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Your Top Raw Feeding FAQs Answered

“Is feeding raw pet food worth it?”

  • Yes! Raw food is an investment in your pet’s lifelong health. Whether you top their meal with raw or feed it full-time, our minimally processed, nutrient-dense raw food can lead to life-changing benefits like better digestion, increased energy, improved skin & coat, and more.
  • Aim to feed at least 20% raw – science shows this is an important minimum threshold for the benefits of raw. Freeze-dried raw toppers for dogs and cats are a great place to start, but also consider complete & balanced frozen raw meals for dogs and cats for the pinnacle of raw nutrition. These raw meals can be served as a pet’s primary diet, rotated in for a partial raw diet, or mixed with other food forms.
  • Skill skeptical? You can read more here about scientific research that has helped quantify benefits unique to raw. We even have a resource page for vet professionals in case any questions come up.


“How do you keep your raw pet food safe from bacteria?”

  • Instinct uses High Pressure Processing (HPP) to ensure our frozen and freeze-dried raw recipes are safe for pets and pet parents. This is the same process used for human foods like cold-pressed juices and guacamole.
  • This 100% natural, USDA-recognized pathogen reduction treatment isn’t a requirement for raw pet food; however, we take this step to ensure utmost food safety and quality. We also extensively test every batch for safety before it leaves our facilities.
  • Instinct also carries a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Food Safety certification as well as an SQF Quality certification. SQF is a rigorous and credible food safety and quality auditing program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners, and food service providers world-wide.


“How do I know which food is best? You have so many options!”

  • Our Product Recommender is a great place to start! Simply fill out your pet’s age, weight, and feeding preferences, and we’ll match you with the perfect Instinct product for your pet.
  • If you have further questions, you can always reach our Customer Service team at

“What should I expect when switching to raw?”

  • There should be a transitional phase as your pet adjusts to a raw diet. As with any diet change, we suggest you transition your pet to raw over the course of one week (up to two weeks for sensitive pets). Start with 25% raw food for a couple of days, then work your way up to 100% raw!
  • Digestive upset (like runny stools or some vomiting) may occur during the transition. If this is persistent or continues beyond the transition week, please reach out to your vet.
  • Don’t worry if your pet doesn’t love it right away. Some pets take more time than others to adjust. If they don’t seem excited to eat from the get-go, that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause! Keep reading for feeding tips for pets who aren’t taking to raw.
  • Changes you may notice first include smaller, firmer stools, increased mealtime excitement, a shinier coat, and more energy! See some pet parent testimonials for a taste of what’s hopefully to come!

“Where can I find out where to purchase Instinct?”

  • To see all Instinct retailers near you, check out our Where to Buy page. This will show stores near you + there’s a “Buy Online” tab.
  • To find where a specific product is available, visit the webpage for the product you’re looking for on On the product page, click “Where to buy” — this will show stores near you that recently ordered the food. We suggest calling to confirm stock! There’s also a “buy online” tab with links. For further help, you can always reach our Customer Service team at


“What if my pet doesn’t like it?”

  • First, be sure you transition your pet over the course of one week or more, starting with 25% raw/75% current food, and working your way up. If that’s still not working out, try some tips to help hesitant pets adjust to raw before throwing in the towel:
    • Tips for feeding frozen raw: Try mashing it up to bring out the aroma most pets love! You can also try adding warm water — this will help make the cold temperature difference less stark.
    • Tips for feeding freeze-dried raw: Try rehydrating it! When you rehydrate, you can play around with the consistency and the temperature.
  • If your pet doesn’t take to the food, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee! You can return any Instinct product for a full refund or exchange — open bags, too! Just be sure to bring your original purchase receipt. If you have questions or issues, just reach out to our Customer Service team. 

“Can I combine raw food and other types of food?”

  • Yep! You can combine raw food with kibble, wet, or any other type of pet food. Some pet parents have the misconception that it’s not good to mix raw food and kibble — however, this is not true. Mixing these two food forms is perfectly fine. The nutrient profile of the meal in total, not the food form, is what controls GI functions. The stomach does not see two different foods — it just sees food!
  • Mixing raw with kibble or rotating between the two is a great way to add variety and more nutrition for your pet, given that raw pet food has more nutrients intact than cooked food.

“How much should I feed my dog/cat? I’m looking for more detailed info than what’s on the bag”

  • Check out the Instinct Feeding Calculator! Simply fill out your pet’s age, weight, activity level, and what recipe you want to feed, and we’ll give a customized feeding recommendation. You can even mix multiple food types!

We have answers to other common questions on our FAQ page! We also commonly address questions about raw pet food on our Instagram, so be sure to follow us!

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