Vital Essentials Dog Food Review 2024: An Expert’s Breakdown

Vital Essentials Dog Food Review 2024: An Expert’s Breakdown

Our Final Verdict

We give Vital Essentials model an total score of 4.95 out of 5 stars.

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Quality: 4.9/5
Variety: 5/5
Ingredients: 5/5
Value: 4.8/5

More and extra canine homeowners are studying about the advantages of a uncooked meals eating regimen for his or her furry members of the family. But feeding a uncooked eating regimen is even more durable than it sounds, particularly when you think about what it takes to supply the best ratio of vitamins for wholesome progress.

The reply? A high-quality ready uncooked eating regimen that’s simple to feed and accommodates all of the micro and macro vitamins your canine must thrive.

One of the oldest manufacturers to assert area on this realm is Vital Essentials.

Their uncooked diets include over 98% meat, organs, and bone. Not solely that, however these “butcher cuts” come from hormone and antibiotic-free suppliers within the US and EU. And all their meals are made and packaged of their company-owned US services.

I had an opportunity to strive three of their uncooked eating regimen merchandise on my canine (and had been they ever glad I did!). Keep studying to search out out what makes Vital Essentials higher than so many uncooked manufacturers on the market, why it’s really easy to feed, and extra in my full Vital Essentials model overview.

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At a Glance: The Products We Received

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About Vital Essentials

Vital Essentials raw dog food

Vital Essentials raw dog food

Vital Essentials is a uncooked canine and cat meals firm that focuses on creating single-protein diets for pets. Each recipe is obtainable in a number of freeze-dried choices in addition to frozen and as treats and toppers.

What units this firm aside from different uncooked pet meals manufacturers is their use of entire prey and a handful of nutritional vitamins and minerals as the one elements of their recipes. Each meal product is free from added carbohydrates and is full and balanced for all life levels and breeds.

Who Makes Vitals Essential and Where is it Produced?

Vital Essentials is owned by Carnivore Meat Company, a uncooked pet meals producer that has been within the recreation since 1968. They manufacture Vital Essentials merchandise together with uncooked meals for his or her sister firm, Nature’s Advantage, and a few small private-label pet meals choices of their Green Bay, Wisconsin facility.

The meat utilized in every recipe is sourced from farm-raised, humanely harvested protein within the US and EU.

Which Pets Is Vital Essentials Best Suited For?

With two strains of uncooked meals, one for cats and one for canine, Vital Essentials is a superb choice for all of the carnivore pets in your house. Each meat-centric meal recipe is balanced with pure vitamins, enzymes, and a pinch of added amino acid mineral complexes to maintain cats and canine of all ages and breeds.

And as a result of these recipes can be found in a number of varieties, it’s simple to search out the best one to your pet.

The uncooked frozen patties are nice for many who need to feed uncooked in its true kind and have the area within the freezer for it. For those that need the advantages of uncooked however with out the storage hassles, the freeze-dried patties are an important choice and, when blended with water, have a texture most pets love. Lastly, for many who need uncooked that’s as simple to feed as kibble, the freeze-dried uncooked nibs are an important selection.

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Key Features

There are many options that set Vital Essentials aside from different industrial canine meals. There are additionally some key variations that put this model above different uncooked meals choices on the market. Here, we’ll check out just a few of them, together with the meal varieties you may select from, the protein choices accessible, the elements, and all their different nice choices.

Meal Types Available

If you thought uncooked meals all got here in the identical kind, Vital Essentials is right here to set you straight.

Their meal recipes can be found in 5 completely different varieties so you may decide the one that’s finest for you and your canine.

  • Mini Nibs – These freeze-dried bites are concerning the dimension of your common kibble. They characteristic a freeze-dried coating that helps them maintain their form and provides them a pleasant crunch. Feed identical to kibble—no water wanted!
  • Nibs – Just just like the minis, however in a bigger dimension for giant canine who want some assist slowing down to allow them to really take pleasure in their meals.
  • Mini Patties – These small, freeze-dried bricks are simple to interrupt aside for canine huge and small. Rehydrate with water and feed as you’d conventional floor uncooked or canned meals.
  • Patties – Just just like the mini patties, however in a bigger brick for giant canine who can clear a bowl in seconds.
  • Frozen Patties – These frozen uncooked bricks are the identical dimension as the big freeze-dried bricks. Thaw them within the fridge in a single day, portion, and feed for full and balanced uncooked with out the work.

Each of those choices accommodates the identical primary elements, solely the way in which they’re processed differs. But, in all instances, the elements are by no means uncovered to excessive warmth or stress, which suggests they preserve all the nice vitamins and enzymes that make uncooked meals so helpful.

Protein Options

When it comes to picking a recipe from Vital Essentials, there isn’t a scarcity of choices right here, both.

The Mini Nibs, Mini Patties, and Frozen Patties are every accessible in 5 completely different protein varieties:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Rabbit

Aside from added herring oil, every of those recipes solely accommodates the listed protein. This makes it tremendous simple to search out an acceptable meals even when your canine has frequent protein allergic reactions, similar to rooster or beef.

This additionally makes it simple to maintain issues recent by rotating recipes. Not solely does this give your pup completely different flavors to maintain them , however it additionally supplies a wider number of vitamins to maintain them thriving.

Vital Essentials raw dog food

Vital Essentials raw dog food


Regardless of the protein used, every recipe from Vital Essentials options about 45% muscle meat, 45% organs, and 10% floor bone.

The rabbit recipe, for example, accommodates entire floor rabbit, rabbit liver, rabbit coronary heart, rabbit kidney, and rabbit lung.

All of the meat utilized in Vital Essentials meals is procured from farm-raised animals which might be humanely processed within the US or EU.

This whole-prey mannequin mimics what wild canine eat and ensures your canine will get the right combination of protein, fats, and micronutrients. Because the combination accommodates floor bone, the corporate doesn’t have so as to add artificial calcium. Instead, your canine will get this in its pure kind, which makes the calcium simpler to soak up and simpler for constructing sturdy bones and muscle groups.

Aside from the 98%-plus meat in every recipe, there are additionally a handful of dietary components.

The first is herring oil, an important supply of omega fatty acids. Most recipes additionally include blended tocopherols (a pure preservative) and 5 amino acid mineral complexes. The incontrovertible fact that Vital Essentials solely wants so as to add 5 vitamins (versus the 20 or extra present in most canine meals) is a testomony to how nutritious their uncooked meat, organ, and bone mix is.

Beyond Meals

In addition to all of the meal choices we talked about above, Vital Essentials additionally makes a ton of nice treats, chews, and toppers.

Most of their freeze-dried treats include just one or two elements, similar to beef liver or rooster breast. They even have chews like bully sticks, rooster necks, and freeze-dried minnows.

If you’re not able to go full-on uncooked, you may nonetheless elevate your canine’s dietary profile by including certainly one of Vital Essential’s toppers to their present meals. These “Protein Mix-Ins” are available freeze-dried nib kind and floor powder kind. Each accommodates entire floor prey or a mixture of entire prey and added organ meat.

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Reviews of the three Vital Essentials Recipes We Received

1. Freeze-Dried Raw Duck Entree Mini Nibs

Vital Essentials raw dog food

Vital Essentials raw dog food

These duck mini nibs are the right uncooked resolution for homeowners who need the dietary advantages of feeding uncooked with none of the work. Each kibble-sized nib has a particular freeze-dried coating that protects the crumbly, dry elements inside. This offers them the same look and texture to kibble.

They are crunchy, however not arduous, and require no thawing or rehydrating to feed. Scoop them into your canine’s bowl the identical means you’d any dry meals. But do be aware that in case your canine doesn’t drink lots of water, these will be dehydrating with out added water.

Almost the entire vitamins and energy on this recipe come from the primary 4 elements: duck, duck gizzard, duck liver, and herring oil. On prime of all these nutrient-dense meat, organ, and bone elements are 5 added vitamin and mineral dietary supplements.

Most of those added vitamins are in amino acid advanced kind, which makes them extra simply absorbable and subsequently extra helpful to the physique.

Like all Vital Essentials choices, this one could be very excessive in protein, excessive in fats, accommodates naturally occurring fiber, and is free from added carbohydrates and fillers. It is 49% protein, 26% fats, and 5% fiber by dry mass.

This protein-packed recipe is a superb choice for canine of all ages and is particularly good totally free feeders since it may be disregarded as wanted.

  • Over 98% meat
  • Very excessive in protein
  • Easy to feed
  • Easy to retailer
  • Great totally free feeders
  • Can be dehydrating with out added water

2. Freeze-Dried Raw Duck Entree Mini Patties

If you want the concept of feeding uncooked however don’t have the freezer area to spare, these mini patties are an important choice.

Each pattie is freeze-dried, making them simple to retailer within the cabinet and far lighter than frozen uncooked meals. And as a result of they’re simply damaged aside, they make an important choice for canine of all sizes.

This uncooked kind does require a bit extra prep than others. It is finest served rehydrated. I sometimes place the patties in my canine’ bowls, pour water excessive, mash, and allow them to sit for about twenty minutes earlier than feeding.

You may crumble these patties over dry meals as a taste enhancer or serve crumbled with out water. If you go this route, simply ensure your canine has loads of clear water of their water dish to allow them to keep hydrated.

Like the mini nibs recipe, this Duck Entree accommodates duck, duck gizzard, duck liver, and herring oil as the primary elements. It additionally accommodates a handful of vitamins and amino acid complexes.

With 49% protein and 26% fats (dry matter), these patties are good for lively and rising canine. They additionally work nicely for much less lively and grownup canine, simply ensure you feed acceptable parts. Once rehydrated, these patties are extremely palatable and an important choice for choosy eaters.

  • Whole prey components
  • 49% protein
  • Easy to retailer
  • Lightweight and nice for journey
  • Good for choosy canine
  • Requires some preparation

3. Frozen Raw Turkey Entree Patties

Vital Essentials Dog Food

Vital Essentials Dog Food

For those that need true uncooked however don’t have the time to make it themselves, these frozen raw patties from Vital Essentials are good.

They are available frozen bricks concerning the dimension of the freeze-dried mini patties. Simply retailer the bag in your freezer and pull out as many bricks as wanted to thaw within the fridge in a single day. Once thawed, they’re simple to portion out, although you will have to take out a few meals’ value at a time to make sure no leftovers, relying on the portion dimension.

Each patty of this turkey recipe accommodates turkey, turkey coronary heart, turkey liver, and herring oil as the primary 4 elements. This plus simply 5 nutritional vitamins and amino acid mineral complexes make up the complete ingredient record. Because it’s frozen uncooked, it accommodates zero preservatives.

If you’re searching for protein, this turkey recipe has it. Each serving accommodates 58% protein, 25% fats, and 4% fiber by dry matter. This makes it an exceptionally good choice for working canine and rising puppies.

The texture of this meals additionally makes it a wonderful choice for picky eaters and those that choose canned or gentle meals. It’s additionally an important choice for summer time since turkey is thought to be a cooling meat.

  • Very excessive in protein
  • No preservatives
  • Highly palatable
  • Lots of wholesome fat
  • Single protein supply
  • Requires some prep
  • Must be saved within the freezer

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Our Experience With Vital Essentials

Vital Essentials raw dog food

Vital Essentials raw dog food

When my canine had been youthful, they had been fed solely a homemade raw diet. The advantages of this eating regimen had been evident in each side, from their shiny coats to their excessive power to the very minimal stools they produced.

But as soon as I bought pregnant with my daughter, making uncooked was now not an choice. Now, with a rising kiddo, discovering the time to do all of the work required to make do-it-yourself uncooked has proved unattainable. That’s why I used to be very excited to strive these simpler uncooked choices from Vital Essentials.

I attempted quite a lot of their merchandise, together with mini nibs, mini patties, and frozen patties.

The mini nibs are the right dimension for Papyrus, my seven-pound Chihuahua, and Ragz, my 30-pound Dalmatian combine. And I really like that I can put these nibs into their deal with balls with out making an enormous mess. They characteristic all the identical nice advantages of uncooked meals however in a package deal that can be utilized precisely like kibble.

The freeze-dried patties require a bit of extra prep and consideration, however I like how simple they’re to retailer. I’ve additionally used them for feeding throughout journey since they’re tremendous light-weight and can be utilized in quite a lot of methods. Ragz and Papyrus fortunately ate them in rehydrated and dry kind.

I’m additionally a sucker for the frozen patties. These, after all, remind me probably the most of my uncooked eating regimen days.

When thawed, they seem like bricks of uncooked meat. No fruits, veggies, or pointless carbs wherever in sight.

The solely concern I had with the patties was thawing the correct quantity to get my canine’ parts proper with out having an excessive amount of leftover. This was largely a problem when transitioning them off their outdated meals since I used to be solely utilizing a few quarter of the patty every meal at first. But as soon as they had been absolutely transitioned, one patty was about good to separate between them at every meal.

In phrases of which one my canine choose, it’s arduous to say. They fortunately gobble up all of the choices and not using a second thought.

After nearly two weeks of alternating between these diets, I’ve already seen enhancements of their stool consistency and digestion. I’m very hopeful that after just a few extra weeks of this high-quality, high-meat uncooked meals, I’ll begin to see extra of the advantages I seen again after I made my very own uncooked.

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If you need to benefit from all the advantages a uncooked eating regimen can supply your canine however don’t have the time or power for do-it-yourself uncooked, I extremely advocate Vital Essentials.

Not solely does this firm supply an extended record of various kinds of uncooked, from freeze-dried to frozen, however every recipe is filled with high quality entire prey elements. You received’t discover any pointless carbs, fillers, or artificial vitamins right here. Instead, you’ll recover from 98% muscle meat, organs, and floor bone—precisely what your carnivore canine wants.

And all this in a package deal that’s simple to retailer and feed so you are able to do much less whereas your pets get extra.

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