Kabo fresh cooked dog food; A Pulp Habits review

Kabo fresh cooked dog food; A Pulp Habits review

As “man’s best friend”, our dogs have become an increasingly important part of our lives and as a result, many pet owners have started rethinking how they feed their beloved four legged friends. In recent years, there has been a major push towards healthier, quality food for dogs. Pet parents are increasingly making the change to feed their dogs more like what they would prepare for themselves.

This shift in how pet owners are feeding their pets has prompted a transition from traditional dog kibble to other forms of dog food such as human grade, gently cooked pet food. As one of the Canadian pioneers in the space, Kabo has been creating fresh cooked dog food recipes since 2018. As dog lovers ourselves, we wanted to take a closer look at their food, including a review of the brand from the quality of ingredients to what an ecommerce business such as Kabo is doing for the sustainability of their products. Here is our personal Pulp Habits review of Kabo and fresh cooked pet food.

A background on Kabo

In May of 2015 Jeyapalan brothers, Vino and VJ, lost their beloved Chow Chow, Kabo to stomach cancer. Kabo’s sudden passing left her owners looking for answers, and asking if healthier, cleaner food could have been the key to preventing her disease. Her loss led to the inspiration and creation behind Kabo pet food in 2018. The mission of the company is that Kabo’s legacy helps other pet parents create healthy routines and provide quality, nutritious meals.

Kabo focuses on providing fresh cooked dog food as their main product, with a variety of recipes ranging including lamb, beef, chicken, salmon and turkey. Additionally, Kabo also offers fresh kibble as well as a range of seasonal and promotional products such as dog friendly ice cream for national ice cream day in July.

Currently Kabo operates as a subscription, ecommerce business, like HelloFresh for dogs. The company focuses on sourcing Canadian, human-grade ingredients for their recipes which are then gently cooked, the same way the pet owners would cook their dog’s food in a home kitchen. However, Kabo food has the added bonus of being formulated by their in-house nutritionist so that all their food is perfectly balanced for a dog’s nutritional needs.

What we love about Kabo

We love to support fellow Canadian companies and Kabo is one of the good ones. There are a lot of great things to say about Kabo and here are some of the things we like about the brand:

Healthy ingredients with a purpose

After a review of Kabo’s ingredients, we were very impressed. The ingredient deck of each recipe uses whole ingredients with names that are actually easy to understand. According to Kabo’s website, every ingredient added to their recipes serves a nutritional purpose, in order to help improve the health of the dog. Therefore, you’ll never find any fillers, additives, or artificial colors or flavours in their recipes. A few examples of some of the great ingredients they use are flaxseed, butternut squash, sweet potato, kale, green beans, carrots and spinach.

A drive towards sustainability

At Pulp Habits, our mission is geared towards sustainability and creating more eco-friendly food for dogs. That’s why we’re happy to see that Kabo is working to do the same.

Sustainable ingredient sourcing

We all know that vegetarianism and veganism is one of the most sustainable ways of eating. However, that is not always feasible for our canine friends. That’s why when we look at feeding our dogs, we have to make sure that the meat going into their food is coming from ethical, sustainable sources. We are impressed that Kabo makes the effort to source all of their meat from Canadian sources that work with local farmers to produce human-grade meats.

Additionally, Kabo has offered a promotional vegetarian recipe for dogs that was released on Earth Day. This recipe was free of any meat and instead utilized high protein plant sources like pea protein and lentils, in order to make the product balance and meet AAFCO guidelines.

Minimal processing

When looking for a sustainable brand, a lot of pet owners focus on ingredients and packaging of a product. However, one of the things that really determines if a company is sustainable or not is the extent of processing they use in production. A highly processed product is going to use significantly more energy and water to produce. Therefore, our view is that minimally processed food is superior, not only for health benefits but also on a sustainability level.

Since all of Kabo’s food is gently cooked at low temperatures, it requires less processing than kibble or other extruded products. As a result, they are using less non-renewable resources to produce their food.

Working towards eco friendly packaging

Kabo’s sustainability efforts begin with how they produce their food and extends into how they package and deliver their products. According to Kabo, 90% of their materials are recyclable or compostable and they are hard at work trying to be 100% recyclable.

One of the most difficult obstacles in food production and particularly fresh food production is finding eco friendly packaging. Presently, companies like Kabo are not able to go completely plastic free as biodegradable packaging affects not only the integrity of the food but also the food safety by being a potential route of contamination for bacteria. As a result, Kabo has opted to package their food in vacuum sealed packs that, once used, can be washed and recycled.

As an ecommerce business, Kabo ships their products across the country, right to customers' doors. This requires some extra external packaging. Kabo ships their food in cardboard boxes made from recycled paper products, which can then be placed in the local recycling bins. 

To insulate the frozen food, they use PET insulation which is made from recycled PET bottles. PET is very cool as it both reduces the production of new insulation materials and is also 100% recyclable after use. Dog owners simply need to separate the two layers of the insulation and then both layers can be placed into your recycling bin separately and it will be picked up by the majority of curbside recycling programs.

Lastly, in order to keep their product cold during shipping, Kabo opted to pivot from using ice packs and instead utilizes dry ice in order to reduce plastic usage.

Options for dogs with allergies

Allergies have become such a prominent issue for many dogs. Many owners struggle with finding a food that won’t make their dog itchy or upset their tummy. That’s why we’re so happy that Kabo offers a hypoallergenic diet for dogs struggling with sensitivities. The Hypoallergenic Salmon recipe is free of many common dog allergens and also utilizes ingredients like blueberries, flaxseed and leafy greens to help reduce inflammation.

Areas for improvement

Overall, we are very impressed with Kabo as a brand, however every company has room for improvement. Here are a few things we think Kabo can improve upon.


Compared to traditional kibble, fresh cooked dog food is quite expensive. This is understandable however given the cost of using fresh and human grade ingredients. To bring the cost down a little bit, Kabo could decrease the amount of meat used in their products and lean more on fruits and vegetables to make up the bulk of their diets. This would also help the brand to be more sustainable.

Making a vegetarian recipe part of their core line

As mentioned previously, Kabo offered an option for a vegetarian recipe as a promotional product on Earth Day 2023. We would like to encourage them to include it as a sustainable  option in their lineup of exceptional core products.

Product transportation and shipping

As an ecommerce business, Kabo is involved in shipping their product across the country from their production facility. With shipping of individual products, there are a lot of carbon emissions from transport vehicles being produced in order to get the food to customers. Considering retail options or bulk shipments would help to lower emissions in this case.

Final thoughts

Overall, we really love Kabo as a healthy pet food option. Not only are they a fellow Canadian company but they also take care to make sure that their food uses quality ingredients and that they are making steps to ensure that their products are sustainably produced and packaged. If you’re considering switching your dog to a fresh cooked diet, we recommend giving Kabo a try!

- Pulp Habits