Instinct by Nature's Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Salmon Dry Dog Food

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Satisfy your pet’s need for real food with Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Salmon Dry Dog Food by Nature’s Variety. Guided by Instinct’s belief in raw nutrition, this recipe unlocks your dog’s ability to thrive. It’s thoughtfully balanced with wholesome foods, like real salmon and vegetables, plus guaranteed levels of probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants. The result is a tasty, high animal protein diet that promotes maximum digestibility, a healthy coat and skin, and immune health.

Key Benefits

  • Wild-caught salmon is the first ingredient for high animal protein to support strong, lean muscles.
  • Features 72% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils, plus 28% fruits, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients.
  • Never contains any grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.
  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants support digestive health, healthy skin and coat, and immune health.
  • It’s the only kibble with the pure, real nutrition of raw on every piece. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients from around the world.

See all items by Instinct

  • Item Number
  • Brand
    Nature's Variety
  • Breed Size
    All Breeds, Large, Medium, Small
  • Food Form
    Dry Food
  • Lifestage
    Adult, All Stages, Puppy, Senior
  • Made in
    United States
  • Special Diet
    Grain-Free, Gluten Free

Nutritional Info


  1. Salmon Meal, Salmon, Tapioca, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Menhaden Fish Meal, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Herring Meal, Peas, Tomato Pomace, Chickpeas, Natural Flavor, Montmorillonite Clay, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Salt, 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 Cod, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

Caloric Content

  1. 3,842 kcal/kg, 452 kcal/cup
Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 35.0% min
Crude Fat 18.0% min
Crude Fiber 3.5% max
Moisture 10.0% max
Vitamin E 100 IU/kg min
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 85 mg/kg min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids 2.0% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids 1.5% min

Feeding Instructions

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

Puppies: Feed up to twice the adult maintenance amount shown above.

Pregnant/Nursing Females: Feed up to three times the adult maintenance amount shown above.

Optimal feeding amounts vary with weight, age, size, and activity level, so use the guide as an initial recommendation only. Be sure to reduce your dog's daily food intake based on the calories consumed through treats and supplements. And always remember, regular activity is an important part of your dog's overall, healthy lifestyle.

Keep in a cool, dry place. Keep in a sealed container to maintain freshness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider raw food for my pet?

Dogs and cats are meat eaters by nature. That's why raw, fresh meat is the most instinctive diet for your pet. A diet consisting primarily of raw meat, organs, bone, and fat reflects what your pet would eat in his or her natural habitat. With natural proportions of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, and amino acids, raw diets provide wholesome nutrition for the health and well-being of your animal companions.

Why should I consider grain-free foods for my pet?

A dog and cat's natural diet is high in meat, poultry, and fish protein and low in carbohydrates. Instinctive nutrition helps dogs and cats thrive, nourishing muscles and building strong bones. Improved skin and coat, weight management and increased energy are some of the amazing testimonials we receive about our food.

Why is there 5% vegetables and fruits in your raw formulas?

The percentage of fruits and vegetables in our Raw Frozen Diets is meant to mimic what dogs and cats would eat in the wild (fruits and vegetables would be present in the stomach of their prey). Our fruits and vegetables provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote health and well-being.

Why do you include raw ground bone in Raw Frozen Diets?

Raw bones are an important part of a dog and cat's ancestral diet. We include ground bones in our raw diets in the proper proportion that the dog and cat would have enjoyed in the wild. Raw bone is an excellent source of minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, and enzymes. They are also a balanced source of calcium and phosphorus, and a natural source of chondroitin (for joint health).

What is rotation?

We believe dogs and cats will be healthier and happier with variety in their diet - just like you! We also believe that eating the exact same thing every day may contribute to the development of allergies or lack of interest at feeding time. For optimal nutrition, we recommend rotating between flavors (duck, venison, salmon...) and formats (raw, kibble, canned). A rotation diet consisting of more meat and less grain can help provide biologically appropriate weight control, sustained interest in the food dish, and better overall health and happiness for your pet.

What does complete and balanced mean?

Complete and balanced means the diet contains all of the necessary vitamins and minerals that your pets needs for daily health and well-being. Nature's Variety foods are complete and balanced for all life stages and all breeds. We always recommend working with your trusted veterinarian when choosing your pet's diet, especially if you are feeding a puppy, kitten, or unique breed.

What are the components of superior nutrition? At Nature's Variety, we believe superior nutrition for dogs and cats starts with healthy, natural ingredients. This means high quality animal proteins like meat, poultry, and fish should make up the majority of your pet's diet. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also beneficial, providing many vital nutrients for your pet's health and well-being.

Should I cook the raw food?

We do not recommend cooking our raw diets, as heat processing destroys the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and probiotics. If you want a high meat, grain-free food that is cooked, we suggest you try our Instinct kibble or canned diets.

Is the information on your packaging and website dry matter or wet (as fed)? The nutritional information on our packaging and on our website is a wet (as fed) analysis.

How do I rotate foods for my dog and cat?

There's no right or wrong way to feed the Nature's Variety Rotation Diet; your pet will benefit from the variety of forms and flavors! Just offer various proteins (e.g. beef, chicken, and salmon) and forms (raw, dry, and cans) in your pet's diet. All Nature's Variety diets are specially formulated for rotation feeding – our raw, dry, and canned product forms can be rotated freely according to your lifestyle and your pet's preferences.

How do I handle raw foods when feeding my pet?

You should always practice good hygiene just like when you prepare meals for yourself or your family. Always clean and disinfect working surfaces and utensils. Your pet's food bowl should be washed after they finish each meal. Make sure to wash your hands before and after preparing your pet's meals. (These handling instructions are also found on the back of your raw food package.)

Are Instinct Raw Frozen Diets complete and balanced?

Yes, Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Diets provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs and cats, all life stages and all breeds. In fact, we are the 1st and only raw diet to be scientifically substantiated as complete and balanced for all life stages through AAFCO Protocol Feeding Trials. Furthermore, our formulas do not use synthetic vitamins and minerals; instead, each diet provides complete and balanced nutrition through thoughtful formulation of only natural, real, whole food ingredients.

Is the raw ground bone in your raw diets safe for my pet?

Yes, the bone has been very finely ground (we double grind all of our bones through a very small 0.25 inch plate). Moreover, uncooked bones are softer and more digestible than cooked bones. The raw ground bone should not present any digestive issues for your pet.

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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

57 reviews 57 Reviews 4.8 out of 5 Stars
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96% Recommend

96% of reviewersrecommend this product

4.8 / 5
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  • My dog loves this food.

    By on

    In addition to the dog food, I also got cat food and cat liter. All at good prices and the best part of the order is that it was delivered to my front door. Thanks, Chewy.

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  • Quick and easy!

    By on

    I really needed to replace my dogs treats and kibble in a hurry. On Amazon, the estimate for delivery was actually several days through a 3rd party. After seeing so many Chewy commercials lately, I thought I would give it a try. I placed the order on Wednesday evening, and it was delivered on Friday!! Regarding this product, my dog has a sensitive tummy. She does very well on this kibble. I soften it with warm water, and let it sit before feeding it to her. She gobbles it right down.

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  • Wonderful Flavor

    By on

    We feed Nature's Variety and just wanted a change of flavor for the girls (American Bulldogs) Loved the Salmon flavor....

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  • Great food

    By on Top 1000 Contributor

    This is an excellent kibble and provides a different protein source. My dog loves it.

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  • Great food

    By on

    My westie/chihuahua mix had really "itchy" skin and once I put her on this food, the itchy skin went out the door! She loves it and Instinct is the best food ever.

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  • Good quality food

    By on

    Seems like a quality product at a decent price point. My two little dogs loved it, so I will be including it as a regular part of their diet.

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  • Great product

    By on

    My older dog needs good food packed with protein and this is exactly that.

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  • Amazed!

    By on

    My dogs are doing so good on this dog food! You will be amazed when you see how good it really is. I especially think this dog food company cares about dogs and cats. The blood work just came in today and Amazed is my only word.

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  • Great food

    By on

    My dogs love this food. It is expensive but well worth it. They have thrived on this. The kibble is very tiny so even good for small dogs. This is a top notch food and I have recommended it many times to other pet owners.

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  • Great for Dogs with Allergies!

    By on Top 1000 Contributor

    Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-Free Salmon is one of only a couple of kibbles that my westie/maltese mix with severe food allergies tolerates. It doesn't contain any grains, chicken, eggs, potatoes, or alfalfa. It's very hard to find a kibble without any of these ingredients. Tiny poos are a plus. I also like the fact that it comes in a Healthy Weight variety, which is good for allergy dogs needing to lose weight. Highly recommend!!

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