- The Scoop:
- Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
- Here are the top 5 things we think you’ll love about Darwin’s:
- Is Raw Dog Food Really Worth the Cost?
- What About Raw Cat Food?
- Darwin’s Raw Dog Food FAQs
If you’ve ever considered upgrading your dog’s diet, you should check out Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. The idea of raw food for dogs may seem strange to you, but the truth is it’s actually closer to your dog’s natural evolutionary diet than kibble. Raw dog food like Darwin’s has the power to transform your dog’s health, vitality, and wellness both now and for the future. If you want to optimize your pup’s nutrition and maximize his lifespan, we recommend giving Darwin’s a try.
Everyone knows the dangers of food-borne pathogens and the importance of washing your hands after handling raw meat. With safety measures like these engrained in your head, you’re probably a little wary of eating raw meat yourself, let alone feeding it to your dog.
The truth is a raw dog food diet is actually one of the healthiest choices you can make for your dog.
Your dog is descended from wild wolves and his digestive system hasn’t evolved significantly. This means his body is still adapted to derive optimal nutrition from the kind of diet wolves follow in the wild: a whole prey diet. In other words, meat and raw bones.
When you think of a balanced diet for yourself, it includes a variety of proteins, grains, fruits, and veggies. What you need to remember, however, is that dogs are carnivores which means their bodies are optimized to derive nutrition from animal sources.
Meat is simply more nutritious for dogs than carbohydrates.
A raw food diet for dogs is made up of raw meat, organ meats, and raw bones which, in the right proportions, provide for the majority of your dog’s nutritional requirements. Whether you’re feeding your dog a homemade raw diet or buying a commercial product, you need to choose raw dog food recipes that have been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist to ensure it provides the right balance of nutrients your dog needs. That’s where raw dog food delivery companies like Darwin’s come in.
Now that you have a better understanding of the idea behind raw food for dogs, you may be more curious to learn about the options currently on the market. Darwin’s is one of the best raw dog food delivery companies we’ve come across and we think they’re worthy of your consideration.
In this review, we’ll give you some insight into the Darwin’s raw dog food brand, so you have the information you need to decide whether it’s the right choice for your dog. Check it out below!
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
Before passing judgment on a dog food brand, it always helps to know a little more about their history. Darwin’s Natural Pet Products was founded by Gary Tashjian after he discovered the power of raw food for his own dogs, Max and Casey. Max suffered from severe arthritis and Casey was plagued by chronic skin problems. Switching to a homemade raw food diet resolved their issues and transformed their health. It made Gary a believer in the power or raw food for dogs and inspired him to found Darwin’s.
Darwin’s is one of the best raw dog food delivery companies on the market.
Once you learn more about their products and the company itself, we think you’ll agree. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to understand what Darwin’s has to offer so you can decide for yourself whether it’s the right choice for your dog.
Here are the top 5 things we think you’ll love about Darwin’s:
- A wide variety of products divided among three product lines
- The convenience of recurring monthly shipments
- Affordable pricing on high-quality raw dog food delivered fresh
- Recipes made with real animal proteins and wholesome veggies
- Balanced nutrition formulated by veterinary nutritionists
Now that you know a little more about Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and what we like about them, let’s take a closer look. Once you have an understanding of the brand, we think you’ll love them too!
Choose from Three Product Lines
Darwin’s offers a wide variety of high-protein dog food recipes that are grain-free and gluten-free. Every recipe contains 75% animal protein and 25% fresh veggies to ensure complete and balanced nutrition without the use of fillers and artificial additives. Every recipe meets or exceeds AAFCO nutrient profiles.
Here is an overview of the three product lines of Darwin’s raw dog food:
- Natural Selections – A grain-free mixture of free-range meats and organic veggies, this is Darwin’s premium line of raw dog food recipes. All the meat used in these formulas is grass-fed, pasture-raised, or cage-free.
- BioLogics – An economical line of raw dog food, these recipes follow the same formula as the Natural Selections line but are made with conventionally raised meats and vegetables.
- Intelligent Design – Formulated to provide support for dogs suffering from specific health concerns, this line of veterinary diets is available by prescription only and made with hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats and pesticide-free organic veggies.
If you’re not sure which option to choose, Darwin’s offers free pet food consultations. Simply call to speak to a customer service representative or use the online tool to plug in your dog’s information. Darwin’s is happy to provide custom meal plan recommendations to meet your dog’s needs.
Enjoy the Convenience of Recurring Shipments
Not only does Darwin’s provide custom meal plan recommendations for free, but they make it easy to start receiving monthly shipments. Simply provide some basic information about your dog’s weight to determine his feeding requirements then choose from the Natural Selections or BioLogics line.
When you provide your dog’s information, you’ll see Darwin’s recommendation for how much to order. Using a 30-pound male dog as our test dog, we received a recommendation for about 0.9 pounds per day, or 6 pounds per week. You have the option to choose from several different proteins, customizing your order according to your dog’s preferences or unique dietary requirements.
The first time you order Darwin’s frozen raw dog food, you’ll receive a promotional 10-pound selection for just $14.95. One the checkout page, you’ll see the price for your recommended recurring order shipped every 3 weeks. You’ll receive an email reminder a few days before each shipment so you can change, postpone, or cancel your order with plenty of notice.
Affordably Priced Raw Dog Food
Generally speaking, raw dog food and even fresh dog food is going to be more expensive than the average kibble. It’s simply a matter of ingredient quality and processing. That being said, Darwin’s is surprisingly affordable for what you get and it may actually be cheaper than similar commercial options.
Again, using our 30-pound male test dog and a recommendation of 6 pounds per week, the weekly price for either product line was under $50. Natural Selections came to $42.60 per week and BioLogics to $35.13 per week. In your first order, however, you’ll receive a promo price of $14.95 for 10 pounds.
After the 10-pound promo, Darwin’s recommended recurring orders of 20 pounds of raw dog food every 3 weeks. The total price for a combination of Beef, Chicken, and Turkey Natural Selections came to just under $130. Averaging that out, it came to a monthly cost of about $170.
Real Animal Protein and Wholesome Veggies
Darwin’s believes “all pet owners should have the opportunity to feed their pets a healthy meal made from high quality ingredients.” Their goal is to provide fresh, healthy, and high-quality meals that are both convenient and affordable to pet owners.
The Natural Selections line of raw dog food recipes is made with only free-range or grass-fed meat and cage-free poultry. All vegetables are organic and every recipe is completely free from gluten, grains, fillers, and artificial additives. The BioLogics line uses conventionally raised meats and vegetables but the quality of the ingredients is still high and the recipes are still free from artificial additives and grains.
Complete and Balanced Nutrition for Dogs
Though many dog food manufacturers design their products based on cost, Darwin’s puts your dog’s nutrition first. Darwin’s understands that dogs are carnivores, so their recipes are made with 75% real meat. The other 25% comes from fresh vegetables and a small amount of nutrient mix that contains essential vitamins and trace minerals from natural sources. Each recipe is moderate in fat content and low in carbohydrates with a careful balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Darwin’s formulates their recipes to provide complete and balanced nutrition that exceeds the guidelines provided by both the National Research Council and AAFCO for canine nutrition. Their formulas are designed by veterinary nutritionists to deliver optimal nutrition for your pup.
Is Raw Dog Food Really Worth the Cost?
Though raw dog food is certainly more expensive than the average kibble, what you really need to do is compare it to the price of premium kibble or canned food. Generally speaking, canned food is better than dry food simply because it tends to be higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than dry food.
Here’s a quick comparison of Darwin’s to top-shelf dry and wet food products:
- One of the best dry foods on the market for dogs is Orijen Original, made with free-run chicken, turkey, wild-caught fish, and nest-laid eggs. This recipe costs about $50 for a 13-pound bag. Using our 30-pound test dog, Orijen recommends about 1 cup per day, so a 13-pound bag would provide roughly 50 cups (days) of food. The average monthly price, then, is about $30.
- To give you a wet food example, we’ll use Ziwi Peak’s chicken recipe, priced around $70 for a 12-pack of 13.75-ounce cans. Our 30-pound dog would eat about 1 can per day, requiring about 2 ½ packs per month. The monthly cost comes to about $175.
As you can see, Darwin’s is much more expensive than even a premium-quality dry food but is actually cheaper than a premium-quality wet food diet. If you chose Darwin’s BioLogics economical line, it would be even more affordable in comparison.
When it comes to the decision to buy high-quality dog food, you have to think about the long-term benefits. The higher the quality of your dog’s nutrition, the healthier he will be. Speaking practically, that could equate to fewer vet bills, not to mention the benefits of having a happier and healthier dog.
At the end of the day, you should feed your dog the highest quality diet you can consistently afford. That may not be raw dog food, but it might be! What really matters is that your dog gets the quality nutrition he needs to be happy and healthy.
What About Raw Cat Food?
Before letting you go, we just wanted to quickly mention that Darwin’s has raw cat food recipes as well. When it comes to their cat food options, there are only two product lines:
- Natural Selections
- Intelligent Design
Like their raw dog foods, Darwin’s raw cat food is made with premium-quality ingredients and formulated specifically for your pet’s nutritional needs. The primary difference is their cat food recipes are made with 100% real meat whereas the dog food formulas contain some vegetables.
Ever recipe is complete and balanced according to AAFCO feline nutritional profiles and formulated by veterinary nutritionists. Darwin’s uses premium-quality meat from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand in their cat food recipes and all their formulas are completely free from grains and gluten.
Darwin’s Raw Dog Food FAQs
Is raw dog food really safe for dogs?
Raw dog food is extremely nutritious for your dog, but is it safe in terms of food-borne pathogens? The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) discourages raw dog food diets because they contain harmful pathogens that can make pets sick and could be transmitted to humans. You may have also heard about risks for bacteria in raw meat affecting your dog’s health and the risk of whole bones breaking or posing a choking hazard. For the most part, veterinarians encourage raw food diets and, while these risks exist, they are minimal. Just be smart and monitor your dog as you normally would.
Has Darwin’s dog food ever been recalled?
Yes, Darwin’s has had several recalls in the past few years but nothing we could find prior to 2017. If a company has a product recall it isn’t always an indication of poor quality, especially considering product recalls can be made for things as simple as a labeling error. The bigger concerns is when products are recalled for ingredients contaminated with food-borne pathogens like salmonella.
Darwin’s recalls have, unfortunately, been due to food-borne pathogens revealed in testing, but the FDA hasn’t disclosed the actual levels. It’s important to remember that salmonella is common in raw meats, especially chicken. Healthy dogs and cats generally don’t have a problem with salmonella and other food-borne pathogens the same way people do so the risk is still fairly low for your dog to get sick.
Is Darwin’s raw dog food grain-free?
Yes, all of Darwin’s raw dog food recipes are free from gluten and grains. Both the Natural Selections and BioLogics lines contain fresh vegetables, primarily leafy greens and root vegetables. Darwin’s raw cat food recipes are made with 100% raw meat and no veggies.
How many calories does Darwin’s raw food contain?
The calorie content of dog food varies depending on the ingredients and Darwin’s is no different. The Natural Selections product line ranges from 31 to 44 calories per ounce while the BioLogics line ranges from 31 to 36 calories per ounce. Generally speaking, the poultry recipes are a little lower in calories than the beef and lamb recipes.
Can I buy Darwin’s raw food in pet stores?
No, you can only purchase Darwin’s raw dog food online at this time. Darwin’s doesn’t sell in stores because they want to be able to oversee the safety and quality of their products from the moment it leaves the facility to the time it hits your front step. Their shipping process is designed to ensure proper temperature control during transport, and it helps keep things more affordable for customers like you.
Is Darwin’s dog food organic?
Not all of Darwin’s products are organic, but many of them are made with organic ingredients. The Natural Selections product line is made using grass-fed or pasture-raised meat (like beef and lamb) and cage-free poultry (like chicken, turkey, and duck) as well as organic vegetables. The BioLogics line, on the other hand, is made with conventionally raised meats and veggies.