Life Stage Specific Nutrition

Life Stage Specific Nutrition Life Stage Specific Nutrition
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Primal Pet Foods has always been committed to elevating the health of dogs and cats through species appropriate nutrition. To help make it easier and more convenient for pet parents to find a nutritionally appropriate food for their dog or cat, Primal is introducing recipes formulated to meet the unique needs of a pet’s specific life stage.

There are many benefits to incorporating raw & fresh foods into a pet’s diet from an early age. That’s why Primal recently launched a Freeze-Dried Pronto and Gently Cooked Sous Vide line of food with recipes formulated to be complete and balanced for a dog’s specific life stage – puppy or adult. Since the growth curve for felines is less significant than canines, the Gently Cooked recipes for cats are formulated for all life stages.

Now, Primal is taking the same approach with its Balanced Bases, which includes Raw Frozen Nuggets, Patties and Pronto as well as our Freeze-Dried Nuggets. Canine diets will no longer be formulated for all life stages; they will be formulated to meet the specific needs of puppies (formulated for growth) or adult dogs (formulated for adult maintenance). Most feline diets will be ideal for adult cats (formulated for adult maintenance), but two recipes (Chicken & Salmon and Beef & Salmon) will continue to be formulated for all life stages, which is appropriate for kittens.

Why is Primal Focusing on Age-Appropriate Nutrition? 

James Templeman, PhD, is responsible for reviewing and applying the latest research to all Primal diets. In a recent Q&A with Primal’s Companion Animal Nutritionist, Dr. Templeman shared his perspective on this updated approach. Life stage specific diets allow for a more precise approach to delivering essential nutrients in levels that are biologically appropriate and uniquely essential for growing animals and adults. Additionally, when diets are formulated for a pet's life stage, the feeding instructions tend to be easier for pet parents to follow.

How Does this Impact My Pet’s Food?

With these updated formulas, there are several changes to the packaging; this includes adjustments to the list of ingredients, Guaranteed Analysis, Feeding Guidelines and Calorie Content (including calories per nugget/patty/cup) for each formula. 

The Primal website is the best source for the latest nutrition information. As formulas are updated, a link to the previous formula can be found on each product page for an easy comparison. This link can be found above the updated ingredient list and Guaranteed Analysis and on each product page. For example, the Canine Beef Formula Frozen Raw Nuggets formula has already been updated here.

Screenshot of recipe update information

Additionally, the required Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on the packaging reflects the change to indicate that our complete and balanced diets are nutritionally appropriate for a specific life stage. For example:

  • Canine Beef Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Adult Maintenance. 
  • Canine Puppy Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Growth including growth of large size dogs (70 lb. or more as an adult).
  • Feline Turkey Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for Adult Maintenance.
  • Feline Chicken and Salmon Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.

Graphic pointing to the new AAFCO statement provided on Primal packaging describing each product's appropriate lifestage

What Does this Mean for My Pet?

If your adult dog or cat is currently enjoying a Primal diet, you can continue to feed the updated formula. Keep in mind that calorie and feeding recommendations may differ in the diets formulated for Adults so make sure to check the Feeding Guidelines on the packaging or the online Feeding Calculator to identify any adjustments that need to be made for your pet’s diet.  

If you have a puppy or are welcoming a new puppy into your home, Primal now offers new diets that are specifically formulated to meet the unique needs of a growing puppy. Growing puppies have greater requirements for micronutrients such as copper, manganese, and zinc, so you will find that ingredients such as nutrient-enriched dried yeast are listed higher on the ingredient deck for the puppy diet than adult diets. The puppy recipes also contain salmon and fish oils to supply fatty acids such as DHA, which are critical for the optimal cognitive development of growing puppies. Additionally, the new puppy diets offer a feeding option for large breed puppies; they are specifically formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of large size dogs (70 lb. or more as an adult).

If you have a kitten or are welcoming a new kitten into your home, Primal will continue to offer two feline diets that are formulated to be complete and balanced for All Life Stages. Minor updates will be made to all formats (freeze-dried, raw) of the Chicken & Salmon Formula and Beef & Salmon Formula, which will continue to be nutritionally appropriate for kittens.

Is Primal Adding Any New Wholesome Ingredients?

Primal has always been committed to using food-based vitamins and minerals in our formulas rather than anything synthetic. With the updated formulas, Cod Liver Oil will be added as an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and a reliable source of Vitamins A and D, which are essential in a pet’s diet. Dried Yeast, a fortified nutritional yeast (NOT brewer’s yeast!) that is inactive, will be used to help supply the necessary level of Vitamin B needed in complete and balanced formulas.

Below, please find other ingredients that have been selected for specific formulas:

  • All updated canine diets will include Taurine to support a dog’s heart health. Primal will continue to list Taurine levels in the Nutritional Facts section on each product page on the website.
  • Primal is adding a non-iodized sea salt to all feline and puppy recipes to meet the specific nutritional requirements for sodium (Na) and Chloride (Cl) in a complete and balanced diet.
  • Primal will start adding high-quality, cage-free chicken egg to all rabbit formulas (only) so it can continue to offer this novel protein for adult dogs and cats. 

When Will My Pet’s Formula be Updated?

Primal will update all Balanced Bases by summer 2023. The following formulas were the first to be updated and should be available soon at your neighborhood pet store:

The remaining Balanced Bases formulas will be updated by summer 2023.

If you need further support, please review these FAQs on the support page or contact a Consumer Support Specialist.