Search Results for 'Primal Frozen Raw Food'

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    malinda r

    Hi, I have a dog with sensitive stomach, 40lb, 8 years old. He’s had the issues since I got him at 2 years old but he’s greatly improved with some trial and error.
    I don’t think he’s vomited in 2 years which is incredible compared to the first year I had him!

    We feed Carna4 chicken for kibble, it’s baked rather than extruded, made in Canada. In the am we give Stella & Chewys raw dehydrated patties with a little kibble, in the evening we give health extension canned turkey with kibble. Although lately the canned has changed formula, not so great.
    But anyway I would suggest using some freeze dried raw with the kibble, it’s rehydrated with a little water.
    We feed cooked ground turkey anytime he has loose stools, and lay off the kibble. That seems to have solve some of his issues.
    Some days we feed primal raw frozen nuggets, or Evermore frozen lightly cooked, delivery service dog food.
    It’s funny because it’s well known that you shouldn’t just throw a new food at a dog, because that alone could make the dog sick. But there are some high quality foods that we feed once or twice a week and there’s no adjustment period.
    We limit water and high energy play for 30 minutes after eating, I started realizing my dog wasn’t digesting his food well, based on vomit and diarrhea I’d see when he was sick. So I try to let his stomach do it’s work without the added stress of play or excessive water. ( my dogs an ocd water drinker!)

    Patricia A

    Jude with the 19 year old I could relate not eating. My 17 year old Chihuahua who was put to rest had Mitral Valve disease . Was active and fine the year before and enjoyed her food. This being only Uhh Fromm kibble. My journey of her not eating that anymore led me to several different canned food. No luck with that either for her. I started to cook everything for her. One day she would eat boiled chicken and the next not. Shredded steak then would walk away. I was virtually at her all day just getting some nutrition in her. Oatmeal, eggs, salmon etc. Also would have to hide her heart pill in food. She would taste pill and spit out. Got to the point I thought I found the trick with a ltttle ice cream with pill smashed up in it. That didn’t last either. So many reasons I’m sure your 19 year old is not eating as she did.
    My journey with Hannah opened my mind to nutrition for my other two dogs. That led me to freeze dried. Wasn’t ready to give up kibble so switched to Stella chewy’s which I trust to be very good for a kibble. But researched the best freeze dried along with a small portion of kibble and also home cooked.
    With your 3 year old what was she eating before you fed fresh frozen? Maybe just not appealing to her. Does she even try to taste it and then turn away. If she doesn’t even do that then leave out a bit and refrigerate and try again later. If healthy she’ll eat eventually.
    I feed my 11 year old Chihuahua ( she lover all food) and my 5 year old freeze dried. Doesn’t break the bank since they are small. Also home cooked that we eat when appropriate. They always get pieces of boiled egg in morning for breakfast. I also stretch the freeze dried with Stella chewys raw coated chicken kibble grain free. Most picky dogs LOVE their food. So I rated with Primal freeze dried. Only 5* ratings for the lower fat. Also Stella chewys freeze dried patties 5* proteins/flavor also. They also love Bixbi Rawwble and Open farm freeze dried. I give this as treats.
    So all of these were introduced VERY, VERY, VERY slowly. They both gobble up their freeze dried soaked in a little warm water to hydrate and a little Stella’s kibble.
    My trick with my pickle 5 year old was to put down and take away. She knew I meant business and ate her much better quality food then just kibble. Now she drools before I put bowl down.As I said kibble is a VERY small portion of their diet but they just love the Stella’s so I still give a little mixed in. I like variety. All healthy blood work also. Hope this helps.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Patricia A.
    Maria P

    Hello. Just got a 7-8 month mixed large breed rescue. (They think German Shepherd/Labrador/who knows what else). I just purchased the Primal Raw frozen patties to start him on healthier food. I’m concerned about what we will do when we need to travel or if we want to take a road trip with him or something. I was considering alternating with a freeze-dried food so he gets used to both in case we need to board him or something one day. What is everyone’s opinion? Is it okay to alternate a few times a week between commercial raw, freeze-dried and throw in some cooked chicken or homemade turkey meatballs for snacks sometimes? Thank you!


    In reply to: Information Please

    Patricia A

    leamlass I’m not sure how big a dog you have since freezer dried is somewhat expensive. I have Chihuahuas’ so it doesn’t break the bank. However, I stretch the freeze dried by giving small amounts of kibble to make up for the caloric requirements. Other times I will give small amount of kibble with home cooked. That being boiled white meat chicken, boiled egg in morning some lean steak, lean very low chop meat (90% fat free), boiled salmon, string beans, carrots, watermelon etc. These all agree with my dogs in small quantities and really are real food that they should be eating.
    So I got my two SLOWLY used to different brands and different proteins. Again VERY SLOWLY one at a time for a few weeks . They lick their bowls.
    These are the brands that they do well with and are in supply at my local Pet Supply store. I stick with the ones the DFA advisor gives the 5* . They are a little lower in fat. They are all freeze dried. However the frozen would be more cost saving..
    PRIMAL Turkey/Sardine, Rabbit, Duck
    Stella Chewy’s Chicken(I give home cooked so don’t use too much), Rabbit, Venison Blend
    I also give freeze dried treats in Bixbi and Open Farm treats freeze dried.
    I alternate with Stella Chewy’s raw coated kibble and Open Farm grain free kibble.
    Always looking for freeze dried to add to my rotation but mine do very well with good checkups and no tummy upset with these brands. Hope this helps.

    Patricia A

    Madison I have dogs’ which have digestive problems with higher fat in their diet. I came to that conclusion because whenever I fed certain home cooked food as a kibble topper they would have loose stools. That being dark meat chicken vs boiled white meat, ground beef that wasn’t 90% fat free, fatty pieces of steak vs very lean(when they got lucky lol). They have no trouble with plain, boiled salmon.
    So, that being said I hope I can make some suggestions of a starting point in switching to raw and then you can see how she does with each of these brands.
    I got used to my dogs’ with one brand/protein VERY, VERY, VERY slowly. Then when i knew that they were digestively good with the brand/protein I would switch the protein also very slowly. Just giving them bits mixed in with the other protein. Eventually, I also would change brands and did the same. I just feel better not sticking always to one brand, but that’s me.
    I used a starting point by looking at the raw food reviews on DFA. This led me to Primal, Stella Chewy’s, I have Chihuahuas’. This allowed me to use freeze dried. However, for a larger dog as yours, I believe the frozen raw would be most cost efficient. Freeze Dried should be the same as raw nutritionally once hydrated.
    I always only feed his 5* reviews in the protein/flavor of that brand. I believe he rates by protein to fat ratio. So the 5* ones are lower in fat. So I stick to Primal’s turkey/sardine, venison, pork, duck. All of these proteins/flavors are non HPP (HIGH-PRESSURE PROCESSING (HPP)
    High-Pressure Processing, or HPP, is an FDA- and USDA-approved cold water pressure process that allows us to target salmonella and other food-borne pathogens—without cooking.) Some raw feeders do not like the HPP process claiming it effects nutritional values. However other studies show he use of High Pressure Processing (known as HPP) is becoming increasingly common with commercial raw dog foods. However, HPP can be a controversial process. Some view it as an effective way to eliminate disease-causing bacteria while having only minimal effect on the integrity of the finished product.)
    I believe Stella’s uses HPP in all their products. With their food I use chicken, venison bland and their rabbit.
    Their are many other companies which are rated highly on this site. I believe VITAL ESSENTIALS is the brand which Is as a whole below in fat . If you go to the reviews on DFA they are all listed as a 5*. Many different flavors also. They are also low in calories . Their company goes by the prey model which is no veggies/fruits which are sometimes added to other brands. vital essentials example (ngredients: Beef, beef tripe, beef lung, ground beef bone, beef liver, beef heart, beef kidney, beef blood, beef fat, herring oil, d-alpha tocopherol)
    I also want to suggest possibly kibble with salmon. Pancreatic digestive enzyme supplements have been reported to help some dogs with pancreatitis while fish body oils (such as salmon oil or EPA oil but not cod liver oil), can help to lower blood lipid levels which may reduce the workload on the pancreas.
    I believe your dog does not suffer from pancreatitis but just occasional IBS? So I hope she does well with any of these . Just go slowly. So much confusion with all those brands. Hope I gave you a good starting point and she does well with these suggestions.

    Kathy M

    I’d love to know how your chi is doing and what food you ended up using. My chi (NM) 10#, 10 yrs. old is already on 6.25 Lasix and 1.25 Vetmedin twice a day. I’ve ordered Dr. Becker’s Heart Bites and Young at Heart supplement and Mercola’s Meal Mixer (which according to customer service rep has no sodium) to start making his food. Right now I’m feeding Primal frozen chicken and adding fresh chicken breasts boiled, fresh boiled sweet potato, Fresh zucchini and spinach with ArthriEase Gold to help with arthritis and it increases his appetite. Never been picky eater until Lasix administered at ER vet.
    Just hoping to share with someone looking for low sodium frozen raw. I do know that fresh chicken breasts are naturally lower in sodium than other meat. Maybe that’s why chicken is the lowest sodium frozen meat patty Stella and chewy offer. [email protected]

    Nadia K

    Hi Patricia. Yes I am now feeding raw frozen patties and my pup Lacey loves them. I did a lot of research and came across a site by Susan Thixton.

    She puts a list out every year of pet foods she recommends. After reading the reviews and researching the companies, I went with Raw Bistro.

    Dog Food Advisor review:

    This is a small business in Minnesota. Their food is also recommended by Dr Becker who’s opinion I value. I bought it directly on their website. They shipped it very quickly in a foam cooler with dry ice.

    I started Lacey on their turkey patties and transitioned her very slowly over about two weeks. She had no upsets from the food whatsoever. Perfect poop every time. Right before the transition she was eating the Primal freeze dried turkey/ sardine. I would put the Primal on one side of her bowl and the Raw Bistro on the other side. I would intentionally turn the bowl in different directions and she would always eat the Raw Bistro first. She likes the Primal but much prefers the Raw Bistro.

    The only down side to the raw frozen patties is that you have to remember to take out the patties the night before so they have a chance to thaw in the refrigerator. We actually just bought a new standing freezer which is wonderful. No more bending over and looking for stuff that has fallen underneath and gotten lost. Raw Bistro does a dehydrated raw as well so I did purchase a bag in the event I forget to get the patties out of the freezer.

    Patricia A

    Nadia are you now using raw frozen food? I know I remember you wrote that you were using freeze dried I believe. Which brand/brands are you feeding? I am giving more primal proteins now then the Stella’s. Primal doesn’t have synthetic vitamins as stella’s does. I also want to try Vital Essentials . My pet supply doesn’t carry this brand so would have to order.
    Right now I stick to Primal duck and turkey and sardine. I want to switch up the proteins in Primal to the ones which have no HPP. I know all of Stella’s proteins use HPP and I believe vital essentials also. Not totally against this step since I still think freeze dried using HPP in these brands is better then kibble or canned any day.
    I’m quilty of trying to stretch the freeze dried by using kibble at times as a base since I have two. I’m thinking of switching up again frtom Stella & Chewy’s baked raw coated to slowly introducing Natures Logic Distinction. I’m liking that they use no synthetic vitamins, and No corn, wheat, rice, soy, peas, tapioca, or potato with no artificial flavor, color or chemical preservatives.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Patricia A.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Patricia A.
    Nadia K

    I second trying freeze dried food. My pup didn’t like kibble either, even after trying various brands. When I changed her over to the Stella & Chewy freeze dried patties everything changed. She would not only eat everything in the bowl but would come back several times just to lick the bowl. She loves the Primal freeze dried as well as I have rotated the two brands. I am now getting ready to change her over to a raw frozen diet which I am sure she will love even more.


    In reply to: GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD ?

    Patricia A

    I believe that the consensus is out that feeding kibble for dogs whole life is not the best nutrition for them. Don’t believe the true cause as of yet has been found regarding DCM and grain diets. Many companies add a ton of legumes in their food displacing animal protein. When the dog was switched to a food that was high in meat(animal protein) their hearts returned to normal in some cases.
    Then you have grain inclusive. A starch is always needed in kibble to hold it together.
    This is a quote from a site I frequent. “On the other hand, some plant material such as rice, soybean meal and corn have some, although limited, usefulness in the meat eater’s diet. Corn, wheat, soy, rice and barley are not bad or harmful to dogs and cats. These plant sources are simply not good choices (we do get to choose what we feed our pets, don’t we?) for the foundation of a diet to optimally nourish animals what are, have been, and for the foreseeable future will be meat eaters.”

    Best if you feed kibble get your pet SLOWLY used to several brands and proteins and rotate every few bags. Even between grain and grain free. There are many toppers you can add such as freeze dried in various brands. I use Primal, Stella’ , Bixbi rawbbles . Frozen raw is less costly in these same brands. Also, use toppers of home cooked when appropriate. Boiled chicken, string beans, fish, steak etc. when your also eating this.
    I don’t believe you can go wrong with a variety of foods that agrees with your dog.

    Nadia K

    My bichon currently eats kibble in the morning and Stella and Chewy freeze dried raw patties in the evening. She absolutely loves the Stella patties and not so keen on the kibble. I would like to transition her to all raw. Being that freeze dried food is so expensive, I am going to try frozen raw as it is a little better priced.
    For those of you that currently feed or have in the past, which frozen raw do you like the best? Did your dog do particularly well with a certain brand? There are so many brands that it is hard to choose even after reading numerous reviews. Besides Stella and Chewy my local pet shop carries Primal, Answers, Tuckers, Small Batch, Instinct and a few others I believe. Thanks for your help.

    Patricia A

    Carol C I looked on their website and all ingredients are listed with mineral/vitamins added to their raw complete/balanced. So you can see for yourself what is missing in the grinds to make it supplement only. This is their turkey/sardine raw complete formula for an example:

    Calories: 42 per oz.
    Carbohydrates: 1.9%

    Vitamin A 9768 (IU/kg)
    Thiamin: B1 0.88 (mg/kg)
    Riboflavin: B2 2.64 (mg/kg)
    Niacin: B3 17.70 (mg/kg)
    Pyridoxine: B6 3.16 (mg/kg)

    Vitamin B12 0.05 (mg/kg)
    Vitamin C 27.05 (mg/kg)
    Vitamin D 553.10 (IU/kg)
    Vitamin E 136.09 (IU/kg)
    Folate 0.26 (mg/kg)
    Pantothenic Acid 7.06 (mg/kg)

    Calcium 0.48 (%)
    Copper 2.00 (ppm)
    Iodine 0.18 (ppm)
    Iron 45.00 (ppm)
    Magnesium 0.05 (%)

    Manganese 4.00 (ppm)
    Phosphorus 0.31 (%)
    Potassium 0.27 (%)
    Selenium 0.21 (ppm)
    Sodium 0.12 (%)
    Zinc 36.00 (ppm)

    Arginine 1.23 (%)
    Cystine 0.20 (%)
    Histidine 0.54 (%)
    Isoleucine 0.91 (%)
    Leucine 1.44 (%)
    Lysine 1.64 (%)

    Methionine 0.51 (%)
    Phenylalanine 0.73 (%)
    Threonine 0.79 (%)
    Tryptophan 0.21 (%)
    Tyrosine 0.68 (%)
    Valine 0.96 (%)
    Taurine 0.11% (%)

    Omega 3 1.16 (g/lb)

    Omega 6 2.75 (g/lb)
    Primal Pet Foods Raw Frozen Canine Turkey & Sardine Formula provides complete an

    This is a good explanation of both freeze drying and dehydrating.
    It is raw and as with any raw meat you have to handle it properly. Wear gloves, use good cleaners and hot water on anything the raw food touches. Unfortuently most people do not do this. This is what causes a lot of recalls on raw foods, mishandling.
    Freeze dried foods are probably the most expensive of the Raws. I’ve fed nature’s variety to my cats before and they loved it. They had less poop and less shedding. A mixture of the freeze dried mixed with kibble and the frozen raw.
    Nature’s variety, primal, Stella and chewy, are all good trusted raw brands to try out. You have a small dogs so it should be cheaper to feed than having large dogs tho. It’s defiently less processed than regular kibble and in my opinion more healthy. It has been in most cases I’ve seen. However every dog is different so it’s wise to slowly transition. You can also rehydrate freeze dried foods or feed them dry.

    Patricia A

    I have been feeding my two Chihuahuas freeze dried for about two years now. Actually I was giving Origen Freeze dried treats for years but didn’t even realize it was freeze dried. Just knew it was a different texture that they really loved. I now have put in rotation Stella Chewy’s chicken meal mixers, turkey patties and venison blend. When I started I was using Fromm kibble as a base. Then I switched to Stella’s raw coated kibble small breed. I’m concerned about the Dcm with the legumes so stopped all kibble now until sorted out. Many questions on Stella’s f/b page regarding their kibble but their statements also say their kibble is not implicated in any DCM cases. Anyway I started out slowly . One protein at a time in tiny amounts. Just add warm water. Amount to feed for weight is on bag. Adjust according to weight gain or lose. I also slowly put in rotation Primal freeze dried. I use Turkey/sardine, rabbit and their duck. No stomach issues if done slowly. Bixbi Rawbbles is a great freeze dried also. I use this as treats or just throw some in with the pucks or patties . My dogs are doing great on this and I feel much better feeding the freeze dried instead of kibble or canned. Much easier to feed also.
    Primal food does Hpp process to kill bacteria but not with all flavors/proteins. It’s on their webpage which protein/flavors they use it with. I believe Stella’s uses hPP process on all their food as well as Bixbi.

    Essentially, this technology “puts the squeeze” on food pathogens without cooking out vital nutrients or changing the fresh characteristics of food. During High-Pressure Processing, pressure is uniformly applied around and throughout the food product. High-Pressure Processing can be conducted at refrigerated or even frozen temperatures, which means the temperature starts low and stays low — High-Pressure Processing does not cause the heat degradation that happens during cooking.
    Freeze Dried The process requires food to be placed inside a vacuum chamber that lowers the temperature until it is below freezing and then moisture is drawn out by slowly raising the temperature. The water originally found in the food moves to a gaseous state from a solid to void the food of most moisture.

    Moisture Content:

    Dehydration removes approximately 90-95 percent of moisture, while freeze-drying removes about 98-99 percent.[3]


    Freeze-dried pet food will rehydrate within 2-3 minutes while dehydrated pet food can often take 5-10 minutes or need to be left soaking for a few hours depending on the size of the food chunks.

    Texture, Flavor, and Aroma:

    When food is freeze-dried, the process is gentle and the enzymes are locked in without disrupting the texture, taste, or smell of the ingredient. This particular process greatly reduces the weight of the product and makes it convenient for storing and travel.

    The look and feel of a freeze-dried product to a dehydrated is noticeable to the naked eye. Dehydrated foods tend to be a little darker, denser, and can sometimes appear leathery. In order to create a faster rehydration time for dehydrated food, they are often powdered or made granular, whereas freeze-dried foods can be kept in chunkier states.

    Another key difference is that dehydration can break down vital vitamins and minerals due to the processes being a little more invasive.[2] The freeze-drying process will keep all the valuable nutrients intact ready to be rehydrated when needed.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Patricia A.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Patricia A.
    Patricia A

    Congrats on your adoption!! Don’t know about feeding Blue. I’ve read a few negative things about the company.
    Maybe someone can chime in about a good base kibble and start the raw with toppers. I use Primal freeze dried , Stella Chewy’s freeze dried and Bixbi freeze dried as treats because Bixbi is so expensive. All expensive in the freeze dried but I have small dogs. I think the frozen would be the way to go with the Primal/stellas’. My dogs are doing great on these. Reviews from advisor are all great also. I used Stella’s baked raw coated as base. However I stopped all kibble until this DCM mess is worked out. No legumes or starches in any of these foods.
    Go to advisors reviews on Primal/Stellas for ingredients and to their f/b page to see what others say.
    Like I said MY dogs do great with this. No stomach troubles. Just please start VERY slowly.

    Patricia A

    On a positive note you don’t have to worry about legumes and potatoes in most of the commercial raw foods.. I feed Primal, Stella Chewy’s and Bixbi Rawbble freeze dried which all got 5 stars by the advisor. Might be more cost effective for you though with the raw frozen patties in these brands. I stick to the proteins which the advisor rates as 5 stars These are the ones with a lower fat ratio .So with Primal I stick to Turkey/Sardine protein and the duck, rabbit and venison. I also rotate with the rabbit and venison in Stella’s. Bixbi Rawbbles is freeze dried and expensive. My 16 year old that has gotten VERY picky so she gets the Bixbi in Beef and salmon/chicken which she loves. I switched slowly and now I can rotate these brands and proteins without a problem.


    I’ve been feeding or mixing in some “raw green tripe” for years. Raw tripe now but years ago I fed canned tripe. Even a small amount in one meal per day might help and decreasing the amount of kibble.

    You might also try crumbling up a nugget or two of a freeze dried raw food such as Primal Freeze Dried if you do not like raw frozen. It’s pricey per pound so just a few pieces will do. Bone matter helps to make formed stool. There are several brands of raw foods (frozen, dehydrated and freeze dried) to choose from.

    Primal also had frozen grinds (meat and bone) and frozen mixes (meat/bone/some veg) in small chubs.

    Sometimes, just decreasing the amount of food helps.

    Reese B

    Hi guys,
    This will be a long post.
    So, with the new “grain free scare” I’ve been thinking about trying raw or freeze dried raw. I was looking at primal products but couldn’t figure out why the nutrition profiles were so different from their raw vs. freeze dried. On the website they state that their freeze dried is exactly the same as their raw except the moisture is removed. So I wrote them to find out more. Below is my e-mail exchange so far….

    I’m new to raw and looking for a lower fat option. I’m on the fence between raw frozen and freeze dried and was looking over the products on your website to see if any fit the bill of what I was looking for.
    I noticed your frozen raw rabbit formula was low fat at 17% protein and 5% fat.
    I then looked at the freeze dry formula and was surprised to see the protein is listed at 50% and the the fat is 28%.
    When I did the math to convert the frozen formula to a dry matter basis I got that the protein should be 58% and the fat should be 17%

    17 / 29 x 100 = 58% for protein

    5 / 29 x 100 = 17% for fat

    Did I do the math wrong? I don’t understand why the protein and fat is so different on for your frozen vs freeze dried rabbit formula if the ingredient are the same.
    If you could explain, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for contacting us. I can see how the math can get confusing. The nutritional values on our site are listed on an as-fed basis. Of course you’ll see that when you compare the guaranteed analysis of our freeze-dried formula to our raw frozen formula, the protein and fat levels in the freeze-dried varieties appear to be elevated at first glance. However, the key to understanding this difference lies in the moisture content. Since the moisture has been removed in the freeze-dried product, this causes the protein and fat levels to increase. For best feeding results, we recommend rehydrating with water. The weight of a freeze-dried nugget weighs less than that of a raw nugget because moisture has been removed. Nutritionally, a raw nugget is the same as a freeze-dried nugget when rehydrated or consumed with water.

    I understand that the values are listed on as fed basis…but my question is regarding why the math doesn’t add up from your raw to freeze dried formula. If you re-read my original email you’ll see I’ve done the math to convert you raw formula to a dry formula and the values don’t match what is listed on the freeze-dried product.
    If you convert the raw rabbit recipe into a dry matter basis, the protein should be 58% and the fat should be 17%. However that’s not what’s listed on the product. So I’m wondering how did you determine the values for the freeze dried formula?

    (EDIT: I didn’t get a reply to the above email, so I wrote to them again.)

    I haven’t heard back from anyone regarding this. Maybe I’m not asking my question in a way that makes sense. Let me try to explain…
    I understand that freeze dried food will always have higher nutritional values because the moisture is removed making it a higher concentration, however, the values on your freeze dried product don’t make sense compared to your raw frozen product from a mathematical stand point.
    For example, your frozen raw rabbit has a 17% protein and 5% fat. If I convert these to dry matter based on the formula on your blog ( it should be 58% for protein and 17% for fat.
    % guarantee ÷ dry matter x 100
    17 ÷ 29 x 100 = 58% for protein
    5 ÷ 29 x 100 = 17% for fat
    However, on your freeze dried rabbit nuggets the protein is listed as 53% and the fat is listed as 28%.
    There is no way the fat in the freeze dried product should be that high if it’s the same ingredients/formula as the frozen raw. I’ve noticed several other of your freeze dried formula’s are listing fat at a much higher percentage than it should be.
    Please explain to me how you are getting the values for your freeze dried products.

    I apologize for my delay in response but greatly appreciate your patience! Please see below for assistance with your conversion:
    1. The Protein/Fat content printed on the packaging is usually the exact lab result, and may depend on the source and part of the rabbit tested*.
    2. Approximate average figures are generally 3 X Frozen values:
    PFF Calculated Frozen : Protein (17), Fat (5) – Approximate – Calculated Freeze-dried : Protein (51), Fat (15) – Approximate
    – PFF Actual Freeze-dried : Protein (50), Fat (28) – Actual lab results*(Variability in raw source)
    – Customer Calculated Freeze-dried : Protein (58), Fat (17) – Approximate
    We suggest using PPF calculated amount to make the final decision.

    Thanks for your response. I’d like to make sure that I understand this correctly. When the lab tested both the raw and freeze dried, they got different values for fat and protein for both formula’s (even though they are the same), because different or fattier parts of the rabbit could have been used in the freeze dried batch?
    The approximate average figures are generally 3x the frozen value, but it this case it’s 6x the fat. ( 5% fat in the raw rabbit vs 28% fat in the freeze dried rabbit.)
    Do you lab test each batch for protein and fat content, as it seems it can vary considerably.
    On the freeze dried product it states that 28% is the minimum fat content, meaning it could be higher, but not lower.
    This is where I’m confused because if the raw frozen and freeze dried are essentially the same product (just with moisture removed) the freeze dried variety had a much higher fat content than the raw…meaning different batches have different fat content. So it’s impossible to say that the minimum fat in the freeze dried rabbit is 28%, right? There are batches that could have less fat depending on the source and part of the rabbit tested.
    Please let me know if this is correct.

    While we are required to list guaranteed analysis information in terms of minimums and maximums, the values we’ve chosen to post are not actually a minimum or a maximum. We list the actual values that we receive from our lab tests.

    That doesn’t make sense to me. You’re required to list guaranteed information in terms of minimum and maximum, but you’re choosing not to? I’m not trying to be difficult, I just genuinely don’t understand. Should I disregard the minimum/maximum values on your packaging?
    YOU didn’t answer my other questions. Do you test each batch for fat/protein content? How did you decide what is listed on the freeze dried package in terms of protein and fat? Did you test multiple batches and give an average or did you only test one batch and print those results on all of the packaging?
    Based on your previous emails I’m assuming that the fat content on the freeze dried product is much higher than the fat listed on the frozen raw product because of “the source or part of rabbit.”
    But that being said, in other batches of food a leaner rabbit source could be used making the fat content lower. So am I correct in saying the 28% fat is not the definite minimum and could be much lower in other batches depending on the rabbit source?

    (I sent that last e-mail to primal on Aug 2nd, and I have not gotten a reply back since.
    Does what they’re saying make sense to anyone? I thought they were required to list minimum or maximum values….any thoughts?)

    Reese B

    I was looking for a lower fat raw food for my dog and noticed the primal raw rabbit recipe had 17% protein and only 5% fat. This looked like a good option. Since I don’t feed raw regularly, I thought I’d start with the freeze dried version but noticed that the protein listed was 53% and the fat was 28%. The ingredients were the same, the only difference is supposed to be that one is freeze dried.
    I know that because the freeze dried product has no moisture that the values would be higher, but his seemed too high.
    I calculated the raw version to a dry matter content as shown in this article:

    and I got that the freeze dried version should have 58% protein and 17% fat. Big difference from what’s listed on the freeze dried rabbit.

    I email primal in a very detailed email explaining my question and asking how they determined the dry value as it didn’t match up to what I calculated. I got a very disappointing response back saying that “because the moister is removed, the value is higher in the freeze dried but both product were exactly the same.” It was very condescending and it seemed like they didn’t even read my e-mail as I had explained that I was aware of that.

    Anyway, my question is, does the values that primal lists on their raw and freeze dried product make sense? Did I do the math wrong? Links for both products below.

    Cathy B

    Hi Patricia,
    I’ve never fed Primal, but I did place a few orders for Allprovide’s frozen raw food.
    I fed the chicken, turkey & beef but I can’t remember which one had big chunks of
    very sharp jagger bones that I had to pick out in order for my 5lb Chi to eat it.

    I took pics and texted them to Allprovide. They were the correct size bones for that food!
    I felt they were too big for my Chi to eat.
    So always having to poke my fingers around his bowl to pull out all bones..I stopped buying their food.

    I believe they are now under new things may be different now.


    In reply to: Where to start?

    Anita L

    Kind of interesting that anon101 dismisses “homeopathic” (actually holistic, not homeopathic) sources of information and their own source happens to be quite biased too. The availability of vets who are aware of kibble-alternative diets may depend very much on where you live. Where I live, there are many holistically trained vets do not use only traditional veterinary knowledge, as helpful as that can be for many people.

    A well-researched post about transitioning from a brick & mortar organization specializing in raw pet foods: Hope it’s useful!

    You can get the meats & bones at any butcher you would go to for your own meats. Bones are really inexpensive – just get small bones such as chicken necks, feet, to begin with, and avoid weight-bearing bones.

    Personally, we give our 15 lb dog at least 2-3 meals of meaty chicken bones a week. We just approximate her usual 1/2 cup serving size from how big the bone looks. This is as a supplement to high-quality kibble and homemade (cooked) food, using Dr. Richard Pilcairn’s recipe. You may find his book helpful if you wish to learn more about alternative diets.

    We have also fed prepackaged foods such as Primal brand, which comes in frozen patties. If you are open to freeze-dried, Stella and Chewy’s is also great. Ziwipeak is air-dried and an amazing food for the money (considering you can use it as a treat since it comes in little squares and is apparently delicious). All are more expensive than feeding raw sourced from grocery stores but those are premium brands for minimally processed food.

    Anne B

    Hi FrankiesDoggie,

    Since I have just begun to explore the world of raw food diets for our two dogs I really appreciate your recommendations on frozen and freeze-dried raw patties for dogs. Stella & Chewy’s was the first brand that I tried but I do have concerns about the additional additives in particular. Just got some Vital Essentials Beef to try as it does not contain additives although I see some will fault the company for not including any additional vitamins other than Vitamin E.

    I will give Nature’s Variety (our Vizsla is on their Rabbit kibble), Primal and OC Raw a try as well. Thanks for your suggestions!


    I’m having good success with Nature’s Variety frozen raw so far. The patties are the cheapest, and their frozen lineup has no synthetic vitamins. For freeze dried, I would only opt for the Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Mixers which is good as a topper (I plan to use this for travel when frozen raw isn’t viable).

    Personally one of my criterion is food with no synthetic vitamins (or very little maybe one or two), and because so few brands have options without synthetics, it makes choosing out of hundreds of brands a lot easier. Some say synthetics are unhealthy, and it might be, but for me it’s just a good indicator of how overly processed the dog food was when they literally have to spray synthetic vitamins back on to it just to make it complete and balanced.

    Unfortunately Stella and Chewy’s uses synthetics, so I’ve had to drop them from my list, which is fine because I still have plenty of options. For raw I plan to cycle through Nature’s Variety, Primal, Vital Essentials, Answers and Nature’s Logic (frozen raw). Nature’s Variety is the most widely available next to Primal, but there’s a few pet boutiques that carry the other brands at competitive prices where I live, so I’m happy.

    Right now I have my doggie on Nature’s Variety raw and her stools are the best I’ve seen, that is, if stool could ever look good. X__X (firm but not too firm, and a nice brown color).

    a c

    I have a 10 years old miniature Schnauzer with pancreatitis history. I tried to switched her to raw diet. I went to an independent pet shop. The employees there told me raw diet is the best. So I tried Stella and Chewy’s duck frozen patties, Primal’s lamb frozen chucks, and Honest Kitchen Love. Since I switched her to raw diet, her poops have always been greasy with some yellow. I have my vet ran a blood work on her. Her level was above the normal range, and my vet was also really against the idea of raw diet. They put her on Science Diet ID wet food. Now, her poops are back to normal. Thank goodness. I think the fat content on those raw diet is too high for dogs with pancreatitis.

    a c

    Hi, I am new here. I feel very frustrated and don’t know what to feed my girl.

    I have a 10 years old miniature schnauzer who had an episode of acute pancreatitis back in end of April. Miniature Schnauzer are pron to pancreatitis. She was on antibiotics and fluid therapy for 3 days. The vet put her on Science diet ID can food for few days and told me to transition back to her normal diet after that. The lab report from end of May suggested she level was back to normal.

    She has been on Science Diet food since she was a puppy. I thought Science Diet was the best dog food out there. How dumb am I? I thought about switching her to something else.

    I went to a local pet store in mid May. I was told the best dog kibble food for my girl is Orijen senior. They also sold me the idea of raw diet. I purchased Stella and Chewy’s duck frozen patties. I feed my girl half Orijen and half raw with additional blue berries, zucchini, or pumpkin. Her stool was firm but every so often with a little greasy look.

    Once I finished the bag of Stella and Chewy’s duck. They told me to try Primal lamb frozen nuggets. I also brought a bag of Primal freeze dried nuggets in turkey & sardine for easy travel. I have also tried Honest Kitchen Force. Then, I noticed the fat level on Orijen senior is high, so I cut back on the kibbles. This is where problems begun. I noticed her stools are more greasy and even looser.

    To make long story short. I put her on plain chicken and rice with a little pumpkin starting yesterday. I noticed she is not passing stool during our twice a day walk. She has been doing it very regularly for the past month and half after the pancreatitis. She just had a yellow, greasy, loose stool about a hour ago.

    I am very frustrated right now. I don’t know what to feed her. I made a call to my vet’s office. I was told they will put her on Science Diet ID or Purina EN which I knew both of those are full of carbs, fillers, and by-products. What should I do? Can anyone help?


    In reply to: Search Engine


    Another interesting use of the Search Engine, if you put in the topic of the post you would like to read, even the Members Only posts come up, example:

    Ryan D

    I’ve been giving Primal Raw to my little one for a couple of years now. I just recently noticed that although Primal Frozen Raw Food as a whole gets a 5 star and is enthusiastically recommended, the chicken, beef, and lamb only get 2.5 stars. My baby love the stuff, and has done so well on it I’m not going to change unless necessary. But I’m just curious why the 2.5 stars. Anyone have an explanation or thoughts on this. Thanks

    Jeff L

    Just started my close to one year old (Xmas day) puppy, Nick, on the Answers Beef. He was previously on Orijen Puppy for 8 months. I have brushed his teeth daily since I got him at 3 months old. Even with that he has some yellowing of a few teeth. I have to believe that is partially from eating kibble. I am hoping that the Answers will help in this regard. Nick loves their Goat’s milk and so far after two meals he loves the Answers Beef. I will be doing a slow transition over the next 7-10 days. He eats the Answers before touching his kibble which he has always seemed happy with.

    I don’t mind the expense of the Goat’s milk and Raw food if it will help have a better, longer life. My last dog had horrible teeth and I know it contributed to his declining health and eventual cancer. I have started Nick on the recreational frozen bones from Primal since all he has had is Antlers. Not a heavy chewer. This is the easiest way for me to feed raw I think. Love to hear opinions.

    shirley r

    Thanks all for your input, I couldn’t believe it when my lab stopped eating this great food. I’m so pleased others are in the same boat and it’s not just me being paranoid!! I have now switched to Natures Variety instinct. I add some primal frozen raw in the evenings and some freeze dried in the mornings. He seems to enjoy it.

    jakes mom

    I agree with Marie, give her anything she wants. Make sure whatever you give her has a good amount of protein. Some people say older dogs need less but unless she has kidney problems you don’t need to decrease the protein as they age. You may want to look into some raw foods. They come frozen but are nice and soft once thawed. Some brands are Stella and Chewy, Primal, Natural Instinct. Another thought would be Honest Kitchen foods, they’re dried into a powder and you mix with water. They would be nice and “mushy” for Coco Bean to eat. Same for Primal dried foods. Comes in a bag of chunks and you crumble up as many chunks as you want, add some water and serve. You can vary the chunkiness to her liking by the way you crumble it up. I used that for my 20yo cat who also had bad teeth and too frail to put under for a dental. Good luck!
    PS, kibble doesn’t clean teeth, that’s a myth. You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth because you ate some crackers, would you? Same idea.

    Katherine B

    I have a 14 lb Havanese who is 14 lbs.!! I feed both Darwin and Primal. Both are very bloody unless you buy the freeze dried. I much prefer freeze dried but it is way more expensive. I speak with one of the nutritionalist at Darwin’s when I have questions. Not sure why but he says the freeze dried is not as good for dogs as the frozen. I still use it frequently. She loves it and I don’t worry nearly as much about the safety. Sometimes the raw looks so bloody and disgusting it is difficult for me to feed. However, I have seen such improvement in her health issues after beginning the raw diet I feed it all the time. Began two years ago after listening to many of Dr. Karen Becker’s videos on You Tube. James at Darwin’s just happened to tell me once Darwin’s consults with her when they created the special prescription foods. Sophia, my little girl, has Cushings and a ‘Leaky heart valve’! After feeding primal raw for one year and adding Adrenal Gold from Pet Wellbeing to the food I had her blood work rechecked. Everything that had been extremely high before was near normal. Wish I had realized the importance of feeding a raw diet 14 years ago. I truly believe she would be a healthy dog today.


    Triet S,
    Raw dehydrated is usually actually freeze-dried, which maintains all of the nutrients of raw, but in a convenient, dry form that keeps a lot better. Raw frozen is exactly that. It contains all of the natural moisture of the original composition, and is kept frozen to keep it from spoiling. One of the disadvantages here is that it’s generally recommended to thaw it before feeding, and you don’t want to do that in the microwave, as that will cook it a little and alter some of the proteins. I usually thaw a couple of days worth of Galen’s Darwin’s Natural Selections in the refrigerator at least 24 hours prior to feeding. His freeze dried treats require no refrigeration or freezing to maintain their quality, so the’re easier to carry as treats. As for freeze dried that is meant as a staple food, like Primal freeze dried nuggets, it is recommended to add water to rehydrate it for a specified time prior to feeding.


    It’s been a while, and I thought I’d provide an update on Galen, now 19 months old, technically an adolescent for a giant breed (Shiloh Shepherd), but no longer a puppy. However, I did go through a number of adjustments to his diet as he grew up, and thought I’d discuss them. I’ll first discuss kibbles, since that is generally the area where improper calcium and phosphorus content causes problems. Brands discussed include Eukanuba, Holistic Select (and other WellPet brands), Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Fromms, Tripett, and my absolute favorite and the most impressive, nutritionally… Darwin’s Natural Selections. I will also briefly touch on treats. Every choice I’ve made for Galen has come about via extensive research, wanting only the very best for Galen’s growth and health, for he is training as my service dog. My first responsibility is to him, even before looking after myself, for it is his responsibility to always be looking after me. Besides… I consider him family on equal par to my most beloved family members. I have linked the Dog Food Advisor pages for Galen’s finalized diet at the bottom of this post.

    Galen’s breeder weaned her litter on Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy diet. After his adoption, I transitioned him to Fromm’s, which is what his breeder now weans her puppies on, but his stools were often quite soft. There was a brief period when I tried Holistic Select Large breed puppy, but rapidly transitioned away from it when Galen became ill. As it happens, ALL kibble foods made by WellPet (Wellness, Holistic Select, Old Mother Hubbard, Eagle Pack) contain green tea extract. While the very small amounts are probably not harmful to most dogs, particularly since it’s being taken with food, I found a number of studies that were halted because of dogs dying after being given green tea extract on an empty stomach. There is no way I can know for certain, but I suspect Galen is somehow particularly susceptible to toxic effects from it, even in small doses. So I began researching foods, and I liked the nutrition profile for some of the Canidae varieties, and while they were not specifically puppy or large breed diets, I contacted Canidae to make sure I chose a variety with the proper calcium and phosphorus ratios for proper bone growth (Canidae has recently been shifting their manufacturing away from Diamond pet foods, with a new processing plant in California). He did well on this, but didn’t like it much. Since he’s rather thin (but not so much as to be unhealthy, according to his vets at Alameda East, the same hospital where Animal Planet’s “Emergency Vets” was filmed, as it’s closest to where I live), I decided to change things up again when he was about a year old. Since he now was at an age where his calcium metabolism was properly established (generally puppies older than 8 months old can properly metabolize calcium, without the need to limit it so much), it broadened the choices of available foods for him. So, I made a list of grain free foods on Dog Food Advisor with 4+ ratings, focusing especially on 5 star rated foods, and ordered a bunch of sample packs for him to try from K9Cuisine. Of all of the foods he tried, he preferred the 5 star rated varieties of Taste of the Wild best. While I’m not fond of the record of Diamond pet foods, I trust the ratings of Dog Food Advisor (except the high ratings of kibbles by WellPet brands, for the previously mentioned Green Tea toxicity risk). Anyway, to keep things interesting for his palate, I now transition between the three 5 star rated varieties of TOTW for dry food.

    Canned foods: From very early on, I had Galen eating Tripett green beef tripe as his wet food. I chose this because green tripe contains the nutrients of what the cow ate as well as the nutritional value and digestive enzymes that are naturally inherent to tripe. I have tried other varieties of canned foods, but Galen usually turns his nose up at them after a few days, when the novelty wears off. There has been a single exception, though, which I also supplement his diet with. That is Darwin’s Natural Selections raw foods. Back when I was letting Galen choose from among the samples I got for him, I also got the $15 introductory sample of the Darwin’s food (10 lbs variety pack), which included free shipping on dry ice. Their foods are raw, made from free-range, organic animal sources and organic vegetables. They come in easy to open plastic packets. Dog Food Advisor not only rates it 5 stars, but enthusiastically recommends the foods. They have never had a recall. I was quite surprised to find that the food was packaged and frozen just a few days before it shipped to me. Now, Once you have had the trial and go to their subscription plan, the cost is far higher, plus shipping on dry ice. It’s too high for me to feed to Galen exclusively or even as half his diet, so I subscribe to it as a supplement to his regular diet, feeding him 2 lbs a week. I get him all varieties, which include chicken, turkey, duck, beef, and bison. Of all of the foods I’ve ever fed a dog, This has been by far of the highest quality I’ve encountered.

    Galen is incredibly picky even with treats, generally preferring single-ingredient, meat based treats. These have included Simply Lamb (freeze dried lamb), PureBites freeze dried chicken breast, PureBites freeze dried duck liver, and Primal freeze dried Nuggets (lamb), although the nuggets I use more as an occasional supplement rather than a treat. Galen turns his nose up at most other treats, even jerky treats. That’s fine by me. I rather like seeing only one ingredient listed, which leaves me zero doubts of there being anything in it that is unnecessary to his health (i.e. preservatives).

    On a final note, around holidays I like to make a turkey stock from the leftovers and carcass (bones removed, of course, after cooking so that nutrients specific to the bones leach into the stock, like the marrow). That turkey stock is for Galen, as a special treat supplementing his food.

    So… Galen’s final adult diet:
    Taste of the Wild (wetlands, High Prairie, and Canyon varieties)
    Tripett Green Beef Tripe
    Darwin’s Natural Selections raw (beef, bison, chicken, turkey, and duck)

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by CircaRigel.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by CircaRigel.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by CircaRigel.

    Hello! I am a long time reader of DFA Forums but this is the first time I’ve actually posted anything. I have two dogs; a 4 year old minpin tripawd (Bean) and now a 4 month old Doberman/Rottweiler x puppy (Jax). Bean has done great on all and any premium food (wet, raw, kibble, he’s been on it all) but the more I read the more I want to just bite the bullet and switch fully to raw. Jax on the other hand, has had quite the hard time with kibble. I got Jax about two months ago and immediately put him on Orijen Large Breed Puppy. He’s had on and off diarrhea since I’ve had him. I figured the Orijen may have just been too much for his digestive system so I transitioned him (VERY) slowly to Natures Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Kibble. His stools were firm for about three days until the diarrhea started again. I’ve had him tested for parasites and every malady under the sun with only negative results. Right now I just have him on cooked turkey and rice to settle his tummy until I decide on what to try next. I was hoping for some input from all of you lovely people!

    I am concerned about putting a large breed puppy on raw so young, simply because I lack all of the knowledge about his nutritional needs. But so far, here are the options I’ve come up with.

    Honest Kitchen Preference Base Mix mixed with a rotation of raw grinds/meats primarily from Primal and EcoPawz Raw (a local raw company in my area)

    Stella and Chewy’s Frozen Raw (rotation of proteins)

    Darwin’s Zoologics Line (a little out of my budget but they are sounding better and better)

    No matter which I choose, I will definitely supplement with raw goat milk, yogurt, etc. I would also like some input on what kinds of meat I can buy at the grocery store. I’ve only ever bought dog raw from PFE. Sorry for the long post and I’m really looking forward to any and all input. You all rule!

    Sally, Jax & Bean


    In reply to: Low Sodium Dog Food

    Kalle S

    The only thing off the top of my head is raw food. Check out Stella & Chewie, primal, Steve’s real food, lotus or instinct frozen foods.


    Hi AK-

    Sorry about the issues you are having with your pup. I had the same issues with mine and it was stressful. First of all, have you had a few fecal tests done, specifically for both Giardia and Coccidia. They are both common parasites/worms that can cause intermittent loose stools in dogs, especially puppies. That was the issue for us to begin with. Here is a link that was helpful to me to get my puppies tummies healthy again after ridding of those pesky parasites: This site has a whole host of information on all kinds of dog issues!

    My dogs do best on a lower fat with higher fiber food. I’ve had good luck with Victor, Whole Earth Farms and Taste of the Wild so far. I still occasionally add Perfect Form supplement made by The Honest Kitchen when I am transitioning to a different brand. I also add green tripe three days a week to their kibble. It is very stinky but contains natural enzymes and probiotics to their meals. Here is a link with some of the benefits: I buy K9 Natural either freeze dried or frozen green lamb tripe. Again, SO STINKY, but they love it and it’s good for them.

    I do also add frozen raw medallions or nuggets to some of their meals as well. I use either Nature’s Variety, Primal or Northwest Naturals, whichever one is having the best deal! I have had no issue adding raw to kibble.

    Also, maybe try cutting back on how much you are feeding her. Sometimes overfeeding can lead to loose stools. My dogs have improved a lot, but still sometimes have issues when they are over excited.

    Hope some of this can help. Good luck to you!


    In reply to: Canned vs Dry

    Bobby dog

    Hi Ashley:
    My dog is six, can eat anything, and has no health issues other than a tendency to gain weight during hot weather months. For canned foods I only take brands, ingredients, calories, proteins, and GA’s into consideration. I feed whatever recipe fits the bill regardless of what is on the label, puppy, small/large breed, Sr., etc. I try to feed foods with a fat to protein ratio of 50% or less; equal calories coming from fat and protein or more from protein than fat. For example, a recipe that is 4% fat and 8% protein would be ideal for him, 7% fat – 8% protein not so much. Some of the f-p ratios I feed can be up to 70% which is okay at this time since I rotate foods.

    My budget foods are Tractor Supply Company 4Health – Turkey & Sweet Potato, Beef & Veg stews, or Sr. Chicken & Rice recipes, Triumph Puppy or Turkey recipes, BJ’s Earth’s Pride Chicken & Rice, and Wal-Mart Pure Balance Stews.

    Here are some brands to check out that I currently feed or have fed:
    Blue Buffalo Home-style, by Nature (no 95% recipes), California Natural, Canidae Pure Sky or Foundations, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Eagle Pack, Halo Spot’s Stew or Spot’s Choice recipes, Holistic Select, Hill’s Ideal Balance stews, Lotus, Nature’s Recipe canned or tubs, Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed recipes, Precise, Purina Pro Plan Natural recipes, Purina Beyond, Red Barn stews, Tiki Dog, Wellness – Core, Simple, Complete Health, or Stew recipes, and Weruva Human Style or Dogs in the Kitchen recipes only (Kobe/Kurobuta recipes are canned by Evanger’s).

    Low fat recipes; most are available at my local stores. I order Life’s Abundance from their website. Generally I find stews to be higher in protein and lower in fat, but not always. These are between 12-20% fat and below 25% carbs on a dry matter basis using their label info:
    Fromm’s Shredded Beef
    I and Love and You Stews
    Life’s Abundance Turkey & Shrimp or Chic & Crab stews
    Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials LID GF Chic/Broth or GF Lamb/Broth
    Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials tubs LID Duck or LID Venison
    Nature’s Recipe tubs GF Chic & Duck in broth or GF Chic & Venison in broth
    Nature’s Recipe tubs Chicken in broth or Chic & Turkey in broth
    Nature’s Recipe GF Chic & Turkey stew or Chic & Venison Stew
    Purina Beyond GF stews
    Red Barn Beef Stew
    Tiki Dog – Kauai Luau, Lahaina Luau, Maui Luau, or Tonga Luau recipes
    Weruva – Marbella Paella, Bed & Breakfast, or Paw Lickin’ Chicken recipes
    Wellness Core Weight Management

    These are 22-25% fat and below 25% carbs DMB:
    Halo Sr. Beef
    Merrick Golden Years Medley
    Nutro Natural Choice LID Sr.
    Precise Holistic Pork w/veg in gravy
    Red Barn Chic, Turkey, or Steak & Egg stews
    Wal-Mart Pure Balance stews
    Wellness Stews

    Here are some freeze dried/frozen commercial raw and dehydrated foods I feed. I use the same guidelines for these foods:
    I and Love and You dehydrated Turkey (I also want to try the Beef and Chicken)
    Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Beef, Lamb, and Venison
    Primal FD Turkey & Sardine, Frozen Venison, and frozen Turkey & Sardine
    Stella & Chewy’s FD Chicken

    Here is some info you might find helpful:
    Carb calculator:


    In reply to: Chronic diarrhea

    Allison A

    He has not been tested for EPI, nor have I given him enzymes. I can contact Hills, but based on the ingredients list, the majority of the ingredients that contribute to the fiber content are insoluble (wheat, corn, etc.). His poops are not great with Hills Light, but that has been BY FAR the most successful food for him. He probably poops 5-8 times a day. First thing in the morning, the stool is formed. After that, it gets softer and softer with each subsequent BM. On any food other than the Hills, his stool is just straight liquid.

    I am trying to get him off the Hills (chicken, wheat, corn) because his ears and bum are clearly bothering him. Both of those issues have gotten exponentially worse in the last two weeks with the incorporation of the Orijen (he’s getting half Hills, half Orijen Red). It hardly makes sense!

    He has never had a full raw meal, only a couple freeze-dried nuggets (Primal brand) on top of his kibble. Because of that, I can’t say that going raw is the definite solution for him, but I am investigating how to go about that in a way I can afford. The commercially available frozen raw diets are going to run $400 a month, which I just can’t do. Unfortunately, I live in a very large, major US city where all meats are ridiculously expensive. We’re talking about $3/lb for the cheap stuff.


    All Orijen is grain free, so is Acana Singles. The Honest Kitchen has a few grain free formulas. It has for quite some time.

    As for freeze dried grain free foods there is Primal, Vital Essentials and I believe Nature’s Logic makes a grain free freeze dried food. I feed commercial frozen raw diet for my three but I do use freeze dried in a treat jar near the back door when calling them in. They consider it a reason to come flying into the house regardless of what they were up to outside. From time to time the only dehydrated food that I will use is The Honest Kitchen grain free fish formulas. Zeal is one and I believe they have just come out with one that has even less ingredients in it, I believe it’s called Brave (?) something like that. I just got an email about it last week or could have been this week. I don’t care for any of the other dehydrated foods that I’ve tried although Grandma Lucy’s is not bad.


    Frozen or Freeze Dried Raw Food brands like Stella and Chews or Primal. Mix with pumpkin or preferably dehydrate pumpkin add water. Start slow and work your way up to a full meal.


    In reply to: Darwins


    I’m currently using Darwins. I like it because they stamp on the package when it was made so I can tell how long it has been frozen. It is a little more watery than Stella & Chewys or Primal. My girl eats it up! I have priced it out, shipping and all, and it is still cheaper than Stella & Chewys 6 lb bag. Even of the less expensive proteins like their chicken. I also like that on average it has less fat in their formulas than other frozen raw. Sometimes the packages do leak. I think I only have had 1 half pound packages leak out of the last 42 lbs. order, so that isn’t too bad. The food is always frozen when it arrives.

    i constantly get compliments on my dogs coat and how shiny and soft it is. Her poops are firm and small. She poops about once a day, which is nice. Although I am going to be going to half raw half dehydrated. Just to save a little bit on her food costs.

    Have you tried their sample offer? It’s 10 lbs for $14.95. Great deal.


    Hi Maikwe-
    That certainly is concerning. Have you contacted the company about the issue? I just bought a bag of the Primal nuggets, but haven’t opened them yet. I also sometimes put my dogs’ frozen raw in the microwave for a few seconds. I’ll definitely keep an eye on that. I don’t know if it is only metal that causes microwaves to spark or not? Definitely something to look in to. Thanks for the heads up. Also curious about what the fermented food is that you are currently feeding. I occasionally put a little sauerkraut in my dogs’ meals. I’ve read that fermented foods are really good for their (and ours) digestive tracts.


    Check out Dr. Karen Becker’s articles on yeast. I do her povidine foot soak for itchy paws and it’s helped.

    The fresh and frozen raw are probably the healthiest and most cost effective but the bulk of my pups’ diet is a variety of freeze dried raw, with water added to rehydrate. They are Stella and Chewys, Primal, Orijen, and Stewarts Bison. Their favorites are Trudog, Only Natural Niblets and Vital Essentials…I soak these overnight.

    For a quick meal I give the air dried raw from Real Meat Food Co or Ziwi Peak and rotate between brands and proteins.

    Be prepared for a cleansing reaction, like loose stools, which could happen as you go to better foods. You may want to consider adding digestive enzymes and probioitics to help with potential digestive issues when changing…I use in most meals, it also supports the immune system and overall health.

    Also consider having Perfect Form on hand from Honest Kitchen or canned pumpkin, and give during transition for stomach issues. But first check to see if it’s ok to give to yeasty dog, not sure.

    Fish oil can help itchy skin and also good for heart, joints, brain, etc. Good brands for these supplements include Mercola Krill, Animal Essentials, Dr. Peter Tobias, Wholistic Pet Organics and Natures Farmacy.

    Good luck!


    In reply to: Raw back to kibble????


    Hi Linda G. Here is the list of commercial raw frozen foods that I feed. I rotate my dogs food. I rotate brands and proteins within the brands with the exception of any fowl as Katie, allergy girl, can’t tolerate any fowl. I have been at the point where I rotate with every meal for quite a while now. Nutritionally I find rotation is the best way to feed. Also by rotating as often as I do no body ever gets bored with a meal nor do they know what to expect to find in their bowl.
    OC Raw Frozen, Primal Raw Frozen Formulas, Answer’s Detailed Raw Frozen, Vital Essentials Raw Frozen, Nature’s Logic Raw Frozen, Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen,

    Primal Freeze Dried
    Vital Essentials Freeze Dried

    The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Zeal (The Honest Kitchen is not a raw food but I do sometimes have it in rotation for the occasional time when something hasn’t defrosted enough for me to feed). I also happen to like the company for the fact that their foods are made in a human food manufacturing plant so I thought I should reward and buy their food for that fact alone. Just my thing, though. No other dog foods are made there.


    Sorry James S. Just saw your earlier post. I’m glad at least the diagnosis was for the more treatable one. What treatment has your vet suggested? Yes, Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen is a frozen food and one of the one’s I feed my dogs in rotation.

    As to a list of commercial raw frozen foods, these are the ones that I use in rotation. I rotate brands and proteins within brands with the exception of fowl. One of my girls is intolerant of all fowl.

    Answer’s Detailed Raw Frozen (Not always easy to track down but any store that carries any of the products can usually order it in for you from their distributor)

    Primal Raw Frozen Formulas (My favorite of all frozen raw foods)
    Vital Essentials Frozen Raw
    Nature’s Logic Raw Frozen
    OC Frozen Raw
    Darwin’s Raw Frozen (only available on their site on auto-delivery plan)
    Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen
    (Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen will be the easiest to find as pretty much everyone carries it including the large stores like Petco and Petsmart.)

    The others on the list are typically found in smaller more local type pet food stores.

    I’ve recently won a bag of Steve’s Real Frozen Raw (very excited about that) and I’ll see how that works out with the girls. It just arrived yesterday so I’ll defrost some for their dinner tonight. I’ll let you know about that one after they’ve eaten it for a while.

    The only two freeze dried foods that I use, but only infrequently, is Primal Freeze Dried and Vital Essentials Freeze Dried. I use Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Tripe Treats as their treats when I call them to “come” from the yard. I keep a jar with them near the back patio door and it’s the only time they get them.

    I forgot to add that once in a while, not often, I feed The Honest Kitchen Zeal formula. It contains no fowl, no potatoes, no alfalfa. Is GMO free. The Honest Kitchen is made with all human grade ingredients and made in a plant that only processes human food. It’s all documented and the FDA allows them to use the information on their packaging. It’s the only company that the FDA has given it’s approval to.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by Dori.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by Dori.

    Hi Wendy J-
    I try to avoid it for my dogs also. I’ve never seen a list, but I have noticed that most canned stew type foods usually don’t have it whereas a lot of the pate styles do. The only problem is you get a little less bang for your buck with stews due to containing more water. I try to stick to budget friendly stews such as Pure Balance, 4Health and Kirkland. The other topper I use if on sale are frozen raw meat nugget, such as NW Naturals, Primal or Nature’s Variety. They do not contain carrageenan. Good luck!


    In reply to: Good supplements


    The commercial raw foods that I feed are:

    Primal Raw Frozen Formulas
    Primal Pronto Frozen Formulas
    Natural Variety Instinct Frozen Raw Diets
    Vital Essentials Frozen Raw Food
    OC Raw Frozen Food
    Nature’s Logic Frozen Raw Food
    Answer’s Detailed Frozen Raw Food

    I used to feed Darwin’s but I stopped. They add more fat to the diets now and also lowered the protein level of their diets. And, of course, they raised their prices.

    For a dehydrated, once in a while I’ll use The Honest Kitchen Zeal. It’s the only one that I feed.

    As treats I only give them small pieces of fruits and veggies. Whatever I happen to have in the refrigerator or counter.

    I don’t feed any commercial treats. Too many recalls, too many grains.

    Please feel free to ask any other questions.

    Bobby dog

    Hi Rhonda:
    How often you rotate is up to your pup. Some do well rotating brands frequently, some need a longer transition period. My dog can eat different foods for each meal with no issues whatsoever.

    I feed about half a meal of kibble topped with either canned, fresh foods, or commercial raw freeze dried or frozen. His kibble is the most constant out of the rotation. He will eat one brand/recipe of a smaller bag until it’s finished, about a month. Then I switch to another brand with a different protein and carb source. All other foods change with every meal or every few days for canned food.

    Sounds like you’re set for your pup’s treat menu! For commercial raw my dog does well on Stella & Chewy freeze dried Chicken, Pheasant, Venison, or Duck, Duck, Goose, Primal freeze dried Turkey & Sardine, Primal frozen Venison, Nature’s Variety Instinct freeze dried Lamb, Nature’s Variety Instinct frozen beef, lamb, or venison.

    Here’s a few DFA articles on rotation and info to help you choose a commercial raw food:

    Bobby dog

    Hi Linda:
    I am always on the lookout for average to low fat commercial raw foods. I find most recipes too high in fat. Good or bad fat it’s in there and I want the majority of my dog’s calories to be from protein not fat. Here’s an article on fat in commercial raw foods:

    From my list I only have one food that may fit your needs Primal Frozen Venison. On a dry matter basis using the numbers from their site it is about 16% fat. Their Frozen Rabbit recipe is also low fat (17% DMB), but you mentioned rabbit might not agree with your dog.

    You might consider making your own raw if you are unable to find a suitable commercial diet. Here is a list of books for making raw and home cooked diets:

    Since your dog is not too thrilled eating TOTW kibble maybe try another brand or have you ever thought about supplementing with canned instead? Here are some low-fat canned foods I feed Wellness Core Weight Management, Innova Large Breed Sr., and Weruva’s Marbella Paella, Paw Lickin’ Chicken, and Bed and Breakfast recipes. On Weruva’s site they list their nutrition information in dry matter basis. Other low-fat canned foods I want to try are Fromm’s Four Star Shredded Chic or Beef and Petsmart’s Simply Nourish bisque or stew foods.

    Feeding a balanced diet is important, however if my dog had a health issue it would definitely be priority for me. Regarding Sojos foods and mixes there have been comments posted on DFA about the vegetables coming out of their dog as they went in and lack of info on their labels. Some posters suggested grinding the mix before feeding it. You can do a search for comments on Sojos here’s one thread:

    Concerns have also been posted about The Honest Kitchen foods and mixes. Posters have commented on digestibility issues, label accuracy, feeding recommendations, and questionable information provided by customer service and the owner of the company. Check out the comment sections on the review side for more info:

    Good luck!

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