Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-Free Chicken Meal Formula Dry Dog Food

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Nature’s Variety Instinct is formulated like your dog’s ancestral diet, thoughtfully balanced with the wholesome foods your dog would eat in nature, like high levels of real meat or poultry, healthy vegetables and fruits, and no grain or gluten. A pure, biologically appropriate diet like this provides nutrient-rich, highly digestible nutrition to help your pet thrive. Feed ancestrally – give pets the nourishment and energy to achieve a healthy, happy life.

Key Benefits

  • A grain and gluten free formula made from only natural ingredients that has a mouthwatering freeze-dried coating
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives with no corn, wheat or soy
  • This protein-rich diet is made primarily from animal ingredients your dog would eat in nature
  • Healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids give a soft and shiny coat
  • Probiotics support healthy digestion and antioxidants promote immune system health

Nature's Variety has recently undergone a packaging and slight formulation change. Please refer to transition instructions when transitioning your pet to the new formula. Note: Customers may receive the old formulation during this transition.

See all items by Nature's Variety

  • Item Number
  • Brand
  • Breed Size
    Small, Medium, Large, All Breeds
  • Food Form
    Dry Food
  • Lifestage
    Adult, All Stages
  • Made in
    United States
  • Special Diet
    Grain-Free, Gluten Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Nutritional Info


  1. Old Formulation: Chicken Meal, Chicken, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Chicken Eggs, Chickpeas, Peas, Tapioca, Tomato Pomace, Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Freeze Dried Turkey, Freeze Dried Chicken (Including Freeze Dried Ground Chicken Bone), Rosemary Extract, Freeze Dried Turkey Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Kelp, Broccoli, Apple Cider Vinegar, Dried Chicory Root, Blueberries.
  2. New Formulation: Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Salmon Meal, Chicken Eggs, Tapioca, Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Menhaden Fish Meal, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Montmorillonite Clay, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Potassium Chloride, Freeze Dried Chicken, Choline Chloride, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract

Caloric Content

  1. Old Formulation: 3,931 kcal/kg, 462 kcal/cup
  2. New Formulation: 4250 kcal,kg, 499 kcal/cup

Old Formulation:

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 38.0% min
Crude Fat 20.0% min
Crude Fiber 4.0% max
Moisture 10.0% max
Vitamin E 100 IU/kg min
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)* 85 mg/kg min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids* 2.6% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids* 0.3% min

New Formulation:

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 37.0% min
Crude Fat 20.0% min
Crude Fiber 3.0% max
Moisture 10.0% max
Vitamin E 100 IU/kg min
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)* 85 mg/kg min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids* 0.3% min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids* 2.6% min
Bacillus coagulans* 60,000,000 CFU/lb min

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile

Feeding Instructions

Ideal feeding amounts will vary by age, weight, and activity level so the guide below should be used as an initial recommendation. Divide the cups per day by the number of feedings per day. Be sure to always provide clean, fresh water. Along with dry food, we recommend feeding raw or wet food to help increase the amount of water in your pet’s diet.

Daily Feeding Guidelines (standard 8 oz dry measure cup):

Weight Adult Maintenance Daily Feeding (Cups) Adult Weight Loss Daily Feeding (Cups)
5 - 15 lbs 1/2 - 1 1/4 - 1/2
16 - 25 lbs 1 - 1 1/4 1/2 - 3/4
26 - 50 lbs 1 1/4 - 2 1/4 3/4 - 1 1/2
51 - 75 lbs 2 1/4 - 3 1/4 1 1/2 - 2
76 - 100 lbs 3 1/4 - 4 2 - 2 1/2


Feed twice the adult maintenance amount.

Pregnant and Nursing Females

Feed up to three times the adult maintenance amount.

Transition Instructions

Always introduce a new food over a period of 5 to 7 days, mixing increasing amounts of Instinct with the current food each day.

Pet Lovers Also Bought

Food that Follows Nature's Lead

Instinct is thoughtfully crafted to match your pet's instinctive diet with high protein levels and no grains or gluten. Each blend contains nutrient-dense, highly digestible ingredients like real meat or poultry plus fruits and vegetables for a pure, biologically appropriate diet. Dry formulas feature a freeze-dried raw coating to help your dog thrive.

Food that Follows Nature's Lead
Transforming the Lives of Pets

Transforming the Lives of Pets

Nature's Variety Instinct believes that everything we feed our pets should be real, whole, pure and as close to its natural state as possible. They are on a mission to transform the lives of pets and make it possible for more people to feed their own pets the pure, real nutrition that only comes from raw.

Pure, Real Nutrition of Raw in Every Recipe

Instinct is on a mission to transform the lives of pets through the pure, real nutrition of raw. Their belief in the power of raw inspires every food they make. Instinct has carefully crafted their foods to provide easy ways to incorporate raw into your pet's diet.

Pure, Real Nutrition of Raw in Every Recipe

Real Food for Real Nutrition


Instinct believes protein should primarily come from pure animal sources. Animal protein provides all the essential amino acids, which vegetable protein alone can't provide.


Instinct never uses fillers like grain, gluten, corn, wheat and soy, because they think every ingredient should have a specific nutritional and functional purpose.


Real meats, whole fruits and vegetables and turmeric are a few of the ingredients Instinct uses to provide naturally derived nutrients and enzymes for overall wellness.

The Mindful Choices Instinct Makes

Every Instinct recipe shows the careful, deliberate approach they take in crafting their food. They use only real ingredients, and you'll never find artificial colors, flavors or preservatives or fillers like corn, wheat or soy.



Well-balanced food source that contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene.



Provide a complete amino acid profile, including essential nutrients for optimal health.



An all-natural hypoallergenic starch that is highly digestible, grain-free and gluten-free.



Helps maintain the proper balance of acid and alkaline throughout the body.

About Nature's Variety

Nature's Variety is an independent pet food company based in St. Louis, Missouri with manufacturing operations in Lincoln, Nebraska. They believe the best nutrition comes from healthy, natural ingredients. Nature's Variety makes a variety of premium, wholesome, natural foods to keep pets healthy and happy. The company produces pet food through two brands - Instinct, the leader in raw pet food; and Prairie, a balanced holistic line of food.

Shop Nature's Variety

About Nature's Variety

Instinct is sharing the pure, real nutrition of raw by providing over one million meals annually to the dogs and cats in all Best Friends Adoption Centers nationwide. This includes their sanctuary in Kanab, UT as well as shelters in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and New York. Together, Instinct and Best Friends Animal Society can transform - and save - the lives of pets.

Customer Reviews

141 reviews 141 Reviews 4.7 out of 5 Stars
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95% Recommend

95% of reviewersrecommend this product

4.7 / 5
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  • High Ash content..will not feed this.

    By on Top 500 Contributor

    Unfortunately I found out after I bought this that this particular formula has a extremely high Ash content..21%, most quality kibble is at 8%. I love Natures Variety and planned on rotating some of their formulas with the current Nulo (love) I feed and this one of them until I was informed of how high the Ash was. So disappointed in NV with this formula..maybe that is why it is being offered up at such a low price? Who knows, but in any case I will definitely NOT be feeding this to my dog. The other formulas are at a more moderate %, only this Chicken formula.

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  • It came the NEXT day

    By on

    I could not believe how fast it was delivered! It was exactly what I ordered ( I messed up with the dog food, I wanted the one with raw bits and kibble, (next time). Saves me money cause of lower prices and I'm not coming back from the pet store with a bag full of toys that I buy more for me than for them.Will definitely reorder.

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  • Very high quality

    By on

    I have a 6 year old American Staffordshire and she loves this food. She has a sensitive stomach so ingredients are important for her. While this food is expensive it is worth it and sometimes goes on sale which is great! I use this one review website that goes through every single ingredients and fat/protein/carb breakdown and they gave it a solid 5 star. This product is no joke if you want a healthy pup with the perfect ratios of nutrition!

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  • Excellent!

    By on

    My 6.5 year old pitbull mix is a very picky eater. I've always had to mix soft food into her kibble in order for her to eat it. She gobbles this up without mixing any soft food in with it. The only thing I've noticed is that her stool has been a little softer since she started eating this food. I will most definitely keep buying this food!

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  • Excellent food

    By on

    Great food that has eliminated skin allergy bumps and dry skin. Prior to Nature's Variety I had always fed my dogs with Blue (great food for my other dogs but wasn't for Jasmine). Have used this brand for several years on her . My pit/ boxer's coat is beautiful and she enjoys every bite. A high five to my first on line order with Chewy. Fast service!

    4 You liked it! Something went wrong. Please try again later. Report
  • Great food but high calcium

    By on

    This food says for all life stages and all breeds. However on their site they list calcium as 2.3% and phosphorus as 1.4%. According to experts you don't want large breed puppies to have to much calcium and they say a max of 1.8% on a dry food basis. To much calcium and the wrong ratio of calcium to phosphorus can actually cause joint problems for large breeds. Other than the calcium (maybe) being to high the ingredients used are premium and this is a very good dog food. High quality and meat based. Dog process meat based protein better than plant based protein.

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  • Great food

    By on

    I got this on sale for the MOST amazing price. My puppy has been eating this food since I got him from the shelter, and he loves it. He is 22 lbs and the size of the kibble is perfectly appropriate! I think this keeps him in great shape :)

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  • Life changing food

    By on

    This food has changed my dogs life. She came to us as a rescue, took months for her to make eye contact not wanting to interact or play games. But after a couple months on this food her appearance is more healthy, she is almost too commutative(bossy) at 5 yrs old she is wanting to play ball and gets excited about going to the dog park. The food is the only thing that has changed in her life.

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  • Natures variety instinct grain free chicken

    By on

    Started mixing Natures variety in with my dogs usual food. They really like it. I'm slowly changing over to using this only. Chewy.com is the best company I've ever dealt with.

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  • Healthy & Hearty

    By on

    Zoey won't turn her nose up to this delectable, chicken entree. She was also underweight as a result of turning down other brands of foods. She has since gained 4 pounds since starting this brand. Her stools have also been much healthier.

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