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It’s easy to walk into either of our stores and get a little overwhelmed.

All of us here at Calvin & Susie have seen it. A new customer walks in, ready to start their pet on a healthy new feeding regimen. Maybe they have a few requests like “grain free” or “no chicken”, but otherwise they are all smiles and enthusiasm. Then they see ALL the food we offer.

Kibble, canned food, freeze dried raw, frozen raw, air dried raw, dehydrated raw…

And their eyes get bigger.

And bigger.

And bigger.

Now, it’s our job to keep all of you smiling despite the plethora of food choices available to you and your pet. We always try to narrow down your options, then give you enough information to make an informed choice without putting you into “information overload”. If we see smoke coming out of your ears, we’ve gone too far!

So in an effort to keep you informed and making the best decisions for you and your pet, I’d like to introduce you to the “101 Series” on the Calvin & Susie Blog.

In this series, we aim to offer you basic, “should know” information about some of our most popular pet foods — straight from the company.

Through a few simple questions — questions that you might ask the company yourself — we aim to give you enough information so that your interest is piqued. Been thinking that a certain food might be a good choice for your pet? But aren’t sure? We hope that our Q&A with the pet food company on your mind might give you a push in the right direction.

For our very first 101, we decided to talk to staff and customer favorite, Primal Pet Foods. We thought this would be a great place to start since so many pet owners are intrigued by raw feeding, but aren’t really sure if it’s right for them.

Taking some time out of their busy day, I was lucky to be able to ask Calvin & Susie’s local Primal representative, Sandi, and Primal Pet Foods HQ themselves, a few questions. We hope you find their answers as helpful as we did!

1. When was Primal Pet Foods founded?


2. What is Primal’s mission?

From Primal:

Primal’s mission is to improve the “quality of life and overall health and happiness of pets through wholesome raw foods that mimic the diet of animals in the wild.”

3. Why was Primal started? Can you tell us the story of your “first batch”? Or what the need was that inspired your founder to create Primal?

From Primal:

“Back in early 2000 my dog Luna had early signs of renal failure, and I could not come up with any solutions to help her. I kind of threw my hands up and I went to a holistic veterinarian who gave me some literature on a diet based on bones and raw food, or biologically appropriate raw food. So I just started tinkering around in the kitchen, [and] came up with a recipe that actually seemed to work for her. I saw increase in energy, increased desire to actually consume food — overall happiness. And just by merely seeing the results, it inspired me to say, ‘Wow, how can I bring this to other pets?

For better health and long life and happiness?'”

For a more complete explanation of Primal’s history, watch this video (the above quote is from the video), from Primal’s owner and founder, Matthew Koss!

(Video and quotes published with permission from Primal Pet Foods)

4. What makes Primal different than buying raw meat at the grocery store?

SANDI: Primal Raw Frozen Formulas [The “Formulas” are Primal’s complete raw diet — you don’t have to add anything!] are complete and balanced meals that offer correct ratios of meat to bones (calcium)–important when feeding raw — as well as other whole food nutrients. It’s an easy, safe way to feed a wholesome, nutrient dense, species appropriate diet.

Primal Canine Beef Formula

Many pet parents who are new to raw feeding don’t realize how important the correct ratios are.

5. Why do you think a pet parent should choose raw feeding?

SANDI: Raw diets are the least processed of all pet foods and therefore retain optimal nutrient quality/quantity and promote vibrant health. Many health issues are remedied simply from eliminating grains, or processed foods from the diet. With raw, biologically appropriate food, a pet’s health and well being can be significantly elevated simply through easily digestible and absorbable food.

Pets on raw diets often have healthier weights, healthier skin, better breath, and fewer instances of stomach upset.

6. What is something people are often surprised to learn about Primal or Primal’s products?

SANDI: That Primal employs several methods and practices to ensure their products are safe both from pathogens and contamination.

From Primal:

Food Safety Steps

Primal Pet Foods will be implementing High-Pressure Processing for use on all poultry products. High-Pressure Processing is a unique, non-thermal process that kills pathogenic bacteria through high-pressure, water-based technology. High-Pressure Processing is a USDA-approved, 100% natural process, and is allowed for use on organic and natural products.

How HPP Works

Essentially, this technology “puts the squeeze” on food pathogens without cooking out vital nutrients or changing the fresh characteristics of food. During High-Pressure Processing, pressure is uniformly applied around and throughout the food product. High-Pressure Processing can be conducted at refrigerated or even frozen temperatures, which means the temperature starts low and stays low — High-Pressure Processing does not cause the heat degradation that happens during cooking.

Prior to entering the vessel, all products are between 0-38 degrees F. Once the product is inside, the vessel fills with water at 36-40 degrees F. When the vessel is pressurized, the water temperature never exceeds 70 degrees F. The product temperature never increases more than 2-3 degrees F. The product is held in the vessel for two to three minutes at pressures up to 72K psi. When the pressure and water are evacuated from the vessel, product temperature is virtually the same as when it entered the vessel. Because of this, HPP is a non-thermal process that is beneficial for heat-sensitive products, like meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Primal Feline Turkey Formula

7. What are your favorite Primal products?

SANDI: I personally like the Formulas because they are a simple way to introduce a balanced and complete raw diet without having to add or mix in other ingredients or supplements. But the Raw Goat Milk has also gotten alot of good feedback and the Freeze-Dried line is a hit with many picky pets!

Primal Raw Goat Milk

8. Lastly, have you ever “taste tested” your pet food/treats? Which one? What did you think? (Of course, we NEVER recommend that our customers eat their pet’s food!)

SANDI: No, can’t say I’ve ever tasted any of Primal’s food or treats. But I can honestly say that with their use of fresh organic ingredients and non-medicated, hormone free meats, it’s probably better than what I eat!

You can learn more about how Primal Pet Foods raw frozen products are “human grade”, as well as Primal’s story, by listening to this interview with Matthew Koss (owner, founder of Primal) on Heritage Radio Network’s program “Animal Instinct” with Celia Kutcher.

(NOTE: Primal imports no ingredients from China, and “All animals raised for the use of protein in our foods are fed naturally on grass and/or a human-grade, vegetarian diet.”)

We hope this little Q&A gave you some helpful information about Primal. If this is the first time you’ve heard of Primal, or you want to learn more, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Drop by one of our stores or give us a call — we love talking to our customers!

Have a Delicious Day!

~Your Loyal Calvin & Susie Blogger

Thank you to Primal Pet Foods and Sandi for answering our questions! All images and quotes published with permission from Primal Pet Foods. For more information on Primal Pet Foods visit or find them on Facebook or Twitter.

As always, check with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet or body care. The Calvin & Susie Blogger always researches to the best of her ability, but she is not a vet. This blog is not in any way meant to replace veterinary advice or care. When in doubt always ask a vet.

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