Our Primal Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food Review

We were not compensated for this review.  We were provided with product and provided our opinion.  Walks With Rama only reviews products which meet our exacting standards and that we would ourselves purchase for our own dogs.

It’s no secret we are big raw feeding advocates around here, and we are very excited to review one of our favorite raw dog food products.  Primal came to my attention during my search to find a way to enjoy camping and hiking with my dogs and not have to worry about how I was going to feed them.  Lugging a cooler of raw meat along the trail is not exactly encouraged (bears) or easy (so heavy).   And even though I often switched to kibble for dog shows or kennel stays (prepping raw meals is a pain in the ass, people), I really didn’t want to lug a bunch of kibble through the woods, either.  Kibble is also not the easiest to pack and is pretty weighty.

Then I began to discover this wonderful thing called freeze-dried raw dog food.  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before then that such products existed, since back in the mid-90s, freeze-dried liver was my main go-to training treat.  So I dove into this expanding niche of the dog food industry and began trying them out.  One of my favorites is Primal.  Their products include raw frozen, formulas, mixes, grinds, bones, treats and goat’s milk!  Wow!  How many dog food companies do you know that carry such a wide array of products?  Founded in 2001, Primal has been one of the leading raw dog foods in the marketplace.  They use fresh, human-grade meats and organic fruit and vegetables that are sourced from ranchers and farmers that practice sustainable agriculture.  And most appealing from the standpoint of hiking and camping–it is very lightweight.

 

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We were fortunate enough to meet the folks at Primal Pet Foods at the last BlogPaws convention in Nashville.  They were very informative and expressed an interest in having us try out and review some of their formulas.  With hiking trips upcoming at that point, I was thrilled to be able to try this food and see both how the dogs liked it and how well it traveled.   I don’t like to use tupperware to carry food in packs since it is bulky, and even the best sealable bags seemed to always pop open under the strain of lots of kibble.  A malleable food is definitely a plus around here!

We received some samples in the mail recently and are very excited to share our thoughts with you.  We were sent samples of their Freeze-Dried Chicken Nuggets, Freeze-Dried Turkey And Sardine Nuggets and Freeze-Dried Beef Nuggets.

 

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The first thing you notice when picking up the package is just how lightweight it is.  The entire package weighs 14 oz.  The nuggets are a good size for my guys, and can be fed as is or rehydrated.  Since I compress things as much as possible in our backpacks for my hiking and camping trips, I didn’t care if the rectangular nuggets got a little squished.  The dogs certainly didn’t care.  And even if you don’t hike, camp or travel with your dogs, the convenience of these nuggets is reason alone to consider them for your dog. Shopping for and chopping meats and other ingredients, grinding, mixing and storing raw food can be very time-consuming.  With kids in the house, time management is important to me.  When I can cut corners without cutting quality, I’m all about that.

 

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From the Primal website:

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Gizzards, Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Chicken Livers, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Parsley, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Salmon Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Dried Organic Kelp, Alfalfa, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (natural preservative).

Freeze-Dried Canine Chicken Formula Benefits:

Fresh chicken for superior levels of amino and essential fatty acids.
Finely ground, fresh chicken bones for optimum levels of calcium.
Organic produce for food-derived vitamins A, B-complex, C and D.
Salmon oil for essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Organic and unrefined nutritional supplements for digestion and circulation.
Vitamin E as an antioxidant.
Organic coconut oil for short and medium chain saturated fatty acids.
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 37%
Crude Fat (min) 37%
Crude Fiber (max) 1%
Moisture (max) 2%
Ash (max) 10%
Additional Product Information:
Chicken 78% Organic Ingredients 20%
Produce 20% Organ Meat 9%
Supplements 2% Bone Content ≅ 10%
CA-to-P ratio 1.06:1

 

Rehydrated nuggets, photo c Primal Pet Foods, Inc.

 

On our last few trips I brought Primal along with us and was very pleased with how well the dogs did.  There was no stomach upset (a HUGE plus) and the dogs really seemed to love it.  I even used the nuggets as snacks along the trail to avoid the dogs’ stomachs being completely full all at once, which can help to head off bloat.  With as much activity as they were getting, this seemed the way to go.  I also tend to spread the nuggets out on the ground, or toss them a few every so often, which helps my overzealous gulpers slow down and avoid a lot of air in the stomach.

 

Sassy puts her seal of approval on Primal Chicken Formula

 

Overall, of the 3 flavors we tried, the dogs seemed to really love the Turkey And Sardine Formula the best.  It is not overly fishy-smelling, either, which is a plus.  All flavors we tried were a hit, though, and we will definitely be buying more of this for the dog pantry.  We’ve made it easy for you to try it yourself–delivery right to your door–by providing the links below.

 

 

I couldn’t locate a working link for this week’s blog hop, so hopefully that is remedied soon.

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4 Comments

  1. Dachshund Nola December 7, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I LOVE Primal! Nola has started eating it as her main diet (supplemented with Orijen or Acana kibble), and the turkey/sardine is her favorite. It’s so easy, and not that expensive when you’re feeding a 9.5lb dog.

    1. Shannon Adams December 8, 2015 at 11:47 am

      True! That’s a definite plus!

  2. The Daily Pip December 7, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Ruby loves Primal, too. The turkey and sardine is her favorite, too.

    1. Shannon Adams December 8, 2015 at 11:47 am

      The fish seems to be quite enticing. 🙂