Darwin’s Natural Selections (Raw Frozen)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Darwin’s Natural Selections Dog Food earns the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The Darwin’s Natural Selections product line lists five raw frozen dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:

  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Beef and Vegetable
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Duck and Vegetable
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Bison and Vegetables
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Turkey and Vegetable
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken and Vegetable

Darwin’s Natural Selections Duck and Vegetable dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Darwin's Natural Selections Duck and Vegetable

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 52% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 18%

Ingredients: Ground duck meat (including bone), duck gizzards, duck hearts, duck livers, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, celery, romaine, parsley, apple cider vinegar (vegetables may vary based on seasonality), organic kelp meal, organic ground flax seed, sea salt, inulin (extract of chicory), zinc, copper and iron amino acid chelates, vitamin E

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis12%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis52%22%18%
Calorie Weighted Basis42%43%15%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.1

Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

In addition, this particular item is inclusive of bone, which is, of course, an excellent source of natural calcium.

The second ingredient includes duck gizzard. The gizzard is a low-fat, meaty organ found in the digestive tract of birds and assists in grinding up a consumed food. This item is considered a canine dietary delicacy.

The third ingredient is duck heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The fourth ingredient is duck liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth item lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The list goes on to include a number of other vegetables.

But since the company mentions “vegetables may vary based on seasonality”, we elected to exclude these items from this report.

However, we do note two important additions

First, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Darwin’s Natural Selections Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to accord this line somewhat favored status as we consider its final rating.

That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Just the same, we still need to evaluate the product’s protein, fat and carbohydrate content.

Judging by its ingredients alone, Darwin’s Natural Selections looks to be an above-average raw frozen dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 52%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 18%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 51% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 15% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a generous amount of meat.

In addition, the company claims all Natural Selections products include free-range meats and organic vegetables.

For those looking to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet, Darwin’s makes an excellent choice.

Bottom line?

Darwin’s Natural Selections is a meat-based raw frozen dog food using a generous amount of beef, buffalo or poultry as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

For even more raw diet suggestions, be sure to visit the Advisor’s Recommended Raw Dog Foods summary page.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

02/04/2011 Original review
09/14/2011 Updated (added Buffalo recipe)
11/10/2012 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  • GraciesMom

    Thanks for the suggestions, Shawna and theBCnut. You’ve given me several things to try, including asking Darwin’s about any recipe changes with this last batch, rotating in another brand or two, and experimenting with omission of supplements.

    She again would not eat yesterday morning’s serving of Darwin’s, either last night or this morning, despite getting nothing else for dinner last night and no treats on this morning’s walk. So I threw it out and served the other portion that was already thawing in the frig. I put in no supplements or tripe. She ate almost all of it, but not very enthusiastically. I think rotating in something else for a while is the way to go. I’m currently looking at the ZiwiPeak as an option, which would also be easier for travel and boarding. My vet recommends Stella and Chewy’s.

  • Shawna

    I was wondering if maybe Darwins ever so slightly changed their ingredient list and added something that she doesn’t like. My pup won’t eat anything with even a hint of turmeric in it — which is frustrating cause I know the benefits.. grrr

    Also wondering if one of the ingredients in a supplement might have changed or possibly gone bad. This could easily be ruled out if the supplements are added to the tripe too..

    Although Darwins is my favorite raw food, like BCnut, I like to rotate between brands. Keep what Darwins you have left in the freezer if you have room but try a different brand to see if she’s just wanting some variety. After a few months on something else you can try the Darwins again..

  • theBCnut

    She may be one of those dogs that only wants to eat once a day. She may be at an age where it’s time to cut back on her food. She may be tired of this food for a while. She may need more exercise.
    Even with raw food, I like to rotate brands to make sure that they get different amounts of nutrients sometimes.

  • theBCnut

    Darwin’s is moving to a new facility. They are supposed to have room to expand after the move. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  • GraciesMom

    Hi. This is my first post here, and I’m hoping you with much more experience than I will have some good advice for me. I have a lab mix (rescue pup), who is now a year and eight months old. She has been eating Darwin’s Select since approximately four months of age. She has, until now, seemed to really enjoy her food. I rotate the beef, chicken, duck, and turkey raw dinners, and, occasionally throw in some canned Tripett, mostly because our last dog, who had chronic pancreatitis, seemed to do well on that. I add in quite a few supplements for joints, digestion, and overall health, but those have never seemed to bother her. So, for the past week, Gracie has been hesitant, and sometimes completely unwilling, to eat the Darwin’s. I switched from the canned Tripett to Darwin’s fresh tripe, and she would not have anything to do with that. I have to coax her into even approaching her bowl, then she just stares at it, growls, and walks away. So, now I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong, or if the Darwin’s just isn’t working for her anymore. We have been giving her more treats to aid with training on walks (long walks of 2 – 4 hours per day. . . she’s not overweight at all), so I’m wondering if we’re spoiling her appetite for meals. I thought that for sure until she also wouldn’t eat her breakfast this morning–I mean, wouldn’t she be hungry after no food of any kind since before bedtime? I’ve tried adding in the Tripett with her Darwin’s, and that worked for a while, but now she won’t eat that either. The only thing she wants to eat is the undiluted Tripett. Did I create this problem by adding in the Tripett? Should I hold my ground and make it clear that the Darwin’s is what she’s going to eat, or should I switch from Darwin’s to something else she likes better? I went through three years of chronic pancreatitis with our last dog, and she would refuse to eat what she was served no matter how long we tried, so I’m not a big believer in the “if they’re hungry they’ll eventually eat it” approach. I want my dog to be happy and healthy. I should add that Gracie is acting fine, with great energy on walks and at doggie daycare, so I have no reason to believe that she is sick. She has regular, holistic vet care, and all blood, fecal, and physical exams have been excellent. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your advice.

  • theBCnut

    Shh!! Don’t tell anyone! I don’t want the men in the dark suits knocking at my door.

  • dchassett

    It really is terrible. Just as I think I’ve got her issues somewhat under control, something else crops up. It’s getting harder and harder to find foods that don’t have ingredients she can’t eat. I don’t trust myself enough to do a home prepared raw and, if truth be told, I’m also not inclined to do it. But feeding exclusively commercial raw foods is getting incredibly expensive. I know my three girls are all small, thank goodness, I don’t know how I would manage if they were big girls.

  • Betsy Greer

    Oh no! That’s terrible! I frequently see alfalfa in the foods that I seem to be looking at for my food sensitive dog.

  • Betsy Greer

    Homemade money? ; )

  • Betsy Greer

    No, it would be way too expensive for me. The food I’ve donated is all stuff that I bought before I narrowed down Sam’s fish intolerance; so, that’s OK, I really don’t mind that. The county shelter is right next to my building at work, so I don’t mind making the donations to them at all.
    I had thought once about trying Hare Today, but have just stuck with Darwin’s since I don’t use raw regularly.

    Sam does great on it [Darwin's] for short periods, but I have seen a trend in other foods that he doesn’t tolerate as having fruits and veggies and I’m not sure how long it would be before the ears started flaring on Darwin’s. That’s the costly experiment to which I was referring! It would cost me roughly $300 per month to feed Sam Darwin’s exclusively. Yikes!

    I’ve found two that he loves and does great on so far, and I’m just really hoping to be able to find at least two more!

  • InkedMarie

    I did say this in the email loop but never saw a response. Are you considering putting him on all Hare? It might be expensive but would save you a ton of money so you don’t have to donate so much food.

  • theBCnut

    Money. I’m planning on making more homemade.

  • dchassett

    Thanks Betsy. I was just about to ask Patty the same question.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hey BCnut,

    Why do you say you wouldn’t mind decreasing your Darwin’s a bit?

    I couldn’t use it full time if I wanted to because of the cost, but I’m also suspecting that my problem boy doesn’t do well on foods that contain fruits and veggies, as well as fish.

    It would be a costly experiment to feed Darwin’s exclusively for a while in order to find out.

  • theBCnut

    Hi Dori
    He didn’t show any sign of having any problem with turkey for over a year, but in the last few months he has started showing signs of it. He has no issues with duck at all, or quail. I love Darwin’s, but I only use it for about 1/3 of my raw, and I wouldn’t mind decreasing that a bit more.

  • dchassett

    Hi Patty. Does your dog with the chicken allergies also have problems with turkey or duck? I love Darwins and I feed it often but the only two proteins I’ve been ordering are the beef and bison. The bison is crazy expensive so I’m not going to be able to do that too often which would leave me ordering only the beef. I’ve been concerned about ordering the duck thinking that Katie might have issues with that also since she has problems with chicken, quail, and turkey.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Brian,

    So are you in the process of transitioning from kibble to raw and you plan feeding raw exclusively going forward? Our are you planning on feeding kibble at least part of the time?

    If your dogs are eating raw occasionally, I wouldn’t worry about a transition if your goal is full-time raw. Raw is generally very well tolerated. I don’t feed raw full-time, because of the cost and convenience. That said, I have one dog with some food intolerance and I know if he’s eating kibble that’s creating a reaction, I can immediately switch him to raw and any loose stools will stop immediately.

    The calculator for raw usually recommends feeding two to three percent of your dog’s ideal body weight. Some people say that estimate is low, but it works for my dogs.

    So, for example, if you feed your 75 pound Boxer two percent of his body weight, that would be 75 x .02 = 1.5 pounds daily. The percent would be 75 x .03 = 2.25 pounds daily. To convert pounds to ounces just multiply the pounds by 16. One of my dogs is small so I have to weigh her food by ounces.

    So, I’d probably calculate three percent for both dogs and, if you can, order enough to feed them both for the month. If you’re close to a price break weight, go up a bit too get the price break.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m confused….are they shipping you 18 pounds of food a week or 72 pounds?

  • InkedMarie

    Why are you getting such small shipments? You will save money if you order at least 40 pounds. IF you can order 100 pounds a month, you will get a better price.

  • Brian Keeler

    Well I have 2 boxers (one is 11 months old and 45 lbs) the other is 5 years old and 75 lbs. They suggested feeding them combines 18lbs a week and that equals 72 lbs of food. My dogs currently go thru about 1 – 40lb bag of science diet food (I know I know it sounds like a bad product from reviews I see) so how much of this raw food should I be feeding? When you transition from dry to raw do they typically eat the same amount by pounds?

    And yes I realize my one boxer is over weight so feeding raw might help with that too maybe?

  • Betsy Greer

    I think Apollo is just referring to the cost of his shipping, Brian. He set up a delivery himself in order to calculate what his actual shipping cost would be and in his exercise, the shipping came to $99.50, yet Darwin’s only charges him $82.40 for delivery. His delivery is .59 cents per pound because he’s probably close to Seattle.

    BTW, you do know that Darwin’s has a 10% discount for orders over 40 pounds and a 15% discount for orders over 100 pounds. Maybe you could increase the size of your orders a bit and ship less frequently.

  • Brian Keeler

    Where you getting your prices apollo? They are showing sending me 17lbs of food a week and that costing 82 dollars a week which equals 68 lbs of food for the month at a whopping 324 dollars a month!! That’s for the natural selections menu food…… please explain how you get 138lbs of food for 82.40???

  • InkedMarie

    I also had to pay 99 cents a pound for shipping but it didn’t bother me. Right now, I’m not using it, only because one of my dogs seems to be ear infection free with no veggies. I think Darwins is a great value!

  • theBCnut

    I live where I have to pay 99 cents per pound for shipping, and my dog is allergic to chicken and maybe turkey, so I’m paying for beef and duck, and I still think I’m getting my money’s worth.

  • Beth Knuth

    My Butch LOVES his Darwin’s also! I only feed it one meal a day, breakfast and he gets kibble for supper. Darwin’s is an excellent bargain for what you are getting.

  • Apollo Haddix

    I have my bill from 2/28/14 in front of me. The food is $2.49 per pound and the shipping is .59 cents per pound.

    Darwin’s is a fantastic company, I’ve been using them for over 2 years. My dogs 2 favorite times of day are going for a walk and eating Darwin’s, I’ve never seen two dogs so excited about eating in my life.

    Get This, I just went to my ups account and shipped 2 regular boxes 24 x 24 x24 weighing 65 lb each. NO periship, NO dry ice and regular ground shipping from my location to Darwin’s in Seattle, WA, and the shipping is $99.50.

    On this bill they sent me 138 lbs of food in 3 special boxes with Styrofoam liners and dry ice, they also supply return shipping of the boxes for free. All this for only $82.40.

    So the way I see it they aren’t marking anything up at all, they are probably loosing money on the shipping.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Im gonna make an appointment to get her fixed as soon as I get back from Washington next week. I think there is a shelter nearby that does spaying and neutering for relatively cheap but the bad thing is that they are a kill shelter. We are just gonna use there spay and neuter services and take the pups elsewhere!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Shawna,
    That is a great option! I would much rather see them go to a foster than to a shelter. Im crossing my fingers on that!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Am gonna have to call them….still no answer from them. My time has been so limited this week with working, and getting ready to go out of town to Washington next week. Will try to call them today!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Shawna,
    Thank you! Im so glad there are so many options. There is a shelter that does the vaccines and spay/neuter at a low cost. Mom is unsure where she is gonna keep the dog while she recovers from her spay! She doesn’t want to keep her inside. I told her she can buy a kennel and crate her while she heals. We will be out of town next week on a trip to Washington so after we get back we are gonna take her to get spayed most possibly. Looking at options for the pups right now! still haven’t heard back from that one rescue place I called!

  • Shawna

    Here in my area there are low cost spay/neuter clinics where you can get it done for around $20.00.. If you have something like that, and can spare the expense, it may be worth just taking her in and having it done on your moms behalf.

    OR — if you give the pups to a rescue they may agree to spay mom but let your mom keep her??

  • dchassett

    That’s great news. If you don’t hear from them don’t hesitate to call them again or ask for the names and you can also start calling around.

  • Shawna

    Check rescues in your area too… If they have available foster parents they will take the pups and they will live in a home environment till adopted… Fostering is how I ended up with eight dogs!! ;)

    Edit — and many, if not most, will work on potty training as well as feed better quality foods then shelters can etc.

  • Shawna

    Yes, we really are a lot alike. :) I do best on the diet you describe as well.. If finances allow, you might be interested in supporting and using Answer’s raw pet foods. The VP, Jacqueline Hill, is a member of Weston Price (if memory serves she is a chapter leader in her area). They make a wonderful fermented raw goat milk product for dogs…

    Have you seen Green Pastures fermented oils? I’ve been taking the Skate Liver Oil and using their “Beauty Balm”. Love them.. I bought their Infused Coconut Oil Unflavored for the dogs and they go NUTS over it. Bought the caramel flavor for my 3 and 4 year old grand babies and the 3 year old tolerates it but the 4 year old refuses it :(. She will take cod liver oil, coconut oil by the spoonfuls and even eat raw garlic though.. <> Giving credit where credit is due — Hound Dog Mom turned me on to Green Pasture.. :)

    If he’s going to be a big boy you can give a couple eggs twice a week. Yeah, I would limit liver to once a week but heart can be fed much more often (even daily). Bone has a lot of calcium so make sure you aren’t throwing off his calcium balance by feeding too much if he is large breed (unless you are only giving them recreationally and not as “food”). Hound Dog Mom would be a great source of info on what would be appropriate amounts to use as food. Once he’s reached his full height you won’t have to be so careful with calcium and calorie intake.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    crazy4cats,
    It looks like I may have to do this! My mom will always have an excuse to not do what she promised. But I hate knowing that she is gonna get spayed and then go back to running wild without no care. My mom is a very hard headed person!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    I called yesterday to one of the adoption shelters and they said they would call me back with some references to a no kill shelter that would be willing to take them!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    True marie! So true! My mom has a good heart but she just can’t take care of them all and go by what she promised!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Im so confused as to what to do! I think she is just wanting to keep the dogs out of compassion but has no true intentions of getting her fixed or putting her in a kennel, etc. She says she wants some time to spend with the dogs before we take them. I know my mom…..she promises a lot of things but never pulls them off! She’s bad about that! Has good intentions but never gets around or always has an excuse not to do what she promised. Don’t know what to do!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Shawna,
    We have so much in common! I too love Weston A. Price! Eating a traditional diet with lots of good fats, lots of veggies, fermented foods,and a little fruit is the best diet for me. Grains make me feel ill and my kids mostly eat gluten free grains a minimal amount. I give them fermented Cod liver oil as well but rotate that with krill oil. Im concerned about vitamin A toxicity. I cook with coconut oil as well. Wish me luck! Going to pick up my pup today. Im not too good with percentages, etc but in other words I could maybe give a little liver once a week, heart once a week, maybe some raw bones once a week, raw eggs a few days a week. I guess rotating the foods would help keep it in balance.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It depends on the size and chewing style of your dog. I give ribs from beef, pork, goat, and mutton. Any kind of bones that they can consume as opposed to just gnawing on is good. Mine eat any bones from turkey, chicken, duck, goose, etc. I don’t give weight bearing bones from larger animals as part of their food, but they do get them for cleaning their teeth.

  • dchassett

    Hi Cayce. Sorry to hear about your mom being ill. She does not seem like she’s in any condition to have dogs. I don’t know what her medical issues are but she just might be relieved of the responsibility of taking care of dogs if she is sick and bed ridden. Does your mom actually love the dog and going to miss her terribly or is she keeping her out of a sense of doing the right thing by keeping her. I suspect it’s the latter. If so, maybe she’ll be glad that it got done and she didn’t have to be the one to take her to the no kill shelter or rescue. Does your mother live on a very large piece of property with no fencing. OMG! That’s so dangerous on so very many levels for the dogs. How about the house where she’s moving to in a month? No fenced in yard either? If your mother is not really going to care for the dogs properly then if it were me, and I can only say what I would do in those given circumstances, I would take the dog to a rescue or no kill shelter. At first I thought it was simply a matter of having the dog spayed which is a fairly easy decision to make an do. But, if she’s keeping the dog as basically an outside dog wandering around with no supervision getting into trouble, could be attacked by other animals (especially newly having had a litter), hit by a car and who knows what else then I’m sorry to say she shouldn’t have a dog. Again, just my opinion. You know what your relationship is with your mother and what it can withstand but I am happy that your kind enough to be looking out for the welfare of the dogs since they can’t do it for themselves. Keep us posted.

  • InkedMarie

    Honestly, if I was you, that’s what I’d do. If they’re running free, how will you feel if he gets hit by car? I’m sorry your mom is sick but dogs can’t take care of themselves. I feel bad saying this but it’s how I feel.

  • Shawna

    I know, SO much information in those four short videos!!!! :)

  • Shawna

    Body Ecology was one of my go to sites when I was learning things. Weston Price was another.. :) I’m also VERY fond of the writings and teachings of Dr. Royal Lee (he was a friend of Dr. Prices and founder of Standard Process Whole Food Supplements).

    No, giving some liver won’t be an issue. I use it as treats along with what is in the diet. In holistic circles many feel that “natural” nutrients (even fat soluble ones) can’t cause illness like synthetics could. I tend to believe that but yet don’t want my pups to be guinea pigs just in case there could be a potential for toxicity.

    Some give appropriate amounts of organs daily and some, like my vet, give them in larger doses once a week etc. Mine would have diarrhea from that much liver at one time unless I conditioned them to handle it.. Chicken hearts can often be pretty easy to find — my local Whole Foods carries them at a reasonable price. If you have friends who hunt, you have another potential source.

    When it comes to caring for your illnesses with your boy, think about what you do for the family and generally you can use those same options for him as well. I use coconut oil for eye infections/mild irritation (and so much more), garlic and probiotics for digestive issue, garlic and ground raw pumpkin seeds for digestive worms, coloidal silver, raw & manuka honey, grapefruit seed extract etc etc etc… :)

  • dchassett

    Another thought is that maybe you could call the no kill shelter after you’ve explained the situation with your mom and the dog and they might be able to recommend a vet that they use that does spaying at a lower rate then you’re own vet. Just a thought.

  • Crazy4cats

    Can’t you take the dog to get fixed? Maybe your mom could just reimburse you.

  • dchassett

    Oh, thank goodness. I was afraid it was the other type. Have you spoken to them yet about what’s going on and your hopes for your mom’s dog? If so, what have they said?

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Going to pick up my puppy tomorrow and have one last attempted talk. Mom will be moving to another home next month and wants to take the two dogs with her but she needs to get the mom fixed soon before it’s too late!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    A no kill shelter here in Columbia, SC!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    She keeps saying she will but is making no attempts! Making no attempt to keep the dog from running wild. Im afraid she is gonna get hit or pregnant again soon. Im gonna make one more attempt to talking to her about this.

  • dchassett

    What kind of shelter? Why won’t your mother just have her spayed? I don’t understand.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    I may end up picking her up this weekend and take her to the shelter without permission!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Would it be wrong to just go pick up the dog without my mom knowing and just taking her without permission? Im thinking of doing that this week. My mom just got out of the hospital last week and is in bed day in and day out. Only gets up to feed the dogs. Something has got to be done because she can’t possibly take care of them. something has to give!

  • B.J. Cirell

    OTHER THAN BEEF HEART, WHAT KIND OF BONES? IS ADDING VEGTABLES BESIDES BONES ENOUGH?

  • losul

    A belated thanks to all for the helpful input.

    I even wrote to my County animal control last week, hoping I would get the right person and get a definitive answer in writing.

    But what I got was more generic.

    “The 3 year vaccines are tested, trialed, and approved for 3 years. Whether or not they are the same used as the 1 year, would be a question to ask your particular veterinarian and or the particular vaccine supplier.”

    I then replied back and again asked again if any of the 3 year vaccines were MLV. No answer, but I kind of figured that.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Raw organs should be about 10% of the diet. 5% liver and 5% other organs. Heart actually counts as a muscle meat, but cause it is not adding enzymes or anything else to the diet except muscle and fat, and very little fat. You also need 10-15% of the diet to be edible bones.

  • B.J. Cirell

    B.J. CIRELL- I PAID A LOT YEARS AGO FOR A RAW DIET RECIPE FROM A HOLISTIC VET WHICH CONSISTED OF RAW ORGAN MEAT, TO BE FED DAILY….NOW, SOME 20 YEARS LATER, THE OFFICE DENIED SAYING THAT RAW ORGAN MEATS SHOULD BE FED DAILY. ARE YOU SURE THAT I CAN SAFELY FEED GROUND HEART & SUPPLEMENTS EVERDAY?-

  • Pattyvaughn

    Not good at all!!

  • InkedMarie

    Can you get the dog & take her to a shelter?

  • dchassett

    Not good at all. She needs to have the dog asap as the vet says. Your mother is going to find herself in the same situation she is in now. Pregnant dog, a load of puppies and off to the pound again. I’m not angry with you, I realize it’s not your dog but jeesh. This is a tragedy in the making. It’s only a matter of when not if. Only responsible breeders should have un-spayed dogs and even then, some of them are not to responsible. And IMO no backyard breeder is responsible. I’m already feeling sick about her dog. Sorry to unleash my feelings on you but you brought this problem to the site. You appear to be the only responsible in the family.

  • Crazy4cats

    Definitely not good as she will end up pregnant again!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    I have seen her before but a long time back. She is never around when I go over. They let her run free which is. Probably not good!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Shawna,

    Wow…what a wealth of information! Thank you so much. I LOVE body ecology and eat a lot of fermented foods myself. I’m sure it would be just as great for the pup too. Would be giving some liver every few weeks be too much? I’m pretty sure I can get heart as well. We love our pasture free range eggs and so will the pup. Yeah he is gonna be so spoiled!

  • Crazy4cats

    Lol!

  • InkedMarie

    Who knows. The bony grind is from Hare, the boneless from a farm

  • Pattyvaughn

    Eeewww!! Stringy? I’ve never had a stool change from goat. Eeewww!!! Maybe I should say my dogs have never had a stool change from goat.

  • InkedMarie

    Boones stool is kind of stringy; he hasn’t gotten into anything soi hope it’s just the goat.

  • dchassett

    Hey Shawna. Just wanted to thank you for for Dr. Schultz/Dr. Becker interviews. I just watched Parts 1 – 4 and learned a wealth of information that I will be applying. Great talks!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    From what I understand the 1 and 3 year rabies are the same, as you say.

    Here are the links to the SDS’s for the 1 and 3 year rabies vaccines produced by Pfizer. “Defensor 1″ and “Defensor 3″ are both inactivated vaccines and contain the same adjuvants.

    https://online.zoetis.com/US/EN/MSDS_PI/MSDS/Defensor_1.pdf

    There are no modified life rabies vaccines on the market. All rabies vaccines are killed-adjuvanted with the exception of a recombinant option offered by Merial (Purevax non-adjuvanted for cats).

    http://www.dvmvac.org/killvmodified.asp

    I know at my shelter we give the exact same vaccine to all the animals and whether they get a certificate that reads “good for one year” or “good for three years” depends on their previous vaccination history. An animal with no prior vaccination history or that was known to not be up-to-date will only receive a one year. Animals that are up to date will receive a three year. Same vaccine different certificate.

    This is from a veterinarian’s blog – 1 and 3 year vaccines are “the same cocktail with a different label on the vial.”

    http://levittownvetblog.com/general/1-3-year-rabies-vaccines-debate/

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hmmm, I actually can’t answer that. I only see vaccines in syringes now, so I don’t read the boxes or vials. So it’s still a matter of preservatives with the 3 year they use on my dogs versus the 1 year they use on my cats. The rest of what I said is probably garbage, it’s been long enough that I had forgotten about the move from MLV to killed for rabies, but you have reminded me. Oh the things I have forgotten…

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s the killed versus MLV that’s different. Some companies do use the exact same vaccine for the one year versus the 3 year, but that is more a matter of discontinuing any that are only good for 1 year. The 1 year that my vet uses does not have the thimerisol in the adjuvant. Our state law didn’t allow for 3 year rabies vac. until about 10 years after many other states were allowing them, we got the exact same vaccine as other states. We even went to doing the 3 year vaccines on cats when the law changed, and other vets in the area still use them, just not my vet. They moved back to using a killed vaccine for cats, because it uses better preservatives.

  • Shawna
  • Shawna

    Hi Patty,

    I thought they no longer allowed the MLV rabies vacc so googled it. This is taken from the third video interview between Dr. Becker and Dr. Shultz.

    “Dr. Schultz points out that the rabies shot is a good example of a noninfectious vaccine.

    Prior to the mid-1980s, all canine and feline rabies vaccines were what is known as ‘modified live.’ One dose was adequate to immunize a puppy or kitten. We generally gave those vaccinations at 12 weeks or older, when there was no maternally-derived antibody left to interfere.

    Back in those days, with the modified live vaccine, we re-vaccinated each year because we didn’t know whether immunity lasted longer than a year.

    In the late 1970s – early 1980s, some kittens given rabies vaccines in California actually acquired the disease. That situation caused the USDA to rethink the wisdom of the modified live rabies vaccine. In reality, though, rather than the modified live vaccine turning virulent, it could have been that the kittens were severely immunosuppressed. They might have been infected with feline leukemia and/or feline immune deficiency viruses, which made them susceptible to the rabies virus.

    Whatever the cause of the kittens developing rabies, it was decided modified live or infectious rabies vaccines were no longer advisable. At that point, we moved entirely to a non-infectious, killed, inactivated rabies vaccine. Inactivated vaccines are not as potent as modified live products.”

  • Shawna

    Sorry, my iPad is a piece of crap (that’s the gen 4 one too).

    Dr Shultz says “I asked Dr. Schultz if the 1 and 3-year rabies vaccine products are the same. His opinion is most of them are. There is also a 1-year feline rabies vaccine that has no adjuvant, but there is not at this time a similar 3-year product.”
    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/06/21/expert-proof-most-pets-are-vaccinated-way-too-often.aspx

  • Shawna

    Hi losul,

    I both agree and disagree with Patty. When Gizmo had her seizures after the two rabies vaccs I found out what product my vet used and called the manufacturer which was Fort Dodge. This was about four years ago if memory serves.

    At that time, a vet tech working at Fort Dodge told me the one and three year they sold was the exact same vacc “except on paper”. She emphasized that part.

    Also in the interview Dr. Becker has with Dr. Schultz, Dr. Schultz says “

  • Pattyvaughn

    They aren’t the same vaccine. My vet gives dogs the 3 year MLV, but they only give cats the one year killed. They are seeing more problems in cats with the MLV so stopped using it, and it really is, by law, only good for one year. It does matter which one you get, as far as how long it is good for.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Mine had goat for dinner last night. Ribs plus a bit more boneless meat. I think goat ribs are one of their favorites.

  • InkedMarie

    Yep, Steve’s not into prey so we do ground. Found a farm that sells ground boneless goat so that’s his diet for six weeks.

  • Betsy Greer

    Eww, a grind I hope. ; )~

  • InkedMarie

    That’s it, I couldn’t remember. No veggies for Boone, at least for awhile which is why he’s eating a Hare goat right now.

  • dchassett

    You didn’t say how many pounds of food you ordered for $50.00 shipping. How many pounds of food did you order, just curious.

  • losul

    Kris, are you exaggerating on the shipping? Darwins site still shows 99 cents a pound shipping at the most, and depending on the area, unless they increased and don’t show on the website. 99 cents/lb was the last price I paid.

    $50 shipping would be for 50lbs? Then that would leave $90 for 50 lbs of food? I wanna buy some that cheap.

  • Betsy Greer

    There’s a 10% discount for orders over 40 pounds per shipment; and a 15% discount for orders over 100 pounds per shipment.

  • Crazy4cats

    I agree. That is a lot to spend. Not sure what the mark up is. It probably is expensive for them to ship a frozen product. I know how expensive it is just to send a document. I think it is wise of you to try to find something comparable without the shipping costs. But, mostly I would like to know if those are your cats in your picture? They are beautiful!

  • InkedMarie

    You can think its a waste if you wish; I explained why it is such a high cost. You can also decide to get the most bang for your buck. You save money if you order a certain amount of food in a certain time (I cannot recall off the top of my head).

    Don’t forget, YOU made the choice to buy the food, I doubt you were forced into it.

  • Kris

    You can waste your money on outrageous shipping fees but I’d rather spend mine directly on my dogs. And yes a 50% markup for shipping is outrageous

  • InkedMarie

    What’s ridiculous? You’re ordering a frozen product that I assume you want frozen when it arrives at your door. They need the box, the styrofoam cooler, the dry ice and they have to pay to have it shipped. You also get to sit home & have it brought right to your house so you save time & gas.

  • Kris

    I have been feeding darwins to my 4 australian shepherds. While I think the quality of the food is top notch, it is quite watery compared to other products and the shipping costs are astronomical – on the last shipment the shipping accounted for $50 out of a $140 bill… ridiculous in my opinion so I stopped ordering from them.

  • Shawna

    Morning Cayce,

    I was VERY active on the Mercola Healthy Pets forum before it was closed :(.. I’m on the regular site off and on :).

    Organ meats (except heart) are high in fat soluble vitamins and too much is thought to potentially cause an excess. With this in mind, organs are suggested to be fed at no more than 10% of the total diet with liver being only 5%. Dehydrated liver makes a fantastic and inexpensive treat and when using commercial you won’t need to worry about it. But if you add to the commercial diets — keep the organs (except heart) limited.

    I like giving digestive enzymes. They aren’t technically needed but I think the advantages are great enough to warrant giving. I do keep probiotics on hand but I think fermented foods is a much better way of supplying probiotics to pup and human family. It is relatively inexpensive, takes only about two hours to make several batches and is high nutritious. Donna Gates of Body Ecology Diet website has a 9 minute how to video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qjzlS0U4h0 Her website has some great info as well as recipes too http://bodyecology.com/articles/cveggies.php#.UwYslIV1A1o

    My fave recipe is one from Body Ecology that I modified a bit. It is two heads of cabbage (one green and one purple), three kohlrabi’s, a green apple and several cloves of garlic. Me, the grand babies and all dogs LOVE the stuff… :) Pending there’s no milk allergy you can give kefir or goat kefir or coconut kefir and another food source. I keep the bottled probiotics (I like Garden of Life’s Primal Defense) on hand in those cases where I might need therapeutic doses — digestive disturbance etc.

    Some may find this to be overkill but I also make a mix using bulk organic spices/herbs I get from the health food store. Each time I make a batch I change the ingredients. I always use enzymes as the base actually. To a half bottle of enzymes I might add turmeric, food grade activated charcoal, spirulina and dried barley grass. The next time I’d use the enzymes, wheat grass, a mushroom blend, milk thistle and chlorella as examples. I sprinkle 1/8 tsp right on their foods. Another option would be to use a whole food vitamin (Standard Process Canine Whole Body Support or Nature’s Logic Food Fortifier or Missing Link etc) as a base to add a few other things to. Dogaware.com has a nice list of whole food supps if interested. http://dogaware.com/diet/supplements.html#wholefood

    You probably know this but when using omega 3 oils it is very important to get one with added vitamin E to help prevent rancidity. I give sardines and organic eggs but from previous research, Nordic Naturals (human line at least) and Carlson’s are quality products. As well as Mercola’s of course.

    That’s all I can think of for now :).. Your pup is going to be one lucky and spoiled little guy… :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Have you actually seen the pups and the mom? It sounds like they will be large breed and very cute!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    crazy4cats,
    I asked my mom yesterday about the mom and she said that she was part or fully are dale! Not sure of the spelling on that! Not sure what the father is. Some of the pups look like the mom and the other are black and look more like labs.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy,
    At what age are they considred full grown and out of the puppy stage? Is it two years of age?

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    USA dog treats,
    Thanks for letting me know that! I will be getting most of his shots from a holistic vet and the rabies vaccine is the one that scares me the most. I think they are only gonna do the core vaccines on him and one at a time spread over several months. I will be watching for possible reactions to the vaccines especially the rabies. He will get the least amount of vaccines!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Cayce

    I live in in a small city in Los Angeles County, California.

    If your dog were to have any sort of reaction to a rabies vaccine or have an ailment that might be affected by a rabies vaccine it is certainly worth a try to get a note from your Vet saying your dog is not a candidate for future rabies vaccines. Remember YOU are the person who would see the reaction and report it to your Vet!

    My city has taken these notes from my Vet. Two of my dogs had cancer which they both survived and my little guy has an infection every year or so and my Vet writes the note every year for the little guy and one note is enough for a dog who has had cancer.

    If your Vet wouldn’t write a note under these circumstances I would find a Vet that would.

    I wholeheartedly believe over vaccinating kills many more dogs than it saves and that the rabies vaccine is the worst offender!!

  • dchassett

    Yes. Of course the rabies vaccine is mandatory but each state is different as to whether one year or three.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy,

    I like the idea of grain free. We do a lot of grain free or at least gluten free in our house due to food allergies. It will be onteresting to see how big this pup gets and if he turns out to be a big breed dog. I guess it’s better to be safe and go with the low calcium foods until I know for sure!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy,

    We will probably have another vet closer to home just for emergencies once he has had all his shots, etc. I’m not sure I could find another vet willing to space out the shots and do them individually. Once he is vaccinated and neutered after ascertain time we will refer to another vet. That’s a good point about having many vets!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Would a positive titter test be enough proof if one decides to do just that and not vaccinate continually. I mean…..showing the dog still has immunity.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    It is stressful! So many choices to make.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Labsrawesome,

    I too quit vaccinating my cats after they reacted badly to the vaccines. I think a lot of the immunity is still there even many years later. My cats are13 years old and hasn’t had a vaccine in many years although they got all the kitten shots!

  • Andrea

    I am looking to start feeding my dog raw food. I am not interested in making raw meals from scratch just defrosting and serving. We’ve tried about 10 different brands of kibble and also Sojos and The Honest Kitchen and my two Dalmatians (10 months and 2 years) have had terrible gas their entire lives!! Terrible terrible!!!! They’ve both eaten grass like goats since day 1 and my 10 month old Dalmatian has recently started eating her own poop. And her sisters poop. At first I was scolding her but I read online that it may be the food they’re eating that is lacking in minerals and vitamins. So I feel it is my job to keep searching for a food that will be complete for her. And hopefully she doesn’t keep eating the poop because she likes the taste. Every article I’ve read suggests feeding dalmatians a low purine diet and to stay away from organs because they contain high amounts of purines. I get confused reading about purines and proteins and which low purine proteins are better than the other. I just want the answer!!! Even though these raw formulas (Darwin’s) include organs do I still need to abide by the “no organs for dalmatian rule” or is feeding raw a totally different ball game?? Hopefully I made some sense. I would love any feedback!! Please and thank you!!

  • losul

    Hi Betsy.

    My state has the 3 yr or 1 yr rabies option. I can’t get a good/straight answer, no matter who I ask about this, different vets, vet techs, and even the County Animal Control themselves. Some will say they are exactly the same vaccination, others say they are not. Even my County’s registration paperwork has a place to check off for killed 1yr or live 3 yr. So I still don’t know whether they use a modified live virus MLV for the 3 yr.

    Last year (about this time) I was nervous about giving my dog the rabies vaccine, and I had waited till it was actually past due. I had more questions to ask, but I had pretty much decided to go with the 3 year. Turns out, they would only give him the 1 yr. because at that point he was more than 30 days past due, and I had no choice.

    Now his due date is rapidly approaching again, and I’m still unsure. MLV’s make me nervous. Would you know anything about this?

  • dchassett

    No. Unfortunately Georgia has some outdated laws about dogs. Notwithstanding the fact that half the dogs in Georgia are not even licensed the law states that they must have a rabies vaccine every year. Ridiculous. My mistake was trying to be a law abiding citizen and a good dog person so I licensed my dogs. Been trying to figure a way around it.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Dori,

    Are you able to have a three year rabies vaccine? Wouldn’t that satisfy the requirement for each year in the three year period?

  • dchassett

    Hi Labs,
    If dogs are going to be kenneled, how do you feel about the bordatella vaccination. Unfortunately in the state I live rabies is mandatory every year. Outdated thinking and too lazy for them to change it.
    Dori

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes, it is stressful. Lol. Luckily Riley’s fur did grow back, everywhere except her left butt cheek and the top part of her tail, those areas only have the undercoat. She looks like she’s been shaved there. She is 5 now, so I’m guessing that is as good as she’s going to get. I’m not sure of the dosage on cats. But I think dogs, no matter their size/weight all get the same shot. Blue got his puppy shots, but I made my Vet space them out months apart, he didn’t get his first Rabies until 8 months old. So that’s all for him. He will get his next shot, which will be Rabies in 3 years, only because it’s mandatory by law.

  • Crazy4cats

    I guess I’ve been doing my cats a favor by neglecting to get them their shots for years at a time! They have all lived a long time. I’ll stop feeling guilty now about them. But, now feel bad I let them give my dogs way too many when they were puppies. This pet ownership is stressful. LOL! Also, I always wonder if they are giving my 8lb cat the same dose as my 80lb dogs?

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes, it does. I have a cat, her immune system went nuts from over vaccination. She is an indoor cat and will never receive another vac.

  • Betsy Greer

    Wow Cayce! That’s a long way!

    I wouldn’t mind doing that once a year for a check-up, but I think I’d just feel safer having my vet be a little closer to home.

    Actually, I use a combination of vets that practice different “styles” of veterinary medicine, but they still work together to treat my dogs as a team. So, I could see a primary vet that far away with possibly someone closer to you for emergencies as long as they were willing to work together for you.

    Double check, using this link, to see if there might not be another holistic or integrative medicine vet closer to you: http://www.ahvma.org/Widgets/FindVet.html

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Cayce,

    I just looked and found Victor on the list. The only two formulas are both grain inclusive and I wonder if you might have been looking specifically at grain free foods. Grain free versus grain inclusive is a personal decision.
    The two Victor formulas that are on HDM’s list are Chicken Meal & Brown Rice and Lamb Meal & Brown Rice.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy,

    I didn’t see victor on that list of appropriate calcium level dog foods. Would it still me a relatively safe food if used in rotation with other foods and some raw. I will have to check the calcium levels on victors. I did see they listed spots stew….which they carry at my health food store but very small bags !

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    I have no doubt that over vaccinating causes auto immune issues! I hope those change for the better in that area. I will be traveling two hours away to see a holistic vet….but so worth it!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    shawna,

    Hey! I think I have seen you on dr. Mercolas healthy pets site before. Those are wonderful ideas and very helpful. I’m gonnacstartva forum soon to collect all this great info. The baby food idea is terrific. I think we do have a trader joes around. We usually buy grassed beef which is really high so if I can find other quality meets there that would be great. I need to read up on the rotation idea. I can some organ meats as well at my local health food store. Thanks for the wealth of information. How about supplements for puppies? Which ones would be good for him? I know I want to give him a probiotic and a good oil.

  • dchassett

    I’m glad your talking to your mom about all of this and giving her other options. You are right in that if she keeps the mother she really needs to get her spayed so that she doesn’t find herself in this predicament again. If she keeps a puppy it would also be wise if she would get the puppy spay/neutered depending on male or female. Please let her know that there are also lot of health benefits to getting both males and females fixed. (hate the word fixed but couldn’t think of another). Keep us posted.

  • InkedMarie

    Too many of my earlier dogs passed too early; I wonder now if it was from over vaccination.

  • Shawna

    Sounds like your pup is going to have a fantastic chance at being amazingly healthy.. Sounds like you have all the bases covered!!

    I’ve found that most, if not all, the “organic” kibbles are not species appropriate (I know I don’t have to explain that concept since you follow Dr. Becker :). In my opinion, it would be better to feed the best four or five star kibble finances will allow (making sure to rotate between at least three different brands/proteins/starches).

    There’s some great ways to get really health promoting but cost effective foods as well. Farm fresh, organic eggs are fantastic to add a few times per week. If fed raw and as is (not whipped etc) eggs supply the nutrients the body needs to make the “master antioxidant” of the body (called glutathione). Heart is usually cheaper than other meats and can be fed like muscle meats (versus organ meats). If the health food store has heart you could ask the butcher if they’d grind it for you and then use a commercial premix to make it complete and balanced. Steve Brown’s Dinner Mix is a good option and last time I purchased was also a great value (purchase online). I wait for the pouched baby and toddler organic foods to go on sale and then stock up. When I feed my own meat with the Dinner Mix, I add one or two of the organic baby foods if I don’t have time to prep veggies.

    A Trader Joe’s (if you have one) employee told me that all TJ meats are raised organically but not certified organic. They’re slightly higher fat ground beef is only $2.49 per pound in my area. I add this to a premix (The Honest Kitchen’s Preference is another option) and you’re good to go. LOTS of options.. :)

    Good luck!!!!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Cayce,

    I would think they might have a pretty good idea. It seems like it would be a little trickier when he’s really young.

    They do have those doggie DNA kits that you can use to determine the breed. I have no idea how accurate they are though.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy, thanks for sharing this list. Will look it over! Would a vet know what breed he is by looking at him?

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Totally not upset at you! Im an animal lover as well! I hate seeing animals suffer.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    I need to let my mom know there are other options than the pound. I think she wants to keep the mother and one of the puppies!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy,

    I’m not a big fan of vaccines ! Sorry that happened to your dog. I may try to wait at least a year before neutering!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Thanks Marie! I really do love animals and have had too many die at early ages from over vaccinating.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Mike,

    Thanks! I was feeling pretty guilty that I can’t just do all raw right now but maybe eventually! I think this pup is gonna be spoiled! Lol

  • InkedMarie

    It’s just Marie and glad you weren’t upset at me. Being on dog forums for the last dozen years have shown me some really ignorant people, which you a re not!

  • InkedMarie

    Sounds fantastic! I do the same with my dogs, minimal vaccines and titers. Im glad you’re doing things right!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Don’t worry about getting the best food. Just get the best food that fits your personal budget. Your sweet little dog will thrive on almost any food as long as you add plenty of love.

  • Betsy Greer

    Either a no kill shelter or a local rescue.

  • dchassett

    Wow! You have been doing your homework. Great.

  • dchassett

    Hi Cayce, It would be great if you could find a no kill shelter before your mom takes them to the pound at least they’d have chance at getting adopted. Sorry you’re going through this but I’m glad your there trying to help. Is your mom planning on taking the mother to the pound also?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Cayce H. Cronk,

    I agree completely about the vaccine issue. I think some of my Golden’s issues began as a result of the attack on his immune system by those d#@m “puppy shots.”

    Also, I’d even consider waiting longer to neuter,if possible. I fully intend to wait until he was fully grown, but only made it to ten months because of his undescended testicle.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Definitely not gonna chain him up outside! Lol I don’t believe in that! He will get inside and outside access but supervised and he will probably have to spend a few hours a few days a week in his huge outdoor kennel while I am working.

  • dchassett

    It’s just natural I think to second guess ourselves. I think most, especially conscientious, people do. Whether you’re raising children or animals you just want the very best for them. There will always be little blunders here and there, so long as they’re not big ones it’s all good. The mere fact that you came seeking help before picking up the puppy is the best way to start out.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    inkedmarie,

    I do understand why you would be upset! It really is a bad situation. I fel sad for this dog how she was dumped and not wanted! I really hope my mom gets her fixed. Should I contact a no kill shelter and tell them about the mom.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Thank you! Yeah I really feel overwhelmed and second guessing myself. Want to make sure I’m doing the right thing by the dog. I think I will start a forum topic. Would love to hear more about rotating the foods!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Dachas sett,

    Thanks for the tips! I will ask her what breed it is. Trying to talk my mom into getting the female fixed!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Mike,

    Thanks for being so understanding! I hate to see these puppies go to a pound but hoping she will find good homes for most of them. Im looking for a good high quality kibble I can feed along with trying to in cooperate some raw! I have seen a lot of good brands at the health food store but I’m so confused!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Inkedmarie,

    I like to raise dogs with a holistic approach. We will do a few vaccines but not many and one at a time. Vaccines are toxic and can kill an otherwise healthy dog by over vaccinating. Properly done and then having him tittered after his puppy vaccines. We have built an awesome huge outdoor kennel for him but he will be inside with us when we are home. I think it’s good for dogs to get outside as well. Indoor pets tend to get fat and lazy. I think any improvement over the life he had before will be a lifesaver and yes we are neutering him but not right away. I have done my homework on that and don’t believe in early neutering unless the owner is irresponsible. Also needs time to grow and needs those sex hormones for good bone development. Learned that from Dr. Becker! He will be neutered at age six months.

  • InkedMarie

    Yes, she said indoor/outdoor & I just asked for clarification. She also said she had limited resources; I come across people all the time online who have no idea of what pets can cost. Since she brought finances up, I commented on it. Hopefully all will be ok as you said!

  • dchassett

    Please check with your vet as to the proper age to have the puppy neutered. The vet may have some guesses as to what breed or breeds he may be.

  • dchassett

    I know you mentioned it was your sister’s dog and your mother took the dog in. Very kind of her. Can you ask your sister if she has any ideas at all as to the breed of the dog? Maybe she can ask whoever or wherever she got the dog from. This would give you a bit more guidance in caring for your puppy. The circumstances of the mother and the other puppies is horrific but I will not speak further on that subject as you’ve already heard plenty. I am happy that you’ve found a vet, have an appointment and are taking the right path in finding this site and looking for good foods. A lot of new owners don’t go that far. Good luck and let us know how it goes. Oh, I also wouldn’t recommend BB because of the negative reports on this site. I’ve never fed it so have no personal experience.

  • Crazy4cats

    Ok, again, she is saving a pup from possible euthanasia. She has set up a visit with a holisitic vet. She also seems concerned about feeding a great diet. She did not say she is going to chain it up outside to a tree. She said indoor/outdoor dog. We also said we were going to try and keep our two outside as much as possible and of course they are inside laying on our couches the majority of the time! LOL! Everything will be OK!

  • Betsy Greer

    Rather than edit again, I’ll just add here what I forgot…

    HDM’ s list also includes commercial raw, which you mentioned you also wanted to add. You can also use an unbalanced raw if you keep it to no more than 20% of his diet; ie: toppers. Darwin’s is great, I use, love and recommend it; but it is expensive at $6.95 handling and .99 per pound shipping on top of the per pound cost of the product.

  • InkedMarie

    now that I’m on my computer, I can type a little faster. Let me expand on what I said about outside dogs living properly. I know people who’s dogs live outside for the most part. They have access to a dog house and according to my local law, that’s all they need. Oh, and water. I don’t believe that is proper.
    I know people with livestock guardian breeds who live in barns; that IS proper, due to how they are housed. LGB’s are different.
    I know people with outdoor dogs, some get rotated inside, some do not, depending on the dog. They have indoor outdoor kennels and runs, similar to what some shelters have. They have heat and AC. They get a ton of exercise both in their runs and in the fenced in area (rotated according to the dogs). They’re groomed, vetted, get high quality food. Do I personally like this? No, I don’t as I believe they should be inside but I understand not all dogs want that. These people have exceptional housing for their dogs.

  • InkedMarie

    I agree but I do tend to get testy when people post “controversial” things then get a little upset when people comment on it.

    I’d love to help with diet, thats why I asked what the breeds are.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    First, I’d like to commend you for adopting this little puppy. And although your mom’s situation may not be ideal, it’s certainly better to save an otherwise healthy dog from euthanasia than to worry about the precise nuances of a particular diet. So, how can we help?

  • Crazy4cats

    Ok, what’s done is done, obviously, it’s not a good situation, but let’s try to at least get her off to a good start with the puppy that she is taking in. Hopefully, the other pups find good homes too and the mother gets spayed.

  • Betsy Greer

    Personally, I wouldn’t feed Blue Buffalo. There just seem to be an overabundance of people reporting unexplained diarrhea, etc. It also seems like the company has some quality control issues.

    A large breed puppy carries a different set of nutritional needs; most importantly the need to regulate Calcium. LBPs should be kept lean and you should avoid over-exercising them. If it turns out that he’s not a LBP, it won’t hurt a thing to err on the side of caution.

    Choose a food from this list of foods with Calcium levels appropriate for a LBP that Hound Dog Mom researched and shared with us here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/preview?pli=1

    Also, visit this thread on the forum side of DFA for more information about LBPs: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

  • InkedMarie

    I also just judged in my other post; so, your sister is irresponsible but your mom took in a pregnant dog. If no vet care is doing the best she can, she’s failing. This has nothing to do with you but since you posted about it, we’re allowed to respond.

  • InkedMarie

    Darwin’s is a great food but it can be pricey. I’m not a fan of Blue products, read too many people with problems. Is this going to be a large breed dog? If yes, they have special requirements.

    If you really have limited finances, you should possibly rethink getting a dog, especially. A pup will cost more money, simply for more frequent vet visits, vaccinations (has he had any?), neutering, not to mention food, toy, other supplies and unexpected vet bills.

    What do you mean, indoor/ outdoor? Dogs belong in the house. If you mean living outside, there are very few who keep outside dogs properly.

    Tell your mother to be responsible and fix her dog.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    crazy4cats,
    Im not sure what type of dog he is. He is a mixed breed but looks to have some lab in him and he’s rather big for a puppy so im thinking he is gonna be a big breed dog or atleast medium size. Yeah…..im a little nervous about feeding him blue since I have read all the responses on about Blue. I have no idea what to feed this dog!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy,
    Sorry if I sounded offended! It’s just that my mom has been through a lot lately and I tend to be defensive for her. I do feel strongly that she should find a good home for this dog or atleast get her spayed. It really does not cost that much.

  • Betsy Greer

    I was only going by what you said in your first post.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    She actually has found hmes for four of the puppies but I hate to see the rest go to the pound. Sad world we live in! One of those puppies is gonna be lucky enough to come home with me!

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Betsy,

    The dog was actuall dumped at my moms house by my irresponsible sister. My mom felt sorry for the dog and has done the best she can. I agree with you about the spaying! I have asked her to find her a good home since my mom can’t afford to take care of the dog….she can hardly take care of herself. She has a lot of health issues. Be careful not to judge others without knowing the facts first! I hope to get some much needed advice from the others. I can’t afford to take but one puppy! My kids and family come first.

  • Crazy4cats

    Well, at least we know one is going to a good home. What kind of dog is it? Will it be a large breed? There are some special feeding requirements if it is. Blue wilderness has not been a favorite on this site due to many complaining of it causing diarrhea. Good to hear you have a vet visit lined up for him. I do hope the mother gets spayed, however so more pups wont end up in shelters. Good luck with your new family member!

  • Betsy Greer

    Your mom bred her dog and is now dumping the puppies at the pound? I hope it’s at least a no kill shelter. That’s so irresponsible. If I were you, I’d have my mom’s dog spayed. The shelters have enough dogs without any more from your mom.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    I am rescuing a ten week old mixed breed puppy from my moms last liter of pups. She will be taking them to the pound soon. I want to star this pup off right. I have found a holistic vet that we will be seeing and would love to feed him as well as I can. We are hoping to wait till he is at least a year old to neuter him. I would love to feed him Darwin’s but don’t think I can afford it. Was hoping to feed him blue wilderness kibble, canned and also some raw. Maybe at least 25 to 50 percent raw. How would I go about doing this? I have limited finances and resources although we do eat mostly organic. I’m sure this pup has been fed the worst of foods but did nurse from his mother and has never seen a vet! Where do I start? He will be an indoor/outdoor dog!

  • Betsy Greer

    I just looked at those same success stories, Shawna. I still have goose bumps! Amazing!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I’m not supposed to tell how much the canned food I bought was so I’m just going to say it was about the price of one can for a case of 5 star food. They also have the big Brand names as well, but I was able to be picky!

  • Shawna

    Wow!! That is fantastic.. I’ll tell our rescue president about them.. She doesn’t need the help but many who foster for her do..

    Did you see the success stories on the main “home” page!! HOLY SMOKES!!!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I have a local RPAL group here. I’m not sure if they are nation-wide but they get big discounts on food and supplies to offer to rescues. I joined one of their orders and was able to purchase By Nature Organics kibble for less than $0.50 a pound.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Have you considered making home made raw by using a Premix and your own meat and oil?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m going for a ride too, the library is calling my name.

  • dchassett

    Thanks Shawna. I know you and Patty are right, it just feels a little sad to knowingly be giving inferior food to dogs. Food I would never ever feed my animals. I mean the treats that well meaning bring over are different colors in the shapes of bones. I’m sure everyone knows the ones I mean. The rescue is always happy to see me, but still.

  • dchassett

    Thanks Patty. I’m about to take a ride to the local tea shop and see what they’ve got in scales. I need to stock up on some tea anyway.

  • dchassett

    Thanks Betsy.

  • dchassett

    Thanks Patty. I’ve felt bad bringing food that I wouldn’t feed to my own dogs only to be fed to others but I just couldn’t throw it out. Makes me feel better.

  • Shawna

    I personally know some folks that wouldn’t be able to foster if they didn’t receive help with the food bill.. Don’t think of it as inferior food when it means someone can take a dog that they otherwise might not have been able to take!! In that case, as in others I’m sure, it just might be a life saver…

  • Pattyvaughn

    That’s exactly the right thing to do. Down here, a lot of the shelter dogs are getting nothing but Ol’ Roy, so a donation of just about anything else is an improvement on their diet.

  • dchassett

    Cleo reminds me of Tracy, a Tibetan Terrier I once had. She passed away a little over seven years ago. Still miss her and her crazy antics. They are a tough breed cause they really are nuts with the energy and bouncing off the walls bit. Like I said, still miss her so much. What the hell, I miss all my babies here and gone.

  • dchassett

    Any abuse is horrible. Poor baby. Bless you for what you and others do in fostering and caring for animals that some thing are disposable or worse abusing.

  • dchassett

    I know people mean well when they remember my dogs at the holidays. But it never fails, knowing how neurotic I am about my girls and what they eat, and all that know me know that; they still bring them bags and boxes of treats for Xmas, Valentines Day, Easter, their birthdays, you name it. In the past I used to explain and gently suggest that they not spend the money, the thought was truly appreciated. Now I kindly accept and wonder what to do with all the treats and sometimes bags of what they consider to be a wonderful kibble that they got on sale at the local grocery store or wherever. I usually gather it all up and bring to the local rescue and also then buy better food for the rescue and explain to them my problem. They now know me so when they see me coming they know they’ll get some good stuff along with the inferior that I wouldn’t feed my girls. Their happy because something is better than nothing. Like I said, I don’t know what else to do with the food other than donate.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Well yeah!

    Actually, he is quite a food hound, but liver is better than dried fish paste, which is what one of the treats turned out to be.

  • Shawna

    Being a Border Collie, was the win more important to him than the treats? :)

  • Shawna

    LOL!! Yeah, I’d have said more than yikes too!!

    The pup you are referring to is Cleo who is a Shih Tzu / Poodle mix and came in as a foster dog. She had been abused, not horrible but enough. It took MONTHS to get her to the point that she wouldn’t roll over on her back if I leaned down to pet her or worse SCREAM if I picked her up.. She does, and always has, loved attention but there were certain triggers that terrified her. :-(

    The photographer used that shot of Cleo in a national contest. :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    I had Micah in a training class right before Christmas that the instructor liked to go around and meet everyones dogs and give them treats. Every single class I had to explain again that Micah has allergies and can’t eat just any treat, then give her some of Micah’s treats to give him. The last class we did a mini competition and the winning dog got a bag of toys and treats. Micah won. He couldn’t have a single thing in his bag.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I got my regular kitchen scale from Amazon, so that would be my first thought. Many years before Amazon, I got a little gram scale from one of those gourmet kitchen stores, not recommended.

  • dchassett

    Here’s hoping. I looked it up and I ordered the tripe treats from Dr Harvey’s and Vital Essentials.

  • dchassett

    I love your babies and the expression and head tilt on the one second from left is priceless. I will try to figure out how to send pic to this site from my phone. The pic to the left is a recent photo.

    I’ll take a ride over to the local tea store later today now that the ice has melted and I can get out. Been stuck in the house since Tuesday afternoon.

    I was going crazy and annoyed having to bath their bottoms on the day they were getting groomed. It never occurred to me that she would be giving dogs (any body’s dogs) treats without asking first. That’s me, anyway. Like I said, I was so freaked out. We spend so much time, effort and money making sure nutritionally we’re doing all we can and then somebody gives them Puperoni of all things. Yikes! is right. Though I do believe I said more than yikes.

  • Betsy Greer
  • Shawna

    PS — I bet they will LOVE the tripe treats!!!

  • Shawna

    Yep, what Patty said.. :) A scale that weighs smaller amounts accurately. I got mine at a local shop that sells nothing but tea and tea accessories. I think I paid $15 or $16 for it.

    Older dogs tend to not digest food as thoroughly so to get the same amount of nutrients they may require a larger amount. This is a general rule though. Like Patty said, always go by body condition over what a scale or chart says.

    Eeekk – I would be horrified if I found out my groomer was giving something like Puperoni.. ESPECIALLY if I was having to deal with diarrhea aftermath on a furry butt baby AFTER grooming.. At least after grooming the hiney shouldn’t be as furry!! :)

    It’s hard to see the picture but I can get a general idea of how they look. On the computer I can’t blow the pic up. Can on my phone but it gets distorted after a bit. They look very much like my good friend’s pups in California. I attached my favorite picture of mine — kinda old though. This is five of my current dogs. The tiny Chi on the far right passed away several years ago. And we added three foster dogs since — likely forever fosters.

  • dchassett

    Thanks Patty. Where do I order a tea scale?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Not Shawna, but a tea scale is made for measuring smaller amounts so it is more accurate, which is important when feeding such little guys. If your senior is losing weight, she may need more food, always go by body condition.

  • dchassett

    < – The picture is of my babies. (They don't realize they are "fur" babies and as they don't spend that my time admiring themselves in the mirror, I have told them and they're none the wiser).Left is Katie (7 lb Maltipoo), Black dog in the middle is Lola my 6 lb Yorkipoo and on the left is Hannah my 14 year old 8 lb Maltese. They are the loves of my life. Anyway love the quick response. What is a "tea" scale. I have a regular kitchen scale, will that do? The high amount of fat in the Primal is also another reason why I've been looking for raw with lower fat content. I'm going to start with the 1.8 oz. and check them out in a few days. Should I be feeding Hannah, 14 years old more food than the other two even though she's less active? I didn't realize I was suppose to be doing that. That may be way lately I've been feeling that she's a little too thin. I do give them some treats during the day but by treats I mean carrots, blueberries, other berries, celery organic human fruits and veggies but not too many because I want them to eat the meals. I don't have any processed treats in the house. I even go so far as to give the groomer a baggie with berries to use as treats on the day she grooms them. Unfortunately she likes to give her clients Pup eroni and things like that which I kind of lost it with her one day when I realized she was giving them treats. I couldn't figure out for the longest time why on the day they were groomed they would all have diarrhea and thought it was stress. So no more diarrhea on grooming day.

  • Shawna

    Hi dchassett :),

    Amounts to feed is a really hard one!! There are so many factors other than calories and weight.

    I have one that is four pounds, two that are five pounds, a seven pounder and a nine pounder. The four pound 16 year old Chihuahua eats significantly more food than all the others— she gets 2 ounces twice a day. While my five pound Pom Gizmo gets only .9 ounces twice a day and my other Pom Peanut gets 1.5 ounces twice a day..

    The easiest way I’ve found to feed my crew is to weigh their food out on a “tea” scale. Maybe start out feeding them all 1.5 to 1.8 ounces per meal (assuming you feed twice a day and give some treats) and after a few days check their body condition. If they feel a little boney then add a little. If they feel like they’ve gained a bit then cut back a little. Darwins has less fat than other premades so you might even want to go up to 2 ounces per meal (depending on number of treats given and if you add toppers like eggs etc).

    Darwins is complete and balanced so you do not need to add anything to the diet however you can (and I do) add small amounts of things they like — like maybe egg or cantaloupe, berries, leftover steak etc.

    Would love to see a picture of your babies!!!!

  • dchassett

    Hi Shawna. I notice that you’ve got small dogs as I do and am confused about figuring out how much Darwins to feed them. I have an 8 lb Maltese, a 7 lb Maltipoo and a 6 lb Yorkipoo. That is their upper weight, I try not to let them go above those weights. Do you know how I can easily figure out how much to feed each. I’m at a loss here. Math has always been my worst area even using a calculator. I’m really clueless in that area. Oh, and on the days that you feed Darwins, do you add others foods to it or is that their complete meal for that serving. They are presently on Primal Pronto and are doing fabulous but I want to keep them rotating proteins and brands and everyone speaks so highly of Darwins. My order just arrived this morning and not sure what to do. As always, thanks so much Shawna. I got the Bison and the Beef. One of my girls is allergic/intolerant of their other proteins.

  • neezerfan

    Since I read your post, I’ve been weighing my packages of Darwin’s as I take them out of the freezer. The 2 lb. packs all weigh 2 lbs. plus a few tenths of an ounce. The “quarter packages” weigh between 7.7 and 8.5 ounces. Seems fair to me!

  • Polar Bear’s mom

    Awesome! I’ll call him!

  • Pattyvaughn

    They are located in the Seattle area. Call them and talk to James. He is super about answering questions/concerns.

  • Polar Bear’s mom

    Does anyone know where Darwin’s sources all their food from? And where there processing plants are located and if they are USDA inspected kitchens? They claim to use human-grade and USDA inspected food. I really want to try this food out. On their website they say that their food is minimally processed… I don’t know what that means for a raw food. I’ve been doing so much research that my head is exploding!! I got Susan Thixton’s Top 2013 foods list, and I’ve been comparing foods and am trying to decide between Primal, Bravo, THC, and Darwin’s. She doesn’t mention Darwin’s, but I see that a lot of you have used it.
    I guess I could not be lazy and call them! :)))))

  • beaglemom

    I just weighed a chicken, duck, and turkey. All were over 8 oz with packaging (2 were 8.38, 1 was 8.25).

  • james P

    Thank you Ken. Please let me know.
    James

  • Pug Poppa

    Just weighed my food from last order First 2 pounder not 2 pounds, second the same. All have indentions on bottom side. I have a large cat/dog order coming tomorrow. I will weigh each package prior to putting away.

  • james P

    Follow up—

    Ok, everyone I have spoken with my production manager, and I know this may sound odd, but they assure me that the whole package weighs more than 2lbs. Occasionally, there might be a slight variance in each individual 8.oz portion.(as they are filled individually)
    If your finding this to not be the case, please let me know.
    James

  • james P

    Hello Ronniewg,
    I’m sorry you have been experiencing these issues with packaging weights. I know we have calibrated the film, form & seal to be over 8oz. just for these reasons. I will bring this to our production manger and make sure it’s still calibrated correctly. In the mean time, if you would contact me directly ( [email protected]) I would be more than happy to include a free package or two in your next order.
    James

  • Pug Poppa

    I am having the same experience. I thought it was my scale. I give my pugs 4 ounces of meat and .5 oz of tripe. I would just add more of the tripe. I make 3 meals per day for 4 days and today I weighed each and find that the meat was between 7.3 and 7.8 ounces per pouch. I will admit that in the past they were always correct or even slightly over. Cat food is short too.It is interesting because my last shipment all had dimples in the bottom of the wrap.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Oh, and I got my calendar today!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I have had a couple with a dimple in the middle, but only a couple. That’s the closest I’ve come to being shorted.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’d call them too. Ask for Jim. So far they have always been great to deal with.

  • InkedMarie

    I fed it, still have some in the freezer, I’ll thaw some for Ginger & weigh it. I would not hesitate to call them.

  • Ronniewg

    meant to say “I don’t like the shortage”.

  • Ronniewg

    Darwin’s Natural Selections is the only food I feed and my dog likes it, but, I don’t the shortage.
    Everybody watch out.

  • Ronniewg

    No, packaging is still the same.
    I figured they probably won’t believe me. That’s why I thought I’d check with the rest of you to see if I’m the only one this had happened to.

  • losul

    Hmm. Did they ever change the packaging? my last order was June I think.

    Maybe a glitch. Call them, maybe they’ll throw in an extra pound or two on next order.

  • Ronniewg

    Those were the weights with the packaging still on.

  • Ronniewg

    My scale is accurate. After feeding this food for a year, I could tell when I put it in the bowl. I’d say 3/4 of the last order (26 lbs) was smaller packs. I can’t believe I’m the only one. I sure hope this was a one time incident.

  • Ronniewg

    I’ve been noticing the difference with the Darwin’s packages for the last month, but, didn’t weigh the packages until today. I’m going to call them tomorrow. I hope this doesn’t continue.

  • losul

    I hadn’t noticed that, but I quit feeding it for other reasons. I never weighed them, I don’t think. Is your scale accurate?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I just got my order an hour ago so I went out and broke them apart and weighed some. The beef was 8.25, the turkey was 8.08, and the duck was 8.18, all with packaging still on so slightly less than that.

  • Betsy Greer

    Really?!

    Admittedly, I don’t weigh them anymore. Two packages for one dog and 3/4 of a package for the other.

    Have you contacted Darwin’s? I tried to call them earlier to set up a shipment but got the voice mail and decided to call back later.

  • Ronniewg

    Darwin’s raw single pkgs weight are not 1/2 lb. each. For the past year, I have been feeding only Darwin’s Natural Selections. For the last month, I’ve noticed while feeding the last order (my dog eats 2 single pkgs a day) that, sometimes, there is not as much food in each pkg, so, I have been having to open a 3rd pkg. So, I weighed 3 of the single pkgs and they weighed 7.6, 7.7 and 7.6. I am so disappointed in Darwins. Hasn’t anyone else noticed?

  • Linda Schneerer

    I put the food in the refrigerator, the day before I feed. I also like to feed the food at least lukewarm, so in the morning, I let their food sit in hot water (while it’s still in the package), and if I want it warmer quicker, I put their food in their bowls and add a little hot water from my electric tea pot. I don’t like warming their food in the microwave. I don’t even use a microwave for my food. Here’s a link to read more about microwaves and their harmful effects: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx

  • DogLover

    You may not want to microwave raw food – it cooks the bone, which negates the whole point of raw and makes the bone indigestible. It could then also create a calcium deficiency.

  • Armageddongal

    Btw, I have been feeding my Coton de tulear for one month now, thanks to ur site and others comments, and I have notices a great deal of good on my baby. Mainly her anal gland issues are gone.

  • Armageddongal

    Thanks for ur time to rate and provide facts on dog food help me pick the best at my budget. I appreciate your hard work.

  • Dc414

    I have been feeding my dog and cat the Darwin’s pet food now for 3 months. The difference in their eyes, teeth, ears, fur quality, and overall health it’s just amazing. My cat looks and feels like some kind of exotic tiger or something… My black labs fur has NEVER been so silky and shiny in his entire life. Both of them are stronger. When they say “enthusiastically recommended” I couldn’t agree more. Based on some other comments it looks like I was lucky both my animals took right to it immediately, however I transitioned them very slowly anyways.

  • Ida

    Thank you!

  • Shawna

    Yes, it is considered “complete and balanced” just as any kibble would be. Patty is right that adding fish oils, or sardines, is healthful but since the AAFCO doesn’t recognize omega 3 as an essential nutrient, it is not necessary for the manufacturer to add them.

    PS — I use this food in my rotation for my eight toy and small breed dogs. I have a, soon to be, 18 year old, five pound Chihuahua (hovers between 4.5 to 5 pounds), two 5 pound Poms etc. I got my 9 pound Chihuahua mix when she was just 9 weeks old. She was born with kidney disease (symptoms first noticed at 6 weeks of age). She has been on raw foods like Darwins her whole life and will be 8 years old next June 2014 and is still in very good health (her vets gave her 1 year to live – that was 6 years ago)… I HIGHLY recommend foods like Darwins…

  • Pattyvaughn

    It needs Fish oils added right before feeding.

  • Ida

    Would this diet be considered a balanced diet on it’s own? If not what would I need to feed additionally in order to provide a balanced diet to my puppy (4mth old Chihuahua puppy; current weight 3pds)?

  • Bulldog

    I feed both my 20-month old bulldogs Darwin’s. I agree that the recommended feeding guidelines don’t seem to apply and are very much on the low end, but I’ve never paid much attention to that with any food in the past. I just pay close attention to their weight and activity level and use trial and error to come up with the right amount. I feed them twice daily – Maple is 40# and I feed her 1 lb each meal (5% body weight/day); Moose is 60# and I feed him 1 1/4 lb per meal (4.16% body weight/day). Both are in excellent shape and extremely active and athletic for Bulldogs. Bulldogs generally aren’t considered full grown until about 3 years of age, so that could also explain why their required intake is higher than recommended. Also, I stay on top of thawing their meals – I’ll keep 5-6 large packets in the fridge at a time. If I need to accelerate, I’ll put a few large packets to thaw in the sink for most of the day until they’re soft but still quite cool (not room temp), and then back into the fridge. I’ve never had any issues with this method. I also never heat their food, as I’m a bit of a purist in that regard, but that’s personal preference.

  • Carol

    I let it thaw in the fridge but warm it up in the microwave for them to eat. Mine eat 1.5 lbs, twice per day…so a zap it for 1 minute, stir then zap again for another 30 sec to a minute. Makes it nice and warm for them. I know, I’m a little off my rocker but I like the thought of a warm meal before they go off to daycare where they’re outside a lot of the day.

  • Dolores Musumeci

    I also feel the same. I have two yorkies, one who eats half Darwin’s and the other all Darwin’s. The reason I feed one half is because he has been a an RX kibble for years and although I wanted to get him off I think he is doing great with half of the raw. Now my female who is 1 1/2 and is feeding all Darwin’s always seems to be starving and is on the thin side. Right now the 22 pounds of Darwin’s lasts me about 5 weeks for two yorkies. I really can’t afford to feed her more so I decided to put her on half also. I am going to be feeding her the same amount of Darwin’s but will give her Wellness complete kibble at night for one of her meals.
    Although I do love Darwin’s I absolutely do think their feeding guidelines are off. I believe she has gotten thinner since I have taken her off kibble completely.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Danjeff,

    I was trying to post this last night, but was having trouble. I would’ve done it then. : )

    These aren’t my ideas, they’re Darwin’s. This list was emailed to me by their customer service department. There are some really good ideas here. Here you go:

    You can try these tips if you haven’t already (singly or in combo):

    1. Adding cheese or canned food is usually a good trick to start with. Also adding spices can increase interest.

    2. You can feed Darwins very warm. You can either float it in its bag in hot water or, at least to start, cook it a little on the stove or in the oven. This will release some of the fat molecules in the meat and hopefully overcome some of the veggie smell. Also put just a small amount in the bowl. No sense wasting food and also a small amount might be less intimidating. Add more if your dog eats the first offering.

    3. Mix either straight ground meat or some healthy table scraps into the Darwins. Some people find that mixing ground meat into the Darwin’s at a ratio of about 30-50 percent warm Darwins with 70-50 percent fresh ground meat for a few days will convince their dog to start eating Darwin’s.

    4. At first only feed the meat variety that your dog is used to eating. Also, it seems that many dogs take to the turkey and chicken faster than to the beef. It might be the smell of the meat itself or it might be that the beef contains bone meal instead of ground pieces of bone and some dogs don’t like the smell of bone meal. Also, I think the red meat variety smells more of organ meat than do the chicken or turkey. Unfortunately the veggie smell is the first noticed smell and it is the same in all Darwin’s varieties; so dogs who didn’t like their first meat variety might think that all the Darwin’s is the same since it all smells the same. That’s when using trick 3 is helpful to get them started by cutting the percentage of vegetables and, thus, reducing the smell.

    5. Warmed chicken or beef broth poured over the food to make a soup or stew sometimes works, if your dog will eat a very wet food. Some do not like soup.

    6. Make sure your dog is good and hungry and don’t feed anything else if the Darwin’s is refused. Just try again next meal. . Easier to get a child to eat broccoli if he or she hasn’t had access to McDonalds for the past few meals.

    7. Cook the food like a meat loaf (325 for 30 – 40 minutes or so) and start there. You can mix in raw Darwin’s with the crumbled cooked loaf slowly until you are transitioned. Or mix the crumbled loaf into the food that your dog is used to eating and then transition to raw once you have convinced him/her to eat it cooked.

    8. Adding Green Tripe to our meals is an excellent idea for notoriously picky eaters. It is highly palatable, and considered a “superfood” for dogs. We do offer Green Tripe in 1lb packages, and can be added to your standard order any time.

  • DanJeff
  • paganchick68

    Hey Dan,
    I didn’t read any of the responses to your question so if I am repeating someone please excuse me. It’s fine to leave the food out to warm up a bit, I just wouldn’t leave it out overnight or for half a day. Basically don’t leave it out any longer than anything you would plan to eat or cook. My mother and I feed our dogs canned food to give them their medications; therefore, we refrigerate the rest in tupper wear. We put our dogs food in the microwave for about 10 seconds to warm it up, you just have to feel the bottom part of the food to ensure it’s not too hot found that out the hard way for my little one, just felt the top and started to feed her and the bottom was pretty hot. Good luck with your pup.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hi Dan
    Fat has twice+ the calories of protein so a higher fat food will have higher calories. I can tell you from my experience that I think Darwin’s slightly underestimates the calorie count. And yes, like Betsy says, it’s fine to leave it out for a while to warm up.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi DanJeff,

    It would be totally fine to let it sit for a short time before feeding. You could also very gently warm it in a saucepan on the stove if your pup prefers it that way. That’s what I frequently do.

    I have a long list of serving suggestions to make their product more appealing to your dog from Darwin’s if you’d like it.

  • DanJeff

    Hi. I just switched to Darwin’s and one of my dogs just doesn’t like frozen food, he’ll eat frozen treats etc. I was wondering if people think it’s ok to let the food stand for a bit at room temperature before I feed it? Will it really get spoiled if I leave it on for 30-45mins at room temperature? (granted I;m in no way food expert or a cook but I do stuff like that for my own raw meet after thawing)

    I usually thaw the food in the fridge before feeding but even after over 24hrs it’s got some ice crystals? (would greatly appreciate any help/experience with that)

    Re. the calorie count and fat content, Orijen’s website indicates the following (using Orijen as an example):
    “ME (calculated metabolizable energy) is 3980 kcal/kg (478 kcal per 250ml/120g cup).

    Calories are distributed to support peak physical conditioning with 38% from protein, 21% from fruits and vegetables, and 41% from fat.”

    Now since Darwin is higher in protein, it makes sense that the caloric content is lower but based on what Orijen has for kibble it would appear that 2 Darwin packs (1lb) are relatively equal in calories to 1 cup of kibble meaning that I’d have to feed my 68lbs dog about 2lbs a day to provide equivalent pure caloric intake to his former 2 cups of kibble. Or am I getting the math wrong here? And in all honesty I just don’t believe that kibble has the same nutritional value as real meat (no matter how high quality) I mean just the fact that manufacturers manage to stuff so many calories in such a small volume smells of heavy processing to me. Not saying anything bad about any food manufacturer or anything. Just a confused new raw food feeding pet owner.

    Thanks!
    Dan

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yep, we have been waiting for years to see Bufo marinus show up, but so far they haven’t made it here. In the South part of our county they had a dog die from one just a few weeks ago. I discourage toad eating vigorously and at least when I’m around the BCs won’t touch them, but nothing deters the JRT. I have literally reached down her throat numerous times to snatch back one, just to have her grab it up again. Some of them do make her foam up at the mouth, but she still snatches them every chance she gets.

  • losul

    Wow, your dogs eat toads? Around here, one very bad experience mouthing or biting a toad usually teaches them to leave them alone.

    I would beware that cane toads are spreading northward into central Florida. Eating or even mouthing or biting one of those particular toads could very well be quite deadly.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Almost everything is working right now. The comment history page is not up to date though.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If your dog isn’t loosing weight then that isn’t it. Some dogs just like to eat too much.