Primal Raw Frozen Formulas (Raw Frozen)


Rating: ★★★★★

Primal Raw Frozen Formulas Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Primal Raw Frozen Formulas product line includes nine raw frozen recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Primal Canine Pork
  • Primal Canine Beef
  • Primal Canine Duck
  • Primal Canine Rabbit
  • Primal Canine Venison
  • Primal Canine Pheasant
  • Primal Canine Lamb (4 stars)
  • Primal Canine Chicken (4 stars)
  • Primal Canine Turkey and Sardine

Primal Canine Duck formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Primal Canine Duck Formula

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 14%

Ingredients: Duck, duck necks, duck wings, organic kale, duck gizzards, duck hearts, organic carrots, organic squash, duck livers, organic broccoli, organic apples, blueberries, cranberries, organic pumpkin seeds, organic sunflower seeds, montmorillonite clay, organic parsley, organic apple cider vinegar, salmon oil, organic coconut oil, organic quinoa sprout powder, dried organic kelp, alfalfa, vitamin E supplement

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis15%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%31%14%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%56%10%
Protein = 34% | Fat = 56% | Carbs = 10%

The first three ingredients in this dog food include duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.1

Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life. And the necks and wings include bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.

The fourth ingredient is kale. Kale is a type of cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. This dark green vegetable is especially rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C, vitamin K and calcium.

And like broccoli, kale contains sulforaphane, a natural chemical believed to possess potent anti-cancer properties.

The fifth ingredient is duck gizzard. The gizzard is a low-fat, meaty organ found in the digestive tract of birds and assists in grinding up a consumed food. This item is considered a canine dietary delicacy.

The sixth ingredient is duck heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The seventh ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The ninth ingredient is duck liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With five notable exceptions
First, pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and, more importantly, linoleic acid, an essential omega-6 fat.

Next, sunflower seeds are a good source of plant-based fatty acids that and are also rich in vitamins. minerals and dietary fiber.

In addition, montmorillonite clay is a naturally occurring compound rich in many trace minerals. Montmorillonite has been approved for use in USDA Organic Certified products.

Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Next, this recipe includes coconut oil. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids.

Coconut oil has been reported to have a beneficial effect on a dog’s skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions.2

And lastly, except for vitamin E, we find no mention of added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list, but we’re reassured to find a detailed list of naturally present nutrients on the company’s website. 3

Primal Raw
Frozen Formulas Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating.

That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

With that in mind…

Judging by its ingredients alone, Primal Raw Frozen Formulas looks like an above-average raw product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 47%, a fat level of 31% and estimated carbohydrates of about 14%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 52% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 10% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing an abundance of meat.

However, with 56% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 34% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Primal Raw Frozen Formulas is a meat-based raw dog food using a significant amount of named meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Primal Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/06/2015 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Dr. Bruce Fife, Healthy Ways Newsletter, Vol 4:3
  3. Primal Pet Foods, 10/01/2013
  • Eric Seaberg

    Yes, we give our dog an two cats PRIMAL in the morning and evening wtih kibble during the day. We did a lot of research and found kibble that was a great contribution to the RAW we were givving everyone. VERY STABLE ANIMALS!! When we got the cats they were RESCUED and had dihahrea for a couple of weeks BEFORE we stablized their diet. Because of that, I TOTALLY recommend raw.

  • Eric Seaberg

    We’ve given our dog Primal Chicken for the last 5-6 years without issue. I heard today from our vet that DUCK isn’t really a ‘stable’ food source for dogs. your milage may vary…

  • kelly sam

    i feed orijen with one meaty raw bone a day

  • **MyKidsHave4Paws**

    Hi Christine! I personally feel foods that undergo HPP in a sense, are not truly considered a “raw” food for dogs. Personally, I have seen the difference in my own dog’s health after switching them to foods that do not undergo HPP. Ultimately it is our decision as Pet Parents to choose what solution is best for our furry loved ones. Here’s a link to Dr. Karen Becker’s video that might better explain the pros and cons of feeding HPP foods. Best of luck! :)

  • Christine Daley

    Hi. I have a question as kind of new to this raw feeding. I know primal only uses HPP on their poultry products as I am feeding primal now in addition to Orijen kibble and ziwi peak can. What is it that you don’t like about HPP. Thank you. Will appreciate the info!!

  • theBCnut

    The body doesn’t need to separate the two anymore than your body needs to separate the foods you eat. Everything digests at different rates, but we don’t try to eat everything at different times. If your individual dog needs his food separated, then 1 hour isn’t enough time anyway.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Danielle- A lot of people on this site use raw as toppers for their dogs kibble and their dogs have no issues disgesting the kibble and raw at the same time. I have mixed raw in with my dogs canned food and put kibble on top and he was able to digest his whole meal with no issue.

  • Danielle Defalco

    Kibble and raw should not be mixed together due to the fact that they digest completely different than eachother. I just switched my dog from kibble to raw and was informed to wait at least an hour between the two different foods. Just think about the foods and their textures and….just how hard it would be for the body to separate the 2..raw digests much faster and kibble takes longer..this is what I was informed and it makes perfect sensee to me

  • **MyKidsHave4Paws**

    I started my puppy on Primal Raw Duck patties (she was on Diamond Puppy Food..No thanks!) from the time I brought her home. She transition great! No problems. After a couple of weeks being on it though she began spitting up shortly after her meals and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the way her stool looked. The spitting up was a regular occurrence now to where I had the paper towels ready for it! The smell was abnormally strong and vile. To note, she was and still is on all natural kelp based probiotics and grizzly fish oil. As this problem continued I decided to switch her to a different brand to weigh out the possible cause for this happening and also wasn’t crazy about the fact that Primal uses HPP either. So I slowly transitioned her to Vital Essentials Brand Duck and haven’t had any issues with her spitting up what so ever since the switch. She is 5 months old now. We now rotate between Vital Essentials (Duck, Wild Boar, Rabbit) and Darwin’s Natural Selections for our 2 Bull Terrier Girls (5mons& 8mons), 1 Boxer Girl (5 years), & 2 Chihuahuas Girl and Boy (Ages 6 yrs&17yrs) along with fish oil, evoo, probiotics, meaty bones for clean teeth, local organic fruits/veggies as treats, organic pet superfood mushrooms, & Dr. Harvey’s Supplements for that extra boost. If only I would’ve known about the benefits of Raw Feeding and Holistic Approaches years ago! Never again will my dogs go back to kibble after seeing and knowing what I do now. Best of luck to you all! Thank you for reading my experience. Hope it helps!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Wow with – 45 degrees wind chill I would run back in too! lol!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I have Labs, brown & black, with really thick coats. They are good until we hit -45° wind chill, then they just run out to potty. :)

  • Bobby dog

    This time of year activity takes place in the early morning and late evening. Soon it will be too hot in the evening for allot of activity. He is a winter dog for sure, he loves it when it’s cold.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! It’s just the opposite for me. This is the time of year when we’re walking 2+ miles every morning, so I just upped the food a bit. Happy dogs! ; )

  • Bobby dog

    Very nice to read. Good job on the weight loss!! I have to watch Bobby’s weight in the summer, he doesn’t like the heat too much so he is a little less active. This is the time of year I play around with his food more, gotta watch those calories. 😉

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you Bobby Dog! Molly is great! The vet said she needed to lose five pounds and so far she has lost a pound. I just had to cut back on her kibble a bit and the treats too. Thank you for the info!

    When she had her vet visit he told me she was in very good health and had a beautiful coat. He told me what ever I’m feeding her is excellent! I told him high quality kibble, cans and raw bones all fed in rotation. It really made me feel good that he complimented me like that. Thanks to dog food advisor!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi H & M M:
    And how is Molly?

    I feed about the same amount of calories of the raw as I do canned foods. It’s not exact, I don’t have any health issues that I need to address such as weight at this time, but it’s close. I feed Bobby four to five nuggets/meal. So I would check how many calories per tablespoon your canned food has and feed the equivalent.

    Bobby is working his way through some NV FD Lamb as one of his toppers right now, next up his fav, Primal FD Turkey & Sardine.

    Here’s the FD Turkey & Sardine nugget nutritional info:
    Calories: 154 per oz.
    1 ounce = approx. 4 nuggets

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Hi Bobby Dog! I feed Molly kibble with a tablespoon of canned added. I have a bag of the Primal freeze dried turkey and sardine. Im confused on how much primal to add ? Would one nugget be about the same as a tablespoon of canned food?

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, I mix Primal Frozen Raw food mixed with kibble a few times a week with no issue. My dogs love it!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I don’t mix kibble and raw, but some people have. I feed raw as a separate meal. I have used Primal in my rotation and had good luck with it.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi EntertheDragans:
    I mix commercial frozen and freeze dried with kibble two to three days a week. My dog loves the combo and does well on it.

  • EntertheDragans

    Does anyone use the raw food as a supplement to a kibble diet? I am considering doing this for our dog.

  • kat

    I realize I am responding to a 2 year old comment, but I used to work pet retail in the pacific northwest. We sold both Primal and Northwest Naturals raw food. From what I was made to understand, while Primal does have their own kitchen in California, at least some Primal is or was manufactured in NWN’s facilities as the co-packer. But its not an “affiliation” or ownership.

    I’m just as skeptical of dog food companies as anyone else, but sometimes the conspiracy theory, nit-picking tendency which I think is born out of a desire to find SOME reason to pick one food vs another (there are SO MANY choices these days, its overwhelming) is why some dog food companies are reluctant to say anything about anything that might bit them in the butt, without knowing exactly what it is they SHOULD be saying to the public. Explaining something poorly could result in some confusion or misconceptions that hurt their brand, and with so much competition and so much fear in the consumers, one mistake can be very hurtful. So I understand why you might occasionally reach an unprepared customer service rep who is cagey with the answers, as frustrating as it might be. Its not necessarily a sign that there is anything wrong with the food.

  • Michi

    I’ve been feeding nuggets for 7 years and never found bone that big, wonder if its an issue with the patties? I would call them with batch number.

  • Michi

    The primal website has a feeding calculator. You put in the weight, the formal and the desires % for weight loss, maintenance or gain etc. It will tell you how many ounces of the produce to feed.

  • theBCnut

    You want to feed 2-3% of their desired body weight, then adjust according to their actual body condition.
    So if they should weigh 15#: 15*16oz=240oz
    2-3% of 240oz=4.8-7.2oz of food
    Some small dogs need more than this, it is just a guideline.

  • Chrissy


    Awhile back, someone on DFA gave me a formula for calculating how
    much raw food to feed dogs based on their current weight, or even their
    desired weight (if trying to lose a few pounds). Lately, we have had a
    lot going on with our pugs medically.

    We have been feeding
    Primal solely to one of our pugs, and giving a tiny bit to another as a
    topper on their dry food. I am curious if anyone knows of this formula –
    I just cannot remember it…it was quite awhile ago, then we have had
    numerous health conditions take place (including the mast cells and
    upper airway surgery for one of our pugs, and also severe skin
    conditions in another baby), as well as some of them just not adjusting
    to the raw food in general.

    We are now giving our one pug with
    the skin conditions solely raw food, and contemplating trying again with
    others. We are trying to make sure we feed the correct amount to them.

    I want to make sure I have this correct as well – if trying to maintain
    weight, or lose a few pounds(a pond or two), you want to feed them
    based off of the desired weight you are trying to achieve, correct?
    (ex:if wanting them to weigh 15lbs then you feed them as if they
    currently weigh that?).

    I thank you so much for ALL of the help and advice! I GREATLY APPRECIATE everything! <3 Chrissy

  • davida12

    Flea & tick and heartworm medications are neurotoxens and can give your pets seizures. Long turn use lowers the immune system leading to many diseases. cancer, lupus, allergy s , demodex , etc.etc. If you wouldn’t put it on your child, don’t put it on your pet. Love my dog. Hope this helps .

  • Caroline Capobianco

    I use the complete formulas for a little variety. Things that are hard for me to get, like pheasant and duck. I’m not too concerned with higher fat to protein ratio because I feed a variety. The turkey has a much lower fat % in comparison. I also use different brands for the same reason. For a complete formula, Stella & Chewy’s is better price wise for the same amount and just as high quality, IMO.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Hi Nancy, I have a 150lb Great Dane. He eats 3 lbs/ day, 2% of his body weight. He’s 8 and a pretty big couch potato. He would eat me out of house and home if I fed him solely Primal. He would need to eat 6 patties/ day so the 6 lbs would only last me 2 days. I feed the Primal grinds and add it to The Honest Kitchen. I also started making my own raw at home with a meat grinder for around $2/lb.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Thank you. Do you mind telling me, through your experience, which BRANDS of Raw you have had success with and lean toward using? I can get Nature’s Instinct and Primal. They told me on the phone that 3 pounds of Primal duck is $17 and 3 pounds of Instinct is $19. Does this sound right? Aren’t there some more economical ways to do this? Do you mind telling me HOW you mix your 2 pounds of raw a day? Do you use a premix or similar in order to get the complete and balanced meal? And if so (I guess you do) are there specific brands you have had good luck with?
    I have studied and studied and am getting to feeling way overwhelmed. It seems to me that Raw settles the “no moisture” problem with dehydrated, in that raw has lots of moisture. I appreciate whatever you can say. Feeling very lost and don’t want to throw up my arms bec I think succeeding in Raw is important! And yet, due to all that diarrhea, Hills Rx Formula, Metronidazole etc back in March -May with my GSD pup I just cannot drag him through another crisis. Want to get this logically set up for success. Thank you.

  • Betsy Greer

    My 72 pound dog eats just under 2 pounds of raw per day. I feed him about 2.5% of his weight when he eats raw, in order to maintain his weight.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Is your dog large? Mine is 70 pounds. Dos this 6 pounds last a while?
    What do you think about the fat being 31% and the Protein 40%?
    Thank you. 20% for carbs is good.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Hi Nancy,

    I get the Primal complete formulas at my local pet store for around $32.99 for 6lbs. That was for the beef. I hope that helps in your calculations.


  • Nancy Calloway

    I am wondering if you would give me an idea about the cost of Primal. I have a GSD too, 70 pounds and am having a hard time figuring out what it’s going to cost to feed this food to him. He’s on Dr Tims Persuit right now. My GSD is not even 2 yrs old and not too active. He will lie around but then he’s gotta go chase Kong balls or get out and run. I am also looking at Ziwipeak. It’s going to run around $200 a month I THINK. Someone on Amazon said they feed their 75 and 85 pound dogs Ziwi for $375 a month.
    Thank you.

  • NYDogWhisperer

    Add a digestive enzyme

  • WinnieDoodle

    Has anyone had a problem with their dog eating its own feces while on this diet? My dog has been on Primal raw patties for awhile, but lately he has been eating his own feces…before it even hits the ground. I switch up the type of meat each time, and this has occurred while he’s been on the beef flavor. Anyone else notice this with their dog??

  • Macrina

    I found the information on this page very helpful and was hoping to get more info by reading the comments and instead found myself in an elementary school name calling fight. Very disappointing!

  • Shawn

    Houndog forced the raw diet now she got quiet after dogs got sick bc she is a dick1

  • Stephen Jones

    I have been feeding Primal nuggets to my 10 pound Rat Terrier for about six months. She loves it but lately I’ve been disappointed with the consistancy of the product. I count on Primal to ensure that each nugget is the same size and that doesn’t always happen. Consequently, it can be difficult to feed her the correct amount of food. I now use a small kitchen scale to ensure that I don’t over feed her. Won’t stop me from buying the product but it is a little annoying that I have to do their job for them.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Hi. I just wanted to share that I have been using Primal grinds (not formulas) for 2 months now and have never found pieces of bones this size in it. I would contact Primal and email them the pictures, tell them exactly what products it was found in, and follow up with a phone call. They need to find out what it going on. That wouldn’t be an issue for my Dane, but I agree that is a big problem for small dogs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Thanks!! While I wouldn’t have an issue with bone pieces that size for 2 of my dogs, that would be huge for the third, and my dogs do know the difference between eating a grind and something they have to chew, so they would swallow that without chewing. You should definitely contact Primal and tell them they have a problem! In a grind, I want to see the bone pieces around 1/4 in. I don’t even want to think about whether or not my dog should be chewing that.

  • Shawna

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! Have you contacted Primal? They really need to see and address this!! I have a four pound, 16 year old Chihuahua on raw that would certainly have an issue with a bone that size!!!

  • anat meiri

    this one is from Primal Duck.

  • anat meiri

    In Primal I found a 3/4 in. in Primal 1/2 in. (see photos). Since my dog is small, these are very dangerous for her. A few times after her meals she would cough for hours and try to clean her throat. That made me suspicious and I started hand sort her food, only to find an alarming amount of large bones.

  • Pattyvaughn

    How big are you talking about?

  • anat meiri

    A problem I have with both Primal and Instinct is that I found dangerous large bones in their patties. I understand that bones are healthy for dog’s nutrition, but if they are too large (and sadly I found more than a few

    ), they can create a blockage in the system and cause death. I’m now starting to prepare the raw meal at home for safety measures.

  • sandy

    That’w when VE comes in handy! Even if they don’t get a whole meal of it. Just something to tie them over (since you know I have several alternative food sources!) And actually, sardines thaw out enough for them to eat pretty quickly.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yesterday was my first time to forget to defrost something, so it was raw egg night instead. The closest place to me that has Primal is about an hour and 15 minutes away. I’m trying to come up with some reason I need to go out that way so I can go there and see what else they have. It also happens to be the only place around that has Nature’s Logic.

  • Shawna

    This is really something I should start stocking, as often as I’ve been forgetting to thaw the pups’ food lately!! UGHHH

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It looks like Primal is following Nature’s Variety’s lead – they just launched “Primal Pronto.” Bite-sized nuggets that thaw in minutes.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    It’s not a mistake. That’s the protein content with the moisture factored in. If you want the protein on a dry matter basis you have to account for the moisture. Subtract the 68% moisture from 100% to get dry matter which is 32%. The protein on a DM basis would be (12/32)*100= 37.5%

  • Mike

    My bad. Only 1 new formula- Quail

  • Mike

    Mike FYI:
    I see that Primal has added 2 more raw frozen formulas to their line:
    Canine Quail & Canine Venison

  • Pattyvaughn

    There are too many squeamish people in my house for me to get away with going 100% raw. I’m a busy mom, so sometimes someone else has to feed. But I do as much fresh raw as I can and I keep Darwin’s on hand too. They use ACV.

  • LawofRaw

    Yep, I would believe so. All the more reason to try and avoid HPP treatment of commercial raw. The best most of us can probably get is raw straight from a trusted meat market or butchers store. As you know, that’s what I do, and I believe yourself as well.

  • Arlette Vanarthos

    I am not really going to concern my self over it. I will keep on eye on them and if I see an increase then I will address it. I got this Calmplex from Springtime which seems to quiet her down a bit. They said they have seen an enormous change with dogs that have seizures. I will let you know how the duration helps. Thank you so much. :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    As far as parasites go, tapeworms are one of the least noxious. They do have a certain ick factor, but they don’t do much damage to the dog. It can certainly wait.

  • Arlette Vanarthos

    I called the vet and she did not seem all that concerned. She said I could get her a heartguard pill for 2 months and that should take care of them. At the end of the month if I do not see anymore maybe the food and the enzymes will help. Right now they are on some kind heart preventative but it does not kill tapeworms. I have to wait until the end of this month to give her them since she is already on something for heart worms. I will wait and see. Have a nice day.

  • Pattyvaughn

    They get tapeworms from swallowing a flea while they are grooming or chewing themselves. What you are seeing is not the whole worm. Those segments are egg packets. The rest of the worm(s) is still in your dog. When they are mature enough they shed those things in the stool on an irregular basis. Seeing them all the time is a sign of how heavy the worms are in the gut.

    Try giving them more time and see how they do on the new food. You could try adding digestive enzymes to the food to help their digestion adjust to it.

  • Arlette Vanarthos

    Thanks. I believe I just found tape worms in my dogs poop. She poops about 3 or 4 times day. She was just checked out by the vet because of her seizures. The Vet said to watch for tape worms because some times they hide in the poop. I have not seen them for 2 days so I’m wondering if I still need to get her meds for it. What do you think?

    I did not give them this food over a period of 7 days but probably a few meals weening them off. I hope I do not have to switch their food a second time. Maybe I should have gone with Natural Logic first. Any thoughts on any of this? God bless

  • InkedMarie

    Did you swap them over to dr Tim’s over at least a 5-7 day period?

  • Pattyvaughn

    There is a possibility that it will make them lose weight. Usually the higher quality foods also have higher calories, but not always. They could be pooping more because their systems have not yet adjusted to the new food or the Dr Tim’s may have something in it that your’s aren’t digesting, like more fiber. I would give it time and see if they adjust. If they don’t I would move on to the next food choice.

    Cats are strict carnivores, they need high protein diets. Higher than any kibble actually. While dogs can handle carbs, they don’t need them and they handle having more protein than they need way better than they handle having more carbs than they need.

  • Arlette Vanarthos

    This has nothing to do with your post but I wondering if you can answer this for me. I decided to go with Dr. Tims food brand since he did respond instantly to my question. He even sent me a sample of his food. It rate 5* and my dog ate it as soon as I put it down. My lil guy is not all that enthused by it but hoping he will get use to it since I took them all off Purina one. The question is I notice my dog is now pooping much more then usual. Is this okay. I also changed my cat to it and she is also doing the same thing. Is this going to make them loose weight. I thought too much protein is not really a good thing. Thanks Pattyvaughn

  • Pattyvaughn

    How is 47% protein low? When you are looking at foods that are water inclusive, you need to convert to a dry matter basis, after all they are about 80% water. Fortunately, Dr. Mike did it for you. Just look at the dashboard.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Let’s not forget that it doesn’t actually kill all bacteria, since some are encysted, so any balance between good and bad was lost, likely in favor of the bad.

  • June

    Given the low amount of protein, I doubt it’s a suitable food for those dogs that had undergone surgery, particulary othopedic surgery that needs high levels of protein to repair tissue and cells?

  • LawofRaw

    That makes sense. But it becomes meat not as parallel to nature’s intended same for our furry mates. It lacks that very bacteria that would otherwise help in better digestion to healthy and non ailing pets via helping with enzymatic action.

  • Lin

    HPP is the process that the meats go through to ensure that all of the bacteria is killed. It basically is a process where they put the meat in chambers and then raise the pressure on it until it is equivalent roughly to the meat being dropped to the bottom of the ocean or lower, and that kills the bacteria on it. That is the condensed version, but if you want to look it up there is more info around for it.

  • sandy

    If you join the yahoo group “carnivorefeed-supplier”, you might find some resources for more affordable raw. Also, if you have the time and inclination, homemade raw is much cheaper. There are a couple recipes in the Forum here by HoundDogMom. She feeds very active bloodhounds for about $300 a month. I make my own ground raw food for about $2/lb and I buy raw tripe for $2/lb from You shouldn’t add more than 20% of unbalanced “extras” (like the ground beef you mentioned) to a diet as that would knock the calcium:phosphorus ratio out of balance. Another option is to use a premix like Urban Wolf, The Honest Kitchen, Grandma Lucys, etc, and add your own raw meat.

  • Rich

    Need a little help from the pros here. I am using NVI and Primal but its breaking the bank. MY GSD is super active and around 2.5-3 patties a day. I was curious if I could mix in some ground beef as it is much cheaper then using 3 patties a day.

  • Lisatrublu

    Dogfood Advisor, Why is it an issue if Primal Raw food is affiliated with Northwest Natural? What is HPP? I noticed a posting discussing how they called both companies and one was told it was proprietary info to confirm if they were affiliated or not. Please clarify this and get to the bottom of this. I wonder if I should go with any other 5star raw food, Nature’s Variety or Primal?

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  • David R

    I just came back from my local farm feed store with some new doggy goodies. One is a free sample of the Primal Canine Duck Formula. Looks impressive, but I’m pretty sure it will be too pricey for me to buy. I did buy a 6-pack of Primal beef bones which looked to be priced ok. It will be a nice change from pork neck bones and should keep the girls busy longer.

  • Mike P.

    I have only noticed some inaccurate information made by you. Do they have community colleges in Florida? They usually offer classes in Communication.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sorry Dr Mike
    I posted my comment to Mike P and then scrolled down and saw this. I’m afraid I missed something while I was gone on vacation. Again, I’m sorry for adding to this.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The phrase “in their food” should have been an important distinction.

    I emailed them 1 week ago, asking them if they use any products from China or if they EVER have used in their foods…

    Cindy/Tinky’s Mom is know for posting inaccurate info under various names.

  • Mike P.

    I must say the person indicating a ‘China’-issue has one point:The person was told nothing is from China, and that was obviously false.If something was shipped directly from China to the manufacturing plant, why is there a need to mention Canada? It is from China and the person was told nothing is from China! I see the concern. It is great that Primal won’t use the vendor again but it was wrong information to state they never used any products from China as they obviously did.

  • 4mydogs

    I switched to Acana after all the recalls on Evo. I tried a small bag and my PWD liked it. So we bought a 15 lb bag and she ate it once. Now she won’t eat it even with yogurt (her Fav) mixed in. She seems ok and hungary but just won’t eat since yesterday A.M. She will eat her treats I think she’s on strike. I even mixed some from the other bag (different Flavor) no luck.

  • InkedMarie

    When my husband was a kid/teen, he worked at an egg farm in Maine. They’d get “expired” eggs back, put them into new cartons and ship them back out

  • Shawna

    Just found something. The linked book lists taurine content of certain raw foods. Unsupplemented raw rabbit, per the book, has .07% taurine. Beef heart, has .20%. However, heart is a good source of taurine.

    PS — the author of the book feeds her own cats Oma’s Pride, a ground raw diet.

  • Shawna

    Although this is interesting I see a MAJOR flaw in their reasoning…

    The author says “Alright, so we have that out of the way. You may now be asking “how can we know for sure that grinding causes taurine loss?” Good question! I shall show you something.

    Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is a derivative of a sulfur containing amino acid called cystine. If you have lower levels of cystine, you inevitably have lower levels of taurine. This is useful in determining how grinding and bacteria can affect the levels of taurine in food, since the USDA does not measure it in the food database.”

    The problem — unlike other mammals, cats can not synthesize taurine—-rather, it is an “essential” amino acid for cats. Rabbit, whether ground or whole, is likely deficient in taurine.

  • threenorns

    the thing with raw food diet is it greatly increases the amount of fluid the dog is taking in. how often are you letting him out to do his business? if he’s 8mo old, he should be going outside every 4hrs or so – more often until he adjusts. once his system adjusts to all the extra fluid and he realizes he doesn’t have to keep gulping down water like he did with kibble, he’ll be okay again.

    my house, we don’t even have a water bowl down – it was a waste of time. he gets all his water from his food and from the river when we go for walks.

    are you giving him ALL of that in one day? cause that’s a *lot* of food, if so.

  • threenorns

    immunocompromised is a whole other story – that wouldn’t fall under the term “healthy” dog.

    it depends on what you mean by “cook thoroughly”. most ppl mistakenly think that it means the meat must be pulling off the bone and be rather dry. it doesn’t – it only needs to hit an internal temperature of 65C for 12 minutes to kill off not just salmonella on the surface but also *other* bacteria that, again, proliferates from handling.

    a healthy chicken doesn’t have bacteria that can make a healthy dog or human sick – don’t forget about all those antibiotics chickens are fed, not to mention the processing which involves the use of sanitizers and boiling water.

    but it’s possible for meat to pick up bacteria from work surfaces and so on that, if the chicken is left to lie around outside a refrigerator (ie, such as store deliveries i’ve seen where the food is left outside the store for them to bring in when they open in the morning!), will proliferate.

    as i’ve said elsewhere, in 4yrs (dandy was 9mo old when i put him on raw food, he’ll be 5 on hallowe’en), only twice has he refused to eat raw meat (both chicken, both from the same place that’s been cited by public health for not maintaining their refrigerator at proper temperatures and no, i don’t shop there any more, “local” be damned).

    in all that time, i’m the only one in the house that got sick with food poisoning and it was from a deli counter and had nothing to do with raw meat (listeriosis from the deli using the same machine for meat and cheese and not washing it properly). i know it was that because neither the dog nor the baby (she was 2 at the time) got sick and i’m the only one eats corned beef.

  • threenorns
  • LabsRawesome

    Lol. When I find a really good price, I go nuts, and really stock up. We go thru a lot too. :)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’ve never heard about taurine oxidizing??

    I also believe the reason ground meats are more susceptible to bacterial contamination is because the bacteria resides on the surface and when the meat is ground the bacteria are transferred throughout the meat and then have a greater surface area for multiplying..

    I feed my dogs ground meats in the morning – this is when I incorporate their whole food supplements, fruits/veggies, etc. and I find it easier to incorporate into ground meat (they get RMBs and whole offal in the evening). I add some apple cider vinegar to the meat before I add anything else and mix it in to incorporate throughout all the meat. Vinegar is an antibacterial.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    eggs would never stick around that long in my house! between the dogs and myself we go through over a dozen a week. :)

  • Betsy Greer

    I remember accidentally leaving some eggs out on the counter when I forgot to refrigerate them after I got home from the store, and before leaving the house for about 6 hours.

    Everything I found, including information from people with hens, basically say it’s fine, but that the eggs do age more quickly that way ~ for everyday out of the fridge, they age approximately a week.

  • LabsRawesome

    Useless stuff I know- Eggs can be used at least a month or more past their “sell by” date, as long as they’ve been properly refrigerated. :)

  • aimee


    I’d disagree. Salmonella can be a problem for some raw fed dogs. Puppy mortality can be high and litters have been aborted in raw fed females due to Salmonella. As in people it is the young, and the immunocompromised that are at significant risk.

    Bacteria can penetrate and be found within the muscle itself. Is this not why we are advised to thoroughly cook chicken for human consumption?

  • InkedMarie

    Not all of us want to do prey model. Pre made raw is better than no raw.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    When I went to Italy none of the eggs were refrigerated – I was kind of shocked. The grocery stores would have them right on the shelves with the dry food. I had always thought they went bad if they weren’t refrigerated.

  • Shawna

    Oatmeal is very often cross-contaminated with gluten during harvesting as well as processing. Those who are gluten intolerant often have to purchase “certified gluten free” oatmeal (such as Bob’s Red Mill brand). Additionally, although the prolamin protein in oatmeal (avenin) is not the same as wheat (gliadin) it is similar enough that some who are intolerant of gliadin are also intolerant of avenin in oats.

    It is true that avidin in raw egg whites binds with biotin, but it is now believed that there is ample biotin in the egg yolk to compensate for what is bound by avidin unless the diet is already biotin deficient – which is not common (in humans at least).

    Raw egg whites are one source of an amino acid precursor that the body uses quite efficiently to make the “master antioxidant” glutathione. However any processing of the white (including whipping) denatures that protein structure. The body can still make glutathione but it isn’t as efficient at doing so. Additionally cooking the yolk damages the omega 3 fatty acid within.

  • Shawna

    I have never heard that air oxidizes taurine so googled it. I couldn’t find any research on the subject. Are you aware of any legitimate data or research on the topic?

    Have you ever seen how or made cultured (aka fermented) vegetables? You grate or otherwise process the veggies to make them smaller, pack them in a glass jar and set them on the counter for about 4 days. I use a “starter probiotic” when I make mine but only so I can control the end flavor of the veggies. I’ve seen some recipes and ways of making where starters aren’t used. Yes, the air is a source of pathogenic bacteria but it is also a source of beneficial bacteria.

  • Shawna

    I have to apologize threenorns as my post if very misleading as to my own opinion of raw foods including milk and eggs — hence my use of the word “supposedly”. I’m actually a fan of raw milk and eggs for both humans and dogs.

    QUALITY eggs actually don’t need to be refrigerated. Dr. Mercola has an excellent article on the subject. Here’s a quick quote from the piece.
    “So, IF your eggs are very fresh, and IF their cuticle is intact, you do not have to refrigerate them. According to Hilary Thesmar, director of the American Egg Board’s Egg Safety Center[vi]:”

    Factory farming and processing are what causes the most damage to food. As well as what subjects that same food to the most pathogens.. :(

  • Hound Dog Mom

    When I was a kid we had an incident where a farmer in our town “accidentally” dumped a bunch of liquid manure into the river. The local beach was closed (never re-opened) because it was contaminated with E. Coli and our water supply was contaminated with E. Coli for about a year.

  • threenorns

    milk and eggs are NOT “highly contaminated”.

    for eggs, less than 1 in 30,000 is contaminated with salmonella.

    for milk, it’s highly treated and processed.

    the problem is handling by the end-consumer: too many ppl leave a small jug of milk or cream on the table all day for tea and coffee, for example, or leave a baby bottle or cup of milk just lying around so the baby or child can grab it when she wants it instead of having to bug mom for it. once milk reaches room temperature, the bacterial count doubles every 20 minutes (and we’re talking bacteria that the milk was exposed to when you opened the bag/jug or poured it into the bottle/cup).

    eggs, too – i’ve seen any number of ppl who store their eggs in cute little arrangements on their kitchen counter instead of keeping them in the fridge. the only time eggs need to be at room temp is when you’re actually just about to bake with them – at all other times, they should be as cold as you can keep them without freezing.

  • threenorns

    ground meat is not suitable for raw food diet. for one thing, cats on a ground meat diet will likely have vision problems, if they don’t go actually blind. simple reason: taurine, which is vital to cat’s vision, oxidizes on exposure to air and ground meat exposes nearly all of it to the air.

    ground meat also spoils faster and is much more likely to get contaminated than intact meat for the same reason – too much exposure to the air.

  • threenorns

    salmonella is NOT an issue for dogs fed raw. the issue is for humans – we’re prone to get it because we’re not biologically as well-equipped as wolves/dogs are in their natural state.

    salmonella is not found “in” the chicken – it’s found ON the chicken and it’s not part of the species – it’s a sickness the bird catches. chickens with salmonella have very visible symptoms. rinse your meat and eggs for 30sec in boiling water and you reduce the already-low risk of salmonella poisoning (one in 30,000 risk of catching it from eggs, for example) by over 90%.

    practice good hygiene and salmonella is not a problem.

    as for that cavalier, unless an actual blood test was done, a vet cannot diagnose just be looking whether or not it was a bacterial infection. changing the dog’s food system every three days will make a dog sick, though.

  • threenorns

    instead of buying pre-pack raw food (which is subject to the same problems as commercial, re contamination with various products), just feed your dog *normal* food. the same stuff you eat yourself: raw meat and bone, fruits, veggies, and if you want, some oatmeal. rice is junk – it’s nothing but pasteboard filler. oatmeal is okay because it lacks gluten, which dogs have a very hard time processing and can cause gas and diarrhea.

    there’s nothing complicated about it: your dog needs meat (any kind: bird, animal, fish), edible bones (such as those found in chicken – backs, necks, wings, legs), chewing bones (marrowbones and knucklebones), raw fruit (my dog *loves* blueberries but also eats bananas, pears, avocado, and watermelon, for example – NO grapes, NO raisins!), raw veggies (he loves salad, grass, dandelion leaves, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, and sweet peas), starches (sweet potato), and some cooked (limit raw egg, as the biotin blocks absorption of nutrients and too much can lead to anaemia, for example, but you can give him cooked egg every day if he likes it; do not give raw potato – mashed is best; mine will eat canned pumpkin – not the pie filling, the actual pumpkin – and cooked squash, but won’t eat them raw; and oatmeal is best served cooked).

    wolves/dogs (dogs are not “Descended from” wolves, they ARE a subspecies of wolf) are not “carnivore” – they’re actual omnivores. by nature, they will eat meat, fruit, veggies, garbage, carrion, tubers they dig up, eggs, fish, and even worms, bugs, and grubs.

  • threenorns

    so GO already!!!!!

    and, btw, it’s spelled “craziness”. honestly, spell-check works, even for “medical professionals” (which area of medicine, btw – podiatry?)

  • threenorns

    newsflash: dogs (and yes, even humans!) were *designed* to deal with inimical bacteria.

    example: salmonella – dogs on raw food don’t get it, commercially-fed dogs do. this is because the commercial food is, unless excellent quality stuff (which only a small percentage of the dog owner population buys), loaded with corn and other cellulose. this dilutes the dog’s stomach acid, which is far higher than human’s (human stomach acid pH is about 5, which is enough to melt an engine block; dog stomach acid is 1-2, which is enough to melt not only the engine block, but the entire vehicle and leave a smoking crater in the tarmac below).

    as for the safety of raw food, maybe you haven’t been watching the news. every month, there’s a new recall for various contaminants (remember melamine?).

    my dog’s been eating raw food most of his life (he’ll be 5 on hallowe’en). it’s the exact same stuff the humans in the house eat and he’s never once been sick. the two times he turned his nose up and refused to eat the meat, i put on rubber gloves, got the tongs, put the meat back in the grocery bag, threw out the meat, the bag, and everything else that had even come into contact with them, then hosed everything (tongs, gloves, floor, fridge) with bleach because if the dog won’t eat it, it’s BAD.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Wow!!! Thank you Dr Mike for your sleuthing on this and all the other cases you’ve had to check out! It’s such a shame that you actually have to do it at all, and at the frequency that you seem to have to, but I am so glad you do so in order to keep the integrity of this amazing site and community.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hey Guys,

    The recent fraudulent event on this thread has been resolved. Please do not allow it to become an ongoing distraction to other visitors to this website.

    I must respectfully ask each of you to immediately cease any further contributions to this useless discussion. Thanks.

  • LabsRawesome

    My 8 year old has higher reading comprehension than “them”. LMAO

  • LabsRawesome

    That person is confused about way more stuff than just who “they” are. Lol.

  • LabsRawesome

    “We” LMAO.

  • Mike Sagman

    Your fraudulent use of this community to promote your deceptive agenda is unwelcome here.

    Please see my comment here on this thread which details the results of my investigation.