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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons 2021

Vital Essentials

Meet Vital Essentials Dog Food

You are about to read our in-depth Vital Essentials dog food review, it is our honest feedback about the products. Go ahead, indulge.

Feeding dogs raw has so many health benefits, but for the average family, it’s difficult to coordinate. You have to prepare it and store it. You can’t make too much ahead because of the constraints of your kitchen. Sometimes, you may not be sure that you’re giving your dog all the proper nutrients.

Vital Essentials is a freeze-dried or frozen raw food that gives you the convenience of kibble without the problematic digestion. It comes in convenient packaging and allows you to know that you’re feeding your pet the best of both worlds. Let’s see if Vital Essentials could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

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Brand Quick Look

  • Parent Company: Carnivore Meat Company
  • Made in: Green Bay, WI, USAVital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 1
  • Manufactured In: Carnivore Meat Company-owned facilities in Green Bay
  • Available at: Chewy, Amazon
  • Types of Food: Frozen, freeze-dried
  • Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients?: Yes
  • Recalled in Past? : Yes

Behind the Brand

Vital Essentials is part of the Carnivore Meat Company, a pioneer in providing raw foods that mimic the ancestral diet of your dog. The company has rigorous safety standards and is GSCI and EU certified. They developed a food safety program with Kansas State University, and all employees are trained in this rigorous standard.

The company got started in the search for better diets for dogs that more closely resembled the way they would have eaten long ago. Carnivore Meat Company is unique in that it produces high-quality raw foods based on plenty of research and uses only USDA certified meats to produce nutritious meals.

Carnivore Meat Company is one of the leading providers of raw pet foods in the country, continually researching and creating new ways to make feeding your dog raw much easier. You can find their private labels online and in a few specialty stores.

Vital Essentials Dog Food Review

IMAGE PRODUCT  
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 3
Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Patties
  • Limited-ingredient beef dog food
  • Great if you feed your dog a raw diet
  • Grain-free, gluten-free and free of added fillers
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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 4
Vital Essentials Duck Entree Mini Nibs
  • Complete and balanced single protein diet
  • Grain-free and gluten-free freeze-dried duck dog
  • With small pieces that are perfect for small breeds
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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 5
Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Patties
  • Limited-ingredient chicken dog food
  • Suitable for any breed and all life stages
  • Made with high-quality ingredients sourced from the USA
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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 6
Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties
  • Freeze-dried dog food in a convenient mini patty form
  • Grain-free, limited-ingredient recipe features rabbit
  • Free of fillers, rendered by-product and artificial additives
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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 7
Vital Essentials Turkey Mini Nibs
  • Complete and balanced single protein diet
  • Grain-free and gluten-free freeze-dried turkey dog food
  • Ideal for any dogs with food sensitivities or allergies
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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 8
Vital Essentials Salmon Mini Nibs
  • Salmon is the only source of animal protein
  • Grain-free and gluten-free freeze-dried meal
  • Crafted in the USA with real, wild-caught salmon
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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 9
Vital Essentials Beef Patties
  • Limited-ingredient, single source protein dog food
  • Simply serve as-is, or re-hydrate with warm water first
  • All-natural, raw meat recipe is frozen to preserve nutrition and freshness
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Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 10
Vital Essentials Minnows Treats
  • Made from pure raw freeze-dried fish
  • Free from added hormones and antibiotics
  • No added fillers, flavoring or rendered by-products
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Reviewed Vital Essentials Dog Foods

  1. Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Patties
  2. Vital Essentials Duck Entree Mini Nibs
  3. Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Patties
  4. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties
  5. Vital Essentials Turkey Mini Nibs
  6. Vital Essentials Salmon Mini Nibs
  7. Vital Essentials Beef Patties
  8. Vital Essentials Minnows Treats
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1. Vital Essentials Beef Mini Patties

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients:

  • Beef
  • Beef Heart
  • Beef Lung
  • Beef Stomach
  • Beef Liver
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 11
These raw patties are freeze-dried to preserve flavor and freshness, so it’s just as tasty in your dog’s bowl is it would be in the wild.

Vital Essentials Beef Mini Patties is a grain-free freeze-dried raw food formulated for the nutritional needs of dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages. It is an excellent bridge between the convenience of kibble and the world of premium, raw dog food.

You can use it exclusively or supplement your homemade meals for your friend when you don't’ have time to put something together. It uses only USDA certified meats, and every part is clearly identified.

Many dog foods use an omnivore approach, but Vital Essentials believes that all the nutrition your dog needs can be met with meat-only meals.

Based on the type of GI tract your dog has the addition of extra fruits and vegetables may not be necessary for your dog’s health. This of course depends on your dog’s specific health needs. Some dogs do better on a diet that includes more fiber.

This particular diet is pretty straightforward. It contains a handful of ingredients all from beef. The company uses freeze-drying to help preserve foods without any unnatural preservatives. You get better storage, and your dog gets all the benefits of raw.

Made of high-quality beef, it is full of flavor that dogs enjoy. Beef is high in amino acids that help dogs build lean and strong muscles. Beef organs add even more protein and many other nutrients to this recipe. They support dogs’ organ function and overall health.

Aside from the high nutritional value of beef meat and organs, herring oil is also included to provide essential fatty acids. Rich in omega fatty acids, herring oil promotes healthy heart, brain, and immune system function. It is also vital in supporting skin, coat, and joint health in dogs.

The downside to feeding an alpha prey model diet like this is that Vital Essentials is a more significant investment than the average dog food. Since it is nutrient-dense, you don’t have to feed as much of the food as you would kibble, but overall, it’s going to take a bigger portion of your budget.

The good news is that it’s highly likely your dog will lose a lot of food allergy symptoms by removing everything that may cause a reaction.

Artificial ingredients, cheap fillers, and even some fruits and veggies can irritate your dog’s digestive system. This one also uses no peas, legumes, or potatoes, good news for some dog owners. It’s nutrient dense and some of the best options you can get without making your food yourself.

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Based on pet parents’ comments, dogs just love these mini beef patties. They seem to love eating the patties on their own or mixed with kibble or homemade food.

The dog owners are quite pleased with the results that this recipe was able to deliver. From improved digestion to healthier skin and glossier coats, pups of all ages seem to thrive on this meat-rich food.

Fur parents also love the versatility of the patties. Because it is shelf-stable, they are a breeze to serve and can even be great meals on the go for travelling pups.

If you have a beef-lovin' pup who needs a high-protein diet, Vital Essentials Beef Mini Patties is highly recommended.

2. Vital Essentials Duck Entrée Mini Nibs 

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients:

  • Ground Duck with Bone
  • Duck Liver
  • Duck Gizzard
  • Duck Skin
  • Herring Oil
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 12
Locally sourced from America’s heartland, Mini Nibs contain a perfect blend of fresh, wholesome duck, bone and organ meats, and absolutely no grains, glutens or fillers.

Vital Essentials Duck Entree Mini Nibs is a grain-free freeze-dried raw food that is suitable for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages. Compared to the brand’s patties, these mini nibs make it easier for smaller breeds to pick up in their mouths and chew.

While nutritionally complete and balanced, this single-source protein dog food is completely free from any carb sources, fruit or vegetable. It is also free from vitamin and mineral supplements.

Despite the absence of such components typically found in most complete dog foods, this recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

The most plentiful ingredient in this recipe is ground duck. In fact, this food is made with just duck and duck organs, with the exception of the herring oil and vitamin supplements. 48% of this freeze-dried raw recipe is protein. The super high protein content makes this duck recipe ideal for active dogs.

Duck is a flavor-packed source of protein that many dogs enjoy. It is rich in iron and is easy to digest. It is a good protein alternative for dogs allergic to chicken or beef.

A great source of amino acids, duck helps pups build strong and lean muscles. Duck liver and gizzard are not only loaded with tastes that dogs can’t resist, but they also make this food even richer.

Duck skin is also included in this recipe. It is quite high in fat. Duck in general is quite fattier than other protein sources. This is also why it is one of the most flavorful. The high fat content makes this specific recipe not recommended for pups with pancreatitis.

To give this meaty meal more essential fatty acids, herring oil is included in the Vital Essentials Duck Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food.

It is high in omega fatty acids that are important in many aspects of dogs’ health. It not only promotes healthier skin and coats, but also improves dogs’ stamina, immune system and heart health. It helps reduce inflammation, shedding, and joint pain.

This single-source protein, freeze-dried raw recipe is free from artificial enhancers such as flavors, colors, or preservatives. It is truly as clean an ingredient list as it can get for a shelf-stable dog food.

One of Vital Essentials’ highest-rated products, these duck nibs are just loved by so many dogs of all sizes and ages. Can’t really blame these pups as this food is loaded with a lot of pure duck goodness.

Some of the pet parents use these nibs as meal-toppers and treats for a variety of reasons. It allows them to stretch a bag of this food for a longer period of time, which means their dogs get to enjoy its many health benefits and tasty flavor for longer.

Older dogs don’t need as much protein and fat as they would get if fed only this recipe for meals. Their lower activity levels mean that they won’t be able to burn as much of the fat and calories in this food. As it is super flavorful, giving them as treats or training rewards is a great way to motivate pups to perform tricks or tasks.

However, one dog owner said that the nibs were a bit too hard for her dogs to chew. She had to soak the food in hot water overnight to soften the pieces.

Based on its very clean ingredient list, palatability, and versatility, Vital Essentials Duck Entree Mini Nibs comes highly recommended.

However, keep in mind that dogs have different health needs, so the serving size of this high-protein, high-fat food should be adjusted accordingly.

For example, it can benefit highly active puppies and adults to have purely this recipe as their meals, while less active ones can benefit more from having it as treats or toppers instead.

3. Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Patties

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients:

  • Ground Chicken with Bone
  • Chicken Heart
  • Chicken Liver
  • Herring Oil
  • Mixed Tocopherol
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 13
This limited-ingredient recipe is made with chicken, bones and organ meat. Just crumbled the mini patties into your dog’s dish and add some water to create a delicious entrée.

Vital Essentials Chicken Entree Mini Pet Patties Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a grain-free food suitable for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages. The freeze-dried raw pieces in this recipe are small patties that make them perfect for small breed pups, but not as small as the nibs.

It is made of raw chicken, meat, bones, and organs, and has a total of only 6 items in its ingredient list. This high-protein, high-fat recipe combines the nutrition of a raw, whole prey diet, with the convenience of dry dog food. It can be served straight from the bag, or rehydrated with warm water.

Made of real raw ground chicken meat and bones, this recipe is loaded with flavor and a lot of protein. Chicken is one of the most popular protein sources among dogs. While its meat may seem bland to some humans, chicken is full of savory flavors for many dogs.

Aside from being highly digestible, it is high in protein that keeps dogs’ muscles lean and strong, and vitamins B3 and B6, as well as selenium and phosphorus.

Chicken heart and chicken liver add even more protein to this recipe. This whole prey diet is 45% protein and 27% fat. The high protein and fat content of this meal are highly recommended for very active dogs and puppies.

Working and sporting dogs could really benefit from this meat-rich recipe as the amino acids in the meat can help them build a lean muscle mass, while the high fat content will fuel their energy needs.

Aside from protein, chicken liver and hearts also add a lot of flavor, richness, and nutrients to this freeze-dried raw meal. Chicken liver is high in selenium, niacin, thiamin, retinol, beta-carotene, vitamins C and D that support heart, brain, skin, and eye health.

Chicken liver also helps support joint, bone, and liver health in dogs. Heart is also rich in protein and other nutrients such as taurine. Taurine helps promote a healthy heart and eye function in dogs.

Just like the brand’s duck recipe, the main source of essential fatty acids in Vital Essentials Chicken Entree Mini Pet Patties Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food is herring oil. This fish oil is an excellent source of omega fatty acids that can benefit dogs in every life stage.

Omega fatty acids promote a healthy cognitive function in dogs, and healthy brain development in puppies. They also help slow down cognitive dysfunction in senior pups.

Aside from brain health, herring oil supports joint, skin, and coat health. It helps keep dogs’ coats thick and shiny. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help dogs suffering from arthritis and allergy symptoms such as itchy or inflamed skin.

This naturally tasty food needs no artificial flavor or color enhancers. The freeze-drying process ensures that harmful bacteria are eliminated while still retaining its high nutritional value. The minimal processing also gives the raw food a much longer shelf life.

These chicken mini patties are another hit among dogs! Even very picky dogs get excited when they know that this recipe is on the dinner menu. According to some pet parents, it has even helped increase the energy levels of their dogs.

The ease of preparation is definitely a hit among pet parents. The patties are ready to serve dry, and can also be rehydrated with warm water for pups who prefer hydrating meals. The patties are also easy to break into smaller pieces for bite-sized morsels for little dogs.

Overall, the top reason dog owners purchase the Vital Essentials Chicken Entrée Mini Patties Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food is its ingredient quality.

The excellent quality of the raw meat and organs, as well as the absence of plant-based ingredients make pet parents feel good about feeding it to their pups. They attribute the better overall health of their pups to the alpha prey nutrition that this formula provides.

4. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients:

  • Whole Rabbit
  • Rabbit Liver
  • Rabbit Heart
  • Rabbit Lung
  • Herring Oil
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 14
This recipe features rabbit, a powerful protein that’s packed with B12 for health energy. A smart choice for dogs with sensitive bellies.

Vital Essentials Rabbit Entrée Mini Patties is a grain-free food suitable for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages.

Compared to the brand’s poultry formulas, this rabbit recipe is even higher in protein at 55%, but much lower in fat at 14%. This single-source protein freeze-dried raw food is a great way to conveniently give sensitive pups raw nutrition as nature intended.

The lean rabbit meat is a novel protein that is packed with a lot of amino acids and has very little fat. Lean and low fat foods are better for dogs suffering from pancreatitis. Rabbit is also an excellent source of vitamin B12 which supports the immune system and dogs’ energy production.

Ground rabbit bones are also included. They are a good source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth. Rabbit liver, lung, and heart are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are high in nutrients such as niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, and retinol. Feeding organs to dogs supports their organ health as well.

As this food does not have any veggies, fruits, and other sources of carbohydrates, it is the closest dogs can get to the whole prey diet that many of them instinctively crave.

Next to rabbit liver, heart, and lung, Vital Essentials Rabbit Entree Mini Patties also has herring oil in its clean ingredient list. It is the freeze-dried recipe’s main source of essential fatty acids as rabbit is very low in fat.

Herring oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids that dogs need for good overall health. Herring oil has EPA and DHA that help protect the heart and improves cognitive function. They play an important role in puppies’ brain development and in slowing down the progression of cognitive dysfunction in older dogs.

Fish oil such as herring oil also helps prevent kidney disease. According to the Animal Medical Center of Chicago, in dogs with failing kidneys, fish oil may lower elevated blood pressure, decrease undesired protein loss in urine, and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory substances that aggravate kidneys. Herring oil also benefits dogs’ joint, skin, and coat health.

This naturally tasty rabbit recipe has small patties that can be served on its own as a nutritionally complete and balanced meal. They can be easily broken into smaller pieces and served dry or rehydrated with some warm water. These mini patties also make great meal enhancers. It is a convenient way to add raw nutrition to your pup’s daily meals.

Aside from being free from corn, wheat, soy, or any type of fillers, this rabbit recipe contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The freeze-drying process preserves the food without the need for chemical preservatives. It also helps the food retain its high nutritional value.

This is another formula from Vital Essentials that has received some very high ratings from pet parents. Their dogs love the meaty rabbit patties, and have been quite effective at stimulating their appetites.

Senior dogs of various sizes seem to really love these rabbit patties. Aside from being tasty, they are quite easy to chew and can be broken into smaller pieces for tiny mouths.

Based on ingredient quality, nutritional value, and palatability, Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties is highly recommended for dogs of all ages. If you want to switch your pup to a whole prey diet without the very high fat content, this rabbit recipe is a great dog food to try.

5. Vital Essentials Turkey Mini Nibs 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients:

  • Ground Turkey with Bone
  • Turkey Heart
  • Turkey Liver
  • Herring Oil
  • Mixed Tocopherols
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 15
Grain-free and gluten-free freeze-dried turkey dog food with small pieces that are perfect for small breeds. Ideal for any dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.

Vital Essentials Turkey Entree Mini Nibs is a grain-free freeze-dried raw food formulated for the nutritional needs of dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages.

This is another recipe from the brand that is relatively lower in fat compared to most of its freeze-dried raw formulas. It offers a convenient way to serve your pup a highly nutritious Thanksgiving dinner every night without all of the effort involved in home-prepared meals.

This recipe is 55% protein and 17% fat. With ground turkey with bone as the most plentiful ingredient, you can rest assured that every serving helps your pup build lean and strong muscles. Turkey is a great poultry option for dogs sensitive to chicken.

It is a lean protein source that has both riboflavin and phosphorus. Riboflavin metabolizes fats and carbohydrates into energy. It also helps produce red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients around the body.

Phosphorus plays an important role in dogs’ health as it supports a healthy kidney function by helping flush out toxins from the body through urine.

Aside from turkey meat and bones, turkey heart and liver are also included to add even more protein and nutrients to this recipe. Turkey hearts contain amino acids, vitamin A, vitamin B, iron and taurine.

Turkey Liver aside from protein, turkey liver has vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium. Both heart and liver also add a lot of flavor and richness to this recipe.

Herring oil is the main source of essential fatty acids in this formula. High in omega fatty acids, herring oil supports multiple functions in dogs' bodies.

They help promote healthy heart and cognitive functions. The EPA and DHA in herring oil are especially beneficial to puppies’ developing brains, as well as preventing cognitive dysfunction in older dogs.

Aside from heart and brain health. Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and lustrous coats in dogs. Their anti-inflammatory properties help relieve allergy symptoms in sensitive dogs and reduce joint pain.

This single-protein source, grain and gluten-free dog food is free from any plant-based carbohydrate sources. Unlike many other freeze-dried raw dog foods, this recipe contains absolutely no vegetables or fruits.

This meaty turkey recipe makes a great meal for dogs who need a high-protein diet but with moderate levels of fat. Dogs who need food with a higher fiber content can still enjoy these turkey nibs as treats or meal toppers.

Vital Essentials Turkey Entrée Mini Nibs Freeze-Dried Dog Food combines the rich nutrition of a raw, whole prey diet with the convenience of kibble.

Nutritionally balanced and complete, this high-protein formula can be served on its own straight out of the bag, or rehydrated with some water for a moisture-rich meal. The small size of the nibs makes it easy to chew even for older small breed dogs.

Based on feedback from pet parents, this turkey recipe scores high marks for palatability. Many of them absolutely loved the meaty turkey nibs. The dogs enjoy them in various ways, from rehydrated meals to snacks and treats.

Many sensitive dogs are also thriving on this protein-packed recipe. It has been credited with helping resolve various issues such as skin allergies and gastrointestinal problems.

While a lot of these pet parents find good value in this product due to its high-quality ingredients, a few find it quite expensive.

Overall, Vital Essentials Turkey Mini Nibs Dog Food is highly recommended based on ingredient quality, palatability, results delivered, and the numerous ways it can be served to dogs.

6. Vital Essentials Salmon Mini Nibs

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients:

  • Salmon
  • Mixed Tocopherol
  • Vitamin E Supplement
  • Iron Amino Acid Chelate
  • Zinc Amino Acid Chelate
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 16
Made in the USA with whole wild-caught salmon, organs and bones and never any added fillers, artificial preservatives, flavorings or colors.

Vital Essentials Salmon Entree Mini Nibs is a grain-free freeze-dried raw food suitable for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages. With salmon as its only main ingredient, this food is perfect for highly sensitive pups suffering from skin and tummy issues caused by allergies.

Made with real wild-caught salmon, this recipe is packed with a lot of flavor that canine fish fans are sure to love. It is also a highly digestible protein source that is easy on sensitive stomachs. Naturally rich in omega 3 fatty acids, salmon also has vitamins A, B-complex and D as well as magnesium, potassium and zinc, supporting a strong immune system along with glossy coats and healthy skin.

Because of salmon being high in omega 3 fatty acids, this recipe does not have herring oil, which is the source of essential fatty acids in all other recipes from the brand. The anti-inflammatory properties of these fatty acids help reduce itchy, inflamed skin in sensitive dogs.

They also help relieve joint pain caused by arthritis in older pups. Omega 3 fatty acids also protect the heart. According to the Animal Medical Center of Chicago, these essential fatty acids reduce the heart’s vulnerability to developing an irregular heart rhythm, called atrial fibrillation.

Aside from being good for the heart, they also help keep dogs’ brain function healthy and aid in slowing down the progression of cognitive dysfunction in older pups.

Vital Essentials Salmon Entrée Mini Nibs Freeze-Dried Dog Food is free from any vegetable, fruit, or grain carbohydrate sources. It is quite literally just salmon and vitamin and mineral supplements. Naturally rich in savory fish flavors, this salmon recipe is free from artificial enhancers such as flavors or colors.

Completely shelf-stable, the salmon nibs do not require refrigeration. They can be served on their own as a complete meal and can also be rehydrated with some warm water. The tasty nibs also make great snacks, training rewards, and meal-toppers. The small pieces make it suitable for all dog sizes including the tiny pups.

Pet parents love the very clean ingredient list of this food, and their pups love the very fishy salmon nibs as well. As they are made of mainly just freeze-dried raw salmon, this dog food has quite a strong smell to it. The dogs can smell it from a mile away and get excited when they know it is mealtime or snack time.

Some credit this food with helping keep their aging dogs happy and healthy in their golden years. Salmon is definitely rich in skin, immune system, and joint support nutrients that are quite beneficial to senior pups.

Vital Essentials Salmon Entrée Mini Nibs is definitely highly recommended. It has a clean ingredient list, top quality protein source, and has delivered great results for numerous dogs.

7. Vital Essentials Beef Patties

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients:

  • Beef
  • Beef liver
  • Beef lung
  • Beef kidney
  • Beef stomach
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 17
This dog food is made from pure, raw beef, providing all of the benefits of a raw diet in a convenient patty – your dog will love the meaty taste!

Vital Essentials Beef Patties are grain-free freeze-dried raw food suitable for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages. These beef patties are ideal for pet parents who want to give their dogs the best of raw nutrition, without the hassle of preparing raw dog food from scratch. The shelf-stable patties also make great snacks or treats for dogs both young and old.

Made with high-quality beef, this high-protein recipe has the savory goodness of red meat that many dogs instinctively crave. It is high in protein, iron, zinc, selenium and vitamins B12, B3 and B6. It has essential amino acids that dogs need to keep a lean and strong muscle mass.

Beef organs such as kidney, lung, liver, and stomach are also added to this alpha prey model formula. These not only add protein and nutrients to this beef recipe, but also make the patties richer and more flavorful. The highly palatable organs are packed with nutrients that support various aspects of dogs’ overall health. Beef liver is rich in healthy fats and vitamin A, as well as iron, copper and zinc.

A powerful organ made of all muscle, beef heart has high levels of folate, zinc, iron, and vitamins A, B, D, E, and K, while beef lung is rich in nutrients such as vitamin B12 and C, iron, selenium, phosphorus, and niacin.

Beef stomach has tripe which is a superfood for dogs. While it has a strong odor that can almost repel humans, dogs find them irresistible. Beef stomach and tripe support the gut health of dogs. Tripe also helps boost the immune system, soothe stomach upsets, and promotes healthy skin and coats.

Just like most of the brand’s other recipes, Vital Essentials Beef Patties has herring oil as its main source of essential fatty acids. It is high in omega fatty acids that are important in many aspects of dogs’ health.

It not only promotes healthier skin and coats, but also improves dogs’ stamina, immune system and heart health. It helps reduce inflammation, shedding, and joint pain. Its anti-inflammatory properties are especially beneficial to dogs with allergies

Herring oil also helps support the brain function of dogs, and brain development in puppies. The EPA and DHA assist in the brain function of dogs, and even help prevent cognitive dysfunction in aging pups.

This food is completely free from vegetables, fruits, and grains, unlike many freeze-dried dog foods. It is the ultimate grain, gluten, pea, potato, legume, and poultry-free food, making it ideal for sensitive dogs.

The naturally tasty beef patties contain no artificial flavors or colors. The freeze-drying process kills all harmful bacteria while allowing the food to retain its flavor and nutritional value.

Compared to the brand’s mini patty and nibs recipes, these beef patties are much larger in size. However, they can be easily broken into smaller pieces if needed, or if you wish to give them as snacks or treats.

The versatile patties are enriched with vitamins and minerals making them complete meals on their own. They can also be rehydrated with some warm water to soften, and make great meal enhancers as well.

For many pet parents, its high-quality, clean ingredient list is one of the top reasons for buying this product. Many of them are parents to highly sensitive pets. Their dogs love the rich, red meat flavors of these beef patties.

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Based on reviews, dogs seem to love the patties in varying forms. Some like them broken up into small bite-sized pieces, while some prefer them rehydrated and mixed with other food.

One dog owner finds that these larger patties are more economical compared to the brand’s mini patties variant. However, a few find the large patties too hard to rehydrate even when soaked overnight.

Based on ingredient quality, palatability, and value for money, the tasty Vital Essentials Beef Patties Raw Dog Food is a top quality freeze-dried food. It is recommended for picky pups and for pet parents who prefer pre-portioned, shelf-stable freeze-dried raw dog food.

8. Vital Essentials Minnows Treats

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Only Ingredient:

  • Minnows
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 18
Made with only fresh, whole, single-sourced minnows, these treats provide essential nutrition and taste that dogs instinctively crave.

Vital Essentials Minnows Dog Treats are grain-free treats suitable for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages. With only one item on its ingredient list, you just cant’ go wrong with these protein-packed whole fish treats.

At 60% protein, these low-carb treats will make you feel better about indulging your pup in a few more tasty fishies. The whole freeze-dried minnows are also perfectly-sized as treats.

They can also be easily broken into smaller pieces if you wish to give them as training rewards. Its intense fish flavors will certainly motivate your pup to learn new tricks.

These wild-caught fish are free from antibiotics or hormones. They are also naturally rich in omega 3 fatty acids that support heart, brain, immune system, skin, and coat health.

They also promote a healthy brain and heart function, and have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce itching and gastrointestinal upset.

The minimally processed minnows go through a slow, 48 hour freeze-drying process that kills harmful pathogens while locking in their natural flavor and nutrients. This makes the treats shelf-stable without the need for refrigeration.

According to feedback from pet parents, dogs (and even their kitty siblings) cannot get enough of these delicious whole fish treats. They find the smell and flavor almost impossible to resist.

As it is made of only one ingredient, the treats have been great for very sensitive pups. It does not trigger allergy symptoms, so their owners feel good about giving them these freeze-dried fish snacks.

While some find them a bit pricey, they do appreciate its high-quality. According to some, a bag surprisingly contains more fish than they expected from a 1 oz bag.

If you have a sensitive pup, or just a furry fish lover, Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Dog Treats is one of the best dog treats that you can purchase. It scores high marks in quality, palatability, and health benefits.

Vital Essentials Dog Food Review

What Types Of Dog Food Does Vital Essentials Offer?

All Vital Essentials offerings are raw, but they come in two different forms. The first is a freeze-dried option that makes storage easier and the second is frozen raw. The freeze-dried choice is more quickly served.

The frozen variants are made of fresh, raw ingredients that need thawing. Unconsumed thawed raw food needs discarding immediately to avoid contamination.

The recipes are all limited-ingredient to help dogs with allergies. They center around a single protein source and use only high-quality, premium ingredients and never any cheap fillers or artificial flavors and colors.

A unique component of Vital Essentials is that the recipes treat dogs as if they’re carnivores instead of omnivores. The research is mixed about where to officially place dogs, but Vital Essentials believes that dogs have been habituated to human diets instead of genuinely being omnivores. 

Freeze Dried:

  • Beef Mini Nibs
  • Beef Mini Patties
  • Beef Niblets
  • Beef Patties
  • Chicken Mini Nibs
  • Chicken Mini Patties
  • Chicken Niblets
  • Chicken Patties
  • Duck Mini Nibs
  • Duck Mini Patties
  • Turkey Mini Patties
  • Turkey Niblets
  • Rabbit Mini Patties
  • Rabbit Mini Nibs
  • Salmon Mini Nibs
Freeze Dried and Frozen

Frozen:

  • Turkey Patties Grain Free
  • Beef Patties Grain free
  • Chicken Patties Grain Free
  • Duck Patties Grain Free
  • Rabbit Patties Grain Free
  • Fusion Beef Dinner
  • Fusion Chicken Dinner

Treats:

  • Minnows
  • Bully Sticks
  • Beef nibs
  • Chicken Hearts
  • Rabbit Ears
  • Beef Tripe
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon Rings
  • Chicken Breast
  • Beef Liver
  • Turkey Giblets
  • Tripe Niblets
  • Rabbit Bites
  • Lamb
  • VE RAW BAR Bully Sticks
  • VE RAW BAR Bully Twists 
  • VE RAW BAR Chicken Necks
  • VE RAW BAR Cod Skins
  • VE RAW BAR Duck Heads
  • VE RAW BAR Duck Hearts
  • VE RAW BAR Duck Necks
  • VE RAW BAR Moo Sticks
  • VE RAW BAR Pig Ears
  • VE RAW BAR Pig Snouts
  • VE RAW BAR Salmon Skins
  • VE RAW BAR Turkey Necks
Treats and Toppers

Food Toppers:

  • Beef Meal Boost Topper
  • Beef Tripe Niblets
  • Chicken Meal Boost Topper
  • Turkey Meal Boost Topper
  • Beef Tripe Patties Frozen Supplement

Vital Essentials Recall History

Vital Essentials issued a voluntary recall of a freeze-dried food variety and a freeze-dried meal topper in  2018. Last February 2018, the Carnivore Meat Company voluntarily recalled 73 cases of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Nibblets Entrée for Dogs due to potential salmonella contamination. 

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Customer Feedback

Customers tend to like Vital Essentials’ approach to the canine ancestral diet, and some have been won over by how well their dogs are doing on the limited ingredient recipes. It may take some getting used to with recipes that contain only meat, but many people begin to see an improvement in their dog’s overall health once they try it.

It’s consistently rated at four stars on many online retailers. That goes for most of the recipes that are available online at various retailers.

Vital Essentials Dog Food Review, Recalls & Coupons [year] 19

What Do People Like And Dislike About Vital Essentials Food?

Many people like that the food is a highly limited ingredient and can be served to dogs with severe food allergies, not only to cheap fillers and artificial ingredients but also any grains, soy, corn, or even vegetables and fruits. This may take some getting used to, but the good news is that there’s no danger of possible enlarged heart conditions due to taurine levels in foods with peas, white potatoes, and legumes.

Other customers like that it’s a more accessible alternative to raw, especially for those who use dog sitters sometimes. It allows dogs to maintain their food standards without having to teach someone else how to feed them.

Some liked that it gave them a little more flexibility in feeding when they used freeze-dried food. One person even mentioned that it’s good for when she’ll be out of the house and wants to leave a bit of food for her pets before she gets back.

The downside is that it’s definitely not cheap. If you’re looking for a food upgrade, that may be worth it. You can also mix in kibble or homemade foods or use this food intermittently to cut down on some of the expense.

If you believe in an omnivore diet for your dog, this recipe won’t satisfy you. Make sure you know what you’re getting with Vital Essentials because some customers were caught (negatively) by surprise.

Positive

  • “Vital Essentials is great food but it’s expensive. My dog had a reaction to regular kibble and since feeding him this he’s 100 percent better!! I do mix it with a homemade food as well to cut down on the cost. I’d highly recommend it!!!!” SandG, chewy.com
vital essentials dog food review

Negative:

  • “We've used several different freeze dried foods but this one was not a hit in our house. Some completely refused it, others nibbled and left the rest.” Dogmom, chewy.com

Does vital essentials use HPP?

Vital Essentials Raw has announced they will be implementing a new test and hold process and incorporating high pressure pasteurization (HPP) into their production process. These steps will cover both raw frozen and freeze-dried products from Vital Essentials.

What do hemp treats do for dogs?

Some pet owners have reported benefits of hemp for dogs and cats, including treatment of pain, arthritis, seizures, anxiety, inappetance, cognitive dysfunction and more.

Can a dog overdose on hemp treats?

There are no known long-term side effects of overdosing on hemp. Because all pets respond differently, you may see some adverse side effects even if you administer the recommended dose. Ultimately, the ideal dosage amount comes down to your pet's individual reaction.

How many treats should I give my pet per day?

While treating your pet can be fun and enjoyable, please keep in mind that vital essential products are purely raw. Should your pet not have had exposure to a raw product previously, we advise to take it slow at first. An abrupt change to a new treat or snack can disrupt an animal’s digestive system. Once your pet is acclimated to their treats and snacks, we advise to use your best judgement on how many treats are too much for your pet. We also recommend to pick a treat or snack that’s appropriate for your pet’s size and weight.

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