Instinct vs. Primal: Who Wins? [2023]

In comparing Instinct and Primal Dog Foods, we lean towards Instinct as the preferable choice. This decision is based on a balanced evaluation of protein content, ingredient quality, and recall history. Instinct stands out with its high-quality protein sources, consistently placing real meat at the forefront of its ingredients. This focus on premium animal protein is vital for dogs’ muscle development and overall health. Additionally, Instinct’s ingredient quality is impressive, with a strong emphasis on natural and minimally processed components, which aligns closely with a dog’s dietary needs. While both brands have experienced recalls, Instinct’s record is slightly more favorable, showing a higher level of diligence and safety in production. These factors collectively tilt our preference towards Instinct, although it’s important to note that Primal also offers excellent quality and nutritional value in its products.

Instinct Vs. Primal: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the primary differences in ingredient philosophy between Instinct and Primal dog foods?

Instinct focuses on raw, natural ingredients with minimal processing, prioritizing high-quality meat and fresh fruits and vegetables. In contrast, Primal’s approach is more holistic, emphasizing balanced nutrition with organic produce, meat, organ meats, and supplements. Both brands aim to provide high-quality, nutritious diets, but their ingredient choices and processing methods cater to different dietary philosophies.

2. Are Instinct and Primal dog foods suitable for dogs with allergies?

Yes, both brands offer formulas that can be suitable for dogs with allergies. Instinct has specific limited ingredient diets designed to minimize allergens, while Primal offers grain-free options and uses quality protein sources that may be less likely to cause allergic reactions. It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to choose the most appropriate diet for an allergic dog.

3. How do Instinct and Primal source their ingredients?

Instinct prides itself on using responsibly sourced ingredients, including cage-free poultry, grass-fed meats, and non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Primal also emphasizes high-quality sourcing, using organic produce and responsibly sourced meats, including organ meats. Both brands focus on ethical and sustainable sourcing practices.

4. Are there specific Instinct or Primal products designed for puppies?

Both brands offer formulas specifically tailored for puppies. Instinct and Primal’s puppy formulas are designed to meet the nutritional needs of growing dogs, providing a balanced diet rich in protein, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals. These puppy-specific formulas support overall development and growth.

5. Is there a significant cost difference between Instinct and Primal dog foods?

Generally, Primal dog food tends to be slightly more expensive than Instinct, primarily due to its use of organic ingredients and a broader range of supplements. However, prices can vary depending on the specific product line and retail location.

6. Do both Instinct and Primal offer grain-free dog food options?

Yes, both Instinct and Primal have a variety of grain-free food options. These are particularly suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities or those whose owners prefer a grain-free diet for their pets.

7. Are Instinct and Primal dog foods raw, cooked, or a combination?

Instinct offers a combination of raw and cooked options, catering to different dietary preferences. Primal focuses primarily on raw food diets, formulated to mimic what dogs would naturally eat in the wild.

8. What safety and quality control measures do Instinct and Primal implement in their manufacturing processes?

Both Instinct and Primal adhere to strict safety and quality control standards. Instinct uses high-pressure processing for raw products to eliminate pathogens, while Primal implements rigorous testing and quality checks to ensure safety and nutritional adequacy.

9. Can senior dogs be fed Instinct or Primal dog food?

Yes, both brands offer options suitable for senior dogs. These formulas are specifically tailored to meet the dietary needs of older dogs, with adjusted nutrient levels, added joint support supplements, and ingredients that are easy to digest.

10. Do Instinct and Primal provide wet food options in addition to dry and raw foods?

Yes, both Instinct and Primal offer a range of wet food options. These wet foods include high-quality ingredients and are formulated to provide balanced nutrition, catering to dogs who prefer wet food or have specific dietary needs.

11. What are the main protein sources used in Instinct and Primal dog foods?

Instinct primarily uses high-quality animal proteins like cage-free poultry, grass-fed meats, and wild-caught fish. Primal also focuses on quality protein sources, including a variety of meats and organ meats, providing a comprehensive nutrient profile.

12. How do Instinct and Primal cater to dogs with specific dietary requirements?

Instinct offers various formulas to address specific needs, such as weight management, sensitive stomachs, and limited ingredient diets for sensitivities. Primal provides a range of protein options and includes supplements to support particular health concerns like joint health or digestive issues.

13. Are there any vegetarian or vegan options available in Instinct or Primal dog food ranges?

Neither Instinct nor Primal specializes in vegetarian or vegan dog foods. Their focus is primarily on high-quality animal proteins, central to their dietary formulations, reflecting the natural dietary preferences and needs of dogs.

14. What distinguishes Instinct and Primal from other brands in the dog food market?

Instinct stands out for its emphasis on raw, minimally processed ingredients, aiming to provide diets close to what dogs would naturally consume. Primal differentiates itself with its holistic approach, incorporating organic produce and a range of supplements, offering balanced and comprehensive nutrition.

15. Are there special storage requirements for Instinct and Primal dog foods, especially for their raw products?

For their raw food products, both Instinct and Primal recommend freezing and thawing in the refrigerator before use. Dry and wet foods should be stored in a cool, dry place. It’s important to follow specific storage instructions on the packaging to ensure the food remains fresh and safe for consumption.

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