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Is Instinct Original Wet Dog Food Best for My Dog?


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Published: 01/13/2021 | Updated: 8/27/2021

Looking to switch your canine compadre to a new dog food? Picking the right brand with quality ingredients that suits your dog can be tricky, with so many different brands on the market claiming their dog food is the best of the bunch. Is Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs right for Rowdy? Here's an in-depth look at this "pawpular" dog food brand.


Instinct Pet Food was founded in Lincoln, Nebraska, under the umbrella company Nature's Variety. The company's founder worked with big cats at Lincoln Children’s Zoo and then Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and discovered raw, natural ingredients improved the animals' health, including dental health, muscle development, and even coat condition.

The founder's work with big cats led to the creation of Instinct Pet Food. Instinct Pet Food aims to create small-batch pet food from natural, high-quality ingredients with as little processing as possible. Instinct Pet Food's first recipe was developed in partnership with nutritionists from the University of Nebraska. The company also currently holds a partnership with the University of Helsinki’s DogRisk program.

As well as its Original Wet Dog Food line, Instinct also produces a range of freeze-dried, all-natural, and raw food for dogs and cats of all ages and dietary needs.


The cost of Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs varies depending on the retailer and the chosen flavor. All cans of Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs weigh 13.2 ounces, apart from the rabbit flavor, which is available in 5.5-ounce cans. One can of chicken flavor Instinct Wet Food for dogs generally costs between $2 and $4. Many retailers sell 13.2-ounce cans in 6-packs, which cost $20 to $25 each. These multi-packs average out to around $3 per can. 

Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs also comes in rabbit and beef flavors. Beef generally costs around the same price as chicken. However, rabbit is a more expensive meat, which means this variation is pricier. On average, a can of rabbit Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs costs approximately $5 to $6 per can.


Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs is suitable for dogs of all ages, except large dog breed puppies expected to weigh over 70 pounds. Instinct states that puppies should be fed twice the maintenance amount of fully grown dogs. Instinct also produces puppy food; however, this is also unsuitable for large, growing dogs. All Instinct Original Wet Dog Food meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials' (AAFCO) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles


Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs is suitable for small and medium-sized breeds. Growing puppies and dogs with an adult weight of 70+ pounds should choose another food.


Instinct Original Wet Dog Food (Chicken)

The first 5 ingredients of Instinct's Original chicken blend are chicken, turkey, chicken broth, chicken liver, and ground flaxseed. This blend is fortified with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron. It's also packed with nutritious berries like pumpkin, broccoli, and kale.

Instinct Original Wet Dog Food (Beef)

Beef, beef liver, beef broth, tricalcium phosphate, and ground flaxseed are the first 5 ingredients in the beef blend. Like Instinct's other Original formulas, the beef recipe is chock full of vitamins minerals, and nutritious fruits and veggies.

Instinct Original Wet Dog Food (Rabbit)

As you probably guessed from the name, rabbit is the most abundant meat in this recipe. Pork, pork liver, pork broth, and ground flaxseed comprise the other main ingredients.

To see the full ingredients list for each product, check out Instinct's website.


Most reviews on the web of Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs are positive, with most pet parents giving the food 4 or 5 stars on major retail sites. Most positive reviews from pet parents highlight their dogs' enjoyment of the food, even picky pups. Additionally, some pet parents pointed out an improvement in their dog's coat and their weight. 

Negative reviews of Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs point to how expensive this dog food is compared to other brands with similar ingredients. Others complained that the dog food is indistinguishable from your average canned dog food, while some commented that it was overly watery or soupy.


Is Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs available outside of the U.S.?

Instinct Pet Food is available in regions across the world, including Asia, Europe, and Latin America. However, certain products, including Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs, may be unavailable in certain countries. Instinct Pet Food is also available from petcare stores in parts of Mexico and Canada. Check Instinct's store locator and international pages for more information.

Where is Instinct Original Wet Food for dogs manufactured?

Instinct Original's Wet Food is made in the USA with ingredients sourced from around the world.

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