Primal vs Natural Balance

Primal vs. Natural Balance

In this comparison article for Primal vs Natural Balance, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Primal and Natural Balance, 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 Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance Review Page.

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Guaranteed Analysis: Natural Balance 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. Natural Balance Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Primal Natural Balance
Crude Protein 49.7% 25.9%
Crude Fat 32.1% 12.6%
Crude Fiber 4.1% 5.4%

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 comparison table above shows that Primal dry dog foods provide significantly more protein than Natural Balance. More specifically, Primal guarantees at least 23.79% more protein.


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.

Primal dry dog foods clearly provides more fat than Natural Balance. In fact, the difference between the fat content is roughly 19.47%, which is a significant amount.


There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude fiber content of the two brands.

Primal Cat Food vs. Natural Balance Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Primal Natural Balance
Crude Protein 54.7% 36.2%
Crude Fat 28.8% 13.6%
Crude Fiber 3.9% 5.7%

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.

On average, Primal dry cat food recipes contain 18.53% more protein than Natural Balance recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the protein content of Natural Balance and Primal.


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.

When you look at the average percentages of crude fat for dry cat food, it's clear that Primal provides significantly more fat. On average, Primal guarantees about 15.25% more protein than Natural Balance.


Both brands provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Primal Pet Food Ingredients vs. Natural Balance Pet Food Ingredients

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Natural Balance.

Beet Pulp
Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Poultry Giblets
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

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 Natural Balance.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Primal & Natural Balance?

Primal has been recalled 2 times.

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

Natural Balance has been recalled 5 times.

  • July 21, 2007: ofbotulinum toxin
  • May 4, 2012: Salmonella
  • June 18, 2010: Salmonella
  • April 27, 2007: Melamine
  • April 17, 2007: Melamine

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Primal Natural Balance
Per Pound $39.50 $2.68
Per Calorie $0.0148 $0.0017
Dry Cat Food Primal Natural Balance
Per Pound $39.46 $3.48
Per Calorie $0.0163 $0.0022

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 Primal or Natural Balance, 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 Primal or Natural Balance will depend on your shopping habits.

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


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with retailers featured 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:








Where To Buy Natural Balance Pet Foods

You can purchase Natural Balance pet food products from these retailers:










Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Primal Natural Balance
Dry Dog Food 25 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 31 Recipes
Dog Treats 8 Treats 24 Treats
Dry Cat Food 12 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 36 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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