This post was sponsored by Instinct.

Owning a dog has many wonderful perks, from companionship to a range of emotional benefits backed by scientific research. Nothing beats a puppy’s gaze to melt your heart, and now we know why: our bond with dogs increases the levels of the powerful hormone Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love molecule.”

The companionship of canine friends just makes us feel better. So what can we do to return the love?

Of course, a warm home, regular exercise, and a steady diet are table stakes. But there are many things we can do to enhance their lives, like paying more attention to what we feed our furry friends.

A few years back, we adopted a rescue Chihuahua at the Marin County Humane Society. There were two dogs in his enclosure— both Chihuahuas. When we opened the door, one of the Chihuahuas barked constantly, while the other stood calm and dignified, knowing just how to play to his audience. That little guy would come to be known as Jorgie, a.k.a “Jorjito”, and was soon adopted and welcomed into our home.

An aside here: my husband only speaks to our dog in Spanish. He says it keeps his language skills fresh while “celebrating the ancient noble roots of the breed as a favored companion to Toltec and Maya royalty.” He’s even managed to convince some of the neighbors that our precious little rescue only understands Spanish.

Anyway, Jorgie isn’t as food-obsessed as our previous pup, a labrador who would gorge herself silly if given the chance. Instead, Jorgie visits his bowl of food throughout the day for an occasional grazing. We know it’s our responsibility to keep him healthy, so we feed him carefully sourced food, rotating across a few different high-quality brands. Most pet foods are overly processed, for reasons that remain unclear to me. The processing does nothing but deplete nutrients much needed by our beloved little friends, who can’t exactly go shopping for themselves. It’s up to us—the owners—to make the best choices we can.

I was so intrigued when we partnered with Instinct and Jorgie got to try Instinct, The Raw Brand. That’s right: all natural, protein-packed, grain-free, raw food for dogs (and cats)! Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are an exciting new component to Jorgie’s daily bowl of dry kibble. We add a sprinkling of the Raw Boost to his current food using a chart on the packaging—for dogs up to 20lbs like Jorgie, it’s about a ¼ cup serving across two meals. You can also reduce the amount of your favorite kibble to manage the caloric content and avoid overfeeding your dog. The product is made with real beef, whole vegetables, and fruits that are freeze-dried to remove the moisture in the food and lock in nutrients and flavor.

The verdict? Jorgie loves the stuff! He goes nuts whenever he sees the package come out of the pantry during feeding time.

Raw foods contain more nutrients than their cooked counterparts, and I love knowing that the best possible nutrition is making its way into our dog’s bowl. Our pets bring us so much joy in so many ways, and they deserve the best possible life. I’m committed to putting pure, raw and real nutrition into more bowls.

Give Instinct—The Raw Brand—Raw Boost Mixers a try and tell us what you think! One last pro tip: they work AWESOME as highly motivating treats, just remember to keep your total amount consumed within the packages guidelines for your dog to prevent overfeeding. Enjoy!