Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

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

The Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost product line includes 12 dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Instinct Raw Boost Senior [M]
  • Instinct Raw Boost with Real Beef [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight [M]
  • Instinct Raw Boost with Real Lamb [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost with Real Venison [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost with Real Chicken [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost Puppy with Real Chicken [G]
  • Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed with Real Duck [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed with Real Chicken [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed with Real Chicken [A]
  • Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy with Real Chicken [G]

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 29%

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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis38%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%22%29%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%43%23%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 43% | Carbs = 23%

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 chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth item 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 fifth ingredient lists eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

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

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

The ninth 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 four notable exceptions

First, we find chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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 Raw Boost Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost looks like an above-average dry 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 41%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 29%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

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

Even when you consider the boosting effect of the peas and chickpeas, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing an abundance of meat.

Bottom line?

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats 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.

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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.

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

Notes and Updates

06/15/2017 Last Update

  • brenro

    Don’t know why but neither my dogs nor my cats will eat Instinct food.

  • Cathy Koh

    I tried Nutrience subzero which is similar to instinct. My dog also drank a lot of water. I think it’s related to the freeze dried pieces.

  • sharron

    hi – i started lexee, yorkie/chihuahua, on the duck and turkey small breed dry this morning, to give her variety, and i’m wondering if this food is more suitable for a dog that is more active, it has 386 cals/cup, but i’m feeding her a 1/2 cup/day, 32% protein, 12% fat

  • haleycookie

    I don’t think they raised the prices. I sell this line in my store and when we reset the product wall for the new bags the new bags that lost weight also went down in price. Some by almost 10$. And most bags only lost up to 2 lbs some bags didn’t loose weight or change price at all. Maybe chewy just hasn’t caught up yet.

  • Sia

    I feed my two dogs this brand, I rotate between Peas& Lamb, Salmon, and Rabbit formulas. Yesterday when I went online to Chewy and Petco to check prices, I see they’ve updated their “packaging”.
    The 4.4LBS small bags are now going to 4LBS, and their 25 LBS. bags are going down to 20LBS.
    This is completely ridiculous- this brand was already expensive as it was, no their upping the price and lowering the amount AGAIN.
    Unfortunately- its the only food my dog that has GERD, digestive issues, and cancer- can eat without having rasberry stool issues and throwing up. WHY do these company make changes every two-three years and lower the amount in the bag! I just spend 5 months getting her system back after trying other brands.

  • Fugazzzii

    Instinct Raw Boost has been re-formulated and has new packaging. Please review the new formula for us. They lowered the price along with the weight of the big bag.

  • Babalonmoon

    I feed my 2 three year old frenchies 3,5 frozen beef medallions each /twice a day. They are very fit and have never had any issues with this brand.

  • LadyLeo

    The reason I figured out it’s the food is because she only had those symptoms when she was on NV Instinct Raw Boost Senior at several different times. Stopped the food and symptoms stopped. She drinks and urinates normally on other food. So no more NV for her.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I am not familiar with this food. If the symptoms you describe continue, I would take her in to the vet and rule out medical causes.
    Seniors are particularly vulnerable to a variety of ailments
    A couple come to mind, urinary tract infection, diabetes….the list goes on and on.
    Don’t assume it’s the food.

  • LadyLeo

    I bought NV Instinct Senior (dry) for my toy poodle. She appears to really like it, but it makes her drink water excessively and then, of course, she has to urinate frequently. She doesn’t drink excessive amounts of water on other food. Does anyone else notice their dog drinking more water on this food?

  • Katelyn

    Can anyone tell me what the sodium content in this food is like.

  • MeLow2007

    I do not feed this as my main kibble, however I picked up the $4.99 sample bag at PetSmart to use as treats. They smell awful and so they make great training treats and healthier and more economical than the $7.99 I pay for Zukes and others.

  • Krista

    Hi, what’s a good percentage of carbs to feed? I’m planning on rotating with several different brands. I’d like to know what others feel about this.

  • Kathy Niskala

    This company makes an excellent raw frozen diet,which might help your dogs problem,I had to stop using dry kibble with my one, because of IBD..he does much better on commercial raw is more expensive though……

  • Austin Mijares

    I don’t get why you have to be so aggressive. By ill effects, I meant mild symptoms like loose stool, which are very common during food transitions. Working at a pet store, you hear people who complain that their pets are having a hard time switching from a low quality brand like beneful, to a higher quality one like orijen. Of course they would have a hard time, their body is adjusting to such a big change! There’s a whole lot more protein, it’s a lot less processed, and there’s a lot less fillers. Diarrhea is understandable in that context, but it should firm up quickly, and the loose stool should firm up as the pet gets used to digesting the food. That’s the problem I was trying to address. The people who think something is wrong with their dog when it is just a natural part of transitioning, and end up sticking to a low quality diet because it is what they know.

    If you notice, I said in my original post, “as long as no other symptoms occur, they should be fine.” Vomiting and chronic thirst classifies as “other symptoms”. And do not even try to imply that I’m a bad owner, I have a happy and healthy cat, and guess what, I’ve never had to spend $1000 on emergency vet bills. Taking care of pets is about preventing illness, and obviously you didn’t do a good job of preventing that.

  • speck7183

    You say the ill effects should go away in a month. Would you like to not feel well for a month? My dogs started vomiting, and had a great increase in thirst and chronic urination. No person or animal can survive a month like that. A day like that tells me something is terribly wrong. It cost me over $1000 in vet bils with testing to be told to immediately stop this food. We switched to The Honest Kitchen grain free base mix and add our own meat. Our dogs immediately started feeling better. The vomiting stopped and it took several days for the chronic thirst and chronic urination to stop and return to normal. If you subject your pets to the wait and see game for any length of time, you shouldn’t have pets of any kind.

  • haleycookie

    I found a GA for the new list and the protein’s actually 2% higher then the other list. I can’t help but wonder what is accurate.

  • haleycookie

    For some reason the petco website doesn’t have the GA on the food.

  • theBCnut

    Did you look at the guaranteed analysis? Maybe they have decreased the protein level or something like that.

  • haleycookie

    I work at Petco and last weekend the Venison variety of this food dropped 20$ of it’s 100$ price tag. Not only that but Petco’s website was updated with the price as well as a different ingredient list that doesn’t match the one on NV’s website or the list on chewy’s. Also Chewy’s has not changed their price. I know typically the brand’s website is most accurate but why’d it change on the new petco website and why did the price go down so much? If anything it seems the new list is of better quality. With venison meal and lamb meal as the first two ingredients instead of the venison and turkey meal. They’ve also removed the salmon meal from the new list. It wasn’t just the venison meal that changed price either. It was most of the instinct dog food prices that went down but I feed the venison and it peaked my curiosity and i was wondering if anyone might know anything. Also something else i noticed was the cat food NV instinct prices didnt change at all.

  • theBCnut

    You may want to consider adding digestive enzymes to his food.

  • Arianne Hughes

    Agree totally as a pet nutrition consultant.

  • Arianne Hughes

    My dog started to have problems digesting everything last year. After some research and failed at other foods i read that pea and chickpeas are excellent and to stay away from potatoes with digestion problems. Plus it had a few other things that help with digestion….it has been working so far and no vomiting. He puked every day and im happy to see him better. .i do put the kibble in a coffee grinder since he seems to have a hard time breaking down kibble in his tummy then i add a probiotic and spoon of pumpkin and an antacid. Blood tests only showed that he wasnt absorbing enough nutrients. In another few weeks i will take him inbfor another blood draw to see if its better.

  • Michelle Kezele

    I decided to only feed half raw and half NV this month, and guess what? They’re ears are both itching. Not sure why. No potato and no grains.

  • Kelly Hall

    Yes after I started this brand, my foster began flapping her ears so much, I thought she had an ear infection and now my puggle foster has begun having diarrhea. I will not order this brand again.

  • Kelly Hall

    My puggle foster has begun having diarrhea on this brand and I wonder if it’s the inulin. I tried to switch to chicory coffee myself and could not because of the inulin. Tore my stomach up. Also noticed they use folic acid. Depends on author – synthetic folic acid may cause cancer. Will try another brand next round.

  • Sandeera Haan

    i’ve been feeding this to my 2 dogs for two years. they frequently had diarrhea and some vomiting if I slightly overfed them… when i was moving out of state my parents bought them cheap beneful? kibble and they completely stopped having any complications for over 2 months. When I reunited with my dogs and gave them their original dry foods, boom! diarrhea…the struggle is finding quality dry food that won’t cause issues.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve had good luck with NV. If I were you, I’d take the bag back & make sure you pick a different expiration date. It might be a distributor problem.

  • Tim

    Three weeks ago I bought Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Senior Grain-Free Chicken Meal Formula Dry Dog Food and Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Salmon Formula Canned Dog Food as well as Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Beef Formula Canned Dog Food. I began slowly switching them to this dry and wet food combination. Within 2 weeks all 4 dogs started vomiting and having explosive diarrhea. Put them on rice and sweet potatoes and immediately it all stopped. I them tried to mix the dry food with rice and it all came back. Not sure what caused this but the fact that all four dogs got sick suggest to me that something is wrong with the food.

  • Pam

    I have been feeding NV Raw Instinct Boost Puppy dry along w NV raw frozen product for 4 mos. My mexican hairless is 6 months old. He seems very healthy. But I wish NV didn’t use ethylenediamine dihydriodide for their iodine ingredient. I may choose another puppy food on the editors choice list because of this ingredient.

  • Kelly Welsh

    I believe Instinct Raw Boost Chicken made my border collie very sick. He had severe diarrhea for days, stopped eating his food and was almost lethargic. However, whenever possible, would eat my shih tzu’s food, which was different. Upon switching him to the other food, the diarrhea ended quickly and he returned to his old self. Unfortunately, he was inadvertently given his old food of which he only ate a small amount and the diarrhea returned.

    The raw pieces are not light in color as in the past, but a dark brown.

  • Michelle Kezele

    Both of my dogs are now flapping their ears and my Golden is itching her paws. Something is different with their food. I have been on other foods that cause yeast infections and have had to switch back to the trusty NV instinct raw, but now something is up with the food…
    I guess it is back to the tried and true raw food! Never fails.
    Anyone else having itching paws or flappy ears??

  • Justin CNS

    Gorgeous, I noticed my frenchies coat is so shiny now after feeding him this food.

  • goldendoodle lover

    I recently called NV and had them confirm with me through an email that there rabbit is from France and that their chicken is from Canada and the USA.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, at the very end of the review. This one was last updated in June 2014. I believe they are redone about every 18 months. Hope this helps.

  • MikahMom

    Question about these reviews: Are these dated as to when the review was done? I stopped feeding the NV because the ingredients changed, especially the first few meat/meal ingredients. Are the reviews updated when such changes occur? Thank you!

  • MikahMom

    I agree, and no longer feed any of the NV foods. I used it for several years until I noticed the change when I was looking up the ingredients on their website.

    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

    I switched to Orijen and have been rotating the proteins. I really miss the NV Salmon, though. It was a good food, and a decent value. Now I feed Orijen’s 6 Fish.

  • Crazy4cats

    Wow! They are beautiful!

  • Mary T

    My two shelties eat NV chicken with boast for about 2 years. It is very uniform in the quality. The have beautiful coats. They get a half a cup for dinner, The have a half a cup of Sojos raw freeze dry turkey,

  • Dori

    Rammersteinfan. I just got off the phone with Shannon from Customer Service at Nature’s Variety Dog Food. She asked that I give you her name and phone # 1-888-519-7387. She said she would be very happy to speak to you. Nature’s Variety has been sourcing their rabbit from France for the past 2 1/2 years. If you don’t wish to believe the posters here than you may believe the company itself.

  • Dori

    Why not just make a telephone call and speak to someone in customer service. I always call companies, very rarely to I ask my questions by email.

  • DogFoodie

    I’ve previously asked them about their ingredient source for rabbit myself. Not belittling. Just stating the facts as they were provided to me by the manufacturer.

  • Rammsteinfan

    Gee I guess you must have hit the lottery, Natures Variety still has not gotten back. As far as finding the information on the internet I would rather error on the side of possibly not true ref the Chinese rabbits. I hope your dogs don’t come down with some illness from NVI Why would you take that chance with your pets when you can purchase a much better/less expensive food. And I don’t understand why you are belittling me when I am just trying to protect pets with information I have read and then all of a sudden you say they told you that their rabbits come from France and not China and you believe it.

  • DogFoodie

    Interesting, Nature’s Variety has always gotten back to me… even when I asked them about their rabbit sourcing for the first time more than two years ago.

    But, I guess if you found the information on the internet, then it must be true, right?

  • Rammsteinfan

    Paul V try Fromms gold large breed puppy, my dogs love it and their coats are beautiful. Congratulations and good for you for getting a rescue pup. Diane

  • Rammsteinfan

    Hater and Molly’s mom, I hope you are right. I found this info on chinese rabbits just yesterday on Google. I was going to switch my dogs to NVI but when I read that and also about dogs and cats getting diarrhea from this over priced food I thought better of it. I also sent numerous messages to NVI headquarters with guess what NO RESPONSE, what are they hiding could it be Chinese rabbits skinned alive and toxic. Good luck with your “french” rabbits.

  • Dori

    I use their raw in rotation.

  • DogFoodie

    Mine too.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    NVI No longer gets their rabbit from China. Its from France now and has been for some time. Natures Variety is a wonderful food and its a firm part of my girls rotation.

  • Rammsteinfan

    Buyer beware of Nature’s Variety foods. They contain rabbit imported from China and we all know about the perils of buying anything from there. Nature’s Variety is an overpriced dangerous food that any animal lover should avoid. Not only it has the potential to be toxic, the method the chinese use to kill the animals is extremely cruel, skinned alive, clubbed etc. If you care about your pet which you must if you pay the extremely high price of Nature’s Variety you will find a different food that does not carry ingredients made in China.

  • Crazy4dogs

    No problem. Yeah, I stayed up too late. Dori was on the forums with her too. She has an older doxie rescue with high liver, bad teeth and slightly elevated B/C ratio.

  • Shawna

    I went to bed last night before seeing your post. Sorry

  • Crazy4dogs

    Shawna, take a look @ the girl who needs some help in Prescription Dog Foods thread. I’m working on it, but I’m sure you could add some input.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks! I haven’t used them personally but since I’m using commercial raw diets and adding fresh cooked meat & raw egg to premixes (Grandma Lucy’s, Sojos & The Honest Kitchen) I haven’t really needed GSE. It’s funny that my dogs get gas on cooked eggs and no issues on fresh raw eggs. I do use humane certified family farmed eggs, so hopefully they don’t carry too much bacteria. πŸ™‚

  • Shawna

    Very good finds!! I believe there is value to GSE but it appears that some manufacturers are cutting corners and making an inferior product.

    I’ve used GSE in the past but my fur kids didn’t care for the taste so I switched to other products more palatable to them. I still see value in GSE but after reading this I would look for a product that has a standardized amount of the active ingredient/s (if there is such a beast with GSE products).

  • Crazy4dogs

    Shawna did you look @ the links I posted? They seem to support GSE.

  • Christine Daley

    I don’t know much about it at all. That is just what I read when I looked the grape fruit seed extract up. LOL!!

  • Shawna

    Oops – disregard…

  • Shawna

    Grapefruit seed extract has polyphenols which have been shown to have antimicrobial activity. Polyphenols apparently can be unstable. Are they suggesting that there is no polyphenol activity in grapefruit seed extract? Would you mind posting data on the studies you found? I would appreciate it very much.

  • Christine Daley

    Sounds good. May have to try it especially for the dog hair thing. Also I was thinking about it and for years I wash my chicken with vinegar!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Not yet! πŸ™‚ Everyone thinks my clothes and washer will smell like vinegar but they don’t. The nice thing is the vinegar rinses out the excess soap, is a natural fabric softener and helps release dog hair from clothes (I really need that, LOL!)

  • Christine Daley

    Thank you crazy 4 dogs. I like that a lot. I use natures variety raw kibble and medallions so I will now look for the bones. Interesting about the vinegar in the front loader. I just keep the door open a lot for drying the inside and wipe around that rubber ring and I don’t have the smell either. Do you smell like a pickle?? Haha!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Chicken always seems to be the leader in testing positive for bacterial contamination.
    Nature’s Variety uses an antimicrobial rinse on their bones:

    It’s interesting that they use a lactic/citric acid solution on the bones. I think that’s why many early raw feeders used the grapefruit seed extract. Generally acidic solutions (even vinegar) seem to work well as a good antimicrobial. I actually use vinegar in the final rinse all of my laundry and my front load washer never has soap scum and absolutely no funky smell.

  • Christine Daley

    Just read an interesting article on HPP. As you had mentioned most dogs that are healthy can handle possible bacteria. HPP raw diets highly recommended for immunocomprimised pets. Probably not necessary for healthy pets if purchased from high quality places. Never the less despite my gang being healthy I will stick with commercial HPP raw. Just my preference. Also primal only using HPP on chicken and poultry products!! Makes sense I guess as those meats more prone to bacteria, salmonella etc. So it looks like the butcher raw beef bones if of good quality would be the same as primal raw beef bones. Interesting!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I don’t think so, but as long as your careful, I don’t see a problem.

    After I feed raw, I just wipe down the counter with a disinfecting wipe JIC. I also make sure I clean the sinks nightly. I have little ones here on a regular basis that think splashing the dog water is a fun activity. πŸ™

  • Christine Daley

    I also use the conmercial raw. The only thing I recently tried was the raw beef bones from the butcher. Will have to think that one through. They only had them twice but I did notice white teeth!! Wondering if the primal raw bones go through that HPP process. Will be getting those if so!!! Thanks!! Beaux, Bree and Brady!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve never used it personally. The raw I buy is commercial so it already has been through the HPP process. She fed home made raw diets and was doing this several years ago. She didn’t use it as a preservative, but to kill potential bacteria particularly on chicken. She purchased them from a local butcher and fed it as part of her raw diet.
    I know that often many natural methods claim much more than is realistic. But I prefer a natural process, if possible. Apparently some of the commercial tinctures were the problem. I don’t know what form she used.
    Here are some interesting reads:
    This is from 2005:

    This is from 2010:

  • Christine Daley

    Well crazy 4 dogs I did my home work!!

  • Christine Daley

    Thanks crazy 4 dogs. I don’t keep them long at all!! Don’t want cracked teeth!! Anyway will look at the grape fruit seed extract and see what that’s all about!! I feed my dogs Orijen kibble only topped on their evening meal with orijen’s freeze dried or nature’s variety raw medallions!! Raw bone for 2 hours every week or two but that’s it. I do brush their teeth but I did notice pearly whites after these bones. My pups that are 2 and 3 years old just had professional dental cleaning during pet dental awareness month. The polish they put on the teeth is fantastic. My one year old too young!! Anyway thanks for the info!!! Always looking to learn!! Luv my pups!! I pride myself on their care!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Check out grapefuitseed extract. I have a friend who fed 10 bullmastiffs that she raised & showed with great success, a raw diet years ago. That’s what she used to kill the potential bacteria. I used to feed raw bones but didn’t realize that as the bones age, they harden and a previous dog broke 2 front teeth (another expensive dental bill) but even @ 14 he had beautiful teeth.

  • Christine Daley

    Thanks crazy 4 Dogs. You are correct. Anyway I have had good luck so far. I give them to my pups outside on my patio on a large rug. They chew about 2 hours and that’s it under observation. Absolutely not in the house. Then they get picked up and that’s it. I have noticed their teeth are so white with chewing once a week on these bones!! But I agree under observation!! The primal bones must go under a process that HPP high pressure something to destroy bacteria like the raw frozen. Will check it out!! Thanks!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Regarding buying bones from a butcher:
    Freezing kills worms but does not kill bacteria.

    Most dogs, except those with a compromized immune system, can handle the bacteria with no problem, but if there are small children in the house or if people aren’t dilligent about cleaning after feeding raw food/bones, they could have a problem.

    I do feed raw as part of my dogs daily diet and although I don’t personally feed raw bones since I have a dog that has a root canal due to being an aggressive chewer, I’m not opposed to them or their feeding. I just want people who are not familiar with raw food/bones to have the correct information.

  • Kippi Greco-Schank

    I have had my dogs, a Golden and an older mix breed, on Dinovite for the last 3 months and I just switched to the liquid form. They like it better. One of the first things I noticed is they aren’t shedding or scratching as much. I also stopped their wet food and they are on Instinct chicken Raw Boost! They love it and the vet recommended it. If I give them wet food, I use Merrick grain free. Usually Duck. But with the dynovite and lickochops, they don’t miss the wet food and they both need to lose weight, especially the Golden, so as long as they are happy and healthy, I am happy! I highly recommend the Instint and the biscuits!! And of course, Dinovite!

  • Christine Daley

    Try primal raw beef bones!! Or go to a butcher and purchase raw beef bones. Place them in the freezer first to destroy any possible bacteria. Then let pups enjoy under observation!! Primal are already frozen but butcher much cheaper!!

  • sohel

    does anyone know how much raw meat is actually in this kibble? The raw meat is listed after the ingredients the reviewer says won’t really impact the quality of the kibble so does that mean there’s barely any in here to make any difference?

  • Austin Mijares

    I work at a PetSmart, and trust me, stories like yours happen about once a month. It isn’t brand specific, but every once in a while, a bag gets chewed into, and that’s how insects find their way in. The store should stay on top of finding contaminated bags.

    “Getting sick” and “loose stool” can be said about any food that doesn’t agree with the pet. Certain pets just can’t stomach particular brands. As long as no other symptoms occur, the pet should be fine. Getting sick, or loose stool could also be because of not transitioning the pet to the new food appropriately, and any adverse effects should go away within a month. The benefits of a high quality diet by far outweigh the negatives of transitioning.

    And notice how I said “high quality diet”. It doesn’t have to be this brand, but foods like Nature’s Variety Instinct, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Wellness Core, Simply Nourish Source (PetSmart Brand), Natural Balance, Orijen, etc. are all really good for our pets, and a noticeable difference can be seen.

    Healthy foods mean less vet visits!

    I personally feed my cat this food, and the reason I chose this brand is because it’s all natural, they use lots of high quality ingredients, and it’s as close to feeding a raw diet as I can get.

  • yt

    Ok I need to share this news with you about Natures Variety Instinct Chicken health weight. I bought the bag at Petsmart a couple of days ago. I opened the bag and caterpillars litterly came out the bag. I was so disgusted and think this could be dangerous. I called PetSmart and explained my issue to them. They told me it is when they mass produce the dog foods in warehouses and they are going to send it back.

    I am very surprised this happened and I was making a change to this dog food based on such high reviews. I have no completely changed my mind and I am turned off. I have read reviews on some dogs getting sick from the food and loose stools. I am not recommending this dog food after find that in the bag. Any body else experience something strange with this dog food.l

  • Paul V

    I just got a 4 month old Blue Heeler from a foster home. He was being fed Kirkland’s Puppy Supreme food until this week. He seemed to do well on it, but I recently started him on Chicken Soup for the dog lover’s Soul. His bowel movement is softer but not runny. What would you recommend as dry food for him? I am on a limited college student budget.

  • Bonnie Shugar

    Just bought Instinct raw boost minis freeze dried raw treats, these are ideal for training and rewarding…great brand all around.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yeah, I guess you wouldn’t need to use a topper if you are feeding this food. It is already added in! Glad it is going well.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Just started the Cavs on Instinct Healthy Weight Rawboost. I’ve been using both flavors. Even though they’ve only been on it a couple of weeks they’re doing fine so far. I was feeding Fromm Salmon/Tunalini and topping with Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers. This was going great and I will keep this in my rotation. But I remembered that Instinct Raw Boost had the freeze dried raw mixed right in with the kibble. So…I started doing research on it and decided to go with the Healthy Weight due to the fat content being lower. So far, so good. I am also using Nuvet Plus vitamin tabs (Jasper came with a bottle and I decided to put all the dogs on them). My holistic vet seems to like the ingredients in them, too. Anyway, the only thing they’re getting atm is the Instinct HW Rawboost kibble with a little water added and a Nuvet Plus in the am. No probiotics or anything else righht now. Stools are great and coats are very good. They love their mealtimes. Oh yeah, I am also using Instinct biscuits for their nighttime snack. Hope this conttinues because I wanted to have 2 different foods to choose from. I’ll keep everyone updated.

  • Katie Watt

    Has anyone tried their raw bones? I have a three year old golden and I want to get him the best quality bones that are made in the USA but I’m having trouble finding reviews.

  • Cari

    I will! She’s a little gassy tonight…but she’s also a boxer…so it comes with the territory a little. I’ll give it a few days for sure. I’ve typically topped her Dinner with the raw nibblets. She loves that. I wish I could afford to feed her a raw diet. Maybe a couple meals a week…

    Thank you so much Dori!

  • Dori

    Wow Sandy! Yikes! I’ve never had a dog take that long to transition. I have had dogs with tough times and horrendous gas when fed duck. I’m hoping that is the issue with Cari’s dog.

  • Dori

    Please let me know how it goes with the switch in proteins. Give her a few days. Hope that was all it was. I always have Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw (not the boost) in rotation. Quality company and ingredients in my opinion.

  • Cari

    Thank you Sandy! I appreciate knowing that someone else has gone through the process of transition foods. I did exchange the food but still had some prairie left to continue the transition with that. I think my pup has some food sensitivity that I’m still trying to nail down. She can have a solid poop and follow that up an hour later with some pudding consistency stool. i will see how this goes and if all else fails, she was happy on prairie

  • She might just need more time to adjust. Some dogs can change in a week and some dogs can take a month or more especially if the food is quite different. If you can remember the percentage of new to old food that she was eating and having good stools on, go back to that for a while and then increase the new percentage if she continues to have good stools. I had three dogs on this kind of transition before (Prairie to Instinct) and one out of three needed about 2 months!

  • Cari

    I just exchanged her food tonight…they have a great retuen policy and realized what she was on before was duck turkey instinct…not duck turkey raw boost…oh the variety! I switched to the chicken meal raw boost and I’ll see how that goes for her. she are it up quickly so at least she loves the taste! Thanks Dori!

  • Dori

    All my dogs eat grain free so I agree with feeding Instinct. Nature’s Variety Instinct is one of the foods I use in rotation but I use their raw line. What I would suggest you do is bring the food back to the store (if you still have the bag) and exchange it for Instinct Beef Raw Boost or Instinct Chicken Raw Boost. Most, if not all, pet food stores will exchange it for you. That way you can tell if it was merely the duck/turkey combination that was causing the issues. I have one dog that cannot eat duck or turkey. Horrendous gas. Can not only drive you out of the room but the entire house. (It was from feeding the duck). All three of my dogs get gas from duck. Let’s hope it’s just that simple a fix.

  • Cari

    Hi Dori, Thank you! Yes, there is significant higher protein and significantly lower carbs in the instinct raw boost – and it is grain free, and the prairie is not grain free. And, I thought that would be better. Yes, I went from either the beef/barley or the chicken/rice to the duck/turkey in the Instinct Raw Boost. Perhaps it is something in the protein combo that is bothering her. thank you again!

  • Dori

    It seems that she may be having an intolerance issue to an ingredient in the food. Try to compare the ingredients in the Prairie and the Instinct Raw Boost and see what ingredients are in the Instinct that weren’t in the Prairie. “Better Dog Food” is somewhat subjective as it is only better if your dog does well on it. Not every food suits every dog unfortunately. By the way, it’s not the level of protein that is producing the issue. Have you also compared the % of carbs in both the foods? Was their a big difference. At any rate I believe your dog is having a food sensitivity/intolerance to something in the food that wasn’t in the food she was eating before.

  • Cari

    I have a 1.5 year old boxer who I recently switched from Natures Variety Prairie that she loved to Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost and she is now gassy and has liquid poopies. I did transition her and she was fine initially, but now the last few days, her toots are amazing. Is the formula? Is it the higher protein? I’m not sure if i want to return the bag and switch her back to Prairie since this is “better dog food”. thoughts/opinions?

  • Liz Strehle

    Hi, I have to dachshunds that are eating natures instinct raw boost for over a month now. We transitions to this new food slowly and they
    were doing fine on it. Now they both have very very loose stool. Its been going on for a week now. They both act perfectly fine but I’m really worried should I try to transition back to their old food? Vet? or just wait to see if it gets better?

  • theBCnut

    If a dog isn’t used to switching foods, it doesn’t matter what food you switch them to, they may get runny poop, so I don’t think switching to another new food will help. Try adding some pure pumpkin and probiotics to his food. Also, cut back the amount you are feeding by about half for a few meals.
    Have you seen the large and giant breed puppy nutrition thread over on the forum side? It’s under the Diet and Health Issues forum. Page 15 has a list from Hound Dog Mom of foods that are appropriate for large breed puppies. Some LBP foods are not actually formulated right.

  • Matt Jones

    HI everyone, we just picked up the large puppy version of this food. I of course want the best for my dog so this food naturally seems to be a great choice. Unfortunately he has started to have runny poops.

    We screwed up and did not slowly integrate this food into his diet. He was on another organic food, which was discontinued so we couldn’t buy anymore!

    Question 1: Do we continue to feed him his food even though his poops are runny?

    Question 2: Do you think that his body will ultimately adjust to this food?

  • Christine Daley

    I must add I do not think natures variety is a really bad food it’s just the quality has lessened as I had used it a few times in conjunction with my ORIJEN. I emailed NV when I noted the change and asked them do they really think people who spend lots of $$$ on dog food do not notice these changes???? Never heard from them!! Anyway check out ORIJEN. They have a great web site!! Food is also human grade!! Like!! Only the best for my 3 yellow labs. Their coats are just beautiful , lean and handsome!! And my girl is beautiful!! Will never switch from ORIJEN!!

  • Christine Daley

    I agree with you. The protein sources in their “new formulas” has definitely lessened and in my opinion the food a lower quality. For example the venison and lamb formula. Why is now turkey meal the second ingredient and not lamb!!! If I wanted turkey I would buy turkey. Orijen is a much higher quality. They have an adult formula, regional red, and a six fish. All fresh from Canada. And not loaded with tapioca!!! Coming out with another formula next month called tundra with lots of nice meats!! I believe the best on the market!! I do use natures variety raw frozen kibble as a topper at evening meal but you can keep their dry kibble since the quality has lessened to I am sure increase profit margins!! Try orijen. You will like as well as your pup. Mr chewy has the best prices. Also sold at holistic pet stores!!

  • Mike H

    I think nature’s variety cheapened their formulas and reduced the rotational benefits greatly. Here’s the old and new ingredients that appear higher than the binding carb, excluding chicken flavor.


    “Beef and lamb” – Beef meal, Lamb meal, Turkey meal
    “Duck and Turkey” – Duck meal, Turkey meal, Salmon meal
    “Venison and Lamb” – Venison meal, Lamb meal, Turkey meal
    “Lamb and Salmon” – Lamb meal, Salmon meal


    “Beef and lamb” – Beef (water inclusive), Turkey meal, whitefish meal
    “Duck and Turkey” – Duck (water inclusive), Turkey meal, Salmon meal
    “Venison and Lamb” – Venison meal, Turkey meal
    “Lamb and Salmon” – Lamb (water inclusive), Salmon meal, whitefish meal

    They claim they improved the formulas by adding “fresh” ingredients. Now while I can imagine many people are lulled by buzzwords like “fresh,” what I think really happened is their protein sources were getting too expensive and they needed to cut back to keep up profit margins.

    Much of what I liked about this brand changed. I like giving my dog a variety of high quality proteins, and now turkey seems to dominate most of the flavors, at least going by what the ingredients tell us.

    Does anyone know a good alternative to Natures Variety that would give a wider variety of proteins between the flavors? My dog doesn’t have any health issues or alergies, I just like to feed her high quality healthy food.

  • Jeremy

    I have heard really good things about the E3live supplement for immune boosting, you can read about it on their website if you’d like.

    Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  • Dori

    The Honest Kitchen has recently eliminated alfalfa from some of their dehydrated foods and pre-mixes. One of my dogs has issues with alfalfa. I fed them THK this evening for dinner (Zeal without the alfalfa) and so far so good. My dog is also intolerant of anything that contains any type of poultry, fowl, etc.

  • chiapink

    it is probably the stupid Alfalfa that they use in almost every so called “quality” dog food, I am sick of it because it is a 95% GMO ingredient, we went through and read about 50 dog food bags last month at a local pet food place in Tucson, could not find one without the flaxseed or alfalfa meal in it, so I ordered the Firstmate Austrailian lamb limited ingredient dry food from Canada that is about the only food that my 2 hyper-allergic dogs do not itch from, also tried Farmina from Italy supposed to be a great food, but again, my dogs itched like crazy from this food, and it was pretty expensive too. Will not try this food because of the alfalfa and canola oil in it, have spent so much money on so many different foods.

  • theBCnut

    Did you try more than one of the different proteins? As Sue says, this sounds like a food intolerance issue and they are usually to ingredients that have protien in them. It can be either meat or plant protein, but you will need to save ingredient lists from the foods you try and compare lists to figure out what he may be reacting to.

    As an example, my dog is sensitive to chicken, many grains, and tomato, and I may be going to add turkey to that list soon.

  • sue66b

    There must be something in the kibble that he’s allergic to I know with skin problems you have to cut out carbs or have a low carb diet,try looking at all the ingredients & see what is the same in all the kibbles u try,, Im having the same problem with my boy at the moment, I took him to the vets on tuesday & the vet said its enviornment allergies, not food, I thought it was food too but when vet looked on computer I was at the vets the same time 1 yr ago with the same problems, u’ll see a pattern with envviornment allergies start keep a diary & write when he’s itchy & not itchy & what he’s eating at the time & see if there’s a pattern

  • Alyssa

    Our dog gets terribly itchy skin from this brand. We tried another and put him back on it to make sure this was the allergy culprit. It took less than 5 days for him to be miserable again. Obviously we are now trying another grain free brand because the funny thing is he was fine in science diet sensitive skin but there were a ton of fillers in it

  • Tammy ellway

    Montmorillonite clay is in VitaHound the dog supplement that cured our dog’s allergies. The substance removes the excessive moister in the dog’s small intestine. The small intestine’s biological function is to eliminate the water in their food, however a dog’s normal diet creates unhealthy conditions, for this reason supplementing an ingredient that assist the process is highly helpful to the health and function of a dog’s digestive process.

  • havanagirl

    I recently switched to this kibble and googled “montmorillonite clay” which is one of the ingredients that looked strange to me and found out it can have a VERY constipating effect. I have one dog that often has a looser stool, so he is doing well on this food, but I will probably not switch the other dog to this. I am sorry to hear about your puggle and hope he is doing well now.

  • Shawna

    Hi USADogTreats,

    When it comes to glutamine I think the form and overall consumption are most important. Freed glutamic acid is used differently by the body then when in whole food form.

    I think the below is an important aspect of Dr. Ettinger’s article — one I completely agree with.

    “Although fruits and veggies are carbs, they also provide naturally
    occurring phytochemicals, flavonoids, and vitamins. Such dietary agents are called chemopreventative because they have potentially cancer-fighting properties that promote cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells – they help get rid of deranged cancer cells.

    Epidemiologic studies in people show protective effects of diets rich in fruits and vegetables, and diets low in fruits and veggies have been associated with cancer risk.”

    I do agree with you that many of THK products wouldn’t be my first, second or even third choice for a cancer patient, I do like Zeal and Love. Add an egg or sardines to the daily meals and get even better results. These foods include cancer fighting “carbs” in whole food forms and there is no question as to the quality of the ingredients with THK.

  • USADogTreats

    Hi HDM,

    Thanks for the links!

    It’s exciting to think that you can fight and beat cancer with diet. The frustrating part is that the Mercola article states about Glutamine;

    “Glucose and glutamine are major fuels for malignant cancer cells .”

    And on DogAware regarding Glutamine;

    “The amino acids L-Arginine and L-Glutamine may help inhibit tumor growth. Glutamine can also help with muscle wasting (cachexia) that may occur as well. See the following articles for more information:”

    Then on the Dog Cancer blog SUSAN ETTINGER, DVM, DIP. ACVIM (ONCOLOGY) states;

    “Since cancer cells use glucose (carbs) as an energy source, there is a lot of worry with feeding carbs to cancer patients. The idea behind a cancer diet is low carb, and high in quality proteins and fats. While there is little scientific data specifically showing feeding such a diet (low carb) helps treat the dog cancer, as long as the diet is balanced, I think there is no harm, in my opinion.”

    And she highly recommends The Honest Kitchen which is pretty high in carbohydrates.

    So we have one say that Glutamine feeds cancer while another says that Glutamine inhibits tumor growth and the third one says that a high carbohydrate food like The Honest Kitchen is a great food for a dog with cancer.

    I always start reading the articles with great excitement but then the I am brought back to reality by the conflicting data!

  • BaileyGirl

    Thank You Hound Dog Mom. Yes I am looking in to immune boosting supplements as well. I will also look in to this ketenogenic diet!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Just an afterterthought – due to the fact that your pup no longer has a spleen combined with the fact that she has cancer I would highly recommend getting her on some immune-boosting supplements. The spleen is a vital component of the immune system and patients battling cancer have a compromised immune system for obvious reasons. I would look into things like turmeric, bromelain, medicinal mushrooms, colostrum, etc. Maybe a spleen glandular could also be beneficial.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    A fresh natural diet is ideal (if possible). For most types of cancer protein (high quality) and fat should be increased and carbohydrates should be limited as this can aid in slowing tumor growth and prevent cachexia. Tumors need glucose to live so feeding high levels of carbohydrates will, essentially, “feed” the tumor.

    More on this here:

    Dr. Mercola recently had a great article on the success of ketenogenic diets in overcoming cancer:

    “Many cancer patients have reportedly overcome the disease by adopting a ketogenic diet, which calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein…”


    This website has some good information:

    Best of luck to your pup!

  • BaileyGirl

    I am searching for a good dog food for my dog who is in recovering from a splenectomy surgery. She had a massive tumor on her spleen and it is more likely malignant. Therefore, I am trying to find something that will help her fight off cancer cells as best as possible. NVI Raw Boost seems like a decent choice. Any thoughts?

  • brenro

    Our seven year old coonhound has been eating the chicken variety since it was released and she couldn’t be healthier. Can’t help you on the price though. It is rather expensive.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I know that the NVI raw food uses rabbit from China, but I think that’s it.

  • Kirt

    Do they get there meat or chicken or anything from china

  • Pattyvaughn

    Have you looked online for better prices?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Which recipe of NVI was your dog scratching on and which one was your daughter’s dog scratching on? It’s likely an allergy to a protein in that recipe.

  • Colleen

    I love NVI all my critters are on this I have 3 dogs 4 cats it is very expensive but they do good on this. I have one Coonhound that was getting pretty itchy red itchy and no fleas she is on comfortis flea stuff anyway, I switched her to the Duck limited ingredient and all is well she has stopped and she is not so red. My daughters Coonhound is on NVI too but is having the same issues so I told her to do a limited Duck or the lamb limited ingredient, I think she is going to change back to Call of the wild one it is cheeper but she said the dog did not do this on that food. I am sticking to NVI I also give the raw boost powder to my other dogs and canned as well the limited ingredient to the one that needs that one. I spend every two weeks around 160.00 to 180.00 which is more then I spend on myself but I am one.

  • Colleen

    If you switched him from raw to kibble and just dry kibble at that his inners were not ready to handle this. Did you transistion the new food into the diet or did you just go- wam bam thankyou mam? You could have caused the blockage not the food. I always put warm water in mix it around get the raw coating on the food to make a nice gravy plus the raw boost powder and some wet NVI. Plenty of water, I did have to go for one of my dogs on the limited Duck only because she was itching and now has calmed down too many proteins one or two she could not take. Good luck with your pup

  • Lovemydog

    Our dog who was from a kill shelter – came to our home and would eat anything put in his dish…fast foward a few months and he stopped eating kibble. This was our third kibble we tried as suggested at the pet store. We also sprinkle “SMACK” very berry chicken dehydrated raw food diet on top and he finishes the bowl almost every day – that being said I am still trying to get the serving size down right as it is essentially a mix of two foods.

  • Pam Milewski

    My dog just finished her first bag and it was not the healthy weight but she did lose weight and is toned and fit looking with the only difference being we switched to Natures Variety Raw Boost in Chicken.

  • Pam Milewski

    Most reputable pet stores will let you exchange it for another food as long as within 30 days and there is at least half of the bag left. My dog went through several 5 star brands she would not touch before trying this one, which she loves.

  • Pam Milewski

    I had the same results. Waited to post until finished a whole bag. I am so impressed in the changes of her skin, coat, and activity levels after switching to this food.

  • Pam Milewski

    When my picky eater started being lethargic, having dander, shedding, skin allergies, and then threw up a few times after starting a new bag of her usual dog food…we did some research and learned her old dog food had a history of recalls and bad reviews. After speaking to other Basenji owners, we set out to find a 5 star food she would eat. There were several popular 5 star foods she would not even touch and then we tried Nature’s Variety Dry Raw Boost in Chicken. It had came highly recommended by people we knew who feed it to their dogs. We bought a 4lb bag since she is picky. She ate the whole bowl. Awesome, she liked it! We just finished that first bag and by the end of that bag…her skin allergy is completely gone. She no longer has dander either and her coat is so shiny. She is looking fit and trim again too. At 9, she is now acting like she did as a young pup. She is playful and happy. No more lethargy. We bought a new bag yesterday. I am so happy to have found a food that she likes, that is good for her, and that has helped her regain her health and personality back.

  • Nancy K

    I’m in the same boat, and I bought a big bag… He has never hated food like this. I’m so bummed that I wasted the money. The kibble has a horrible odor.. I kind of don’t blame my dog for not wanting it.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Freya –

    I think the Nature’s Variety Healthy Weight formulas look like a great option for a weight loss food. However, keep in mind, that simply switching to a “weight loss” food will not make the pounds fall off. It is necessary to create an energy deficit of 3,500 kcal. for each pound lost. The most effective way to do this is through reducing calorie intake and increasing calorie expenditure (activity). I’d recommend calculating how many calories your dog was eating on his previous food, reducing that by 10% and determining how many cups that would equate to with the NV Healthy Weight. Aim for a loss of 3% – 5% of the dog’s weight over the course of a month – this would equate to about a pound per week for a 100 lb. dog. If the dog isn’t losing, reduce calorie intake another 5 – 10% until you start seeing results. Make sure to account for all treats the dogs receives and adjust food intake accordingly.

  • Freya

    Is Nature’s Variety Healthy Weight a good choice for weight loss?

  • Andrea

    My dogs both pick out the freeze dried raw pieces only and do their best to ignore the rest. Not sure yet if we will stick with it just yet…

  • Melissaandcrew

    Thanks Sandy. I googled it an came up with nothing, then the NV site I was on was not current.

  • Melissaandcrew

    I see that up top, but can not find any info for them?

  • Just noticed two new healthy weight recipes!

  • Budchen

    I hope he is doing o.k. now. what a scary thing!!!!!

  • budchen

    Maybe he was not used to dry food.I did read in a German artikel written by a Vet that dogs eating dry food are always suffering from a mild form of dehydration. Thats why i always soak my kibbles before i give them to my dogs. it also helps with sensible stomachs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That is a very strange thing to have happen. I wonder if it could have been because his body was not used to having to provide so much moisture to the stomach and intestines after eating raw. I’m glad you realized something was wrong so quickly.

  • Jeffrey Bryner

    Our puggle ended up requiring a surgical procedure to clear his colon/intestine of a solid blockage occupying the better part of the colon/intestine after switching to this product from the Nature’s Variety raw product (due to non-availability of the raw product). He had been eating the raw food for several years. He was eating the Instinct rawBOOST for no more than 1 week. The vet indicated that his was a situation not seen before and for all intents and purposes was due to ingredients in the food he ate which somehow for a solid mass in him which he never would have been able to pass. We have called Nature’s Variety and have not received a return call.

  • Budchen

    My dog Princess had bad skin problems so i was searching the internet for a new food. Tried Natures variety instinct raw boost with the Natures variety instinct frozen raw. Her skin cleared up in a week and is shiny white. No more scratching. Her fur is shiny and she is much more alert as she was before. My other dog loves it too and his fur and activity level increased as well. i am so happy and they love their meals now.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The guaranteed analysis may have small differences and cats require taurine, which most dogs don’t, but if it is in the food anyway they don’t have to add it for cat food.

  • Edie Vines

    A friend bought wet cat food for me. The ingredients are the same as the dog food which is cheaper. What’s the difference ?