Nature’s Variety Information
Nature’s Variety is a privately-held, natural pet food company located in St Louis which is in the Midwest of the United States. They have two sub-brands, Instinct and Prairie.
Nature’s Variety Instinct is manufactured at a privately owned site in Lincoln Nebraska.
Nature’s Variety is well known accross the United States as it is sold in many of the large and chain pet stores such as PetSmart or PetCo.
Nature’s Variety Product Range
Nature’s Variety Instinct is best known for its raw or semi-raw dog food products. While the idea of raw or semi-raw dog scares many dog owners, it is safe if stored properly.
Instinct also produces traditional dry dog food, limited ingredient formulas, and wet dog food. The sheer size of the Instinct range makes it one of the most popular brands as there is a recipe for every taste or need.
Prairie, on the other hand, has a much smaller product range and does not produce any raw recipes. However, they produce the traditional types of dog foods and treats.
Nature’s Variety Instinct’s cat food range is also of a substantial size. In many ways it mirrors the dog food range and includes many of the sub-types such as the Original Range, Ultimate Protein Range, and Limited Ingredient Range.
However, there is slightly less formulas to choose from within the cat food range but this is not abnormal among pet food brands.
Nature’s Variety Nutrition
Nature’s Variety provides some of the best nutrition of any dog food brands let alone those that it competes within its price range. High levels of Protein and Fat are at the core of the majority of Nature’s Variety’s recipes but in particular their Original and Ultimate Protein range.
Their Limited Ingredient range does have slightly inferior nutrition in comparison to Original or Ultimate Protein but this is understandable given the context. Despite this, the nutrition offered by the recipes is still far above average.
The nutrition offered by Nature’s Variety products is significantly above average when compared to other cat food brands. The portion of protein and fat is significant and the portion of carbohydrates is modest.
However, despite this, most of Nature’s Variety’s dry cat food products still do not provide ideal nutrition. This is as cats are not obligate carnivores and their digestive system is nto designed to consume large quantities of carbohydrates.
On the other hand, Nature’s Variety’s wet cat food products provide close to ideal nutrition for cats with a very high portion of protein and fat and a negligible portion of carbohydrates.
Nature’s Variety Ingredients
Nature’s Variety formulas contain a wide range of ingredients, with a majority of these being considered high-quality. They use most of the common meat and fish ingredients including Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, and Beef.
But they also have recipes that have less common meat or fish ingredients such as their Rabbit and Venison. Exotic or less common meat ingredients such as this are often called Novel Meats.
Novel Meats can be a lifeline for those with severe allergies. Learn more about Novel Meat diets in our article Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Guide or discover the best Venison and Rabbit recipes in our raticles Best Dog Foods With Rabbit & Best Dog Foods With Venison.
Other Notable Ingredients
Nature’s Variety Instinct is one of a few brands that makes extensive use of Tapioca as a source of carbohydrates and as a binding agent. Tapioca is a root vegetable similar to Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes and is commonly found and consumed in Southern America. Find out more about Tapioca in our Tapioca In Dog Food article.
Another ingredient commonly found in Nature’s Variety Instinct’s recipes is Menhaden Fish Meal. Menhaden Fish Meal is a regular ingredient in premium dog food products and is often used to provide additional protein and fat without splashing out on more expensive whole ingredients. Find out more about Menhaden Fish Meal in our Menhaden Fish Meal in Dog Food article.
Canola Oil, along with Sunflower Oil, are vegetable oils that are commonplace in pet food. They are used to boost the levels of fat, as well as add flavour and the level of beneficial fatty acids like the Omega Fatty Acids. Canola Oil is present in a large number of Instinct’s recipes. Learn more about Canola Oil in our article Canola Oil In Dog Food.
Tomato Pomace is an ingredient that most consumers will be unfamliar with however it is a regular feature in dog food. It is made up of the undigestible fiberous content of Tomatoes and is used to aid digestion. While there are some concerns at the level of pesticides in Tomatoes, the portion of Tomato Pomace is small enough that it is not worthy of concern. Learn more about Tomato Pomace in our article Tomato Pomace as a Pet Food Ingredient?.
Nature’s Variety Animal Testing
On Nature’s Variety Instinct’s website, they state that passionate about the health and wellbeing of all pets and that they wish for all animals to be treated with compassion.
They also state that all testing facilities that they use are under federal inspection and that all the animals are cared for within the appropriate legislation around sanitation and welfare.
Finally, they insist that use voluntary or at home testing from volunteers and loyal customers whenever possible. While we would prefer that Nature’s Variety does not conduct any animal testing, this statement at least acknowledges some of the opposition to animal testing and Nature’s Variety’s interest in minimizing their impact.
Nature’s Variety Recalls
Our research has found that Nature’s Variety has three recorded recalls. While this might sound low, even a single recent recall is worrying and could suggest that Nature’s Variety’s production and manufacturing processes are not adequately safe and thorough.
In addition, some brands have a large list of recalls but the majority of them are a significant length of time ago, however, all three of Nature’s Variety’s recalls are within the last decade and therefore cannot be dismissed so easily as no longer relevant.
July 2015 – Potential Salmonella Contamination
February 2013 – Potential Foreign Body / Choking Hazard
February 2010 – Potential Salmonella Contamination
Nature’s Variety Featured Articles
Best of Nature’s Variety
Dry Dog Food
As mentioned earlier, Instinct’s Original range oftens excellent nutrition at an appropriate price range. The range does this by using a large portion of meat and fish ingredients combined with whole vegetables.
The Salmon recipe is our favorite from this range. This is as Salmon offers additional benefit beyond its protein and fat content. Salmon is one of the best sources of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These fatty acids offer a range of health benefits such as improving the condition of a dogs skin and fur to improving cognitive function.
Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Nature’s Variety Instinct’s Limited Ingredient range does not offer quite as impressive nutritional profile as their original or ultimate protein range but it is still satisfatory.
Of all the recipes, the Turkey recipe offers the largest proportion fo protein and fat thanks to the generous portions of Turkey based ingredients it utilises.
What makes the recipe suitable for dogs with allergies is its very simple and small ingredient list. The only notable ingredinets it contains beyond its turkey content is Peas, Tapioca, and Canola Oil. These ingredients provide carbohydrate content and added fat.
Raw Dog Food
Instinct Raw Boost Real Lamb Review
As we discussed earlier, the idea of raw ingredients scares many dog owners, especially those with new puppies. However, while extra precautions may have to be taken, it is not something to be deeply afraid of and it can be advantageous. Some of these benefits or advantages include cleaner teeth, more energy, and improved skin and coat. Also, Instinct Raw Boost with Real Lamb is only a semi-raw formula and still contains a significant portion of pre-cooked ingredients.
The formula contains a mix of meat and fish ingredients including Lamb, Salmon, and Whitefish which are all high-quality ingredients that can provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat. Also, the formula contains the ever staple Peas for carbohydrates and fiber alongside a smaller portion of Tapioca. Finally, the formula also includes Flaxseed to help boost the level of the Omega Fatty Acids.
Canned Dog Food
Dry Cat Food
Limited Ingredient Cat Food
Raw Cat Food
Canned Cat Food
Nature’s Variety Full Products Range
Limited Ingredient Diet Range
Ultimate Protein Range
Raw Boost With Beef
Raw Boost With Chicken
Raw Boost With Duck
Raw Boost With Venison
Raw Boost With Salmon
Raw Boost Gut Health
Raw Boost Skin & Coat Health
Raw Boost With Beef For Small Breed Dogs
Raw Boost With Chicken For Small Breed Dogs
Raw Boost With Duck For Small Breed Dogs
Raw Boost With Chicken For Toy Breed Dogs
Raw Boost With Chicken For Puppies
Raw Boost With Chicken For Healthy Weight
Raw Boost Beef Mixer
Raw Boost Chicken Mixer
Raw Boost Lamb Mixer
Raw Boost Immune Health Mixer
Raw Boost Mobility Support Mixer
Raw Boost Gut Health Mixer
Raw Boost Skin & Coat Health Mixer
Raw Boost Beef Mixer Blend
Raw Boost Chicken Mixer Blend
Be Natural Range
Be Natural Beef
Be Natural Chicken
Be Natural Lamb
Be Natural Salmon
Be Natural Chicken For Puppies
Raw Beef Bites
Raw Chicken Bites
Raw Lamb Bites
Raw Beef Bites For Small Breed
Raw Chicken Bites For Small Breeds
Raw Frozen Beef Medallions
Raw Frozen Chicken Medallions
Raw Frozen Lamb Medallions
Raw Beef Patties
Raw Chicken Patties
Raw Signature Range
Raw Beef Bites
Raw Chicken Bites
Raw Duck Bites
Raw Lamb Bites
Raw Rabbit Bites
Raw Venison Bites
Raw Beef Medallions
Raw Chicken Medallions
Raw Duck Medallions
Raw Lamb Medallions
Raw Rabbit Medallions
Raw Venison Medallions
Raw Beef Patties
Raw Chicken Patties
Raw Duck Patties
Raw Lamb Patties
Raw Rabbit Patties
Raw Venison Patties
Wet Dog Food
Original Chicken for Small Breed Dogs
Original Beef for Small Breed Dogs
Original Chicken For Puppies
Turkey and Cod Stew
Turkey and Duck Stew
Limited Ingredient Diet – Lamb
Limited Ingredient Diet – Rabbit
Limited Ingredient Diet – Turkey
Ultimate Protein – Chicken
Healthy Cravings Pouch – Beef
Healthy Cravings Pouch – Chicken
Healthy Cravings Pouch – Lamb
Healthy Cravings Pouch – Salmon
Original Biscuits – Chicken
Original Biscuits – Rabbit
Original Biscuits – Duck