• Nutrition - 10/10
    10/10
  • Ingredients - 10/10
    10/10

Review Summary

Instinct Original – Rabbit is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is significantly above average and it provides a significantly above average proportion of protein and fat and a significantly below average proportion of carbohydrates.

This nutrient profile is very satisfactory the majority of dogs. It has a range of high-quality meat and fish ingredients such as Beef, Salmon, and Whitefish. In addition, it contains a range of legumes such as Peas and Chickpeas. These contribute high-quality carbohydrates and dietary fiber.

The large number of ingredients present including meat, and fish will mean it is unlikely that this dog food is suitable for dogs with serious dietary allergies or sensitivities. However, for those without dietary issues, this is a very nutritious and high-quality dog food.

Overall
10/10
10/10

Pros

Very Satisfactory Nutrition

High-Quality Meat and Vegetable Ingredients

Very High Level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

No Grains or By-products

Cons

Mix of Meat and Fish Could Cause Allergies

Full review of Instinct Original – Rabbit by Nature’s Variety

Nature's Variety Instinct Original Rabbit Packaging

Nutritional Analysis

The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.

Nature's Variety Instinct Original Rabbit Calorie Breakdown Chart

Carbohydrate Content Analysis

Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 23% of Instinct Original – Rabbit calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is significantly below average for a Dry Dog Food.

The carbohydrates present are from a range of legumes such as Chickpeas. Legumes such as these are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. This proportion of carbohydrates is low. While slightly above what we would consider ideal it is very satisfactory. This would be well suited for the majority of dogs.

Protein Content Analysis

Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 35% of Instinct Original – Rabbit calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.

The protein is sourced from the Rabbit, Salmon and Menhaden Fish. Meat and fish-based proteins such as Rabbit are the preferred source and can provide complete amino acid coverage. This protein content will be sufficient for dogs of all activity levels including those who are very active. Only the most active of dogs could possibly need more protein than this.

Fat Content Analysis

Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 41% of Instinct Original – Rabbit calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.

The fat present appears to be from the Rabbit, Salmon, Menhaden Fish and Whitefish ingredients. Meat and fish-based fats are the natural sources of fat in a dog’s diet. This level of fat is sufficient to satisfy the energy needs of the vast majority of dogs. In addition, the fish ingredients contribute a very high level of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are known to provide a range of health benefits.

Calorie Density

Calorie Density is essential to understand as it determines the portion size of food your dog will require per day or meal. Calorie Density is commonly measured in calories per kg or per cup.
Dog food formulas with high-calorie densities can be more cost efficient to purchase while recipes with lower calorie density can be advantageous to dogs attempting weight loss or who are relatively inactive.

Overall Instinct Original – Rabbit contains an average of 4,460 kcal/kg or 524 kcal/cup

Disclaimer

Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.

Guaranteed Analysis – Instinct Original – Rabbit

Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 36.50%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 20.50%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3.50%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.4%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.5%

Ingredient Analysis

The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.

However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.

High-Quality Ingredients

  • Rabbit
  • Salmon Meal
  • Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Chickpeas
  • Rabbit Meal
  • Whitefish Meal

Low-Quality Ingredients

  • N/A

Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients

  • N/A

In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review

The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Instinct Original – Rabbit contains five sources of meat or fish.

The primary meat source present is Rabbit. Rabbit is considered a high-quality source of protein. Rabbit contains high levels of the Vitamins B3 and B12. Unfortunately, Rabbit does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Rabbit. However given that Rabbit is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process

Another fish source present is Salmon Meal. Salmon Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Fish Meal is a concentrated form of fish that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Salmon Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Whitefish but in higher concentrations. This includes Vitamin B12 and Selenium.

Another fish source present is Menhaden Fish Meal. Menhaden Fish Meal is considered an average-quality source of fish. Menhaden Fish are small oily fish that are not fit for human consumption. The oil is removed from these fish and the leftover flesh is turned into fish meal. This fish meal is high in protein. Unfortunately, as most of the oil has been removed Menhaden Fish Meal is not high in the beneficial Omega Fatty Acids like other fish.

Another meat source present is Rabbit Meal. Rabbit Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Rabbit Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Rabbit but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Vitamin B3 and B12.

Another fish source present is Whitefish Meal. Whitefish Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Fish Meal is a concentrated form of fish that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Whitefish Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Whitefish but in higher concentrations. This includes Phosphorus and other minerals.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

Chickpeas are a member of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.

Canola Oil is derived from a modified version of Rapeseed. Canola Oil is most commonly added to dog food to supplement the levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids. These Fatty Acids are crucial for a dogs skin, coat and brain development. While Canola Oil is not the ideal source of the Omega Fatty Acids, it does have a high ratio of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Omega 6 Fatty Acids. Sources with high ratios, such as Canola Oil, are considered superior. However, Canola Oil can be a controversial ingredient due to the fact it is genetically modified.

Tapioca is a starchy vegetable and a source of complex carbohydrates. Tapioca, which is also known as Cassava Root, is a staple of South America and is rarely seen in the western world. This means it is often used as a novel ingredient for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to other ingredients such as Peas and Potatoes. Tapioca does not contribute substantial nutrition beyond its carbohydrate content but does contain the some B Vitamins such as Folate and the Vitamin B6.

A noteworthy ingredient present in this formula is Tomato Pomace. Tomato Pomace is made up of tomato skin, seeds, and pulp. Its most beneficial feature is that it contains very high levels of soluble fiber which can aid and regulate digestion. Those high levels of fiber are the primary motivation behind this ingredients inclusion in most formulas as Tomato Pomace has little nutritional value.

Full Ingredient List – Instinct Original – Rabbit

Rabbit, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chickpeas, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Tapioca, Rabbit Meal, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Peas, Montmorillonite Clay, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Freeze Dried Rabbit (including Freeze Dried Ground Rabbit Bone), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Pumpkinseeds, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Freeze Dried Rabbit Liver, Freeze Dried Rabbit Lung, Freeze Dried Rabbit Kidney, Rosemary Extract.

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