Please welcome Barbara Rivers to That Mutt! She will be posting regularly here on the blog about feeding her two boxer mixes a raw dog food diet. She is a blogger and dog walker and maintains the blog k9s Over Coffee.
I’ve been feeding my two Boxer mixes Missy & Buzz a raw diet for about 2.5 years now. About 70% of the time I prepare their meals myself because it’s cost effective and I’ve come to enjoy the process.
That being said, I’ll admit that every now and then I do appreciate the convenience of pre-made raw food. For example, when I’m short on time for meal prep, when I’m running low on muscle meat/raw meaty bones/organs or when I know someone else will be feeding the pups while I’m out of town. This person may not be into dishing out duck heads, beef liver and the like!
A few months ago, I started shopping at an independently owned pet supply store not too far away from where we live here in rural North Carolina.
I LOVE their decently sized freezer section that is always chock-full of pre-made raw meals from top notch brands such as Stella & Chewy’s, Bravo! and Nature’s Variety, to name just a few. I’ve had the pups taste-test several of them over the last few months, and they approved of all my choices.
Primal Patties pre-made raw dog food review
Our most recent discovery is pre-made raw patties by a company called PRIMAL Pet Foods based out of Northern California.
All their food is guaranteed to be made with fresh, steroid- and antibiotic-free muscle meat/bone/organ and certified organic produce made right here in the USA. All of their proteins come from sustainable farms in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
What the Primal Patties are made of / what’s in them
The Primal Patties are a pre-made, raw dog food that falls into the BARF category of raw feeding. BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food and also includes a small amount of vegetables and fruit besides the main component of meat.
Just FYI: A similar approach to raw feeding is known as the Prey Model. The main difference is the lack of vegetables and fruit in Prey Model feeding.
The Primal Patties themselves consist of 87% muscle meat, bones and organs, and 13% produce and supplements. They’re available in several different proteins – beef, chicken, duck, lamb, pheasant, rabbit, venison and turkey/sardine.
I decided to try their turkey/sardine patties because they were the least expensive option and because Missy & Buzz enjoy and do well with both turkey and sardine. I buy them turkey necks and canned sardines in water at our local grocery store on a regular basis. Those particular patties consist of the following:
Ingredients in turkey/sardine Primal Patties:
Turkey, Turkey Necks, Whole Sardines, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Livers, Organic Collard Greens, Organic Squash, Cranberries, Blueberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Celery, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Cilantro, Organic Ginger, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Alfalfa, Dried Organic Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement.
The 6 lb bags that I bought featured a resealable opening and each contained twelve 8 ounce patties that were separated with parchment paper.
I’ve purchased pre-made raw meals before that were individually wrapped featuring EZ-peel openings, and both were equally convenient to serve. I’d say the way Primal packages its patties is a little more environmentally friendly because they use less packaging material.
How to serve Primal Patties pre-made raw dog food
Serving the Primal Patties is pretty straight forward once they’ve been thawed. Since Buzz eats two 8 ounce meals per day (he weighs 71 lbs), he can have a full size patty for each meal. Missy gets 6 ounces per meal (she weighs 54 lbs), so I just take off one quarter from a patty that I end up refrigerating and feed it at another meal.
I did go ahead and add organic chicken eggs and plain Greek yogurt in two out of seven meals simply because the pups are used to getting some of each a few times per week. The plain Greek yogurt is great for their digestive systems, and the eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and good for joint health (the lining between the shell and the egg is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin).
The cost & where to buy
I paid $36 for one 6 lb bag which is a somewhat acceptable price for pre-made raw dog food.
It’s important to remember that this kind of food has a huge convenience factor that plays into the price tag. The company essentially eliminates any worries a doggie parent might have about getting raw feeding right. They are the ones who ensure the raw food is a complete & balanced meal that can be fed without needing to add any other vitamins or minerals. That, of course, comes at a price.
What I like about Primal is that they reward their customers’ loyalty. The store I’ve purchased 4 bags from so far will give me the 12th bag of Primal patties for free once I’ve purchased 11. That’s a pretty good deal!
Speaking of stores – the Primal Patties can’t be bought online since they’re frozen, but they’re available at many pet retail stores. You can check if there’s one close to you by using Primal’s store locator.
Which dogs Primal Patties are great for
I always recommend pre-made raw meals for toothless dogs, smaller dogs and dogs whose hoomans are just making the switch from kibble to a raw diet and want to ensure their dogs eat balanced, nutritious meals.
It’s what I fed my pups when I first made the switch from kibble to raw. I will say that it provided great peace of mind knowing that my dogs’ nutritional needs were met in their new diet.
It took me about 6 months before I felt comfortable enough putting the pups’ raw meals together myself, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say our raw feeding journey has been one huge learning curve. A fun one though!
I remember my first “aha!” moment when I realized that hearts are actually supposed to be fed as muscle meat and not as organs. Only secreting organs count towards organs in the raw feeding world … who knew!
I love the convenience factor of Primal’s patties. I will make it a habit of having a bag or two in my freezer for those times when I might be waiting on a shipment of individual cuts of raw meat or needing someone else to feed the pups.
Primal’s customer loyalty program helps make their patties more affordable. Although, I have no problem admitting I couldn’t afford feeding them to my guys on a daily basis. Buzz eats 1 lb of meat every day, and Missy gobbles up 12 ounces.
While their ingredients all seem to be top notch, I will always give my pups whole raw meaty bones in addition to any pre-made raw meals. Raw bones act as a natural toothbrush and keep their pearlies nice and clean without me having to brush them manually.
Overall I do recommend this particular line of pre-made raw meals, particularly to owners of smaller dogs who are looking into feeding a more species-appropriate diet.
Do any of you feed a pre-made raw diet?
Let us know in the comments!
Barbara Rivers is a regular contributor to That Mutt. She is a blogger at K9s Over Coffee and feeds her two boxer mixes a raw diet.
How to feed a prey model raw dog food diet (That Mutt)
How to make raw dog food at home (That Mutt)
Putting my dogs’ raw meals together (K9s Over Coffee)