Nature's Variety Dog Food Reviews (Ratings, Recalls!) | Herepup
Herepup > Dog Food Articles and Review (2020) > Nature’s Variety Dog Food Reviews (Ratings, Recalls!)

Nature’s Variety Dog Food Reviews (Ratings, Recalls!)

About the Company

Nature's Variety Dog Food Reviews

Founded in 2001, the Nature’s Variety headquarters are in St. Louis, Missouri, and they have a factory in Lincoln, Nebraska. All their pet food and treats are also made in the United States. Agrolimen, however, bought the company on May 11, 2016, a 75 year old, family owned company in Spain.

Nature's Variety Wants to Transform the Lives of Our Dogs for the Better

Nature’s Variety believes that our pets should have food that’s similar to their original, wild diet. I appreciate their use of whole, real ingredients, to make a dog food that’s as close to natural as possible.

Adding variety in what our dogs eat, provides them with more balance and nutrition. By regularly changing our dog’s diet, we can dramatically improve their overall health. That’s why Nature’s Variety has formulated their products so we can rotate to different protein sources, including poultry, pork, lamb, salmon, beef, venison and rabbit.

Changing the form of our dog’s food is also recommend, and we can switch between kibble, cans and raw food. Daily, weekly or monthly rotations are all good, depending on what's convenient for us and our pets!

Dry Food

Canned Food


There’s definitely a lot of choice in Nature’s Variety products. They make Instinct®, Prairie® and SweetSpots® brand pet foods for dogs of different sizes and life stages, as well as dog treats.

I love that natural preservatives are all they use in their kibble too. For example, their Salmon Meal is naturally preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, instead of ethoxyquin.

Nature's Variety has a lot to be proud of in their award-winning product line. The Instinct Biscuits were named the Best New Dog Treat of 2010 by Pet Business Magazine, and their Instinct Limited Ingredient Diets won the Pet Product News International Magazine Editors' Choice Award in 2011.

Despite the recall in 2016, the reviews continue to be high. AAFCO Protocol Feeding Trials prove that the Nature’s Variety raw diet is complete and balanced for all dogs, at any age. This made them the first and only raw diet to be scientifically approved that way.

Their raw formula is actually 5 percent vegetables and fruit. This mimics our dog’s ancestral diet, which would include the contents of their prey's stomach. The company's understanding of that really impressed me.


When I read Nature's Variety Raw Dog Food reviews, I saw a large number of positive comments. Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Dog Food reviews were overwhelmingly positive too. There’s a lot to like:

Nature’s variety raw diets and raw frozen bones only come from USDA-inspected factories. Even imports, meet USDA requirements. All the animals used as ingredients have passed ante- and post-mortem inspection too.

They also use regular lot segregation, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures and Good Manufacturing Practices. Nature's Variety has a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Program too. Before acceptance, all their ingredients are inspected for quality and compliance with all US regulations.

Sourcing standards are high, with poultry and pork coming from the US, as well as some of their beef. Other meat like beef, lamb, venison and rabbit comes from Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy. Nothing comes from China, where food quality and regulation are particularly low.

Nature's Variety creates complete and balanced pet food for dogs of all life stages and breeds. The various products contain all the natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants our dogs need to be healthy, without synthetic supplements, or a lot of other artificial chemicals.

The Raw Frozen Diets and Freeze Dried Raw foods use High Pressure Processing. This protocol has been in place since 2/11/10 because it's the only way to kill harmful bacteria without heat or irradiation. This maintains the ingredient's healthy enzymes, nutrients, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals because it doesn't affect the cells at a molecular level. Even the colour and taste are how nature first intended.

The availability of Nature's Variety products is great, and it continues to expand. Products are available through PetSmart and across North America.


The fact that Nature’s Variety recently became a subsidiary of Agrolimen in Spain makes me a bit nervous. They have excellent ingredients and manufacturing processes right now, but that could change with the new ownership.

The company also had a recall in 2016.

Nature's Variety Recall History

There was a Nature's Variety recall on April 27, 2016 for these products:

UPC# 769949611431 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 4 lb.; Best By 04/27/16.
UPC# 769949611448 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 7 lb.; Best By 04/27/16.
UPC# 769949611486 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Patties for Dogs 6 lb.; Best By 04/27/16.

They withdrew these raw products because of possible salmonella contamination. Luckily, no one reported as getting sick, themselves. If dogs get sick from salmonella, they can seem sleepy or eat less. Other common, more serious symptoms are diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and throwing up.

Raw chicken and other meat naturally have bacteria in them. That’s why washing your hands and food preparation safety is always so crucial in the kitchen and restaurants.

Raw dog food isn’t a direct threat to humans, but dogs can spread bacteria all over the house after eating it. That makes how a company tests and manufactures their raw dog food very important, and generally Nature's Variety seems to have a safe manufacturing process with high quality ingredients.

Raw meat is obviously what our dogs evolved to eat in the wild though. For that reason, despite problems like this, there's still a demand for raw dog food as the most natural option.

Final Thoughts

Nature's Variety has a high regard for science, seeking advice from nationally recognized pet experts on their Nutrition Council. Members include veterinarians who specialize in both Nutrition and Integrative Medicine and Holistic and Integrative Services.

Innovation is definitely one of the key drivers of their business, and that's made their Instinct brand one of the leaders in the raw pet food industry. Nature's Variety was named as one of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in America for three years in a row in the Inc. 5000 Rankings.

The Nature's Variety raw dog food reviews I read really won me over. All of their nutritious, holistic pet foods are made with special attention to how they’re made with healthy, whole ingredients. Most of all, that's what I look for in dog food, as a loving dog owner.


Dr. Laura Harris is our resident dog health expert. She started to fact-check dog health-related information for HerePup during her internship and contributes since then. Her expertise is in dog nutrition, senior dog care, especially critical care medicine and internal medicine.

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