Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends: Beef Recipe - Product Review

This month we received Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends from to test out. The Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends are freeze-dried, raw complete diets. We chose the Beef Recipe for some variety, since so many dog food products are made with chicken (the other option).

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends, Beef Recipe
I like that the packaging actually has a picture of what the food looks like. Most dog foods just have a photo of a dog frolicking in a field or some generic drawing, so it can be nice to know what to expect when you open up a new food. 

The meal blend consists of freeze-dried veggies, fruits, and little meaty nuggets. I like that the fruits and veggies are minimally processed and actually identifiable! The freeze-drying process locks in nutrition and flavor, which is a plus.

Inside the bag
Chewy thought the food smelled delightful and couldn't wait to try it.

Smells yummy!
Chewy looked on in anticipation while I attempted to rehydrate the food.

The serving suggestion says "Crush pieces and wait 10 minutes if full rehydration is desired." I didn't crush the pieces because it seemed counterintuitive - they made them into little nuggets, and now I have to un-nugget them? 

After soaking the uncrushed freeze-dried food for 10 minutes, there was still quite a bit of water left in the dish. I even flipped the nuggets over halfway through so that both sides could get soaked. 

+ 0 minutes                                                                                        + 10 minutes
Chewy didn't mind that there was extra water - he probably likes the fruity/meaty/vegetable-y taste. He happily lapped up everything in his dish every time I gave him some of the Meal Blends.

Hoovering at full speed
The suggested feeding amounts chart on the bag only lists up to a 40 lb dog, which is not so helpful when your dog is much larger than that. Chewy only got to eat it as an addition to his regular meals. If I was to feed Chewy the Meal Blends for entire meals, he'd probably go through an entire 1 lb. bag in a day or less! Considering that, I find the Meal Blends to be NOT cost effective, but of course you often pay a premium for healthier foods!

Overall, Chewy and I were pleased with the Raw Market Meal Blends because of the nutrition, visible whole foods, and taste, but I do not think it is an economical diet for a large dog. For us, it would be more of a treat than an actual meal.

Disclaimer: We received a free bag of Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends Beef Recipe from for review purposes as part of the Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Can We Go Swimming???

Chewy, like most Golden Retrievers, LOVES water. If we are walking along a shoreline, he starts pulling towards the water in hopes of a foot soak, a refreshing dip, or perhaps a game of fetch. When we get close enough to the water, he looks back with that dopey smile, as if to ask, "Can we go swimming?"

Can we go swimming?

How about here?

Can we go down there?
Sometimes he takes matters into his own hands, and just goes for it:

Oooohh, water...


He always looks super pleased with himself when he manages to get in the water, whether with permission or not!

I smell now, and it's GREAT!

To keep his fur/skin clean and healthy, Chewy usually gets a dreaded bath after swimming, but I think he would say it's still worth it!

I am displeased by this bath.