Nutro vs Primal

Nutro vs. Primal

In this comparison article for Nutro vs Primal, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Nutro and Primal, we'll use up-to-date nutritional and price information.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best pet food brand for your pet. Factors such as ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, product safety, brand history, and cost are among the most important factors to consider.

Throughout this Primal vs Nutro comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Nutro Review Page or Primal Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Primal vs. Nutro

According to AAFCO, all pet food labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of nutrient content. The analysis must provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

All percentages used in this comparison are averages reported on a dry matter basis.

Nutro Dog Food vs. Primal Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Nutro Primal
Crude Protein 27.0% 46.2%
Crude Fat 15.1% 31.5%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 2.3%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Nutro Primal
Crude Protein 42.5% 48.6%
Crude Fat 23.7% 30.6%
Crude Fiber 5.8% 4.6%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your dog's diet. Without sufficient protein, dogs can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

When you look at the average percentages of crude protein for dry dog food, it's clear that Primal provides significantly more protein. On average, Primal guarantees about 19.19% more protein than Nutro. For wet dog foods, Primal provides more protein (about 6.08% more).


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Fats are an absolutely vital component of a balanced canine diet. Not only do fats provide energy, but they also serve important roles in the normal development and function of your dog's body. For example, fats help dogs produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among many other significant functions.

The comparison table above shows that Primal dry dog foods provide significantly more fat than Nutro. More specifically, Primal guarantees at least 16.43% more fat. For wet dog foods, Primal provides more fat (about 6.82% more).


According to our data, Nutro guarantees 2.27% more fiber than Primal. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. For wet dog foods, Nutro and Primal provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

Nutro Cat Food vs. Primal Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Nutro Primal
Crude Protein 38.8% 55.7%
Crude Fat 17.5% 27.9%
Crude Fiber 5.3% 3.1%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Nutro Primal
Crude Protein 51.7% 54.1%
Crude Fat 23.1% 29.4%
Crude Fiber 5.2% 4.3%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your cat's diet. Without sufficient protein, cats can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

Primal dry cat foods clearly provides more protein than Nutro. In fact, the difference between the protein content is roughly 16.97%, which is a significant amount. For wet cat foods, Primal typically provides a little more protein (about 2.45% more).


Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food

There are many ways in which dietary fat contributes to the overall health of our feline friends. Here is a short list of benefits provided by fats (not exhaustive):

  • Fats help with the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Reduce inflammation associated with arthritis
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Prevent or reduce the likelihood of certain heart problems.
  • Aid in the development of the retina and visual cortex.

On average, Primal dry cat food recipes contain 10.44% more fat than Nutro recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the fat content of Nutro and Primal. For wet cat foods, Primal provides more fat (about 6.33% more).


There is a small difference between the fiber content of Nutro and Primal. We can see that Nutro guarantees about 2.23% more fiber than Primal. For wet cat foods, Nutro and Primal provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

Nutro Pet Food Ingredients vs. Primal Pet Food Ingredients

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Nutro.

Iron Oxide
Pea Protein
Pork Plasma
Whole Wheat
Brewers Rice
Wheat Gluten
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Vegetable Oil
Feeding Oatmeal
Corn Gluten Meal
Dried Corn Syrup
Ground Whole Wheat
Meat And Bone Meal
Powdered Cellulose
Pea Protein Isolate
Semolina Wheat Enriched With Niacin
Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

We believe that certain pet food ingredients are linked to adverse health affects; these ingredients are classified as harmful.

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Nutro.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Nutro & Primal?

Nutro has been recalled 4 times.

  • Sept. 30, 2009: small pieces of melted plastic
  • Dec. 13, 2015: Mold
  • May 21, 2009: incorrect levels of zinc and potassium
  • March 16, 2007: Melamine

Primal has been recalled 2 times.

  • March 13, 2015: low thiamine level
  • Dec. 22, 2017: incorrect bone grind size

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Nutro Primal
Per Pound $2.27 $41.41
Per Calorie $0.0014 $0.0156
Dry Cat Food Nutro Primal
Per Pound $2.91 $42.44
Per Calorie $0.0017 $0.0174

The average cost-per-lb is heavily influenced by the varying amounts of moisture present in each brand's food products (wet vs. dry food, dry vs. freeze-dried food, etc). However, the average cost-per-kcal eliminates the influence of moisture. Therefore, the average cost-per-kcal is the better metric to consider.

If you'd like to calculate the average cost-per-day or cost-pet-year of feeding Nutro or Primal, input your pet's weight into our cost analyzer widget.

Averages price data can identify whether or not there exists a significant price difference between two brands. However, the actual price that you'll pay for Nutro or Primal will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Nutro and Primal. In addition, we currently have some great coupons for our readers.


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Nutro Pet Foods

You can purchase Nutro pet foods from the following stores:









Where To Buy Primal Pet Foods

You can purchase Primal pet food products from these retailers:









Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Nutro Primal
Dry Dog Food 65 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 52 Recipes
Dog Treats 28 Treats 8 Treats
Dry Cat Food 25 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 53 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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