So, just remember to be kind and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

Tip 3: Know Where the Pet Potty is!
For this trip I booked a direct flight with no layovers so that Basil don’t have to “hold it” for too long but I know that sometimes that is not an option. Do research on each airport before you travel. If you can’t or forget I would recommend using the time once the plane touches down on the tarmac and they allow you to switch on your phone to look up where the pet area is in that airport. Will you have to exit the airport and go through security again? Do they even have a spot for pets? The last thing you want to worry about when in an unfamiliar airport is cleaning up an accident. I also have read a tip from a fellow pet blogger, Dog Jaunt that said to bring pee pads. If your pet needs to go while on the plane, this is a way to take your buddy to the tiny airplane bathroom and set up a pad. Also, if you are unable to get to the pet potty or maybe have a short layover, you have a back up plan.Basil is ready!

Our first airplane trip with Basil was pretty smooth and what helped a lot was the SturdiBag pet carrier we had ordered. I choose this bag after doing hours and hours of research online and reading more than my fair share of reviews. I found the large size SturdiBag to fit our 20+ lb. Boston terrier perfect. Its soft sides make it fit nicely under the US Airways seats and the super soft pad inside make Basil feel comfortable. Disclaimer! The large size SturdiBag is 2 inches longer than most airlines listed max size. Please be aware of this if you do choose this bag.Basil in his carrier on the plane
The only down side to this fabulous pet carrier is there is only one door, on the front. If both front and back zipped open it would make it much easier for my dog to enter and exit the carrier. Other than that, I loved the bag and would purchase it again in a heart beat!

Hope you enjoyed this post and we can’t want to get back up into the friendly skies and log some more air miles under Basil’s collar.

Travel well, nap well, live well!

-Abbey & Basil


Basil’s Favorite Things — BlogPaws

Happy Friday everyone! Today is the first day in over a week that I have been able to sit down and collect my thoughts. Once we got back from BlogPaws on Monday my in-laws came into town. For Basil it was a never ending vacation! Now that the house is empty Basil has been in bed, catching up on sleep, all day.

For day’s Basil’s Favorite Things I thought I would share my favorite photos from BlogPaws. It was 4 days of fun, sun, and networking. We can’t wait until next year in Nashville, Tennessee. Thanks again to everyone we met and all the connections we made. Also, a big thank you to The Westin Lake Las Vegas. They made us beyond comfortable and I know Basil, Nate, and I will for sure be back.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABasilpaddleboardBasilandFlowersBasilandTheWestin

Enjoy your weekend!

Travel well, nap well, live well!

-Abbey & Basil

More Love, Less Hate!

This is the story from last Friday, Basil’s favorite BlogPaws day.

Friday was the day of new friends, famous and otherwise. We got to met Tillman, the skateboarding English bulldog as well as Manny the frenchie, of Instagram stardom. This day was only made better by the meeting of a new (“average joe”) friend, Jake. Basil and Jake Blogpaws 2014

We met Jake, a 10 month old pit bull terrier/mastiff mix at a social networking event at BlogPaws. The event was full of people, dogs, food, and drinks. The whole thing was centered around a off leash dog park. The dogs could “mingle” while the people could also mingle.

We got our snacks and starting searching the area for a shady space with friends and chairs. Basil, Nate, and I rounded a corner and found what we were in search of. A few people had also found this little oasis and were grouped together on the lawn. I spotted a set of chairs free next to a women and her dog, Jake. We quickly move to meet them and have a seat.

Basil and Jake hit it off almost instantly! They shared the same high level of energy and love of laying in the cool grass. Jake’s mom and I chatted while these two “wild bucks” ran circles around us and each other. I learned that they were at the conference working for the sponsored PetSmart booth and was giving out information about their pet adoption program.

We talked and they played and I started to notice something. Some people (This was not everybody! Just a few!) were making an extra large arch when passing the two hooligans. I found that strange because usually no one can avoid Basil cuteness/charm. I mentioned this to Jakes mom and she told me that she has come a crossed a few people in her short time with Jake that said they didn’t want their dog around Jake because he is a ” big, scary pit bull.” Now I can understand being worried for your dogs safety and looking out for warning signs, that is just being a good pet parent, but just to make a judgement solely based on the dogs breed is not cool.

This is breed discrimination and unfortunately it is a big problem. The idea that some dogs are just “born bad” is wrong. All dogs are born good and can be taught to be a good dog or a bad dog. Any dog, not just pit bulls, can be aggressive and can attack. I found a great website called Check out all the information that can be found over there. It really did open up my eyes to how bad this problem really is.

So, next time you see a pit bull walking down the road, on a leash of course, with that goofy smile and not a care in the world, maybe stop and talk to the owner. Ask if you can say hello and give the pup some love. I can tell you that Jake was just a love-bug. His smile was  contagious and he was as sweet as can be with Basil.

We had a blast at BlogPaws and we wanted to thank everyone that we met while we were there! I’ll be posting a lot more photos soon so make sure to check back.

Travel well, nap well, live well!

-Abbey & Basil


BlogPaws 2014! So far…

We are here! BlogPaws 2014 on beautiful Lake Las Vegas! Basil is loving it so much it’s almost impossible to get a post up! Nate, Basil, and I have been go-go-going for the last couple of days. We are making a lot of new friends and learning a lot. I finally have a moment (Basil is napping!) to share a little collage I put together of some of my favorite photos so far! Enjoy and I’ll continue posting when Basil lets me!

Travel well, nap well, live well!
-Abbey & Basil

Hot dog loves hot dogs!

Its been a sunny weekend out in our neck of the woods so we decided to spend a little time outside. But because the BlogPaws 2014 conference is just a few days away, we have been really busy!

Nate, Basil, and I decided that a causal BBQ was just what the doctor ordered. The only hiccup in this plan… we don’t have a back yard! Well, that wasn’t going to stop us. We got out our mini BBQ, a few lawn chairs, and everything Basil may need for lounging outdoors. The next few hours were spent cooking, eating, and throwing the football around. A good time was had by all. I give you the “I don’t have a backyard… backyard BBQ!”

Now its time to get back to getting ready for our BlogPaws trip. We leave in 3 days! Vegas or bust!

Travel well, nap well, live well!

-Abbey & Basil

A Weekend for Celebration!

On Friday evening I received some very exciting news. Our little blog, Basil’s Travels, is now a finalist in the BlogPaws 2014 conference for Best New Pet Blog.BlogPaws 2014 Nose-to-Nose Awards Finalist badge
We were extremely excited to just be nominated but to be chosen as 1 of the 4 finalist and to able to attend my first BlogPaws conference is beyond our wildest dreams. The weekend was spent celebrating with our family and spoiling a certain black & white dog for which this blog is named for.

The weather could not have been better! Its like the gods knew this was our weekend and anything other than perfect was not going to do! We spend most of our time outside with Basil, either in the front yard throwing a toy around or scouting out a new dog park.

I want to give a big thank you to BlogPaws for choosing us as a finalist. We can’t wait for the conference in Las Vegas this summer. Basil is going to party it up!

Travel well, nap well, live well!

-Abbey & Basil

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