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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 34.7% 29.2%
Crude Fat 20.9% 16.7%
Crude Fiber 4.7% 5.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Instinct Pure Balance
Crude Protein 43.1% 34.6%
Crude Fat 26.8% 24.6%
Crude Fiber 8.6% 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 5.50%. 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.

Our analysis shows that Instinct guarantees 4.27% more fat than Pure Balance dry dog food recipes. For wet dog foods, Instinct typically provides a little more fat (about 2.16% more).


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 44.1% 39.9%
Crude Fat 21.4% 17.7%
Crude Fiber 4.0% 5.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Instinct Pure Balance
Crude Protein 47.6% 42.0%
Crude Fat 23.7% 25.4%
Crude Fiber 8.9% 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.

There is a relatively large difference between the protein content of Instinct and Pure Balance. On average, Pure Balance dry cat food recipes contain 4.25% less protein than Instinct 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.

If you look at the average percentages of crude fat, you'll notice that Instinct typically guarantees 3.67% more fat. This is a fairly small difference between Instinct and Pure Balance, but still worth mentioning. 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.


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:


94 Recipes In-Stock Today

73 Recipes In-Stock Today

73 Recipes In-Stock Today

25 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Pure Balance Pet Foods

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


Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Instinct Pure Balance
Dry Dog Food 32 Recipes 7 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 10 Recipes 15 Recipes
Dog Treats
Dry Cat Food 16 Recipes 5 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 16 Recipes 4 Recipes
Cat Treats 3 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores