Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dog Food Review: Instinct Chicken Meal Formula

After months of frustration with our poor Boston Terrier's hair loss and our Bulldog's incessant licking of his paws, I figured it was time to try a new food. Normally, we've fed Nutro products to our guys, but after a phone call with a groomer, I began to wonder if my dog, like me, was allergic to wheat products as well.
Most responsible pet owners know that corn products in pet food is nothing more than filler and increases the one thing we hate the most - poop. Our guys were pooping three times a day, and in a townhome's backyard, that makes for a lot of poop picking up. No fun for Mr. and Mrs. Judgemental. I adore my dogs and love the joy they bring into my life, but the poop thing..aside from helping me be ready for a human baby, not so much.

So I hit the groomer's shop and picked up a bag of this food:
Intro Nature's Variety Instinct Chicken Meal Formula dry dog food. We gasped a bit at the price (about $50) but the groomer explained that we'd be feeding the boys about 25% less, making the cost even out as the same as our beloved Nutro.
The kibble pieces are small, and for a Bulldog that doesn't chew his food to begin with, made it easier for inhaling. Duke (our Boston) wasn't impressed, but when he learned nothing else was available, he sighed and ate, albeit slowly. I liked the ingredients as well, and since it's difficult to determine whether the dogs would benefit from the food right away, we waited for four weeks to see the results.
Within two weeks, Duke's coat had improved, and Cyrus had stopped shedding as much. However, the poop had nearly doubled (something I was told would actually decrease) and both dogs were listless, depressed, and tired. I chalked it up to the heat, then to the fact we'd hardly been home. We gave it another two weeks. Both dogs' stomachs were miserable, both were depressed, and their coats had returned to their original state. I was discouraged.
After the 5th week, we had to take them off the food. I came home to a poop explosion from one dog and the other dog had a swollen face. The lack of grain in the kibble had simply done their digestion systems in. We later discovered Nutro created a holistic kibble with brown rice.
Bottom line - for the price we paid, I didn't notice enough of a difference in my dogs to continue buying the food. You can check out the website at . I did sign up for coupons and newsletters, and to this day I have received not even an email, other than thanking me for signing up. The kibble may work for your dogs, but my two were completely different boys the day after we took them off of this stuff. Definitely not worth the money for us.