“ Manufacturer: Lily's Kitchen / Type: Organic Dog Food „
I am so happy that I found this range of food - I read about it in the newspaper a few months ago and it has made such a difference to my doggy! The ingredients are really what you are paying for - there's a huge list of yummy sounding herbs for example - rosehips, marigold petals, burdock root etc etc. My dog usually looks quite shaggy but now looks really healthy and seems much more alert too.This range of food is not expensive compared to other foods. It's cheaper than Applaws or most of the prescription diets and much much better quality. It's also a complete food which is critical.The best thing is opening a tin and being able to see whole bit of fruit, veg and meat.Fantastic stuff!
Lily's Kitchen is a new range of natural pet foods which have recently entered the market. Inspiration for the food came from Henrietta Morrison's Border terrier, Lily, who had a skin complaint which was very difficult to treat. When seeking advice from her brother who is a vet, he confirmed that it was prudent to seek out a new method of feeding Lily, other than with commercial mainstream pet foods, as it was his opinion that the dog could be short of vitamins and minerals, as well as possibly reacting to some of the ingredients in the food.
Henrietta set out to gather as much information from experts as she could in the field of animal nutrition, and she decided that it could be possible to produce a high quality food, which would be nutritionally as perfect as possible. She was also a keen organic gardener with an allotment, so growing vegetables was very familiar to her. This sort of business needs a lot of investment, and fortunately for her she had the profits from the sale of her publishing company to plough into the start-up. This didn't come cheap as £100,000 was needed initially, so it isn't the kind of business which would be easy to begin without capital.
I became very interested in this food as I have a Shih Tzu, who had, until recently, several allergies which the vet had been unable to pin-point, and this summer they reached an all time high with frequent nights spent itching, and she had even developed some gastric problems along with her skin allergies. My daughter, who is also a vet, advised me to change her diet, and so I have gradually moved away from mainstream food, and Lily's is one I have tried with a great degree of success.
What you find in these foods is really very exciting! As Molly is a small dog I tend to buy foil trays for her and these come in three varieties:
Organic Chicken and Spelt Supper
Organic Lamb and Spelt Supper.
Organic Beef and Spelt Supper.
For larger breeds tins are available which include:
Slow Cooked lamb Hotpot
Beef Potato and Vegetable Dinner
Home-style Chicken and Turkey casserole
Goose and Duck feast With Fruits
There is also a dry food which is a chicken and vegetable bake, which is a complete food, and there are organic cheese and apple treats also available. There is also nothing to stop you buying the large tins and storing the leftovers in the fridge if you have a small dog, and wish to try out the different flavours.
To give you an idea of the price the small trays are £1.28 and the large tins are £2.15. The dry food retails for £7.14 per kg, and larger sizes are available which save money. Now I know many readers of this review will be thinking that this food must contain gold dust to be that pricy, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is a premium dog food. However, if you have a small dog, and especially one with allergies, then you may like to consider this food carefully. It may prevent high vet bills incurred through repeated testing for elusive allergies, which when in full swing can make life very miserable indeed for both dog and owner.
So if we take, for example, one of my dog Molly's favourite foods - The Chicken and Spelt Supper- what can we expect to find in there? Well just about everything! Here is the list!
Organic Chicken (30%), Organic Beef (15%), Organic Pork (5%), Organic Carrots 5%, Organic Peas 5%, Organic Spelt, Organic Alfalfa, Organic Cleavers, Organic Spirulina, Kelp. Vital vitamins and minerals.
Now you can see from this that there is quite a medley of ingredients- so lets look at the more unusual ones in detail. First the cleavers - this is a traditional remedy for skin allergies and irritations, and is bursting with fatty acids and flavanoids. Alfalfa contains natural enzymes, and is highly nutritious bursting with vitamins and minerals and high in protein. Spirulina isn't new to me, as my daughter takes this daily as part of her vegan lifestyle; it is blue-green algae and again is bursting with fatty acids and protein, as well as being high in B12 and iron. Kelp contains iodine, which helps to keep the coat healthy, and the teeth and nails strong.
The other meal choices contain many other ingredients which make fascinating reading, with marigold petals, rosehips, and chickweed making appearances along with other unusual additions. What is missing from this food though is what is traditionally seen in the pet food in the supermarket shelves, and that is rendered meats, genetically modified ingredients, artificial preservatives, colours, taste enhancers or sweeteners. There is also no wheat, corn or soya.
Lily's Kitchen has their own website at www.lilys kitchen.co.uk, and this website is colourful, runs very quickly, and is expertly designed. You can choose to join Lily's Club which will yield special offers and interesting newsletters, and when you have registered your details you are ready to make your first order. Here you can order what is called their starter pack called the Trial Box, which retails for £27.59 and contains;
2x Slow cooked Lamb Hotpot - 400g
2x Home-style Chicken & Turkey Casserole - 400g
2x Beef, Potato & Vegetable Dinner - 400g
2x Organic Lamb &d Spelt - 150g
2x Organic Chicken & Spelt - 150g
2x Organic Beef & Spelt - 150g
1x Organic Chicken & Vegetable Bake - 1kg
This is delivered post free as are all orders over £20. The beauty of this purchase is that it allows you to try all the meals before commiting to purchasing in larger quantities, and your dog can test out their favourites!
The food is available from the home delivery company Ocado and from many retailers, and I was delighted to see it being stocked on the Tebay service area of the M74 recently. This made a very welcome tea for Molly on a long journey!
So what does Molly think of this food and how has it changed her life? Well she adores the food and eats it with gusto. All the meals have a very pleasant aroma, and the difference they have made to her skin allergies has been incredible. Due to the cost of the wet food I have to admit that I have used the dried too, and I have also used the dried from Orijen, which I have also been buying, as this is a Canadian dog food which has similar ethics and ideals. Orijen do not make moist food, so I like to use Lily's once a day with Orijen for the other meal. Sometimes I also use the dry Lily's product which is also excellent. It is really due to the high cost of the trays that I have compromised on only feeding Lily's food exclusively. I think it is fair to say that even with my small dog a diet exclusively consisting of Lily's wet food would be very expensive, and a large dog on the diet would certainly require a very sizeable budget.
However I have seen a complete cessation of Molly's skin and stomach issues since moving over to this natural way of feeding, and I am so delighted to have a dog that is free from these symptoms. Her coat shines and I have not had to purchase expensive joint-care treats which I had been doing as she had been developing early arthritis, which has also abated since I started choosing more natural products. The only treats I have purchased are the Lily's Organic Cheese and Apple Treats which are artisan biscuits made with russet apples and organic cheddar! I could almost devour these myself! They are made from Dove's Farm Spelt Flour and even contain rosehips!
I like the the ethics of the company, in particular the emphasis they place on using growers who farm sustainably with respect for the environment. All the packages are recyclable, and the beauty of this company is that the owner shares a love for dogs with her passion for business, which ensures a healthy approach to marketing and production.
They don't come cheap, but you are buying quality and human-grade food which has the ability to turn dog allergies around, and to eliminate the suffering and misery these cause, without using pills. Molly loves them, and I must admit to having rather a passion for this company which produces something I am delighted to feed to her. They make cat food too, which I haven't tried yet, but that would need a massive budget increase on feline nutrition to support this. Still I am sure my cat, Marigold would love it!
This review is also published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
*What is the Lilys Kitchen Organic Trial Box?*
This trial variety hamper of organic dog food is produced by a small British based company called Lilys Kitchen, that produces a small range of healthy organic complete foods and treats for cats, dogs, puppies and kittens.
*The product itself*
My job as a veterinary nurse means I met a variety of different dogs every single day of the week, and whilst they may all be in varying condition, it generally isn't too hard to spot the difference between those animals fed on healthy wholesome hypoallergenic foods made with good quality ingredients, and those fed on the low quality additive packed brands that unfortunately seem to dominate the pet food market- brands like Pedigree and Bakers, which attract novice owners with their fancy packaging and attractive colourful kibbles, leading them to believe they are feeding their dog the best possible nutrition, when really they're only serving up a bowlful of sugar filled, additive packed rubbish. Poor quality pet food is one thing that really winds me up- can you tell?!
Anyway, one afternoon in the surgery, a lady came in with her absolutely stunning Afghan Hound, and whilst I admired her dog and chatted away to the owner, she happened to mention she fed her dog a brand called Lilys Kitchen - having never heard of the brand before, as soon as the lady had left with her dog, I was logging on the internet to find out a bit more about it.
Lilys Kitchen is a small British company that started a few years ago when the founders decided to question what was in the food they were currently feeding their Border Terrier (of course, named Lily!), and after discovering the junk that goes into most commercial pet food, they decided to set about producing their own certified holistic dog food using nothing but fresh organic meat, brown rice, fruit and vegetables and herbs- completely banishing the use of cheap cereals, unhealthy fillers, additives, artificial junk and added sugar.
Their food is available in three formats- wet food that comes in trays or tins, and a dry food. The Organic Trial Box (for adult dogs 1 yr +), is a product they've put together to enable owners (or dogs rather!) to sample a variety of different products in their range, at a slightly reduced cost than purchasing all the items separately, to allow their dogs to test it out before committing to larger purchases.
All their wet foods contain at least 60% named meat with the remaining percentage being made up from brown rice, and a mixture of fruits, vegetables and herbs- no cheap jelly or gravy - just entirely identifiable ingredients, clearly listed in full on the packaging. They also contain absolutely no wheat, soya, corn or genetically modified ingredients and have just the amount of salt in that is required within a dogs diet- nothing more!
Similarly, their dry food is of equally high quality- proudly being the only dry pet food company in the UK that uses simply fresh meat as their meat source (not 'meat meal' which is essentially dried meat), and impressively, all their food is cooked in small batches that ensure the highest quality- not mass produced by the bucket load in factories!
All Lilys Kitchen food comes packaged in simple, minimalist packaging with a country rustic feel about it! All packaging (tins, trays and dry food bags) is completely recyclable, and on it you'll simply find all the usual bumph such as feeding guides, ingredients (well worth a read!), nutritional information and contact details for Lilys Kitchen.
*Price & Availability*
As you'd expect, such high quality food is obviously going to have a high price tag! The Organic Trial box, which contains the following items, cost me £27.59, direct from the Lilys Kitchen website, with free delivery on orders over twenty pounds.
2x Slow cooked Lamb Hotpot 400g tins
2x Homestyle Chicken & Turkey Casserole 400g tins
2x Beef, Potato & Vegetable Dinner 400g tins
2x Lamb & Spelt 150g trays
2x Chicken & Spelt 150g trays
2x Beef & Spelt 150g trays
1x Chicken & Vegetable Bake (complete dry food) 1kg bag
If you're interested, the retail prices for the items individually are £2.15 each for the tins, £1.28 each for the trays, and 1kg of the dry food will cost you £7.14 (so by buying the Trial Box, you're making a 13p saving- how incredibly generous of them eh?!).
When both Benson, and then Grace were puppies I fed them on either James Wellbeloved or Burns complete dry food and they both did exceptionally well on it, so when the time came to move them onto adult food, naturally I just went with the adult variety these brands offered, and they still eat those brands to this day- I just alternate them, buying Burns one month and James Wellbeloved the next, to give them a bit of variety. Both these foods are good high quality hypoallergenic feeds, the dogs enjoy them and they are fit and healthy on them, so I'll never really consider changing them- although that said, I do like to add various different bits and pieces occasionally to keep things interesting for them and this is what lead me to the purchase of the products from Lilys Kitchen.
After meeting the lady at work with her beautiful Afghan Hound, and hearing all about this apparently fabulous food she was fed on, I had to have a look for myself and after finding the website, and being incredibly impressed by the company and the quality of their products, I decided to order a few bits for Grace and Benson to sample. Not really sure what products to try, I simply went for the easy option, and brought the trial box, so Grace and Benson could try a little bit of everything.
Like promised on the site, our order arrived within 5 working days, and I was keen to see what the dogs thought of their new goodies. Once dinner time came, I measured out their usual portion of dry food and then cracked open one of the Lilys Kitchen tins to split between them as a tasty topper for their dry food.
The tin I picked up was the Turkey and Chicken Casserole, and as soon as the lid had been removed, a rich meaty scent wafted out, smelling exactly how casserole should do! Inside the tin was large chunky pieces of fresh chicken and turkey meat, heaps of easily identifiable vegetables, plentiful grains of boiled brown rice and the hundreds of little specks of herbs, all smothered in a thick sauce (presumably the fruits are mashed in with the sauce- because I couldn't see the blueberries or apples that the ingredients promised me were within!). The food looked and smelt absolutely wonderful, and really wouldn't have looked out of place served beside a pile of mash on a plate in a country pub (be warned if I invite you over for tea!).
Grace and Benson could barely contain their excitement and as soon as the bowls were put down, they dived straight in and didn't resurface until every little morsel of the Lilys Kitchen food has been devoured. They even left their portion of dry food, which is normally gone in a flash, whilst they came over to the table and seemingly pleaded with me for more of the good stuff. Although of course being the gannets they are, they soon returned to the bowls to wolf it down once they realised no more Lilys Kitchen grub was coming their way.
To say they adored it would be the understatement of the century, and over the coming weeks, every other product from the Trial Box was gulped down with the same enthusiasm as their first serving- they couldn't find fault with it, and even myself, being the worlds biggest fusspot where food for my dogs is concerned, couldn't find any faults or problems to whinge over (purely by observing the food and reading the ingredients you understand!).
Not wanting to really use the dry food from the Trial Box to replace their Burns/James Wellbeloved food, I opted to use it as treats or for tasty fillings for Kong toys and they adored it just as much as the wet food. It smelt incredibly meaty and had reasonable sized kibble pieces, meaning even very large dogs like mine had to crunch with force to bite through it- so therefore benefiting the teeth.
Now, with all that praise out of the way, it's time for the negatives- all good things must come to an end right? My one and only complaint with this product is the price. I would expect to pay a relatively high price for this stuff simply because the ingredients are so high quality, but £2.15 for a 400g tin? That's a bit of a joke really. Let's just presume I wanted to feed Grace and Benson solely on Lilys Kitchens tins- the recommended amount for their size would be 3 tins each per day- so thats £12.90 per day, totalling £90.30 per week! Are these people for real? I'd expect complimentary diamonds for that price I'm afraid.
I pay around £45 for a 15kg sack of James Wellbeloved or Burns, and that will feed my dogs for a fortnight. I can't get my head around the fact some people can actually afford to feed their dogs solely on Lilys Kitchen.
People always ask me why do I go for the high quality wet foods to use as an addition to the dogs mainly dry food diet, when I could probably buy a whole chicken for the cost of 1 or 2 tins, but the answer is simply because with myself and my fiancé being vegetarians, we just don't have meat in the house, and the dogs wouldn't eat a whole chicken (well, they would- I just wouldn't let them!), so high meat content wet foods are the best option for us. Sadly Lilys Kitchen just won't be something we use more than once every couple of months, it is just far FAR too expensive.
The dry food works very well for my dog...also its one of the best foods to give if you care about ingredients and what goes into your dog's stomach. Its is organic and made in the UK. Havent had any problems with it, on the contrary it resolved colitis problems for my dog and saved me a fortune on vet fees. Its not a cheap food but i prefer to pay more in food rathen than vet fees.
The canned food is also brilliant but a bit fatty for my dog as shes prone to weight gain very easily. Its true thought it does smell very nice unlike other dog foods, however this is not true if you heat it up a bit. it has exactly what sais on the tin and pieces of real meat are easily visible.
It works very well for my dog especially their dry food as it does not get her fat and has very high quality ingredients. It definitely beats by miles all the other rubbish foods that are selling at the pet shop....Hills, purina, royal canin and the rest....not to mention the most horrific ones like bakers...