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Primal vs Essence

Primal vs. Essence

In this comparison article for Primal vs Essence, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Primal and Essence, 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 Essence vs Primal comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Primal Review Page or Essence Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Essence vs. Primal

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.

Primal Dog Food vs. Essence Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Primal Essence
Crude Protein 48.0% 40.9%
Crude Fat 26.7% 20.0%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 5.9%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Primal Essence
Crude Protein 49.5% 46.2%
Crude Fat 28.4% 32.6%
Crude Fiber 5.3% 6.0%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Dogs require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Twelve of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining ten are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these ten essential amino acids.

The table shows that Essence provides far less protein than Primal. The difference in protein content is roughly 7.13%. For wet dog foods, Primal typically provides a little more protein (about 3.31% more).


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Like protein, fats are an essential part of a dog's body. Fats are needed for the proper development and function of the canine body.

Our analysis shows that Primal guarantees 6.75% more fat than Essence dry dog food recipes. In addition, Essence wet dog foods also provide more fat than Primal wet foods.


As you can see, Primal and Essence guarantee a similar amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet dog food, Essence and Primal also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Primal Cat Food vs. Essence Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Primal Essence
Crude Protein 50.1% 44.1%
Crude Fat 24.0% 20.9%
Crude Fiber 4.8% 4.8%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Primal Essence
Crude Protein 54.6% 46.2%
Crude Fat 25.4% 31.8%
Crude Fiber 4.1% 4.8%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Cats require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Eleven of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining eleven are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these eleven essential amino acids.

There is a relatively large difference between the protein content of Primal and Essence. On average, Essence dry cat food recipes contain 6.07% less protein than Primal recipes. In addition, Primal wet cat foods also provide more protein than Essence wet foods.


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):

  • Help transport nutrients across cell membranes
  • Fats produce metabolites, which help control inflammation
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Fats improve the taste/texture of food.

If you look at the average percentages of crude fat, you'll notice that Primal typically guarantees 3.11% more fat. This is a fairly small difference between Primal and Essence, but still worth mentioning. In addition, Essence wet cat foods also provide more fat than Primal wet foods.


Primal and Essence both provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet cat food, Essence and Primal also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Primal Pet Food Ingredients vs. Essence Pet Food Ingredients

In our option, both Primal and Essence utilize high-quality ingredients. According to our records, neither brand uses any type of controversial ingredients or harmful ingredients.

Product Safety: Recall History of Primal & Essence?

Primal has been recalled 2 times.

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

According to our records, Essence has never been recalled.


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 Primal Pet Foods

You can purchase Primal pet foods from the following stores:


25 Recipes In-Stock Today

23 Recipes In-Stock Today

23 Recipes In-Stock Today

22 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Essence Pet Foods

You can purchase Essence pet food products from these retailers:


15 Recipes In-Stock Today

Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Primal Essence
Dry Dog Food 6 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 6 Recipes
Dog Treats 7 Treats
Dry Cat Food 3 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 3 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores