Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs Review

//Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs Review

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs Review

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs

ature's Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken is a blend of quality meat and natural foods that offers nutrition comparable to what your dog would eat in his natural habitat.

This formula includes delicious, high quality chicken and then adds nutrient dense organ meat, including turkey liver and heart, as well as mineral and vitamin rich chicken bone.

In addition to this mouthwatering protein this recipe includes fresh fruits and veggies like apples, broccoli and butternut squash and highly palatable apple cider vinegar.

Grains and gluten may contribute to dog food allergies. By eliminating these ingredients, the chance for allergic reaction is reduced.

Dog Food Analysis

  • Protein: Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart
  • Fat and Oil: Salmon Oil, Olive Oil
  • Carbohydrates: Butternut Squash
  • Fiber: Fruits and Vegetables
  • Fruits and vegetables: Apples, Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Dried Kelp, Blueberries, Persimmons
  • Flavorings: Meat Sources, Rosemary, Sage, Clove
  • Preservatives: Mixed Tocopherols
  • Sweeteners: absent
  • Dyes: absent
  • Supplements and minerals: Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Rosemary Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts, Inulin

Yellow ingredients represent controversial or low quality sources. Consult our nutrient detailed analysis and find out why.

Nutrient Analysis

Guaranteed Analysis Dry Matter Basis
Protein 15 % (min.) 43 %
Fat 12 % (min.) 34 %
Fiber 2 % (max.) 6 %
Moisture 65 % (max.) NA
Carbohydrates NA 17 % (EV)

(NA: not available; EV: estimated value)

Consult our article named “How do we convert guaranteed analysis into dry matter basis?” and find out how we calculate nutrients percentages on a dry matter basis. The ash value considered to the calculation of the estimated value of carbohydrates was 2 %.

Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Nature’s Variety Instinct Chicken Formula provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages of dogs.

This is a profile of a raw product containing an abundance of meat and a low percentage of carbohydrates. This formula is a meat-based dog food using an important quantity of named meats and organs as its central sources of animal protein.

Detail Ingredient Analysis

Protein: Chicken is the clean combination of flesh and skin. Chicken is an exceptional source of highly digestible and essential amino acids. Ground chicken bone is a good source of minerals and has always been main part of a dog’s natural diet. Bone contains calcium and phosphorus in the correct ratio. It is also a significant source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, elements associated with joint health.

Turkey is another clean combination of flesh and skin that comes from carcasses of turkey. It is an excellent source of highly digestible, lean protein and essential amino acids.

Turkey liver is a very good source of lean protein, vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium.

Turkey heart is an organ meat. It is a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and most importantly, taurine.

Carbohydrates: Butternut squash is rich in complex carbohydrates and low in saturated fat and sodium. It is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and some minerals.

Fat and oil: Salmon oil is a good source of fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. Olive oil is considered healthy due to its high content of monounsaturated fat (mostly oleic acid) and polyphenols.

Fruits and vegetables: Persimmon is a fruit. It is a good nutritional source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, carotenoids, and dietary fiber.

Kelp (large brown seaweeds) are a source of natural organic minerals and vitamins like iodine, potassium and calcium. Iodine is very important to the function of thyroid gland. It is also an additional natural source of beta-carotene, B vitamins, and vitamin C.

Montmorillonite is a natural clay. Its source is the deposits in southern Utah that are approved by AAFCO for use as an anticaking agent. These agents are added to allow powder ingredients to flow and mix evenly during the food production process. Montmorillonite clay is frequently used in some natural dog foods as a natural anti-caking agent allowing high-quality dog foods to continue free of chemical agents for this purpose. This ingredient is also a good source of trace minerals.

Flaxseed is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber that aid in digestion. It is also an excellent source of amino acids, Omega-6, and more importantly Omega-3 fatty acids. However, flaxseed have high content of phytoestrogens. These compounds may interfere with reproduction, mostly in females. So if you are a dog breeder you should be aware of this.

Lettuce is mostly water, but includes also folate and beta-carotene as well as vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants. Spinach is a rich source of lots of nutrients including minerals, vitamins, folic acid, and several vital antioxidants.

Apples are rich in Vitamin C as well as antioxidants and botanical compounds such as flavonoids. Apples also provide both soluble and insoluble fiber. Blueberries are a source of antioxidants that may help support health and vitality. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, and soluble fiber.

Whole barley is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, dietary minerals (including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium), and vitamins (including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E).

Supplements: Inulin is used here as a prebiotic, that stimulates growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.

Alfalfa sprouts are a wholesome source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Apple cider vinegar helps to maintain proper acid/alkaline balance in the body.

Honey contains trace amounts of several vitamins, minerals and small amounts of several compounds thought to function as antioxidants, including chrysin, pinobanksin, vitamin C, catalase, and pinocembrin.

Tocopherols are a potent natural preservative, which also supplies a small amount of the benefits of dietary vitamin E.

The ingredient list does not include information about vitamins and minerals added. So we assume that this dog food does not use vitamin or mineral supplements. The source of these nutrients are the natural ingredients detailed above.

This food does not contain dyes, sweeteners or artificial preservatives.

Final Comment

Based on the ingredients included in Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs we give a 4.9 stars score.

Evaluating by its ingredients alone Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs seems to be a highly recommended raw dog food.

Instinct Raw Frozen Diets utilize a state-of-the-art manufacturing process called High Pressure Processing (HPP). These process uses water pressure to kill harmful bacteria without losing essential nutrients or changing the food’s freshness.

However, it is vital to take care while handling this type of food. Use the refrigerator to defrost the meals. It is crucial to wash hands before handling raw diets to prevent contaminating the food.

My advice is:

For morning meals, defrost the night before and for evening meals, defrost in the morning.

You should serve defrosted medallions or patties in a dog stainless steel dish. Food should still be cold when served.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs main benefits:

  • Excellent sources of protein: chicken and turkey
  • Raw bone is an excellent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, and enzymes
  • Bones are also a well-adjusted source of calcium and phosphorus, and a natural source of chondroitin for joint health
  • Fruits and vegetables supply beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • No grain or gluten, which makes this food a good selection for dogs with food allergies
  • Smaller stools
  • Less shedding and healthier skin and coat

The following table is a summary of the positive and controversial/negative ingredients found during the qualitative analysis of this dog food.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken for Dogs

Positive Aspects

  • Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart
  • Salmon Oil, Olive Oil
  • Butternut Squash
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
  • Ingredient sources of omega fatty acids
  • Bone source of glucosamine and chondroitin

Negative Aspects

  • The need to follow hygienic guidelines while handling this type of food.
  • Ground Flaxseed

Available in:
Perfect Trial Size: 12 oz bag (approx. 12 medallions)
Medallions: 3 lb bag (approx. 48 medallions)
Patties: 6 lb bag (12 eight ounce patties)
Bites: 4 lb bag, 7 lb bag and 10.4 oz Trial Size
Chubs: 2 lb single chub, also available in 12 lb box (contains 6 single chubs)
Chubs: 5 lb single chub


About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

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