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Primal vs Vital Essentials

Primal vs. Vital Essentials

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

Guaranteed Analysis: Vital Essentials 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. Vital Essentials Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Primal Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 48.0% 50.9%
Crude Fat 26.7% 29.1%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 4.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Primal Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 49.5% 53.7%
Crude Fat 28.4% 31.9%
Crude Fiber 5.3% 6.4%

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.

According to our average data, Primal typically provides less protein than Vital Essentials. However, this difference is relatively small and doesn't represent a significant difference between the two brands. In addition, Vital Essentials wet dog foods also provide more protein than Primal wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Dietary fats serves a multitude of roles in the proper development and function of our canine companions. Here are some of the benefits (not exhaustive):

  • Help produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among other critical functions.
  • Aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve skin and coat health
  • Improve the palatially of your dog's food

If you look at the average percentages of crude fat, you'll notice that Vital Essentials typically guarantees 2.34% more fat. This is a fairly small difference between Vital Essentials and Primal, but still worth mentioning. In addition, Vital Essentials wet dog foods also provide more fat than Primal wet foods.


Both brands provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet dog food, Vital Essentials and Primal also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Primal Cat Food vs. Vital Essentials Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Primal Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 50.1% 58.4%
Crude Fat 24.0% 20.7%
Crude Fiber 4.8% 4.1%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Primal Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 54.6% 50.6%
Crude Fat 25.4% 18.8%
Crude Fiber 4.1% 2.5%

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.

Vital Essentials dry cat foods clearly provides more protein than Primal. In fact, the difference between the protein content is roughly 8.28%, which is a significant amount. For wet cat foods, Primal typically provides a little more protein (about 4.00% 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):

  • Aid in the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve the health of skin/coat
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Slow the development and spread of certain type of cancers.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure

According to our data, Primal guarantees 3.38% more fat than Vital Essentials. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. In addition, Primal wet cat foods also provide more fat than Vital Essentials wet foods.


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

Primal Pet Food Ingredients vs. Vital Essentials Pet Food Ingredients

In our option, both Primal and Vital Essentials 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 & Vital Essentials?

Primal has been recalled 2 times.

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

Vital Essentials has been recalled 4 times.

  • July 8, 2015: Listeria monocytogenes
  • Jan. 15, 2016: Salmonella
  • Feb. 24, 2018: Salmonella
  • April 16, 2018: Salmonella

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Primal Vital Essentials
Per Pound $42.05 $33.36
Per Calorie $0.0209 $0.0165
Dry Cat Food Primal Vital Essentials
Per Pound $42.95 $42.28
Per Calorie $0.0216 $0.0221

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 Vital Essentials, 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 Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials. 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 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 Vital Essentials Pet Foods

You can purchase Vital Essentials pet food products from these retailers:


43 Recipes In-Stock Today

43 Recipes In-Stock Today

21 Recipes In-Stock Today

17 Recipes In-Stock Today

Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Primal Vital Essentials
Dry Dog Food
Wet Dog Food
Dog Treats 7 Treats 35 Treats
Dry Cat Food
Wet Cat Food
Cat Treats 8 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores