Primal Dog Food Trial & Results
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
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Why A Trial?
When Khan came to us, I expected a few days to a week of dietary upset. His whole life had just changed. He'd flown across the country to a whole new life, and all of that stress can definitely cause some loose stools. But his loose stools persisted, even though stool samples didn't show much of anything happening there. My dogs are all fed according to their personal needs, and my preference is a raw or modified raw diet. I'm not anti-kibble, and do keep it in their diets for when we are traveling, the pet sitter is coming, etc. One of my dogs is exclusively on kibble and nothing else at the moment. They are all individuals. Figuring out what Khan's system could tolerate proved to be anything but routine.
*If you are grossed out by talk of dog poop, you may want to stop here and skip down to the next section.*
I know I'm not alone in saying that I'm a poop watcher. You can tell a whole hell of a lot about what's going on with a dog by examining what comes out of them. For example, for the first few weeks Freya was here she had diarrhea every single time we embarked on our daily walks. She was terribly fearful of everything. It was only at the beginning of our walks. The rest of the day her stools were fine. Khan's poop was more of an up and down, one day it's ok, one day it's not type situation.
After switching his diet around I began experimenting with a few kibbles. Not much changed. I got him semi-stable but his poops were now the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. What the hell? So one day while packing up some Primal freeze-dried dog food for a hiking outing, I said to myself "What if I try him on this full-time and see how he does?" I always keep a small bit of dehydrated raw on hand for hiking/camping and a friend stated this particular brand helped her when she was having the same struggles with her dog.
Primal is a brand we are familiar with, as it is one of the brands we take with us when we are hiking and camping since dehydrated freeze-dried food is extremely lightweight. Carrying raw isn't an option in these circumstances and kibble is very heavy. Primal uses high quality ingredients and the produce used is organic, while meats are antibiotic and hormone-free. They use no synthetic supplements. Now while I am aware of the DCM studies and supposed links to grain-free diets, I always give my dogs other sources of grains so for me this was not an issue. Primal was also not one of the brands mentioned in the FDA's study. For Primal's comment on this issue, you can go here.
I decided to pick up a few bags and embark on a week-long experiment to see if I could get Khan's poop where I wanted it. I would give it 7 days. I made sure I took him outside every time, so I could monitor what was coming out. If anyone else took him out I asked for a full report. I am also the one cleaning the outside kennel area every day so I can see who is doing what without having to search through the yard.
On Day 1 I added a few nuggets to the diet he'd been eating most recently. Each day thereafter I added more nuggets and less of the previous food until the last day was just the nuggets. He was super excited to have something different in his bowl, and the other dogs showed a lot of interest in my preparation of Khan's bowl each day. While you can feed the nuggets dry, it is recommended that you rehydrate them. So this was an extra step in food prep but I usually spend a good few minutes prepping their food anyway so I didn't mind.
He ate it with no problems. He seemed to really love it. The first couple of days were pretty unremarkable, but as the days went on and he had more Primal and less of the old diet, his stools began noticeably firming up. What is this sorcery?!
By day 7 I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm sure the neighbors are used to my weirdnesses by now, but I was out there staring at a fresh pile of poo, utterly thrilled that it was the firmest poop I'd ever seen come out of that dog since he came to us. Guys, it had been quite the battle. A 3 month struggle to firm up this dog's bowel movements was seemingly over. With everything that was going on in the world it was a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. I'd found a diet that agreed with him! Hallelujah!
If you want to try a little of everything, Primal also offers a variety pack which includes chicken, beef, duck, lamb and turkey/sardine! They also have raw frozen varieties as well! No chopping, mixing, measuring or making a mess out of your kitchen. If you give your dog treats, they also have a full line of those as well! Check out the different varieties and flavors here.
Have you ever tried a dehydrated raw diet for your dog? What did you like or not like about it? Head on over to our YouTube channel and check out the video we made of our experience!