Instinct vs Wellness

Instinct vs. Wellness

In this comparison article for Instinct vs Wellness, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Instinct and Wellness, 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 Wellness 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 Wellness Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Wellness 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. Wellness Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Instinct Wellness
Crude Protein 39.6% 32.6%
Crude Fat 21.8% 15.6%
Crude Fiber 5.1% 5.7%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Instinct Wellness
Crude Protein 49.1% 40.2%
Crude Fat 26.3% 23.9%
Crude Fiber 10.3% 5.6%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your dog's diet. Without sufficient protein, dogs can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

Our analysis shows that Instinct guarantees 7.04% more protein than Wellness dry dog food recipes. In addition, Instinct wet dog foods also provide more protein than Wellness wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Fats are an absolutely vital component of a balanced canine diet. Not only do fats provide energy, but they also serve important roles in the normal development and function of your dog's body. For example, fats help dogs produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among many other significant functions.

There is a relatively large difference between the fat content of Instinct and Wellness. On average, Wellness dry dog food recipes contain 6.20% less fat than Instinct recipes. For wet dog foods, Instinct typically provides a little more fat (about 2.48% more).


Instinct and Wellness both provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. For wet dog foods, Instinct provides more fiber (about 4.80% more).

Instinct Cat Food vs. Wellness Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Instinct Wellness
Crude Protein 44.7% 42.0%
Crude Fat 21.1% 16.0%
Crude Fiber 4.5% 4.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Instinct Wellness
Crude Protein 50.7% 44.6%
Crude Fat 23.7% 23.6%
Crude Fiber 12.2% 5.7%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your cat's diet. Without sufficient protein, cats can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

According to our data, Instinct guarantees 2.70% more protein than Wellness. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. In addition, Instinct wet cat foods also provide more protein than Wellness 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):

  • Fats help with the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Reduce inflammation associated with arthritis
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Prevent or reduce the likelihood of certain heart problems.
  • Aid in the development of the retina and visual cortex.

Wellness dry recipes contain 5.18% less fat than Instinct dry recipes. This difference in fat content is a notable difference between Instinct and Wellness. For wet cat foods, Instinct and Wellness provide roughly the same amount of fat.


There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude fiber content of the two brands. For wet cat foods, Instinct provides more fiber (about 6.49% more).

Instinct Pet Food Ingredients vs. Wellness Pet Food Ingredients

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

Garlic
Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Tomato Pomace
Dried Tomato Pomace

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

Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

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

Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Garlic Powder
Canola Oil (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 Wellness 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 Wellness.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite

Product Safety: Recall History of Instinct & Wellness?

Instinct has been recalled 2 times.

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

Wellness has been recalled 5 times.

  • March 18, 2017: elevated beef throid hormone
  • Feb. 10, 2017: foreign material
  • Oct. 30, 2012: High Moisture
  • May 4, 2012: Salmonella
  • Feb. 28, 2011: Low Levels of Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Instinct Wellness
Per Pound $10.59 $4.24
Per Calorie $0.0052 $0.0026
Dry Cat Food Instinct Wellness
Per Pound $8.05 $4.73
Per Calorie $0.0040 $0.0028
Wet Dog Food Instinct Wellness
Per Pound $6.80 $5.58
Per Calorie $0.0120 $0.0131
Wet Cat Food Instinct Wellness
Per Pound $7.68 $6.21
Per Calorie $0.0160 $0.0163

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 Wellness, 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 Wellness 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 Wellness. 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:









Where To Buy Wellness Pet Foods

You can purchase Wellness pet food products from these retailers:










Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Instinct Wellness
Dry Dog Food 30 Recipes 51 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 22 Recipes 62 Recipes
Dog Treats 8 Treats 30 Treats
Dry Cat Food 14 Recipes 16 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 29 Recipes 65 Recipes
Cat Treats 6 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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