Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food Topper Made with Real Raw Meat

Dog food toppers are getting to be quite a big thing in the dog industry!

You can find them in just about any common protein flavor recipe that is common for dogs and they come in different forms such as small soft chunks, gravy, and broths.

I can’t help but think - as a dog it might get boring eating the same food morning and night day after day … after day … after day …

Dog food toppers give you a chance to add variety to your dog’s diet without completely changing their main dog food. It’s kind of like putting your favorite gravy on your mashed potatoes.

As part of the Chewy.com Influencer Program, we had the opportunity to try Instinct Raw Boost Mixers -  dog food toppers made by Nature’s Variety (Chewy provides product to Maui free of charge in exchange for an honest review, and you know Maui is always honest).

Read on to find out if Maui and Emma liked this product!

Nature’s Variety Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers

I was amazed at the variety of flavor recipes available for the Instinct Raw Boost Mixers! Usually, you have about four or five recipe choices but with this dog food topper/mixer you have 9 different flavor and benefit recipes to choose from, all of which are grain-free!

  • Gut Health
  • Immune health
  • Mobility support
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Cage-free chicken blends
  • Beef blends

Is Instinct Different Than All the Others?

Instinct believes that dogs should eat as they would in nature. They believe this can be done by feeding real, whole, pure natural raw foods with NO artificial ingredients and NO unnecessary preservatives.

Instinct does not heat their ingredients or diminish the nutrients in the ingredients with unnecessary processing.

Instinct foods are made using Cold Pressure technology also known as High Pressure Processing (HPP). This type of processing does not cook the ingredients and preserves nutrients in the foods.

To maintain nutrition and taste, Instinct creates their RAW foods by starting with frozen raw whole ingredients. They then remove the moisture through Cold Pressure technology which results in freeze-dried 100% raw foods.

Why Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Instead of Raw Meat?

Raw Boost gives you the benefits of feeding raw whole foods to your dog without having to worry about the mess, the time, contamination, and where to store it all!

Raw Boost dog food mixers are soft and dry so there is no mess and it eliminates all of that time you would need to cut up raw meat. They come in compact resealable bags so they take up very little room on your shelf (so they take up no space your fridge or freezer).

The bag of raw boost mixers we received a couple weeks ago indicates it is best if used by May 30, 2020! They have such a long shelf life because all moisture has been removed so the raw ingredients and nutrients are far less likely to go bad.

Special Benefit Raw Boost Mixers

Three of the Raw Boost Mixers dog food toppers are formulated to provide certain nutrients to benefit your dog’s overall gut or immune health or mobility.

Maui would have been happy trying anyone of the flavor recipes but I chose the mobility support because I wanted to learn what about that recipe could be beneficial to dogs perhaps experiencing age-related aches and pains and arthritis.

I'm not sure the amount we feet of the special recipes will really have a  dramatic positive effect but I feel any little bit can help especially if your pup is suffering with painful joints, intestinal issues, and/or health problems.

Mobility Support Recipe

This recipe formulation indicates it provides natural glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy joints and hips.

Highlighted ingredients in this recipe are:

  • Flaxseed
  • New Zealand green-lipped mussel
  • Turmeric
  • Fenugreek

Natural glucosamine comes from the hard outer shell of crustaceans and mussels. It also comes from a few other food sources such as beef trachea, chicken feet, pigtails or oxtails, beef knuckle bones, other cartilage-rich bones, a nice homemade bone broth, and yes, green-lipped mussels.

The other highlighted ingredients are all known to help decrease inflammation.

So, all good stuff for helping to improve mobility.

Gut Health Recipe

It comes as no surprise to me that the gut health recipe includes the dog superfood pumpkin. (To learn more about why pumpkin is a dog superfood read my article about it HERE.)

Ingredients highlighted in this recipe are all known to help promote overall gut health and include:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potato
  • Chicory root
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Probiotics

Immune Health Recipe

Functional ingredients that make this recipe great for immune health are:

  • Beets - high in vitamin C & folate
  • Flaxseed - good source of iron (helps transport oxygen in the body)
  • Kelp - multiple great effects including detoxification, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and improves digestive health
  • Blueberries - high in vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and antioxidants
  • Cranberries - antioxidants and an anti-inflammatory benefits

How to Feed Raw Boost Mixers

The bag indicates to add ¼ cup to your dog’s food if they weigh up to 20 pounds (that’s Emma size) and ¾ cup to the food for dogs weighing 41 to 60 pounds (that’s Maui size).

The Mobility Support recipe says ¾ of a cup has 232 calories! That’s quite a lot of extra calories so to compensate for those extra calories I cut back Maui (and Emma’s) regular kibble to about ¾ of what they usually get.

I just sprinkled the Raw Boost Mixer on top of Maui and Emma’s regular dry kibble.

You will probably want to cut back on your dog’s regular food as well. That way they will get about the same amount of calories and be less prone to eating too much and gaining weight. Although, if you just feed the mixers once in a while and it is not a regular thing, you probably don’t need to worry about the calories and weight gain too much.

Taste Testing Instinct Raw Boost Mixers

How Much Do You Get?

The Specialty Recipe Instinct Raw Boost Mixers and the Raw Boost Mixers Blends come in 5.5-ounce bags.

The straight-up beef, chicken, lamb, and turkey recipes come in a variety of sizes - 5.5, 6, and/or 14-ounce bags.

The mobility support bag indicates it contains twenty 1/8 cup servings. Look at the serving diagram on the bag –

1/8 of a cup isn’t even on the list. I consider this to be a bit deceptive - but maybe I'm just sensitive.

If I were to feed only Maui the recommended amount of ¾ cup each time, this 5.5-ounce bag would be enough for 3.3 servings.

If I were to feed Emma the recommended amount of ¼ cup, the bag would be enough for 10 servings.

Don’t get me wrong, I love their raw mixers; I just don’t love that they are trying to make you think you will have more servings than you actually will (unless your dog weighs about 10 pounds).

Another Great Way to Use Raw Boost Mixers

If you have a large dog like I do, feeding the Raw Boost Mixers on a regular basis would get pretty expensive. Once in a while as a special dinner treat - yes, but every day - nope.

A lot of people who left reviews on Amazon and Chewy indicated they liked to use the Raw Boost Mixers as treats! I love this idea!

Using the mixers as treats your dog will still get the benefits of the raw diet but your 5.5-ounce bag will last you much longer!

Lowest Prices and Where to Get It

Nature’s Variety and Instinct can be found at most pet stores including privately owned, smaller chains, and large chains like PetSmart and PetCo.

Prices for the 5.5 ounce bags are pretty stable across the board. Here are the lowest prices I could find for Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Mixers 5.5-ounce bag –

Chewy.com - $11.50 to $11.99 (a little less if you sign up for Autoship and free shipping over $49)

Amazon.com - $11.50 to $11.99 (free two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime)

PetSmart - $11.99

buy on Chewy

Recent Reviews on Chewy and Amazon

Maui & Emma’s Final Review of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Mobility Support Recipe

Nature's variety instinct raw boost mixers review

I let Maui and Emma try these first as a treat. It's always interesting when they try something new; you can tell by the look in their eyes and how quickly they sit for another how much they like what you give them.

Emma went a little bit bananas after she tried one piece. She didn't know whether to bounce around (she's quite a jumper) or to try and sit for another. Once I asked her to sit her little rear end hit the floor pretty darn fast! She couldn't get enough of them!

Maui is always a bit calmer for treats. She knows the drill - sit or follow a command and treats will be given. She absolutely loved these as well and her rear stay planted to the floor anticipating the next piece!

Let us know if you tried these  Raw Boost Mixers!

Maui and Emma absolutely love them and want to know if your dog does too!

Please leave us a comment below with your story or just to say woof!

  • Sandra ehinomen says:

    I am going to show this article to my friend who has 2 dogs , she will be glad to add some verity to her dog diet, I love the way you explained the recipes to use they were detailed, and the big dog part of it, most people who have big dogs too will be happy about this information. Thank you for this information, 

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Sandra, we would love it if you would pass this post onto your friend! Not only do these add variety but they add a lot of really great protein and nutrients as well! Please let us know or have your friend let us know if they give these a try! We love to know our readers’experiences with the foods we recommend! Thanks for stopping by 🐶

  • Dave M. says:

    Great information! I never knew about these toppers! I think it is a great idea As I often wonder how boring it must be to eat the same food every day. I Would like to try the mobility support recipe since my little Rosco is getting up there in years, but he is such an active little guy! Thanks for the ideas!

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Dave, the toppers are kind of a new thing the last few years and they are really getting to be a big thing! Please let us know if you give the mobility support recipe a try! We’d love to know if it helps your little Rosco!

  • Jon says:

    Good timing!  I’ve been looking for something for my dog’s aging joints and this looks like a contender.  I’m also interested in the gut health formula given my personal interest in the human microbiome.  

    Do you know where they source their ingredients? I’m trying to avoid anything coming from China given some of the quality control issues with their pet food.

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Jon, I reached out to the company and they do their very best to source the highest quality, safest, and most nutritious ingredients from the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, and Brazil. Vitamins and minerals are obtained from North America, Europe, and Asia. The only product Instinct makes that may contain a product from China are the kibble diets that may contain minor ingredients such as added vitamins or trace nutrients obtained from China. This is actually pretty normal as it is pretty commonplace to only be able to obtain these vitamins and trace minerals from China.

  • GVporras says:

    Thank you for sharing this great information about this nature valley dog food. This dog food looks so easy to prepare I been using blue wilderness brand for my dog, but this instinct raw boost seems to be something to try for my dog. Hopefully he like it  Do you think that it will be a good idea to change brands?

    • Lynne says:

      Hello, This particular item is just something you sprinkle on top of your dog’s regular food so you have no need to switch brands. You can still feed your dog’s regular food and just put some of this on top.

  • Dave Sweney says:

    Dogs and what they eat has certainly changed over the years! I remember growing up that most of the time, they ate the leftovers from the tables (scraps) and once in a great while, they got a can of dog food (yucky looking stuff, as I recall). They also loved the bones from the meats we were cooking, or the wild game bones we gave them as we butchered a moose or a deer.

    These days that is gone for the most part. The dogs have come to expect (and owners who love them) a better fare daily, and even a dining table as you have provided your dogs as per the cool video you have added. In that light, your review on this excellent, if expensive, product Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Food Dog Food Topper is right on time.

    The process and ingredients are top-of-the-line, and the processing used means the nutrients are not lost, and the taste is obviously great (evidenced by the dog licking the bowl after it is empty video – now THAT is a testimonial). I have cats but have had dogs before, and I do buy gifts at times for friends that have dogs…

    I will give this a try, as I know some of my friends love their dogs more than anything else in the world. I can make some points and give something special at the same time. I do like the idea of using these sparingly and as treats, because of the expense. Thanks for a super review of these dog food topper products!  

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Dave, I also remember feeding our dog some strange looking food when I was a kid. Yes it was dog food, but the texture and appearance was anything but natural. We used to feed our dog these little chunks that were supposed to look like raw meat but they were some sort of squishy red dog food with white lines through it (see, supposed to look like raw meat). Thinking back at that food now I can’t imagine what was in it! 

      Foods today are much more advanced and we have a lot more knowledge about what is good and what is bad for dogs. Emma and Maui both would devour them and it really got their attention when I needed some obedience. 

      Maui has that fancy little table because she’s a tall dog and it easier for tall dogs to eat from a raised pedestal then reaching their head down to the floor 🙂

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