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Instinct Dog Food: 2019 Reviews, Recalls & Coupons

Meet Instinct Dog Food

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If you’re curious about canine raw food diets, but you don’t want to worry about the mess, there’s good news. Instinct is a raw blend kibble that uses bits of real freeze-dried raw meat to add a nutritious boost to your dog’s food. It’s a holistic brand that wants to help you get closer to your dog’s canine ancestral diet.

The formulas use only natural ingredients designed to offer dense nutrition without adding any extra fillers. There are none of the cheap ingredients used by bargain brands intended to lower the quality of food and bring down the price. Instinct may be just the thing to get your dog’s health and wellness under control and offer the building blocks for a lifetime of good days together. Let’s break it all down.

Brand Quick Look

  • Parent Company: M.I. Industries
  • 
Founded in: 2002 (Nature’s Variety)
  • Made in: USA
  • Available at:  Chewy, Amazon, Walmart
  • Types of Food: Wet, dry
  • Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
  • Recalled in Past? : No

Behind the Brand

Nature’s Variety has long provided dogs with holistic nutrition in the form of foods made without cheap fillers, artificial colors or flavors, or by-product meals. The brand began in 2002 when Bob Milligan wanted to find a way to feed pets raw, holistic nutrition in an easier form than many of the canine raw diets out there. They’re headquartered in St. Louis and remain a privately held company.

Instinct uses no type of cheap fillers including corn or soy that could cause allergic reactions. They don’t need artificial colors or flavors which can just encourage pets to overeat. They also have no by-product meals which unnamed meat meals are made from pieces of the animal not fit for human consumption. Overall, foods are nutrient dense and designed to be easily digestible.

What Types of Dog Food Does Instinct Offer?

The company makes several lines of their signature raw diet including both kibbles and wet foods. Dogs can take advantage of limited ingredient diets, for example, or canned foods with no grains or gluten.

Instinct Original

This was the first formula created for people interested in raw diets. They’re made with 70% real meats and nutritious oils for a power-packed meal with no empty fillers. 30% of fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals. The kibble is mixed with freeze dried raw pieces both for a protein boost and to create a taste that dogs love.

Dry Foods:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Rabbit
  • Salmon
  • Small Breed Chicken

Wet Foods:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Rabbit
  • Venison
  • Small Breed Chicken
  • Small Breed Beef
  • Beef Stew
  • Chicken Stew
  • Lamb Stew
  • Turkey and Cod Stew
  • Turkey and Duck Stew

Limited Ingredient Formula

For dogs with sensitive systems, the Limited Ingredient formula uses a single source of protein with just a few other ingredients to produce a recipe that’s easier on digestion and helps improve the quality of stool. It’s made without grain, gluten, eggs, dairy, potato, corn, soy, or any artificial ingredients.

Dry Food:

  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Small Breed Turkey

Wet Foods:

  • Lamb
  • Rabbit
  • Turkey

Ultimate Protein

For athletic dogs with high energy, the Ultimate Protein recipe uses 90% protein for a high energy diet that can keep up with your sporting dog’s demands. It uses only real, whole proteins and no cheap fillers.

Dry Foods:

  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Small Breed Chicken

Wet Food:

  • Beef
  • Chicken

Raw Boost

Instead of tumbling kibble in freeze-dried protein, this uses larger pieces mixed in with kibble for a texture difference that dogs will love. It’s high protein and made with only the freshest ingredients for a premium dog food that may help improve a variety of conditions.

Dry Food:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Venison
  • Small Breed Beef
  • Small Breed Chicken
  • Small Breed Duck
  • Toy Breed Chicken
  • Puppy Chicken
  • Large Breed Puppy Chicken
  • Senior Chicken
  • Healthy Weight Chicken

Instinct Raw

If you want to feed your dog a completely raw diet, but you aren’t sure where to start, Instinct makes a raw food that comes in pouches for your convenience. It uses real meats with 15% fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals

Raw Bites:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb

Raw Bites Small Breed

  • Beef
  • Chicken

Frozen Raw Medallions

  • Beef
  • CHicken
  • Lamb

Patties

  • Beef
  • Chicken

Raw Signature Recipe

Another line of truly raw food, these recipes don’t use any powders like some other raw foods. Each recipe uses whole, fresh ingredients including fruits and veggies.

Signature Bites:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Rabbit
  • Venison

Signature Medallions

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Rabbit
  • Venison

Signature Patties

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Rabbit
  • Venison

Be Natural Recipe

The final recipe line is a stripped down kibble to only the most natural few ingredients tumbled in raw bits. It’s a balanced protein and carbohydrates recipe with real fruits and vegetables.

Dry Foods:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Salmon

Instinct Recall History List:

  • Instinct has no history of recalls, making it a very safe food to feed your dog. while accidents can sometimes happen in processing plants or test kitchens, Instinct has managed to avoid recalls by producing consistently top rated foods.

Instinct Dog Food Coupons 2019

30% Off Instinct Dog Food
+ Free Shipping at Chewy.com

Best Instinct Dog Food Recipes

Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite recipes. These could be an excellent option for your particular dog. Whether you choose the real raw or the raw mixed with kibble, you could notice improvements in your dog’s overall health.

Instinct Raw Boost Chicken

Classic chicken in freeze-dried bits mixed with high-quality kibble gives your dog all the building blocks of healthy muscles and bones. Dog’s tend to love the taste, and it’s an excellent way for you to feed your dog raw without all the fuss. There are no artificial ingredients, cheap fillers, or by-product meals.

Limited Ingredient Salmon

The limited ingredient recipe uses only a single source of protein to fulfill your dog’s nutrition. Fewer ingredients give your dog’s digestion a chance to reset and hopefully improve inflammation and stomach issues caused by food sensitivities. There are no common food allergens including corn or soy and no artificial ingredients. Dogs on the LID recipe may see an overall improvement in the quality of stools and a reduction in gas or itchy skin.

Raw Patties Beef

Those of you who want to switch to all raw can take advantage of the fresh patties option. It takes all the guesswork out of feeding your pet raw and uses only natural, high-quality ingredients to produce something very similar to what your dog’s ancestors would have eaten. It’s portioned for your convenience and easy to serve. Plus, dogs really love it.

Customer Reviews

Instinct is a well-rated food both from customers and independent reviewers. They have well over four stars across several platforms including Amazon and Chewy. Customers appreciated the quality of ingredients and how much their dogs seemed to thrive on the food after eating commercial, bargain brands. They also appreciated that the food isn’t a budget-breaking price.

What Do People Like And Dislike About Instinct Dog Food?

Most people like the balance of price with high-quality ingredients. Those who feed kibble note that the presence of quality ingredients allows dogs to receive benefits of a raw ancestral diet without the mess and uncertainty of a real raw food diet. It’s a convenient way to feed dogs excellent nutrition.

Some complaints centered around bag size, which could be too small for owners with very large dogs or more than one dog. Also, freeze dried bits tend to sink to the bottom of the bag, making mixing food up a frustrating endeavor.

Positive

  • “I am a crazy dog mom and look up any and everything for recalls/reviews before giving it to my boy Beauford. I have experienced nothing but good things with this brand and this specific dog food! I also love the instinct senior dog food but my boy is 12 years old and has arthritis so it is improtant I keep his weight down and him healthy! Love love love!” BBoy, chewy.com
  • “We are recent converts to Instinct. We originally went with the beef flavor, but the smell was a bit overwhelming for this vegetarian and just seemed okay to King. The chicken flavor seems to be a much better fit for both of us. King likes the flavor, it agrees with his tummy, and it is for weight management, so it keeps my pittie round but not too round and happy.” Cindy, chewy.com

Negative

  • “Our golden retriever, ABY, is on a prescribed fresh meals diet with a little bit of kibble because of a couple health issues. I ordered this brand after researching the RAW aspect of kibble. She didn’t like it even though I mixed it with her regular prescribed kibble. She picked out the raw veggies and fresh meat and ate around the kibble or only ate half of her meal which isn’t like her at all. Would not touch the kibble when I offered it to her without the fresh meal portion. I ordered her regular prescribed kibble again. So much for trying something new. This brand might be good for other dogs, but my dog’s reaction to it means I will not buy it again. Not sure about a refund. What do I do with a new bag of kibble?” Kase, chewy.com

Instinct By Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Chicken

Dog Food Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chickpeas

The Raw Boost formula uses freeze-dried bits of raw chicken mixed in with premium kibble to satisfy your dog’s tastes and to help you feed your dog the best nutrition available. It uses only premium ingredients including fruits and veggies to create kibble with all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs for healthy skin, bones, and joints.

Natural sources of glucosamine and omega fatty acids help keep inflammation down and cushion the joints while probiotics aid in digestion. There are no common food allergens including cheap fillers like corn or soy. There are no artificial ingredients that can cause your dog to overeat and no by-product meals. You have only named protein sources from quality pieces.

It’s an excellent recipe for pickier dogs because the texture and smell often appeal to dogs. It brings you closer to the canine ancestral diet without the fuss and mess of mixing your own raw foods. Also, the kibble and freeze-dried bits are shelf stable and much easier to store long term. The food won’t go bad or stale before you can use it up. It’s a great middle ground that won’t break the bank.

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