We spent a few weeks debating whether to continue Christopher's puppyhood with a dry or raw food before taking the plunge because there are arguments for both. With a dry food you can soak for easy chewing or leave hard for crunching as their teeth develop - but with raw it's a more natural food and you can find complete foods which are easier to feed nowadays compared to years gone by. Or, of course, you could opt for a little of both!
At nine-weeks old Christopher was offered the chance to review the Natural Instinct Puppy food. The food has plenty of reviews online, most of them 5 star, so we took the opportunity to see if he (we) would agree.
Who is Natural Instinct?
The company believes strongly in "You are what you eat” and apply this logic to creating their dog and cat foods across their various ranges. Their complete natural dog food ranges are formulated with all the essential vitamins, minerals and essential proteins that pets need for an active and healthy life.
Made from 100% British, human grade ingredients with no cereal or fillers, they've created a balanced diet to help improve or keep pets happy and healthy.
TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson is also a fan of the dog food (her reviews are on their testimonial page).
The Puppy food
As you might imagine the Puppy food has added nutrition and protein than other foods for larger/adult dogs and is recommended to give puppies aged eight-weeks and older all they need.
At nine-weeks old weighing in at 8.8kg Christopher was recommended to eat between 440-528 grams a day, split into as many meals as required. Although we were advised by customer care member, Tamara, if you're looking online there's a really helpful calculator tool here which helps you work out what to feed based on your dog's weight.
How did it fair in reality?
From an owner's perspective, the food was easy to feed. The Puppy food is available in two sizes of container - 2 x 500g packs or a 1kg pack. We received the 500g packs and so with Christopher's needs in mind, he ate one pack per day, give or take.
The food arrives frozen and in fact, even if it takes you a couple of hours to unpack, set a couple of packs aside for the coming day/s (fridge space-dependent!) and then fill the freezer with the remaining food, it's quality is maintained because it's kept chilled/frozen inside the boxes it's been parcelled and shipped in.
I found there to be little to no smell (hurray!) with the food and the only trouble I had was sometimes I couldn't close the lids on the white plastic containers very well. I'm reassured this isn't a common problem, but it was something I encountered in more than one box, but perhaps it was just this batch or just me. It wasn't a massive problem because Christopher went through each container pretty quickly.
Christopher seemed to love the food. He learnt to jump all four feet off the ground while I picked his bowl up and then when heading towards his breakfast or dinner spot on the floor did spinning circles, often causing a roadblock when Mia couldn't move past him. I'm not sure she was too impressed at the delay in all honesty but equally, I'm not sure he noticed in his excitement.
The food itself is balanced between proteins, fats, vegetables, fish oils and everything else a growing puppy needs to ensure development.
We were really pleased with how Christopher did while on this food. His coat was glossy and shiny and his excitement at meal times spoke volumes!
Not every food will suit every dog, and so it's always worth reading reviews, checking the ingredients and labels to make sure whatever food you're looking for will suit your dog.
But before we finish, here's a fun gallery of Christopher from his first moments arriving with us to some more recent shots of him with his friends, Mia and Danny, and a small cameo from Buster the cat, who Christopher's still trying to convince to be friends.
Many thanks to Natural Instinct for Christopher's two week supply of 'Puppy' to review! Find out more about Natural Instinct's Puppy food online at www.naturalinstinct.com.