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 raw dog foods.

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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Primal Freeze Dried Duck [A]
  • Primal Freeze Dried Rabbit [A]
  • Primal Freeze Dried Venison [A]
  • Primal Freeze Dried Beef (4 stars) [A]
  • Primal Freeze Dried Lamb (2.5 stars) [A]
  • Primal Freeze Dried Chicken (2.5 stars) [A]
  • Primal Freeze Dried Turkey and Sardine [A]

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 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, 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 includes 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 lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

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

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 is 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 five notable exceptions

First, we find montmorillonite clay, 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, we note the inclusion of 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.

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.

Next, pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and, more importantly, linoleic acid — an essential omega-6 fat.

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

Judging by its ingredients alone, Primal Freeze-Dried Formula Dog Food looks like an above-average raw product.

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 47% and a mean fat level of 33%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 12% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.

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 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 an abundance 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
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 entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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

08/19/2017 Last Update

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  • Svetlana Shuster

    My puppy used to love this food and now all of a sudden he has no interest. He does have interest in my food though. Should I just let him not eat until he agrees to eat his food?

  • aimee

    Hi CyberbOb,

    As long as you feed appropriate calories the dog won’t gain weight on a high fat diet, Even in the above fat fed dog model example the dogs overall weight didn’t change significantly just the body composition. From the pictures it looks like there is individual variation in this regard

    I also agree that a calorie isn’t always a calorie. For example fat calories are more efficiently stored as fat as they are already in the storage form. Protein, before being stored as fat, has to undergo changes which come at an energy cost. So while a calorie of fat will be stored as nearly a calorie of fat a calorie of protein when stored as fat will result in less than a calorie in the storage form. .

    I don’t disagree that weight loss can be achieved with a high fat moderate protein diet. Any diet when fed at a level of energy lower then needed will result in weight loss.

    If you have peer reviewed research that supports your idea that weight loss in more efficient on a high fat moderate protein low carb diet vs other macronutrient profiles please post it here.

  • cyberb0b

    A calorie isn’t a calorie. High fat, moderate protein diets cause weight loss when junk carbs are excluded with almost no exercise required. I feed both of my senior, low activity dogs, this diet and they are a perfect weight. Even if they get a little too much food.

  • cyberb0b

    Except that everything I’ve read recently about Orijen is negative. Seems that since they changed to a plant in Kentucky to make the food they sell in the US. Since then, there have been a massive amount of complaints about the degradation of the health in previously healthy dogs. I would read the most recent discussion about Orijen in that forum before I committed to trying it out.

  • aimee

    Hi cyberbOb

    i find the ratings consistent. It isn’t that high fat is being “dinged” so much as a lower rating is given when it displaces protein leading to a lower protein diet.

    For example the chicken protein content on caloric basis is 21% (2.5 stars), lamb is 21%(2.5 stars) , beef is 26%( 4 stars) and duck 32%(5 stars)

    Personally I don’t follow the star ratings. I used to use some Primal as a topper, cooked. The company coudn’t answer basic nutritional questions and there was a lot of misinformation printed in their literature. The company didn’t strike me as being very knowledgeable.

  • cyberb0b

    I’ve lost faith in the reviews here. There seems to be no consistency in the food ratings. One beef product gets dinged for the high fat content and another does not. There is no empirical evidence that higher fat in the diet is bad for dogs when feeding a prey or raw diet. Companies like Answers uses a high fat regimen to help treat cancer, and I personally used a high fat diet to lose over 240lbs and am now in perfect health. This is not “added” or artificial fat that we are talking about here. This is fat that occurs NATURALLY in the proteins that we are feeding. Not all calories, carbs, and fats are equal. It’s not as if these products are deep fried in Crisco.

  • Dee

    I gave my dog one nugget of the freeze dry beef and he’s like burping and food comes up much like we have indigestion. Why is this or his body can’t take the high fat content? He’s 7 mos and the 11 yrs old vomited all morning too. Same thing happened with the beef primal pronto which I did warm up a bit as they refused to eat cold.

  • Camilla Alexandra Lettini

    I was shocked to see the Chicken had a lower rating and don’t really understand the reasoning for it.

  • aimee

    Excess calories and insufficient exercise leads to obesity but the fat fed dog model is interesting. Calories are kept the same and fewer are fed as protein and carbohydrate and more are fed as fat. Fat stores increase!
    “This[canine] animal model develops visceral and subcutaneous fat deposition
    when the diet is enriched with fat, even without an increase in total calories (13, 14).

  • Shea

    I feel differently about that now. I actually don’t worry about it. I gave Sadie a lower fat food a few months ago and it didn’t make a difference with her weight. I just give her less food than what is suggested and limit her calories. Thanks for the advice.

  • Jordan Maslin

    Perhaps I am missing something somewhere in dog dietary research, but where does it say that fat in dog foods will make dogs fat? From what I understand, a diet rich in protein in fats for humans actually can help with weight loss.

  • Rachel

    Why is the chicken rated as 2.5%? It seems Beef and Duck would be fattier than lean chicken, yet Beef and Duck are scored higher? Lamb scored low as well. Also, Primal makes a Rabbit and Pheasant, yet those aren’t included here.

  • Rachel

    Strange that Primal chicken scored lower than Beef, Duck. It seems lamb and chicken received lowest scores. which confused me b/c I thought chicken would be leanest.

  • LJ

    Whatever carb content in Vital Essentials is naturally occurring whereas Primal the carbs also come from the added fruits and veggies.

  • Shea

    I wish Merrick had sample bags but pretty sure they don’t. The smallest bag is 4 pounds which takes Sadie a month to get through anyway. Sadie still loves her Primal Turkey and Sardine though every morning. It seems to be lower in fat than any I’ve seen.

  • alleycat

    I am trying to compare the Primal and the Vital Essentials. Both freeze dried. The graphs and charts on dogfoodadvisor show Primal with very little carbs although Primal has quite a few fruits and vegetables. The graph for Vital Essentials shows that it has considerably more carbs but it contains exclusively meats with no vegetables or fruits. This is confusing. I am looking for a lower carb food for one of my dogs but not sure about the graphs and charts in comparison to the ingredients.

  • Memphis’s Mom

    You’re welcome! I’d buy two sample bags. One Orijen and one Merrick, and you should take it from there which one your dog likes best. You could even do a rotation between the two.

  • Shea

    As far as I know, Merrick’s formulas aren’t being changed with the buyout. I’m hearing with US made Orijen that the formulas have been changed and dogs are getting sick. I may get a sample bag when I shop at my pet store and see how she does on it. Thanks for your recommendations.

  • Shea

    That’s so good to know. I feed Sadie Fromm Gamebird but about to change to something lower fat. I was looking at Merrick Healthy Weight and Merrick Lil Plates Salmon because both are more meat based and have lower fat and calories. Also looking at Orijen Senior but it has more calories. I do only feed her a little over half a cup a day. I’ve been researching so much! Trying to make sure carbs are low too.

  • Memphis’s Mom

    I’d consult to your vet about this problem. You should tell your vet what you’ve been feeding her, and the con of her throwing it all up later. Maybe get her tested for allergies, if she is also scratching more than often, licking, chewing her paws, and has red, irritated skin. If she’s not, then I would just go with she’s probably eating it too fast and heavy exercise right afterwards can cause the vomiting issue. Always monitor how much your dog eats, not too little and not too much. πŸ™‚

  • Memphis’s Mom

    Are you mixing her nuggets with kibble? Like using it as a topper? In that case you should mix about 2 or 3 nuggets per meal, based on the protein percentage of the kibble. A 14 oz bag of Primal Nuggets contains around 56 nuggets, based on a review from someone, which Primal themselves replied to. As a topper using two nuggets per meal for two meals a day would last about 14 days. A 14 oz bag costs $30.99, I think.

  • Shea

    I was doing some research on what is considered low fat for raw foods and it stated that 20% and lower is considered low fat. I’m currently using Turkey and Sardine and I believe it’s 23% which isn’t too bad. Most of these freeze dried foods are higher in fat and I may stop using them soon. I only use it as a topper one meal a day.

  • Shea

    Yes, I always rehydrate freeze dried food. I thought the amount of fat would be the same. I cut down to half a nugget for her morning meal. I tried coconut oil for almost a year and it did nothing for her skin. I used the cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil too. I even rubbed it on her dry spots. I’m using Ultra Oil for Pets now and hoping it works. I’m about to change her kibble to a lower fat one very soon and seeing if it makes a difference in her weight. Thanks for your advice.

  • Amateria

    No problem, always happy to help where I can! πŸ˜€

  • Amateria

    It’s always going to be the fat rating that lowers the stars on foods like these, duck is also fatty and beef sometimes.

    Interestingly K9 chicken feast has more fat then the lamb one, I was once thinking of using it in place of the venison that I will run out one day and now I can’t use anything cause the venison is gone for good πŸ™
    I have to wonder if when frontier pets here gets new formulas if their going to be any better then the ones currently for sale fat wise, really wish I had more variety for raw foods here in Australia I’m a sad panda.

    So in essence always check the pie chart your answers will always be there and with any red flagged ingredient I guess.

    Too bad these foods aren’t here, this one looks amazing usually to get all the ingredients I have to use several sources of food.

  • Memphis’s Mom

    Have you tried rehydrating the nuggets? Rehydrating the nuggets lowers the crude fat by 20% making the crude fat percentage 10% per nugget. I’d give her one rehydrated nugget with each meal, or half a rehydrated nugget with each meal, if the protein percentage of her kibble is high. As for skin issues, I’d check this out I’d give her one tbsp per meal, since she only weighs 13 lbs. Primal doesn’t contain much coconut oil anyway for treating skin issues, since it’s near the end of the ingredient list. Hope this helps!

  • Memphis’s Mom

    Hello. We just received our order for the Primal Freeze-Dried Lamb Formula Nuggets. I decided to check DFA after I ordered it. (Face palm) So, it has 2.5 stars. I was curious why it has such a low rating. Is it the higher kcal content than the other formulas that makes it only 2.5 stars? I’m not sure. I only feed the nuggets as a topper, though. If you guys have any advice, I would gladly like you to tell me. Thanks!

  • Crystal Pearl

    You shouldn’t own a dog. Cut YOUR meals in half every day and then see how healthy you are in a few years from now.

  • Shea

    I just started feeding the duck formula to my dog for one meal each day. I thought it would be great to help out with her skin issues and maybe help shrink her lipoma. Well I am afraid it might make her gain weight with all the fat it has in it. It does have fewer calories I noticed. I’m only feeding one square with a tiny amount of kibble in the mornings. She is a 13 pound maltese mix and should be around 10 pounds and is almost 10 years old. Am I giving my older dog something that might make her gain weight?

  • Katelyn

    She’s saying that her once her dog finishes all her food she throws it all up. I’d maybe try to get your dog to eat a little slower or there may be something in the ingredient list that doesn’t mesh well with her.

  • sharron

    hi – i just spent nearly 100.00 on canned dog food which should last about a month which really cuts into the grocery budget and since she doesn’t like dry food and i am not about to go through that again trying to get her to eat it, i was thinking of freeze dried, which would be the better choice, primal, orijen, ziwipeak or stella and chewy. She doesn’t like dehydrated either.

  • Tama

    Hi April,
    I’m wondering why you think a dog will be over wight by following feeding instruction. My dog eats nuggets suggested amount of nuggets and he is in good fit. I’m just wondering the reason since because my dog can get easily fat.

  • sharron

    hi – i just bought a small bag of the duck formula – and i am wondering is this type of food suitable for a dog that is prone to weight gain? – she is at a good weight now, but i am concerned about the fat – to maintain her weight it says to feed 4 nuggets/day which is suppose to equal 155 cals. plus her nightly treat which is 40 cals ……. thanks

  • 1bestdog

    ??? your post makes zero sense

  • 1bestdog

    no, 3 and a half nuggets equal an ounce

  • Dar

    Kale is high in stone-producing nutrients, carrots high in sugar. I have 2 older dogs, neither of which needs leafy greens high in oxalates, and one who has cancer, so carrots and potatoes and peas are no-no for them. How about going with just broccoli? lightly roasted to improve flavor?

  • Pitlove

    Hi again April-

    I don’t think this is about being dumb and I never suggested you were. I simply think you are a bit jaded towards the pet food industry and it is leading you to be misinformed.

    Yes Primal Freeze Dried is expensive, as is the raw frozen formulas. However, we don’t know the OP’s budget, so offering feeding guidelines based on cost is illadvised.

    You feel pet food companies are trying to make our dogs fat, while taking our money through the “excessive” feeding guidelines on the bag. Have you looked at the Dog Food Calculator on this website? I feed my dogs based off the algorithm Dr. Mike came up with which factors in acivity level. I find it to be more accurate than the bag feeding guidelines. Perhaps this is an option you could explore to see what this tool tells you to feed and to see how it compares to your current feeding amounts.

  • Storm’s Mom

    What is your dog’s ideal weight, what are you feeding her currently, and how much (# of cups)?

  • April French Leavitt

    Hi Pitlove
    Because I would hope, as I have responsibly done, that any other reasons for being underweight have been explored including all testing, laboratory and otherwise, and have been found to be normal. The freeze dried food is expensive to feed on a full time basis, let’s face it, but most importantly, no dog needs that amount of calories, not even my underweight dog. That’s why I start with half of the recommended amount and go from there. If it doesn’t work, you simply increase, that’s just self explanatory. As I stated earlier, my dog is gaining weight. If this turns out down the road not to be the case, I will readjust, as would any pet parent. I’m not dumb.

  • April French Leavitt

    Yes she is great with it. No we don’t need a new vet. This is a change in food. My idea to feed half of recommended amount and go from there. Yes under a vet’s care because she needs to gain weight. All testing came back normal. Yes testing was done ahead of time. No alarm bells are not going off in my head. You know what does that? When she has Shar Pei fever and runs 107.1, then yes alarm bells. Feeding half of what a bag of dog food says? Eh no not so much

  • Pitlove

    Hi April-

    Sorry but I too am a bit confused as to why you are recommending feeding half the amount of food suggested, to someone with an UNDERWEIGHT dog….

    Not only is this advice wrong, even for a healthy dog, but it is potentially dangerous for an already underweight dog.

    Thankfully I trust that the OP would know better than to take your advice.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Your dog is gaining weight by feeding 50% of the recommended daily intake of the dog’s ideal weight? ..and your vet knows that your dog is gaining weight from 50% of the recommended daily intake for the dog’s ideal weight…and is ok with it? Frankly, I’d be getting a new vet.

    My dog’s “under a vet’s care” too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much, practically speaking – in my case, it means a yearly checkup and vaccinations as scheduled, as my dog has had no other health issues to date (knock on wood) except for an intolerance diagnosis early on. Plus I have the assurance of having an ongoing trusted partner if something does arise.

    But if I were feeding 50% of the recommended daily intake and seeing weight gain, alarm bells would’ve gone off in my head and we’d be in to see the vet for treatment asap (and I’d hope/assume that alarm bells were going off in my vet’s head as well).

  • April French Leavitt

    Well, my dog is doing just great and is actually gaining weight UNDER HER VET”S CARE. Thank you

  • aimee

    Hi April,

    Storms mom and i don’t agree on much but I do agree with what she is saying.

    Here is information from Tufts Veterinary School to support her.

    “Pets of ideal body weight eating less than approximately 80% of the
    lower end of the manufacturer’s feeding range for their weight should be
    switched to a diet with a lower energy density (e.g., a light or low
    fat or reduced energy version of the current diet or a veterinary
    therapeutic weight management or weight loss diet) to help prevent
    nutrient deficiencies due to inadvertent nutrient restriction.”

  • Storm’s Mom

    Feeding a dog 50% of what it says on the bag to feed a dog of that size isn’t “pretty much” the same as “you may not have to feed exactly what the bag says, but it should be close”. So, are you saying that “you don’t want to go by package directions” so feeding twice what it says on the package is ok?

  • April French Leavitt

    LOL oh man reading your comment is pretty comical. Are you listening to yourself? That is pretty much what I said. Hence the reason you don’t want to go by package directions DUH

  • Storm’s Mom

    A company doesn’t make a dog fat with diabetes or heart disease.. a dog owner does via too many calories taken in from food relative to the amount of calories out/expended in exercise. I agree that you don’t have to feed as much as the bag says, but it should be close because of what I said earlier about ensuring appropriate levels of nutrients in a daily diet. If it’s not even close, then another food and/or a change in the amount of exercise the dog is getting is needed.

  • April French Leavitt

    Perhaps I should word mine differently then. A dog doesn’t HAVE TO HAVE that many calories as the bag says. That’s how the company rips you off among makes your dog fat with diabetes and heart disease

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes, it does. Perhaps I should word it differently – you’re feeding half the amount of nutrients/calories that a dog of that size should get ..and half of what it needs to function properly. It’s the same principle if you feed twice as much as the recommended daily intake – your dog is getting double the amount of calories that it should …and that also has health consequences.

  • April French Leavitt

    Well pin a rose on your nose. None of it’s true. Just because I feed 1/2 of the suggested amount doesn’t mean they’ll get half the nutrients

  • Storm’s Mom

    What’s not true about it? I feed a wide variety of foods, and normally feed pretty close to the amount on the bag for each one.. and my dog is on the lighter/leaner side of his breed ..and has not gained more than 2lbs over the past 5 years (he’s stayed right around 27lbs). He gets about a 4km run at least every couple of days. I keep him lean because he’s got a long body and relatively short legs, and I don’t want him to have back/hip issues now or later in life.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Each nugget weighs about an ounce, and a 14oz bag on Chewy is $30, sooo… it’s not cheap.

  • April French Leavitt

    Obviously you have no idea what you’re talking about because that just simply isn’t true. Secondly, you obviously want a VERY FAT DOG

  • Storm’s Mom

    Feeding 1/2 of the daily recommended intake means that the dog is only getting 1/2 of the intended nutrients of the food each day. Over an extended period of time, that could have serious health consequences (particularly if you are feeding the same food over an extended period of time). I’d suggest finding a food that you can feed closer to the recommended daily intake on the bag and/or adjusting the dog’s exercise regimen so that the dog isn’t gaining too much or losing too much on something pretty close to the recommended daily intake. If, in the original poster’s case, there’s a cost concern, I’d look for a different food to feed rather than “skimp” on nutrients.

  • April French Leavitt

    I never go by the bag or the website or whatever. My dog would be so fat. Literally overweight. I go by 1/2 of what it says they should be eating so in your case 15 if you are feeding the nuggets strictly full time. It’s going to be expensive lol

  • April French Leavitt

    It depends on what formula you are feeding her. Beef, Pork, Duck meats like that tend to be fattier than say chicken which is a lean white meat

  • Pat

    I was wondering if someone could tell me if the calories are some what different in raw dog food. Her vowel movements are a little bit smaller, but she has put on some weight. I measure out her food and I didn’t think I was over feeding her, but I guess I am.. Used the calculator method on how many calories she should have

  • Bobby dog

    Hello Pat:
    I am not familiar with Fresh is Best and would suggest you contact the company with any concerns or questions you have.

    I can understand having a concern with fat content. I look for moderate to low fat foods for my dog because he tends to put weight on easily. I aim for around 20% fat or lower on a DMB for toppers. The only recipe I have been feeding from Primal is the FD Turkey & Sardine formula.

    I have come to believe it is possible to over think pet food! πŸ˜‰

  • Pat

    I am concerned about the fat content primal freeze-dried

  • Mary L.

    Are the chicken and lamb versions only rated 4 stars due to higher fat?

  • Mary L.

    Are the Lanb and Chicken 4 stars due to less protein/higher fat?

  • jen tan

    I mixed the kibble with primal nugget lamb to my rottweiler. She loves it so much. But she has finish her food, after awhile she throw out all the food she has eaten. Please advice, thank you.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Pat:
    I am not sure if you are looking to feed one meal FD then kibble/wet for another meal or using FD as a topper with kibble. I feed kibble as a base and top it with either freeze dried raw, frozen raw, or wet for most meals. This works well for my dog and several other regular posters on DFA. There are also some posters that feed raw one meal and kibble the next.

    My best advice is to see how your dog does with it and to keep track of the calories if you are combining different foods. My dog has done well eating many different food combinations, some dogs don’t.

    Good luck if you give it a try!

  • Pat

    I thought the ingredients in fresh is best looked good, so I ordered some, but was using up the samples they sent me and she started having bowel problems. not sure if it was the freezed dry or that I mixed it with some wet dog food. it is a little expensive so i wanted to not feed this
    ny thoughts on doing half freezes dry and half wet/kibble?

  • 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! : )