Primal Raw Frozen Formulas (Raw Frozen)
Primal Pronto Formulas Dog Food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.
The Primal Pronto Formulas product line includes six raw frozen recipes.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- Primal Pronto Canine Pork [A]
- Primal Pronto Canine Duck [A]
- Primal Pronto Canine Beef (3 stars) [A]
- Primal Pronto Canine Lamb (3 stars) [A]
- Primal Pronto Canine Chicken (3 stars) [A]
- Primal Pronto Canine Turkey and Sardine [A]
Primal Pronto Canine Lamb Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Primal Canine Lamb Formula
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb hearts, lamb livers, ground lamb bones, organic kale, organic carrots, organic squash, organic broccoli, organic apples, cranberries, blueberries, 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) = 9.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||38%||14%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||63%||10%|
The first ingredient is lamb 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 lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is ground lamb bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The fourth ingredient is organic 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 includes organic carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient is organic 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 seventh ingredient is organic 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 six notable exceptions…
First pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals and, more importantly, linoleic acid — an essential omega-6 fat, and dietary fiber.
Next, 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).
In addition, 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, this recipe also includes coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.1
Because of its proven safety2 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
We also note the inclusion of 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 vitamin E, although we find no mention of added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list, we’re reassured to find a detailed list of naturally present nutrients on the company’s website. 3
Primal Pronto Dog Food Review
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 Pronto Formulas dog food looks like an above-average raw product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 49% and a mean fat level of 35%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 9% 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 an abundance of meat.
However, with 63% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 28% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
Primal Pronto Formulas is a meat-based raw dog food using an abunance of named meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
Those attempting to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet this Primal Raw Frozen Formulas Dog Food makes a reasonable choice.
Primal Dog Food
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.
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
08/19/2017 Last Update
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩
- Primal Pet Foods, 10/01/2013 ↩