Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our evaluation criteria.
With an average score of 8/10, Instinct Raw Longevity 100% Freeze-Dried is considered a low risk dog food. There are 7 recipes that average 36% protein and 12% average carbohydrate as calculated.
These are freeze-dried recipes that are minimally processed with minimal loss of nutrients. They have a low level of carbohydrates obtained from fruits and vegetables rather than grains and starches. There’s a minimal amount of added vitamin, but there are more than 5 added minerals, which lowered the ingredient quality score. It’s preferred that minerals come from whole food ingredients in the food. There’s added taurine in all recipes, plus L-carnitine in one recipe. More than two amino acids cause loss of points as these nutrients should come from the animal proteins in the food.
These recipes also contain fish oil, which is an unnamed protein source. These are of much lower quality and you want to see the animal source named, such as beef, salmon or chicken, not animal, fish or poultry.
It’s worth noting that Instinct adds and guarantees a decent amount of probiotics in these foods.
Regarding ingredient safety, Instinct loses points for high pesticide or herbicide foods like apples or spinach, sometimes in the top five ingredients.
The company uses unsubstantiated marketing terms such as free-range or humanely-raised. Without third-party certification, these are purely marketing terms that have no legal meaning under pet food regulatory standards.
Cod and pollock are wild-caught. Wild caught fish is more nutritious than farmed, with a better fatty acid profile. However, the fish oil is not described as wild-caught and is likely farmed.
The label does not provide the omega-6:omega-3 ratio, which is a concern since AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1.