Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Follow Your Dog's Instinct; Natural Food Dogs Crave #InstinctRaw

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 but, Just Jesse the Jack, only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article. #ad #InstinctRaw

Healthy food is what a dog’s body thrives on. The old adage “You are what you eat” comes in to mind when thinking of what food to feed your pup. There are many choices to choose from, and just looking down the aisles of the pet store, can make even the most experienced pet owner feel a bit overwhelmed. One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is, what food I feed Jesse. I like to give him a rotation diet to keep his needs filled; consisting of home-cooked meals, raw, and occasionally high-quality kibble.

One of my favorite foods to feed Jesse is raw; although his first experience wasn’t one of enjoyment. :)
I was very excited to try raw with Jesse, and got a sample from our local store. I first tried giving him raw back in 2008, and he gave me the look of “Mom, what is THAT?! I think you gave me the wrong dish...” He reluctantly nibbled at one of the raw pieces, but left its squishy body on the floor. He didn’t like it. It was recommended to me that I should only give Jesse this food for days, and he would eventually eat it because he would finally cave in, and be hungry. I didn’t want to starve Jesse to get him to eat raw, so I gave him his regular food, and decided to try again a few days later. But sure enough, he gave me that same look again “Mom, seriously, what is this?” He was used to cooked meals that were warm when given to him.
"We decided to give the Instinct® Raw Bites a try a few years later."
A few years after that, I wanted to try raw again with Jesse, but this time I found a different brand and type; Instinct® Raw Bites. A great bonus was that this food is available at our local PetSmart®! Instinct had both Raw Dog Food and Raw Cat Food available.
I used the cooler bag from Instinct to keep the food cold until we got home, and I could put it in the freezer.
When I opened up the bag, I looked inside to see little nuggets of raw food, in similar shapes to kibble, but filled with fresh ingredients that were uncooked to keep optimum freshness.
I poured these into his bowl, and before I put his bowl on the floor, Jesse was already interested in what I had for him. When I put the bowl down, he sniffed at the food, and then dug in!
We had a fan of the Instinct Raw Bites!
For those who don’t know what raw is, it is the most natural form of nutrition for dogs and cats; mirroring what they would eat in nature. Raw is never cooked; instead it includes whole food ingredients that are frozen to keep fresh before being fed to our pups. Raw is a biologically appropriate food; using meats and whole organs to fuel dogs and cats. Whole foods are used to allow optimal nutrient adsorption. Natural enzymes for digestion are included in every meal, as well as vitamins and minerals for the body to use. :)
My main reason for wanting to feed Jesse raw was because I wanted to find the best food possible that would help him thrive. He was starting to have a sensitivity to some of the foods a few years back that he was eating. These showed up as scratching, rubbing of the face, and some hair loss. After doing a lot of research on what could have caused this, I started taking out certain ingredients from his diet (food, supplements, and treats), that contained ingredients that weren't beneficial to his overall health. It was crazy to think of all the treats, and foods that contained these types of ingredients! I wanted to find a food that was high in protein, gluten & grain free, more natural, less processed, and healthy for him.
There is such a wide variety of healthy foods on the market today for dogs, that I am lucky to have the dilemma of which one to choose. 
I came to the decision to feed raw. Raw includes whole, healthy ingredients, that each plays a role in his overall nutrition to keeping him healthy.
The flavor I decided to get for Jesse is the Instinct raw Chicken Formula *bites*. Each formula is made using the highest quality of ingredients including real meat, organs, ground bone, fruits and vegetables. Every raw formula is grain-free, and made in Lincoln, Nebraska USA.
I knew that in order to see improvement, it was best to feed the new food for a good 6 weeks and on. I did notice improvement though, right away; within the 2nd week, Jesse already stopped scratching as much. After a month on the raw food, and by taking all of the ingredients above out of his treats as well, Jesse looked and felt so much better! He had no bald patches, his skin wasn’t red anymore, and his teeth were much cleaner than before the switch. I was excited to see this improvement, and will be continuing to feed Jesse fresh, wholesome foods, to help him thrive.
The best reason to feed raw is to help eliminate, now common, ailments to dogs. Dogs who might be “allergic” to beef from a kibble, could possibly eat beef in the raw form. Most dogs are allergic to the processing chemicals, and not really the protein. The best way to check food allergies is to use an elimination diet for 6 weeks to see if they are really allergic to a certain protein. A lot of ailments can be eradicated, or improved by feeding natural diets.
The benefits of feeding Raw are innumerable, including increased energy, a healthy skin and coat, shinier coat, healthy teeth, prime digestion, and smaller stools; as well as a great body weight, and relief from food sensitivities.
The Instinct Raw bites were easy to incorporate into Jesse’s diet. There was a transition period, but once Jesse’s food was completely on the new food, all I had to do was open the bag from the freezer, measure his meal, pour it in his bowl, and give it to Jesse. The Instinct Raw bites don’t need to be thawed overnight in the fridge like the other varieties; they are ready to serve from the bag if you would like to.
 I really enjoyed the ease if using the Instinct Raw Bites compared to some of the other raw I’ve seen. They bites are easy to measure, can easily be used as treats to learn tricks due to their size, as well as being hidden in the small compartments of dog puzzles. So far, Jesse has only tried the Chicken Formula, but we are looking forward to trying more of the flavors very soon! While the Raw Bites can be combined with canned or kibble, it is also a complete balanced meal, and can be fed as a sole diet.
You can find out more about raw by heading over to some of the links below:
Not sure your dog will like the transition to raw? Instinct has a trial size bag for only $3.99 to test out if your pup (or cat) will like it. You can also sign up for a $3 off coupon for Instinct Raw on Instinct Pet Food’s Website. Instinct is available in the US and Canada. :)
If you decide to try the Instinct Raw Bites with your dog, we hope you both enjoy them! Jesse absolutely loves his raw :)

Stay Happy and Healthy!
~Heather and Jesse~


  1. Thanks for the information, Jesse's mama. I signed up for the coupon and will try some for my Sophie. I hope it's something we can afford! I currently feed her a food made locally by a company called Kahoots (based in Ramona, CA) and since putting her on it, her weight has leveled out and her stool is also smaller. It is also grain free and the primary ingredients are MEAT. I like the food, she likes the food, and I can afford it. But if there's something else I can feed her, to switch things up a bit, all the better! So, again, thanks for sharing! Hugs to you both ~~

  2. Raw sounds awesome! Thanks for such a thorough explanation and great pictures to go along with it. Will try with my dogs.

  3. Looks good Jesse! You lucky dog, you :-)

  4. I really like this post, very informative! I will look at the food on my next pet store visit and see if my clan like it. (hopefully yes :-)

  5. Oh wow, I did not think I would find so much useful information in one post. This is two thumbs way up Heather and Jesse. I will definitely go out right away to see this food.

  6. Mmm looks yummy! (Well, as my dog would say *wink*) Thanks for letting us know about this food!


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