When feeding our dogs, most pet owners are looking to get quality pet food that is made from good ingredients. Whether you are looking for regular kibble or raw foods, you want to know that a product is of good quality before feeding it to your pet.
In this Primal dog food review, we will be taking a closer look at the Primal brand. This includes the history of the company, where their products are made, and how good quality the ingredients that they use are.
In addition to taking a look at things like ingredient quality, we will also be taking a look at Primal’s recall history, where to buy Primal freeze dried food and some alternatives to the Primal brand. Let’s get into it!
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Primal is a pet food brand that makes the quality of its ingredients and the health of its foods of the utmost importance. As a result, all of their ingredients are ethically sourced and are healthy for dogs and cats to eat.
All products from this pet company are raw. This includes both their cat food and their frozen or freeze dried products for dogs. This is great for those who are looking to do raw feeding for their pets.
In addition to providing high protein diets that consist of raw muscle meat and other ingredients, Primal also has a lot of other products on their product line. This includes treats, hydrants like bone broth, and food toppers.
Primal was created by Matt Koss in the year 2000 after his dog Luna was experiencing health problems. His vet at the time recommended that Koss feed Luna a raw diet. As you can probably imagine, this ended up helping Luna a great deal, and this is what inspired Koss to create the Primal company, which was officially created in 2001.
Since then Primal has upheld their amazing food quality by maintaining quality ingredients like steroid free meats and certified organic produce. The amazing thing is they have continued this quality as they have expanded and created more products to sell on their product line.
Today they are branded as an excellent company for dog owners that are feeding raw. This is branded as being the diet that nature intended. However, whether or not you would like your pet to a raw diet is entirely up to you, and in some cases, it may be a good idea to consult with your vet before changing your dog’s diet to a raw one.
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Where Are Primal Pet Foods Made?
Most Primal pet products are made in their facility in Fairfield, California. It is always a good thing to know where your pet food comes from because those made within the United States tend to be of much better quality than those made in other countries such as China.
In addition to this, pet products made in the United States tend to be safer for pets to consume as well. This is because our health and safety laws tend to be much more strict than those that are found in some other countries.
It is also important to mention that some of their dog treats are made in a facility in Montrose, Colorado. Considering that this facility is still located within the United States, they should follow all of the same strict health and safety protocols that Primal’s facility in Fairfield, California does.
These products do tend to be on the more expensive end when compared to other pet food brands. This is mainly due to the very high ingredient quality that Primal provides in their raw foods and treats.
However, when compared to other raw dog food brands Primal’s price seems to be the standard rate. This means that Primal tends to be a fair price for the quality of products offered.
Plus, considering the quality ingredients and how easy their nuggets are to serve, many people consider Primal to be at a fair price.
Primal Ingredient Quality
This company uses human grade ingredients when making their raw foods and treats. This is not only for the fruits and vegetables used but their meat and poultry products as well. Here is a breakdown of all the whole ingredients included in Primal’s freeze dried formulas.
- Real Meat With Ground Bone (Ex: Lamb With Ground Bone)
- Real Meats (Ex: Lamb)
- Hearts From an Identifiable Source (Ex: Lamb Hearts)
- Chicken Necks
- Liver From an Identifiable Source (Ex: Beef Liver)
- Organic Carrots
- Organic Squash
- Organic Kale
- Organic Apples
- Organic Pumpkin Seeds
- Organic Sunflower Seeds
- Organic Broccoli
- Organic Blueberries
- Organic Cranberries
- Organic Parsley
- Organic Rosemary Extract
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Montmorillonite Clay
- Fish Oil
- Salmon Oil
- Organic Quinoa
- Organic Coconut Oil
- Vitamin E Supplement
- Organic Ground Alfalfa
- Dried Organic Kelp
- Zinc Sulfate
All of the above ingredients are safe for consumption, and none of them are considered to be controversial. This all adds up to great food for dogs on a raw diet. Unfortunately, this cannot be said of all pet products.
It is important to remember that most of these products are made with raw meat. As a result, you may need to take some extra precautions when it comes to storage and sanitizing prepping surfaces and food bowls.
You may have also noticed that there are very few supplements when it comes to vitamins and minerals. This is because these things are mostly included through natural ingredients rather than in the form of supplements.
Top Primal Product Lines
Primal includes a variety of products in its product line. All of these products are largely considered to be healthy and great for pets on a raw diet. This includes fresh food and treats as well as some other items.
Although Primal does offer other items like raw goat milk and bone broth, they are not largely available for purchase online. As a result, we will unfortunately not be listing them here. The same goes for some of their raw toppers, bones, and chews. In addition to this, Primal also sells raw cat food.
However, two of Primal’s most popular products are widely available for purchase online. These include their raw food and treats. We will be taking a closer look at these products here.
Primal Freeze Dried Nuggets
Possibly one of the most popular products is Primal’s freeze dried nuggets. In fact, this is what most dogs eat when their owners are feeding primal. These products are a great food for dogs that are fed a raw diet. Plus, these nuggets are also very convenient for dog owners as well.
This is because these freeze dried products make raw feeding easy and accessible to the average dog owner due to the product’s easy storage. Plus, feeding your dog this food is fairly easy thanks to its nugget shape. This shape of the food makes it fairly easy for dog owners to feed their dog the right portion as well.
Primal has a variety of flavors and formulas when it comes to their raw food. The following freeze dried dog products from Primal are widely available for purchase both online and in store.
- Beef Formula Nuggets
- Chicken Formula Nuggets
- Lamb Formula Nuggets
- Turkey and Sardine Formula Nuggets
- Pork Formula Nuggets
- Duck Formula Nuggets
- Rabbit Formula Nuggets
- Venison Nuggets
All of the above foods are grain free, freeze dried, and are intended for dogs on a raw diet. This means that these foods are best for those planning on feeding their dogs raw.
Unfortunately, these foods may or may not be suited for older dogs or dogs with digestion issues. If you are unsure if you should be raw feeding your dog, then you should contact your veterinarian for their expert advice. This will ensure that your dog has a good experience with the food and that they will not experience stomach problems as a result of their diet.
Dried and Roasted Primal Treats
In addition to their healthy raw foods, this brand also makes some high quality treats as well. These dog treats are roasted and dried, making them a great snack to have on the go.
Plus, these treats are mostly made from one single ingredient, and that is the ingredient that is stated in the flavor of the treat. For example, Primal Chicken Shredders Dry Roasted Dog treats are made of 100% chicken breast, and this is the treats’ only ingredient.
The only acceptation to this rule is Primal’s Turkey Chips Jerky Dog Treats. This is because in addition to roasted turkey these treats also contain honey and sea salt. These ingredients just add a little extra flavor to the treats.
This company offers a wide variety of high quality, single ingredient dog treats that are dried and roasted in their product line. Here are the dog treats that Primal has to offer.
- Primal Chicken Shredders Dry Roasted Dog Treats
- Primal Turkey Chips Jerky Dog Treats
- Primal Pork Liver Snaps Dry Roasted Dog Treats
- Primal Buffalo Liver Snaps Dry Roasted Dog Treats
These dog treats make for a great healthy option for both training treats and as a protein rich snack to give your dog. Whatever the case may be, you will be hard-pressed to find another dog treat that is of better quality than those listed above.
Primal Freeze Dried Treats
In addition to their dry roasted dog treats, Primal also offers some freeze dried treats as well. These treats are also a good option for training treats or protein rich snack on the go for several different reasons.
Like Primal’s dry and roasted treats, Primal freeze dried treats are easily stored and handled because they have been freeze dried. This makes the food safe to store in a cool, dry place.
However, you still may need to take some precautions when handling these treats. For example, you will need to keep these treats out of reach of children, and it is also recommended that you wash your hands after handling these treats.
In addition to this, these treats also pack a ton of protein, are full of high quality ingredients, and are packed full of natural nutrients. This makes these treats a great, healthy option for those who are looking for a treat that is on the healthier side.
Also like their dried treats, these products only contain one high quality ingredient. This means that their Beef Liver treats will only contain beef liver and no other ingredients. Here are some of the Freeze Dried treats that Primal has available for purchase.
- Primal Beef Liver Munchies Freeze Dried Dog and Cat Treats
- Primal Turkey Liver Munchies Freeze Dried Dog and Cat Treats
- Primal Pork Liver Munchies Freeze Dried Dog and Cat Treats
However, unlike Primal’s roasted dog treats, their freeze dried treats can be used for both dogs and cats. This makes these a particularly great option for pet owners of both species that also feed their pets a raw diet.
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Alternatives to Primal Nuggets
If Primal does not seem to be what you are looking for, or you cannot find any of their products for purchase, then there are some good alternatives to Primal. These brands are of similar price and quality to primal, and they are all raw and freeze dried as well.
Vital Essentials offers a wide variety of freeze dried raw food formulas. These formulas are packed full of protein and nutrition, and they are also grain free.
These formulas have a single protein source. This means that if Turkey is used then no other meats will be included. Having food that only includes one protein source tends to be particularly good for dogs with food allergies.
Currently, Vital Essentials has formulas that include turkey, rabbit, chicken, beef, duck, and salmon. As a result, you are sure to find the perfect raw food for your dog to eat.
Open Farm Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food
Open Farm is yet another excellent alternative to Primal. Like Primal, all of their foods include raw meats and are freeze dried. They also contain a ton of healthy ingredients and are nutritiously balanced.
Open Farm’s formulas are also grain free, and they are recommended for puppies and adult dogs. Plus, this brand is great for very large dog breeds as well.
Open Farm offers a wide variety of formulas for their freeze dried raw food. These formulas include lamb, chicken, rabbit, pork, beef, turkey, and surf and turf. This means that you are sure to find a good formula for your pet.
Nulo Freestyle is an excellent alternative to Primal for several different reasons. The first factor that makes Nulo great is that it is made in the United States within an FDA inspected facility. This ensures that they are following safety protocols that are upheld within the U.S.
In addition to this, Nulo is also a grain free, raw food that uses quality ingredients. Nulo Freestyle’s foods are recommended for puppies and adult dogs, and it is also a good option for large breed dogs.
Nulo offers a wide variety of formulas for their raw foods, and this ensures that everyone will find a Nulo dog food that will meet their dog’s needs. These formulas include beef, duck, lamb, turkey, and salmon.
TruDog Freeze Dried Super Food
TruDog is yet another excellent dog food alternative to Primal, and it is recommended for all life stages. Of course, this dog food is good for dogs of all shapes and sizes as well.
Their raw freeze dried products are all grain free and are made with whole, real ingredients. There are a variety of different formulas offered by TruDog including beef, turkey, whitefish, and turkey and duck.
Where to Buy Primal Products
Primal freeze dried products for both dogs and cats can be found in pet stores throughout the United States and Canada. This includes both privately owned pet stores and some pet store chains like Pet Supplies Plus.
In addition to purchasing these products in-store, you can find them on a variety of online retailers as well. These include common pet sites like Chewy and CatalogDog. In addition to this, you can also purchase these products directly from the Primal website.
Unfortunately, this pet brand does have a short recall history. On December 21, 2017, Primal made a voluntary recall on select products due to the ground bone size being larger than the recommended size to feed to dogs and cats.
A variety of Primal’s products were affected by this recall, and out of these products, multiple expiration dates were included. The following Primal raw products were affected by this voluntary recall.
- Canine Chicken Freeze Dried Formulas
- Canine Duck Freeze Dried Formulas
- Canine Turkey Freeze Dried Formula
- Feline Chicken Salmon Freeze Dried Formula
- Feline Turkey Freeze Dried Formula
This is the only recorded recall for this pet food brand. It is also important to note that this recall did not pose a risk for infection of either animals or humans. Rather, this recall was only concerning potentially hazardous bone fragments within the food.
Primal is an excellent raw food to feed your dog. This is especially true if you have been looking for a raw, freeze dried product that is easy to store and portion out for your dog. Their formulas are full of protein and organic quality ingredients in both their treats and meals. This all leads to a product that is extremely high in quality.
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