Primal Pet Foods

Whole30® Approved: Primal Pet Foods

Our pets make us healthier – it’s a well-researched and documented fact. Our furry friends, be they feline or canine, make us happier, fitter, give us higher self-esteem, make us less lonely, improve our human relationships, and help us to be more socially outgoing. There are even reports that pets give us as much support as our own family members… some might say more support, in some cases.

We recently put a call out on our Facebook page asking for stories from people who feed their pets a Paleo-style diet. We were overwhelmed with the feedback, which did not surprise us. We get it. You love your pets. You love them so much that you want to give them back even a small portion of the improved health that they give you.

We love our pets, too. That’s why we’re especially excited to announce our newest addition to the Whole30® Approved family: Primal Pet Foods.

Primal Pet Foods

Primal Pet Foods offers an easy way to keep your pet’s diet as close to natural as possible. By eating raw, fresh and wholesome foods, your pet receives optimum nutrition through active enzymes, unprocessed amino acids and necessary vitamins and minerals that are essential to a natural, long, happy and healthy life.

The company’s poultry, meat and game are antibiotic and steroid-free, without added hormones. They incorporate certified organic produce, certified organic minerals and unrefined vitamins to fortify their complete and balanced diets. All Primal Formulas contain fresh ground bone for calcium supplementation.

Primal Formulas offer you the convenience and benefits of a raw-food diet without having to grind, chop, measure or mix the ingredients yourself. Primal Pet Foods has taken the time to carefully formulate and produce a nutritious, fresh-food diet that is easy for you to serve and delectable for pets to devour. The proof is watching them lick the bowl clean while thriving happily and healthfully!

Kyle Frautnick, Marketing Director at Primal Pet Foods, agreed to give us a little more insight into the what, why and how of their raw, grain-free pet food.

How did your dog’s story factor into your pet food products?

Primal Pet Foods began over ten years ago out of a desire to find alternative methods of nourishing our family pets Luna, Oso and Cedric. As Luna began to age, she started showing signs of common canine ailments often associated with diet. As for Oso and Cedric, these thriving boys were in need of a diet that would better compliment their exceptionally high level of energy.

After researching a wealth of animal nutrition information from a variety of fascinating books published by noted homeopaths in the animal care industry, we discovered what has become known as the BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). Extensive scientific research has documented clearly the benefits of the BARF diet, such as enhanced immune system, increased energy, whiter teeth, healthier gums, brighter eyes, shinier coats, smoother skin and stronger nails. Most important, the BARF diet promotes optimum digestibility of the proteins, vitamins and minerals that are essential to your pet’s health and longevity.

Primal Pet Foods utilized the expertise of one of its founders, a trained chef in fine food and product development, to create easy-to-serve, wholesome and delicious formulas based on the BARF diet. Having developed our formulas and having witnessed the benefits to Luna, Oso and Cedric’s health, we felt compelled to share our recipes with other pet owners.

Why should my pet eat a raw, grain-free diet?

Primal Pet Foods feels it is imperative to offer an alternative source of nutrition to our pets as an alarming number of our beloved animals are being diagnosed with diet-related disease. Produced with only the highest quality raw ingredients, all Primal products offer pets a superior form of highly digestible amino acids, vitamins and minerals, the building blocks of every animal’s biological function.

BARF is a diet for animals based on raw meaty bones, muscle meat, organs and raw, fresh fruits and vegetables. This diet mimics the eating habits of animals in their natural habitat, the wild, where they subsisted on the flesh and bones of their prey, the innards and any predigested fruits, grasses, leaves and seeds.

I want my entire family, including my pets, to be a part of our Whole9 lifestyle. Which of your foods are Whole30® compliant?

All of Primal Pets Food’s products are Whole30 compliant. However, your readers that are new or unfamiliar with feeding raw will most likely be interested in our flagship products of species appropriate, complete diet formulas. Simply thaw and serve… there’s nothing more to add.

Additionally, we’re recently launched our new complete diet freeze-dried formula line. This is essentially the exact same product as our raw frozen formula mentioned above, only the moisture has been removed and is a dry product that can be stored out of the refrigerator/freezer. This product can be served as is or rehydrated with water for optimum nutrition.

How do I successfully transition my pet from dry food to a raw food diet?

Transition is the most essential element of a healthy and safe change from dry kibble or canned wet food to a raw diet. We recommend making this transition slowly. Allow a minimum of one week for your pet’s digestive system to properly adjust from a highly processed diet to a new diet of human-grade raw foods.

For days 1-3, begin by mixing Primal Formulas, Mixes or Grinds into your pet’s current food at a ratio that your pet will tolerate; you can start with as little as 1/4 Primal to 3/4 of your pet’s current food. Your pet may show some adversity to the temperature of the raw food when served directly from the refrigerator. To warm Primal raw foods, place the feeding portion into a zip-seal, water-tight bag and temper in a bowl of warm water. Do not use water that is too hot, as this will potentially cook the food and reduce the enzymatic properties, as well as deplete the nutrient values of the raw foods.

If your pet accepts the raw food during days 1-3, feed your pet raw foods only for the morning meal and their current food for the evening meal for days 4-7. When your pet has transitioned successfully (consuming raw foods readily, healthy, firm stool), you can begin feeding raw foods for both meals.

Many pets will transition quickly and consume the raw food with vigor. To determine how your pet’s system is accepting the new diet, monitor your pet’s stool. On a raw diet, your pet’s stool size will be greatly reduced. Stools will become small, firm and void of any offensive odor. If your pet’s stool is soft or loose as a result of the transition, introduce the raw food more slowly.

Pets that have digestive issues and/or gastrointestinal disorders should be transitioned more slowly. We recommend the addition of a digestive enzyme to aid with the transition for pets with severe digestive and/or gastrointestinal upset.

It is important to only serve Primal raw foods when completely thawed. Frozen foods can be difficult for animals to digest. Never microwave any pet food. Microwaves cause the fat molecules to radically change, making fats less digestible, and ultimately they can become harmful to your pet’s long-term health.

Could you talk a little more about the sourcing of your ingredients?

Our commitment to our customers and their beloved pets is to provide the highest quality raw pet foods and treats using only human-grade ingredients of superior quality and origin. We have secured strong, long-term relationships with all of our vendors and have great trust and confidence in the raising, growing, handling, processing and packaging procedures of each and every one of our suppliers.

The ingredients used in Primal Pet Foods products are generally procured from USDA premium farms and ranches located within the United States. (We do procure a portion of our lamb, all of our venison, and our rabbit from New Zealand.) All animals raised for the use of protein in our foods are fed naturally on grass and/or a human-grade, vegetarian diet. The vendors that supply our proteins do not import any of their animal feed from countries outside of the United States, and we do not utilize any ingredients sourced from China.

Where To Buy Primal Pet Foods

Primal Pet Foods products are available nationwide in nearly 3,000 retail locations. You can find locations near you by visiting their store locator online.  Not all retailers stock every Primal product, so they recommend that you call ahead to ensure the retailer has the specific products you are looking for. Any Primal Pet Food retailer can special order Primal products for their customers. (Currently, Primal Pet Foods does not ship directly to customers, due to the logistics and cost involved with shipping frozen products.)

Join Primal Pet Foods’ mailing list (on their website sidebar) to receive some great coupons for discount on their products.

Join us in welcoming Primal Pet Foods to the Whole30 Approved family, and best in health and happy eating, to you and your pet!


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  1. Water Lily says

    I have been using this food since I brought my puppy home, and she is doing great. I also add coconut flakes on top of her food every day.

  2. Johnny says

    I think this is mentioned on their website and packaging but as an added treat, I mix a fresh pastured egg yolk into the food occasionally as well as a very finely ground egg shell. My cats LOVE this stuff.

  3. says

    That’s nice that there is a place to get primal prepared foods for our pets. My cats have been eating a raw/canned food diet since 2005. They get canned food (as high protein as possible) in the a.m. and raw chicken or turkey or whatever real primal food that we eat at night. Now that we eat grass fed beef and more omega 3 rich food they are naturally eating even better as well. If you start feeding your felines a raw food diet, chicken thighs especially, they will just crunch away on the bones as is. No need to process the stuff for them. Some will eat it that way, some won’t. My male cat would crunch the bones of the chicken thighs while the female would hack away at it around the bones.

    It’s especially interesting that my cats went prima/Paleo (which is how nature intended them to eat…) well before I finally realized how natural it is too.

  4. says

    I’ve got a 3 year old with celiac, a one year old who can’t have dairy, and the dog we just adopted is allergic to just about everything! …she fits in…

    This is great.

  5. says

    This is great and we looked into this for our dogs, one of which has horrible skin allergies, but it would cost $350 a month to feed both of them. For now we will be doing homemade paleo but I am really glad there are starting to be options for our pets which are much healthier than the dried food. They have the same problems we do with eating horrible processed diets that make them sick and not even the vets really tell us how to properly feed our pets. Thanks for finding us so many resources and researching things so that we have as many options as possible!

  6. Shawndra says

    I am super stoked to see you recommending Primal, they are a great company and this is an excellent option for those too leery of taking the plunge into real homemade raw.

    I have used their 5lb bags of whole turkey necks (only source for decent quality turkey necks I’ve found in my area… we try to stay away from factory farmed poultry here!) and the Sardine grind in the past. I stopped using the sardine grind because my dogs really dislike it and they eat mostly pasture raised and game animal parts, so we’re good on omega-3’s with their diet as it is. I don’t buy the turkey necks often because they are ridiculously expensive and I am poor… and my family raises high quality beef and lamb so I have cheaper options for raw meaty bones, but they are excellent quality for those who can afford it!

    That said, dogs are carnivores and we don’t need to be feeding them plant matter. I mean you can if it makes you feel better, but like inappropriate human foodstuffs its probably going to promote some inflammation and other things. They need meat, bone, and organs to be healthy. While BARF style with veggies and stuff is the most politically acceptable form of raw feeding, it is not necesarily the most biologically appropriate. Especially for our kitties who are obligate carnivores. Prey model raw or frankenprey as some are fond of calling it much more appropriate as it consists of real, whole foods appropriate for our carnivorous pets. Don’t we try to eat whole food sources instead of processed foods? Why wouldn’t we do the same for our animal friends?

    I tried dehydrated raw and premade raw such as Primal after my dog started having constipation issues on even high end grain free kibble. it fixed the constipation issue, but she lost muscle, gained fat, and her fur got very nasty and was shedding like crazy. Finally I gave myself a kick and thought why am I doing this? She would not eat alfalfa (an ingredient in one of the grain free recipes of The Honest Kitchen) in the hay field, but she sure would (and does!) catch and eat the mice that live there!

    The detox alone during transition told me all I needed to know. It was DISGUSTING. That was over a year and a half ago.
    They are both so much healthier now its ridiculous. I recently got asked how much bigger they’ll get because some assumed they were pups because how soft they are.
    Their athletic performance in IPO and other training has been aided as well by being in peak physical condition. They can think clearer while working in high drive, recovery time is better, and my one girl is actually able to build the more muscle weight she needed on her.

    Another huge benefit to homemade raw is the periodontal benefits given by eating real whole foods. I strongly suggest reading Works Wonders and Raw Meaty Bones by Dr. Tom Lonsdale. When you feed only ground food instead of real whole foods, you completely negate any periodontal benefits and are still beholden to eventually needing to anesthetize for yearly dentals down the road, which carry a myriad of risks on their own. My other dog Scout had nasty totally brown teeth at only 2.5yrs old, despite being on a very high quality kibble diet supplemented by regular raw meaty bones and organ meats… after proper transition to 100% prey model raw, her teeth are sparkling. They literally look like they belong to a different dog. At their annual checkups the vet exclaimed loudly at how clean their teeth are and couldn’t believe how good their periodontal health is and asked if I brushed… heh, yeah we brush with nature’s toothbrush. ;-)

    Also can I just say how horrifying I found it that having a 2.5yr old dog with totally brown nasty teeth was considered completely normal by the vet, but having a 5yr old dog with sparkling clean teeth is so surprising they freak with glee over the “unnatural” awesomeness? Seriously?

    Another perk is that I can gloat of how little my dogs shed (they are German Shepherd Dog/husky mixes, so there is some fur!) compared to the literally trash bags of fur most kibble feeders get off the same breeds during coat blowing season. Mwahaha!

    I am by no means strict either, I totally toss Lily pieces of whatever veggies and fruit I’m prepping for myself because she enjoys it, but Scout usually refuses it if offered. There’s a lot discourse, good and bad, between the various pet feeding camps just like there is among how we humans should eat. But we can all agree that biologically appropriate whole foods are best yes?

  7. Lauren says

    For those with large dogs you’ll go broke feeding a premade, commercial raw. Dogs also are carnivores and do not require fruit or vegetable matter at all. All dogs should be eating chunks with bones because otherwise their teeth won’t be cleaned– prey model raw is the way to go.
    Look into raw feeding– and are good sites, and there are tons of facebook groups and yahoo groups out there for more information.
    For some very picky animals, like my cat, Primal works better. I mix Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw (rehydrated of course) with Primal and he eats it great.

  8. says

    I just got Primal Patties for our dog with skin allergies, she was eating a homemade cooked diet but still suffering allergies. We want to feed both of our dogs Primal Patties but it would be so expensive. We can’t do a homemade raw diet because the risk of bacteria and such is too great. (Please do not tell me that I am wrong on this, we have researched it greatly due to sick family members and also a service dog and they are not supposed to eat raw because they can shed salmonella from contaminated food. We are making the best choice we can.) Anyway, Primal seems the safest raw option but we can’t afford it. What suggestions does anyone have for mixing Primal Patties with something? Like Lauren mentioned a dehydrated brand. Does that make it cheaper? Primal also has a freeze dried formula but I can’t find prices anywhere. Any advice would be great! Thank you!

  9. says

    @Revkt, it all probably depends on the brand of frozen or dehydrated food you use. You might try finding something local to help reduce your cost. I personally mix frozen raw pellets with grain-free dry for my pup, but he’s never had allergy issues. I hope you can find a combination that works for you.

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  12. Kim says

    Coming from the Whole30, I’m a very disappointed you guys are promoting this processed raw food. Raw diets are great for dogs and certainly what their designed to eat, but have you looked at the ingredients in Primal food? This brand has a catchy name, but is by no means primal.

    “Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Yams, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Copper Carbonate, Selenium), Organic Parsley, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Salmon Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Dried Organic Kelp, Alfalfa, Natural Vitamin E.”

    While the raw meat ingredients at the top are great, the rest is carbohydrate laden. When is the last time you saw a carnivore eating yams and broccoli and munching on sunflower seeds? These are there to fool the human since we know these are good for us, but simply act as fillers in dog food. Quinoa sprout powder??? Would you ever recommend this for humans??? And we aren’t even carnivores! This is not a species-appropriate food and frankly it is disappointing that the Whole30 is endorsing this. How about a diet that actually mimics what they would eat in the wild like prey-model. 80% muscle meat, 10% organs, 10% bone and lots of variety. Not to mention dogs mouths are designed for ripping and tearing and not just swallowing mushed meat nuggets.

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