I've always understood the benefits of feeding my dog a raw diet, but I've never done it. The time commitment and process of getting it just right always seemed so daunting to me, and as an owner of a professional pet sitting company and work-from-home mom, well...I just can't do it all. With all of the nutritious, grain-free dog food options on the market these days, feeding raw just felt like an unnecessary chore. But about a month ago, I discovered Nature's Variety® Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog. Now N.A.S.H.A. can reap the benefits of a raw diet, but I have no added hassle. Want to know more?
I thought so.
This post is sponsored by Instinct® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article.
what does "raw" mean, exactly?
Nature's Variety outlines what feeding "raw" means:
• raw is never cooked
• raw contains pure, whole food ingredients for optimal nutrient absorption
• raw contains natural enzymes for digestive health
• raw provides nutrition in its purest form: proteins, vitamins, and minerals are ready for the body to utilize
what are raw boost mixers?
Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are a natural freeze-dried raw meal topper (or mix-in) packed with protein and nutrients reminiscent of an ancestral diet–what your pooch would eat if he were out foraging in the wild with his pack. We all know he's benefiting from the modern conveniences you've spoiled him with...er...lovingly provided, but his nutrition needs are best met by going as natural as possible. Back to basics, so-to-speak. The Raw Boost Mixers are packed with high-quality protein. Instinct uses natural cage-free chicken, natural beef, natural turkey, and natural grass-fed lamb. Oh, and if the cats in your family want to try raw, too (of course they do), Instinct offers natural cage-free chicken and natural farm-raised rabbit Raw Boost Mixers. Bow-wow and Me-ow!
Don't worry about switching your dog's food. Raw Boost Mixers aren't meant to replace what you've already got going on; they are meant to enhance your pet's existing diet.
what are the benefits of incorporating raw food into my dog's diet?
Great question. So glad you asked.
A raw, ancestral diet is a super healthy option for our dogs–many would argue the healthiest. I love that Instinct has taken the hassle out of the equation, yet N.A.S.H.A. can still reap the benefits, including:
• pure animal protein that promotes lean muscles and strong bones
• natural ingredients that provide optimal nutrient absorption, which can increase energy and vitality
• nutritious oils for healthy skin and a soft coat
These benefits are important for all life stages, but I've been especially prudent about what I feed N.A.S.H.A. as she's getting on in years.
how do i feed raw boost mixers to my dog?
Well, if he doesn't rip the bag open and devour the entire contents on his own, Instinct provides a formula.
Since N.A.S.H.A. is only eleven pounds, I get fifty-six servings out of a fourteen-ounce bag. A little goes a long way! Instinct also offers six-ounce bags and–get this–one-ounce trial size bags for those of us who aren't quite sure how our dogs will take to it.
When I told you this was the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog, I wasn't kidding. Here are the steps:
1. get bowl
2. put regular food in bowl
3. put serving of Raw Boost Mixers on top
4. mix (optional)
5. call dog (oh, wait...dog is already drooling at your feet...skip to step 6)
6. put bowl down for dog
I know six steps seems like a lot, but if you compare it to all the steps required in feeding raw, you're getting off easy.
If you're a regular reader, you know that we feed N.A.S.H.A. a rotating diet of high-quality dry dog food. We know her favorites, and we keep them in regular rotation. We mix apple cider vinegar and turmeric into each meal. She's usually pretty excited at meal time, but she's also very polite. She waits patiently as we prepare her food, and she allows us to place the bowl down and walk away before she digs in.
Since we've incorporated Raw Boost Mixers into her diet over the past month, N.A.S.H.A.'s manners have gone out the window. Now, I'm not blaming Instinct or anything (okay...maybe I am), but she loves the Raw Boost Mixers so much that she now charges the bowl, taking bites before it even hits the floor. We've been feeding her the grass-fed lamb variety, so it will be interesting to see how she takes to the others. Never in my life have I had to train her to have manners at meal time. Let's hope an old dog can learn new tricks, because we have some training to do.
Speaking of tricks, the Raw Boost Mixers make excellent training treats. Each pellet is the perfect small size, and, clearly, they are highly motivating. As with any raw food, it's important to remember to wash your hands after handling. The freeze-dried Raw Boost Mixers don't feel raw, so that might be easy to forget.
where can i get instinct raw boost mixers?
We got our Instinct Raw Boost Mixers at our local PetSmart, which carries the full line of Nature's Variety foods. Now through January 31st, the fourteen-ounce bags are 20% off, and you can snag three trial-size bags for $5. In addition, if you sign up on the Nature's Variety web site, they'll email you a $3 coupon.