Instinct Raw Dog Food

Instinct Raw Dog Food Reviewed: Pros, Cons, and Ingredient Analysis

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

Instinct Raw Dog Food Summary

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free High Protein Kibble Dry Dog Food
  • Instinct Raw Boost natural dry dog food combines high protein, grain free kibble with all natural bites of freeze dried raw beef. USA raised beef is the #1 ingredient.
  • Raw Boost is high protein dog food with probiotics to support healthy digestion and omegas for skin & coat. Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.
  • Raw Boost mixes high protein, grain free dog food with our freeze dried raw dog food toppers in one bag. 

What is Instinct Raw Dog Food?

Instinct Raw Dog Food is a product line of Instinct – a premium dog food brand owned by Nature’s Variety.

The brand is relatively new as it was founded in 2002. However, it quickly became a favorite among dog parents. The brand has several lines, and Instinct Raw Dog Food is one of the most popular.

Where is Instinct Raw Dog Food Made?

Instinct Raw Dog Food is made in the brand’s manufacturing facilities in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Additionally, they source their ingredients from trusted sources from all over the world.

How is Instinct Raw Dog Food Made?

Real meat is the first ingredient in Instinct pet foods to try and add the maximum raw nutrition possible. For instance, real chicken, real beef, chicken recipe, and grass-fed lamb are the common meat sources. This also provides high-quality protein that your dog needs to sustain itself.

The brand also uses fish in its products that provide a natural flavor, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Furthermore, marine ingredients act as central storehouses of omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial amino acids.

The Instinct Raw diet does not use inferior ingredients, including harmful gluten, potato, soy-by products, and corn.

However, it does contain whole-food ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, carrots, and tomato pomace, among others. These provide beneficial fibers that lead to an improvement in your dog’s digestive health. Whether you opt for their frozen raw foods or wet dog foods such as patties, their product line suit both young and adult dogs.

In addition to vegetables, the brand also uses fruits like apples, blueberries, and cranberries that offer additional nutrition and antioxidants.

To boost your dog’s digestion, the brand also contains the required fermentation products that provide all the enzymes required for smooth digestion. The Instinct Raw recipes are also known to improve coat health and digestive health and are shelf-stable, thanks to their wholesome ingredients. They are also suited for dogs with food sensitivities.

While the brand is known to use premium ingredients, there have been some complaints regarding the size of the food bag. Many pet owners demanded a larger bag that would last a lot longer. Additionally, there were complaints that the frozen bits used in the products stick to the bottom of the bag. While these are just trivial issues, they matter in the long run.

Is Instinct Raw Food Good For Dogs?

Yes, Instinct Raw Dog Food is good.

Instinct Dog Food is great for dogs as it uses non-GMO ingredients and offers a range of products. Whether you opt for their freeze-dried dog food, raw longevity, or the limited ingredient diet, you can be sure of the quality and selected animal protein sources like cage-free chicken, beef, or lamb.

The Instinct products are formulated with probiotics that improve digestion and omega-fatty acids that develop the skin & coat. Their product is formulated without grains, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meals, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Instinct Raw Dog Food Formulas Reviewed

Instinct Raw Dog Food has several products and recipes. To help dog owners find the right one for their pets, we have reviewed some of the best-selling formulas.

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free High Protein Kibble Dry Dog Food

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free High Protein Kibble Dry Dog Food

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Summary: Instinct Raw Boost natural dry dog food contains a grain-free kibble blend that is loaded with protein. It also includes natural bites of freeze-dried raw beef. The beef has been raised in the USA and is the first ingredient in the meal. This dog food also contains probiotics to support healthy digestion and omega-fatty acids for healthy skin & coat. Additionally, the product has no grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors, or preservatives. It is perfect for all dogs (except large breeds), including small breeds, toy breeds, puppies, senior & healthy weights.

Type: Dry dog food + freeze-dried raw pet food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Duck; Salmon

Price: $4.25/pound

Pros

  • Contains high protein, grain-free kibble
  • Formulated with natural bites of freeze-dried raw beef
  • Has probiotics to support healthy digestion
  • Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, or soy
  • No by-product meal, artificial colors, or preservatives

Cons

  • The packaging could have been better

Ingredient Analysis

  • Beef: Beef is a protein source that supports muscle development and energy.
  • Turkey Meal: Turkey is also a protein source that supports muscle development and energy.
  • Herring Meal: This is an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce allergies and inflammation in your dog’s body.
  • Chicken Fat: Chicken fat enhances the flavor while supplying omega-fatty acids that benefit your dog’s health.

Review: This product contains responsibly sourced meats, fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients that offer numerous health benefits. Pet owners give the recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Grain-Free Recipe

Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Grain-Free Recipe

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Summary: This grain-free puppy food is made with ingredients that are of the highest quality. These ingredients are responsibly sourced and contain meats, fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients. The brand ensures not to use soy, corn, wheat, artificial flavors or preservatives, or other filler ingredients in their recipes. These are crafted in their kitchens to ensure the highest levels of hygiene. Additionally, pet food is minimally processed to lock in the nutrients.

Type: Dry dog food + freeze-dried raw pet food

Best for: Puppies

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $5/pound

Pros

  • Contains high protein, grain-free kibble
  • Offers complete & balanced nutrition for puppies
  • Made from real meat and whole-food ingredients
  • Protein-packed and minimally processed
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • The texture might not suit some dogs

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken: This is the primary source of protein that helps in building lean muscles in your dogs.
  • Chicken Meal: Chicken meal is an extremely rich source of protein, providing pets with supplemental energy and nutrients while aiding in digestion.
  • Peas: Packed with the protein, vitamins, fiber, and potassium that pets need, peas support a pet’s GI health.
  • Chicken Fat: Chicken fat enhances the flavor while supplying omega-fatty acids.

Review: Instinct Raw Boost dry dog food combines high protein, grain-free kibble with all-natural bites of freeze-dried raw meat. Dog owners rate the food 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Recipe

Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Recipe

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Summary: This dog food stands out because it is never cooked and is also less processed as compared to other brands in the market. This helps keep its valuable nutrients intact. Additionally, the food retains its natural flavors, antioxidants, amino acids & vitamins, and minerals. Thanks to its freeze-dried technology, the product has a long shelf life making it easier to store. It contains the highest quality ingredients and responsibly sourced meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Type: Dry dog food + freeze-dried raw pet food

Best for: Adult dogs and puppies

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $4/pound

Pros

  • Contains fewer calories than its competitors
  • Protein-packed and minimally processed
  • Ingredients are sourced from around the world
  • Does not contain any filler ingredients
  • Free from artificial colors and preservatives

Cons

  • May lead to a minor skin reaction in some dogs

Ingredient Analysis

  • Menhaden Fish Meal: Menhaden fish meal is a protein source that supports muscle development and energy.
  • Dried Tomato Pomace: Dried tomato pomace is a rich source of soluble fiber and the antioxidant lycopene made up of tomato skins, pulp, and crushed seeds.
  • Sun-cured Alfalfa Meal: Alfalfa is rich in minerals, including zinc, iron, and manganese, as well as vitamins A & C.
  • Chicken Fat: Chicken fat enhances the flavor while supplying omega-fatty acids.

Review: This high protein, grain-free dry dog food is mixed with all-natural bites of freeze-dried raw meat, all in one bag. The food has an overall Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals Grain-Free Recipe Dog Food

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals Grain-Free Recipe Dog Food

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Summary: Instinct Raw Freeze-Dried Meals recipes are protein-packed and contain 85% meat and organs along with 15% non-GMO fruits and vegetables, which are formulated with vitamins and minerals. The product is made without grain, corn, soy, or wheat. Additionally, it also does not contain any legumes, artificial colors, or preservatives. The brand’s recipes are manufactured in their kitchens which ensures the highest standards in quality, cleanliness, and food safety. The wholesome ingredients that make up these recipes have been sourced responsibly.

Type: Dry dog food + freeze-dried raw pet food

Best for: Adult dogs and puppies

Flavor Options: Chicken; Lamb; Beef

Price: N/D

Pros

  • With real meat and whole-food ingredients
  • Supports healthy digestion, lean muscles, and strong bones
  • Provides vibrant skin and coat
  • Does not contain grain, corn, wheat, soy, and legumes
  • Made in the USA with the finest ingredients

Cons

  • The scent might be off-putting to some pet owners

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken Liver: Chicken liver is used to provide pets with protein, iron, vitamin A and delicious natural flavor.
  • Chicken Heart: Chicken heart contains taurine, which can promote heart health in pets.
  • Apples: Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a water-soluble fiber, and are rich in vitamins A & C.
  • Carrots: Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, fiber, Vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.

Review: This product provides relief from food sensitivities and also helps with weight control. It works great for dogs who are picky eaters. Customers rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Gut Health Dog Food Topper

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Gut Health Dog Food Topper

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Summary: This dog food is made with the pure and real nutrition of the raw formula of this brand. It uses real meat & whole food ingredients that have been minimally processed and are packed with protein. The product has been made in the USA using the finest ingredients that have been got from trusted sources. Raw foods have never been cooked and thus preserve the integrity of the constituent ingredients. This helps lock in the beneficial nutrients as they have been freeze-dried to remove moisture. This also extends the shelf life of the product.

Type: Freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Adult dogs and puppies

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $2.28/oz

Pros

  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains all-natural, functional ingredients
  • Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, or soy
  • Protein-packed and minimally processed
  • Adds variety and excitement to every meal

Cons

  • Not a complete and balanced meal

Ingredient Analysis

  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin isn’t just an excellent fiber source, it’s also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help pets with healthy digestion.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, B vitamins, beta carotene, phytochemicals, and carotenoids
  • Chicory Root: Chicory root is a perennial prebiotic that helps promote a healthy digestive tract.

Review: This product does not contain harmful ingredients, including fillers and preservatives. Additionally, this can also be used as a dog treat. Dog owners give the recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Mobility Support Dog Food Topper

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Mobility Support Dog Food Topper

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Summary: This raw dog food topper is made with 100% freeze-dried raw ingredients. They are natural and made with real meat paired with whole food ingredients. The product is packed with protein and is processed minimally. These food toppers are made using cage-free chicken, the primary ingredient. These toppers offer mobility support thanks to their all-natural formulation. It also contains beneficial ingredients, including flaxseed, New Zealand green mussel, turmeric & fenugreek.

Type: Freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $2.54/oz

Pros

  • Made with natural whole food ingredients
  • Cage-free chicken is the primary ingredient
  • Freeze-dried to gently remove moisture
  • No harmful preservatives and additives
  • Perfect for picky dogs & puppies

Cons

  • Not a complete and balanced meal

Ingredient Analysis

  • Chicken: This is the primary source of protein in this meal. It helps build your dog’s muscles and provides them with sustained energy.
  • Flaxseed: Flaxseed is a rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids and is a great source of fiber that aids in digestion and promotes healthy skin and coat.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is an excellent herb to help support digestion in pets.

Review: Made with whole food ingredients that offer various health benefits, including mobility support. The overall Amazon rating for this recipe is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free All Natural Dog Food Topper

Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free All Natural Dog Food Topper

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Summary: Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are made using all-natural ingredients that support a healthy digestive system and give your furry friend a shiny coat. The product is 100% freeze-dried and bursting with flavor and nutrition. The delicious taste of this meal will have your dog coming back for more. As a result, you can even use this as a dog treat. The ingredients, including meats, fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients, have been sourced responsibly. The product does not contain any harmful additives or fillers.

Type: Freeze-dried dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Lamb, Beef, Chicken

Price: $2.17/oz

Pros

  • Leads to increased energy and vitality
  • Provides relief from food sensitivities
  • Helps in weight management
  • Promotes healthy skin & shiny coat
  • Works great with picky eaters

Cons

  • The freeze-dried bits often stick to the bottom of the package

Ingredient Analysis

  • Beef: Beef is a protein source that supports muscle development and energy.
  • Beef Liver: Beef liver is a nutrient-dense organ meat that is rich in protein, low in calories, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Beef Kidney: This is a great source of antioxidants and iron that helps build your dog’s muscles and improves their energy levels.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: This is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help pets with healthy digestion.

Review: This brand does not use soy, corn, wheat, artificial flavors or preservatives, or other filler ingredients in our recipes. Pet owners rate the recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars.

What Dog Food Formulas does Instinct Raw Make?

Instinct Raw Dog Food offers a wide range of products. Here is an overview of the line’s recipes:

Has Instinct Raw Dog Food Been Recalled?

Yes, Instinct Raw Dog Food has been recalled.

The recall was on July 2nd, 2021, because of Salmonella contamination.

Is Instinct Raw Dog Food Worth it?

Yes, Instinct Raw Dog Food is worth it.

Instinct Raw Dog Food offers complete and balanced nutrition in the form of dog and cat food. Its recipes follow the AAFCO guidelines. Plus, it used high-pressure processing to ensure food safety.

The Instinct brand has 20 years of pet food experience that use research-backed raw formulas that are designed to make pets happier and healthier.