Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Diets (Raw Frozen)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Nature’s Variety Instinct raw frozen diets receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Nature’s Variety Instinct product line includes eight raw dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Depending on the recipe, some are available as bites, medallions, patties and chubs.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Beef
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Lamb
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Rabbit
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Turkey
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Venison
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Chicken
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Organic Chicken
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Duck (4.5 stars)

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Beef Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Beef Formula

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 24% | Carbs = 24%

Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef kidney, ground beef bone, carrots, butternut squash, apples, ground flaxseed, montmorillonite clay, dried kelp, broccoli, cod liver oil, salt, salmon oil, apple cider vinegar, dried chicory root, blueberries

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.9%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis15%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%24%24%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%45%19%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient is beef kidney, an organ meat low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.

The fourth ingredient is ground beef bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.

The fifth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is butternut squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With five notable exceptions

First, montmorillonite clay is a naturally occurring compound rich in many trace minerals. Montmorillonite has been approved for use in USDA Organic Certified products.

Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Next, cod liver oil is a fish oil known to be rich in both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins A and D.

In addition, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, although we find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list, the company assures consumers its Instinct raw product line is “complete and balanced”.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Diets
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Variety Instinct raw frozen diets looks like an above-average dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 24% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 45% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing an abundance of meat.

Bottom line?

Nature’s Variety Instinct raw frozen diets is a meat-based dog food using a significant amount of specific meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes

06/06/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Massimo Reyna

    Thank you ver y much!! I will try

  • Massimo Reyna

    Thank you very much i”ll try

  • Carol

    What is your experience with Ziwi? How does it compare?

  • Christine Daley

    Try ziwi peak canned formulas!!

  • Crazy4cats

    It depends on who you ask! LOL! I mix commercial raw nuggets or medallions into my dogs’ kibble three or four times per week with no problem. As C4D noted, you’ll just have to see what works best for you and your dog. Good luck!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Some people mix the raw right in with the kibble and have no problems with it. I usually do kibble/canned mix for 1 meal and raw for the other. Just do a slow transition/addition and see which works best for your dog.

  • Massimo Reyna

    Exist any problem if a mix kibble with barf food 2 or 3 days per week?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Wonderful memories Dori! I do love chocolate and garlic, garlic cloves stuffed in pot or pork roast is to die for! :) Not italian, but have grown up with garlic as well. I too, don’t always cook from recipes.
    Edit: I could possibly see garlic working in dessert in that sweet/savory mix that’s all the rage.

  • Dori

    I too am a chocoholic. Always have been. The dessert that she added garlic to didn’t taste like garlic to my recollection. I asked my sisters about it a little while ago and neither of them remember it tasting of garlic. My mother always believed that garlic was pretty much a cure all for what ails you. None of us can remember anything else that was in it. Mom never cooked from recipes.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It is really good drizzled with a little olive oil. :)

  • Crazy4cats

    I almost ALWAYS opt for convenience. That sounds like a terrific idea!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Whole roasted garlic is delicious! My parents got a special ceramic bowl and you can microwave it (sorry, sometimes I opt for convenience). I would stop @ garlic dessert. I am an admitted chocoholic. :)

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL on the entire post C4C!!! :)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks C4C. I do follow a lot of the Dogs Naturally articles. That’s where I found the DE & pumpkin for worms. :)

  • Dori

    Oh, I’ve never tried pickled garlic. I’ll have to try.

  • Shawna

    I give mine a break and recommend it as well (4 days on, 3 days off) but I’m not sure it’s really necessary. If giving a therapeutic dose I might give daily but on a maintenance dose I feel three or four times per week is adequate.

    Several of mine did get hit by giardia when a foster dog brought it in. Gave them a probiotic immediately and garlic with next meal as soon as I noticed symptoms and within 12 to 24 hours all dogs were back to normal. Guessing they all had a milder case allowing for faster recovery..

  • Shawna

    Garlic dessert — YUM!!

    I don’t eat garlic daily but I do eat it often and, at times, eat HUGE amounts at a time. I’ll eat two or more whole roasted cloves when we “go out for garlic”. :) My grand kids and I also eat pickled garlic — super yummy.

  • Shawna

    That is another question that I can’t find a common answer to. I have enough going on that if I grate the garlic first it is usually 15 to 20 minutes before I’m actually setting the dog bowls down. I don’t remember where I read the 20 minute thing but it stuck. :)

    Dogs Naturally Magazine says 5 to 10 minutes. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/garlic-for-dogs-poison-or-medicine/

    That said, it makes more sense to me that allicin begins to immediately form as it is the plants defense against bugs. If it took 15 to 20 minutes (or even 5 to 10 minutes) for the allicin to form, the bug would have finish the clove. That may be simplistic thinking but… Allicin Facts website says it takes 10 seconds — that actually makes sense. :) http://www.allicinfacts.com/about-allicin/what-is-allicin/

    I think you are probably fine with the 10 minutes…

  • Crazy4cats

    I like garlic too. But, I think the garlic dessert might be pushing it! Btw, Missy, your quarterback is in a little hot water! :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you and yes, I hope your pups do not get them either.

  • Crazy4cats

    Coincidentally, this was recently posted on Dog’s Naturally’s site:
    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/is-garlic-bad-for-your-dog/

    Maybe this will help!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks. I’ll have to read up on dosage, etc. I’ve only used DE I’ve been lucky when it comes to parasites in my personal dogs & my fosters have to go by rescue rules. Most rescues seem to prefer chemical vs natural. :/

  • Dori

    Glad you got rid of those pesky parasites. Hope to not jinx myself but none of the girls have ever had any parasites. Thank goodness. I think it’s the garlic. lol Of course I think garlic makes everything better. I love the smell of garlic too. Reminds me of home when I was young in my mother’s kitchen.

  • Dori

    Hi Crazy4cats. I’m a bit of a garlic addict and have always fed garlic daily to all my dogs. Once in a while I’ll run out but those are the only times I don’t give them garlic. Garlic has been a staple at home always. My mother always used garlic and gave it to her dogs also. None of the dogs we had growing up or any dogs that I’ve had either have ever had any ill effects. Of course, it has to be given dose appropriate and I do believe that that is where people get into a whole host of problems. As Shawna and I have both mentioned in the past through the years, you’d have to be crazy to give a dog the amount you would need to to cause problems. Unfortunately, with that said, there are a lot of crazies out and about in the world we live. But if done responsibly, there is no issue, in my opinion, and there have never been any issues with my dogs or myself. I eat an enormous amount of garlic daily. My ancestry is Cuban, we’re big on garlic. Every day in every way we can get away with in a meal. There was even a dessert that my mother used to make when I was a kid that contained garlic. I wish I’d thought to get all my mother’s recipes before she passed.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Dori-
    A few years back, I was advised to give my dogs garlic to help rid of the nasty giardia that we were struggling with. I believe it was both Hound Dog Mom and BCNut that recommended giving the fresh garlic to them only 3 or 4 days a week. They both thought it was best to give a couple days off from it. It would be interesting to see if Shawna has an opinion on that. And, btw, for anyone curious, it was very helpful in finally getting rid of that darn parasite!

  • Dori

    I agree with Shawna, C4D. Garlic powder does not work as well. It would be nice if we could get the same benefits. So easy to sprinkle garlic on their food but actually it’s not a big deal to do raw. I crush the garlic clove then mince it, wait 10 minutes and divide it into my three dogs bowls.

  • Dori

    Shawna, I’ve been adding the crushed and minced garlic to their food 10 minutes after I’ve crushed and minced once a day. Usually dinner. I’m too bleary eyes in the morning and their too hungry to wait for crushing and mincing process. Should I be waiting 20 minutes instead of the 10?

  • Shawna

    I’m not sure about that but I would assume you would need less raw garlic for the same benefits that powdered garlic would provide — especially if the powdered garlic is not organic (as it could be irradiated), is old etc.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Very Interesting. Would the possible toxicity be the same using equivalent amounts? Thanks!

  • Shawna

    I think this is interesting to note —- I haven’t researched this thoroughly but found this regarding garlic and humans

    “Things to Note

    The lowest estimated ‘toxic’ dose associated with raw garlic consumption has been noted to be a human equivalent of 400mg/kg (or 25g of raw garlic), which resulted in testicular toxicity

    It is possible to be allergic to garlic supplements, if you are allergic to garlic itself

    8g (about two large cloves) of garlic can cut blood levels of Saquinavir in half

    While moderate dietary intake of garlic does not reduce platelet aggregation or adversely interact with Warfarin, higher doses (2,400-7,200mg of Aged Garlic Extract) may do so

    Contrary to popular belief, garlic may attract vampires[6]”

    From the same paper
    “There are no alterations in red blood cell count with normal doses of garlic (although there does appear to be a decrease when a toxic dose of garlic oil is ingested)” http://examine.com/supplements/Garlic/

  • Shawna

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I believe there is still some benefit – it would still be a source of inulin and FOS for the good bacteria (also for the bad now though). It still has some of its chemical components but it is not nearly as healthy as raw.

    If you want efficacy against pathogens you want to feed crushed or grated raw about 20 minutes after crushing/grating. This gives enough time for the allicin to form but not enough time for it to dissipate. I’ve read the allicin is gone anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours after being formed. I’m not sure which is correct so I feed within 20 to 30 minutes to be safe.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Shawna, I’m curious. Does garlic powder work with the same efficacy in health benefits for dogs?

  • Shawna

    I will give you that El Doctor. It is true that there is some red blood cell damage from eating even small amounts of garlic. However, we are in a constant cycle of RBC loss and creation. If there was a concern with red blood cell loss, short of anemia, the Red Cross would not have nearly the volunteers they have as a lot of RBC’s are removed when blood is given — I imagine there would also be a lot of liability cases. A healthy body, however, is quite capable of producing the RBC’s it needs when this happens. I think you can give blood (which causes significant RBC loss) every two weeks from memory.

    Onion appears to cause enough RBC loss that the body is incapable of replacing those red blood cells fast enough and anemia occurs. Garlic however does not have the same concentration of that chemical and only minor amounts are lost. I read one study and if my math was correct my 9 pound dog would have had to eat 7 tablespoons of garlic for at least 3 or 4 days to initiate the beginning process of Heinz body. Hopefully nobody in their right mind would do that.

    To further complicate the issue — garlic seems to, in mice at least, increase the rate at which new red blood cells are formed. So what is lost gets replaced more quickly. Let’s first put this into perspective though — the human body “Take red cells. Millions of them are being made and dying every second.” Back to first statement — “Stimulation of erythropoiesis and related genes (Table 1) by garlic-fed mice is most likely mediated by CO, which by itself can increase the RBC counts, hemoglobin contents, and hematocrit in B6 mice” http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0015358

    Garlic also increases macrophages (immune system), feeds (inulin & FOS) probiotics which “prime” neutrophils (immune system) as well as is directly toxic to yeast, bacteria and parasites. In fact, garlic is better at killing bacteria than antibiotics and does not cause resistance – allicin in garlic even kills MRSA (lots of research and articles on this available). Garlic also prevents and kills cancer cells by inducing apoptosis and antiangiogenosis.

    When used responsibly, the benefits far outweigh any risks and I stand by my previous comment. :)

    Reference for Red blood cell turn over quote — http://www.blood.co.uk/about-blood/how-the-body-replaces-blood/

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    I respectfully disagree!

    In dogs raw garlic, onions, leeks and chives damage red blood cells in ANY amount In small amounts there is a small amount of damage.

    When dogs consume small amounts of raw garlic they don’t show any observable signs of toxicity so people assume there is no damage being done, but there is!

    On a cellular level any amount of raw garlic fed to a dog will cause damage. Raw garlic also has many benefits as you stated but because all those benefits are accompanied be red blood cell damage I don’t feed raw garlic to my dogs!

    Though I confess that on rare occasions I sprinkle a little garlic powder on a slice of eggplant pizza and share it with my cheese heads 😉

    http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2012/06/the-dangers-of-onion-toxicity/

  • Shawna

    Raw garlic is only toxic if consumed in large amounts. To put this into perspective, if water is over-consumed it too can be toxic. Garlic has MANY benefits for humans and dogs if used wisely. I can link posts and videos from MANY vets that use and recommend garlic if interested.

  • Jenedge

    Wait, I’m confused. I thought raw garlic was toxic to dogs. How can you use it to treat parasites?

  • Crazy4cats

    Nature’s Variety is highly recommended. Give it a try!

  • Polo And Cody

    Hello.
    My dogs are currently on Blue Wilderness adult and puppy formula.
    I would like to switch it up.I had some leftover bacon I wasn’t craving I have them it. They showed it down like crazy,
    So I was wondering if it would be worth it to buy this brand? Does any ody have any suggestions on this brand?I see people buying a bunch of these at petsmart and petco and I wanted to give it a try.

    Thanks!

  • Nickole

    Hi. I want to start feeding my 5mo old Belgian Malinois a RAW diet. Can someone please tell me how to begin. Do I slowly introduce it or just take away the kibble and start raw? Also, I was going to buy raw meat from the butcher instead of pre packaged, any feedback or advice? Thanks!!

  • Dori

    Your welcome Carol, I’m happy to be able to help.

  • Carol

    TJ and hamburger – LOVE that idea! I appreciate all the information!

  • Carol

    THANK YOU for all the great information!

  • Shawna

    Poor baby!!! That must have been horrifying for you as well!!!!!
    My suggestion that it might be parasites was from the linked material which suggests that parasites might be a cause of HGE.. Looks like there are many possible causes and much not yet known.. Kinda scary!!

    I feed a WIDE variety of foods — Bravo (venison, rabbit, bison and salmon – balanced in a variety of ways), Bravo Balance in beef protein, Darwins Buffalo, OC goat and rabbit proteins, the Honest Kitchen Preference with Trader Joes hamburger, Honest Kitchen Love and Zeal mixed with raw balanced foods (to increase overall protein), Answer’s Pork, Nature’s Variety Rabbit and Lamb and a few other brands and proteins. I used to feed Primal Pheasant and Quail but my Pom reacts to all fowl proteins. I also used to feed Bravo Elk and Ostrich but they are hard to come by now and the Pom reacts to ostrich too.

    I truly hope the HGE was a one time thing!!!!!

  • Dori

    As I mentioned Carol, I don’t feed any fowl whatsoever regardless of where down the ingredient list it might be. Foods and companies that I trust and that are presently in rotation are: Primal Formulas Raw Frozen, Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen, OC Raw Frozen, Answer’s Detailed Raw Frozen, Vital Essentials Raw Frozen, Nature’s Logic Raw Frozen. For treats they only get organic (when available) fruits and veggies raw. If I have made veggies for dinner or I’ve bothered to steam a variety & keep refrigerated for them then they’ll get those also. I realize fruits and veggies raw are not as nutritious as steamed or pureed but since I’m giving them as crunchy and a treat I really don’t care about that. I do on occasion use Primal Freeze Dried and Vital Essentials Tripe as treats in the treat jars. Once in a while for a change I’ll give them dehydrated The Honest Kitchen Zeal. Zeal is the only formula that allergy girl, Katie, does well on. Not really a raw food but it’s nice for them for a change up. Once a week I will split a can among my three dogs of sardines packed in water with no salt. Once a day they get 1/4 tsp. organic coconut oil (I use Coco Therapy). Sometimes I’ll give them 1/4 tsp or so of greek plain yogurt. Not on a regular basis, just if I happen to remember it. Three days a week of give two of my dogs 100 i.u. Vitamin E soy free. Hannah, my senior citizen gets daily 200 i.u. Vitamin E soy free. I should mention that everything I feed is grain free also to the best of my knowledge and research everything is GMO free. I don’t feed any fowl as I mentioned. I also don’t feed corn, white potatoes, white rice, soy. I also mentioned in an earlier post I believe that I feed them all a rotational diet. I switch their food for every meal and none of them have any issues whatsoever. I like switching as often as I do because the level of protein & fats that I feed are on the high side…some higher than others so it keeps them somewhat more level on those counts. I also try to feed as low a carbohydrate diet as I can. None of the three have had any issues with very high proteins (one of their foods is 68% protein) or very high fats. The fats in their diets, though high, are quality fats. I don’t feed them any processed foods or commercially processed and sold treats. I never ever feed them jerky of any sort bought in stores nor do I feed raw hide or bully sticks. Hope some of this has helped. If I can be of any further help or think of anything else I’ll let you know. Forgot to mention that once in a while I’ll give them some B Complex by Thorne for canines. I probably do this once a week or so. It’s a capsule which I pull apart and give them each a quarter of the capsule. For the vitamin E’s I pinch a hole with a safety pin and squirt into their food. I don’t actually give them the outside of any supplements.

  • Carol

    Conclusively, based on a specific blood test, my yorkipoo had HGE and is currently under treatment for it. They have him on Royal Canin Prescription right now – talk about a “dramatically different food!” I will keep him on it while he’s undergoing the antibiotic, but in the next few days will transition him back to the raw diet. I forgot to mention that one of the foods I rotate is Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated turkey which they love. I typically serve it as their first meal and then the raw in the evening. Sometimes I switch it up. I think Honest Kitchen’s foods are quality — however, it is that food that he threw up twice last week (many hours later) before he started pooping blood in his stool (which made me take notice and get him to the vet). What raw brand do you use?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Good post Shawna! I saw that article on HGE too. I think sometimes the vets want to blame raw regardless of what the cause might be. The fact that AMVA took a stand against raw feeding reinforces it. :(

  • Shawna

    Is your vet thinking a bacterial infection from the raw? If so, the Nature’s Variety foods are subjected to high pressure pasteurization which greatly reduces the risks of contamination.

    I raw feed too and have had, including my own and foster dogs, about 40 dogs in my home over the last 10 years. None have had any issues with raw.

    I found this info on HGE
    “The exact cause of HGE remains unknown (idiopathic). It may be related to dietary indiscretion (ingesting non-food items or even dramatically different foods than what the dog is accustomed to), immune-mediated disease, toxins, or pancreatitis. Stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity are thought to be possible contributing factors in many cases. Recent research indicates that HGE may be an allergic reaction (food or inhaled). Intestinal parasites and bacteria may also be causes. Dogs who experience HGE may be more prone to developing HGE in the future.” http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/hemorrhagic-gastroenteritis-in-dogs/764
    If turkey is a new protein for your pup, it may be causing a reaction? My Pom gets ulcerative colitis (massive diarrhea with a small amount of red blood) if she gets chicken in any form.
    If there is a chance that it could be parasites, or if you want to treat just in case, check out info on raw garlic and/or raw pumpkin seeds. Both kill parasites.
    I hope you are able to figure it out without any more flare ups!!

  • Carol

    Thanks for the feedback, Dori. I do believe my dogs have done very well on the raw diet. My Shih Tzu is 11 and other than the bladder stone history she is spry and well! The yorkipoo has been on this diet most of his life and he, too, has done well. YES, they do get treats…and sometimes fed “treats” from the table — like steak or chicken or whatever meat we are eating. They also love fresh vegetables. The yorkipoo will eat any veggie or fruit. The treats I buy are premium and I make sure they are sourced and processed in the USA. Mostly they get a freeze-dried beef nugget that they LOVE, occasionally chicken breast jerky, and recently a turkey jerky I got at Costco. I did wonder whether the turkey jerky was the culprit because that is new — about a couple or so weeks now. What other brands do you rotate into your dogs’ diet? I only use raw beef or raw deer. They (and I) don’t like the raw turkey or chicken and I won’t feed them duck or rabbit. Just a personal choice. I think the Royal Canin RX diets are GARBAGE. I can’t believe they use these in the name of “prescription” diet! Pork? Cellulose? Really?

  • Dori

    What else have you been feeding your dogs? Treats, bones, etc. Wondering if the issue was something else your dog ate. I’ve been feeding my girls commercial raw diets in rotation for over 3 1/2 yrs. now and no problems whatsoever. The two you feed along with a number of others are in rotation. I do know, as you probably do by now also, that anytime anything has ever been wrong medically vets will attempt to blame the raw feeders and either want you to feed Science Diet, Royal Canin, Hills or whatever. Two of my girls have a few issues, one more than the other, but what I will say is that all three of my girls have never been better since making the switch to raw. I should mention that as one of my girls is fowl intolerant I don’t feed anything with any kind of fowl in it. Sorry for the long post, I was just wondering if your Yorkipoo maybe got sick from something else. One of my girls is a Yorkipoo also.

  • Carol

    I came to this site HOPING to get solid information and even PAID to get the “Editor’s Choice” recommendations. I find all of this more confusing than helpful. The “editor” recommends, then you have several posts speaking of things found in foods, horrible reactions dogs have had, etc. I have been giving my Shih Tzu (who has bladder stone issues) and my Yorkie-Poo (who is now 4 years old and was healthy up till now) raw food for about 3 years now. The Shih Tzu has not had a return of bladder stones that we’re aware of (she had surgery 4 years in a row and twice in one year)!! I alternate Nature’s Variety Instinct and Primal. The Yorkie-Poo got seriously ill this week and was hospitalized for HGE. The vet has him on Royal Canin Low fat intestinal prescription canned – it is GARBAGE. They told me the raw food MIGHT have contributed to his intestinal issues. So I’m looking for a cooked, canned alternative, The editor’s recommendations that I’ve looked at (NOT interested in feeding duck or rabbit) have tons of negative comments. What to do?????

  • CAEdge

    Denamarin is a supplement for cats and dogs with SamE and milk thistle, which is good for liver support.

  • CAEdge

    When my dog was on chemo the oncologist gave him Denamarin, which has milk thistle in it and is good for liver support. My cat with IBD improved on it too. Highly recommend!

  • Peanut’s Mom

    I’d like to know too because the Stella and Chewys is much cheaper at my pet food store.

  • TomB1986

    Does anyone know how this compares to Stella & Chewy’s raw frozen food?

  • Jamie Schwartz

    I tried my dog on this food and for a raw food I feel that it’s okay for a raw food. Obviously it is much better than feeding kibble. I already feed my dog raw and decided to try this product out of curiosity. Compared to what I already feed I wasn’t blown away. It has a weird smell to it and I know it’s been pressure treated to kill bacteria. The medallions are very convenient, however convenience isn’t a huge deal to me. The food I feed is also local to where I live, Ontario, and NV is from the US, and I’d rather buy local. The price I paid for 3 pounds of NV food is the same as what I pay for 12 pounds of the raw food I feed.

    Things I noticed: My dog doesn’t eat any fruit and veg and this food contains a small amount. I noticed his breath started to smell when I started to feed this (he’s had no bad breath since switching him to raw from kibble 2 years ago). His poops were great, but one the third day eating this food he was puking up foam (he was fine and this went away).

    It is still an OK product, but depending on where you live there might be better options for raw, foods that are not pressure treated, with options for foods with no fruit and veg, that are local to you and with a lower price point.

  • Crazy4cats

    Awesome!

  • L Maurer

    My cat was in liver failure for unknown reasons and my Vet recommended daily doses so Sam-E. Her enzymes went down and everything was good for years. She lived 5 years after the diagnosis of almost complete failure.

  • theBCnut

    Try contacting them and asking. If I had to guess, I would say maybe they are using meat from a source where the blood is already drained out, so they think they need to add sodium. Maybe their GA shows it to be a bit low in sodium if they don’t add some back in. Maybe they are hoping it will stay good longer with a higher level of sodium. Too many possibilities, best to ask.

  • Jamie Schwartz

    Does anyone know why they add salt to their raw foods? I’m used to feeding raw foods that are literally just meat/bone/organ, and decided to give NV Instinct Raw a try. The rest of the added ingredients I understand, but I’m not quite sure why they add salt. Just curious!

  • Lynn Bland

    Hi I have a 13 wk old Husky! Is it ok to give him frozen cod pieces as he seems to like them very much & he keeps stealing them from freezer when kids open to get ice cream out!
    THANKYOU

  • Donna Gaumond

    That is what I’ve been doing. She is healthy and fine. This is the only food she loves. Her weight is perfect. I do add water to the food so that makes me feel better. Thanks for the feedback. Donna

  • Jamie Schwartz

    If you are switching from kibble, yes this is normal. Kibble has lots of fiber, carbs and filler in it. It’s the same as us going from a carb heavy diet to eating mostly fruits and vegetables. Feed the appropriate amount of raw and that’s it, your dog will get used to it.

  • Jamie Schwartz

    Keep her on raw and don’t worry about it! Raw foods are 70 – 80% moisture. It is not uncommon for dogs that are fed raw to not drink at all otherwise. They are getting the liquid they need through their diet. DO NOT change her diet, that is what the vet wants you to do. Raw diets contain protein in the best form, so digestion is not a problem, and raw diets typically contain less protein than kibble diets. If you are still worried about the amount of liquid she is getting then you could add a bit of water to her RAW food, or make up bone marrow broth and feed that as well.

  • Donna Gaumond

    Yes she only gets the raw frozen. She likes the rabbit and duck the most. I took her to the vet and they did a urine sample because she was having a lot of accidents. She had protien in her urine so they told me to change her food and add water because she doesn’t just drink water alone.

  • Dori

    I’m assuming you are saying that you feed Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen foods. That is one of the foods in rotation for my three dogs. Kibble, in my opinion, is not a good choice for any dog to be eating but, then, I’m an advocate for commercial raw feeding (I rotate between brands and within the brands). Typically dogs that eat raw foods do not drink as much water as dogs eating kibble. Raw has a great deal of moisture in it. I wouldn’t add water to the raw because it’s not needed but you can if you feel like it. I also only give appropriate fruits and veggies as treats. I don’t feed commercial treats as they mostly all have some sort of grain component to it. Also too many treats have had too many recalls for me to trust any of them, but that’s just my opinion.

    I give one of my dogs 200 mg. of vitamin E daily. She’s a 15 1/2 year old Maltese. I make sure that it does not contain soy and that it is non-GMO. My other two dogs (a Maltipoo and a Yorkipoo) I give 100 mg. three times a week. (I pierce a 200 mg. capsule and split it between the two of them).

    Fish Oil. In place of fish oil twice a week I split a small can of sardines purchased at the grocery store that is packed in water NOT olive oil. I add it to their meals. You can feed it separately if you wish as a treat. I do keep on hand, in the refrigerator (that’s important), a bottle of Nature’s Logic Sardine Oil. On the other days of the week that I don’t feed sardines packed in water, once I’ve prepared their food in their bowls I take out the bottle of Sardine Oil from the fridge, squirt a little on top of their food and immediately put the bottle back in the fridge. Fish oil goes bad very quickly so all fish oil should be kept refrigerated. The Nature’s Logic Sardine Oil bottle is pretty large and seems to last forever. It is a good quality fish oil and will certainly be less expensive than buying fish oil capsules.

  • Donna Gaumond

    I have a shih poo that is 14 lbs. Nature Instinct frozen is the only diet she’ll eat. I tried many other top brands of kibble with no luck. The vet recommended fish oil, I give 500 mg. half of a human pill and vitamin e. I squeeze out some of a 400 mg oil tab. Is this alright? She doesn’t drink water that much so the vet recommended I add water to the food. She also eats carrots and bananas for snacks along with instinct dog treat for training. Is this enough?

  • Scottilee Cameron

    My little dog (6lbs) eats the raw bites. How do I find out about Vitamin D for dogs? Not much sun in Edm, Ab. He seems a little off lately.

  • Linda

    Have you looked into a vet school to see if they have a holistic or TCVM vet on staff? I have a special needs pup and all traditional vets gave up on her and I contacted the LSU Vet school and they had a TCVM Vet (Traditional Chinese Vet. Medicine) on staff and now my pup is thriving using him and his knowledge of what her body required as to feeding her properly to help her. She is very sensitive to so much and can tolerate very little changes, so this was the best way to go. His advise about her food was spot on.

  • Dori

    Hi Lyd Bin. Absolutely! I don’t believe in feeding raw and kibble in the same meal as others do but I think, actually I know, that it is perfectly fine to feed kibble for one meal and raw for the other. It can get pretty costly to feed commercial raw foods for both meals especially if you have large dogs. Glad I could answer your question for you and glad that you are feeding some raw.

  • Shawna

    Hi Judith,

    I agree with Melissaandcrew about whitefish. It creates less ammonia for the liver to have to convert to urea. Dr. Dodds has a home made (cooked I believe) diet utilizing whitefish that can be found online. You might not have to be as restrictive as the diet but it could be used as a base and modified to be suitable for his current values/symptoms.

    Milk thistle is good but I would also suggest raw eggs (white and yolk) and/or Answer’s Raw Goat Milk product. Both of these, if suitable for stage of liver disease, will naturally boost your pups glutathione. Gutathione, the master antioxidant of the body, is the same reason milk thistle is helpful. The eggs need to be fed just as they are when coming out of the shell for the most benefit.

    Also, look at a premade raw diet created by vet Dr. Barbara Royal for Darwins. Based on whitefish — http://www.darwinspet.com/our-raw-foods/our-raw-dog-food/intelligent-design-ls/#sthash.lcA1DLrJ.dpbs If you can’t afford the diet with your expenses already high, maybe you can use it as a model. Or, use it as half of the diet etc..

    Good luck with your boy!!!! My pup has had kidney disease for eight and a half years and is high protein raw fed and doing well. The one product I won’t do without for her is Standard Process Canine Renal Support. I find it to be invaluable and will pay any cost for it (luckily, it’s reasonably priced). They also make a liver support product — Canine Hepatic Support. The products “feed” the organ they are made for while helping to prevent inflammation to the organ…

  • Judith Williams

    Thanks Melissa. I am currently providing him with Dr. Becker’s recommended supplements and foods I prepare at home rather than commercial dog food. I will try the whitefish though. I’ve been alternating beef and chicken and he seems very happy and his liver enzymes have gone down from 237 to 153. I would really prefer raw though. I still want to get his ultrasound done of his belly but can’t afford to do it yet. Hopefully soon. He is doing better, though. Thank you again.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Aimee-
    If you are still around, could you please check out the forum. I started a new topic on DL-Methionine vs vet food for crystals. I’d really like your opinion. Thanks!

  • aimee

    Hi Judith,

    My prior dog had a congenital liver issue. She was initially only expected to live until 9 months of age or so but lived a full life.. til 14.

    She was initially on home made but then on a therapeutic veterinary diet. I understand why you’d think the food “look cruddy” however when I looked at the veterinary literature I did find that ingredients that are often vilified have qualities that were beneficial to liver patients.

    There are a lot of different liver problems and without biopsy liver problems are hard to characterize. The vet diets are made to encompass a variety of liver conditions and your dog may or may not need each of those individual components. For example, some liver diets are restricted in protein but your dog’s liver problem may not need protein restriction.

    As Melissa brought up, copper levels in the diet are important when working with a liver problem in a breed known to have copper storage disease. But any ongoing inflammation in the liver can result in excessive copper accumulation so if your dog’s blood work supports on going inflammation a low copper diet either vet or homemade may be appropriate. Ask you vet. Balanceit has a semi custom diet feature and has a recipe that you can use with your vet’s approval for diets formulated to be low in copper.

    Personally if I had a dog that needed a low copper diet I’d either home cook or use a vet diet.

  • Melissaandcrew

    I fed our liver disease dog wellness whitefish for 5 yr
    He did great. Not sure if it meets your needs.

  • Judith Williams

    Hi Melissa. I have done a lot of research, and you’re correct. My problem is, the vet only wants to continue doing expensive tests, over-vaccinating him, and really paying no mind to the cruddy food she is telling me he needs. I am very saddened that my dog’s issues have been ignored by the very people that should know what to do. He is the love of my life in white fur. I started him on milk thistle and will change over to a different diet when I can. I was just hoping someone here could recommend a food. Thanks again.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hi there. Please Google liver disease in white west highland terriers. They have a huge genetic tendency for it coupled with excess copper storage. Check around..try yahoo groups etc to see if you can find a westies group that could help you with more breed specific info and options.

  • Judith Williams

    I appreciate your recommendation. Unfortunately, we are not able spend so much on these products, and have to go the do-it-yourself route. But, we are learning so much! Thank you.

  • JeremyScottRenolds

    Perhaps you can get a recommendation on food and supplements from this amazing holistic vet. His products are very pure and this guy is up there with Dr. Karen Becker imo.Check out his liver cleanse which he believes is important for all dogs.
    http://peterdobias.com/collections/liver-support

  • Judith Williams

    I found out he does not have Cushing’s. High enzymes and small liver. His vet thinks it is genetic.

  • Judith Williams

    I can make my own raw diet for the dogs, and just add milk thistle and enzymes and anything else that may help him, and I will do that if need be. I would love a holistic vet, if only they weren’t so expensive. We pay a lot for our dogs’ health care now, just for the preventive maintenance. I just don’t have a lot of money to play with and he needs help now. Giving more than just an OK food source is my last gift to him, and I will do it on my own if necessary. I know that the prescribed food isn’t worth the high price tag, and is not even healthy, and puts him at risk. So, it’s a no brainer. I have to find him a usable alternative.

  • Dori

    Please post back the results of tests and then we can help give you some guidance.

  • theBCnut

    Your vet should be able to tell you what protein level to try to match and if there are any specific ingredients you should stay away from. You many want to ask for a referral to a veterinary nutritionist or you may want to go to a holistic vet. They are more informed about nutrition than regular vets. You may have to go the route of making homemade dog food to get a low enough protein and stay with ingredients you want. That’s what I would do.

  • Judith Williams

    I know. Yes. They recommended Royal Canin hepatic formula. He’s on it now but I don’t like him eating that. It’s way too high in things like rice and corn and they have admitted they use ingredients from China, so I am doing my own research before changing to something more helpful/safe.

  • Judith Williams

    Yes, his enzymes are high and they found his liver ‘smaller than normal’. No diagnosis yet. They are checking for Cushings. We paid for the all day test and have waited 2 weeks for results. No news yet.

  • Dog_Obsessed
  • Kris Johnson

    Can someone explain the difference between dry matter basis vs. Guaranteed Analysis? 15% min. seems low. Am i missing something?

  • Crazy4cats

    I agree, this food is great. I wish I could afford to feed more of it to my large breed dogs. Good luck with your dog’s treatment. I hope he recovers fully. :)

  • Dori

    Has your Westie been given a diagnosis of liver disease or does he have elevated liver levels?

  • theBCnut

    Have you talked to your vet about what to look for in a food your dog? Usually, dogs with liver disease need very specific diets.

  • Judith Williams

    Which of these foods would be good for the support of liver disease in my Westie?

  • Bobby dog

    I also feed the same variety to my dog as Crazy4cats does with no issues; every dog is different.

  • Crazy4cats

    That issue has been debated many times on this site. I use NVI frozen raw nuggets as toppers in my dogs’ kibble a few times per week with no problem. I also feed canned mixed in their kibble several times per week without issue. I guess it depends on the dog.

  • Barbara Jeanne

    You should not mix raw with kibble as they are digested at different rates. The mixing can actually cause the digestive upset. I never had transition issues, but I never mixed raw with kibble. My Mini Poodles get Raw Frozen Instinct in the AM and Dry Fromm at night. No issues.

  • sharron

    thank you

  • Riley Lavender

    This food is an absolute treasure. My heart dog, my pride and joy… 5 year old sheltie mix has been going through treatment for Valley Fever. Instinct raw is the ONLY food he will willingly eat. I’ve tried other commercial raw foods and they’re evidently not nearly as tasty. Without Instinct, my dog would likely be a rack of bones. It’s a bit on the pricy side if you’ve got a dog bigger than a toy breed, and damn near impossible to afford if you’ve got a large breed and considering I’m a broke college student … it makes my poor wallet cry sometimes…. but by golly it’s WORTH IT!!!!! A Happy, healthy dog is WORTH EVERY SINGLE CENT!!!!!! If I have to starve myself for a week to be able to afford this glorious bag of frozen magic, I WILL. NO question!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Both are great foods, I would suggest rotating between them.

  • sharron

    need a recommendation please – which would be better to feed stella & chewy’s freeze dried or nature’s variety raw medallions – she likes both – thanks

  • sharron

    can NV medallions be mixed with Weruva can food

  • Dori

    Actually Lyd Bin, Jeremy was the person that was going to speak to the rep and report back but I guess he may have forgotten. My three dogs haven’t had any issues with the food old or new so I haven’t bothered to check further myself. My three toy dogs are eaters and not the least bit picky about food. If it is that they lowered the fat content, then I for one am glad. Since most raw foods are pretty high in fat, it’s nice to have one that has lowered it a little as opposed to the company that I used to use that actually increased the fat so I stopped using them. Oh, just want to mention that I haven’t had to increase the amount that I feed them with NV Instinct Raw. They continue to maintain their weight. I’m a raw feeder and rotate their proteins and brands constantly (each meal is different) so that could be the reason why no weight loss issues with the girls.

  • Lyd Bin

    So what’s the scoop? Did you find anything out? I found out that they reduced the fat content, which might be why some dogs got disgruntled. It would also explain the lower calorie content. Maybe that’s it? Maybe there should be a petition to change it back to the older formula.

  • SP
  • Hound Dog Mom

    Definitely.

  • sharron

    can sojos dehydrated complete feed be mixed with NV medallions

  • Cyndi

    I agree! This website and the people here have helped me tremendously!!

  • Oscar228

    Awww, thanks again!!! This is such a great community!!!:D

  • Cyndi

    You’re very welcome! We are all here to help each other. :)

  • Oscar228

    Thank you very much for all your advice!!!:D

  • Amanda

    My 4-year-old Pekingese, Jax has been on this food for a couple of months now. I work at a pet store and have been through various pet food training classes, so I’d like to say that I know a thing or two about quality foods. Once I started to realize the benefits that raw food can have, I definitely switched. Jax loves it! However, did anyone else have to go through the switching process really slow? Jax eats 1 cup of food a day, so I started out with 2/3 cup of his beef flavored Fromm and 1/3 cup of the Nature’s Variety raw food. Within the first two days, he started to have diarrhea. I’ve read that raw food can take a little longer to get used to, and have now been switching him much more slowly. Has anyone else experienced diarrhea with their dogs?

  • Cyndi

    Here’s the coupon in case anyone wants to use it. Hopefully you can just print it out…

  • Cyndi

    Dr. Mike, thought I’d share this with you & others. I get emails from Nature’s Variety with coupons for their raw food. The pic below is a screen shot of part of the last email I got from them.

  • Julianne Sobel

    Yup. My dog is refusing to eat the new stuff. Tried both the beef and chicken. Will try old fashioned NV turkey/duck without raw. If that doesn’t work I will need to find another brand.

  • Rick Culbertson

    Just put my female dobe back on raw from Orejin kibble. Great food but she was putting on weight

  • Rick Culbertson

    Yes your right I should of specified fresh veggies. Just something to fill them up.

  • theBCnut

    If you are talking about canned green beans or carrots, I don’t like to recommend carrots because they are full of sugar that, once cooked for canning, is available to the dog, and added sugar calories isn’t helpful. Raw carrots and green beans are less digestable and therefore do a better job of providing bulk without many calories.

  • sharron

    thanks – will give it a try

  • Rick Culbertson

    Mix some no salted carrots of green beans in with the raw
    Should help fill her up

  • sharron

    well i’ve finally got lexee eating this food (just started) – giving her 3 medallions a day and i’m finding that it’s not filling her up – is this normal when just starting to feed raw – the last time she ate this food which was about 3 yrs ago i fed her too many and she gained quite a bit

  • Akex

    Hello Hound Dog Mom.
    I just made the jump to raw with ziwipeak air dried but want to use something more balanced with produce. Which do you prefer NV, primal or Stella an chewy? Also what are you thoughts on Ziwipeak?

  • Dori

    NO! The rabbit used to be sourced from China. It has been at least a year that they have been sourcing rabbit from France. Do some research before posting negative posts please. Thx

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Tracey –

    NV imports their rabbit from France. They no longer source from China.

  • Tracey Atkinson-Bagatta

    Great food – but avoid the rabbit variety – the rabbit is imported from China.

  • Cyndi

    Raw is the best you can feed, then dehydrated raw, then canned then kibble. Whatever you think is best for your dog, is what you should feed. I started my girl on raw a little over a year and a half ago. I did just about 2 months of research before I started though. If you are interested in raw, there are a few good books out there to help you. “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown is one. The other is “Healthy foods for Dogs and Cats” by Dr. Karen Becker is another. Also, there are a lot of people on here that are willing to help. If you check out the Forum section, there is a Raw Feeding section that is very informative. Good Luck! :)

  • Oscar228

    Hello!!! I have a 6 year old Dachshund named Oscar. Currently I have him on Taste of the Wild. I would really like to have him on the healthiest diet possible. Would raw food be the way to go??? I really don’t know

  • Carla

    Here is the reply I received from the company:

    “Hi Carla,

    Thank you for writing and sorry for your experience with our food. Feedback like this is very important to us.

    All of our Instinct Raw diets have recently been updated. You can read about the new formulas at http://bit.ly/1sT23nr. The increased organs in the formula add a more vibrant, darker color.

    The information you have provided from the product in question will help us better report this issue to our Quality Assurance Department for further research.

    We have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee that covers all of our foods if you are not satisfied with your Nature’s Variety purchase for ANY reason. Were you able to exchange or return this product for a full refund at the store? If not, we can send you a free product coupon to try another bag. Just respond to this message with your physical mailing address and we’ll send that coupon out to you right away. Again, sorry for your experience.”

  • Carla

    Thanks for the info – my dogs will not eat this. They have refused it for four days now. Not sure what to do!! I have contacted the store and attempted to contact the company – waiting on a reply.

  • theBCnut

    For a healthy dog, the fat percentage should be 1/2 of the protein percentage.
    A raw meaty bone is NOT a marrow bone. It is a softer consumable bone such as ribs of smaller animals, turkey necks, chicken backs, etc. RMBs are usually not balance though, too much bone, so you usually have to give more meat with RMBs if they are a regular part of the diet.
    Sent from my iPod

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Ideally, you want to look for double the amount of protein than fat. But those are few and far between. But active dogs require more energy so can very well handle more fat. If you take a look at some sporting or professional or working dog kibbles, you will find that some have high fat, some have equal amounts of fat as it does protein. You can slowly transition your dogs to a high fat diet. I started by giving my dogs a couple bites a day as a treat. Then I started giving them chicken wings and thighs and drumsticks with fat on. BTW, those are RMB, something they can completely consume. I didn’t give them a marrow bone (recreational bone) right off the bat since those are just fat. Some dogs can handle a fast transition or even go raw cold turkey. But I like to be cautious. My group is accustomed to various amounts of fat as they get a rotational diet. They do get marrow bones too and some of their foods are probably around 100% or more fat-to-protein. But it’s rotational.

  • Dori

    Hi Nancy. Wait a little while (end of the month) before you order the Zeal from THK. They are removing the Alfalfa for various reasons and though it’s already in production, they are waiting until everyone sells out of their alfalfa inclusive products. I spoke with them again yesterday and they told me to call them again at the end of the month. Apparently there was a lot of product out there with the alfalfa.

    Again, Darwin’s is a great food but so are a lot of the 5 star raws. Remember, don’t obsess too much. Pick one transition your dog then pick another one. Rotate between the proteins in the brand you pick and also with different brands. Don’t feel that whichever food you pick is the one you’ll be feeding for life. The idea is to find as many as agree with your dog (over time) and rotate between foods. Eventually you’ll get to where you can rotate different foods whenever you feel like it even from meal to meal. I believe you are over thinking the whole raw feeding. I believe that HPP raw foods are great also because the simple fact is that the objective is to rotate foods so that your dog will be getting benefits from all different types of ingredients from different companies. It’s easy. Just jump right in and join us raw feeders. When you’ve been doing it for a while and see the difference in your dog you are gonna smack yourself on the head and wonder what the heck to you so long.

  • Dori

    Thanks for the info Jeremy.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Nancy –

    I was referring to “Steve’s Real Food” brand of raw. The review is here: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/steves-real-food-raw-frozen/

  • Nancy Calloway

    HDM – Better to be a Fool and ask a Q than not ask and remain one.
    WHO is “STEVE?”
    I went to the Raw Food List and saw nothing named “Steve’s” —
    I’ve missed something. Thank you for cluing me in.
    Nancy

  • Jeremy

    I learned some of it from the representative from the company that visits the pet store I work at, as for the feeding guidelines I looked at the bags we have in stock in our freezer. When our rep comes in again I will try to get some more in depth answers if I can :)

  • Dori

    Thanks for letting us know about the change in NV. Did you get this info from the company or the pet store that you purchased it from?

  • Jeremy

    Oops, this was supposed to be in response to Carla’s post

  • Jeremy

    Natures Variety did just change their product and packaging, I’m not sure on what all they changed with the recipe but I know it’s not suitable for cats anymore just dogs. Oh yeah and you have to literally feed twice as much as you used to, I checked between the old package and the new ones since we still have some old ones and it doesn’t seem like the changes to guaranteed analysis would account for this.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Okay, Shawna — I am reading this thread at NV’s raw… So how about telling me WHAT commercial foods you DO TRUST NOW?
    BTW I just REvisited Brothers Complete. it is probl a trustworthy food. But it is pricey. I am a Raw Believer now. It’s just that I need to find a trustworthy source. Darwin’s I think IS one. What do you think? Even the Homeopath Vet I have mentioned earlier recommends it FIRST on his website. I aspire to GMO Free and would like to be feeding Organic for those high prices. Thank you in advance for whatever you can say. I am leaning toward THK Zeal also. Just as FYI I have called ZiwiPeak three times now and left a message and NOBODY ever calls me back. Bad sign.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Hi Shawna: Thank you for your yet again watchful eye. I am studying Raw now. I do not want the HPP foods either. so, based on your knowledge, and to save me TIME, can you rec a few NON- HPP Raw producers? Sounds like the Pickens will be slim. Thank you!

  • Nancy Calloway

    Glad to see someone on here who specializes in GSDs! My GSD had a terrible problem at 16 mos when I transitioned him to Origen and Acana. Terrible diarrhea. Ended up at vet, metronidazole, Hill’s WD. Now he is doing well on Dr. Tim’s Persuit because he is in training until Sept. But when he returns home I plan to move to Raw yet know I MUST do my homework. He will have been on Dr. Tim’s since June and doing well – stabilized from the terrible spring he had. He will be 2 in September and otherwise very healthy. What advice do you have for me in transitioning to Raw, other than going extremely slowly — I am thinking starting him out with 1/8 cup a day of raw (raw patties first) mixed with Dr. Tims, and increasing only when any soft stool stops. does this make sense? What ELSE might you say? Thank you.

  • Nancy Calloway

    OKay – just read this. so WHAT IS THE RIGHT percentage of Protein to Fat for Raw? I am seeing variations and wondering about that. Don’t want pancreatitis!!
    I asked Betsy earlier about exactly WHAT IS A “raw meaty bone?” Where do I buy that or do I order? I know this is a stupid Question but I need to be sure that I understand this. I think the Whole foods butcher was wrong when he told me it is a leg bone with marrow. I did not correct him because I am just beginning to learn about raw. Thank you!!

  • Nancy Calloway

    Hi Betsy: I just saw this as am studying the 5 * Raw Products reviews. I don’t fully understand “raw meaty bone–” exactly what it is and where to get them. For dental health they seem to be necessary (?) unless you are feeding your dog things like whole chicken wings and whole chickens with the bones which they have to chew up — or a “rack” of lamb with bones or similar (which I could not afford!). I went to the butcher at Whole Foods and he showed me a LEG bone with marrow inside, calling it a “raw meaty bone” however I think he was incorrect. I have read on DFA (I think) that a weight bearing bone like a leg is NOT recommended bec it can crack a tooth.
    Thank you for whatever you can say.
    Nancy C.

  • Dori

    Did you call the company and let them know what your experience is? Also did you talk to the pet store where you purchased the food? It would be good that they be advised of the issue and see if they have any answers for you. Let us know please as a lot of us use Natures Variety Instinct Raw. I don’t feed the chicken because one of my girls has allergies to all things poultry but I do feed some of their other proteins.

  • Carla

    Did they recently change the recipe for the Raw chicken medallions? My dogs suddenly will not touch it! They have been eating it for more than a year, and the latest 3 lb bag I purchased doesn’t even look or smell the same. It looks dark, like the beef formula. And it’s no longer a paste consistency when thawed; now it’s more crumbly, like cooked ground beef. Bad, bad deal, NV!!

  • acozyreaderscorner

    Amazon, chewy’s.com and Petco or PetSmart all carry NV Raw.

  • PUNKem733

    Funny you should ask. You’re on a thing called the internet. It’s actually the greatest place in human history for gathering information such as this. It’s CRAZY!!!!

  • Guest

    What’s so great about the raw foods? I keep hearing about it.

  • Pug Poppa

    Hi and you are a Pug Angel. We have 3 pugs, one had multiple mast cell tumors and numerous surgeries, the second, one MCT removed, chronieec ear infections, IBS, liver issues when we adopted him, and our oldest an elongated palate and athrophy of blood vessels behind his eyes causing genetic blindness. They are all doing well on raw diet with fish oil and added vitamin. We do use Darwin’s, which I admit is costly but we save on not having chronic wet bills.

  • Steve

    I’m replying to a 3-mo. old post, but the question is still valid and unanswered.
    I too am disappointed the mfg’r doesn’t include info on their label or website about ME and Calories for this food. The NI Raw Chicken website says my dog needs 1250 cals. per day. and to feed him 19.5 oz. By weight that equals 2.4 patties per day, and means about 512 cals/patty.

    Can we calculate ME by using the Dry Matter numbers DFA publishes and the Atwater Factor formula found in the peteducation.com article “Metabolizable Energy and Caloric Density” http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2244&aid=2842 to calc ME. If yes, I get ME 4420 kcal/kg. Would love some other input and guidance on this.

  • theBCnut

    Especially for your one with mast cell tumors, I think this would be a good one for you to try. Google high histamine foods and you’ll find a list of foods you want to avoid for her. That will help you make decisions in the future.

  • Chrissy

    Hello! I am wondering if this food would be alright as an introduction to raw for our pugs…we have one pug fully on raw. We were now thinking of trying all raw or at least one meal – it is pricey and we have 4 who all have special needs. We adopted them and they are all doing fantastic, but still have a lot going on right now. One little one just had 4 mast cells removed and a ton of upper airway surgery….then we just found out she also has laryngeal collapse and we adopted her knowing she had the most severe orthopedic conditions. She is one strong little girl! She is just the happiest little girl despite all she went through in those awful conditions before she was rescued and then now…we would like to try the raw thing one more time. Prior to this none have done really well on raw, but we may have tried to switch them over too fast. We were going to try a very slow transition. I am not sure if this is a good one to begin with, or if this is a not so good one. I see mixed reviews. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! I thank you so much for any help! We also have thought about Addiction dog food as well. <3 Chrissy G.

  • Jo Ann Marlowe

    try a feed store

  • theBCnut

    The tubes can be partially defrosted and portioned then refrozen. But my favorite place to order raw from is Darwin’s. it’s shipped right to your door frozen solid and has everything you need except for feeding fish once a week.
    Sent from my iPod

  • Teresa

    Thank you! I would like to order Raw but it is only offered in Tubes at our Pet store. I am not sure how to get started with buying Raw and from where?