Primal Freeze-Dried Formula (Freeze-Dried)


Rating: ★★★★★

Primal Freeze-Dried Formula Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Primal Freeze-Dried Formula product line includes 7 freeze dried raw dog foods, 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 Freeze Dried Pork
  • Primal Freeze Dried Beef
  • Primal Freeze Dried Duck
  • Primal Freeze-Dried Venison
  • Primal Freeze Dried Lamb (4 stars)
  • Primal Freeze Dried Chicken (4 stars)
  • Primal Freeze Dried Turkey and Sardine

Primal Freeze-Dried Formula Beef recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Primal Freeze-Dried Formula Beef Recipe

Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 50% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 3%

Ingredients: Beef hearts, beef livers, ground beef bones, organic kale, organic carrots, organic yams, organic broccoli, organic apples, cranberries, blueberries, organic pumpkin seeds, organic sunflower seeds, minerals (zinc sulfate, copper carbonate, selenium), organic parsley, organic apple cider vinegar, salmon oil, organic coconut oil, organic quinoa sprout powder, dried organic kelp, alfalfa, natural vitamin E, mixed tocopherols (natural preservative)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis48%38%NA
Dry Matter Basis50%39%3%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%64%2%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 64% | Carbs = 2%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef 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 second ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient is ground beef 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 carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is yams. In much of North America, the word yam can be used interchangeably with the term sweet potatoes.

So, assuming this item is indeed sweet potatoes, it can be considered a good source of complex carbohydrates. In addition, yams are naturally rich in fiber, beta carotene and other healthy nutrients.

The seventh ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.

Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.

The eighth ingredient includes apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

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 four notable exceptions

First, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, we note the inclusion of 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.1

In addition, this food has alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

And lastly, except for the 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.

Primal Freeze-Dried Formula Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line somewhat favored 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.

Just the same, we still need to evaluate the product’s protein, fat and carbohydrate content.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 50%, a fat level of 39% and estimated carbohydrates of about 3%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 46% and a mean fat level of 33%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 14% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 72%.

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

Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a significant amount of meat.

However, with 64% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 33% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Primal Freeze-Dried Formula 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.

For even more raw diet suggestions, be sure to visit the Advisor’s Recommended Raw Dog Foods summary page.

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
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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

06/10/2015 Last Update

  1. Dr. Bruce Fife, Healthy Ways Newsletter, Vol 4:3
  • Michelle Joyce Alison

    I have an underweight 14 year old dog that should be 60 lbs ideally, but is about 52 lbs now. I used the company’s calculator on their website, and apparently I should be feeding her 30 “nuggets” a day for her to gain weight. Does anyone know what the approximate cost of this would be?

  • Jesse

    Thank you for the advice! And yes, I (shamelessly) think my Charlie is beautiful, too!

  • Jesse

    Thank you for sharing your experience! Bobby is lucky to have you as a dog parent! I’ll be sure to listen to my pup — even though she’s saying “More, more I want more,”

  • Jesse

    Thank you for the valuable insight and for the warm welcome, el doctor! I’m so glad you Reminded me about the probiotic, and to integrate raw diet VERY slowly. As pet owners we want the best for our dogs, and can sometimes be a bit too enthusiastic. Thank you again!

  • Hi Jesse, welcome to DFA

    Charlie girl is a beautiful golden!

    “However when Charlie smelled and tasted Primal for the first time, her eyes twinkled and immediately started to drool like crazy — I kid you not.”

    And she’s smart too!

    One thing I would do no matter which way you go on the mix or feed separately issue, is start slowly. Charlie’s gut is not used to a raw diet and starting with 10% raw and going up by 10% every 3rd day until you reach the 40% will help minimize any digestive issues.

    I would also add a probiotic to her diet 3 or 4 times a week to help boost the beneficial bacteria in her gut, which is a very good thing! Below are two budget friendly ones that are popular with the posters here;

    Good Luck with Charlie girl πŸ˜‰

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Jesse:
    She’s a beauty! I also top kibble regularly with commercial frozen or freeze dried raw. Primal is one of the companies I feed. Bobby loves and does well eating several meals a week this way. There are even several companies that have incorporated FD raw into their kibble such as Nature’s Variety, Merrick, and Natural Balance. If you decide to top her kibble with Primal, just listen to your pup, she will tell you how it’s going for her!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hahaha! Your pup is so silly and beautiful! Oh, boy, the question you ask has been brought up many times with many different answers. I can tell you that I mix raw with kibble four or five meals per week with no consequences. I feed both frozen raw food various proteins and freeze dried tripe as meal mixers with kibble and my dogs love it!!

  • Jesse

    Hi! I was recently introduced to Primal at my local pet store. I currently feed Kasik’s Pacific Fish (I used to feed First Mate but the potato was interfering with Charlie’s digestion), and my pup is thriving on it.

    However when Charlie smelled and tasted Primal for the first time, her eye twinkled and immediately started to drool like crazy — I kid you not. So I want to incorporate that into her diet. Would you recommend mixing kibble with Primal Freeze Dry? I would totally feed 100% Primal but it’s too expensive for me.

  • Fast Eddy

    Has anyone fed Darwin’s ? I feed both Primal and Darwin’s, but they don’t seem very excited and walk away from Primal pronto chicken and turkey variety. Im looking for a raw with bone that is ground up better or just contains bone meal. then in Darwin’s. Sometimes its shown to cause my poms problems and they hack and hack after.

  • We try to update the dog food reviews every 18 months. The Primal Raw Frozen formulas has recently been updated and the Pork formula received 5 stars.

  • David Ernie Ong

    Are you guys doing review for the new freeze-dried pork formula?

  • DAWN

    They have changed their formula now there is NO Sodium Selenite

  • DAWN

    I’m with ya Storm…I exactly as melissa said would happen..I didn’t like it at all..To much trouble when severely disabled…I’m very happy and satisfied using the freeze dried and the already made frozen raw of Primal Pronto πŸ™‚

  • DAWN

    My Sophie Girl loved fresh pet..but..she gained egads of weight from it (Its high in fat) I was giving her the amount it said on the package for her weigh…actually i gave her a little less and she still gained so much weight πŸ™

  • DAWN

    awww. that is Great news πŸ™‚ you wrote this review 9 mos is 2/16/15 I’m just wondering how your fur baby is doing now? πŸ™‚

  • DAWN

    I have read many reviewers say it helped their pancreatitis..but..I’m no dr…just letting you know what I have read..You also can call Primal they have excellent customer service! and of course always check with your vet about..any..changes πŸ™‚

  • DAWN

    I think…you could Sophia..just do it very very slow…crush up the nuggets of the freeze dried and just..sprinkle…on top of whatever food your feeding now..this way it wouldn’t be a major change ya know? maybe at first try it every other day (Sprinkling of it) and then if no problems…each week increase the amount your sprinkling.. I think he/she would be fine doing it that way..Raw def is the most nutritious for our fur babies πŸ™‚ (That’s MY opinion anyways lol ) p.s. if…just small amounts of the sprinkles bother him/her either decrease the amount your doing or….just stop…It won’t hurt..maybe a looser stool etc…but i think its worth a try…I love their stools on raw (I know that sounds weird lol..but its a known fact the larger the out put the less nutrition their getting..smaller is always better that means the dog is absorbing all the good stuff in the food πŸ™‚

  • DAWN

    I’m sure one day they will have the Pronto freeze dried too..but I love that its frozen seems fresher and better for them than freeze dried ( IMO) only πŸ™‚

  • DAWN

    I Love the Pronto option now! My 2 Beagles like the raw more than the freeze dried. I love that you don’t have to worry thawing out the frozen raw with the Pronto. It’s so easy and convenient to use πŸ™‚

  • DAWN

    I have 2 Beagle girls…They weren’t as fond of the S&C food…they ate it…but they love love Primal the best..Orijen also sells freeze dried but a few bucks more expensive and also..the Protein to Fat ratio is 95%!!!! Not good if you don’t want your fur baby gain weight! We rotate that with THK and sometimes Grandma’s Lucy…I can not afford both their meals to be raw πŸ™ so i buy a case of the Merrick That is on the weight loss list on here. I hate I have to have canned as one meal but my circumstances doesn’t allow 2 meals for 2 beagles of raw….

  • DAWN

    on they sell the goats milk in packets (you get 16 packets a box) then you just add water..each packet equals a cup after mixing with the water…I love this options instead of a bottle of it that can go bad fast..Just thought I’d let all of you know about this option πŸ™‚

  • She threw up a couple of times (very unlike her) and she seemed to cough a lot, was feeling nauseous. (Lip licking)

    I have since stopped the frozen patties and am back to the Primal freeze-dried nuggets. No problems.

    I ordered the Instinct freeze-dried 15oz bag on Amazon because they had a 10% off coupon. ($27.99 – $2.80 coupon)

  • Jolene

    I got a free bottle with a bag of frozen as a promotion a while back and it was perfect for adding calories to my new underweight rescue. He and my elderly chihuahua went nuts for it! They digested it just fine and I gave them a bit more than suggested since I didn’t want to refreeze. I believe they recommend using up a bottle within a week and both my dogs are under 15lbs. Hope that helps!

  • Dori

    Is your dog intolerant of poultry? I can’t feed anything that contains poultry of any sort due to one of my dogs food intolerances so I was just wondering. Not feeling well in what way?

  • Dori

    Primal Pronto is probably their most expensive of their formulas due to the process but it is the same food as their formulas that they sell in patty form. They sell two different size patties one is more of a medium size the other is a large size. Patties are more cost effective. I like having a bag of the Primal Pronto in the freezer because if I’ve forgotten to defrost food for the next day (patty form) then I can just scoop out the correct amount of the Pronto (“kibble like” bits) directly from the bag in the freezer to their bowls and in approx. 15 minutes it’s soft to the touch and ready for feeding.

  • Dori

    Do you mean Aunt Jeni’s ? I don’t know of an Aunt Lucy’s freeze dried. Aunt Jeni’s is a raw dog food. As to Grandma Lucy’s I’ve tried it, or should I say my dogs have tried it, the amount of poop was astronomical. I have three toy dogs and I’m accustomed to poops on raw foods which are very small and no smell to them. I do have THK in rotation from time to time and poops are larger in size (more like kibble fed dogs) but larger, not pooping all day long copious amounts and the smell was horrendous.

  • Have your heard of Aunt Lucy’s? Or Grandma Lucy’s freeze dried? I saw it for the first time today and wanted some thoughts. πŸ™‚

  • Sorry for the delay, can’t figure out Disquis.

    I talked with the owner of the feed store I shop at and he advised against the Pronto as it wouldn’t last me long. We tried the Chicken Primal Patties and my pup isn’t feeling well…Can’t be positive that’s the problem, but I’m back to the freeze dried now and will watch for any improvement. (We’ll be going into the vet next week)

  • Dori

    I did see your comment re Sojo’s which I agree with. I would never feed Sojo’s. I’m sure you probably know this already but the Primal Pronto Formula actually looks sort of like kibble so you just scoop the food out of the bag with whatever measuring cup you use and your hands never touch the food itself. My dogs (3) get 1/4 cup twice a day and my hands don’t touch the food or, my hands don’t have to touch the food. Then you could feed your cat the freeze dried and it would be less costly. Primal is my favorite of all commercial raw foods that I have fed. It is always in rotation at my house for my three dogs.

  • And I do only feed this as a meal for my dog. Not just a topper or treat. That’s why it’s expensive of course, but it’s great stuff! If you saw my comment on the Sojo’s you’ll see why I prefer the Primal!

    I have a problem with handling raw meat, that’s my issue with the raw. (Other than the cat won’t eat it)

  • LS9138

    My cat will not eat this otherwise I would have already tried it! My dog, no problem!

  • Dori

    Hi LS9138. Have you thought about using Primal Pronto Raw as opposed to their freeze dried. The freeze dried is much more expensive than the raw. I noticed today on they are having a sale on Primal. One 14 oz. bag of Primal Freeze Dried beef is $26.89 whereas a 4 lb. bag of Primal Pronto Raw is $31.59. Huge difference. Primal is one of the foods in rotation of commercial raw foods that I feed my dogs. Just a thought. Freeze dried is a more expensive process to make than raw.

    I think a lot of people that feed freeze dried are using it as a topper with kibble (?) or as treats because of the expense of feeding solely freeze dried. When I do purchase freeze dried it’s used more as a treat or for traveling which is a great option.

  • LS9138

    This stuff is great and my dog loves it. The only problem is, it is VERY expensive. Of course, it’s great food responsibly processed. But I literally will buy a bag 3 times week. EEK! I think I need to buy stock in Primal!

    Very few and small, solid stools on this food. I have also not had a problem maintaining my dogs weight on this food. She would go up and down in weight with dry kibble. My vet would tell me she’s too heavy, then I’d cut back and she’d be too skinny! I don’t have this problem with Primal now; She’s the perfect weight and in excellent condition at 10 years old.

    I also feed this to my cat. He was from a hoarder and lived with 73 other cats in a one bedroom trailer. Of course that means he was sick. He came to the shelter and was diagnosed with calicivirus, a painful infection in the mouth making chewing dry food hard for him. I crush up these nuggets and he has NO problem eating it! This stuff is literally a life saver for him. (He won’t eat canned foods)

  • LS9138

    “Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.” It’s not a necessary part of a dogs diet, possibly used as a cheap filler.

  • LS9138

    I wish the cat one was a smaller size. I have to manually crush each nugget in the bag. Kind of starts to hurt my hands after a while!

    I just figured out that Stella & Chewy’s’ cat formulas are much smaller. However, I went to my local feed store today and the owner said they were having an issue currently with the facility and haven’t manufactured the freeze dried cat foods in about 6 weeks? Random.

    Anyway, nice small poops with this food!

  • Guest

    Careful topping your dry kibble with raw food, some dogs do ok, but most dogs will have major digestive upset because they digest at different rates. (Raw is about 3 hrs, and dry kibble is about 9 hrs)

  • Dori

    Wouldn’t that be fabulous!!! Freeze dried Pronto…I’d buy out the store. Great idea Sandy.

  • I’ve bought all dog flavors except chicken and I bought some cat beef/sardine. The boys love them all! And the cat freeze dried is the same size as the dog freeze dried. I wish they would freeze dry the Pronto foods!

  • CrazyCrab12

    This stuff is actually great hermit crab food. It’s better than any of the commercial crab foods out there with no copper sulfate, EQ or BHT. And all the ingredients are organic, so there is no nasty pesticides to kill my crabbies. When I first gave it to them, they ate half a nugget in an hour! they normally eat barely a teaspoon of food in a day. If anyone wants to learn about hermit crab nutrition go to it is like DFA but its for hermit crabs.

  • Ryan

    Can I get some opinions on primal’s raw goats milk? I’ve read many lists of benefits, I just want to see real feedback. Also curious if anyone knows how it helps with diabetes. Thanks!

  • JeremyScottRenolds

    You may want to try Vital Essentials and Trupet. My dogs like them better than the other freeze dried. Only thing is they need to be soaked longer than the regular freeze dried foods. You can soak in am and feed pm, make sure to refrigerate while soaking. Also you can crumble favorite treats, or any food your dog loves, on meals to make food more palatable.

  • Jose

    Thank you guys! I will experiment with a different raw food brand and introduce it with kibble

  • Dori

    My dogs diets consist of mostly commercial raw diets but I will say that Stella & Chewy’s is their least favorite. I’m not crazy about it’s texture or scent. I haven’t fed it in quite a while. Maybe you could try a different commecial raw and see how it goes.

  • Bobby dog

    Awwwww! I love when they enjoy their dinner at the end of the day. I am only feeding the turkey & sardine out of this line right now; I am watching Bobby’s fat intake. He liked the beef too. I have a bag of NV freeze dried lamb to try soon.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Bobby, I have a sample of the Turkey and Sardine. I tried to Lamb this evening to both girls. They gobbled it up!

  • theBCnut

    You could try adding a little bit to his kibble so he can get used to the flavor. Or you could switch to canned first then switch to raw.

  • Jose

    I have a beagle mix that refuses to eat raw food! I had him on Stella and Chewy’s and he would just walk around aimlessly not eating. He eats farmina just fine but I would like to make the full transition to a raw based diet. Suggestions PLEASE!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thanks for the recommendation Bobby!

  • Bobby dog

    Fingers crossed for you. Bobby still recommends the Turkey & Sardine!!!! πŸ˜‰

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I got my samples of this today. I’m going to try it with the girls dinner. They aren’t picky at all so im sure they will like it. It’s hard to tell how well they will do on it with just one sample each. Next week im going to pick up a bag of it. They may not both do well on it but im sure one will.

    I can always hope both will!

  • theBCnut

    A great diet does work wonders, but you may find that making small changes is a better way to go so you don’t upset your dogs system. Not knowing what your dog is on, but assuming it is some regular kibble, I would suggest upgrading a little bit at a time. Maybe a food like Zignature would be a good match for your dog and his issues. It has quality proteins which he needs, but it also has the fiber level that will keep his bowels moving nicely. You can transition to it very slowly to give him plenty of time to adjust to the new food. Just give him 1/4 new food and 3/4 old food for about a week and make absolutely sure that he is completely used to the addition to his food before adding more. Normal stools, regular movements, all that stuff. If he is showing any irregularity at all, leave him on 1/4 new and 3/4 old for longer, until you are sure he is completely acclimated. Then give him half and half, new and old, again at least a week, but more if needed. Then 3/4 new and 1/4 old, and finally all new food. Make sure you are decreasing the food each time you give more new, if it has a higher calorie count than he usually gets. The absolute worst thing for a dachshund is to be overweight, so always measure his food careful and adjust the amount often as his body condition changes. Never allow him to free feed, only let him eat at regular meal times. You want him to be trim like an athlete, that is best for his back to recover and become strong again.

  • Sophia

    Ok thank you. I was just told of stories with people’s pets healing from the diet change and am willing to try anything right now. Holding on tight but being realistic too. πŸ™

  • theBCnut

    That may be a huge change for his guts to handle. Also, does he have any stool issues? This is a high protein food with little in the way of fiber and is known for making really small stools, something not always recommended for a Dachshund with back problems.

  • Sophia

    Do you think it would be ok to switch my 16 year old dachsund to this food? He can’t walk right now and we’re just trying to keep him around for as long as we can. Working with a neurologist on different treatments now.

  • AnaG.

    Hi all, I was wondering if anyone knows if Primal is safe for a dog with pancreatitis?

  • Cyndi

    That’s ok, take your time. I appreciate it Shawna! I know it’s a pretty long read. I totally forgot about how long it was when I asked you to read it, lol!

  • Red

    Thank you again! I look forward to doing some well informed reading! πŸ™‚

  • Shawna

    My original post cut off. Let’s try this again.

    You are very kind Red!! Thank you πŸ™‚

    The below may comfort you even more.

    1. Vet Dr. Karen Becker has a great video on raw feeding that can be seen here.

    2. Dr. Meg Smart is a vet, nutritionist and taught veterinary nutrition for some 30 years. She writes in one article “I see a benefit in feeding whole foods whether cooked or raw. Genetically the dog and the anatomy of its digestive tract are closely aligned with that of the wolf. So we can use this as a dietary model when designing diets for the domestic dog.” And here is her blog if you have any interest in looking around.

    And there are MANY more vets that feed and recommend raw that can easily be verified online.. πŸ™‚

  • Shawna

    Hi Cyndi,

    I started reading it last night but wasn’t able to finish. I have plans this evening but should have time tomorrow to finish reading all the replies and your subsequent comments. πŸ™‚ Some thoughts popped in my head but were addressed by others, or yourself, as I read on…

  • Red

    Thank you Shawna!

    It sounds like your group of dogs is just as cute! I wish I had the time, space and resources to have as many as you do! I especially love the sweetheart in your picture, so cute and such a sweet face!!

    You have given me so much more confidence in my choice now. My biggest concern has been surrounding dangerous bacteria. I’ve done quite a bit of research and heard so many different opinions but it really doesn’t seem to be as big of a concern as many would like people to believe. It feels more like a misinformed scare tactic by other companies to try and draw people away.

    It’s so refreshing to hear first hand you have never experienced this issue. In fact, it sounds extremely successful and you have very healthy, happy dogs! Your dog family is very lucky to have such a well informed and smart mom!

    Thanks for responding and many, many thanks!!

  • Cyndi

    Hi Shawna, any chance, when you get a sec, you could read thru my forum post and tell me what you think. No hurry, just whenever you get a sec. I’d really appreciate any opinions and input you may have. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • Shawna

    Hi Red,

    CUTE puppies!!!

    I have eight dogs ranging in weight from four to twelve pounds. Four of them have been on raw for eight years or longer. The remaining four have been on raw since coming to me (which was about five to six years ago if my memory isn’t failing me).

    The health concerns my babies have had have all been made better by going on raw. Cloee the four pound Chi came to me at age nine years and is now 18. She was in poor health including eye issues when she got here. Her health greatly improved. The pup in my avatar came to me at nine weeks of age already with kidney disease just under eight years ago. I wouldn’t feed her anything but raw. Mimi came to me OBESE. She lost over half her body weight eating 1/4 cup kibble topped with a teaspoon of canned and a heaping tsp of raw.

    I’ve also had adult Boston Terrier foster dogs that GREATLY improved in health on raw. With most of the fosters I had to use raw as a topper so they could be transitioned to kibble easily at their new homes, but I had two that had issues so I fed them exclusively raw which really helped them.

    I can’t think of even one health issue that was due to them eating raw.

  • Red

    Hey Shawna,
    It seems like you are very well informed in the dog food department! I am very new to freeze-dried dog food and currently have my ladies on Primal freeze dried and Ziwipeak dehydrated, Primal for breakfast and Ziwipeak for dinner. I read one of your comments mentioning you have many toy dogs. How do they do on their raw food diet? Have you ever had an health concerns about them on it?

    Many Thanks!!

  • Red

    Hey Everyone, I just noticed that Primal has now removed sodium selenite from the ingredient list in all their dog freeze-dried formulas. It has now been replaced with selenium… That hopefully gives us all peace of mind now!
    Mike… I am curious as to why alfalfa is listed as controversial, there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for that?

  • Marite Cheglov

    Hello,how you find out that your Chihuahua has kidney problems. I have one too he is 9 yrs.old 11lb.and always has tommy problems,his stool to loos,im cooking for him every morning chicken,vet recommended for him Flora but still same problems.I like to try Primal Chicken….

  • SP
  • Vincent

    I fed my dog (minpin) merrick for nine years. Last year I noticed difficulty with his mobility. The vets put him on prednisone. In March he was barely able to walk and I was within days of putting him down. A friend suggested I switch him to a raw diet (primal dried freeze). Within days he appeared to be getting better. He is now off his medication and practically running around like a puppy again.

  • Robert De Jesus

    puppy crack, plain and simple.

  • Erika

    I normally feed my shih Tzu Fresh Pet Deli, but he began to not eat it or only eat a small amount. I decided to try the Primal chicken and he LOVES it. He licks the bowl clean every time! Now I alternate between the Fresh Pet and Primal. Seems to have done the trick.

  • Spice Gongjoo

    what kind of wellness food u feed to ur dogs, I like to try and along with primal FD food as supplement or topper thanks!

  • theBCnut

    I forgot to mention that they do tell me when it is time to start getting dinner ready. Right now I have 3 sets of eyes trying to drill holes in me. I can feel that Border Collie stare.

  • dchassett

    Yep! I feed in them in their crates also and that’s exactly what they do. Fling themselves when I’ve got their bowls in my hand. The crates actually rattle they do it with such enthusiasm. Dogs are such characters, they make me smile and laugh every day with their antics.

  • theBCnut

    LOL!! The second day I fed raw was when they started that, and it was my extremely wild, hyper nut BC puppy that started it. It’s kind of creepy because it is a very intense sort of predatory stare. I think his intensity affected the other two.

  • Crazy4cats

    Well, your dogs are obviously much more mature than the others! Lol!

  • theBCnut

    Mine had the opposite reaction when I started feeding raw. They used to dance around and trip me up when I was getting their kibble out, but now they lie down and stare intently at every move I make. When I make the move to pick up their bowls in prep for carrying them to the crates, the dogs jump up and run to their crates and fling themselves in. They never dance around or trip me up anymore.

  • dchassett

    My dogs are crazy about Primal. They do best on Primal foods. They all do get a little frantic because apparently they don’t think I’m preparing their meals fast enough, even my old 14 year. They run around the kitchen jumping and squealing. Lola, Yorkipoo, actually cries and squeals the entire time. I rotate their meals but I have to say that Primal is their favorite and they don’t act this nutty on other brands.

  • Shawna

    I had to laugh out loud picturing your dogs in my head.. πŸ™‚ Mine eat raw and they dance, and one even drools a bit, while I’m prepping and putting the bowls down. The drooler is a Papillon, so not a breed that normally drools. πŸ™‚

  • Guest

    There was a vendor rep for Primal at our veterinarian’s office, and she offered me a sample for each of my dogs saying “this stuff is like crack for dogs.” Both my Whoodles have very sensitive guts, and I’ve been feeding them Wellness brand with prebiotic fiber and probiotics. They’ve been doing so well on that brand that I was really hesitant to mess with success. At dinner feeding that same night I added the sample brick of the Primal Freeze-Dried Beef to their Wellness (cutting back a bit on the Wellness because the Primal Freeze-Dried expand when hydrated), and I have never seen my dogs so excited about food in all their lives. I immediately bought a bag of this stuff because they just seemed so happy eating it. Since then, they have each gotten one hydrated brick per meal. They come charging when they see me walk to their dog food storage bin. They’ve never done this before. They LOVE this stuff, and I love that it’s really good food and doesn’t upset their tummies.

  • Guest

    There was a vendor rep for Primal at our veterinarian’s office, and she offered me a sample for each of my dogs saying “this stuff is like crack for dogs.” Both my Wheatens have very sensitive guts, and I’ve been feeding them Wellness brand with prebiotic fiber and probiotics. They’ve been doing so well on that brand that I was really hesitant to mess with success. At dinner feeding that same night I added the sample brick of the Primal Freeze-Dried Beef to their Wellness (cutting back a bit on the Wellness because the Primal Freeze-Dried expand when hydrated), and I have never seen my dogs so excited about food in all their lives. I immediately bought a bag of this stuff because they just seemed so happy eating it. Since then, they have each gotten one hydrated brick per meal. They come charging when they see me walk to their dog food storage bin. They’ve never done this before. They LOVE this stuff, and I love that it’s really good food and doesn’t upset their tummies.

  • Cyndi

    Lmao!! Love it!

  • Storm’s Mom

    LOL, thanks!! ..but, ummmmm, no! πŸ˜‰ I wouldn’t/couldn’t go that far!! Reminds me of the slogan the lottery uses here: “know your limit, play within it” πŸ˜‰ I suspect the likes of Primal, sardines, etc are as close as I’ll get to “going raw” …for at least a long while, anyway..

    Btw, we went rom 1 nugget last night to 3 with a smaller amount of kibble this morning.. still going well πŸ™‚

  • Melissaandcrew

    Excellent! Just wait until you start feeding it more and more..then you start thinking, “Hey, I can make this at home for Less” and ” then I know the quality of the ingredients” ..One thing will lead to another, and before you realize it, you own a grinder, 2000 zip lock bags, Plastic freezer containers of every size known to man, several restaurant dish totes/pans, a new knife set, food processor, freezer,etc.
    You will then clap like its Christmas when your supplies of hundreds of pounds of raw “components” arrive, while hubby and/family look on like you have lost your ever loving mind. You will continue to gleefully swing that cleaver until the last piece is prepped and packaged.. Tired, you will congratulate yourself on getting through all of it, only to look around and realize that now you and your kitchen look like a small slaughter house. Welcome! lol

  • Pattyvaughn

    We’ve created another one!! Mwhaa haa haa!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Put a hydrated nugget of Primal Freeze-Dried Duck in with Storm’s current kibble (Wholesome Blend GF Turf) tonight to give it a try…. huuuuuuuge hit!! I’ve got a small bag that says to use it up in 4-5 days after opening, I think it was, so will add a few more to his kibble tomorrow… just wanted to see how it would go over tonight. We watched it hydrate, and it looked like it was taking every ounce of restraint he had to wait until I gave him the word to start eating!! πŸ˜‰ Storm will be an even happier camper than usual for the next few days, I suspect πŸ˜‰ Appeared to firm up and shrink his poop just that little bit more, too, which is always nice to see. Our first toe dip into far so good!

  • Vicks

    Thanks Mike, for the clarifications.

    I assume that the beef, duck and turkey and sardine formulas are rated 5 stars?

  • Vicks,

    Thanks for your comment. However, this report is current and does not need to be updated.

    I’ve already written extensively about sodium selenite and High Pressure Processing.

    Hope this helps explain why these issues have no effect on our rating of this product.

  • Vicks

    Kindly reevaluate and update the ratings for Primal Freeze dried for it contains sodium selenite. It is a controversial ingredient and needs to be flagged.

    Sorry, but how does 2 (Lamb/chicken) formula tht has 4 stars constitute to a 5 star rating?

    Also, kindly note that some of Primal’s formulas undergo a HPP process. It is stated on their website.

  • Debs

    My 8 year old chihuahua (6 lbs) began having kidney issues last year. I threw away everything she was eating, food and treats. I put her on the Primal Beef F.D. Raw Formula diet and Primal chicken and turkey treats. She is back to her frisky self, plays like a puppy again. I recently told my sister about it and she started her allergy ridden dog on the Primal F.D. Raw as well. Her dog’s allergies are nearly gone and she has her old spirit back. Lots of new found energy.. at 16 years of age! I will eventually try the Primal frozen raw too but for right now this works for us.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Most raw feeders recommend starting with chicken as the first protein you feed and allowing the dog to adjust to that before trying other proteins, so yeah the chicken would be a good protein to use first.

    I would try OC Raw, I’d say it’s superior to Nature’s Variety Instinct’s raw because Nature’s Variety uses high pressure processing – OC Raw doesn’t.

  • Chrissy

    I purchased a bag of primal freeze dried chicken to try with the pugs who have a hard time adjusting to raw foods – is this a good protein to start with them? My other one has done alright on raw, so he has been getting some S&C duck duck goose.

    Also, I won a raffle at a pet shop and brought home on accident Primal – Turkey realizing it was cat formula, but was told it was alright to feed to the pugs. I am new to the freeze dried formulas and wondering why chicken received a 4 star – is the chicken alright to try with the more sensitive ones?

    We were also thinking about trying OC Raw with them – revisiting the raw diet with them – the pet store we go to is just amazing and they speak so highly about it. They have told us that it would be worth trying that brand out and it is much different then the NVI we had tried prior – do you know how the two are different?

    Our main food is kibble and we are adding this on as a topper for now – although it would be nice if we could use the FD raw and raw on a more consistent basis, however, currently I have been really ill and my hubby has been working out of town – not to mention no matter how hard we have tried in the past, only one of the four adjusted – the others were very sensitive no matter how slooooow we went. Thanks for the help! I ALWAYS appreciate ALL of the help everyone gives to me! It is so wonderful to have this site to turn to – thank you ALL for taking the time to do this for the fur-babies out there! <3 Chrissy

  • Pattyvaughn

    You are right a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and it appears that is exactly what you have.

  • Shawna

    I have 8 toy breed dogs that eat a variety of commercial raw and raw with premixes. I have never had an issue feeding these 8 dogs primarily cow heart with a premix. Heart is an organ but unlike other organs is also muscle and can be interchanged with any other muscle meat.

    I understand, and agree with, your stance on the use of isolated minerals and vitamins (especially if synthetic — which minerals are not from my understanding). But, I am just as concerned with the high pressure pasteurization done to Nature’s Variety foods and personally would not feed them to any of my dogs as I feel they are technically no longer raw. In which case I could as Mike to down grade Natures Variety just as you are asking him to down grade Primal because of your concerns. (I quit using Primal when they started using HPP as well.)

    Primal Lamb is pretty high in fat. For a dog not used to that high fat I’m guessing diarrhea could be an issue. Could it have been the fat maybe?

    Check out Darwins.. Don’t use synthetics. Don’t use high pressure pasteurization. Really good balance of protein/fats/carbs. REALLY fresh as it is delivered right to your door shortly after processing.. They have an introductory trial offer that is really cost effective to boot. πŸ™‚

  • Dog Food Ninja

    there are scarcely more than a handful of reviews on this site that applaud a food from a major commercial manufacturer. Look at the review for most any science diet or purina product. If you actually read the variety of articles on this site, you will find that the Advisor more than favors raw foods. but as a reviewer of products, and a wise man who understands that the majority will continue to feed kibble, he must review kibble on a difference spectrum. also, being that this post was a response to something I wrote, I want you to realize that I am not affiliated with the dog food advisor, I am simply just another poster on the forum.

  • Sarah.K

    After eating Primal Lamb, my dogs had almost diarrhea like stools and this I believe, is due to the “richness” and amount of hearts in Primal’s formula since I have no such problems with Nature’s Variety.

    I find it absurd to see garlic having a RED warning as a controversial ingredient and nothing for Sodium Selenite, a known toxin. It seems that there is a bias here towards outdated kibble funded research and recommendations on nutrition. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and from what I have read here, I will no longer be visiting this site for any advice on raw natural diets.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Heart is also a good source of taurine and it’s low fat, so it’s an excellent source of protein.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    I wouldn’t be concerned with the heart being the primary protein. It is, after all, just a muscle, and has the same amino acid profile as the skeletal meat. I have nothing to add about the sodium selenite, but I do also question the long term safety of amalgams.

  • Sarah. K

    I see Primal’s Lamb and Beef formulas only contain Lamb/Beef Hearts and Livers as their ONLY meat source. You mean wolves and other carnivores will only eat hearts and livers of their preys??? I tried it because of its 5 star rating here and after transitioning them from Nature’s Variety, my dogs experienced bouts of diarrhea and I am noticing increased fur loss and chewing. I see that Primal adds synthetic minerals into their formulas including Sodium Selenite and the long term toxicity from feeding it daily.

    I read your article on Sodium Selenite and you seem to be saying that a little ‘poison’ that doesn’t kill you immediately is fine. You, being a dentist, would you say dental amalgams with its mercury content is safe since it leeches out so slowly, it doesn’t kill you right away?

    As another guest mentioned “The msds for sodium selenite gives it a 3 for health, thats pretty bad.. I will look for sodium selenite free foods in the future. I read that sodium selenite accumulates over time in your dog so long term effects can sure be worse than the immediate toxic effects. Yeah I guess in a couple of years sodium selenite will be in the same category as menadione and they that defend it will become less and less. ”

    Kindly re-evaluate this brand as I don’t see how you can in good conscience give it a 5 star rating.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I use Primal FD as a topper for my dogs’ Acana Duck or Lamb dry kibble. I add water and a pre/prob/enzyme supplement. They love it and are doing great.

  • gif127

    That’s interesting to know. Thanks for the review. I agree, the price is steep and I alternate chicken, beef and lamb for our Welsh Terrier, sprinkled over Orijien hard kibble. She just loves it!

  • ohnoesaz

    This is a great food but, for the price, there are much better dehydrated/freeze dried options.

  • Mary Lou

    Thanks so much for this review! When I was last at the store, the owner was trying to talk me into giving this food a try. I told him I would have to look into it. Thanks for doing all the work for me! : )

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