This is me sitting pretty. Why am I sitting PRETTY? Well, in anticipation of food, of course. And I am here to tell you about a FOOD we recently taste tested for Chewy.com called Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Chicken Recipe Meal Blends Freeze-Dried Dog Food.
Let me tell you the WHOLE story . . . from the beginning. It was a sunny morning and already the temperature was WARM. It promised to be a toasty day and one I would generally enjoy in the BACKYARD picking apples. In fact, that is exactly what I was doing when I heard Molly yapping at the top of her lungs. If you've never heard Molly bark, you are lucky. I am pretty sure that loud, ear-piercing yap can be heard from here to Timbuktu! She is loud. And to make matters worse, she stands by the door where the decorative window is clear at HER EYE level. She barks at the kids across the street. . . she barks at people walking past the house. . . she barks at cars driving too fast through the neighborhood, she barks at the squirrels in the Italian Cypress. You guessed it - she BARKS ALL THE TIME.
But this particular time she barked at the PACKAGE DELIVERY guy because he was walking up to the door carrying these -
What in the WIDE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS do we have here, I mused from under the apple tree? So I got up from the nest of fallen apples I had made and dashed to the back door - barking all the way. One must always answer a BARK with a BARK - that is classic Dog Behavior 101. Mommy let me in and I made a wild dash to the front door and joined Molly in her sing fest. We did that until Mommy got the hint (she is so dense sometimes - and much to her dismay, does not speak DOG). When she opened the door she was so surprised to find these TWO boxes sitting by the plant on the PORCH. She tortured us a little making us pose for pictures on the porch, on the box, staring at the boxes (see above), and so on. We just wanted to know what was IN the boxes. One box was for Sunshine and we discussed this on MONDAY, if you recall.
This is what was in the second box - Poop bags by Frisco (review tomorrow) and THE FOOD . . . . Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Chicken Recipe Meal Blends Freeze-Dried Dog Food. We chose the chicken formula because we are particularly fond of chicken. Sometimes we eat other stuff but this time the chicken sounded too tempting. This is why we chose it, aside from the fact we love love love Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost because of these FACTS:
- No grain or gluten. The jury is out regarding gluten. Some dogs are allergic to it. But the big question is, does gluten do more than just fill a pet up? What are the benefits of gluten in a pet's diet. I am not here to answer those questions because I am not a nutritionist. But the NUTRITIONISTS at Nature's Variety have determined that gluten just might not be important to pet health SO they left it out
- You can re-hydrate the freeze-dried foods to make a complete meal. I am not sure why adding water makes it a complete meal and we had issues with this part
- Cage free chicken, real peas, real potatoes
- It is a protein rich food containing 76% chicken and liver, 24% vegetables, fruits and vitamins
- Made in the USA but uses certified food sources outside the USA. From their website - All of our poultry and pork come from the U.S., our beef is from the U.S. and New Zealand, our lamb is from the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, our venison is imported from Australia and New Zealand, and our rabbit is imported from France and Italy. We are very stringent in our sourcing standards and prioritize building close relationships with our vendors.
So there are a lot of GOOD reasons for feeding a Pug Princess and Majestic Maltese these foods. The remaining UNKNOWNS ARE
- Would a picky Maltese Mix like the food
- Would Nature's Variety deliver what it promises in terms of ultimate Pet Health (coat, skin, energy)
- Would it make Mommy's life a little easier when it comes to OUR feeding time
So. . . we love dehydrated foods. They are rich in flavor and the texture is kinda fun and exciting. For a whole meal . . . maybe not. So Mommy set about following the directions about hydrating the food. She was happy to not have to heat water in order to do so (like she had to for Stella and Chewy's Chicken Patties). So she carefully decided how much to feed us (there is a chart on the back of the bag) and how much water to put into the bowl. All of the pieces floated to the top and just stayed there. She reminded us it would take TEN TORTUROUS MINUTES before we could eat it. We waited and waited and WAITED. When she looked in the bowl. . . THE PIECES WERE STILL FLOATING! They had not hydrated at all! Granted, she had not completely followed directions and did not crush them. . . but one would THINK that hydration would still take place. But, NO. Didn't matter, though. We lapped up the "soup" and happily crunched through the pieces as if it worked right. I gotta say, and I know Molly would agree, this is one TASTY meal.
The next day we tried it again and this time with HOT WATER which meant waiting a little more than TEN MINUTES (because we had to let it cool down). GUESS what? The food still floated on top and did not really hydrate. The "soup" was a little tastier than the previous time, though.
At the end of the day, Mommy said FORGET IT when it came to hydrating and fed it to us AS IS. We loved it. Ate it RIGHT UP with no pause to think. She made sure we had plenty of fresh water near by, too. Too much un-hydrated freeze dried food can make you very very thirsty.
Unfortunately, the food also did not fill us up and we promptly began begging for MORE as soon as we licked our bowls clean. This was true even when she upped our portions a little. She DID NOT want to risk SOMEPUGGY putting on weight so she did not up it too much. For Casa de Noodles purposes, I think this food is better used as a topper. That way we get all of the benefits of the carefully formulated proteins and minerals without messing with (1) the water and (2) us little beggars being unsatisfied.
All in all we give this food SIX PAWS UP because the only real negative to it was the lack of hydration. We are definitely showing other benefits from the food including shiny coats and an increased playfulness.
*We received from Chewy.com enough food to test the product for the month. We are not paid not prompted for our opinions. They are ours and ours alone. And we gleefully share them with everyone because we are generous like that, and stuff.