Our Honest Review of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Fresh Dog Food

Why We Love It:

Darwin’s makes it easy to transition your dog onto a raw dog food diet. Experts agree that raw food is the most biologically appropriate diet for pets, but not all companies do it right. Darwin’s uses only the highest quality ingredients and keeps things simple – only premium animal proteins and minimal other fresh ingredients to ensure balanced nutrition. Everything your dog needs and nothing he doesn’t.

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When it comes to dog food, every dog owner has their own preferences. If you think about what you’ve been feeding your dog until now, can you even remember why you chose that brand?

For many pet owners, picking a dog food comes down to price more than anything. When you’re first entering the world of pet ownership, you may not realize that not only are all dog foods not created equal, but some of them are downright disgusting. Some of the brands you see on grocery store shelves are made with the nutritional equivalent of sawdust. They don’t provide quality nutrition for your dog and they may, in fact, do more harm than good if they’re loaded with artificial additives.

Increasing the quality of your dog’s diet is essential if you want to enjoy his company for the long haul. The quality of his diet is directly linked to his long-term health as well as his short-term wellness.

Many experts agree that fresh food for dogs is good, but raw food is better. Raw dog food is the closest approximation of your dog’s natural evolutionary diet, after all. It should come from high-quality animal proteins, supplemented only as necessary to achieve balanced nutrition. That’s exactly what Darwin’s provides and it’s why we like this company so much.

We understand how difficult it can be to choose from among the hundreds of dog food brands out there, so we’ve tested all the top brands on the market to help you decide what to feed your dog. Raw dog food may not be something you’ve considered before, but we think you should.

Read on to learn more about the Darwin’s brand and what we think of it.

Overview of Darwin’s

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products is a raw pet food company that promises “a healthier & happier pet in 30 days.” This raw dog food delivery company offers specially crafted raw meals for dogs and cats made with premium ingredients including real animal proteins like chicken, lamb, and turkey. Darwin’s helps you create a custom subscription according to your pet’s species and weight so you can receive regular deliveries of frozen raw dog food right to your door.

In order to get an idea whether Darwin’s is the right choice for you and your pup, you need to know a little more about them. We’ll start with a quick history then dig into the details of how Darwin’s raw dog food products are made, how much they cost, and how you order. Using this information, you’ll be able to make an educated decision about whether Darwin’s is the perfect pick.

A Quick History:

The story of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products is linked to founder Gary Tashjian and his dog Max. When Max was 10 years old, he developed a crippling case of arthritis. When traditional approaches using anti-inflammatory and steroidal medications failed to work, Tashjian set out to find another answer. This brought him to a holistic veterinarian who suggested Max’s diet might be part of the problem.

After doing some of his own research Tashjian made up his mind to switch Max to a raw dog food diet and he began making the recipes himself. In just 30 days his dog had transformed. The results were so significant, Tashjian immediately switched his other dog Casey to the same diet. Her chronic skin problems cleared up and eventually disappeared, never to return.

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products was named after Charles Darwin with the tagline, “Inspired by nature, informed by science.” The goal is to understand the natural and instinctive diets of pets and to combine that knowledge with the latest scientific advancements in pet nutrition to develop healthy, wholesome, and satisfying meals. That’s what Darwin’s is all about.

To help you get a better understanding of the brand, here are the answers to some common questions:

How Are the Products Made?

As a raw dog food delivery company, Darwin’s has to pay special attention to safety with their products. They use only high-quality ingredients to ensure safety as well as optimal nutrition. Darwin’s visits every farm that raises the animals they use to ensure they follow good farming practices and treat both their animals and employees with respect.

Darwin’s offers both dog and cat food recipes. While their raw cat food recipes are made with 100% fresh meat and a small amount of nutrient mix, their raw dog food recipes include 25% fresh vegetables (as well as nutrient mix). Darwin’s believes in biologically appropriate diets and, in the wild, dogs do eat some vegetation. As always, however, fresh meat is the foundation for every recipe.

When it comes to making their products, Darwin’s knows quality depends on freshness. Your dog’s food arrives fresh within weeks of preparation. The food is shipped frozen, so it’s important to place it in the freezer as soon as you receive it. You can thaw a few patties at a time in the fridge before feeding.

How Many Recipes Are There?

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products offers raw food recipes for both dogs and cats. There are three product lines in total, though only two are available without prescription. The Intelligent Design line of veterinary meals requires a prescription because these recipes are designed for nutritional support of specific health problems like liver disease, cancer, and joint problems.

For most customers, the best options are the Natural Selection line or BioLogics. Natural Selections is the premium line made with organic vegetables and pasture-raised, cage-free, antibiotic-free meats while BioLogics is more economical, made with conventionally raised meats and veggies.

The Natural Selections line consists of the following recipes:

  • Chicken Recipe
  • Duck Recipe
  • Turkey Recipe
  • Beef Recipe
  • Lamb Recipe

The BioLogics line consists of the following recipes:

  • Chicken Recipe
  • Turkey Recipe
  • Beef Recipe

All of Darwin’s raw dog food recipes are made with premium animal proteins and non-GMO veggies. Each recipe is made with 75% real meat and 25% fresh veggies to deliver complete and balanced nutrition. Darwin’s uses both fresh meat as well as organ meats to deliver natural sources for essential nutrients and oils to strike the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

How Much Does It Cost?

Darwin’s offers two different product lines which makes it easy to shop according to your budget. The BioLogics line is the economical option, made with conventionally raised meats and vegetables. The Natural Selections line is the premium line, made with organic vegetables and pasture-raised, cage-free, antibiotic-free meats. Both lines are high in protein and completely grain-free.

To give you an idea of the price, we used a 30-pound test dog. The Natural Selections line started at $42.60 per week and the BioLogics line at $35.13 per week. Your weekly price will vary depending on your dog’s size which affects his calorie requirements.

Darwin’s raw dog food recipes are packed in 1-pound patties, 4 to a pack. They don’t pre-portion your dog’s meals, but they do calculate his calorie needs to make sure you get as much food as you need in each delivery. You’ll receive your first 10 pounds for just $14.95 and your original weekly price will apply after that point. You can view the total cost at checkout.

What’s the Subscription Process Like?

Darwin’s only offers their raw dog food delivery by subscription. You’ll need to sign up for an account and provide some basic information about your dog for Darwin’s to determine his needs and make a recommendation. You’ll receive your first 10 pounds at a discount followed by deliveries every 3 weeks.

Here are the steps involved in creating a subscription plan:

  1. Click on the “Get Started” button at the top of the home page
  2. Fill in your pet’s name and indicate whether it is a dog or cat
  3. Indicate your dog’s current weight and enter your zip code
  4. Choose from the Natural Selections or BioLogics product lines
  5. Select which recipes you want for a total of 10 pounds
  6. Provide your billing and shipping information to complete your order

As we’ve mentioned, your first 10 pounds will be priced at just $14.95. From there, you’ll be billed according to your dog’s individual subscription plan. Using your dog’s weight, Darwin’s calculates his calorie needs to determine how much food you’ll need for a 3-week supply.

If you don’t cancel your account after the introductory offer, you’ll be billed automatically for this amount every 3 weeks. You can customize your delivery schedule by logging into your account.

Recipe Feature: Natural Selections Turkey Canine Meal

First 5 Ingredients Turkey Necks Turkey Meat Turkey Livers Turkey Hearts Organic Yams
Guaranteed Analysis 14% protein 6% fat 1% fiber 75% moisture
Calories 1,091 kcal/kg

Ingredients:

Turkey necks, turkey meat, turkey livers, turkey hearts, organic yams, turkey gizzards, organic romaine lettuce, organic yellow squash, organic zucchini, organic carrots, organic celery, organic parsley, organic flaxseed oil, cod liver oil, sea salt, inulin, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, vitamin E, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, iodine.

In-Depth Look:

This turkey recipe delivers on its promise of being high in protein. With four turkey ingredients at the top of the list, it’s hard to say otherwise. The only other ingredients are organic vegetables, oils, and a handful of vitamin and mineral supplements.

What we love about Darwin’s raw dog food is that they use not only fresh meat but raw bone and organ meats as well. These are rich sources of essential nutrients for dogs and they are very digestible as well. Like all recipes, this one is completely grain-free and free from artificial additives as well.

Of this recipe, Darwin’s says:

“Turkey is a lean meat that is a rich source of vitamins and minerals which help to regulate blood pressure, boost the immune system, and facilitate the process of healing. Turkey meat is an excellent source of essential amino acids in protein.”

Overall, we don’t have anything bad to say about this recipe. It is obviously rich in premium animal protein and the vegetables are clearly used as sources for natural nutrients rather than fillers. Any dog would be lucky to enjoy this frozen raw dog food.

Darwin’s Pros and Cons

There are hundreds of pet food brands out there and possibly thousands of different recipes to choose from. Picking a dog food recipe is difficult enough, but when you start thinking about making a change to raw dog food, you may find yourself completely lost. We encourage you to feed you dog the highest quality food you can consistently afford for your dog, and we hope the raw dog food recipes from Darwin’s are in the running. We are big fans of the brand and think you will be too.

That being said, we know that every type of dog food and every dog food brand has its ups and downs. You should consider both before making your final decision.

Here are some of the pros for Darwin’s:

  • Raw dog food made with 75% real meat and 25% fresh vegetables
  • Single-source protein recipes are great for dogs with allergies/sensitivities
  • Recipes are crafted for nutritional balance by veterinary nutritionists
  • Choose from two product lines according to your budget
  • Regular deliveries of raw dog food recipes customized to your dog’s calorie needs

Here are some of the cons for Darwin’s:

  • Raw dog food may be more expensive than kibble (depends on dog’s size)
  • Deliveries are packed in Styrofoam which is less eco-friendly than other materials
  • Meals are portioned in 1-pound patties, not according to dog’s specific portion size
  • Raw foods should be handled with basic food safety precautions

In the end, it’s your job as a dog owner to make a responsible decision for your pet. Darwin’s raw dog food might not be the right choice for everyone, but we highly recommend the brand. We hope we’ve provided you with the information you need to decide for yourself. Read on to see our final word on the brand and the answers to some FAQs.

Our Conclusion

Overall, we love Darwin’s and their raw dog food recipes. We understand that raw dog food might not be affordable for all dog owners, but we encourage you to consider it as an option. Darwin’s does their best to keep their products affordable. Not only do new customers get 10 pounds for $14.95, but you can choose between their economical and premium lines based on your budget.

When it comes to their products, Darwin’s definitely doesn’t compromise on quality. We love that every recipe is made with a single source of protein, formulated with 75% real meat and 25% vegetables. We know that dogs don’t have a biological requirement for carbohydrates, but we’d rather see essential nutrients coming from fresh veggies than just from synthetic supplements.

If you’re thinking about making the switch to a raw dog food diet, Darwin’s should definitely be on your list to consider. This raw dog food delivery makes it easy and affordable. What more could you ask for?

Darwin’s FAQs

Does Darwin’s offer any grain-free options?

Yes, all of Darwin’s recipes are grain-free. Darwin’s dog food is made with 75% real meat and 25% fresh vegetables. These vegetables help to provide essential vitamins and minerals, minimizing the need for synthetic supplements.

Can you get samples of Darwin’s dog food?

Darwin’s doesn’t offer samples of their food because it is raw and delivered frozen. The food is already packaged in 1-pound patties, so the best thing you can do is place your first order. New customers receive 10 pounds for just $14.95, so it’s better than receiving samples. As long as you’re happy with the product, your subscription will continue. You can cancel any time after your first order has shipped.

Is the packaging environmentally friendly?

Because Darwin’s raw dog food is shipped frozen, it is important to keep it cold during transport. Darwin’s uses Styrofoam coolers with dry ice, all placed inside a standard recyclable cardboard box. Though the Styrofoam may not be the most environmentally friendly option, Darwin’s encourages their customers to send the materials back (with a complementary return label) for reuse.

Can I change or cancel my subscription?

Yes, you can change or cancel your subscription at any time simply by logging into your online account. Darwin’s requires you to create an account with your first order, so you just need to log back in to make any changes. You can update your delivery address, change your delivery schedule, and even swap out your recipes as needed. You can also contact Darwin’s customer support by phone or email if needed.

Is Darwin’s a good option for dogs with food allergies?

Yes, Darwin’s is a good choice for dogs with food allergies because every recipe is made with a single source of animal protein and no artificial additives. If you know what your dog is allergic to, you can simply avoid that ingredient when making your recipe selections. Every recipe is high in protein but free from grains, so you don’t have to worry about grain allergies or sensitivities. Darwin’s uses fresh vegetables to deliver essential nutrients but these ingredients are unlikely to trigger allergies.

Chelsea Kuhel

Chelsea is the owner of a very huggable Boxer/Pitbull mix named Miles. When time allows she also cares for her 4 other animals, I mean children.

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