Rating: | Price: $$$$ | Website
I hadn’t heard of this food until I was notified that I should include it in this listing. While that may mean it is difficult to find in my area, it may be more accessible in others. Always call your local specialty pet stores and ask about foods like these.
Nature’s Variety has 2 main lines of food, with Instinct being its grain-free formula, which I’ll focus on here. As expected, the protein % is pretty high (35%) and it’s loaded with quality meat meals (4 of them). Notice they are meat “meals” and not just labelled as “chicken” or “duck”. Because they’re weighing them post-dehydration, it’s an accurate statement as to just how much meat is in the product.
Tapioca is an interesting ingredient, but it serves the purpose of what potatoes typically do, which is to provide a starch and help bind the food together so it doesn’t fall apart. It’s a fine ingredient. Also, pumpkinseeds may seem off to some, but they are actually quite a good fiber source and help provide lineolic acid for skin & coat.
What’s more, the line-up of fruits and veggies is present to help suppliment the vitamin count. All in all, this is a very solid food and I’m glad to now be aware of it.
What’s good about this food….
Grain-free, very high in quality meat content (first 3 ingredients), pumpkinseeds are great for fiber & skin/coat, herring meal, fruits/veggies.
….and what’s not so good.
Duck Meal, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Canola Oil★★★★★ Excellent source of fat for energy and healthy coat contains 10% omega 3 fatty acids and half the saturated fat found in other vegetable oils commonly used in pet food. (naturally preserved with Mixed Tocopherols★★★★ Natural Vitamin E★★★ Antioxidant used as food preservative. preservative. and Citric Acid★★★ Vitamin C, immune stimulant, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic.), Tapioca, Tomato Pomace★★ Mostly used as gimmick, not enough nutrition is available to make a difference, can be too acidic on digestive tract causing upset., Pumpkinseeds, Herring Meal, Sun-Cured Alfalfa★★★ Source of chlorophyll, dietary fiber. Meal, Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride★★★ Standard source of potassium, balances acid/alkaline levels., Brewers Yeast★ Waste product (used for flavoring, protein, B-vitamins) which can become very toxic to the liver causes allergies and arthritis., Vitamins (Choline Chloride★★★ Standard source of choline, emulsifies fats., Vitamin E★★★ Antioxidant used as food preservative. Supplement, Ascorbic Acid★★ Vitamin C — this form can be harsher on stomach, anti-oxidant/immune stimulant, food preservative., Niacin★★★ Standard source, promotes proper digestion, healthy skin and nerves. Supplement, Biotin★★★ Standard source to promote healthy skin and coat., D-Calcium Pantothenate★★★ Standard source of a B-complex vitamin B5, supports adrenal activity., Vitamin A Acetate★★★ Standard source, needed for immune function., Riboflavin★★★ Standard source of Vitamin B2, necessary to energy production, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate★★★ Standard source of B-1, effects nervous system and mental attitude., Pyridoxine Hydrochloride★★★ Standard source, immune stimulant, major factor in protein metabolism and red blood cell production., Vitamin D3★★★ Standard source, aids calcium and phosphorous in building bones and teeth. Supplement, Iodine Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement★★★ Standard source, involved in immune response., Carotene, Folic Acid★★★ Standard source, needed for blood building and DNA synthesis.), Peas★★★★★ Excellent source of protein/carbohydrates/fiber., Minerals (Zinc Proteinate★★★★★ Best source of zinc, protects against free radicals, essential to insulin formation and immune function., Iron Proteinate★★★★★ Excellent, most expensive source of iron needed for red blood cell reproduction., Manganese Proteinate★★★★★ Best source of manganese, necessary to development of strong bones and enzyme activators, enhances immune system., Copper Proteinate★★★★★ Best source of copper used, aids in bone formation, iron absorption, protein metabolism, bone formation, Sodium Selenite★★★ Standard source of selenium, powerful anti-oxidant protects the body from free radicals and heavy metals, supports immune response.), Sea Salt★ Used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension — used to encourage cats to drink, source of sodium chloride., Dried Kelp, Cranberries★★★ Gimmicky, not enough used in food to help the urinary tract., Blueberries★★★ Gimmicky, not enough used for benefit to eyes., Inulin, Freeze Dried Turkey, Freeze Dried Turkey Liver, Dried Enterococcus Faecium★★★ Gimmicky probiotic to aid digestion, not enough to help and can not stand up to heat processing. Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract★★★★★ Natural preservative, concentrated., Freeze Dried Turkey Hearts, Freeze Dried Ground Turkey Bone.