Instinct dog food

October 26, 2008  
Filed under Dog Food Reviews, Instinct

Instinct Dog Food

Instinct dog food is made and manufactured by the Lincoln Nebraska company Natures Variety whom also produce the “Prairie” line of foods..  Instinct dog food comes in either a canned or dry version. Instinct dog food is a premium grain free dog food that contains high quality ingredients.  As of the date of this review, we recommend this food.

Instinct Dog Food Products:

  1. Instinct Chicken Meal Dog Food
  2. Instinct Rabbit Formula Dog Food
  3. Instinct Duck Meal & Turkey Meal Dog Food
  4. Instinct Salmon Meal Dog Food

    Instinct Dog Food Review

    Instinct dog food formulas are grain-free, and contain quality ingredients. There are currently three different dog food formulas offered under the Instinct brand name, which are each designed for all life stages. Instinct brand dog food formulas contain tapioca, which is a gluten-free starch. Instinct brand dog food formulas are available in three bag sizes: a small 4.4 lb bag, a 13.2 lb bag and a large 25.3 lb bag.

    Instinct Dog Food Consumer Ratings

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    26 Responses to “Instinct dog food”
    1. Casey says:

      Jess and Michelle,
      Question for the both of you. I have a German Shepherd and the “new” Nature’s Variety just got here. The lady who sells this product to us is very upset because she has a number of customers complaining about their dogs getting sick. We didn’t realize it in time and I tried the bison medalions with the “clay” in it and my dog’s stools were bad. So, luckily I was able to get some of the beef and chicken patties in the old formulation but that will only last for about another week. Any recommendations like Bravo? Also, when the retailer called Nature’s Variety and told them about how dogs were getting sick, they said they changed absolutely nothing in their formulation so it couldn’t be the food…yeah right! If you could recommend something you have tried that would be comparable to the old Nature Variety that you like, it would be appreciated. Thanks!

    2. Jess says:

      My dog did not do good on any of their products with the Clay in it. If you Google the clay you well find that it is made with 2 ingredients that are toxic. I feed Orijen and C.N. but I am looking for a replacement for C.N.

    3. Michelle says:

      Casey Hi,I have never tried any of the raw foods.I personally like the companies that are family owned and operated.I have used and would recommend Merrick Before Grain,Fromm Family Surf & Turf and Gold.Champion Orijen 6 fish.I have also looked into First Mate and Timberwolf,both of them look good but I haven’t tried them yet…Their are some really good foods out there,it just depends on what you are looking for,Grain free? Raw? Or grain inclusive?

    4. Casey says:

      Thank you both. I wrote Nature’s Variety and this was their reply to me today

      Dear Casey,

      Thanks for emailing. No, we haven’t changed any of our formulas, just the packaging. For AAFCO regulation purposes we were not able to list the clay on the old packaging within the ingredient panel since we include it primarily to bind toxins in the body, but now we can and have updated it since the packaging change. The clay has always been included in trace amounts in our canned and raw diets.

      The easiest evidence that speaks to the clay’s safety is the FDA statement on GRAS (generally recognized as safe). Montmorillonite (also known as bentonite) is a type 1 GRAS substance, the lowest and least toxic substance on a scale of 1-5.
      I spoke with the people I buy my food from and they are converting customers over to Stella and Chewy’s Raw food. I bought a bag and fed it to Lika and she loves it and no problems. It’s more like the old Nature’s variety and there is nothing that is not natural. Their website is

    5. Sheila says:

      I wanted to feed our 80 lb Pitbull (our killer marshmallow!) a high quality food and our Vet recommended the Instinct brand. He has been on the food for about 2 months now and I did the appropriate time to change over foods and he still is not doing well on this food. I don’t know if it is because of the Tapioca (can cause bloating) or if it something with this Clay all of you are talking about? Our pit has gas that will clear the room!! So I am back on this website to see what we can change him to. Thank all of you for your honest opinions and good information about the different dog foods.

    6. T'laryth Phalyn says:

      My Lilly, a Siberian & Setter mix, has been on the dry rabbit formula since the start of the year and her health has been nothing but fantastic. She’s a notoriously picky dog and after trying many foods this is the only one that stuck, so much so that when my local folks ran out and left me to something else she refused to eat it. She’s had no bloating or gas, no messy stools, no problems what so ever. In truth she is a lean, well muscled horse of a dog with clear eyes, an utterly plush coat, and the healthiest set of teeth I could ever want.

      I must admit my amusement at some of the statements made towards the ingredients. They seem ill informed at best. Montmorillonite Clay is something that is not only found in many, many foods but is considered quite healthy. The trace elements found in it are what make it up. Someone pointed out the poisonings of people with certain of these elements. ANYTHING, and everything, will kill you if in the right amounts. Montmorillonite Clay acts as a binder towards aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are some of the most dangerous carcinogens known to ma and are found in many foods. This clay helps to remove these from the body. I wonder why this is considered a bad thing. Let me enlighten you supposedly health conscious folks as to some of the ways you yourselves may be using this clay on a daily basis; treatment of irritable bowl syndrome, prevention of aflatoxicosis (which I already mentioned), treatment of constipation, absorption and removal of cholesterol and uric acid, treatment of hyperthyroidism, and it is used in almost every medication as a catalyst or binding agent. Oh and lest we forget that it has wondrous antibacterial qualities, and adsorptive qualities that soak up dangerous heavy metals, toxins, and hazardous chemicals while removing them from the body. These facts explain why many dogs develop messy stools soon after starting – the clay is removing toxins from the dogs body! This is a good thing, honest.

      While I can appreciate our universal need to keep our furry four-pawed children healthy and happy, I cannot help but stand in awe of off the hip comments based on lack of knowledge. In this day and age there is no excuse for poor research. It’s like saying that because the air about us contains elements that could, in large doses, kill us we’ll simply stop breathing it and switch to something else.

      Oh and the formula didn’t change. They simply did not list it prior to the change in the package design. To say the “old” Nature’s Variety ignores that fact. It makes it seem as though there is some sense of betrayal in all of this.

      So with that said, I will be keeping my big and gloriously happy ball of fluff on this food. It’s done her a world of good, it has made her happier and healthier, her vet loves it and I will have a companion for many, many years to come.

    7. LittleAsh says:

      I’ve been reading this forum for a few weeks now and I’d like to thanks everyone for taking the time to share their knowledge on this site.

      I adopted a dog a few months ago and I started researching dog food after I learned that his constant scratching might be caused by corn in the food he was getting at the shelter. So far we’ve tried TOTW and Instinct and I’ve been happy with both. I’m surprised there isn’t more discussion on Instinct, as it appears to be in the same tier as the Orijen that so many on this site favor. Thoughts?

    8. Beverly says:

      I’m happy to find this forum. The information and feedback on dog foods is really informative. It seems that everyone has a good or bad experience with the same food. A food that is considered great can get a bad review by some and a great review by others.

      I’m going to add a negative experience that I had with Instinct Rabbit kibble. I have white dogs and within one week of eating Instinct Rabbit kibble, they all had horrible red eye stain and this was after being completely clear of any staining. It took nearly one year to return them back to their beautiful white faces. So thought I’d add this for any of you that may be concerned about eye staining. I did feed them Instinct RAW, and had no problems.

    9. Jeanne says:

      I’ve definitely noticed a change in the Instinct canned Lamb. There is much more liquid, which is now a brown color and a definite difference in smell. I contacted the company and was assured no changes had been made and was sent coupons for free cans. Won’t be using the coupons. Was told at the pet food store that they probably did change the recipe since the food is now being sold at Petco.

    10. Jennifer says:

      I have a 6.4 lb chi that loves the dry rabbit formula , she
      Has bad skin so the omega also helps her . You can also go to the
      Instinct site to get coupons .

    11. Karen says:

      Heyy !! Well I really confused my dog died (Min Pin.)about three days ago. The food he consumed was Kibbles nd’ Bites which killed him. Kibbles nd’ bites is one of the worst dog foods on the Market. Well any way I have two more dogs (Chihuahuas) And well after this bad experience I had I would like to have a nice food to feed my dogs. And just yesterday we bought Instinct dog food. And I did some research on this dog food and both found some good comments on this dog food and some bad ones. Well all I want to say is if you really want to have your pets healthy for a while. Just give them the food you eat every day. Its way better than those dog foods that can even kill your dogs, at a slow pace !!! But NEVER feed you pets Kibbles nd’ Bites, it killed my dog and it has killed many others.

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    Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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