Nature’s Variety Instinct (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Nature’s Variety Instinct Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Nature’s Variety Instinct product line lists five dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Rabbit Meal
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Salmon Meal
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Chicken Meal
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Beef and Lamb Meal
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Duck and Turkey Meal

Nature’s Variety Instinct Duck and Turkey Meal formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nature's Variety Instinct Duck and Turkey Meal

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 39% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Duck, turkey meal, salmon meal, tapioca, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), peas, duck meal, tomato pomace, suncured alfalfa meal, montmorillonite clay, natural flavor, salt, carrots, apples, cranberries, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, sodium selenite), potassium chloride, freeze dried turkey, freeze dried duck (including freeze dried ground duck bone), freeze dried turkey liver, pumpkinseeds, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, rosemary extract, butternut squash, ground flaxseed, dried kelp, broccoli, apple cider vinegar, salmon oil, dried chicory root, blueberries

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis35%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis39%22%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%44%25%
Protein = 31% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 25%

The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The third ingredient is salmon meal, another high protein meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The fourth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is duck meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

The eighth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

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, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, 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).

In addition, 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.

Next, 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.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Variety Instinct Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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 39%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, alfalfa meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nature’s Variety Instinct is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of various species 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.

Nature’s Variety Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

12/08/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks Anne, I’m aware of that. I used to feed Evo when Naturapet owned it. I just happened to pull it out of my dog’s rotation prior to the P&G purchase, but for a different reason, so it was a non-issue for me. I did see that Innova had been discontinued when I went to the website months ago. So sad to see really good companies taken over by corporations and get lost forever.

  • Anne Springer

    Mars discontinued the Innova foods in 2015, still makes Evo. What and end for a formerly beloved food. I never trust any food from P&G or Mars. I stopped feeding Innova the moment the original sale of Natura to P&G was announced.

  • Rae

    Thank you very much. Someone had wrote that NV was bought by Mars on a chewy.com review of one of the foods. I couldn’t find a thing about it online but decided to see if anyone else heard anything about it I might have missed. I did look at the Mars Petcare site and see they bought Evo. I know little to nothing about the company, just saw they owned a lot of popular pet food brands carried in grocery stores.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It must be an internet rumor. Nature’s Variety is still an independent company. I feed this in my rotation and haven’t had any problems.

    http://www.naturesvariety.com/about

    Edit: Mars did buy out the Naturapet line (Evo, etc) from P&G in April 2014.

  • Rae

    I just found out that apparently this company sold out to Mars in may of 2015? Can anyone confirm this? And of so, is this a trustworthy company? I have decided to reintroduce this food into my dogs rotation, but just found that it may have been sold. I know the ingredients have been changed, because the website listed the changes. I also feed my cat the Instinct grain free canned foods exclusively. I’m now worried that it’s going to be another nightmare like the Evo bs of 2013….

  • Shawna

    Yes, the dairy intolerance, any food sensitivity, could be related to the IBS.

    “This is precisely what Atkinson et al did, with specific IgG antibodies.3
    They identified a significant reduction in IBS symptom severity in
    patients on elimination diets, provided that dietary elimination was
    based on foods against which the individual had raised IgG antibodies;
    fully compliant patients showed the best clinical improvement. The
    reverse pattern was observed after reintroduction of the respective
    foods.

    In this issue of Gut, Atkinson and colleagues3
    describe IgG antibody responses to dietary antigens of clinical
    significance and an apparent causal relation to symptoms in IBS, in a
    fashion resembling the elimination-challenge procedure in food allergy.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1774228/

  • theBCnut

    It can also be a change in stressors.

  • Pitlove

    i think that for her special situation that’s the best idea. rotational feeding for a healthy dog is great but it’s not appropriate for every dog or every situation. im stopping rotational feeding for the most part with Bentley because it’s been easier for me to pin point what foods work and what don’t. im feeding him the Fromm Gold Large Breed until he gets bored of it but I’m staying with Fromm. not switching brands. so far it’s been 3 weeks and he’s still happy to eat it.

  • sharron

    i’m going to keep lexee on royal canin can food – i’m not going to go all over the map with different foods – it’s not fair to her

  • sharron

    i mentioned to the vet today about lexee bringing up bile on occasions, i thought it was because her tummy was empty, the vet said no that it’s stomach acid being caused by excess gas that she can’t pass, the gas develops in the intestines and then works its way into the stomach – you would think she was talking about me – i have the exact same problem

  • sharron

    with me i eat what i am supposed to and i can be fine and then out of the blue i’ve got diarrhea for days – i know in the past when lexee has gotten constipated the vet told me that it isn’t always food ingredients that causes GI upset, it could be an additive or something else that is in the food that isn’t agreeing with her – i know for a fact that rabbit is definitely out of the question

  • theBCnut

    My dog with IBS has only triggered with his food sensitivities, but not all of them, so far. A friend of mine has a dog that triggers from fat levels, so it may be that IBS has multiple causes

  • sharron

    yes she is, in fact she prefers royal canin canned food that you get at the clinic to the ones you get at the pet store – so that’s certainly is a plus in all of this – she’s feeling much better now – hasn’t pooped yet since we have been home but she is eating a lot better than this morning

  • Pitlove

    yes, a lot of times its about managing symptoms rather than finding a cure unfortunetly. But imo managing the symptoms so that they are to a minimal is the closest thing to a cure.

    is lexee doing ok with eating the canned rX food?

  • sharron

    thanks for your help and for listening to my woes – the vet said that with ibs, they don’t know what causes it, the same with people, no cause and no cure and a dog can be just fine and then wham out of the blue it appears

  • Pitlove

    alright good. at least you’re getting somewhere now. at this point i would follow the vets directions to the T. i know people get frustrated with the ingredients in some of the rX foods and i agree that rX foods are not always need to treat certain things, especially weight loss and mild GI upset, but i feel in this case the rX food is probably going to help.

  • sharron

    hi – just back from the vet – the vet is pretty sure she has a mild case of ibs and they are going to monitor her for the next 2 months – if she has another bout of diarrhea then they will do further testing – she’s on antiboitics and probotics and gastro canned food

  • Pitlove

    Found this:

    The most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndromes is chronic, occasional large bowel diarrhea, including frequent passage of small amounts of feces andmucus, and constipation (dyschezia). Abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and nausea may also occur. Some abdominal pain may be present upon touching the dog’s abdominal area as well.

  • sharron

    thanks so much for your reply – she doesn’t have the diarrhea any more but now she is really having a tough time going – will have to get her in to see the vet

  • Susan

    Hi it sounds like Colitis, the Royal Canine Intestinal is low fat-7% & low fiber-1.7% fiber, if she does well on the R/C Intestinal, when your looking for a kibble look for a low fat & try & find a low fiber kibble like the R/C you probably wont find a low fiber kibble like the vet diets,so stick with 3-4% fiber kibbles, my boy was the same ate the same foods he’d be OK then all of a sudden bloody diarrhea, sloppy jelly poos.. vet said Colitis……He’s eating the R/C Intestinal at the moment & I’ve started introducing the Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion natural, it has the least ingredients, no peas, no rice, no tomato Pomace & no probiotics & Patches poos are good but I’m still 1/2 R/C Intestinal & 1/2 Ocean Fusion at the moment & I feed wet tin food with 2-3% fat for breakfast & sometimes a small late dinner….when Patch was ill, I would only feed 1 food & a bland low fat, low fiber diet……start keeping a diary with what she ate, what the fat & fiber % was & when she had diarrhea … also some kibbles are very high in fiber 6-9%, maybe that’s causing her constipation, write down what she is eating & what the fiber % was when she gets constipated….. you might start to see a pattern….she may need some Metronidazole (Flagyl) for 2-3 weeks & the R/C Intestinal so her stomach & bowel can settle & have a rest,

  • sharron

    thanks!!!

  • Pitlove

    honestly i’m not familiar enough with IBS to be able to tell you. if you at all suspect it could be IBS, I wouldn’t put off getting her to a vet. there is a good chance she will need a strict diet if IBS is the case. It may be rX, it may not be. I believe over on the forum side of DFA there is some good info on IBS. I would head over there and search it in the search function at the top of the page.

  • sharron

    do u think she could have irritable bowel syndrome

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve had a couple of those dogs. πŸ˜‰

  • sharron

    when she was younger, much younger i remember giving a couple of milk bones to her that she promptly brought up, could this perhaps intolerance to dairy be related to ibs

  • Pitlove

    like the others said, very possible

  • DogFoodie

    Uh oh! I always thought that if Sam were human, he’d be the perfect guy for me! πŸ˜‰

  • Dori

    Definitely could be the cheese. Like DogFoodie, two of mine are fine with cheese, one cannot tolerate cheese.

  • aquariangt

    Sam and I are spirit animals I think

  • DogFoodie

    It could definitely be the cheese, Sharron. Mine love cheese, but one of them is intolerant of dairy. I can’t give him any and if he gets a hold of some, the result is usually digestive upset.

  • sharron

    just had a thought – could it be from cheese – she doesn’t get it every day – but, when i do have some she gets a wee bit, and i’m wondering if it was building up

  • Pitlove

    oi I’m sorry to hear that. calling the vet might be a good idea

  • sharron

    might have to put her on the RC gastro dry food – her poop this a.m. was like thick paste and it was difficult for her to eliminate – if it’s not one thing, it’s something else

  • Crazy4dogs

    I use NV Instinct in my rotation, but my dogs are rotated between several foods, so they don’t tend to be affected by formula changes. You could check with NV. There should be an 800 number on the bag.

    You also might want to consider rotation between a few brands. It generally makes for a healthy gut and you shouldn’t have any problem with a formula change.

  • sharron

    hi – no not hot – had some snow a couple days ago – very wet snow mixed with rain – i;m in calgary alberta

  • InkedMarie

    Is it hot where you are? High heat causes one of mine to have loose stool.

  • sharron

    positive – she only had a tbsp of the holistic select wet this morning and nothing else until dinner – she’s has gone again since we have been home from our walk – just went once , i went out to the yard with her – she doesn’t appear to be sick – she looks and acts fine – if it continues i will take her to the vet tomorrow – i wonder if it’s the can food – i don’t want to blame the food, sometimes these issues aren’t always food related – it’s weird because i don’t think she has ever had diarrhea that i can recall, it’s always been constipation

  • Pitlove

    yes it is designed for that, but it is odd that after eating the acana with no problems she is having the runs. are you 100% certain she couldn’t have eaten anything else? even when you weren’t looking for a few mins?

  • sharron

    ok thanks – i know what they will say, they’ll tell me to feed her the royal canin gastro intestinal food – which i have to admit she never had any gastro issues on it – some foods make her constipated

  • Pitlove

    honestly i couldn’t tell you. if nothing has changed about your routine with her i would say call your vet tomorrow. just to get their opinion.

  • sharron

    why would lexee suddenly have the runs, just got back from our walk and she went 4 times – this isn’t just soft formed poops, – haven’t changed her food, she’s been eating the same thing since friday, she hasn’t eaten anything she shouldn’t have, i know that for a fact – can this happen straight out the blue

  • Pitlove

    Same. I used Turkey/Duck and Venison. Bentley was not a fan of either of them. Even with the RawBoost

  • sharron

    lexee didn’t like the NV either – thought for sure she would like the turkey and duck but no go, tried another flavour, didn’t like that either

  • Pitlove

    Hi Kristin- I havent used Natures Variety in quite some time now. My dog was not a fan of it and didn’t do well on it. However, I still consider it a good food.

    It’s possible that your dog has developed an intolerance to an ingredient(s) in the food. Which could explain the sudden loose stool. That is one of the symptoms of a food intolerance. No recalls lately and I’m not aware of any recipe changes.

    If you decide to move forward with switching foods, pick a protein and a carb source he has never had before. That will give you an idea if he was intolerant to something in the food. You could also even change to something else within NV if you feel comfortable.

    Best of luck

  • Kristin Leigh

    My dog’s a lab mix, 53lbs, been on nature’s variety instinct his whole life, he’s now a year and 4 months. The last week or so he’s suddenly been turning his nose up to his food. It’s the duck and turkey formula. I have to add an egg to it to get him to consider eating it. I’m not sure if maybe it’s just this bag or what but I will be switching him to a new food now. Been having issues with his poop recently too. Was always firm before but now it’s loose. Any recent recalls or ingredient changes?

  • Skye

    Have you tried Orijen? It isn’t sold at the big box stores but at independent mom & pop stores and online. Made in Canada, high quality kibble.http://www.orijen.ca/

  • Susan

    Hi dogs are very smart listen to your dog & take the kibble back & get a refund

  • Koushik Dutta

    I noticed that the salmon kibble seemed different on my most recent purchase. And then my dog has been turning his nose at the food. Something changed, came here, and found this review.

    My dog is not particularly picky, so it is very odd that he no longer wants to eat this kibble. I suspect there is something off with the quality or content of the new recipe.

  • Ilene Sagen

    My dogs are having the same problem with the rabbit πŸ™

  • Ilene Sagen

    Was there an ingredient change in instinct rabbit? My dogs keep having stomach issues and are refusing to eat.. They have been eating this for years and now I have to find something new.. Rabbit is the only thing that works for the allergies and it is hard to find.

  • Ilene Sagen

    I just saw there was an ingredient change..this just answered my question. My dogs keep getting stomach problems and are not wanting to eat. I have been feeding the instinct rabbit for years.. Now I have to find a new food and rabbit is very hard to find. I can’t tell you how bummed I am πŸ™

  • MikahMom

    Does this review reflect the ingredient changes that occurred in 2014, I believe? I was disappointed to see that the ingredients were changed, and the first ingredients are no longer meat meals.

  • MikahMom

    I agree. I even emailed the company, and got a “canned” reply, no pun intended. Price went up, quality went down, and I got no real explanation.

  • Crazy4dogs

    You’re welcome. I’ve used it before with no issues. πŸ™‚

  • Mike S.

    Thank you.

  • Crazy4dogs
  • Mike S.

    Would this include the healthy weight options?

  • Storm’s Mom

    I actually haven’t fed or haven’t wanted to feed NV to my dog for years (and don’t anticipate that changing), as I said previously in the thread.

  • Rammsteinfan

    I don’t give a crap anymore I am done posting. If you want to feed your dogs NV more power to you

  • Storm’s Mom

    That may have been what you wanted to do, but what you actually did (and in a way still are) was falsely accuse a company of lying about a current source of their product ..even when presented a number of times with evidence that did not support your claim. It ended up being (and still is) fear-mongering. Please do your own research more thoroughly next time.

  • Rammsteinfan

    Thanks Shawna, all I wanted to do was enlighten everyone on a potential product in NV’s food that may make their pets sick and that is what ingredients from China may do. I than felt I was being put down by a certain person’s comments, so I just figured that they can figure out for themselves hoping their pets will not pay the price for their owner’s decisions.

  • Shawna

    As you can tell by my other post, I’m watching NV and not 100% sure about them. That said, a LOT of companies were using this or that from China and due to continued pressure from consumers many of them are finding new sources.

    What I don’t like is that they used to give sourcing info on their website and they either don’t now (or I couldn’t find it if it is there). That concerns me but it’s not enough for me to slander them. I can tell what I know though and let others decide for themselves though.

    I know China is horrible in how they treat their animals but quite frankly, if that was our condition for buying food, I wouldn’t buy ANYTHING from the US either. πŸ™ NOT saying we are as bad as Chine……am saying we have a LONG way to go ourselves.

  • Shawna

    I’m not really against partnering as that can give them the cash to grow. When they change their business model is when my spidey hairs start to tingle. How far are they willing to deviate to get that money?

  • Crazy4dogs

    The sad thing is if you look into many of the companies, a lot are now owned/partnered with investment groups. πŸ™

  • aquariangt

    They’re covering their bases by not releasing what farms they get them from. If there is a shortage and you for some reason got a different rabbit, they could be under fire for falsifying information. Technically when it comes to supply and demand, if they say something like “We don’t source from china, we source from france” and they got caught, they’d be in a heap of trouble. It’s like Wendy’s. I’ve heard people say “It’s fast food, how is it never frozen?” but, if they got caught, they’d be in enough trouble I believe them. Not that im advocating eating fast food, but it’s an example

  • DogFoodie

    But, they’ve told you (and everyone else who’s asked them) that they don’t.

    They’ve sourced from France and formerly Italy as well, for years. What gives you just cause to continue to insinuate that they’re lying?

  • Rammsteinfan

    Shawna GREAT post.

  • Rammsteinfan

    Hi Shawna, I have a hard time with trusting a company that used rabbits from China and then all of a sudden they get them from France. When I asked them the name of the company in France they get them from I was told they could not release that info. Maybe that is true and maybe not, I am just concerned about our pets and the cruel way the Chinese kill the animals they process for food and fur. Take a look at the internet under Chinese fur and it will make your sick so if NV is still getting their meat from China shame on them if not good for them.

  • Shawna

    Hey Storm’s Mom,

    I do still use some of NV’s products infrequently but I do have my doubts about them. They used to be a locally run company in Lincoln Nebraska. Several years back they lost a lot of high/higher ranking employee’s such as Sandy Goodman to Stella & Chewy’s, Scott to Nature’s Logic and Jacqueline Smith to Answer’s. I have talked with each of these folks and although none said anything specific, all made it clear they were happy to be gone.

    Then NV announced they were implementing HPP and shortly after were purchased by an investment group called Catterton Partners. They then introduced their puppy line which had less protein then their current all life stage foods. Hmmmm?

    Most recently I see they are now partnering with Agrolimen as well as Catterton. None of this means they are cutting corners but I no longer consider them small or family owned. I honestly believe the whole HPP thing was cowing down to Catterton folks but they may still maintain their integrity. I’m still curious why Sandy, Scott and Jacqueline left though?

  • Shawna

    Hi Rammsteinfan,

    I’m so sorry I caused you any upset. I am in no way sick of your posts. I haven’t been on much lately and this was actually the first I read (and replied to) — at least that I’m aware of.

    I stand behind you when it comes to sourcing from China but was just wondering why you are certain NV is lying? I was just wondering if there was something you were privy to that I didn’t hear that’s all.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Doris is correct. I’m currently feeding the rabbit limited ingredient kibble to a dog with food allergies. I called NV prior to purchasing as years ago they did source rabbit from China. They said France which is believable. My dog is having no issues whatsoever.

  • Dori

    Now that you remind me, yes. I’d forgotten about “their” love of Fromm. They haven’t been around lately. Good catch Labs.

  • DogFoodie

    Remember it well. Gesh… that was somethin’ else.

  • LabsRawesome

    Possibly one of the “multiple” people. “They” used to hate on other foods, and say how great Fromm is. Do you remember that?

  • Rammsteinfan

    I am done and I know you are sick of my posts. I was just concerned about what I read about NV using rabbits from China and had my doubts they now purchase them from France….why not US. Any how I don’t give a crap anymore I feed my dogs Fromm and they are doing great on that. So you all feed what you want because I am done with this conversation.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Why such strong scepticism about NV? In no way would I consider them to be a “big business”, particularly relative to some of the pet food companies out there. I don’t feed any NV products (I tried one of the Instinct formulas once, but Storm didn’t do particularly well on it, so I didn’t add it to the rotation), so I don’t really care either way, I just don’t get why you’re so sceptical about whether they are telling the truth or not.

  • DogFoodie

    China and Italy. I guess they don’t source from Italy anymore either.

  • Shawna

    I know NV used to source their rabbit from China but with all the negativity around China recently, why wouldn’t it be reasonable for them to change? Why do you feel they are lying? To clarify, I have no love for NV but I don’t dislike them either.

  • Rammsteinfan

    Just received email back from Natures Variety who advised they purchase their rabbit from France. Yea right. When it comes to big business they can’t be trusted either so I am waiting for them to give me the name of the rabbit company in France they use.

  • Dori

    Naturella I just posted to Rammsteinfan that I just spoke to Shannon in Customer Service at Nature’s Variety 1-888-519-7387. They have been sourcing their rabbit from France for the last 2 1/2 years. Anyone knowing me here on this site and others know that I research the foods that I feed my girls very thoroughly. Nature’s Variety Raw Rabbit has been in rotation with all the other trusted raws that I feed for two years or so. There has never been an issue with any of their raw products in my home.

    What I don’t understand with posters that choose to argue these points is the apparent lack or capability of picking up a phone and making a phone call to the company and speak with a real live breathing human being.

    In this technological age everyone does things through emails, texts, etc. The fast way is to pick up a phone and make a call. I do it every single time in my process of investigating a new company. I do not and never have solely gone by what I read on the different dog blogs and that includes this one as much as I love you guys. I need to hear it from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak.

  • Naturella

    Yeah, it must be that, because he’s had raw US rabbit and was just fine… I may give NVI another chance with another protein in the future, we will see.

  • Rammsteinfan

    The rabbit is imported from China and we all know about the nightmare products from China

  • Rammsteinfan

    The rabbit is imported from China…could be something toxic from the Chinese rabbit.

  • Metah

    Purina Pro-Plan is used by breeders and is a high quality kibble.

  • Beryl Chen

    I have a picky eater. I think you should first try “taking it away”. That’s what I did to my dog, a Siberian husky. I put the dry kibble in the morning for 10 minutes, if she didn’t eat, i would take it away until next meal, I gave her only half amount of the food. If she didn’t eat, then half for next meal. During this period, I didn’t give her any treat, and ignore her as much as I could. When she ate the food, pet her.My dog ate her food after the 3rd day, but she did not like the food. She may not eat it for another few days. So this time I add some water, and add a scoop of plain yogurt ( you can add the topper you prefer). She appreciate that so much and ate up everything quickly. When she ate well for a few days, i gave her some treats after she finished the meal.

    That was my experience. Hopefully it will help. Good luck.

  • Adolph Hitler

    My favorite plant based protein powders come from Growing Naturals. I’m especially liking the organic protein powder, but the Rice protein powder is great too! Hope you’ll check them out, if you haven’t already. http://www.supplements.co.nz/

  • Amy Doersam Kohlmeier

    I feed all of the varieties of the kibble and the medallions, EXCEPT the rabbit one because they outsource their rabbit from China. Have had a dog that was allergic to chicken and she does awesome on the salmon kibble.

  • Sydni Dexter

    My Shiba had skin allergies and a weight issue after multiple vet trips due to him licking his paws raw I switched dog food from Fromm to Stella &chewy’s raw dog food expendsive but he started dropping weight and no skin allergies. The paddies were easy to use thaw 1-2 night before feed half a paddy am half pm easy. Only issue was his stool wasn’t very formed and after amount a month the store did not have the venison in the brand I was used to so I tried Nature valley instinct Raw His stool firmed up, no skin allergies and weight is now perfect. I just had his teeth cleaned and also had blood work done and they said he’s doing wonderful. Very high quality food only issue is price. 12 paddies. 42.00 dollars. That’s 3.50 a day. This adds up quick. My only complaint

  • Susan

    Read the post above mine & u’ll read Ashleys dog isn’t eating nothing else but Purina, if u read my post properly u’ll read that I have said to add good foods with the Purina bites & start reducing the purina & ad another premium kibble

  • Purina?? That’s like recommending McDonalds for your children!

  • Susan

    Why don’t you want to feed a topper on the kibble.. Wet tin food is better then kibble, kibble is over processed even the real good premium kibbles aren’t good, Feed her the Purina but add good foods aswell & slowly reduce the Purina kibble..even if u mix a good kibble with her Purina…. also when you do pick another kibble make sure the fat% protein% fiber % is the same as the Purina little bites…maybe the kibbles you have tried are tooo rich for her…

  • Ashley Holbert

    My dog ate blue buffalo freedom for about a year. Now they have changed he ingredients and she won’t touch it. I have tried Soo many other things. Science diet, wellness core, nutro, and orijen to name a few. She literally starved herself to the point of trying to dig in the trash instead of eating what she was given. I have tried adding water and broths. I have tried putting it down only for a few minutes and taking it back. She gets no table scraps and no treats anymore. My last resort was buying purina little bites. She is finally eating that but I a, so not thrilled about the quality of it. I don’t want to do raw or canned or dehydrated. Just want to find a good quality dry food for my baby. Any experience with this food and picky eaters?

  • dogist

    Hi Pat,

    That depends on several things.

    Size, age and weight of dog
    What are you feeding
    How’s your dog’s poop
    How’s your dog’s skin

  • theBCnut

    The egg white has enough abiding in it to bind more biotin than what the yolk contains. If you are feeding a meat rich diet and don’t give raw eggs daily, it shouldn’t be a problem. But if you give raw eggs every day or feed a lower protein diet, it could become a problem.
    Sent from my iPod

  • Pat C.

    I read that there is a component in egg whites that can create a biotin deficiency if fed without the yolk. The yolk has extra biotin in it which it makes up for the loss, so it’s better to feed the entire egg. True?

  • Pat C.

    How does one determine how much fiber to add to the diet? Thanks

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    My Abbie’s itching was so bad we finally had to do allergy testing. Came back she’s badly allergic to chicken and potatoe. Both her and my Emma have been on Fromm Grain Free for about 3yrs not but I was varing it between flavors, but since we got back her results in August, I. Have had them on nothing but Fromm Lamb & Lentils and they are both so much better. Abbie is also allergic to Johnson grass. Maybe that’s why your pup is itching on her paws.

  • Kathy Niskala

    Dori..I also rotate with the commercial raws ,as you do,now I’m stressed,because I just read from Dr. Jean Dodds..about dogs can get hyperthyroid from consuming too much raw thyroid tissue,as from necks,gullets or tracheas, and Vital Essentials told me they do use ground necks in their blends..they all probably do,so now what??? HELP???

  • Dori

    : (

  • theBCnut

    Fall is the worst for me too for allergies.

  • theBCnut

    And let’s not forget rolling in dead earthworms, my dogs would never do that.

  • Cyndi

    Bailey kills things (mice) but doesn’t eat them. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s gotten and killed 3 mice in the past couple months. πŸ™ I don’t like hearing them scream. πŸ™

  • maru

    Thanks so much! I’ll definitely check that out! I remember that a year ago I gave Matias egg whites of one cooked egg and he got sick with diarrhea so I think that since I did not know how much to give him it was maybe way too much protein in addition to the kibble for him. He’s 7.5 pounds so his little tummy did not tolerate mommy’s ignorance πŸ™

  • Dori

    Thanks BC. I’ll stick with giving eggs only to Hannah and Lola. Katie’s doing really well now as far as food intolerances. Environmental issues she’s actually doing better than I am. Fall is my favorite time of the year but, unfortunately, the worst for my allergies. : (

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, BC, you are definitely the only one who has dogs who eat dead things. Mine would NEVER pick up a dead snake on the side of the road and gobble it up before I get a chance to get it away from him.

  • theBCnut

    Maybe I’m the only one who has dogs that eat dead things and so could potentially be shedding salmonella at any time, but I just don’t think so. I have heard that shedding salmonella is considered normal and not indicative of much of anything, and so must come from more than just raw feeding, since there aren’t all that many people feeding raw. Delta needs to ban all dogs from therapy work, if they think that way.

  • theBCnut

    I like to reap some of the benefits that I have read about when feeding raw eggs, but I do think that feeding them every day is a bad idea. I feed every third egg raw.

  • theBCnut

    Micah doesn’t get chicken in any form, including eggs, but he does great on turkey and duck. Every once in a while I can get duck eggs. I have never let him have goose, you could say I’m saving that protein, just in case.

  • aimee

    I agree with you in regards to Salmonella coming from the food source people don’t take the precautions they need to.

    My concern though lies not with the food but with what is coming through by way of the dog. A dog eating raw protein is much more likely to contact and shed Salmonella into the environment than a dog that isn’t eating raw protein.

    As there are documented infections of children becoming ill from living with a dog who was shedding Salmonella that is what I’d be most concerned about.

    This is why Delta banned raw protein fed dogs from therapy work.

  • Dori

    Feeding eggs is also good when feeding a lower protein kibble. It ups the protein level.

  • Dori

    Hey BC, just wondering if you give eggs to Micah? I know he has issues with chicken. I’ve been afraid to give Katie eggs due to her intolerance to all things poultry. Do you find the same is true with Micah and eggs? Can Micah eat any other forms of fowl?

  • Susan

    Hi Maru, tell me about it, I too have been looking & trying to find a kibble that agrees with my boy & doesnt irratate his skin, i’lI find something then it upsets his stomach/bowel or its good for his stomach/bowel but makes him itch, I think home cooked is the best……. With the star ratings if there’s no ingredients high lighted in red & has lower stars (3 1/2) thats cause the protein is lower, foods with higher protein get more stars, I dont bother with the stars, sometimes cause that food may just work for my dog, the Holistic Select Fish has no potatoes no chicken fat & no PEAS.. Peas are in alot of foods now..they give my boy bad wind, the only other brand Ive tried was the Wellness Simple Lamb & Oatmeal but has lower stars cause the protein is lower then 25%….Wellpet make Holistic Select, Wellness & Eagle Pack..the Wellness has their “small breed” range that has higher protein, so it will get higher stars, here’s a link to have a look at all the Wellness foods..Core, Simple, toy breed, Small Breed & Complete Health….there’s a few to have a look at…even if you use 1 of the wellness kibbles in ur boys rotation, or like I did I gave him the Simple for breakfast then his Intestinal for dinner…
    http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/recipes.aspx?pet=dog&ft=1#Complete

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you im going to try it!

  • theBCnut

    Gideon is big enough that I could add an egg every day. For Angel, my JRT, I only give her an egg twice a week. I give the whole egg if I’m giving some raw that could use more calcium or if I’m feeding something that could use less calcium I give a lightly cooked egg. You can cook a 3 minute, or soft boiled, egg or a sunny side up egg or even separate the white from the yolk and just cook the white(my favorite method, but more time consuming).

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi-
    Not, BC, but would like to share that I feed my 80lb dogs four eggs per week, two each twice per week. I lightly cook them in a microwave poacher. Some say to feed raw, some say to cook the whites. Just depends who you ask! Just remember to decrease kibble fed as eggs are actually pretty high in calories. I believe their coats are shinier since I have started feeding them. Give it a try!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    How often is it good to add an egg to kibble? Do you add the whole egg? How do you cook it?

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Maru-
    Here is a download that I found is very helpful for kibble feeders. It contains a chart of valuable nutritious supplements to add to your dog’s kibble to bump up the health benefits of his meals. I mostly feed kibble, but mix in either a little canned, dehydrated, or fresh food ingredients. This download explains how much eggs, sardines, organ meats, fruits and veggies to either make a meal every week or to add something different to a meal everyday. http://www.seespotlivelonger.com/home/sll/cpage_8/health_benefits.html

    Welcome to DFA!

  • Dori

    I’ve been feeding raw for almost three years, before that kibble and canned. I’ve had dogs all my life (I’m 66 years old). I have ALWAYS picked up all my dogs bowls after each and every meal whether feeding kibble, canned or raw and thoroughly rinse them and put them in the dishwasher. I have many many bowls for that reason. I wouldn’t eat out of a dirty (or used) dish, why should they.

  • theBCnut

    We usually like a good discussion here and to hear different peoples point of view. Feeding raw is definitely a big commitment and has its own set of problems. It definitely isn’t for everyone and it’s much better that you realize that because you asked questions and got answers rather than not finding out and jumping into what could have been a big mistake for you.is nothing wrong with feeding a good kibble and if you feel a need to improve on that you can always add sardines, lightly cooked eggs, and other healthy foods. We are all looking for what is best for ourselves and our dogs.

  • maru

    True! Thanks for taking the time and helping me with great insights and information! So I made my decision and I’m staying with kibble!

  • Bob K

    maru – This website is about education to make an informed decision. Debate and discussion are usually good things. Raw is usually more expensive and time consuming . Most peoples refrigerators are often full of human food.

  • theBCnut

    No, not all Instinct kibbles are raw.

  • theBCnut

    Yes, there are people everywhere who do things that they know better than to do. And people have gotten sick from salmonella in contaminated kibble. I think that they are much more likely to get sick from a source that they don’t even know they should be careful of than from a source that they know they should be careful of. Dogs who eat contaminated kibble can also shed salmonella in the house. I still think you are safer from a potential problem that you know about and can take precautions against than from one you don’t know about and take no precautions against.

  • maru

    Sorry I didn’t mean to open a debate here.. I think there is no right or wrong, but I definitely agree that we should all be comfortable with what we feed our dogs with. I’m glad that Amy you brought up the always common habit of dogs rubbing their bottoms on the floor since Matias does that quite often and I vacuum every day for that reason, especially because My bedrooms are carpeted. Having said that, I think I make my final decision of not feeding raw, not only because of that but to Bob’s point, I usually put the kibble on Matias plate and he’s not finished before I have to leave to work so I just leave and sometimes when I’m back I find leftovers in his plate. So doing that with raw food is not going to work for me. I appreciate and respect everyone’s opinions and feedback here! Thanks so much again for your time and input!

  • theBCnut

    You have totally and entirely missed the point of the post because you are so focused on your own agenda. You can’t understand a single thing anybody posts except for how it may or may not fit into your world view. I’m not comparing what would happen if a toddler ate raw that sat out for 4 hour to anything. That has absolutely nothing to do with what I am talking about. Good grief, I often wonder where your head is.

  • theBCnut

    No, I didn’t mention any thing at all about recalls. I was talking about handling food, not recalls. Try reading what I actually wrote.

  • maru

    Hi Susan! Thanks for the reco! I searched for Holistic Select but the anchovys sardine salmon formula is rated with 3.5 stars here in DFA. I think that potatoes might be the cause of allergies and also the chicken fat. I put together a list of all the ingredients for each of the foods that I’ve fed Matias so far and the only 2 that don’t contain potatoes or sweet potatoes and chicken fat were the ones that he did best but no perfect. Also, the other ingredient that was common in all foods except for one is peas. So, I guess I should now try to find something without potatoes, chicken fat and peas. Any ideas??? This is so frustrating. I’ve been doing trial and error for 2 years now.

  • maru

    My response to both of your questions id yes. I live in an apartment so Matias only goes out with me and of course I make sure he doesn’t eat any dead frogs, although I don’t think they even fit in his tiny mouth lol..he’s a chihuahua.. The vet said the same thing that you mentioned, and to her point, which is valid, we manupilate raw meat but we cook it right away while dogs would eat it and then give us a kiss and we can be at a potential risk of getting sick. Anyway, I know there are pros and cons, but My hesitation is mainly because I had fed him with Instinct before. Are all Instinct kibbles raw? If so, I will not mind on putting him back on that kibble.

  • aimee

    I think you’ll have to find your own comfort level. Raw protein products do come with a higher risk of bacterial pathogens than kibble.

    Dogs consuming raw proteins have a higher recovery rate of pathogens in their feces then dogs not eating these types of products.Though the dogs may not become ill, they serve as a source of environmental contamination.

    Infants, children, elderly and those with compromised people are at a higher risk for than healthy adults.

    Because this is such a serious concern manufactures of commercial frozen/freeze dried raw are taking measures to mitigate the risk using high pressure pasteurization and test and hold practices.

    Using this type of option may be safer than buying fresh ground/whole meat.

    Your vet had a duty to inform you of the increased risks associated with raw feeding.

  • aquariangt

    Well, me for one, and I’m not even a raw feeder. I wash the bowls after meals because I top with canned, raw, dehydrated… so when they’re done, they get washed out. The majority of people who do feed raw are going to be more proactive than the general masses, if for no other reason than the fact they have researched and decided on raw. Of course raw has safety issues, but they aren’t all that different from preparing your own meat from raw for your family.

  • Bob K

    you are the one that mentioned salmonella recalls in your previous post.

  • aimee

    I think you make a good point. People recognize that they should wash after handling raw meat but then think nothing of handling kibble or dog treats without practicing that same level of hygiene.

    That said, based on the data, I still see the contamination risk of raw feeding as being greater than kibble.

    I’m looking from the perspective of the dog being a source of environmental contamination. The dogs get it on their fur, shed it in their feces and rub their faces and butts on the ground. It happens.

    In one small study over 10 % ??of the vacuum cleaner bag contents from raw fed dog homes tested positive for Salmonella. This isn’t to say non raw fed homes vacuums cleaner bags were salmonella free as 4 ??% were positive as well. And with the small study size as I recall the difference wasn’t significant but still something to think about.

    There are cases of infants/ elderly becoming ill with Salmonella from the dog/environmental contamination. It happens.

    In regards to leaving food out…I personally know of someone who had to take his two dogs to ER, one couldn’t even walk had to be carried in she was so weak, both with profuse vomiting and diarrhea. He was sure it was because the dogs didn’t eat their raw diet until over 7 hours after he fed it. Apparently, there are people who leave it out .

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