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Instinct vs Pure Balance

Instinct vs. Pure Balance

In this comparison article for Instinct vs Pure Balance, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Instinct and Pure Balance, we'll use up-to-date nutritional and price information.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best pet food brand for your pet. Factors such as ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, product safety, brand history, and cost are among the most important factors to consider.

Throughout this Pure Balance vs Instinct comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Instinct Review Page or Pure Balance Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Pure Balance vs. Instinct

According to AAFCO, all pet food labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of nutrient content. The analysis must provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

All percentages used in this comparison are averages reported on a dry matter basis.

Instinct Dog Food vs. Pure Balance Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Instinct Pure Balance
Crude Protein 35.6% 29.2%
Crude Fat 20.3% 16.7%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 5.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Instinct Pure Balance
Crude Protein 45.0% 34.6%
Crude Fat 25.0% 24.6%
Crude Fiber 7.9% 7.2%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Dogs require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Twelve of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining ten are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these ten essential amino acids.

The table shows that Pure Balance provides far less protein than Instinct. The difference in protein content is roughly 6.37%. In addition, Instinct wet dog foods also provide more protein than Pure Balance wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Like protein, fats are an essential part of a dog's body. Fats are needed for the proper development and function of the canine body.

If you look at the average percentages of crude fat, you'll notice that Instinct typically guarantees 3.68% more fat. This is a fairly small difference between Instinct and Pure Balance, but still worth mentioning. For wet dog foods, Instinct and Pure Balance provide roughly the same amount of fat.


As you can see, Instinct and Pure Balance guarantee a similar amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet dog food, Instinct and Pure Balance also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Instinct Cat Food vs. Pure Balance Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Instinct Pure Balance
Crude Protein 44.5% 39.9%
Crude Fat 20.6% 17.7%
Crude Fiber 4.2% 5.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Instinct Pure Balance
Crude Protein 48.3% 42.0%
Crude Fat 24.7% 25.4%
Crude Fiber 8.8% 7.2%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Cats require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Eleven of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining eleven are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these eleven essential amino acids.

Our analysis shows that Instinct guarantees 4.58% more protein than Pure Balance dry cat food recipes. In addition, Instinct wet cat foods also provide more protein than Pure Balance wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food

There are many ways in which dietary fat contributes to the overall health of our feline friends. Here is a short list of benefits provided by fats (not exhaustive):

  • Help transport nutrients across cell membranes
  • Fats produce metabolites, which help control inflammation
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Fats improve the taste/texture of food.

According to our data, Instinct guarantees 2.91% more fat than Pure Balance. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. For wet cat foods, Pure Balance and Instinct provide roughly the same amount of fat.


Instinct and Pure Balance both provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet cat food, Instinct and Pure Balance also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Instinct Pet Food Ingredients vs. Pure Balance Pet Food Ingredients

Instinct and Pure Balance both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:

Canola Oil
Pea Protein

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Instinct.

Garlic
Tomato Pomace
Dried Tomato Pomace
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Pure Balance.

Brewers Rice
Garlic Powder
Pea Protein Concentrate
Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Poultry Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

We believe that certain pet food ingredients are linked to adverse health affects; these ingredients are classified as harmful.

Instinct and Pure Balance both use the following harmful ingredients in many of their products:

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Pure Balance.

Added Color
Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Instinct & Pure Balance?

Instinct has been recalled 2 times.

  • July 24, 2015: Salmonella
  • Feb. 15, 2013: Pieces of clear plastic in bag

According to our records, Pure Balance has never been recalled.

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Instinct Pure Balance
Per Pound $3.31 $1.54
Per Calorie $0.0017 $0.0009
Dry Cat Food Instinct Pure Balance
Per Pound $4.61 $2.19
Per Calorie $0.0024 $0.0013
Wet Dog Food Instinct Pure Balance
Per Pound $5.97 $1.78

The average cost-per-lb is heavily influenced by the varying amounts of moisture present in each brand's food products (wet vs. dry food, dry vs. freeze-dried food, etc). However, the average cost-per-kcal eliminates the influence of moisture. Therefore, the average cost-per-kcal is the better metric to consider.

If you'd like to calculate the average cost-per-day or cost-pet-year of feeding Instinct or Pure Balance, input your pet's weight into our cost analyzer widget.

Averages price data can identify whether or not there exists a significant price difference between two brands. However, the actual price that you'll pay for Instinct or Pure Balance will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Instinct and Pure Balance. In addition, we currently have some great coupons for our readers.


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Instinct Pet Foods

You can purchase Instinct pet foods from the following stores:


113 Recipes In-Stock Today

101 Recipes In-Stock Today

89 Recipes In-Stock Today

33 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Pure Balance Pet Foods

You can purchase Pure Balance pet food products from these retailers:


8 Recipes In-Stock


Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Instinct Pure Balance
Dry Dog Food 27 Recipes 7 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 18 Recipes 15 Recipes
Dog Treats
Dry Cat Food 14 Recipes 5 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 17 Recipes 4 Recipes
Cat Treats 3 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores