Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food Review (Dry)

Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck Dog Food

Review of Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food

Rating:

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

The Instinct Raw Boost product line includes the 14 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

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Product Rating AAFCO
Instinct Raw Boost Senior 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost with Real Beef 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight 5 M
Instinct Raw Boost with Real Chicken 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost Puppy with Real Chicken 5 G
Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed with Real Duck 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed with Real Chicken 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed with Real Chicken 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy with Real Chicken 5 G
Instinct Raw Boost with Real Salmon 5 A
Instinct Raw Boost Gut Health 5 M
Instinct Raw Boost Skin & Coat 5 M
Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed with Real Beef 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Instinct Raw Boost with Real Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

Instinct Raw Boost with Real Chicken

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 29%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), tapioca, herring meal, freeze dried chicken, menhaden fish meal, natural flavor, freeze dried chicken liver, salt, dried tomato pomace, pumpkin seeds, freeze dried chicken heart, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin), montmorillonite clay, 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 denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis37%21%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%23%29%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%44%23%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 23%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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

The sixth ingredient is herring meal, another protein-rich 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 seventh ingredient is freeze-dried chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% water. After freeze-drying, 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.

It should be noted the meat used here has been freeze-dried prior to use in this recipe. Because of the gentleness of the process used to create this item, freeze-dried ingredients can be considered nutritionally superior to meat meals.

The eighth ingredient is menhaden fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

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 Nature’s Variety product.

With 4 notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

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

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

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 29%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.

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

Which means this Instinct product line contains…

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, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing an abundance of meat.

Our Rating of Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food

Instinct Raw Boost is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.



Has Nature’s Variety Instinct Dog Food Been Recalled?

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Important FDA Alert

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References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

01/30/2021 Last Update