Why did the calories per ounce change on many of the Primal Formulas?
We did not change your pet’s favorite food; we just gathered more data to give you a more accurate representation of what is in the bag.
What does that mean?
Calories are based on a calculation of the weight of the digestible protein, fat, and carbohydrates in a food. When you’re creating a processed dry food, like kibble, it is relatively easy to control those percentages with each batch. When you’re working with a whole food product, like Primal, it becomes slightly more challenging as each batch of fresh raw meat, poultry, and produce will have differing amounts of protein, fat, and fiber based on the specific animal or plant that we are using. For example, week 1 our chicken formula may contain a bit more fat than week 2 and since fat has more calories than protein, the calories per ounce of week 1’s batch will be more than week 2’s.
Historically, we printed an actual laboratory value for the calories on our bags in order to give you the transparency you expect from us. The new calories that are printed on the updated bags are now based on an average of multiple laboratory tests over time.
But the feeding guidelines changed too! Do I need to change how much I’m feeding my pet?
The short answer is no. If your pet is doing well on the amount that you’ve been feeding them, there is no reason to make any changes. Feeding guidelines for pets are based on the best educated guess of that specific pet's metabolism, activity level, and caloric needs. These have always been guesses and every pet is different.
The feeding guidelines on our new bags have changed for several reasons:
- We are now using the updated calories per nugget/patty/cup that are described above.
- Feeding guidelines on the back of bags are now recipe specific (so you will have a different recommendation for feeding Rabbit formula vs. Beef Formula). The guidelines on our older bags were based on a caloric average of all proteins.
- We updated the calculation for starting calories to match the most current recommendations from veterinary nutritionists for resting energy requirements. Our older bags used the BARF model philosophy of feeding by percent of body weight.
The most accurate way to get your individual pet’s starting point is to use our customized feeding calculator which will allow you to enter your pet’s age, activity level, breed size, and weight goals.
If feeding guidelines are now recipe specific and I rotate proteins, do I need to feed a different amount every time I open a new bag?
Feeding guidelines are just that–guidelines. If you are regularly rotating between formulas, adjusting the amount fed is not likely necessary. If you find yourself sticking to the same protein for several bags at a time, though, it may be helpful to note how much of each recipe is appropriate for your pet. If you notice undesired weight loss or gain, you can then adjust portions accordingly.
Primal continues to produce the same high quality pet food, treats, and toppers you and your pets have grown to know and love. These packaging updates are simply one way we continue to grow and make the most up-to-date information available to you, so you can make the most informed decisions for your pet. To learn more about our latest feeding guidelines and explore ways to add variety to your pet’s diet, head on over to our Bowl Builder tool to get started!