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Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Lamb Dog Food Review

Healthiest Dog Food For Good Coat

Dog Food Insiders Rating

4 1/2 paws

4 1/2 PAWS

See How This Food Compares To The Top Customer Rated Freeze Dried Dog Food

Nature's Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Lamb Dog Food Review

You can find detailed information aboutNature’s Variety in our main review of Nature’s Variety Dog Food. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control measures.

See How This Food Compares To The Top Customer Rated Freeze Dried Dog Food

Product Overview

Nature’s Variety is an independent pet food company located in St. Louis, Missouri and Lincoln, Nebraska. They make Instinct (grain free), Instinct Raw, and Prairie (holistic) brand pet foods and treats. Their Instinct line of foods includes raw foods, freeze-dried, originals, and limited ingredient diets. Prairie foods come in kibble and canned. The company says they are passionate about providing natural and holistic nutrition for dogs and cats. Their foods are 100 percent free of corn, wheat, soy, chemical preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors. They produce raw frozen diets, dry kibbles, canned food, and treats. Some of their foods are organic.


Ingredients in Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Lamb Dog Food

Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Apples, Carrots, Ground Lamb Bone, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach,Dried Kelp, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Salmon Oil, Olive Oil, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Persimmons, Inulin, Rosemary, Sage, Clove.


NOTE: Use This Dog Food As A Supplement Only

Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Lamb Formula is a supplemental food. It is not intended to provide a dog’s regular diet. It is not a complete and balanced dog food so it won’t provide all of the nutrition your dog requires. You can add it to your dog’s food as a supplement or feed it as a treat or a training reward. You can occasionally feed this food as a meal but you should not feed it to your dog as a meal on a regular basis.
This food is a freeze dried food – most of the moisture has been removed and it contains only 4 percent moisture. You can store it at room temperature. The food is also raw, so if you like the idea of feeding your dog raw food without a lot of mess and without preparing it yourself, you may like the freeze dried form. It is convenient and you can carry this food with you when you travel, for example.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw comes in three formulas: chicken, beef, and lamb. These formulas are all grain free and gluten-free. Along with meats they contain fruits and vegetables. However, you should note that no vitamins or minerals have been added to the foods so these products may be lacking in some of the vitamins and minerals that dogs require in their diet.

Main Ingredients Breakdown

The first three ingredients in the food are Lamb, Lamb Heart, and Lamb Liver. Lamb is an excellent source of protein. It’s also a good source of Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Copper and Selenium. It’s also a good source of omega-6 fatty acid. Organs like the heart and liver are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals for your dog.

Additional Ingredients of Interest

The food also contains ground lamb bone which is a natural source of calcium. In a raw diet ground bone poses less risk to your dog as it won’t cause any perforations of your dog’s gastrointestinal system. There is some slight possibility that too much ground bone can cause an impaction so you should avoid feeding too much of it. It can lead to constipation. But when fed with enough fiber and fat it should be fine.

The food also contains salmon oil as a desirable fat source which is very high in omega-3 fatty acid. This is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid for your dog (or for anyone). It also contains olive oil which is hardly ever seen in dog food. It’s great for people but harder to explain for dogs. It’s a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, and omega-6 fatty acid but it seems wasted here.

The food also features blueberries, antioxidant and alfalfa sprouts – a good source of protein, Vitamin A, Niacin and Calcium, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper and Manganese. The food also contains dried kelp which is a good source of iodine and other trace minerals. The food has inulin, a prebiotic derived from chicory. And it containsrosemary which is probably used here as a preservative – though it could be present as an herb for its flavor and aroma.

The food also includes a wide range of vegetables and fruits such as apples, carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, and many others. These ingredients provide fiber and carbs, as well as some vitamins and minerals.

See How This Food Compares To The Top Customer Rated Freeze Dried Dog Food

Ingredients Of Concern

The only ingredient which seems problematic is the ground flaxseeds. Ground flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. They are also a good source of Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Thiamin and Manganese. However, flaxseeds are also phytoestrogens, meaning they can act as estrogen in the body (of dogs, humans, other animals) and interfere in reproduction. If you are a dog breeder you should be careful about giving dog food that contains flaxseeds to your female dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein (min) ………. 40.0%
  • Crude Fat (min) ………. 30.0%
  • Crude Fiber (max) ………. 8.0%
  • Moisture (max) ………. 4.0%

Calorie Content

  • Mini medallions: 20 kcals per piece (calculated); 1 piece = 7g
  • Regular medallions: 32 kcals per piece (calculated); 1 piece = 12g

Nutritional Statement/Feeding Instructions

Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Feed as a singular meal, supplement, treat, or palatant. If using Freeze Dried Raw as the sole food for a given day, feed 6-7 mini medallions or 4-5 regular medallions per 10 pounds of body weight. Decrease proportionally with the amount of other foods fed.

Please notice that there is no AAFCO statement provided because this food is only for supplemental feeding. It is not a complete and balanced dog food and should not be fed as your dog’s sole meal source. It is a supplement to your dog’s meals; a treat; or something to feed your dog to encourage him to eat when he is not interested in his food.

Dry Matter Basis

By dry matter basis, this food has an estimated 41.6 percent protein and 31.25 percent fat. It has 8.33 percent fiber and an estimated 18.75 percent carbohydrates. The fat percentage is high in relation to the protein. The fiber percentage is also high. The carbohydrates are low. Vitamins and minerals (the ash content/nutrients) are not provided for this food and they are not added per the ingredient label. The only vitamins and minerals the food contains are those that are found in the ingredients. This is unusual in a dog food and probably accounts for part of the reason why the food is a supplemental food and not a complete and balanced dog food.


Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Lamb Formula would be fine as a supplemental food or treat; or as something to feed your dog occasionally if you feed a raw diet and need to take a freeze dried raw food with you when you travel that is convenient to feed. It is not intended to be fed on a regular basis as your dog’s main diet.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Lamb Formula has received our 4.5 paw rating.


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